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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: October 15th, 2021

The Ontario government is making the enhanced vaccine certificate and the verification app Verify Ontario available in advance.

Enhanced COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate with QR Code and Verify Ontario App available now

In advance of October 22, the Ontario government is making the enhanced vaccine certificate with official QR code and the free verification app, Verify Ontario, available for download. Together, these tools are designed to make it easier, more secure and convenient for individuals to provide proof of vaccination where required to do so, and for businesses and organizations to verify vaccine certificates while protecting people’s privacy.

To ensure a smooth user experience, the province is initially making the enhanced vaccine certificates available for download in cohorts. Enhanced vaccine certificates with official QR codes will be made available for download from the COVID-19 vaccination portal over three days based on birth month:

  • October 15, 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.: All individuals born between January and April
  • October 16, 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.: All individuals born between May and August
  • October 17, 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.: All individuals born between September to December

A guide for businesses can be downloaded here (PDF link).

An FAQ document for the public is available here.

Click here to review the media release.


Prime Minister announces the dates of the Cabinet swearing-in and return of Parliament

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced the swearing-in ceremony of the Cabinet will take place on October 26, 2021, and that Parliament will return on November 22, 2021.

The new Cabinet will remain gender balanced, and will continue to deliver for Canadians and find real solutions to the real challenges of today and tomorrow. As announced last month, Chrystia Freeland will continue to serve as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. With the reconvening of Parliament, the Government of Canada will also deliver a new Throne Speech.

Click here for more information.


Ontario launches pilot program to help industrial sites get “investment ready” sooner

Today, the Ontario government launches a pilot program to help municipalities and landowners prepare industrial sites for investments that will drive regional growth and job creation.

The Site Readiness Program is a funding initiative to help industrial sites become more equipped to attract investment. Sites of five acres or more and with varying capacity for utility servicing are eligible to apply. The one-year program will allow both urban and rural municipalities to help close a critical gap in the inventory of industrial lands used to attract global investment opportunities.

The Job Site Challenge identifies potential mega sites, and the Investment Ready: Certified Site Program provides provincial certification and marketing support for sites once certain due diligence has been completed.

Click here for more information.


Ontario will permit sale of local craft beer at farmers’ markets

The Ontario government is supporting jobs in the province’s hospitality and agriculture sectors by allowing eligible local brewers to sell their beer at farmers’ markets. Expanding the farmers’ market program to include beer, announced in the 2021 Ontario Budget, is part of the government’s commitment to support brewers, winemakers and distillers working in the province’s alcohol manufacturing industries and to help them respond to the impacts of COVID-19.

Brewers whose full brewing process takes place in Ontario at their own brewery are permitted to sell their products at farmers markets.

Licensed eligible brewers across the province can apply to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to occasionally extend their on-site stores to sell Ontario beer at farmers’ markets.

Click here for more information.


City of St. Catharines seeks public engagement on 2022 budgets

The City of St. Catharines is introducing new ways, alongside established methods, for the public to learn more about and provide input on the 2022 budget.

The first of two online open house will have City Councillors from the north side of the city — Wards 3, 5 and 6 — in attendance and will take place at 7 p.m. on Oct. 25. The second, with City Councillors representing the south of the city, will take place at 7 p.m. on Oct. 27. Both will be held via Zoom and livestreamed on YouTube.

Those wishing to attend and ask questions can participate via telephone or Zoom. Participants must register by Oct. 22 at noon. Information on how to register, including an online form for Zoom registration, can be found at stcatharines.ca/BudgetTalk.

Click here for more information.


Niagara-on-the-Lake’s 2022 Budget Survey open for engagement

The Town’s 2022 budget survey has launched on Join the Conversation, Niagara-on-the-Lake’s online engagement platform, to receive feedback from residents, business owners and community stakeholders. Until midnight on Sunday, November 7, 2021, members of the public are invited to provide input on priorities.

Have your voice heard about the Town’s 2022 budget by joining the conversation at jointheconversationnotl.org/2022budget.

Click here for more information.


Reading Recommendations

GM Canada announces mandatory vaccine policy

CTV News

General Motors Canada has announced that effective Dec. 12, all personnel must be full vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to a statement from the company, the policy applies to, “all GM Canada employees, including any contractors, vendors and visitors to the facilities.”

A release also says, “We are joining many other companies, from multiple sectors, supporting public-health initiatives to increase vaccination rates and further reduce the impact of COVID-19 across Canada.”


Canada’s tight housing market posts first sales gain in 6 months

BNN Bloomberg

Canada posted its first nationwide home sales increase in six months as the end of summer vacations and a steadily improving economy boosted the market.

National home sales rose 0.9 per cent in September from the month before, the first monthly increase in transactions since March as benchmark home prices rose 1.7 per cent, according to data released Friday by the Canadian Real Estate Association. Even as sales picked up, however, the amount of new housing supply hitting the market fell 1.6 per cent, putting a slim majority of local markets back into sellers’ territory, according to the report.


Stop the Meeting Madness

Harvard Business Review

Poking fun at meetings is the stuff of Dilbert cartoons—we can all joke about how soul-sucking and painful they are. But that pain has real consequences for teams and organizations. In our interviews with hundreds of executives, in fields ranging from high tech and retail to pharmaceuticals and consulting, many said they felt overwhelmed by their meetings—whether formal or informal, traditional or agile, face-to-face or electronically mediated. One said, “I cannot get my head above water to breathe during the week.” Another described stabbing her leg with a pencil to stop from screaming during a particularly torturous staff meeting. Such complaints are supported by research showing that meetings have increased in length and frequency over the past 50 years, to the point where executives spend an average of nearly 23 hours a week in them, up from less than 10 hours in the 1960s. And that doesn’t even include all the impromptu gatherings that don’t make it onto the schedule.

Much has been written about this problem, but the solutions posed are usually discrete: Establish a clear agenda, hold your meeting standing up, delegate someone to attend in your place, and so on. We’ve observed in our research and consulting that real improvement requires systemic change, because meetings affect how people collaborate and how they get their own work done.


Featured Content

Tourism and Gender Employment Update

NWPB has released a new set of data on our tourism employment and gender-driven research hub. This update, which tracks employment and job demand in Niagara’s tourism supporting sectors, while also offering a gender-focused measure of local employment trends, is available through this link.

NWPB tracks these data because COVID-19 has significantly impacted employment across the tourism sector. Additionally, the pandemic saw women experience greater employment losses than men. In September 2021, we saw that both men and women’s employment had surpassed pre-pandemic levels (considered here as February 2020).

Some trends from the latest update to data include:

  • Total employment increases across all industries between August and September of 2021
  • Tourism-supporting industries reporting an increase in employment across this same period.
  • An estimated 1,135 available job posts in September for tourism-supporting occupations. Jobs with the most demand included retail salespersons and food counter attendants, kitchen helpers, and related occupations.

These reports as well as job demand tools for both employers and job seekers can be found at our website, www.nwpb.ca.


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 14, there were 14 patients admitted to Niagara Health with COVID-19, 10 of whom were unvaccinated and 4 of whom were fully vaccinated. There were 5 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
Niagara78.2%75.5%
Ontario78.9%75.9%
Canada79.5%75.8%
United States70%59%
United Kingdom76%69%
Germany71%68%
France77%70%
Italy78%73%
Japan79%77%
World56%44%

Total doses administered in Niagara: 718,462

New daily doses administered to Niagara residents: 1,090

Last updated: October 15, 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 gncc.ca/workplace-self-screening-kits 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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