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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: October 21st, 2021

The Government of Canada is replacing its broad-based business financial aid programs with targeted measures for badly-affected firms.

Government of Canada will not extend business supports, offers targeted programs to replace them for worst-affected firms

Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, announced that the government is taking targeted action to replace aid programs to businesses. This includes moving from the very broad-based support to more targeted measures that aim to provide help where it is needed.

The government is proposing the following changes to business support programs:

  • Extend the Canada Recovery Hiring Program until May 7, 2022, for eligible employers with current revenue losses above 10 per cent and increase the subsidy rate to 50 per cent. The extension would help businesses continue to hire back workers and to create the additional jobs Canada needs for a full recovery.
  • Deliver targeted support to businesses that are still facing significant pandemic-related challenges. Support would be available through two streams:
    • Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, which would provide support through the wage and rent subsidy programs, to hotels, tour operators, travel agencies, and restaurants, with a subsidy rate of up to 75 per cent.
    • Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program, which would provide support through the wage and rent subsidy programs, would support other businesses that have faced deep losses, with a subsidy rate of up to 50 per cent.
    • Applicants for these programs will use a new “two-key” eligibility system whereby they will need to demonstrate significant revenue losses over the course of 12 months of the pandemic, as well as revenue losses in the current month.
    • Businesses that face temporary new local lockdowns will be eligible for up to the maximum amount of the wage and rent subsidy programs, during the local lockdown, regardless of losses over the course of the pandemic.
    • These programs will be available until May 7, 2022, with the proposed subsidy rates available through to March 13, 2022. From March 13, 2022, to May 7, 2022, the subsidy rates will decrease by half.

To ensure that workers continue to have support and that no one is left behind, the government proposes to:

  • Extend the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit until May 7, 2022, and increase the maximum duration of benefits by 2 weeks. This would extend the caregiving benefit from 42 to 44 weeks and the sickness benefit from 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Establish the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit which would provide $300 a week in income support to eligible workers should they be unable to work due to a local lockdown anytime between October 24, 2021 and May 7, 2022.

Click here for details of these programs.

COVID-19 vaccines for children to be expedited following approval

On October 18, 2021, Pfizer submitted an application to Health Canada for regulatory review of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine COMIRNATY for children aged 5-11. The Government of Canada and Pfizer have agreed to an accelerated delivery schedule of this vaccine, pending regulatory authorization. Specifically, Pfizer and BioNTech have shared that deliveries of 2.9 million doses will begin shortly after regulatory authorization so that Canada receives enough doses to administer a first shot for all eligible children.

Click here for more information.

Prime Minister announces standardized Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination for travel

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that, in collaboration with provinces and territories, a standardized Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination is now available to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon, and will be available in the other provinces soon. Canada is also engaging with international partners to obtain recognition and acceptance abroad, so the proof can also be used to facilitate travel around the world.

Click here for more information.

Guidance for using Canada’s COVID-19 proof of vaccination for travel

The Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination provides Canadian residents with a reliable way to demonstrate that they are vaccinated against COVID-19 when travelling within and outside Canada. Canadians can get their proof of vaccination from their province or territory (for more information, visit

Each country decides what type of vaccination proof is required, the types of vaccines they accept, the number of doses required, and any exemptions to public health measures. Even with a Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination, a traveller may not be considered fully vaccinated in another country. Canadians should always check the entry and public health requirements of their destination country, as well as the Government of Canada’s travel advice and advisories, before booking a trip.

Click here for more information.

Governments of Canada and Ontario invest in agri-food labour force

The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) stated that 16,500 agricultural jobs went unfilled in 2017 across Canada and estimates the shortfall to grow to 123,000 by 2029. Ontario is expected to represent the largest share of the shortfall. The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $1.5 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to address agri-food labour challenges and build a strong and resilient labour force.

Click here for more information.

Number of EI claimants in Canada dropped 1.5 million in August

By mid-August, most jurisdictions in Canada had lifted most remaining public health measures. Indoor locations, such as restaurants, recreation facilities, personal care services, retail stores, and entertainment venues, were generally permitted to be open, with varying degrees of capacity restrictions. In addition, for the first time since March 2020, fully vaccinated non-essential travellers from the United States were allowed to enter Canada without quarantine requirements on August 9, expanding potential clientele for businesses in tourist areas.

Click here for more information.

Niagara Community Observatory: Remote work experience mixed

During the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately one in every three Canadians were working from home. This is almost three times more than those who worked remotely, at least occasionally, in 2016. Undoubtedly some organizations and people can experience immense benefits from a remote, or hybrid, work arrangement. However, mixed findings suggest that success depends on the characteristics of the organization, the people, the assigned tasks, and whether the right supporting structures are in place when people work away from a physical workplace.

Click here to download the full policy brief.

Reading Recommendations

Canada to wind down broad-based COVID aid programs as economy recovers


Canada will not extend existing broad-based COVID-19 support programs for companies and individuals when they expire on Saturday because the economy is recovering well, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Thursday.

Instead, Ottawa will introduce more targeted and less expensive measures to help particularly hard-hit sectors such as the tourism industry.

These new programs will cost a total of C$7.4 billion ($6.0 billion) between Oct. 24 and May 7, 2022, compared with the C$289 billion Canada has already spent, Freeland said.

Canadian Medical Association calls for stricter COVID-19 measures in Saskatchewan

CBC News

The president of the Canadian Medical Association says “it is time to stop asking nicely” when it comes to calling on the Saskatchewan government to adopt more preventative measures to combat the fourth wave of COVID-19.

Dr. Katharine Smart, who lives in the province’s north, issued a statement Thursday, one day after Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, broke down while presenting dire new modelling on the province’s COVID-19 situation.

That modelling suggests the number of Saskatchewan residents infected with COVID-19 and placed under intensive care could more than double by the new year if no additional public health measures are brought in — and if people don’t change their behaviours in the next few weeks.

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.

 December 18December 25January 1January 8January 15January 22January 29
Reproductive number1.
New cases per 100,000101.2267.3469.8575.8507.1295.5250.6
New cases per day (not including outbreaks)60.7178.7311.7376.9325.4182.7145.7
Percent of hospital beds occupied97%95.2%98.2%103.2%104.5%103.6%106%
Percent of intensive care beds occupied78.8%77.3%87.9%87.9%90.9%89.4%93.9%
Percentage of positive tests6.1%15.6%28.1%28.6%26.6%21.2%16.2%

Last updated: October 16, 2021

Click here for definitions of terms used in this table.

On October 20, there were 13 patients admitted to Niagara Health with COVID-19, 10 of whom were unvaccinated and 3 of whom were fully vaccinated. There were 6 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 5.9 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 States75%64%
United Kingdom78%72%

Total doses administered in Niagara: 723,538

New daily doses administered to Niagara residents: 764

Last updated: October 21, 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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