Ontario to require disconnect-from-work policies, will ban non-compete clauses
The Ontario government is introducing legislation today that, if passed, would ban non-compete agreements and require employers with 25 employees or more to develop disconnecting from work policies, which could include, for example, expectations about response time for emails and encouraging employees to turn on out-of-office notifications when they aren’t working.
Additionally, the legislation will:
- lift barriers such as Canadian experience requirements for internationally trained individuals to get licenced in a regulated profession
- require recruiters and temporary help agencies to have a licence to operate
- require business owners to allow delivery workers to use a company’s washroom if they are delivering or picking up items
- allow surpluses in the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s Insurance Fund to be distributed over certain levels to businesses
- enable the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board to work with entities, like the Canada Revenue Agency, to streamline remittances for businesses.
If the amendments are passed, Ontario would be the first jurisdiction in Canada to ban non-compete agreements in employment and to establish policies that help workers disconnect from their employment responsibilities.
Metrolinx in discussion with freight rail to bring expanded GO service to Niagara
Metrolinx has embarked on a multi-billion dollar GO Rail Expansion program which will see frequent two-way rail service being provided on core segments of the GO Rail network in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, connecting communities across the region. In addition, Metrolinx is in discussion with freight rail partners to identify opportunities to increase GO Rail services to Kitchener, Milton, Niagara and Bowmanville, further extending frequent rail service reach into the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region.
Niagara Medical Officer of Health offers COVID-19 update
The Medical Officer of Health will next be available to answer questions at a GNCC webinar on November 17.
Canadian housing markets currently cruising between pre- and peak pandemic levels
Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales were little changed between July and August 2021.
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) number of transactions in August 2021 was down 14% on a year-over-year basis from the record set for that month last August. That said, it was still the second-best month of August in history.
“Canadian housing markets appear to be stabilizing somewhere in between pre- and peak-pandemic levels – which is to say, still extremely unbalanced,” said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s Senior Economist. “As far as campaign promises around building more homes, at least we are finally having the right conversation. But as anyone who has tried to get even a small project done in the last year knows, availability of materials and skilled labour are not dials that can simply be turned up to 11 whenever we decide we need them. And that’s not to mention all the other barriers to building, of which there are many. It’s definitely easier said than done.”
COP26 Presidency publishes Climate Finance Delivery Plan
Today, the UK COP26 Presidency is publishing the Climate Finance Delivery Plan, to provide clarity on when and how developed countries will meet the $100 billion climate finance goal and how the financing will prospectively proceed until 2025. In 2009, developed countries agreed to mobilize $100 billion in climate finance per year by 2020, and in 2015 agreed to extend this goal through to 2025. While developed countries have significantly scaled up their support over the last decade, recent trends show that it is unlikely the $100 billion goal was met in 2020.
According to supply chain experts, the bright side of the current breakdown in the exchange of labour, components and ingredients is that it comes as a warning to Canadian businesses to become more supply-resilient.
Not only is resilience crucial to keeping the Canadian and North American economy ticking when foreign supplies of essential components are cut off by pandemics or bottlenecks, but a growing number of advocates also say techniques such as stockpiling, making more of what we need at home, controlling transportation links and having multiple sources for crucial manufacturing inputs are a vital security concern.
The Bank of Canada will raise rates as early as the third quarter of next year, at least three months earlier than previously expected, according to economists polled by Reuters who see a risk that the increase could come even sooner.
Just last month economists were almost evenly split on the risk of higher rates; now nearly all are saying sooner rather than later.
That shift in view, based on intensifying inflation pressures – owing to global supply chain bottlenecks, labour shortages and rising energy costs – is increasingly shared by forecasters around the world.
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 18||December 25||January 1||January 8||January 15||January 22||January 29|
|New cases per 100,000||101.2||267.3||469.8||575.8||507.1||295.5||250.6|
|New cases per day (not including outbreaks)||60.7||178.7||311.7||376.9||325.4||182.7||145.7|
|Percent of hospital beds occupied||97%||95.2%||98.2%||103.2%||104.5%||103.6%||106%|
|Percent of intensive care beds occupied||78.8%||77.3%||87.9%||87.9%||90.9%||89.4%||93.9%|
|Percentage of positive tests||6.1%||15.6%||28.1%||28.6%||26.6%||21.2%||16.2%|
Last updated: October 16, 2021
On October 25, there were 6 patients admitted to Niagara Health with COVID-19, 4 of whom were unvaccinated and 2 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 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.
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 dose||Percentage of population fully vaccinated|
Total doses administered in Niagara: 726,443
New daily doses administered to Niagara residents: 419
Last updated: October 25, 2021
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.