News, updates, and so much more…

Ontario is moving into Step 3 of the Roadmap to Reopening Framework on July 16, 2021 (the requirements to enter this step were for 70-80% of Ontarians aged 18+ to have one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and for 25% of this age group to be fully vaccinated).

Details about Step 3 are available in Ontario Regulation 364/20, which is available at

General requirements for Step 3:
o Masks/face coverings are required indoors and in vehicles, with limited exceptions o Masks/face coverings are also required in some outdoor settings (ie., dance establishments, sports and recreational fitness facilities, theatres)
o Physical distancing is required (except from members of one’s household, unless otherwise stated)
o Active screening of patrons is required at many establishments

Highlights of what is permitted in Step 3:
o Gathering limits for social gatherings and organized public events:
 Outdoors = 100 people
 Indoors = 25 people

o Religious services, rites and ceremonies
 Indoor services are now permitted; capacity is limited by the ability of people to practice 2m physical distancing
 Social gatherings (ie., receptions) associated with weddings, funerals, and other religious services, rites, and ceremonies are limited to 100 people outdoors or 25 people indoors o Retail:
 All retail may open (including shopping malls), with capacity limited by physical distancing
 Section 22 order is still in place o Food/drinking establishments (restaurants, bars, etc.)
 Indoor dining is now permitted; there is no limit on the number of people per table
 Physical distancing must be practiced between people at different tables
 Buffet service is now permitted
 Dancing is permitted in establishments that have dance facilities; indoors = 25% capacity to a maximum of 250 people; outdoors = 75% capacity or 5000 people
 For dance facilities, masking is required at indoor and outdoor facilities, with exceptions  Section 22 order is still in place o Personal care services
 Capacity is limited by physical distancing  Services are appointment-based, and only people receiving services can enter the facility  All services are permitted, except for use of oxygen bars; this includes services where face coverings must be removed (face coverings must remain on except when the service is being provided)
  Indoor facilities may open at 50% capacity (includes indoor pools)
 Spectators – indoors = 50% of usual seating capacity to a maximum of 1000 people; outdoors = 75% of usual seating capacity to a maximum of 15 000 people  Masking is required at indoor and outdoor facilities, with exceptions
 Masking is not require when people are engaged in sports/games
 Facilities must ensure that sports leagues/sporting events safety plans o Concert venues, theatres, and cinemas:  Indoors = 50% capacity to a maximum of 1000 people
 Outdoors = 75% capacity to a maximum of 5000 people for unseated events, or 15 000 people for seated events

Detailed questions about facility classifications and requirements should be directed to municipal by-law enforcement.
Ontario should skip to Stage 3 in its reopening plan
Step Three of the Roadmap focuses on the resumption of additional indoor services with larger numbers of people and restrictions in place. This includes, but is not limited to:
  • Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 100 people with limited exceptions;
  • Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people;
  • Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted with physical distancing;
  • Indoor dining permitted with no limits on the number of patrons per table with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect;
  • Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities to open subject to a maximum 50 per cent capacity of the indoor space. Capacity for indoor spectators is 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 1,000 people, whichever is less. Capacity for outdoor spectators is 75 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 15,000 people, whichever is less;
  • Indoor meeting and event spaces permitted to operate with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect and capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity or 1,000 people, (whichever is less);
  • Essential and non-essential retail with with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;
  • Personal care services, including services requiring the removal of a face covering, with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;
  • Museums, galleries, historic sites, aquariums, zoos, landmarks, botanical gardens, science centres, casinos/bingo halls, amusement parks, fairs and rural exhibitions, festivals, with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors;
  • Concert venues, cinemas, and theatres permitted to operate at:
    • up to 50 per cent capacity indoors or a maximum limit of 1,000 people for seated events (whichever is less)
    • up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum limit of 5,000 people for unseated events (whichever is less); and up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum of 15,000 people for events with fixed seating (whichever is less).
  • Real estate open houses with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres; and
  • Indoor food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided, including nightclubs and restobars, permitted up to 25 per cent capacity or up to a maximum limit of 250 people (whichever is less).
Face coverings in indoor public settings and physical distancing requirements remain in place throughout Step Three. This is in alignment with the advice on personal public health measures issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada, while also accounting for Ontario specific information and requirements. Face coverings will also be required in some outdoor public settings as well.

Please view the regulation for the full list of public health and workplace safety measures that need to be followed.
Ontario Moving to Step Three
Reopening Ontario
O.Reg. 520/21 amending O.Reg. 363/20

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker

Last updated: July 15, 2021

Niagara’s most up-to-date vaccination numbers are presented below, along with comparison data from Ontario, Canada, and G7 countries.

Total doses administered in Niagara: 558,348

Total doses administered in Niagara since yesterday: 4,599

Ontario is currently in Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen.

Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen will begin at 12:01 a.m. on July 16, 2021. Step Two began at 12:01 a.m. on June 30, 2021.


Percentage of population with one dose

Percentage of population fully vaccinated




Ontario (all)



Ontario (adults)






United States



United Kingdom















Data are drawn from Niagara Region, the Government of Ontario, and Oxford University’s Our World in Data project. 

Government of Canada launches Task Force to review the Employment Equity Act

The Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, today launched a Task Force to conduct the most extensive review of the Employment Equity Act since its introduction. The Minister made this announcement along with the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, Bardish Chagger, and the newly announced Chair of the Task Force, Professor Adelle Blackett.

Over the next months, the Task Force will study the Act and consult with stakeholders, communities and Canadians on issues related to employment equity. Operating at arm’s length from the Government, the Task Force includes 13 members, including the Chair, Professor Blackett and vice-chairs, Professors Marie-Thérèse Chicha and Dionne Pohler, who bring a broad range of backgrounds, perspectives and fields of expertise to this important work. The Task Force will hold its first in a series of meetings on July 15, 2021.

Canadians and stakeholders are invited to visit the Employment Equity Act Review Task Force webpage for more information. They can also share their views on the review of the Act by email at RQFP.YRR-RRN.RFQP@ynobhe-geninvy.tp.pn.


Federal government launches Tourism Relief Fund

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, launched $500-million in funding for the new Tourism Relief Fund. Eligible organizations can now submit applications to support the tourism sector prepare to welcome back domestic travelers and reposition Canada as a world-class destination.

Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) will deliver $485 million directly to businesses and organizations. In addition, $15 million, delivered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, will support destination development, seasonal and local attractions, and human resources and skills development.

More information on the Tourism Relief Fund, including how eligible applicants can apply, is available through Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs).

City of Welland
For Immediate Release
JULY 9, 2021
Welland, ON – Beginning the week of July 12th, Ward 3 residents will start to receive their Vote-By-Mail kits to cast their vote for the 2021 Ward 3 By-Election. The Vote-By-Mail kits include instructions for electors to cast their ballot.

Additional Resources for voting, including a video on how to complete the Vote-By-Mail kit, is available on our website at www.welland.ca/Elections/ElectorsResources.asp   

Ballot Return Locations are as follows:
  • Drop-Box Civic Square, 60 East Main Street
  • Ballot Drop-Box at Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln St
  • Ballot Drop-Box at Welland Library Main Branch 50 The Boardwalk
  • Ballot Drop-Box at Welland Library Seaway Mall Branch 800 Niagara St.

Additional information for electors, including Ballot Return Location operating hours, is available at www.welland.ca/Elections/index.asp

Electors may contact the Clerk’s Office for further information by emailing ryrpgvba@jryynaq.pn or calling 905-735-1700, ext. 2153.
– 30 –

Tara Stephens
City Clerk
905-735-1700, ext. 2159

Bank of Canada maintains policy rate and forward guidance, adjusts quantitative easing program

The Bank of Canada today held its target for the overnight rate at the effective lower bound of ¼ percent, with the Bank Rate at ½ percent and the deposit rate at ¼ percent. The Bank is maintaining its extraordinary forward guidance on the path for the overnight rate. This is reinforced and supplemented by the Bank’s quantitative easing (QE) program, which is being adjusted to a target pace of $2 billion per week. This adjustment reflects continued progress towards recovery and the Bank’s increased confidence in the strength of the Canadian economic outlook.

In Canada, the third wave of the virus slowed growth in the second quarter. However, falling COVID-19 cases, progress on vaccinations and easing containment restrictions all point to a strong pickup in the second half of this year. The Bank now expects GDP growth of around 6 percent in 2021 – a little slower than was expected in April – but has revised up its 2022 forecast to 4 ½ percent and projects 3 ¼ percent growth in 2023.

Consumption is expected to lead the recovery as households return to more normal spending patterns, while housing market activity is projected to ease back from historical highs. Stronger international demand should underpin a solid recovery in exports.

The Bank of Canada Governing Council judges that the Canadian economy still has considerable excess capacity, and that the recovery continues to require extraordinary monetary policy support. The Bank remains committed to holding the policy interest rate at the effective lower bound until economic slack is absorbed so that the 2 percent inflation target is sustainably achieved.

City of Welland
For Immediate Release
JULY 13, 2021

Welland, ON – The City of Welland reminds residents that fireworks are not to be ignited on public property, including parks and open fields/spaces in the City of Welland. Fireworks are only permitted on Victoria Day and Canada Day as well as three days preceding Victoria Day and Canada Day.

Any person who contravenes any provision of Bylaw 2003-127 is guilty of an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine of not more than $5000, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, according to Section 61 of the Provincial Offences Act. R.S.O. 1990.

How do I file a complaint about the discharge of fireworks?
At no cost, residents can anonymously report fireworks violations while the fireworks are happening by calling 911 and asking for the Fire Department to respond. Provide the dispatcher with the details and safety concerns while the fireworks are occurring, and they will prioritize the Fire Department’s response. During business hours, you can file a complaint either by phone at 905-735-1700 ext. 2403 or by email to sver@jryynaq.pn.
If you choose to have family fireworks or an informal neighbourhood display, on the days permitted, keep these fireworks safety tips in mind:
  • Purchase fireworks from a reliable source. Stay away from illegal explosives.
  • Carefully read and follow directions on the label of fireworks packaging.
  • Only use fireworks outdoors.
  • Always have a water source such as a running garden hose or bucket of water handy.
  • Never experiment with or make your own fireworks.
  • Light only one firework at a time. Never set off fireworks during strong winds.
  • Never re-light a dud firework. Wait 15 to 20 minutes, then soak the dud in a bucket of water.
  • Never give fireworks to small children and always have an adult present.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
  • The handler should always wear eye protection and never have any part of their body over the firework.
  • Remember to be considerate of your neighbours and pets when using fireworks. Only use fireworks between the hours of dusk (approximately 9:30 to 11 p.m.), as the noise may be disturbing to those around you.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper disposal of fireworks.

For further information on selling and discharging fireworks in the City of Welland, please review our Fireworks By-law 2003-127, visit By-law 2003-127 (welland.ca)
– 30 –
Adam Eckhart
Fire Chief/CEMC
905-735-1700 ext. 2400

Second intake of Green Infrastructure stream now open

Starting today, Tuesday, July 13, eligible municipalities, First Nation communities and Local Services Boards can begin applying for funding through the second intake of the Green Infrastructure stream.

The Green Stream is part of the joint federal and provincial Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). Up to $240 million in joint federal and provincial funding is available for this intake, including $110 million from the Ontario government.

Eligible applicants will have up to 8 weeks with a deadline of September 9, 2021 to submit applications for provincial review and nomination to the federal government through the Transfer Payment Ontario website.

Government of Canada announces $10.5 million for 41 new affordable housing units in Niagara

Afforable housing is an urgent problem in Niagara, Niagara Regional Chair Bradley stated today. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for many residents, those experiencing homelessness in our community have been disproportionately affected. At the end of June, there were nearly 7,000 individuals and families waiting for geared-to-income housing. To this end, residents who live in these units will not have to pay more than 30 per cent of their income to secure a home.

The $10.5 million announced today will allow the Region to continue to provide critical support to those most at risk of becoming homeless. This investment will make a meaningful impact on addressing our housing waitlist in Niagara.

Labour force characteristics May 2020 June 2020 2020 Annual April 2021 May 2021 June 2021

Labour force














Full-time employment







Part-time employment














Unemployment rate







Participation rate







Employment rate







Doughnut Economics?

Albert Einstein once said, The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple. He also said, Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Yet, making things simpler is not for the faint of heart, because ultimately it means everyone should be able to understand and use the knowledge, plan, or resource being shared regardless of their experience, cultural background, literacy, or learning style. In other words, it needs to be described simply, so it can be used simply.

That’s not to say simplicity is easy because getting to simplicity rarely comes without a lot of teeth grinding, a willingness to work hard, and a whole lot of tenaciousness.

Regardless, I thought of the Einstein quotes when I recently came across the graphic below explaining an approach to economics that was brilliant in its simplicity. Hard to believe that one graphic and a name like “Doughnut Economics” explains new, leading-edge thinking about a topic as complicated as economics.

The woman providing the brilliance is Kate Raworth and her book (which I highly recommend) entitled,  Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist.

Unlike the other economic theories covered in my university studies that took far too many dull pages to explain, Kate Raworth simply descibes the doughnut economy as being based on the premise that, “We need to meet the needs of all within the means of the planet. In other words, to ensure that no one falls short on life’s essentials (from food and housing to healthcare and political voice), while ensuring that collectively we do not overshoot our pressure on Earth’s life-supporting systems, on which we fundamentally depend – such as a stable climate, fertile soils, and a protective ozone layer. The Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries is a new framing of that challenge, and it acts as a compass for human progress this century[i].”

In our increasingly complex world of more, better, and faster, the simplicity of this model explains that good economics is about balancing financial growth with human values that reflect care and concern for people and the planet. It also illustrates that getting to simplicity is worth the effort because ultimately it makes the complex possible.

Doughnut Economics is a wonderful, user-friendly framework that provides a better way for how we can move toward a better future.

Ontario increases funding, streamlines application process for Second Career

As of today, laid-off and unemployed workers will experience a faster Second Career application process. The program is increasing weekly basic living supports for rent, mortgage and other expenses up to $500 a week, and transportation and child care supports are being enhanced.

Second Career funding helps laid-off, unemployed workers pay for the tuition of training programs of 52 weeks duration or less, including eligible university and college courses, micro-credential programs and other vocational training programs.

Interested parties can contact an Employment Ontario service provider here.

No appointment needed for first COVID-19 vaccination at Seymour-Hannah arena

You no longer need an appointment to get your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Niagara Health’s vaccination clinic at the Seymour-Hannah arena. Now, anyone 12 years of age and older can come to the clinic at any time for their first dose.

Effective immediately, Niagara Health is offering this walk-in option to make it as easy and quick as possible for people who haven’t been protected against COVID-19 to get their vaccine.

The GNCC encourages all eligible people to get vaccinated as soon as possible in order to promote the safe reopening of our economy.

WDBIA Feature – Pastor Carson from Christ Community Church Welland
Downtown Welland is home to various churches that continue to be staples in the community for so many people, one of these staples is Christ Community Church (CCC).
In 1997, a certain man was ordained in Grimsby, and we know him today as Pastor Carson at Christ Community Church Welland! His work background includes 5 years at Atlas Steels and 7 years at nursing home in Dunnville. Carson’s commitment and passion for what he does has helped lead CCC in helping our community as a whole for the last 15 years.
Pastor Carson describes CCC as a missional church because it is unique among the family of churches to which it belongs. A current example is CCC’s partnership with the Niagara Chapter of Autism Ontario. They have partnered to provide a presence for families dealing with autism right at the church. Unfortunately, these services are temporarily halted due to COVID-19, but Pastor Carson is optimistic and hopeful because during the shutdown preparations have taken place to launch the local project. CCC is a larger facility than one might think at first glance, and it now has a designated sensory room as well as areas for families that will be able to be used when the South Niagara Autism program is up and running at the church. Information about donations for the South Niagara Autism Initiative is available on the Christ Community Church Welland website. http://www.cccwelland.com/
Their work with Autism Niagara came about after their daycare closed in December of 2016. Following a time of discernment, they recognized the need of families coping with a loved one with autism, especially in South Niagara, because travelling can be a real barrier to resources, and South Niagara did not have many options. It was truly a match made in heaven. Pastor Carson and CCC wanted to find a new way to help the community and Autism Niagara wanted to reach the South Niagara Region! From there, there was a trial day camp offered to autistic children for two consecutive years, which went amazingly well, so it evolved into the plan to offer weekly programming year-round once we are closer to eradicating COVID-19.
Additionally, Pastor Carson and his team are always open to helping members of the community in need. The church is home to two chapters of AA and it has been home to Youth Unlimited. He believes in helping people by offering them the opportunity to be helpful. In his experience, offering the opportunity to serve, separates the people who truly want to get better and improve their life from those that don’t. “Helping serve others through a local church, can give you a sense of belonging and purpose” he says. Their annual Settler’s Thanksgiving Supper” is a tangible example. Doing something for others is proven to help your mental health, and it provides you with a sense of pride and dignity which can go a long way towards health and wholeness.
Pastor Carson believes that it is important for the light of hope to be where darkness sometimes overcomes. Missional churches like CCC, “Live in the midst of uncertainty but with conviction about what it is they’re trying to do, even though they may not yet have the means
to do it.” He says “I dislike the vulnerable feeling of being in need, but I absolutely love it when the breakthroughs come and the vision of what could be becomes a reality.”
Feel free to watch Pastor Carson’s encouraging weekly 25 minute Sunday videos uploaded to The Christ Community Church Welland Youtube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJv6NE2I6UlUEAI_giMB7_g
Thank you Pastor Carson and Christ Community Church Welland for all you do for our community!
City of Welland
For Immediate Release
JULY 14, 2021

Welland, ON – Niagara is moving to step three of the Ontario Government’s Framework to Re-open the Province on Friday, July 16, 2021. Step three allows a broader business community to re-open and engage with customers.

Step three of the re-opening strategy also permits indoor gatherings with a maximum of 25 people and outdoor gatherings with a maximum of 100 people. A two-metre distance must be maintained at all gatherings and events.

“Following health and safety guidelines to protect staff and the public is our priority,” said Mayor Frank Campion. In addition, he said “even though some facilities may continue to be closed to the public and services provided may be remotely accessed, we are still open for business and want to ensure that we follow provincial guidelines and move in the right direction”.  

While most services offered through City Hall remain accessible remotely, the City will continue accepting appointments for in-person delivery of services. Those wishing to book an appointment will be able to do so online at www.welland.ca, or by calling 905.735.1700. With limits on the number of individuals allowed in the building, residents are asked to access services remotely if they are able. Water billing and tax payments will continue to be paid online, at your financial institution or through pre-authorized payments. Please visit www.welland.ca

All guests to City facilities must continue to wear a mask and be screened to ensure the safety of both our residents and staff as more spaces start to reopen.
“Safety is our top priority as we continue to serve the public during these unprecedented times. We are excited to reach Step 3 of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopening and look forward to serving our residents and delivering the services they require,” said Chief Administrative Officer Steve Zorbas. “We thank our residents for their patience, understanding and cooperation” he added.  

As part of Step 3 recovery efforts, the following facilities will reopen to the public:
The Welland Community Wellness Complex (WCWC) is expanding their usage starting on July 19th. The WCWC will be open to the public from Monday – Wednesday 9 AM – 7 PM and Thursday to Friday 9 AM – 4:30PM. Saturday and Sunday will remain closed at this time. The following modified city services will become available with Ontario’s step-three phase:
  • Computer Lab are permitted to operate with capacity limits. Each computer table has disinfectant wipes and sanitizer bottles, 5 permitted in room at one time, 2hr bookable timeslots, Mask must be worn, and equipment sanitized when completed.
  • Billiards Room will open with each table having a sanitizer bottle; middle table closed; 4 permitted in room at one time, 2hr bookable timeslots, Mask must be worn at all times.
  • Woodshop will open with 2 permitted in room at one time; bookable timeslots available.
  • The Fitness Room will host a max amount 6 – 1hr bookable timeslots. Mask are to be worn until start of work out.
The WCWC Library and other municipal meeting or event spaces continue to remain closed to host summer day camps or in some instances shall remain closed due to the ability to enforce capacity limits. 

The Welland Library, Main Branch located at 50 the Boardwalk will be increasing their capacity limits to 50 persons, Diamond Trail and Seaway Mall branches will allow for 20 persons effective July 16, 2021. Enhanced cleaning measures will remain in effect at all locations in accordance with public health recommendations. Programs will remain virtual until September.
These measures will continue to be in place until such time as new Provincial regulations are introduced. In addition, in early September, a review of these measures will be undertaken in order to continue to provide and improve our delivery of services while maintaining resident and staff safety.
For more information on the Ontario government’s stage-three phase, visit ontario.ca.

For more information on Welland Recovery Moving Beyond COVID-19, visit welland.ca.
Steve Zorbas, CAO
905-735-1700, ext. 2122

Ontario to provide free health and safety training to businesses

The Ontario government is investing $10.5 million to provide up to 60,000 small businesses across the province with free health and safety training over the next three years. The new Small Business Health and Safety Training Program will train health and safety representatives of small businesses on how to keep workers safe in the retail, construction, health care, accommodation and food services, and other sectors.

Businesses will also be reimbursed for the time the representatives are away from work.

To register for the free training, eligible small businesses must access the course through Workplace Safety and Prevention Services’ website.

Click here for more information.

Best regards,

Alexis Higginbotham
Executive Director
60 East Main Street
Welland, ON
L3B 3X4
Copyright © 2018, Welland Downtown Business Improvement Area, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
195 East Main Street Unit 4C
Welland, Ontario

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

This email was sent to *|EMAIL|*
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences