In this edition:
- Inflation accelerates to 4% as Canadians pay more for rents, mortgages, and gasoline
- Downward trend in unfilled jobs continues as labour market tightness eases
- Government of Canada overrides employer concerns, will introduce federal prohibition on replacement workers
- St. Catharines GM plant unaffected ‘at this time’ by UAW strikes
- Big Six banks open to refinancing CEBA loans for small businesses
- Vineland appoints new head of horticultural technology systems
- Ministers from across the country gather in Niagara-on-the-Lake for cybersecurity symposium
- Canada’s largest grocery chains have agreed to ‘work’ on stabilizing food prices
- Unifor extends Ford negotiations after receiving ‘substantive offer’
- Start Me Up Niagara sells St. Catharines building but not going far
- Council for Aboriginal Business releases new report on furthering Indigenous trade opportunities
- Reading Recommendations: Finance & Economy
Planning and Partnerships for Affordable Housing
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Inflation accelerates to 4% as Canadians pay more for rents, mortgages, and gasoline
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 4.0% year over year in August, following a 3.3% increase in July. The headline acceleration was largely the result of higher year-over-year prices for gasoline in August (+0.8%) compared with July (-12.9%). Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose 4.1% in August, matching the 4.1% increase in July.
In addition to facing higher energy prices, Canadians paid more for rent and mortgage interest in August. Moderating the all-items CPI were declines in prices for travel-related services and a smaller increase in food prices compared with the previous month.
Downward trend in unfilled jobs continues as labour market tightness eases
Job vacancies decreased by 55,500 (-6.6%) to 780,200 in the second quarter, continuing a steady downward trend seen over the past year, Statistics Canada reported today. On a year-over-year basis, job vacancies in the second quarter declined by 210,700 (-21.3%) from the record high of 990,900 unfilled positions reached in the second quarter of 2022.
While job vacancies decreased in the second quarter, the number of unemployed persons (as estimated in the Labour Force Survey) increased by 44,300, following three quarters of little change. As a result, there were 1.4 unemployed persons for every job vacancy in Canada in the second quarter, up from 1.3 in the previous quarter and from 1.1 in the second quarter of 2022. These increases indicate that labour market tightness eased in the second quarter of 2023, which may reduce upward pressure on growth in offered wages.
Government of Canada overrides employer concerns, will introduce federal prohibition on replacement workers
The Government will introduce legislation by the end of 2023 to prohibit the use of replacement workers in federally regulated workplaces during a strike or lockout, Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan Jr. announced today. The decision was based on findings in the government’s What We Heard report on prohibiting replacement workers and improving the maintenance of activities process, which summarizes feedback from consultations with employers, labour organizations and Indigenous partners, that concluded earlier this year.
The report highlighted disagreements between employers and unions on the topic of replacement workers and whether they should be prohibited. On one hand, union stakeholders all supported a ban on replacement workers, with many urging the Government to introduce legislation as soon as possible. On the other hand, employer stakeholders opposed the idea and argued the Government should not proceed.
St. Catharines GM plant unaffected ‘at this time’ by UAW strikes
Despite strikes south of the border and the threat of similar job action in Ontario, it’s currently business as usual at the General Motors plant in St. Catharines.
In an email Samantha Hoodless, senior manager, plant communications at GM St. Catharines, said there’s been no impact on production locally since the United Auto Workers went on strike late last week.
“There’s no impact to GM St. Catharines at this time,” Hoodless wrote in the email.
The Big Six banks say they are open to refinancing Canada Emergency Business Account loans for small businesses, though they provided few details and say new terms will have to be decided on a case-by-case basis.
CEBA was the most widely used COVID-19 support program for businesses, with the federal government handing out loans of $40,000 or $60,000 to nearly 900,000 corporations in 2020 and 2021. The program was created by the government, but administered in co-ordination with financial institutions. The loans are government-backed.
Ottawa changed the repayment deadlines on Thursday after months of pressure from business groups, which argued that most small enterprises still have not financially recovered from the pandemic.
Vineland appoints new head of horticultural technology systems
Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) has announced that Brian Lynch, PhD, will take up a position as the new Director, Horticultural Technology Systems. In this role, he will lead Vineland’s refreshed vision for the Horticultural Technology Systems program, a hub for testing, validating and optimizing both Canadian and international technology solutions for the horticultural industry.
Lynch joined Vineland in 2018 as Senior Research Scientist and has led a team of engineers and technicians on projects tackling R&D problems in horticultural automation and robotics. He has also been instrumental in project technical developments in machine learning, computer vision, mobile robotics, manipulators and mechatronics.
Ministers from across the country gather in Niagara-on-the-Lake for cybersecurity symposium
This week, Kaleed Rasheed, Ontario’s Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery, hosted ministers and deputy ministers from across Canada for the 3rd Federal, Provincial, and Territorial (FPT) Symposium on Digital Trust and Cybersecurity.
Increasing people’s confidence and participation in our ever-evolving digital world was the central theme of the symposium. Jurisdictions showcased their work to build innovative digital solutions and highlighted new possibilities to streamline and improve public service delivery.
The Ontario symposium was a follow-up from the second ministerial gathering in Vancouver, British Columbia in January 2023. The first symposium on digital trust and cybersecurity was hosted in Quebec in June 2022.
Canada’s largest grocery chains have agreed to ‘work’ on stabilizing food prices
The heads of Canada’s five largest grocery chains have “agreed to work with” the federal government to stabilize food prices, Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said Monday.
Champagne and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland met with the heads of Loblaw, Sobeys, Metro, Costco and Walmart in Ottawa on Monday. Freeland stayed only for the first few minutes of the two-hour meeting.
“As you would expect, those are difficult discussions but much-needed discussions at a time that Canadians are feeling the high prices of groceries,” Champagne said after the meeting.
Unifor extends Ford negotiations after receiving ‘substantive offer’
Unifor and Ford Motor Co. are continuing to negotiate after the union extended a strike deadline by 24 hours. The union pushed back the deadline that had been set to expire late Monday night after it says it received a “substantive offer” from Ford. However, the union says its members should continue to maintain strike readiness.
Unifor is negotiating with Ford in hopes of reaching a pattern agreement that serves as the basis for contracts at General Motors and Stellantis.
Start Me Up Niagara sells St. Catharines building but not going far
Start Me Up Niagara has sold its building in St. Catharines, but it’s staying in the neighbourhood.
The non-profit agency works to support local residents facing challenges such as poverty, homelessness, unemployment, disabilities, addictions and mental health issues by offering services such as health care, housing support and employment development.
The agency says it has sold its building at 17 Gale Crescent, and will re-locate to a new address at 211 Church Street.
Officials say the sale will help them direct funds to where they are most needed, and help with their goal to reach more residents.
Council for Aboriginal Business releases new report on furthering Indigenous trade opportunities
As the Canadian government continues to voice its commitment to make advancements towards economic reconciliation, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) has released a comprehensive report on the state of trade policy development and its impact on the Indigenous economy.
Trading Nations: Supporting International Indigenous-To-Indigenous Trade Policy Development was released today to provide background, context and recommendations necessary to move Indigenous trade opportunities forward.
“Indigenous international trade is often overlooked due to the absence of data and research, and this has created a lack of targeted policies, regulatory barriers and challenges for Indigenous businesses to enter into trade,” says Matthew Foss, CCAB Vice President of Research and Public Policy. “Facilitating Indigenous trade needs to be a priority, and this report points to specific actions that can be taken to achieve that.
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Focus on Finance & Economy
Oil: If prices top $100 US, expect ‘demand destruction’, says analyst
Oil prices have been rising since the summer amid a supply crunch. That has raised a question on Wall Street: How high can crude go before rising energy prices actually hurt demand?
“I think you need to see crude oil prices at $100 to $110 per barrel with gasoline prices rising to $4.00 to $4.25 per gallon to have the consumer change their driving habits resulting in demand destruction,” Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, told Yahoo Finance.
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.