In this edition:
- End of the labour crunch? Niagara unemployment rate jumps 0.9% in August
- ‘Gentle intensification’: Fonthill second-dwelling unit a sign of things to come
- Lincoln CAO talks homelessness, co-ordinating services following AMO
- Microsoft named 2023 Global Company of the Year Award for workforce collaboration and productivity
- ‘They were looking at the Greenbelt’: Inside the deal from 2 developers’ perspectives
- Some Ontario hospitals reinstating masking requirements
- Reading Recommendations: Retail
End of the labour crunch? Niagara unemployment rate jumps 0.9% in August
Niagara’s unemployment rate has jumped almost a full percentage point, reaching 6.9% in August – the highest seen since January, 2022, and higher than the six-month average immediately before the COVID-19 pandemic, which ranged between 5.3% and 5.9%.
The size of Niagara’s labour force increased by 1,700 month-over-month, indicating more people seeking work, even as the total employed dropped by 400.
Nationally, employment rose by 0.2% in August. This increase in employment was outpaced by population growth (0.3%) and the employment rate—the proportion of the population aged 15 and older who are employed—fell 0.1 percentage points to 61.9%.
‘Gentle intensification’: Fonthill second-dwelling unit a sign of things to come
Neighbours of a new two-storey home erected on the same lot as an existing house in Fonthill got a glimpse of what many more residents of Pelham and across Niagara may be seeing in the future.
Nina Tangri — who was associate housing minister at the time but has since become the associate minister of small business — also got a first-hand look at the brand new home, known as a second-dwelling unit, when she toured it on Spruceside Crescent along with town staff and politicians and Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff on Aug. 31.
Lincoln CAO talks homelessness, co-ordinating services following AMO
Lincoln’s chief administrative officer Michael Kirkopoulos is reflecting on his time at this year’s Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference.
The annual conference, which took place in London, Ont. from Aug. 21 to 23, featured more than 2,500 municipal leaders coming together with members of the provincial government to discuss the critical issues municipalities are facing.
Lincoln participated in a number of delegations during the week, including advocating for the Niagara Escarpment Crossing, Niagara Irrigation Project, and exploring shared services.
But sometimes, it’s the discussions that happen outside the delegations that can be the most impactful.
Microsoft named 2023 Global Company of the Year Award for workforce collaboration and productivity
Frost & Sullivan has recognized Microsoft with the 2023 Global Company of the Year Award.
Frost & Sullivan granted Microsoft the award for its leveraging of artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technology to enable efficiency, automate workflows, and optimize user and customer experiences (UX and CX) with collaboration solutions.
“Over the years, Microsoft has repeatedly proved its ability to identify unaddressed market needs and envision future scenarios based on its firm grasp of economic, technological, and socio-demographic Mega Trends,” said Elka Popova, Vice President, Growth Opportunity Analytics ICT at Frost & Sullivan.
‘They were looking at the Greenbelt’: Inside the deal from 2 developers’ perspectives
While no one explicitly told developers that Ontario planned to open up the protected Greenbelt for housing last year, the government telegraphed that message to builders through actions – and silence, the province’s integrity commissioner found.
Central to that indirect communication was a conference where certain developers had access to the housing minister’s chief of staff – two investigations found those builders ended up with 92 per cent of the sites taken out of the Greenbelt.
What took place at that conference, and some of what followed, is laid out in the report issued last week by commissioner J. David Wake, offering insight into the world of Ontario’s developers and how they interact with the government.
Some Ontario hospitals reinstating masking requirements
Some eastern Ontario hospitals are bringing back mask requirements in patient-care areas as the respiratory virus season approaches.
Kingston Health Sciences Centre says on its website that masking is now mandatory in the emergency department, children’s outpatient clinic and in its urgent care centre.
The hospital also strongly recommends masking in clinical areas where there are high-risk patients, including oncology, neonatal intensive care and dialysis units.
It cites rising COVID-19 prevalence in southeastern Ontario as the reason for the change.
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