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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: November 7, 2022

Ontario education walkout to end after Ford promises to repeal strike law, GO bus service suspended as workers walk off the job, and more.

In this edition:

Your input is needed for the Fall 2022 Ontario Economic Report

The GNCC and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) are looking for your insights on issues that matter to your businesses. How confident are you in Ontario’s economy and your organization’s outlook? What should governments prioritize to drive economic growth?

Your participation in our annual Business Confidence Survey is as important as ever. The results of the survey will inform the 2023 Ontario Economic Report: the landmark research platform of the OCC, offering a unique perspective on the experience of businesses of all sizes across the province.

Share your views by taking a short five-minute survey here.

Union to end Ontario education walkout after Ford promises to repeal strike law

A union representing some 55,000 Ontario education workers who walked off the job Friday says protest sites “will be collapsed” starting Tuesday and workers will be back after Premier Doug Ford said he will repeal legislation that imposed a contract and banned them from striking.

That means school will be back in session — for now.

Representatives from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) said at a news conference Monday that Ford had put his commitment in writing, and that both sides would restart contract negotiations. Leaders from numerous other public- and private-sector unions were also in attendance.

The DSBN and Niagara Catholic School Board have confirmed that Niagara schools will reopen tomorrow.

Click here to read more.

GO bus service suspended as operators, station attendants, and other workers walk off the job

GO bus service has been suspended as roughly 2,200 bus operators, station attendants, and other employees are on strike.

The job action began at 12:01 a.m. today. Despite the labour disruption, trains will remain operational and stations are open.

Contracts talks have been underway since last April between the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1587 and Metrolinx, the provincial agency that manages and integrates road and public transportation in the Greater Toronto and Golden Horseshoe areas. The union members have been without a contract since June 1.

Click here to read more.

Business community sends open letter urging US and Canadian governments to restore NEXUS/FAST service

In an open letter signed by nearly 60 business associations, including the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian business community is calling on Canada and the United States to restore service to NEXUS and Free and Secure Trade (FAST) applicants as quickly as possible.

As tourism and other economic activity across our shared border resumes after years of being severely weakened by the pandemic, Canadian businesses are concerned about the failure of the two governments to agree to terms for the reopening of NEXUS and FAST enrollment facilities in Canada, which has resulted in a backlog of nearly half a million applications.

For over two decades, trusted traveller programs like NEXUS and FAST have allowed low-risk travelers and goods to pass across our shared border more efficiently and with enhanced security. But with a delay in reopening and a growing backlog of applications, these programs are at risk at a time when a return to regular cross-border activity is more important than ever.

Click here to read the letter.

Ontario launches consultation on proposed changes to the greenbelt

Today, Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, launched a 30-day consultation to facilitate the building of more homes while expanding 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.

The Government of Ontario is proposing to remove 15 areas of land totalling approximately 7,400 acres from the edge of the Greenbelt area.

At the same time, we are proposing to add an additional 9,400 acres to the Greenbelt, including a portion of the Paris Galt Moraine and 13 urban river valleys in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, for an overall Greenbelt expansion of approximately 2,000 acres.

Comments on these proposals are welcome through the Environmental Registry of Ontario by December 5, 2022.

Click here to read more.

New Moderna vaccine manufacturing facility breaks ground

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, took part in the ground-breaking of vaccine developer Moderna’s new state-of-the-art mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Laval, Quebec. When completed, this new facility will be able to produce up to 100 million made-in-Canada mRNA vaccine doses annually and will create hundreds of good jobs. The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to remind Canadians to keep up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, including getting booster shots when eligible to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Click here to read more.

35 Brock researchers make global list of top scientists

Nearly three dozen Brock University researchers appear on Stanford University’s recently updated list of the world’s top two per cent of scientists with the most citations. First created in 2019 by Stanford University health researcher John P. A. Ioannidis, the list rates scientists globally on metrics that measure the types and numbers of citations they have.

Citations, which appear in academic papers, are references made to earlier research. The number of times a researcher’s work is referenced in other peer-reviewed work is one important indicator of their research impact and reputation. The latest update to this list includes a career-long database containing 195,605 researchers globally, or about two per cent of researchers worldwide. Though billed as a list of scientists, the ranking includes social sciences and humanities scholars.

Click here to read more.

Niagara College Board of Governors elects new chair, vice chair; welcomes new members

Niagara College is pleased to officially announce the election of the new Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors, as well as six new Board members.

On September 1, Mishka Balsom, CEO of the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC), began her term as Chair, and Caroline Mann, former Vice-President of Finance for Haver & Boecker Canada (W.S. Tyler) was re-elected for a second term as Vice-Chair.

The pair will lead the College’s committed group of volunteer Governors through the 2022-23 academic year.

Click here to read more.

Competition Bureau rescinds temporary guidance on competitor collaborations

Effective today, the Competition Bureau has rescinded the temporary guidance on competitor collaborations provided to businesses to support crisis response efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The situation at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic may have called for the rapid establishment of business collaborations to ensure the supply of products and services that were critical to Canadians. In response, the Bureau had issued a statement recognizing these unprecedented circumstances.

The Bureau has determined that the exceptional conditions and challenges that led to this guidance are no longer applicable.

Click here to read more.

Niagara Economic Summit

Niagara Economic Summit to be held tomorrow

Tomorrow morning, over three hundred local leaders in business, non-profits, and government will gather for the region’s premier economic event: the Niagara Economic Summit.

Now in its tenth year, the Summit brings thought leaders and innovators together from across our region and the country in search of the answers to our burning economic questions.

For an agenda and more details, click here.

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

Focus on Small Business

Small businesses defaulting on rent are canaries in the coal mine for North America’s economy

On the surface, it seems like an insignificant statistic in a sea of major economic news: There was a big jump in the number of small businesses in the U.S. and Canada that couldn’t pay their rent in full and on time in October.

But of all the canaries in all the coal mines, this seemingly minor development – and the trends it will spawn – is among the most critical to watch, as the North American economy lurches toward recession while carrying the heaviest inflationary weight in four decades.

Since small businesses account for two-thirds of new jobs created, the knock-on effect of this shortfall and the reasons behind it are harbingers of hard times ahead. And in the U.S., such prospects are a major influence on voters heading into the coming midterm elections on Tuesday – with many pollsters predicting a sharp shift right to a more business-friendly Republican-controlled Congress.

Click here to read more.

How to market a small business on a small budget

The pandemic was tough on small businesses in Canada, and even now revenues remain below 2019 levels and continue to drop.

“About 77 per cent are still under a sense of pandemic stress,” said Marvin Cruz, director of research for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). “They’re still suffering from a COVID hangover.”

Marketing might not be a business owner’s first priority when weighed down with pandemic debt, but giving it a pass could mean missing out on opportunities to bring in revenue, experts say.

Click here to read more.

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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