News, updates, and so much more…


Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety releases new courses on opioids in the workplace

Opioid use in the workplace can impact everyone’s right to a safe and healthy environment. To help workplaces take steps to address impairment, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has released two online courses.

Opioids: What Employers Need to Know introduces employers to the impacts of opioid use in the workplace. Employers and supervisors will learn about their specific duties, the importance of addressing substance use through a policy, and the steps they should take when possible impairment is observed.

Opioids: What Workers Need to Know introduces employees to the impacts of opioid use in the workplace. The course will help workers learn about these impacts and steps to follow to understand opioid use, reduce stigma, and provide appropriate support in the workplace.

Both courses are available on the CCOHS website in English and French.

Welland Bridge 13 March Illumination Schedule 

Ontario cuts red tape for license plate fees, business start-ups, roof-top solar and more

Ontario’s Spring 2022 Red Tape Reduction Package builds on successive semi-annual packages aimed at eliminating unnecessary burdens and opening doors to economic activity. The proposed Fewer Fees, Better Services Act contains, among others, the following proposals:

  • Eliminate licence plate renewal fees and the requirement to have a licence plate sticker for passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks, motorcycles and mopeds, effective March 13, 2022. Eligible individual owners of vehicles for any licence plate renewal fees paid since March 2020 would receive a refund. License plate renewal will still be required but will no longer be fee-for-service.
  • Provide a single website for entrepreneurs to access information and services they need to get up and running and grow their business, and provide businesses with realistic public-facing service standards on some approvals, permits and licences, with more services added on a regular basis (disclosure: the GNCC has lobbied for a one-stop-shop for business needs and requirements from government, including municipal governments).
  • Enable more homeowners, farms and businesses to participate in net metering, including roof-top solar systems, to help lower their electricity bills. Clarifying the eligibility of third-party ownership arrangements such as leasing, financing, and power purchase agreements, the amendments would broaden access to net metering.
  • Extend the deadline to release the 2022 Budget from March 31, 2022 to April 30, 2022 on the grounds that it would better reflect the economic effects of reopening.
  • Provide companies in Ontario and Canada with greater business opportunities through public procurements (disclosure: the GNCC has lobbied for Ontario public procurement to provide greater opportunities for Ontario SMEs and suggested that efficiency-oriented mass-purchasing by the government necessarily freezes small businesses out of procurement contracts)
  • Pilot a program that allows eligible car dealerships to register new vehicles online, and issue permits and plates (disclosure: the GNCC has lobbied for online car dealership vehicle registration and permitting)

Click here to learn more.

Ontario Small Business Relief Grant   Eligible small businesses required to close in early January under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen can apply for the Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant (OSBRG).   The Ontario Small Business Relief Grant application portal is now open until March 11, 2022 for eligible applications from:
  • Newly established businesses
  • Businesses that may not have previously applied to the Ontario Small Business Support Grant in 2021
  • Businesses that were previously deemed ineligible but are now eligible.
These businesses do not need to re-apply if you completed the pre-screen and were verified to receive this grant.     Small businesses eligible for the OSBRG include:
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (including fitness centres and gyms)
  • Racing venues, casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
  • Performing arts venues and cinemas
  • Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions
  • Meeting or event spaces
  • Tour and guide services
  • Conference centres and convention centres
  • Driving instruction for individuals
  • Before- and after-school programs
The OSBRG User Application Guide provides additional information about applying for the grant.   For more information on available business supports, please visit: Businesses: Get help with COVID-19 costs | Ontario.ca

Fort Erie Urgent Care Centre reopens Feb. 23

The Fort Erie Urgent Care Centre will fully reopen to provide 24/7 service beginning Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 8 a.m. In early January, Niagara Health made the difficult decision to temporarily close the Fort Erie Urgent Care Centre to redeploy emergency-trained staff and physicians to Emergency Departments where they were most needed.

Niagara Health also wants to remind the community that there are different levels of care available in Niagara depending on their needs.

Learn more at www.NiagaraHealth.on.ca/KnowYourOptions.



Media Release


No ice is safe ice; know the risks and avoid using the recreational canal and stormwater ponds


February 23, 2022

Welland, ON – With ice thawing and water runoff and rain posing a new hazard, the City of Welland reminds everyone to avoid the Welland recreational canal and all stormwater ponds.

When the temperatures drop cold enough in the winter months, the canal freezes; however, the water underneath remains active. Due to the constantly moving water underneath the service, gaps or flooding areas where ice forms make the canal unsafe for recreational activity. Additionally, water run off weakens the ice and rain adds a risk of melt and water pooling – which may freeze and deceive users.

COVID-restrictions permitting, activities involving skating should take place at arenas or properly maintained outdoor rinks. For City-operated outdoor rinks, check the City’s website for updates. If your winter activities take you onto ice-covered bodies of water, be mindful of areas you explore.

“Avoiding the canal and stormwater ponds in the city is the best way to stay safe this winter,” said Adam Eckhart, fire chief. “We understand that many residents will enjoy winter activities that include fishing, snowmobiling, skating, and more on frozen water surfaces, and we encourage everyone to know the risks before venturing out onto the ice.”

According to Lifesaving Society, approximately 35 per cent of drownings in Canada occur from October to April when most people have no intention of going into the water. Snowmobiling and ice accidents account for most of these incidents.

Ice Safety Tips:

  • Check the ice thickness
  • Colour of ice matters; clear blue ice is the strongest, white or opaque ice is much weaker
  • stay away from ice that looks honeycombed
  • Near-shore ice is often much thicker and safer than ice farther out
  • No ice is safe, use caution around all of our bodies of water and don’t venture out alone’
  • Wear a lifejacket and survival suit; these items can preserve body heat
  • If you are going out onto the ice, know what to do if you break through

To stay safe, check the ice to make sure it’s thick enough and always wear a lifejacket during activities around the water. When in doubt, stay clear of the ice.



For media inquiries, please contact:

Marc MacDonald

Corporate Communications Manager

905-735-1700 x2337


Ontario will require employers to disclose electronic monitoring

The Ontario government intends to introduce new legislation later this month that would require employers to tell their workers if and how they are being monitored electronicallyIf passed, Ontario would become the first province to require electronic monitoring policies and protect workers’ privacy by requiring employers be transparent on how employees’ use of computers, cell phones, GPS systems and other electronic devices are being tracked.

Under the proposed changes, employers with 25 or more workers will be required to have a written electronic monitoring policy in place for all their employees. The policy would need to contain information on whether the employer electronically monitors its workers, and if so, a description of how and in what circumstances the employer does this. In addition, the employer would need to disclose the purpose of collecting information through electronic monitoring.

Click here to learn more.

Niagara’s transition to single transit commission receives triple majority

Niagara Region has now completed all 12 local area municipal council presentations and secured the required triple-majority support to move forward to create a consolidated transit Commission.

The transition to a single, consolidated public transit system will now begin with the goal of beginning operations in January 2023.

To guide this process, Niagara Region has established the Transit Commission Steering Committee to lead the transition through a series of working groups made up of current municipal transit providers and Regional staff. The committee will bring a number of updates to Regional Council in the coming months.

Click here to learn more.

Best regards,

Alexis Higginbotham
Executive Director
60 East Main Street
Welland, ON
L3B 3X4
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