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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: November 22, 2022

Canadian general government deficit shrinks, retail sales fall 0.5% in September, Canada announces new approach for Model Codes, and more.

In this edition:

Canadian general government deficit shrinks, still above pre-pandemic levels

The consolidated Canadian general government (CGG) deficit (which includes all federal, provincial, territorial and local governments) dropped sharply from $291.9 billion in 2020 to $99.0 billion in 2021, a 66.1% decrease. The increase in revenues (+13.9%)—particularly driven by corporate income taxes (+26.4%), taxes on goods and services (+17.1%) and personal income taxes (+9.7%)—combined with the decrease in expenses (-6.8%) contributed to the reduced deficit. The decrease in expenses was driven by decreased COVID-19-related transfers, shown by large declines in subsidies (-44.0%) and social benefits (-22.2%).

The net operating balance is the difference between revenues and expenses for a given period and is a summary measure of the sustainability of government operations. When revenues are lower than expenses, a deficit is recorded, while the reverse induces a surplus.

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Retail sales fall 0.5% in September

Retail sales decreased 0.5% to $61.1 billion in September. Sales declined in 7 of the 11 subsectors, representing 74.9% of retail trade. The decrease was led by sales at gasoline stations (-2.4%) and food and beverage stores (-1.3%).

Core retail sales—which exclude sales at gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers—decreased 0.4%.

In volume terms, retail sales declined 0.1% in September.

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Government of Canada announces new collaborative approach for National Model Codes

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry announced a new governance model for the National Model Codes development system.

The new federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) governance model replaces the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes, the committee that was responsible for code development in Canada since 1991.

The new FPT governance model includes the Canadian Board for Harmonized Construction Codes, overseen by a new Canadian Table for Harmonized Construction Codes Policy. It was developed to integrate provinces and territories into the national process, bringing Canada significantly closer to harmonized construction codes across the country.

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Pilot project at Canada-U.S. border crossing offers hope for stalled Nexus program

At the Thousand Islands crossing between Ontario and New York, in-person Nexus interviews are being conducted separately by U.S. and Canadian agents on opposite sides of the border.

Spokeswoman Rebecca Purdy says the pilot project, which began in late September, allows applicants to be interviewed on the Canadian side before entering the U.S. to meet with Customs and Border Protection officers.

The rest of Canada’s enrolment centres, where agents from both countries would normally interview applicants together in person, remain closed due to a lack of U.S. personnel.

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QEW Niagara-bound off ramp at Glendale reopens on Nov. 23

On November 23 (weather-permitting), the QEW Niagara bound off-ramp to Glendale will re-open to vehicle traffic, impacting those travelling to the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The location of the new permanent off-ramp is pictured below in yellow:

Please follow posted signage and use caution when travelling through the area as work crews may still be present.

For all official construction updates, visit

Ontario NDP leadership race deadline nears with only one candidate declared

There are less than two weeks to go in the Ontario NDP leadership race and Marit Stiles, the sole official candidate, is so far the presumptive winner.

A few other caucus members – Sol Mamakwa, Chris Glover and Wayne Gates – say today they are considering a bid, but still must register and fundraise $55,000 by Dec. 5.

Stiles is the only registered leadership candidate so far and has garnered endorsements from seven of her NDP caucus colleagues.

Stiles represents the Toronto riding of Davenport and is also a former school trustee and a former federal New Democratic Party president.

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Award recognizes Niagara Health physician and researcher as healthcare hero

When her name was called at Friday’s Women in Business Awards, Dr. Tsang, who was one of five finalists in the Healthcare Hero category, took the opportunity to highlight the important work happening at Niagara Health. As research lead for the hospital, she has been instrumental in fostering the growth of research here, and has been involved in a variety of studies, including one at the national level about COVID-19. That study gave local patients the chance to participate in clinical trials for medical treatment related to the virus.

Dr. Tsang’s academic work focuses on the engagement of community hospitals throughout Canada in clinical research. Her efforts are helping position Niagara Health as a national leader in research, which she spoke about in her acceptance speech.

“It’s important for the community to know the quality of care we provide this community and the research we do,” Dr. Tsang says. “Niagara Health has been supportive of research and there are more good things coming, and we can further improve healthcare in the region because of it. I wanted to use this platform to spread that message.”

“When her name was announced, it was like a family member won. I was so happy for her,” said Dr. Johan Viljoen, Niagara Health Chief of Staff and Executive Vice-President Medical. “An award like this highlights the exceptional expertise of the people who work for Niagara Health. It highlights the research that’s happening in a large community hospital. This is not a hospital on University Avenue. Dr. Tsang has placed Niagara Health on the map in terms of research at a community hospital.”

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Focus on Finance & Economy

Half of variable-rate fixed-payment mortgages have hit trigger rate: Bank of Canada

Roughly half of homeowners who have a variable-rate mortgage with a fixed payment had reached their trigger rate as of October 2022, according to a research note released Tuesday by the Bank of Canada.

The note also warned that number could rise to 65 per cent of homeowners if the central bank hikes its key lending rate by half a percentage point at its upcoming December meeting, as many Bay Street economists expect.

Most variable-rate mortgages in Canada have static monthly payments, meaning the payment will remain the same even as interest rates change. Trigger rates are activated when the interest portion exceeds the payment itself, and it’s a trend that has become more widespread amid the sharp jump in interest rates this year.

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Canadians prefer to invest their money in the stock market: Survey

The majority of Canadians prefer to invest their money in the stock market, according to a survey by HelloSafe.

A report released last week asked respondents to choose their three top investment products out of seven options. It found over half of respondents (54.6 per cent) prefer to put their money in stocks, followed by real estate (34.7 per cent) and life insurance (11.6 per cent).

All age groups favour the stock market over other investing avenues, the survey found.

Canadians 56 and over were the most likely to prefer stocks (60.9 per cent), followed by individuals between the ages of 16 to 25 (60.1 per cent) and respondents ages 26 to 35 (58.8 per cent).

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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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