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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: October 6th, 2021

The WSIB is cutting premium rates in 2022 by $168 million, bringing the total reduction in premiums since 2018 to $2.4 billion.

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) will cut premium rates in 2022

Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is cutting premium rates in 2022 by $168 million, bringing the total reduction in premiums since 2018 to $2.4 billion. In addition, the government is intending to introduce legislation that, if passed, would allow for a significant portion of the WSIB’s current reserve, currently valued at $6.1 billion, to be distributed to safe employers. Distributing surplus WSIB funds was a recommendation from the WSIB Operational Review that was released in November 2020.

Closures in low-wage sectors due to the pandemic have resulted in a spike in Ontario’s Average Industrial Wage. As a result, the ceiling for worker benefits will be increasing by 9.45 per cent. To prevent some businesses from having to pay thousands of dollars a year in additional premiums, Ontario is capping the growth of premiums to an increase of 3.2 per cent (close to the normal range) through a regulation under the Workplace Safety and Amendment Act.

Click here for more information.


Prime Minister announces mandatory vaccination for federal workforce and federally regulated transportation sectors

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, today announced details of the government’s plans to require COVID-19 vaccination across the federal public service and federally regulated transportation sectors.

Under the new policy, federal public servants in the Core Public Administration, including members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, will be required to confirm their vaccination status by October 29, 2021. Those who are unwilling to disclose their vaccination status or to be fully vaccinated will be placed on administrative leave without pay as early as November 15, 2021.

Employers in the federally regulated air, rail, and marine transportation sectors will have until October 30, 2021, to establish vaccination policies that ensure employees are vaccinated. Effective October 30, 2021, travellers departing from Canadian airports, and travellers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, will be required to be fully vaccinated, with very limited exceptions. The government is working with industry and key partners to put a strict vaccine requirement in place for cruise ships before the resumption of the 2022 cruise season.

Click here for more information.

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to help protect ourselves, and our families and communities against COVID-19. Learn more here.


Welland pursues Truth and Reconciliation with new land acknowledgement

The City of Welland has updated its land acknowledgement to improve local understanding and relationships with First Nations communities and those living off-reserve in Welland. It is enacted based on consultation, led by the Niagara Region, with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council, and leaders from the Niagara Indigenous Community Executives.

Click here for more information and to read the new acknowledgement (PDF link).


Canada’s Indigenous population projected to increase between now and 2041

New demographic projections suggest that the Indigenous identity population in Canada, which has grown steadily in recent decades, is projected to continue to increase between now and 2041.

The Indigenous population in Canada, which includes First Nations, Métis and Inuit, was estimated at 1,800,000 in 2016, and could reach 2,495,000 in 2041 under the low-growth scenario, 2,848,000 under the medium-growth scenario, and 3,182,000 under the high-growth scenario.

Click here for more information.


Reading Recommendations

Closure of U.S. land border may hamper Canadians’ winter travel plans once again, experts say

CTV News

With the United States’ land border still closed to non-essential travel, experts say some Canadian snowbirds may be staying home for a second consecutive winter.

Oct. 21 is the deadline for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to declare whether it plans to ease these travel restrictions at the Canada-U.S. land border, or extend the prohibition for another 30 days.

The Canadian government eased travel restriction for U.S. citizens and permanent residents fully immunized against COVID-19 on Aug. 9.

The Biden administration announced in September that most adult foreign nationals will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to travel to the United States by early November. However, there were no details provided on how this new policy would specifically impact travel at the land border.


Facebook flounders in the court of public opinion

The Economist

“You are a 21st-century American hero,” gushed Ed Markey, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts. He was not addressing the founder of one of the country’s largest companies, Facebook, but the woman who found fault with it. Frances Haugen, who had worked at the social-media giant before becoming a whistleblower, testified in front of a Senate subcommittee for over three hours on October 5th, highlighting Facebook’s “moral bankruptcy” and the firm’s downplaying of its harmful impact, including fanning teenage depression and ethnic violence.

The public has long suspected Facebook of two-faced toxicity. What was lacking were the damning internal communiqués to prove it. That changed when Ms Haugen released a trove of corporate documents to regulators and to the Wall Street Journal.


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.

 September 25October 2October 9October 16
Reproductive number1.01.10.90.8
New cases per 100,00036.143.433.420.2
New cases per day (not including outbreaks)22.423.319.612.3
Percent of hospital beds occupied81.7%91.8%93.7%99.3%
Percent of intensive care beds occupied66.7%80.3%90.9%84.9%
Percentage of positive tests3.0%3.5%2.7%2%

Last updated: October 2, 2021

Click here for definitions of terms used in this table.

On October 6, there were 14 patients admitted to Niagara Health with COVID-19, 13 of whom were unvaccinated and 1 of whom was fully vaccinated. There were 4 patients with COVID-19 in a Niagara Health Intensive Care Unit.

Over the last 28 days, a Niagara resident vaccinated with 1 dose was 3.6 times more likely to contract COVID-19, and an unvaccinated person was 6.6 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
Niagara76.8%73.1%
Ontario77.2%73.5%
Canada77.6%73%
United States66%57%
United Kingdom74%67%
Germany69%66%
France76%68%
Italy77%70%
Japan76%67%
World49%37%

Total doses administered in Niagara: 710,666

New daily doses administered to Niagara residents: 989

Last updated: October 6, 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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