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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: September 13, 2022

In this edition:

Ombudsman closes file on 2016 Niagara Region CAO hiring after finding all recommendations were implemented

In a letter addressed to Regional Chair Jim Bradley, Ontario Ombudsman J. Paul Dubé confirmed that his office will be closing their file on the tainted 2016 Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) hiring process, expressing thanks for the cooperation he experienced from the Region.

In the letter dated Sept. 7, 2022, the Ombudsman confirmed that Regional Council has successfully implemented all 16 recommendations found in his 2019 “Inside Job” report. Given council’s willingness to implement these changes, the Ombudsman’s letter indicates that “no further follow up reports are required and my Office will be closing our file in this matter.”

The 71-page “Inside Job” report responded to over 110 formal complaints registered with the Ontario Ombudsman’s office by members of the public. These complaints called on the Ombudsman to investigate the how the 2016 CAO hiring process was carried out, and many other related issues.

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Brock prof Kate Bezanson to serve as special advisor to Prime Minister

Brock University researcher Kate Bezanson has been seconded to serve as a special advisor on gender, rights, and social, economic and legal issues to the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada.

Bezanson will take a leave from her role as Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology to complete the secondment, which began Sept. 6.

Over the past few years, Bezanson has become a familiar face and voice to many beyond the Brock community through her public discussion of her policy research, some of which was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and initially outlined in the 2020 report, “From Stabilization to Stimulus and Beyond: A Roadmap to Social and Economic Recovery.” Since the report’s release, national and international outlets have frequently sought Bezanson’s commentary and insight on the evolving policy landscape around gender, public policy, federalism and care work.

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Government of Canada introduces legislation to curtail rising cost of living

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the government’s first pieces of legislation introduced in the upcoming Parliamentary sitting would take aim at the rising cost of living and aim to reduce the financial burden on Canadians most in need.

The measures in these bills would, if passed:

  • Double the Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC) for six months. Roughly 11 million individuals and families  receive the tax credit, including about half of Canadian families with children, and more than half of Canadian seniors.
  • Provide a Canada Dental Benefit to children under 12 who do not have access to dental insurance, starting this year. Direct payments totalling up to $1,300 per child over the next two years (up to $650 per year) would be provided for dental care services.
  • Provide a one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit to deliver $500 to 1.8 million Canadian renters who are struggling with the cost of housing. The federal benefit will be available to applicants with an adjusted net income below $35,000 for families, or below $20,000 for individuals, who pay at least 30 per cent of their income on rent. This new one-time federal benefit will be in addition to the Canada Housing Benefit currently co-funded and delivered by provinces and territories.

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Building investment edges up to $21 billion in July

Investment in building construction continued its upward trend since October 2021, rising 0.8% to $21.0 billion in July. Both the residential (+1.0% to $15.7 billion) and the non-residential sectors (+0.1% to $5.3 billion) showed increases.

On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction increased 1.4% to $12.8 billion. Investment in non-residential construction nudged up 0.1% to $5.3 billion in July.

Commercial investment was up 0.6% to $3.0 billion for the month, cooling down after posting strong gains in June. Notable growth for the component mainly came from British Columbia (+3.5%), stemming from multiple projects across Vancouver.

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One-third of Canadian businesses reported e-commerce sales in 2021

One-third (33%) of Canadian businesses had at least some e-commerce sales in 2021, marking an increase from 2019, when one-quarter (25%) received or made sales of goods or services over the Internet.

Large businesses (38%) were the most likely to report e-commerce sales, while medium (36%) and small (32%) businesses did not lag far behind. This compares favourably to other small businesses internationally; the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported that 25% of small businesses from reporting member countries had online sales in 2020.

Canadian businesses with e-commerce sales grossed, on average, $3.7 million in sales over the Internet in 2021, however this varied greatly by size of business. Large businesses reported, on average, $79 million in gross e-commerce sales, while medium-sized businesses reported $4.2 million and small businesses reported $580,000.

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If you are seeking to grow your online presence, you may be eligible for a micro-grant worth up to $2,400 to help get your business online, give your e-commerce presence a boost, or digitalize business operations. Click here to get more information and apply.

Focus on Finance and Economy

Posthaste: Soft landing for Canada’s economy is becoming ‘a distant prospect,’ economists say

Financial Post

With hawkish central bankers plowing ahead to get inflation under control, more economists are coming around to the idea that a soft landing for the economy is increasingly unlikely.

Since March the Bank of Canada has hiked its rate 300 basis points and is showing no signs of stopping.

“BIS research suggests front-loaded rate hikes ‘can help prevent a hard landing,’ said RBC senior economist Josh Nye in a report Monday. “But with policy makers pledging to do what it takes to rein in inflation, we think a soft landing is becoming a distant prospect.”

Economists had expected the Bank of Canada to hike rates by 75 basis points earlier this month. That rise followed a full percentage point increase in July and there was speculation the Bank would pause its most aggressive cycle in a decade at 3.25 per cent.

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Trudeau says new cost-of-living spending won’t fuel inflation

Bloomberg News

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a package of new measures to help Canadians cope with steeply rising prices, as his governing Liberals face increasing political pressure to mitigate the cost-of-living crisis.

The government will double for a period of six months a sales tax rebate received by low-income earners, at a cost of $2.5 billion. It will also top up a housing benefit for renters, worth about $700 million in additional spending.

Unlike many of his global peers, Trudeau has avoided taking new measures to ease the burden of rising prices, even with inflation at its highest level since the early 1980s, in part because of concerns more spending could stoke inflation. But it’s becoming become increasingly difficult to hold off, particularly after Pierre Poilievre’s resounding victory in this weekend’s Conservative Party leadership election.

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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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