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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: October 14th, 2021

Premier Doug Ford’s government will announce its new plan for lifting more of Ontario’s COVID-19 public health restrictions next week.

Ontario’s new plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions coming next week

Premier Doug Ford’s government will announce its new plan for lifting more of Ontario’s COVID-19 public health restrictions next week, CBC News has learned.

The easing of pandemic measures will include ending capacity limits in all locations where proof-of-vaccination requirements are in place, such as restaurants, bars and gyms, a senior official in Ford’s government said Wednesday.

The GNCC welcomes the lifting of capacity restrictions on businesses. When venues were required to verify the vaccination status of patrons, the GNCC asked for a data-driven review of capacity limits. On Friday, restrictions on stadiums, theatres, and other venues were lifted, while those on bars, restaurants and gyms remained, impacting thousands of businesses. The GNCC pointed out that this made no sense and asked for those limits to be reviewed immediately.

Government of Ontario releases vaccine verification app for businesses

Ontario’s vaccine verification app for businesses, Verify Ontario, appears to be ready for download ahead of schedule, CBC News reports, rolling out on the Google and Apple app stores Thursday afternoon.

According to its description, the app gives businesses and organizations the ability to scan the QR codes on province-issued vaccine certificates. After the code is scanned, a green checkmark will appear indicating a valid vaccine certificate, a red X for an invalid certificate or a yellow warning for a QR that cannot be read.

The province had said it would release a digital verification app by Oct. 22, giving people a “safer, more secure and convenient” way to demonstrate that they’ve been vaccinated, according to the province.

Click here for more information.

Niagara launches visioning process for 10-year Economic Development Strategy

Niagara businesses and community stakeholders are being asked to share their feedback to guide the region to long-term economic health and sustainability. From now until Nov. 12, businesses can take a short online survey to help inform the creation of Niagara’s new 10-year economic development strategy.

The strategy is being developed by Niagara Economic Development in collaboration with local municipal economic development professionals. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete, and asks respondents to share their views on Niagara’s greatest economic strengths, weaknesses and opportunities, as well as ideas for future economic growth priorities.

Click here for more information.

18th Annual Sleep Cheap Charities Reap event and reservation dates announced

Sleep Cheap Charities Reap, a long standing community tradition, has raised over $2.2 million for over 100 different local charities since its inception in 2004.

Sleep Cheap 2021 will run from Sunday, November 14th up to and including Friday, November 19th. Reservations for the event can be made starting this Friday, October 15th at 9:00 a.m. Participating hotels and booking information can be found online at for Niagara Region residents only.

Click here for more information.

Niagara Medical Officer of Health offers COVID-19 update

Businesses and members of the public will be able to ask questions of the Acting Medical Officer of Health at the GNCC webinar on October 19th. Registration is free.

Niagara College Board of Governors welcomes new members, chair and vice chair

Niagara College is pleased to announce the election of Wendy Wing, Senior Vice-President of Finance and Administration for Rankin Construction Inc. and Port Colborne Quarries Inc., and President of Rankin Renewable Power Inc., as the new Chair of NC’s Board of Governors; and that of Caroline Mann, former Vice-President of Finance for Haver & Boecker Canada (W.S. Tyler) as the new Vice-Chair.

Click here for more information.

Ontario’s proof of vaccination requirement could eventually be made voluntary for businesses: sources

Ontario’s proof of vaccination requirements could eventually be downgraded to a voluntary program, CTV news is reporting, as the provincial government considers a new set of measures to ease businesses out of pandemic restrictions.

Sources with knowledge of the plan say the Ford government is working on a post-Step three strategy that will lift capacity limits on businesses where vaccine certificates are required — a plan that will be announced next week.

As part of that “phased approach” sources say the government is looking at potentially relaxing mandatory proof of vaccination rules, as long as the province’s pandemic picture continues to improve.

Click here for more information.

New app provides remote access to COVID-19 resources for workplaces

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has launched a new mobile app to help make workplace health and safety resources on COVID-19 accessible to workers in Canada.

The CCOHS Safe Work app hosts the Centre’s collection of over 120 COVID-19 resources, including industry and sector-specific tip sheets, infographics, videos, and other guidance materials created to help workplaces keep their workers and customers safe.

The CCOHS Safe Work app can be downloaded for free via the CCOHS website.

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Canada concerned about supply chain issues, watching ports ‘closely’


Canada is concerned about the challenges facing global supply chains and is watching the country’s ports very closely, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Thursday.

Freeland, speaking to reporters in Washington after meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, said she was broadly optimistic about the strength of Canada’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

The rebound in demand for goods as restrictions are lifted has exposed supply chain shortages, with firms scrambling for workers, ships and even fuel to power factories, threatening the fledgling bounce back.

Transitory inflation forces could last up to another year: Poloz

BNN Bloomberg

A former governor of the Bank of Canada is bracing for the inflationary trends that central bankers are wrestling with around the world to last a little longer than some people might think.

“The word transitory sounds really short to people,” said Stephen Poloz, who served as the central bank’s governor from 2013 until 2020, in an interview Thursday.

“I think the big things that are affecting the view right now will take probably into next spring, say the next six to 12 months for them to work their way out.”

Poloz indicated he is still of the view that current forces that pushed Canada’s inflation rate in September to the highest level since 2013 will ultimately prove to be transitory.

Niagara COVID-19 statistics tracker

These data show the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Niagara. The Province of Ontario is now using a provincewide approach to reopening, and these data no longer have any influence on Niagara’s restrictions. Lower numbers are better in all metrics.

 October 30November 6November 13November 20
Reproductive number11.31.10.8
New cases per 100,00025.940.342.631.5
New cases per day (not including outbreaks)13.419.420.918.3
Percent of hospital beds occupied103.1%93.3%100.3%96.3%
Percent of intensive care beds occupied84.9%83.3%86.4%86.4%
Percentage of positive tests2.6%3.6%3.5%2.7%

Last updated: October 9, 2021

Click here for definitions of terms used in this table.

On October 13, there were 13 patients admitted to Niagara Health with COVID-19, 11 of whom were unvaccinated and 2 of whom were fully vaccinated. There were 4 patients with COVID-19 in a Niagara Health Intensive Care Unit.

Over the last 28 days, a Niagara resident vaccinated with 1 dose was 3 times more likely to contract COVID-19, and an unvaccinated person was 6.5 times more likely. The average weekly rate of hospitalized cases in unvaccinated Canadians was 36 times higher compared to fully vaccinated people. Niagara Health has reported that no vaccinated patients have required intensive care to date.

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

Data are drawn from Niagara Region Public Health and Niagara Health.

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker

Niagara’s most up-to-date vaccination numbers are presented below, along with comparison data from Ontario, Canada, and G7 countries.

 Percentage of population with one dosePercentage of population fully vaccinated
United States70%59%
United Kingdom76%69%

Total doses administered in Niagara: 717,367

New daily doses administered to Niagara residents: 1,212

Last updated: October 14, 2021

Data are drawn from Niagara Region, the Government of Ontario, and Oxford University’s Our World in Data project.

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

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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