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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: November 22, 2021

As of 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, children aged five to 11 will be eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

COVID-19 vaccine bookings to open for all children aged five to eleven

As of 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, children aged five to 11 across Ontario will be eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment through a variety of channels including the COVID-19 vaccination portal and contact centre, directly through public health units using their own booking system, participating pharmacies which individuals can find on Ontario’s website using the pharmacy locator, and select primary care providers.

To book an appointment online, children must be turning five years old by the end of 2021 (born in 2016).

Parents, caregivers and children with questions about the vaccine are encouraged to call the Provincial Vaccine Confidence Line that can be accessed by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900, or visit COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service to book a confidential phone appointment with a SickKids clinician.

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to help protect ourselves, and our families and communities against COVID-19. Learn more here.

Auditor General finds Ontario Government “deliberately ignored” right to be heard on significant environmental issues, kept public in the dark

Some Ontario ministries – including the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks – deliberately avoided consulting the public on environmentally significant decisions in 2020/21, bypassing the Environmental Bill of Rights, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk says in her Annual Report of Environment Audits.

“The Environment Ministry’s actions amount to undermining the Environmental Bill of Rights, a law that we would expect the Ministry to be championing,” Lysyk said, “This has been consistent over the last three years.”

The Auditor General concluded that the Government of Ontario spent millions of dollars managing hazardous spills but did not bill polluters, is in danger of running out of landfill space, is making little effort to protect at-risk species, and had left the public in the dark as a result of poor reporting.

Click here to download a summary of the Auditor General’s report (PDF link).

Financial experts find fear of financial shock is low, but cyber risks remain a concern

The Bank of Canada conducts the Financial System Survey (FSS) twice a year to solicit the opinions of senior experts who specialize in risk management of the financial system.

Respondents believe the risk of a shock that could impair the financial system is low. However, this risk is viewed as slightly higher in the medium term than in the short term because of the prospect of rising interest rates, inflation, and geopolitical tensions.

Cyber risks remain the top risk that organizations face. Asset pricing risks—the potential for asset price corrections—are the second most frequently cited. These top risks faced by organizations are also relevant for the financial system as a whole, as highlighted in the Bank of Canada’s 2021 Financial System Review.

Overall, the prolonged period of low interest rates over the past decade has worsened respondents’ abilities to meet their profit or return goals. As a result, asset managers, pension funds and insurers have increased their exposures to riskier assets and may have taken on more leverage.

Click here for more information.

Uber enters booming cannabis market with orders in Ontario

Uber Technologies Inc. will allow users in Ontario, Canada, to place orders for cannabis on its Uber Eats app, marking the ride-hailing giant’s foray into the booming business, a company spokesperson said on Monday.

Uber Eats will list cannabis retailer Tokyo Smoke on its marketplace on Monday, following which customers can place orders from the Uber Eats app and then pick it up at their nearest Tokyo Smoke store, the spokesperson said.

With more than three years into Canada’s legalisation of recreational cannabis, the country is trying to fix its ailing pot market, where illegal producers still control a large share of total annual sales.

Cannabis sales in Canada will total $4 billion in 2021 and are forecast to grow to $6.7 billion in 2026, according to data from industry research firm BDS Analytics.

Click here for more information.

Second Career program to be expanded in spring

The Second Career program provides financial support to laid-off and unemployed workers. By Spring 2022, the Second Career program will begin supporting unemployed individuals with little or no work experience, those who are self-employed and those in the gig economy.

The government is also proposing to extend the temporary, refundable Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit to 2022, which was originally introduced in the 2021 Ontario Budget to help workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic get back into the workforce. The extension would provide an estimated $275 million in additional support to about 240,000 people, or $1,150 on average, to help Ontario workers continue to upgrade their skills.

Click here for more information.

Reading Recommendations

Workers want a flexible future at work. What do employers want?

CBC News

Across Canada, employers are trying to map out what’s best for their organizations in a post-pandemic era, in terms of how they’ll structure their working arrangements going forward and how that will affect employees.

Yet employers are under pressure to embrace a more flexible future, and it seems some larger organizations are listening.

At Microsoft Canada, there’s an expectation the future will be different for its more than 4,000 Canadian employees.

“We believe extreme flexibility and hybrid work will define the post-pandemic workplace,” Microsoft spokesperson Lisa Gibson told CBC News via email.

Gibson said Microsoft was equipped for remote work before COVID-19 and some of its staff did work outside the office occasionally. But she said the pandemic saw “the overwhelming majority” work from home full-time.

As the pandemic eases and the company fully reopens its operations, the majority of staff will be able to work from home at least half the time — and they won’t need managerial approval to do so.

Job searches rise in Canada as COVID aid winds down

Bloomberg News

The number of Canadians searching for work jumped last month, just as pandemic-related government support programs were wound down, a survey by Indeed Canada showed.

The share of people actively looking for employment rose to 30 per cent last month, up from 25 per cent in September, according to a report published Monday by the job posting site. The increase was largely driven by unemployed workers who described their search as immediate. Among those looking for work, 39 per cent characterized the situation as “urgent,” up from 32 per cent in September.

The data illustrate some of the potential impacts of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision last month to terminate his government’s key income support programs. The move will raise financial strains on many Canadians who have yet to find work during the pandemic, while also encouraging them to enter the labor force at a time of growing worker shortages.

The survey also showed a “statistically significant” increase in searches by people already employed, which is a sign that job switching is on the rise. That too could be a product of worker shortages.

Niagara COVID-19 statistics tracker

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker

Free rapid COVID-19 testing kits are now available to businesses. Visit to learn more and reserve kits for your organization.

Information on government grants, resources, and programs, policies, forms, and posters for download and use, are available here. The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.

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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