In this edition:
- Strike averted at 17 No Frills stores in Ontario
- Canada and Ontario committing up to $25 million to boost efficiency in farming and food processing
- Canada Apprentice Loans added to My Service Canada Account, improving access and service to Canadians
- The Future of AI Council launches as AI comes under global scrutiny
- Investment in building construction is on the rise
- Annual rate of rent growth in Canada was 9.9% in October
- Children of homeowners twice as likely to own homes themselves, says StatsCan
- Focus on Climate
Strike averted at 17 No Frills stores in Ontario
Unifor reached a tentative deal on behalf of almost 1,300 No Frills workers across Ontario over the weekend, averting a looming strike that was set to get underway today. The union had announced the strike deadline on Thursday, calling for higher wages and better working conditions for employees at 17 stores in Toronto, Whitby and elsewhere in the province. Unifor Local 414 president Gord Currie says the workers knew the public would have their back in demanding a fair share of the growing profits of the discount grocery banner’s parent company, Loblaw Cos. Ltd. The No Frills workers, most of whom are part-time, will now vote on the tentative deal from Monday to Saturday.
Canada and Ontario committing up to $25 million to boost efficiency in farming and food processing
The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $25 million, through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP), to expand production capacity and boost energy efficiency in the agriculture and food sector.
Through the Agri-Tech Innovation Initiative, funding will be provided to eligible farm and food processing businesses to help them invest in innovative technology, equipment or processes that will expand production capacity or enhance efficiency.
This investment will support the objectives laid out in the Grow Ontario Strategy of increasing the production and consumption of food grown and prepared in the province by 30% by 2032 and boosting the economic impact of Ontario’s robust food and beverage manufacturing by 10%.
Canada Apprentice Loans added to My Service Canada Account, improving access and service to Canadians
Today, Minister of Citizens’ Services, Terry Beech, announced that My Service Canada Account (MSCA) will become the single point of entry to access the Canada Apprentice Loans. Current and new Canada Apprentice Loan clients will need to register or sign-in to MSCA to apply, manage or monitor their Canada Apprentice Loan.
When Canada Apprentice Loan clients access the Canada Apprentice Loans Service Centre website, they will be redirected to MSCA to log into their account. Clients who do not have an MSCA will need to create one. After logging in to their MSCA account, clients can access the Canada Apprentice Loan Service Centre (CALSC) website, where they can view the balance and status of their loans.
With MSCA, this new process will provide apprentices with real-time identity verification and enhanced security measures to help protect their personal information. Once registered or signed in to MSCA, clients can view their Social Insurance Number and access services and benefits related to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, and Old Age Security.
The Future of AI Council launches as AI comes under global scrutiny
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has launched its newest council, the Future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – a 30-member forum representing a diverse cross-section of organizations from across the country, including Council Co-Chairs Amazon and SAP Canada. The Council will play a leading role in advocating for government policies that establish AI as a positive economic force through the responsible development, deployment and ethical use of AI in business.
The Future of AI Council supports government policies that establish AI as a positive economic driver, while also acknowledging the need for policies that consider the potential of risk. At the top of the agenda for the Future of AI Council is Bill C-27’s Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA), which the House of Commons is currently studying. During its inaugural meeting on November 6, the Council determined that AIDA would be a core focus of its advocacy until the Act receives royal assent.
Investment in building construction is on the rise
Investment in building construction increased 5.3 percent to $18.9 billion in September. Single family home investment increased 6.4 per cent to $6.3 billion in September. Multi-unit construction rose 8.2 percent to $6.6 billion in September, with all provinces reporting gains.
Overall, the residential sector rose to $12.9 billion, and the non-residential sector was up 1.2 per cent.
Investment in non-residential construction was up 1.2 per cent, an increase driven mainly by Ontario, which accounted for 72.8% of the sector gains.
Industrial construction investment increased 1.2% per cent. Despite stabilizing in recent months, industrial investment was still up 16.2% from September 2022.
Institutional construction investment rose 4.3 per cent to $1.5 billion in September 2023. Ontario led the way, with a large hospital renovation in Toronto and the construction of a correctional facility in Thunder Bay contributing to growth in the province.
Annual rate of rent growth in Canada was 9.9% in October
For the sixth month in a row, asking rents in Canada hit a new high, averaging $2,178 in October. In the last six months, average asking rents increased by 8.8%, or by $175 per month.
Ontario was the province with the slowest annual growth in apartment rents during October, posting a 4.6 per cent increase (compared to a 6.6 per cent increase reported for September). The average asking rents in Ontario edged up in October to reach $2,492. Average rent for one-bedroom in St. Catharines was $1,685.
Children of homeowners twice as likely to own homes themselves, says StatsCan
A Statistics Canada report published today, crunched the numbers on home ownership rates across income levels, provinces and age brackets and found that one of the best determinants of whether or not a young adult owned a home in 2021 was whether or not their parents did.
Almost one out of every six Canadians born in the 1990s owned a home in 2021, but among those whose parents didn’t own a home, the ownership percentage was 8.1 per cent — about one out of every 11.
If the young adult’s parents own a home, however, the ownership ratio jumps to 17.4 per cent. That makes them more than twice as likely.
Did you know?
The most innovative country in 2023 was Switzerland. Canada is positioned in 15th place.
Focus on Climate
Methane emissions escaping from Alberta underestimated by 50 per cent, study finds
Bob Weber; The Canadian Press
Emissions of a potent greenhouse gas from Alberta’s energy industry are underestimated by nearly 50 per cent, according to a new study from one of Canada’s premier climate labs.
The study from Carleton University’s Energy and Emissions Research Lab also says oil and gas produced in the province emit significantly more methane for the energy produced than jurisdictions such as British Columbia – a measurement that offers a warning to industry, said lead author Matthew Johnson.
“The future is, your ability to sell [gas] into certain markets will be based on methane intensity,” he said.
In 2021, Alberta’s methane emissions were officially estimated to equal 15 mega-tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. That adds up to the yearly emissions of three million cars, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
If Johnson’s paper is right, the correct equivalent for Alberta’s emissions would be closer to 4.5 million cars.
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.