News, updates, and so much more…


Mail-in ballots could delay results in federal election 2021

Stéphane Perrault, the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, expects that the majority of mail-in ballots in the upcoming federal election will be counted after election day, delaying the final result.

Elections Canada is expecting between two million and five million people to cast ballots by mail, which would be a dramatic jump from the 2019 federal election. Pandemic-related reluctance to travel to voting locations is expected to drive the increase. For more information, click here.

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City of Welland
For Immediate Release
August 18, 2021
The City of Welland invites the community to participate in flexible fall programming
Welland, ON – The City of Welland’s recreation and culture department is ready to welcome the community back to programming, activities, and more as the fall session registration officially opens online on August 24 at 9 a.m.
Operating at reduced capacity and limited availability due to COVID-19 restrictions and regulations for the summer, many of the department’s activities and programs are returning to action this fall, including those centred around music, art, yoga, Zumba, pickleball, and much more.
“We’re excited to welcome back new and familiar faces to our programs and activities,” said Rob Axiak, director of community services. “Our participants can feel confident that they are returning to safe environment guided by our reopening plan and Provincial regulations.”
Given the uncertainty of COVID-19, fall programming is offered in three blocks, each lasting four to five weeks, allowing registrants the opportunity to try new programs and activities without a longer-term commitment. Fall blocks are as follows:
  • Session 1: September 13 – October 10
  • Session 2: October 18 – November 14
  • Session 3: November 15 – December 19
The Welland Community Wellness Complex is currently open with controlled access, limited capacity, and scheduled time blocks. There is a set 15–30-minute break between programs for cleaning. Masks are mandatory in all common areas, and visitors must self-screen before entering the building.
For more information about fall programming registration, fees, and dates, visit wellness.welland.ca.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Marc MacDonald
Manager, Corporate Communications
905-735-1700 x2337
Link to Survey: https://auditorgeneralofontario.hostedincanadasurveys.ca/index.php/735633?lang=en 

Ontario pauses further reopening as it reveals new vaccine policies for high-risk settings

Employees, staff, contractors, students, and volunteers at hospitals, home and community care settings will, at a minimum, have to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, have a medical reason for not being vaccinated, or complete a vaccination educational session.

New vaccination policies must be implemented in high-risk settings no later than Sept. 7. People in these settings who do not provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 will be required to undertake regular testing.

To support the return to school plan, the Ministry of Education intends to introduce a vaccination disclosure policy for all publicly funded school board employees, and staff in private schools as well as for all staff in licensed childcare settings for the 2021-22 school year, with rapid antigen testing requirements for staff who are not immunized against COVID-19.

As an additional measure to continue protecting Ontario’s most vulnerable, based on the recommendation of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, the province will begin offering third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to those at highest-risk, providing them with an extra layer of protection against the Delta variant.

The provincial government also announced that despite coming close to hitting the targets to exit Step 3, it will halt any further reopening indefinitely due to the risk of the Delta variant. More details can be found here.

Feature with Cindy and Jade from Beyond The Streets Welland
The saying “not all heroes wear capes” is definitely true and well describes the volunteers at Beyond The Streets Welland. Beyond The Streets is a volunteer led organization providing various services those experiencing, or at risk of homelessness in Welland.
The volunteers at Beyond the Streets have a mission statement – “Nobody gets left behind”. This organization does not strictly serve homeless individuals, but also people at risk of being homeless, low-income families and senior citizens. Since launching their services in October, the number of people that they help weekly has been steadily increasing, which means more people in Welland are getting the help they need thanks to them!
What services does Beyond The Streets provide? One of the services that they provide is free, hot meals at the Welland Farmer’s Market every Thursday night. Not only is this an opportunity to receive a free meal, but it is somewhere to belong to on Thursday nights and provides an opportunity to reach out to the volunteers for help about other issues. Thursday nights also provide the chance to pick up some free, fresh produce generously donated by Small Scale Farms Community Garden! Another supporter is Tyson, a teenager in Welland who continuously donates multiple party trays of pizza every week for Street Outreach night! Beyond The Streets is so thankful for all the support they have received from the downtown Welland community.
Aside from providing food and drinks to community members in need, volunteers take part in street outreach, distress response and dispensing hygiene/sanitary products. Street outreach is the opposite of as the free meals at the market on Thursdays, in the sense that instead of having people approach the organization, the organization will approach people in need/distress. Volunteers carry many resources with them to assist the best they can, but also have the appropriate contacts to call for specific situations.
There are some misconceptions about the type of work that Beyond The Streets does. They want to emphasize that volunteering like this does not enable a homeless or lazy lifestyle. Many of the people they assist are working through their own issues and need some help along the way, whether it be a single parent or someone with mental health issues. They feel that people are judged so easily and deserve to be offered help no matter what.
Cindy and Jade’s favourite things about volunteering with Beyond The Streets is the rewarding feeling you get from helping others and getting to know the stories behind some of the faces. Many of the people they help have trust issues, so having someone open up is so rewarding in that case. They offer a sense of familiarity to people seeing them each week, which helps them build meaningful relationships.
Interested in volunteering or donating? Anyone can be a volunteer if interested. It is recommended to contact them through their Facebook page (@beyondthestreetswelland) or through their email (orlbaqgurferrgfjryynaq@bhgybbx.pbz). They also accept monetary donations, food & drink donations, clothing and more through the same contact information.
Thank you volunteers of Beyond The Streets Welland for your passionate work in trying to make a difference in our community!
Province Launches New Modern Ontario Business Registry

The new Ontario Business Registry will be launched on October 19, making it easier, simpler, and more affordable for millions of businesses and not-for-profit corporations to interact with the government.

Businesses will now be able to complete over 90 transactions through the new online registry, including registering a new business and dissolving an existing one. Registrations or filings that were previously submitted by mail or fax, taking four to six weeks to complete, can now be done instantly through the online registry. When online transactions are completed, users will receive automatic email notices with electronic attachments instead of paper documents. The migration of annual return filings that were previously completed through the Canada Revenue Agency will be available through the Ontario Business Registry, allowing businesses to keep all their important filings in one place.

Along with the launch of the Ontario Business Registry, the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 will come into force on October 19, which will provide a modern legislative framework for Ontario’s not-for-profit corporations. The legislation will significantly reduce the bureaucratic burden on not-for-profit corporations, moving from paper-based filings to digital services and providing them with enhanced flexibility. For the first time ever, Ontario not-for-profit corporations will be able to access an online government system for registrations and filings, saving them time and reducing duplication of paperwork. Features like pre-defined text will help users move along error-free and reduce legal costs.
  • Ontario businesses and not-for-profit corporations can consult Ontario.ca/BusinessRegistry for more information about the new system.
  • The Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 received Royal Assent on October 25, 2010 but cannot be brought into force until the Ontario Business Registry launches.
Read More

Dr. Mustafa Hirji offers COVID-19 update

Watch Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hirji’s, latest local update here.

City of Welland
For Immediate Release
August 19, 2021
Hospital, transportation, and long-term care highlight successful AMO conference for Welland delegates
Welland, ON – The City of Welland’s delegation for this year’s Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) virtual conference – held from August 16-18 – completed a successful series of meetings with various representatives from the provincial government.
Mayor Frank Campion, Councillor Adam Moote, and corporate leadership staff, advocated for City initiatives and strategic priorities aimed to enhance the quality of life for Welland residents now and into the future, including the benefit and importance of the Welland Hospital, mental health and addictions, additional permanent long-term care beds, and the environment. 
“The opportunity to highlight the challenges and the voice of the people in the City of Welland with provincial leaders is critical to the growth and quality of life we offer,” said Campion. “The health of our community is reflective of the services and facilities we can offer and working with provincial partners to achieve success in all these areas is a significant component of every Council’s mandate.”

Held virtually for the second year in a row due to COVID-19, a total of more than 400 online delegation meetings with provincial ministries and ministers took place with members from municipally elected officials and staff.

This year, City of Welland delegates attended meetings with:
  • Minister of Labour, Training & Skills, Parliamentary Assistant Deepak Anand
  • Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism & Culture Industries
  • Ministry of Transportation
  • Ministry of Francophone Affairs
  • Ministry of Environment, Conservation & Parks, Hon. David Piccini
  • Minister of Health, Associate Minister Hon. Michael Tibollo
  • Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation & Trade, Hon. Nina Tangri
  • Ministry of Long-Term Care, Hon. Rod Phillips

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments. AMO supports and enhances strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system. 
For media inquiries, please contact:
Marc MacDonald
Manager, Corporate Communications
905-735-1700 x2337

Government of Canada to require vaccination of federal workforce and federally regulated transportation sector

The Government of Canada today announced its intent to require vaccination as early as the end of September across the federal public service. In addition, as soon as possible in the fall and no later than the end of October, the Government of Canada will require employees in the federally regulated air, rail, and marine transportation sectors to be vaccinated. The vaccination requirement will also extend to certain travellers. This includes all commercial air travellers, passengers on interprovincial trains, and passengers on large marine vessels with overnight accommodations, such as cruise ships.

Click here for more information.

My Main Street

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) announced an investment of $23.25 million to support My Main Street.

CUI will work with not-for-profit organizations, community groups and municipalities across southern Ontario to help reanimate neighbourhoods, through installations, events and activities that will help to drive foot traffic back to main streets.

The funding delivered through the Canadian Urban Institute will also help communities in southern Ontario develop main street recovery action plans and create a roadmap for neighbourhoods to recover post-pandemic. This pilot program will generate important lessons to share with and strengthen main streets across Canada.
CUI is working with the Economic Developers Council of Ontario to deliver My Main Street.

CUI will work with not-for-profit organizations, community groups and municipalities across southern Ontario to help reanimate neighbourhoods, through installations, events and activities that will help to drive foot traffic back to main streets.

The funding delivered through CUI will also help communities in southern Ontario develop main street recovery action plans and create a roadmap for neighbourhoods to recover post-pandemic. This pilot program will generate important lessons to share with and strengthen main streets across Canada.
Read More

Government of Canada invests in training for persons with disabilities to create a more inclusive workforce and stronger economy

Today, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced an investment of up to $7.5 million to the Rick Hansen Foundation for a project funded under the Sectoral Initiatives Program (SIP). With this investment, the Foundation will establish a new standardized profession of “accessibility professionals,” which will increase expertise and information on how to build accessible spaces in a way that includes people of all abilities.

Click here for more information.

Ontario government reaffirms partnership with municipal governments

Here are some of the announcements made during the virtual 2021 Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference this week:

  • Plans to invest $1.1 billion to enhance the province’s housing programs and support homeless populations in 2022-23
  • Additional funding under the Social Services Relief Fund for a total support to communities of over $1 billion in 2020-2021
  • Providing $57 million to launch a third intake of the Municipal Modernization Program and Audit and Accountability Fund.

To further support public health units as they continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government is investing approximately $47 million to extend one-time mitigation funding through 2022.

The Ontario government is also maintaining the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) at $500 million, as well as the overall structure of the program, for 2022. The OMPF provides funding to 389 municipalities across the province that can be used to support the local priorities and specific needs of each community. For more information, click here.

Free rapid COVID-19 testing kits are now available to businesses. Visit gncc.ca/workplace-self-screening-kits to learn more and reserve kits for your organization.

Information on government grants, resources, and programs, policies, forms, and posters for download and use, are available here. The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.

Upcoming Events

Espresso Live with Dr. Hirji, August 23, 12:00pm

Join us for news on COVID-19, reopening, vaccination progress and other health updates from Dr. M. Hirji, Medical Officer of Health and Commisioner, Public Health, Niagara Region.

Espresso Live: The Future of Post Secondary Education in Niagara, September 2, 10:00am

Take a look with us at how universities and colleges have adapted and evolved in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With Dr. Lynn Wells, Interim President, Brock University, and Sean Kennedy, President, Niagara College.

REALTalk: Let’s talk Anti-Racism and Affordable Housing, September 8, 7:00pm

This month, our REALTalk Series will explore the link between affordable housing and anti-racism. This event will start with a mini-presentation from the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA), followed by a panel discussion. Presented by NEXTNiagara and Niagara Region Anti-Racism Association.
Best regards,

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