In this edition:
- ‘It was a mistake:’ Ford reversing Ontario government’s decision to open Greenbelt
- Government of Canada introduces legislation lifting GST on new rental housing and increasing power of Competition Bureau
- Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries back Gates’ push to end ‘unfair’ 6.1% tax
- Sean Vanderklis of Meridian joins joint Indigenous business advisory committee
- Number of EI claimants increases by largest amount since 2021 as unemployment rate ticks up
- Brock grad on Time magazine’s list of emerging leaders
- International student flows could be affected by India tension: expert
- New research shows truck driver shortage will grow to 30,000 without systemic change
- St. Catharines to commemorate National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
- Niagara Region receives Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
- Reading Recommendations: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
‘It was a mistake:’ Ford reversing Ontario government’s decision to open Greenbelt
Premier Doug Ford said he will be reversing his government’s decision to open the Greenbelt to developers.
“I made a promise to you that I wouldn’t touch the greenbelt. I broke that promise. And for that, I am very, very sorry,” Ford said at a news conference in Niagara Falls on Thursday.
“It was a mistake to open the Greenbelt.”
Government of Canada introduces legislation lifting GST on new rental housing and increasing power of Competition Bureau
Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, introduced Bill C-56, the Affordable Housing and Groceries Act, the first piece of government legislation introduced in the fall parliamentary sitting. This legislation would increase the GST Rental Rebate from 36 per cent to 100 per cent and removes the existing GST Rental Rebate phase-out thresholds, for new rental housing projects.
The legislation will give more power to the Competition Bureau to investigate when industries are behaving unfairly, for example where price fixing or price gouging is occurring, and take enforcement action. This is intended to increase competition, particularly in the grocery retail sector, and to stabilize grocery prices.
Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries back Gates’ push to end ‘unfair’ 6.1% tax
Only Ontario imposes a 6.1 per cent tax on wine sales at vintners’ retail stores and winery proprietor Bill Redelmeier can’t understand why the levy even exists.
Redelmeier, from Southbrook Vineyards, and Jakub Lipinski, of Big Head Wines, joined Niagara MPP Wayne Gates last week to unveil plans to reintroduce a private member’s bill that will end the “unfair” tax on 100 per cent Ontario VQA wine sold at winery retail stores.
“What nobody can really figure out is why only Ontario wines are charged a 6.1 per cent tax on sales through our own retail store,” Redelmeier said at a news conference hosted by Gates last Thursday.
Full disclosure: the GNCC is actively lobbying to end the 6.1% wine tax and for other measures to unlock the potential of the Niagara wine industry.
Sean Vanderklis joins joint Indigenous business advisory committee
Sean Vanderklis, Director of Business Development for Indigenous Markets at Meridian Credit Union, has been named as one of eight members of the new Indigenous Advisory Committee formed as a result of a partnership between the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB).
“Earlier this year, we announced a partnership with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business aimed at advancing economic reconciliation by building business capacity to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 92,” said Sara Beyer, Committee Co-Chair and Senior Policy Advisor, OCC. “We are extremely grateful to these eight Indigenous leaders who bring a diverse range of experience and expertise and have committed to advising this work to help produce meaningful outcomes for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses.”
Under the Committee’s guidance, the Initiative will involve engagement with Indigenous businesses, communities, and OCC and CCAB members to inform a series of practical resources to contextualize the role of businesses in advancing reconciliation, promote existing resources, and showcase best practices in Indigenous partnership building across Ontario.
The number of Canadians receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits increased by 25,000 (+6.0%) to 438,000 in July. This was the third consecutive monthly increase and the largest increase since May 2021. From April to July 2023, the number of Canadians receiving regular EI benefits has increased by 10.5% (+42,000). The number of people collecting regular EI benefits fell by 3% in Ontario, however.
According to the Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 5.5% in July, marking the third consecutive monthly increase.
Brock grad on Time magazine’s list of emerging leaders
Brock University graduate Andreas Flouris (MSc ’04) has been honoured with a place on Time magazine’s TIME100 Next list, which recognizes rising leaders in health, climate, business, sports, the arts and more.
Now an environmental physiologist, Flouris completed a Master of Science in Health Sciences at Brock in 2004 under the supervision of Brent Faught, Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Health Sciences. After graduating, he attended Dalhousie University to pursue a PhD in Thermal Physiology under the supervision of Stephen Cheung, who is now a Professor and Senior Research Fellow with Brock’s Department of Kinesiology.
International student flows could be affected by India tension: expert
As Canada’s relationship with India deteriorates politically, an international governance expert suggests it’s still too early to speculate how the fallout could hurt either country’s economy – though the flow of Indian students to Canada could be affected.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged the Indian government had a hand in the murder of a Sikh separatist leader living in Canada, a claim Indian leader Narendra Modi subsequently called “absurd.” Both countries have expelled one of the other’s diplomats, trade discussions have halted and India has asked citizens to take caution when travelling to Canada.
New research shows truck driver shortage will grow to 30,000 without systemic change
Canada is experiencing a nationwide truck driver shortage that, in recent years, has resulted in shipment delays, out-of-stock retail shelves, and increased prices. The current workforce is rapidly approaching retirement and without a concrete solution to attract and retain new drivers, the existing, unsustainable model poses a risk to the national economy.
A newly released white paper by PwC Canada commissioned by Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada (FHCP), reveals the Canadian trucking industry currently suffers from 20,000 vacant driver positions, which, given the increasing average driver age, will soon grow to 30,000 without systemic change. Combined with weak driver utilization practices, a poor perception of the industry from potential recruits, and demographic gaps in the existing workforce, the trucking industry is in a critical position, requiring investment from all stakeholders to bridge the growing gap.
St. Catharines to commemorate National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
On Friday, Sept. 29, the City of St. Catharines is partnering with the Niagara Regional Native Centre (NRNC) to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Orange Shirt Day, more recently recognized as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
There will be a commemorative ceremony held at 10 a.m. on the front steps of St. Catharines City Hall. Mayor Mat Siscoe will provide a welcome and land acknowledgement. The mayor’s remarks will be followed by some words from members of our local Indigenous communities and NRNC singers will perform songs for reflection.
Niagara Region receives Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from Government Finance Officers Association
The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) has awarded Niagara Region a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its 2023 budget document.
The award, which was presented to the Financial Management and Planning Division, recognizes Niagara Region’s efforts to deliver high-quality budget documents that improve transparency and inform residents.
This is the 11th consecutive year that the Region has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.
Did you know?
Focus on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Building trust with Indigenous businesses
In Canada, there are more than 50,000 Indigenous-owned companies. Comprised of three groups—First Nations, Métis and Inuit—this dynamic and robust business community contributes $48.9 billion annually to Canada’s economy (Census Canada, 2020).
Indigenous peoples (our nation’s fastest-growing demographic) are also a major employer of non-Indigenous peoples, providing jobs across Canada.
“Growing the Indigenous economy, in turn, grows the Canadian economy,” says Todd Evans, national lead, Inclusive Trade, Indigenous exporters at Export Development Canada (EDC). “A prosperous, healthy future for Canada depends on the full and equal participation of everyone.”
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.