In this edition:
- Ontario labour minister leaving government for private sector, Ford shuffles cabinet
- Chair Bradley applauds Greenbelt reversal
- Ford pressing on with housing targets, including Niagara’s, despite backing away from Greenbelt
- Nearly one in five Canadian retailers affected by BC port strikes
- Ontario reaches tentative agreement with ETFO education workers
- St. Catharines calls for Winter at the Market Vendors
- Niagara-on-the-Lake 2024 Budget Survey now open
- Reading Recommendations: Human Resources
Ontario labour minister leaving government for private sector, Ford shuffles cabinet
Ontario Minister of Labour Monte McNaughton is leaving the Progressive Conservative caucus to take a job in the private sector — leading Premier Doug Ford to shuffle his cabinet after losing a third minister in as many weeks.
In a statement Friday morning, McNaughton said he is stepping down from his cabinet duties “effective immediately,” and will be resigning his seat “in the days ahead.
“It has been the honour of a lifetime to serve the people of Ontario as Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development for more than four years,” McNaughton said.
David Piccini will replace McNaughton as minister of labour, immigration, training and skills development.
Chair Bradley applauds Greenbelt reversal
In a statement issued today, Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley said that he applauded the provincial government’s decision to reverse their plans to permit development on lands designated as the Green Belt.
“I commend the government for responding to concerns expressed by many Ontarians about the potential impact of development on Ontario’s natural heritage and valuable agricultural land,” Chair Bradley remarked.
He noted that Niagara has a plan to not only meet our provincial housing targets but exceed them across many of our communities, with have more than 30,000 units currently approved for construction.
Ford pressing on with housing targets, including Niagara’s, despite backing away from Greenbelt
Despite backing away from controversial plans to allow development on 7,400 acres of Ontario’s Greenbelt lands, Premier Doug Ford said he remains committed to targets of building thousands of new homes in Niagara, and 1.5 million province-wide.
“I made a promise to you that I wouldn’t touch the Greenbelt,” Ford told reporters following two days of caucus meetings in Niagara Falls. “I broke that promise and for that I’m very, very sorry.”
Ford said the plans “caused people to question our motives,” which also led to the resignation of public and business service delivery minister Kaleed Rasheed, former housing minister Steve Clark, as well as his chief of staff Ryan Amato.
Nearly one in five Canadian retailers affected by BC port strikes
Statistics Canada reported today that, based on respondent feedback, approximately 17% of Canadian retailers reported that their business activities in July had been affected by the strike at the ports in British Columbia.
Nevertheless, retail sales increased 0.3% to $66.1 billion in July. Sales increased in seven of the nine subsectors and were led by increases at food and beverage retailers (+1.3%). In volume terms, retail sales edged down 0.2%.
Core retail sales—which exclude gasoline stations and fuel vendors and motor vehicle and parts dealers—were up 1.3% in July. The largest decrease in retail sales was observed at motor vehicle and parts dealers (-1.6%), which recorded their first decline in four months.
Ontario reaches tentative agreement with ETFO education workers
Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, reported today that the government had reached a tentative central agreement with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Education Workers. Ontario previously reached central agreements with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) education workers, and with the Ontario Council of Educational Workers (OCEW).
These actions would cover almost 29,000 English Public teachers and almost 95% of education workers in Ontario.
The St. Catharines Farmers Market is once again seeking vendors for its one-stop-shop Winter at the Market event happening from Dec 6 to Dec. 20, 2023.
Winter at the Market will run every Wednesday for three weeks from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Market Square (91 King Street). Vendors selling art, homemade items, crafts, and food and beverages are invited to apply before Oct. 17.
Vendors can apply for a stall for all three weeks for only $84.90 and, if applicable, an additional 15 per cent hydro fee. Vendors must be able to commit to all three Wednesdays to apply.
Submit an online application for the Winter at the Market series before 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 at stcatharines.ca/WinterVendorApplication.
Niagara-on-the-Lake 2024 Budget Survey now open
The Town is excited to announce that its 2024 budget survey is now available on the Town’s Join the Conversation (JTC) platform, where community members can provide critical feedback to help guide the 2024 budget process. The survey will be open until October 13, 2023.
The purpose of this survey is to help Town Council and Staff better understand what is valued by the community when creating and approving the 2024 budget. The annual budget covers a wide range of services supporting Town operations and delivering high-quality community programs. The Town’s budget comprises Operating and Capital Budgets designed to address programs, services, asset management, infrastructure, Council objectives and more.
To participate in the survey, please visit www.jointheconversationnotl.org/budget and log in to your Join the Conversation account.
Did you know?
Focus on Human Resources
2 in 5 workers in Canada don’t know what an EAP is
Two in five workers in Canada are unfamiliar with the purpose of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) and what it offers.
And while EAPs are free to workers, more than 27 per cent cite cost as a major barrier in using them, finds the latest TELUS Mental Health Index.
“Employee Assistance Programs provide a wealth of mental health resources and support for employees and their families, but the fact that 40 per cent of workers don’t understand the purpose of these programs creates a significant gap in utilization,” said Juggy Sihota, Chief Growth Officer, TELUS Health.
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.