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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: October 3, 2023

In this edition:

  • FirstOntario receives grant to support student nutrition program
  • Brock to launch Indigenous continuing education programming
  • Number of Canadians who report being financially stressed jumps 20%
  • Pharmacists feeling frustration as demand for new COVID-19 boosters grows
  • Housing crisis will need ‘complex’ solutions: Bittle
  • Shoppers want fresh, but grocers aren’t always on the same page: report
  • “ChatGPT is our Netscape”, Deloitte CEO warns
  • Focus on Finance & Economy

FirstOntario receives grant to support student nutrition program

FirstOntario Credit Union has been awarded a $50,000 grant from EQ Bank in recognition of the credit union’s long standing support for student nutrition programs

FirstOntario received the top prize through EQ Bank’s Empowering Your Community program. The award will be directed entirely by FirstOntario to the community partners that deliver student nutrition programs. This support will help ensure students can continue to count on healthy snacks and breakfasts while at school.

Brock to launch Indigenous continuing education programming

Professionals, organizations and community members looking to enhance their Indigenous knowledge will soon have new options available through Brock University.

On Thursday, Oct. 12, the Hadiyaˀdagénhahs First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Centre, the Office of the Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement, and Brock University Professional and Continuing Studies (PCS) will launch new Indigenous programming with an event hosted for the Brock and wider Niagara community.

Hadiyaˀdagénhahs and PCS have collaborated to bring existing and new learning opportunities of Indigenous teaching to the public as part of Brock’s Continuing Education and Professional Development programming. The learning opportunities are intended for anyone interested in deepening their knowledge of Canadian Indigenous culture and practices to create a more inclusive workplace and community.

Number of Canadians who report being financially stressed jumps 20% in a year, with report calling increase a national emergency

The number of Canadians who say they are unable to meet their financial obligations and are facing mounting financial stress has jumped significantly in the past year, according to a new survey from the National Payroll Institute, which is calling the situation a national emergency.

“A financial storm has picked up significant strength and it’s far more intense than initially predicted,” Peter Tzanetakis, the institute’s president, told the Star. “The key drivers of this financial stress have been increases in interest rates, inflation and the cost of living.”

The 15th annual National Payroll Institute Survey of Working Canadians found a 20 per cent year-over-year increase in the number of those experiencing financial stress, with 63 per cent of them saying they spend all of their net pay each month and 30 per cent spending more than their net pay, resulting in the need to take on debt or dip into savings each pay cycle.

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Pharmacists feeling frustration as demand for new COVID-19 boosters grows

As the first shots of the new COVID-19 vaccine booster are administered by Niagara Region Public Health, pharmacists remain in the dark about when they will be able to offer it to their patients.

Pharmacists said they are dealing with increasing frustration among their patients who are hoping to receive the latest shots formulated to protect people from XBB variants.

“Demand is definitely high,” said Aaron Boggio, who co-owns a chain of pharmacies in Niagara. “With the COVID boosters, there’s definitely a lot more interest than there has been over the last six to nine months. A lot of people are very interested in getting the new one available this fall.”

Housing crisis will need ‘complex’ solutions: Bittle

St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle says he is eager to roll up his sleeves to tackle the housing crisis in his own riding, and across the country.

“I wish there was an easy answer,” said Bittle, recently appointed as parliamentary secretary to Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Sean Fraser.

“This is something I’ve been talking about since 2015 in terms of housing. The pandemic has made it substantially worse as it has done with all problems that we were facing as a country.

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When it comes to fresh foods, shoppers want more of it and are willing to pay a premium, according to a new report, even as price continues to be the main consideration for fresh food purchases.

A new survey by Deloitte reveals that 68% of shoppers are will to pay top dollar for fresh foods.

However, at least 80% of consumers and grocers think food suppliers have raised prices more than necessary to increase their profits. While price is a top consideration when buying fresh foods, consumers also look more to information related to supply chain and sustainability.

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“ChatGPT is our Netscape”, Deloitte CEO warns on the disillusionment to follow after AI’s hype cycle peaks

History has shown that after a breakthrough technology hits the peak of its hype cycle, a “trough of disillusionment” follows. The same is about to happen to artificial intelligence (AI), warned chief executive officer of Deloitte Canada, Anthony Viel, as he spoke at the ALL IN event in Montreal last week.

“ChatGPT is our NetScape,” said Viel, “Our canary in the coal mine.”

They both surged with crazy promises, over-excitement and a bullish market. But all that is tempered when the new technology does not immediately meet our wildest needs or match the power of our imagination and our patience, he explained.

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Did you know?

In 1950, the U.S. Army sent 36-year-old Eiji Toyoda to study mass production at Ford’s Rouge complex in Dearborn, Michigan. His then-struggling family-owned company, Toyota, is now the largest car manufacturer in the world.

Focus on Finance & Economy

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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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