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Ontarians aged 50+ and high-risk individuals to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine boosters from December 13

The Ontario government is accelerating COVID-19 vaccine booster dose eligibility to Ontarians aged 50 and over and additional high-risk individuals.

Starting on Monday, December 13, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., individuals aged 50 and over will be eligible to schedule their booster dose appointment through the COVID-19 vaccination portal, by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre, through Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, select pharmacies and primary care settings. Appointments will be booked for approximately six months (168 days) after a second dose.

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to help protect ourselves, and our families and communities against COVID-19. Learn more here.

Click here for more information.

Public Health issues legally binding directives to indoor sport and recreational facilities

Niagara has joined 26 other local public health jurisdictions in Ontario in issuing a letter of instructions to sporting and recreational fitness facilities. A letter of instruction is issued under Section 2, Schedule 1 of Ontario Regulation 364/20 under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act. This letter of instruction creates legally binding requirements for anyone responsible for a business or organization that operates indoor areas of facilities within the Niagara Region that are used for sports, athletic and recreational fitness activities.

The instructions require the following:

  1. Controlling the capacity in the highest risk areas of these facilities (e.g. change rooms) to facilitate physical distance and reduce the spread of infection.
  2. Closing exceptions and loopholes in the current proof of vaccination requirement to use indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities. Operators are now instructed that all persons age 12 and older must have shown proof of vaccination to enter these facilities, unless a person has a valid medical exemption.
  3. Requiring a vaccination policy for employees of these facilities. Given vaccine-eligible patrons must be vaccinated to protect each other and the staff of the facilities, staff should provide the same protection back to patrons.

Click here for more information.

Government of Ontario passes Working for Workers Act

As expected, the Government of Ontario has passed legislation today that will:

  • Require employers with 25 or more employees to have a written policy about employees disconnecting from their job at the end of the workday to help employees spend more time with their families. Learn more.
  • Ban the use of non-compete agreements that prevent people from exploring other work opportunities in order to make it easier for workers to advance in their careers. Learn more.
  • Help remove barriers, such as Canadian experience requirements, for internationally trained individuals to get licenced in a regulated profession and get access to jobs that match their qualifications and skills. Learn more.
  • Require recruiters and temporary help agencies to have a licence to operate in the province to help protect vulnerable employees from being exploited. Learn more.
  • Require business owners to allow delivery workers to use a company’s washroom if they are delivering or picking up items. This supports the delivery drivers, couriers and truck drivers who have kept our essential supplies and economy going throughout the pandemic. Learn more.
  • Allow surpluses in the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s Insurance Fund to be distributed over certain levels to businesses, helping them cope with the impacts of COVID-19. Learn more.
  • Enable the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board to work with entities, like the Canada Revenue Agency, to streamline remittances for businesses, enabling a way to give them an efficient one-stop-shop for submitting premiums and payroll deductions. Learn more.
  • Allow the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to collect information related to the agri-food workforce to ensure the government can enhance the coordination of services such as vaccination and testing, and respond to issues that may arise.

Click here to read the government’s media release.

Click here to view the legislation.

Canada closing borders to travelers from seven southern African nations over COVID-19 fears

Canada is closing its borders to foreign travelers who have recently been to seven southern African nations to help stop the spread of a newly identified variant of COVID-19, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos told reporters on Friday.

The European Union, the United States and Britain are among those tightening border controls as researchers probe whether the mutation is vaccine resistant.

Duclos told reporters that Canada was acting quickly to protect the health of its citizens. The seven nations are: South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Foreign citizens will be banned from Canada if they have been to the seven nations in the last 14 days.

Click here for more information.

Ontario Eliminating Mailing Paper Renewal Notices Moving to a digital model for renewal notices builds on the numerous initiatives the government has taken to make services more convenient, accessible, and easier to use for Ontarians, including:
  • Enabling over 40 services online through ServiceOntario with 24/7 access, with products mailed directly to you and the option to print proof of renewal right at home.
  • Launching the new Ontario Business Registry to support businesses and not-for-profit corporations at every stage of their lifecycle with quick and easy access to over 90 transactions online, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Making the land registry completely paperless as an accessible web portal that provides worldwide remote access to search land registration records.
  • Enabling the online renewal of permanent Accessible Parking Permits and Ontario Photo Cards.
  • Providing more payment options for driver and vehicle products.
Ontarians with products that expired on or after March 1, 2020, and were not renewed because of the temporary extensions that were put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will receive a final letter in the mail letting them know that it’s time to renew. For a complete list of renewal deadlines, visit Ontario.ca/RenewalDeadlines.
  • Some Ontarians will continue to receive paper renewal letters in the mail for these products. For a full list of exceptions, visit Ontario.ca/Reminders.
  • Ontarians can continue to receive courtesy renewal reminders for driver’s licences, licence plate stickers, and health cards by email, text, or phone call by signing up at Ontario.ca/Reminders.
  • A renewal notice is not required to renew any product with ServiceOntario. Most driver’s licences, licence plate stickers, and health cards expire on your birthday.
Signing up for digital reminders is easy, free, and secure. Eligible Ontarians can sign up at Ontario.ca/Reminders.
Read More

Regional Council votes in support of one transit system for all Niagara

At its Nov. 25 meeting, Niagara Regional Council made an historic move to improve and modernize public transit, voting in favour of combining all of Niagara’s existing services into one single, integrated transit commission serving all of Niagara.

The Moving Transit Forward proposal would bring together independently operating local transit systems in Fort Erie, St. Catharines, Welland, and Niagara Falls, as well as Niagara Region Transit and NRT OnDemand, in order to offer consistent operating hours and fares, new digital payment technology, and better connections for riders across Niagara.

Regional Council’s vote is a critical first stage in the triple majority process needed to transfer responsibility for public transit to the Region. Starting the week of Dec. 6, all of Niagara’s 12 local municipalities will also vote on the proposal. To move forward, a majority of those councils, representing a majority of Niagara’s electors, must vote in favour of the plan.

The GNCC has supported this effort from the beginning in recognition of transit’s importance to economic growth and poverty reduction, and led an advocacy campaign to communicate its importance to Regional Council. We sincerely thank all our members who sent messages to Council in response.

Click here to read more.


Media Release


Welland Arena to only accept printed or digital

QR-coded vaccination passports beginning December 6



November 30, 2021

Welland, ON – The City of Welland Arena is moving to the QR code system only (paper or electronic), along with corresponding proof of identification, to align with neighbouring municipalities beginning December 6.

This change ensures ease of access and review upon entry to the arena and keeps staff and the public safe.

“The idea behind the passports isn’t to make life difficult for people, but to keep everyone safe when in our buildings and arena,” said Rob Axiak, director of community services. “We know that municipalities in Niagara have faced this challenge, and we hope that by proactively making this switch, we can avoid any forgeries in Welland.”

Leading up to December 6, Welland Arena staff will inform visitors of the forthcoming change.

In addition to the change in vaccine passport acceptance, Welland Arena staff will be reminding and closely monitoring visitors to the arena are wearing a face-covering while spectating.

Face-coverings are required at all times, and must cover the nose, mouth, and chin unless consuming food or beverages.

To download your QR-coded proof of vaccination, visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/get-proof/  and follow the instructions. 



For media inquiries, please contact:

Marc MacDonald

Corporate Communications Manager

905-735-1700 x2337


Is your business receiving all the federal assistance it is entitled to?

The Government of Canada has introduced many COVID-19 supports to help businesses weather the storm. To get a tailored list of the ones that fit your business situation or to discover other federal, provincial and territorial programs and services designed to help Canadian businesses grow, try the interactive business benefits finder. You can also sign up for the notification feature to receive emails when there are changes to your favourite programs, when application deadlines are approaching, or when a new program that meets your needs is introduced.

The Canada Small Business Financing Program makes it easier for small businesses to get loans from financial institutions by sharing the risk with lenders.  Up to a maximum of $1,000,000 for any one borrower, of which no more than $350,000 can be used for purchasing leasehold improvements or improving leased property and purchasing or improving new or used equipment. Financial institutions deliver the program and are solely responsible for approving the loan. For more information download their PDF pamphlet or click here to find a lender near you.

Get tools and information on what to consider before starting a business. Get information to help you identify opportunities to grow your business. Learn how to fuel your R&D and innovation projects through government grants, contributions and loans, as well as private sector financing. Learn about programs and services available in your region to help your business succeed.  Find out more about the municipal, provincial, territorial and federal permits, licences and regulations that apply to your business.  Learn how to handle day-to-day operations, including budgeting, marketing and payroll deductions and more. Overview of federal government Services for Small Business

Best regards,

Alexis Higginbotham
Executive Director
60 East Main Street
Welland, ON
L3B 3X4
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195 East Main Street Unit 4C
Welland, Ontario

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