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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: September 22, 2022

Advance polling sites opening across Niagara, EI claims up for first time since January, Niagara school buses may face delays, and more.

In this edition:

Advance polling sites opening across Niagara

Niagara voters hoping to cast their ballot before Election Day on Oct. 24, 2022, can do so at advance polling sites.

Advance polling sites permit voters to cast their ballot regardless of their Election Day polling station as noted on their voter notification card. Advance poll dates and voting options, including online and by mail, do vary based on municipality.

To learn more about voting options, advance polling sites and dates in your municipality, check your voter notification card or contact your local municipal Clerk’s office.

Click here to read more.

National Cannabis Working Group applauds comprehensive approach to Cannabis Act Review but public health and safety concerns remain

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce National Cannabis Working Group (NCWG) is pleased to see the federal government take a comprehensive approach to its statutory review of the Cannabis Act. However, details will be crucial to guarantee public health and safety.

The broad scope of the review, as announced by Health Canada, will ensure Canada’s updated cannabis rules continue to uphold the goals of cannabis legalization and facilitate the growth of the legal cannabis sector. However, to effectively displace the illicit market and protect the public health and safety of all Canadians, law enforcement, businesses, industry and all levels of government will need to continue to work together.

Canadian companies and their employees will continue to collaborate to ensure they can fully benefit from this growing industry while still meeting the Act’s vital health and safety objectives.

Click here to read more.

EI claims up for first time since January

In July, 506,000 Canadians received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, up by 14,000 (+2.9%) compared with June. This was the first increase since January 2022, and also the first increase not associated with a tightening of public health restrictions since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of regular EI recipients rose in 7 of the 10 broad occupational groups in July, with the largest increase occurring among those who last worked in occupations in education, law and social, community and government services (+13.9%; +8,000), accounting for over half (55.3%) of the monthly increase. In contrast, there were fewer regular beneficiaries who last worked in management occupations (-3.0%; -900).

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FAO: Climate change adds $1.5b/year to transportation infrastructure maintenance

Ontario’s provincial and municipal governments manage a large portfolio of transportation infrastructure. These transportation assets, valued at $330 billion, include roads, bridges, large structural culverts and rail tracks. Ontario’s 444 municipalities own 82 per cent of this transportation infrastructure (or $269 billion), while the remaining 18 per cent ($61 billion) is owned by the Province (all costs are in 2020 real dollars).

The cost to maintain the existing portfolio in a state of good repair is substantial, even in a stable climate. If the climate was stable, it would cost $12.9 billion per year to bring these assets into a state of good repair and maintain them. Over the rest of the century, these costs would accumulate to approximately $1 trillion by 2100.

Changes in extreme rainfall, extreme heat and freeze-thaw cycles are already increasing the costs of maintaining Ontario’s public transportation infrastructure.

In the absence of adaptation, these climate hazards are expected to increase the costs of maintaining Ontario’s transportation infrastructure by approximately $1.5 billion per year in this decade, above what would have occurred in a stable climate. By 2030, these climate-related costs would accumulate to $13.3 billion for provincial and municipal governments.

Click here to read more.

Niagara school buses may face delays as driver shortages continue

A shortage of drivers may be delaying your child’s school bus.

Niagara Student Transportation Services say some buses have been delayed to start the year, but no routes have been cancelled. Officials say the driver shortage is not specifically COVID-19 related, but they are monitoring the level of driver absences.

Backup drivers have been an ongoing issue. NSTS started the year with roughly 4% extra drivers, but aim for closer to 10% to cover all absences.

NSTS is reminding parents to check their website or download their app for updates on any disruptions.

Click here to read more.

Featured Content

Focus on Real Estate

Ontario’s Growth Plan is reducing housing affordability

The Conversation

Few Ontario residents know how land use planning regulation shapes their physical environment, including where new housing is built, the size and type of buildings, and housing density. As a result, most people are only interested in the topic when a new housing project is proposed near their homes.

In reality, planning regulation has far-reaching influence on our lives, and especially on the housing crisis. It’s a primary reason for the high housing prices and rents in the Greater Golden Horseshoe — a massive region that is centred on Toronto and spans Southern Ontario.

Click here to read more.

Toronto’s real estate market is tanking and experts are pretty worried

Sales for new homes in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) plummeted in August, and the steep drop-off in demand is a worrying sign of things to come as the effects of economic uncertainty on the housing market become clearer.

The GTA new home market slid in both the number of sales and inventory levels in August, falling well below ten-year averages, the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) announced on Thursday.

Only 533 new condominium apartments were sold region-wide in August, the number representing an 83 per cent dip below the sales figure for August 2021, and falling 61 per cent below the ten-year average.

Click here to read more.

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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