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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: November 28, 2022

More Homes Built Faster Act receives Royal Assent, net farm income up 50% in 2021 as prices for farm products soar, and more.

In this edition:

More Homes Built Faster Act receives Royal Assent

Today, the More Homes Built Faster Act was given Royal Assent, supporting the government’s efforts to tackle the housing supply crisis and get 1.5 million homes built over the next 10 years. More Homes Built Faster is intended to address unnecessary costs, red tape, and other bottlenecks that stand in the way of new homes being built.

Key actions in the plan include:

  • Freezing and reducing government fees to support the construction of new homes and reduce the costs of housing, particularly affordable and not-for-profit housing, inclusionary zoning units and purpose-built rentals.
  • Creating a new attainable housing program to drive the development of housing across all regions of Ontario.
  • Increased the Non-Resident Speculation Tax rate to 25 per cent – the highest level in Canada – effective October 25, 2022, to deter non-resident investors from speculating on the province’s housing market.
  • Protecting new home buyers by increasing consumer protection measures and consulting on ways to help more renters become homeowners.

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Net farm income up 50% in 2021 as prices for farm products soar

Realized net income for Canadian farmers rose 49.8% to $13.7 billion in 2021, as strong growth in receipts offset higher expenses. This increase followed a 79.1% gain in 2020 and a 5.1% rise in 2019. Excluding cannabis, realized net income in 2021 was up 49.6% to $14.0 billion

In 2021, unfavourable weather conditions during the growing season and supply chain disruptions put upward pressure on prices. Thus, the average value of the Farm Product Price Index (FPPI) rose 20.5% in 2021 compared with 2020, the largest average growth in nearly 50 years. In contrast, the average value of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 3.4% over the same period.

Farm cash receipts (which comprise crop and livestock revenues, as well as program payments) rose 15.3% to $83.2 billion in 2021, the largest year-over-year gain since 1981 (+16.1%).

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Canadian international payments record deficit after two quarters of surplus

Canada’s current account balance (on a seasonally adjusted basis) recorded a deficit of $11.1 billion in the third quarter, following surpluses in the first two quarters of 2022. This deficit mainly reflected a considerably lower goods surplus and a higher investment income deficit.

In the financial account (unadjusted for seasonal variation), inflows of funds from abroad to finance the current account deficit came mainly from transactions in currency and deposits, as non-residents increased their holdings of these assets in Canada by $39.0 billion in the third quarter. Portfolio investment was also a contributor, led by foreign investment in Canadian bonds.

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Ontario releases Grow Ontario Strategy

Recognizing the agri-food sector’s vulnerabilities including labour shortages, outdated supply chain infrastructure and declining processing capacity, the Ontario government has released the Grow Ontario Strategy. The strategy outlines the province’s plan to strengthen the agri-food sector, ensure an efficient, reliable, and responsive food supply, and address ongoing vulnerabilities through new innovations.

The plan focuses on three key priorities:

  • Strengthen Agri-food Supply Chain Stability: Increase both the consumption and production of food grown and prepared in Ontario by 30 per cent.
  • Increase Agri-food Technology and Adoption: Boost research infrastructure, advance the uptake of new technologies, grow the market for Ontario innovative technologies domestically and globally, and grow the use of data to support efficiencies in the agri-food sector and value chain.
  • Attract and Grow Ontario’s Agri-food Talent: Increase total agri-food sector employment by 10 per cent by 2032.

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Brock named one of Hamilton-Niagara’s Top Employers for fifth time

Brock University has been recognized as one of Hamilton-Niagara’s Top Employers for 2023.  

The annual competition, now in its 16th year, is organized by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. The award honours organizations that demonstrate industry leadership in offering an exceptional place to work through progressive and forward-thinking programs.  

This is the fifth time Brock University has received the designation, having been selected in every year it has applied: 2017, 2018, 2021, 2022 and 2023. 

Click here to read more.

Focus on Small Business

Doing more with less: how small businesses can maximize resources in lean times

With the after-effects of the pandemic still creating upheaval in the workforce and a recession looming on the horizon, business leaders may be anxious about finding ways to tighten their metaphorical belts while still delivering high-quality products or services to customers. While no one would choose these challenges, lean times can offer a hidden opportunity to think differently—not only about a company’s spending, but also about optimizing the people, processes, and ways of thinking that generate the greatest positive impacts.

There’s a saying: “Necessity is the mother of invention.”Big budgets might be fun, but smaller budgets can foster more targeted problem-solving and unique, outside-the-box thinking. There is arguably more power in accomplishing bold, outsized objectives in scrappy, clever, and resourceful ways.

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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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