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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: November 4, 2022

Niagara unemployment rate trends up again, Ontario launches consultation on proposed changes to the greenbelt, and more.

In this edition:

Niagara unemployment rate trends up again

According to Statistics Canada data released today, Niagara’s unemployment rate increased from 6.1% in September to 6.4% in October, now considerably above the provincial rate of 5.8% and the national rate of 5.3%. This represents the addition of 800 people to the ranks of the unemployed, although the size of the labour force swelled to 226,200 in October, from 223,600 in September. Participation rates – the percentage of the population working or actively seeking work – have remained almost unchanged since July.

Numbers are seasonally adjusted, and should “smooth out” the effects of Niagara’s seasonal tourism- and -agriculture-focused economy. Rising unemployment may have resulted from rising inflation and slowing consumer demand as the economy begins to cool and recession fears grow.

National employment rose by 108,000 (+0.6%) in October, recouping losses observed from May to September. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.2% in October.

Employment rose in several industries, led by manufacturing, construction, and accommodation and food services. At the same time, it fell in wholesale and retail trade, as well as in natural resources.

The number of private-sector employees rose for the first time since March 2022. Employment was little changed among employees in the public sector and among self-employed workers.

Click here to read more.

Niagara labour market in data

Ontario launches consultation on proposed changes to the greenbelt

Today, Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, issued the following statement regarding the launch of a 30-day consultation to facilitate the building of more homes while expanding the Greenbelt.

“Last week, our government introduced the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022, which takes bold action to address Ontario’s housing supply crisis by building 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years. Today, we are taking further action to support this goal by launching a consultation on proposed changes to the Greenbelt. These proposals will support our municipal partners’ plans for responsible growth and help build at least 50,000 new homes, while leading to an overall expansion of the Greenbelt.

“Ontario is expected to grow by more than two million people by 2031, with approximately 1.5 million of those new residents in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region. This growth was recently confirmed by the federal government’s newly released immigration targets. To accommodate that growth and support the building of more homes, our government is proposing to remove 15 areas of land totalling approximately 7,400 acres from the edge of the Greenbelt area.”

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Niagara Region retains ‘AA+’ credit rating and ‘stable’ outlook

Niagara Region continues to maintain its “AA+” credit rating, with a stable outlook, according to credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P).

In a report released Oct. 26, the rating agency states the Region benefits from manageable debt levels and very healthy liquidity, despite its increasing capital expenditures.
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First doubled Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC) payments go out

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that Canadians have started to receive their doubled Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC) payment. To help 11 million individuals and families with the rising cost of living, we doubled the GSTC for six months – couples with two children will receive up to an extra $467 and seniors will receive an extra $225 on average.

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Ontario seeks to have education workers’ strike declared illegal

Ontario’s government has asked the province’s labour relations board to declare a walkout by education workers illegal and actions by union leaders unlawful, while seeking to have any strike activity ceased.

The province’s submissions to the Ontario Labour Relations Board came as thousands of education workers walked off the job Friday to protest the government passing legislation that banned strikes and imposed a four-year contract.

The job action has closed many schools to in-person learning across Ontario.

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Brock takes next steps in transitioning to Burlington campus

Brock University recently made strides in its plans to transition to more modern facilities in the Hamilton-Burlington-Oakville corridor.

As the University prepares to relocate its Hamilton Campus to Burlington, it will temporarily operate out of the former Lester B. Pearson High School site for the duration of the 2023-24 academic year. This was made possible through an agreement with the Halton District School Board.

The University will continue operating in Hamilton until the end of the 2022-23 academic year in April.

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Niagara College Teaching Brewery wins two golds at inaugural Canada Beer Cup

Niagara College’s Teaching Brewery is putting the ‘NC’ in excellence for Canadian craft beer with two new medals from a national competition.

The inaugural Canada Beer Cup announced its winners on October 23, which included two beers from NC Teaching Brewery’s popular Beer 101 series: Beer 101 Strong won gold in the English Style Old Ale/ Scottish Style Wee Heavy/ Scotch Ale category, and Beer 101 Bock won gold in the Bock category.

“Our trailblazing Teaching Brewery continues to raise the bar for the industry in Canada,” said Steve Gill, General Manager of NC’s Learning Enterprises. “The biggest winners are our students, who gain the ability to make some of the best beers in Canada, thanks to the quality of applied education at NC, and, in turn, bring their skills and knowledge into the industry.”

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Niagara Region moves forward with sale of Material Recycling Facility in Niagara Falls

Niagara Region is proceeding with the sale of the Material Recycling Facility (Recycling Centre) in Niagara Falls. Following a public procurement process initiated in December 2021, Emterra Environmental is the successful proponent for the purchase of the Region’s facility.

In addition to purchasing the facility, Emterra Environmental will enter into a short-term operations contract to process and market recycling materials collected through the residential curbside collection program. Niagara Region will continue to deliver curbside collection services that include recycling, waste and organic materials through their contracts with Miller Waste and GFL.

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Niagara Economic Summit

Prime Minister and Premier to deliver welcome messages at Summit

In recognition of the importance of the Niagara region to the provincial and national economies, and of the importance of the discussions that will take place at the conference, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau and the Honourable Doug Ford have sent messages of greetings for the guests of the Summit.

The conference draws experts together from across the province and the country, marking Niagara’s significance as a key economic region in the province, as a border community with the country’s largest flow of passenger traffic with the United States, and as a key exporter in the international economy.

Tickets for this year’s Niagara Economic Summit are sold out! Click here to sign up for the waitlist.

Focus on Human Resources

VICE chief people officer: ‘If someone needs a mental health day, give it to them’

Prioritizing wellbeing in the workplace is tantamount to revenue and profits, and after the tumultuous past few years, is rapidly on its way to becoming the ultimate measure of success for a company.

Yet, the workforce, especially HR leaders, are increasingly stressed and burnt out. Who can blame them?

To improve employee well-being, VICE Media, headquartered in New York City with offices around the world, has focused on normalizing mental health discussions in the workplace. Its importance has been ingrained in management coaching and training, as well as in the company’s benefits program, according to Daisy Auger-Domínguez, chief people officer at VICE Media.

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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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