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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: October 4th, 2021

In a response to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario’s throne speech of October 4, the GNCC has called for more support for businesses.

Ontario Throne Speech prioritizes health care, recovery

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, today delivered a Throne Speech for the Government of Ontario.

Highlights included:

  • Maintaining public health measures and emphasizing mass vaccination
  • A stressed need to avoid future lockdowns
  • Investment in hospitals and long-term care homes
  • Calling on the Government of Canada to increase the Canada Health Transfer to 35 per cent of provincial-territorial health-care spending
  • Noting the issues of precarious work and low wages, especially for young adults, students, and hospitality workers
  • Commitment to a return to fiscal balance through economic growth rather than tax increases or service cuts
  • Continued partnership with Indigenous communities and a commitment to meaningful reconciliation
  • Building and expanding transit across the province.

Read the transcript here.

GNCC responds to Throne Speech, calls for more support and certainty for businesses

In a response to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario’s throne speech of October 4, the GNCC has called for more support for businesses, noting that, while the speech called for better wages and more stable jobs, these depend on thriving and profitable businesses. With investment and relief, especially for heavily-affected sectors such as hospitality, the business community would be able to help deliver the recovery that the Government is looking for. Recovery depends in large part upon blunting the impact of the fourth wave, and the emphasis on health care will hopefully deliver that and save businesses from having to endure further restrictions.

The GNCC also called for more action on child care and public transit, recognizing that solving these problems will go a long way to relieving the labour shortage that so many businesses face. The Chamber also expressed a hope to see more specifics of an end to deficit spending and the growth-led recovery that we look forward to.

Read the full statement here.

Minister McLeod to deliver Tourism Recovery Fund briefing

Join Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, for a technical briefing on the Ontario Tourism Recovery Program to be held tomorrow afternoon.

Register for free here.

St. Catharines seeks public input on 2022 municipal election

More individuals are participating in and engaging with their community at a distance, be it by phone, mail or online. With increasing resident comfort in new means of engagement the City wants to ensure voters can not only cast their ballot securely for City Council, Regional Council and school boards, but also that they can vote in a way that is both convenient and comfortable for them.

Residents are invited to learn more about alternative voting methods and complete the short survey at

The survey will be open for responses until Oct. 18 at 4 p.m..

Reading Recommendations

Canada formally invokes 1977 pipeline treaty with U.S. over Line 5 dispute


Canada on Monday formally invoked a 1977 treaty with the United States to request negotiations over Enbridge Inc’s (ENB.TO) Line 5 pipeline, escalating a long-running dispute over one of Canada’s major oil export pipelines.

Line 5 ships 540,000 barrels per day of crude and refined products from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario, but the state of Michigan wants it shut down over worries that a leak could develop in a four-mile section running beneath the Straits of Mackinac in the Great Lakes.

Enbridge ignored Michigan’s order to halt operations earlier this year. The sides are embroiled in a legal battle, and took part in court-ordered mediation. The government of Canada has been pushing counterparts in the United States to intervene to help keep the pipeline open.

Postmortem: Why restaurant workers are fleeing the industry

Financial Post

The shortage of restaurant workers has replaced the price of lumber as everyone’s favourite post-pandemic talking point. Even famous chains such as McDonald’s Corp. and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. are struggling to fill jobs. Many industries are struggling with elevated vacancy rates, which measures the proportion of unfilled positions to the total number of occupied and unoccupied jobs (chart below). But the situation is most extreme at hotels, restaurants, and bars. 

A knee-jerk explanation is that COVID-19 benefits are too generous. Why wash dishes when the government will pay you almost as much to stay at home and do nothing? There’s something to that notion, but probably not as much as the critics who land on that answer think. “After years of investing in an exploitative promise, the dining industry’s best and brightest workers, the cooks and floor staff whose poorly remunerated passion subsidized our luxury dinners, are fleeing the business,” Chris Nuttall-Smith, one of the country’s best food writers, observed in latest edition of Toronto Life magazine. 

The restaurant industry is facing the highest vacancy rates in the country. And yet the average offered hourly wage had increased only five per cent in the second quarter from the same period in 2019, according to Statistics Canada data. It was by far the smallest increase among industries with above-average vacancy rates. Why wouldn’t restaurant workers flee? They aren’t being offered a reason to stay. 

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: September 25, 2021

Click here for definitions of terms used in this table.

On October 4, there were 13 patients admitted to Niagara Health with COVID-19, 12 of whom were unvaccinated and 1 of whom was fully vaccinated. There were 2 patients with COVID-19 in a Niagara Health Intensive Care Unit.

Over the last 28 days, a Niagara resident vaccinated with 1 dose was 4.3 times more likely to contract COVID-19, and an unvaccinated person was 7.9 times more likely. The average weekly rate of hospitalized cases in unvaccinated Canadians was 38 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: 708,532

New daily doses administered to Niagara residents: 674

Last updated: October 4, 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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