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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: November 17, 2022

Government of Canada introduces port and railroad legislation, Ontario to invest in healthcare infrastructure and skilled trades, and more.

In this edition:

Government of Canada introduces port and railroad legislation

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, introduced the Strengthening the Port System and Railway Safety in Canada Act in the House of Commons. The Act aims to:

  • amend current legislation and modernize the way Canada’s marine and railway transportation systems operate;
  • remove systemic barriers to create a more fluid, secure, and resilient supply chain;
  • expand Canada Port Authorities’ mandate over traffic management;
  • position Canada’s ports as strategic hubs that support national supply chain performance and effectively manage investment decisions for sustainable growth;
  • improve the government’s insight into ports and their operations; and
  • modernize provisions on rail safety, security, and transportation of dangerous goods.

Click here to read more.

Ontario to invest $182m in healthcare infrastructure

The Ontario government is investing over $182 million this year to support critical upgrades and repairs at 131 hospitals and 65 community health care facilities across the province.

Ontario is providing $175 million to hospitals through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund and over $7.6 million to community health service providers through the Community Infrastructure Renewal Fund. This funding from the province allows its health care system partners to address urgent infrastructure renewal needs such as upgrades or replacements of roofs, windows, security systems, fire alarms and back-up generators.

Click here to read more.

Ontario to invest $3.5m in skilled trades in Niagara and five other regions

The Ontario government is investing $3.5 million in province-wide training initiatives to help more students launch rewarding careers in the skilled trades. These projects, led by the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario (PBCTCO), aim to prepare nearly 2,000 young people for well-paying jobs in the construction industry, including a path to paid training and union-sponsored apprenticeships.

The PBCTCO’s Tomorrow’s Trade programs provide training to at-risk youth and allow students to explore lucrative careers in the construction trades, meet industry mentors and develop essential construction sector skills. The programs are available for students in London, Hamilton-Niagara Peninsula, Ottawa, Toronto, Windsor-Sarnia and Sudbury until March 2023.

Click here to read more.

Fewer Canadian EI claimants in September, but Niagara numbers edge upwards

In September, 27,000 (-5.6%) fewer Canadians received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 455,000, a similar level to February 2020 (447,000) prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the unemployment rate in September 2022 fell 0.2 percentage points to 5.2%, as fewer people searched for work.

In Niagara, the number of claimants increased by 180 to 5,350, although still down 67% year-over-year.

Click here to read more.

St. Catharines recognized as climate action leader

The City of St. Catharines is being recognized for its leadership on environmental action and transparency, earning a top score on climate action from CDP, an international environmental impact non-profit.

The City joins a prestigious list of just 122 municipalities from across the globe to receive recognition on the CDP 2022 A List. To score an A, among other actions, a local government must not only publicly disclose their data, but also have a community-wide greenhouse gas emissions inventory, and have published a climate action plan. It must also complete a climate risk and vulnerability assessment and have a climate adaptation plan to demonstrate how it will tackle climate hazards.

Click here to read more.

City of Welland suspends Vaccine Status Policy

Effective immediately, the City of Welland’s Vaccine Status Policy is suspended.

Council voted to suspend the policy that has been in effect since October 2021.

The City continues to have an obligation to take all necessary and reasonable precautions to protect its employees, as outlined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and to create a safe working environment. Therefore, the City is prepared to implement and recommend control measures, including the Vaccine Status Policy, be reimplemented should there be a rise in COVID-19 cases or a staff outbreak.

Click here to read more (PDF link).

Ontario tells schools to make plans for remote learning next week if education workers strike

Ontario’s Ministry of Education is asking school boards to pivot to remote learning next week if education workers strike on Monday, according to a memo obtained by CTV News Toronto.

“If a school board determines that it cannot maintain the healthy and safe operation of schools in-person, school boards must support students in a speedy transition to remote learning,” the memo, titled Labour Disruptions – Continued Contingency Planning, reads.

On Wednesday, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) announced that it had given the mandatory five days notice for strike action after renewed bargaining fell apart.

Click here to read more.

Rate of flu, RSV increase appears to be slowing down: Ontario health minister

Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones says an increase in respiratory viruses that are driving a surge in pediatric hospitalizations appears to be slowing down.

Recently, the province’s pediatric ICUs were operating over capacity, with 122 children in intensive care –10 more than the maximum the system is equipped to handle.

But those daily numbers, while available to hospital executives, are not made public and Jones did not answer today when asked how many children are currently in ICUs.

Click here to read more.

Focus on Real Estate

Why these Lipper Award-winning fund managers think you need more real estate in your portfolio

Canadian investors wanting to boost their real estate holdings should look to the country’s pension plans for a rough guide on how much of this asset class to own, says Michael Nairne, president and chief investment officer of Tacita Capital of Toronto.

“Pension plans have been adding real estate for years because they face what the average Canadian faces, which is a retirement funding challenge,” says Mr. Nairne, who manages the Lipper Award-winning TCI Premia Real Assets Private Pool fund. “Real estate offers an ability to build contracted cash flows that increase over time.”

Click here to read more.

Through the Daily Updates, the GNCC aims to deliver important business news in a timely manner. We disseminate all news and information we feel will be important to businesses. Inclusion in the Daily Update is not an endorsement by the GNCC.

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