News, updates, and so much more…


Ontario to begin reopening on June 11

The Ontario government has announced that it will move the province into Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021.

In order to safely enter Step One of the Roadmap to Reopen, Ontario needed to have vaccinated 60 per cent of adults with at least one dose for two weeks or longer, ensuring the first dose offers a strong level of protection against COVID-19. As of June 6, 2021 at 8:00 p.m., 72 per cent of the 18+ population in Ontario had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine with over 10 million doses now having been administered.

Click here for a business guide to Step One of the Roadmap to Reopen.

Please check out this media release sent out with regards to Friday’s Step One Reopening. 

Job Gym is excited to offer the Hospitality and Tourism Career Catalyst program.  The goal of this program is to attract, retain and support job seekers to this sector, allowing them to attain certifications and skills needed to advance their careers in Hospitality and Tourism.


·       There is no cost for this training – it’s free to participants

·       It is a 3 week virtual training program (facilitated on Zoom platform), making it accessible to candidates anywhere in Niagara

·       Get certified in Smart Serve / Food Safety / Service Excellence

·       Learn effective communication, team building and customer service skills

·       Obtain certification in up to date cleaning procedures and OHSA standards

·       Learn strategies to effectively manage finances, mental health and prepare to join the workforce post Covid

·       Job search support and employer introductions (if not already connected to an employer)

·       Employers can upskill existing employees – this can be applied to employees currently on lay off who you would like to keep engaged while supporting their continued learning/development; or employees that are working but on reduced hours due to the pandemic

If you’d like to learn more about the program, we are hosting an information session on Tuesday June 8th at 10:30am via Zoom


·       Job searching individuals who are interested in developing skills and obtaining in-demand certifications relevant in the hospitality and tourism industry

·       Hospitality sector employers who are interested in upskilling existing staff who are currently on lay off; or new hires that have not yet started

·       Service providers and community partners who may have clients that would benefit from additional training and employment supports


·       June 14 to July 2, 2021

·       August 16 to September 3, 2021

·       January 31 to February 18, 2022



Additionally, we are hosting a number of recruitment events this month.  Could we also plug those?

Job Gym is proud to support local employers with hiring!  Check out this month’s line up of Recruitment Information Sessions!

Taco Bell – Recruitment Information Session – https://www.jobgym.com/job-fairs/kfc-taco-bell-recruitment-information-session/

CannTrust Recruitement Information Session – https://www.jobgym.com/job-fairs/canntrust-recruitment-information-session/

Sitel Recruitement Information Session – https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/sitel-information-session-tickets-158133307981


Ontario Announces the Extension of the COVID-19 Period to September 25, 2021
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government made a regulation that changed certain Employment Standards Act (ESA) rules during the “COVID-19 period.” This regulation has been amended to extend the COVID-19 period to September 25, 2021.

Extension of the COVID-19 Period

During the COVID-19 period (March 1, 2020 to September 25, 2021):
  • A non-unionized employee is deemed to be on a job-protected infectious disease emergency leave under the ESA any time their hours of work are temporarily reduced or temporarily eliminated by their employer for reasons related to COVID-19.  
  • A non-unionized employee is not considered to be laid off under the ESA if their employer temporarily reduces or temporarily eliminates their hours of work or wages for reasons related to COVID-19. 
  • A non-unionized employee is not considered to be constructively dismissed under the ESA if their employer temporarily reduces or temporarily eliminates their hours of work or wages for reasons related to COVID-19.
Beginning on September 26, 2021:
  • Non-unionized employees will no longer be deemed to be on infectious disease emergency leave.
  • The ESA’s regular rules around constructive dismissal will resume. This means a significant reduction or elimination of an employee’s hours of work or wages may be considered a constructive dismissal, even if it was done for reasons related to COVID-19. 
  • The ESA’s regular rules around temporary layoff resume. For practical purposes, a non-unionized employee’s temporary layoff clock resets on September 26, 2021.  
Learn more about these COVID-19: Temporary changes to ESA rules or read the regulation (O. Reg. 228/20). 
If you need help understanding your employment standards rights and responsibilities, you can:
  1. Visit Your guide to the Employment Standards Act at Ontario.ca/ESAguide.
  2. Call the Employment Standards Information Centre at 1-800-531-5551 or TTY (for hearing impaired) at 1-866-567-8893. Information is available in many languages.
  3. Get advice from a lawyer.
To learn more about COVID-19, employers’ responsibilities and job protections available to employees, visit Ontario.ca/COVID.
Bringing recycling to more communities and expanding list of Blue Bin Items

The enhanced Blue Box program will make recycling easier for Ontarians by:
  • Expanding collection to all communities outside the Far North by 2026;
  • Standardizing what can be recycled across Ontario;
  • Accepting common single-use and packaging-like products such as paper and plastic cups, foils, trays, bags and boxes sold for home use;
  • Collecting single-use items that are distributed or sold to consume food and beverage products, like stir sticks, straws, cutlery and plates;
  • Expanding services to more facilities such as apartment buildings, municipally run or non-profit long-term care homes and retirement homes, and schools.
The province is also expanding collection to more parks, playgrounds, and transit stations, more than tripling the number of public space recycling bins funded under the current program so there are more opportunities to recycle at home and on the go.
The changes to the program will also transition the costs of the Blue Box program away from municipal taxpayers by making the producers of products and packaging fully responsible for managing the life-cycle of their products, resulting in an estimated savings of $156 million annually for municipalities.

Deputy Prime Minister clarifies new Canada Recovery Hiring Program and extension of business support measures

Once the Budget Implementation Act, Bill C-30, receives Royal Assent, it will be retroactive to June 6. In effect, it will apply as of this Sunday and will cover up to 50 per cent of the increase in payroll paid by eligible employers, through November 20 of this year.

The Canada Recovery Hiring Program has been carefully targeted to help employers whose revenue continues to suffer because of the pandemic. It can offset up to half the new labour costs incurred by eligible employers. A for-profit company would only be eligible for the Hiring Program if it is a Canadian-controlled private company. Other eligible employers are individuals, non-profit organizations, and registered charities. The government estimates that this program will cost $595 million dollars in 2021-22.

The types of remuneration eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would also be eligible for the Hiring Program. These generally include salaries, wages and other remuneration on which employers are required to withhold income tax. However, it does not include severance pay or employee stock option benefits. In addition, the remuneration for these employees must be paid during the qualifying period.

City of Welland
For Immediate Release
JUNE 8, 2021
Welland, ON – The Welland Fire and Emergency Services has had numerous dealings with the property located at 260 King Street, City of Welland. Once a well-known tavern, the main floor area has been vacated and the second floor area and rear suite are now being used as a rooming house.

Recent fire safety inspections have identified numerous Fire Code infractions which have been directed to the property owner(s) by way of inspection order.
A recent arson also has occurred at the property.

On June 3, 2021, while conducting a re-inspection at the property, the Fire Prevention Division discovered that the fire alarm system that existed in the building was inoperable and without power. Open and exposed electrical wiring was also discovered in the main floor area, in addition to the entire ceiling of the main floor area being removed. No fire detection devices were identified within the building except within the rear suite.

Due to the circumstances discovered during the re-inspection, the Fire Prevention Division took immediate action to address this egregious safety concern. Due to the risk of ignition and fire, and the potential injury or death of building occupants, the Fire Prevention Division executed an “immediate threat to life” notice on the building, pursuant to section 15 of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act (FPPA) and took immediate action by removing all building occupants from the building and disconnecting the hydro service to the building.

This extraordinary action was conducted to ensure the safety of the building occupants. The occupants have been provided temporary accommodations and the Fire Department is working with the property owner to rectify these safety issues prior to the tenants re-occupying the building. Fire Code violations in occupied residential buildings pose serious safety risks to occupants, and the Fire Prevention Division will continue to enforce the Fire Code and the FPPA in the City.

Order Rapid Test Kits Today

What you need to know.

  1. Any business that is in any of the South Niagara Chambers of Commerce areas that employs 150 people or less can access this program.

  2. Fill out the following form to order your tests.

  3. Once your order is received and packaged, you will be notified by your local Chamber of Commerce.  Please do not visit our offices until your time for pickup has been scheduled and you have received your confirmation email.

  4. Each company should assign a Screening Supervisor Designate, who will be the contact person.

  5. If you have multiple businesses, please fill out one form per business.

What you need to know before you arrive.

  1. All visitors must complete and PASS a COVID-19 assessment before entering the premises.

  2. Check-in at registration and provide the completed PASP (Provincial Antigen Screening Program) form. Click here to download the agreement form. Please bring a printed copy of the completed form when you pick up your kits.

  3. You will be required to watch a 5-minute training video during your initial pick-up.

  4. Capacity limited to 1 visitor at any one time.

  5. Masks and physical distancing are mandatory while in the building.

Book a time to pick up your tests

We will be taking appointments for test pick-ups once a week at our Fort Erie, Niagara Falls, and Welland offices. We will also have a weekly appointment day at Stolk Construction in Port Colborne. A representative from our office will be in touch to arrange a pickup time at your designated location.

 Prior to your arrival, you must watch this video

Here is an additional training video specific to your kit.

To book your appointment please fill out the online form.

We will respond with a confirmation email and more information. Thank you.

Upon your arrival

  • Sign the PASP Agreement

  • Wear a mask when entering the building

  • Maintain social distancing

Test Kit Order Form

Ontario Further Accelerates Second Doses in Delta Hot Spots

As Ontario prepares to move to Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021, the province is further expanding eligibility for accelerated second doses in Delta hot spots to ensure a strong level of protection against COVID-19 and variants.

Beginning 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 14, 2021 individuals who live in Delta hot spots in Halton, Peel, Porcupine, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph and York public health units and also received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine on or before May 9, 2021 will be eligible to book their accelerated second dose appointment through the provincial booking system (for Peel and Toronto public health units), directly through public health units that use their own booking system and through participating pharmacies.

Ontario creates Venture Ontario Fund for high-potential technology companies

Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, announced today that the Ontario government is providing $100 million in venture capital funding to assist high-potential technology companies innovate and grow, boosting the province’s long-term competitiveness, helping to create jobs and driving economic growth.

The Venture Ontario Fund will be overseen by the Ontario Capital Growth Corporation (OCGC), the province’s venture capital agency. The fund will invest in venture capital funds focussing on in-demand, high-growth sectors where Ontario has a competitive advantage including life sciences, medical devices, clean technology, information technology and artificial intelligence.

Covid-19 Guidelines moving into Step One on June 11th in Ontario

Sector-Specific Guidelines



COVID-19 Guidance for Community – Under FAQ “What does Ontario’s reopening plan mean for dining in Niagara?”



You can also find content on social media to share if you are interested.

Twitter – @NRPublicHealth

Instagram – @nrpublichealth

Niagara Region Facebook – Niagara Region – Home | Facebook


Niagara Health gradually lifting COVID-19 emergency measures

Niagara Health inpatient COVID-19 activity is at its lowest since April 8. ICU capacity is stabilizing, which enables the surgical program to ramp up services postponed during the third wave. The system will be at approximately 70% capacity with surgical procedures by the end of next week. Based on provincial direction, Niagara Health is planning to reintroduce inpatient non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries and procedures.

“The demands and stresses on our staff, physicians and the community have been significant, especially during the third wave,” says Dr. Johan Viljoen, Chief of Staff at Niagara Health. “We’d like to acknowledge the hard work and compassion of our staff and physicians during this uniquely challenging time as well as the support and commitment from the community by following public health measures and getting vaccinated.”

Note: Niagara Health and Niagara Public Health are separate organizations. This announcement does not affect public health restrictions related to COVID-19.

Federal Assistance for Business
The Federal Government offers a variety of relief programs and grants for small businesses, employees and self-employed individuals, from assistance for Indigenous business owners to low-interest loans for highly affected sectors. Find Assistance and check back regularly for new or updated supports.
Provincial Assistance

Find out what funding is currently available from the Government of Ontario, if you’re eligible, and what you need to apply.
Governmental Financial Support and Resources

Feds to lift 14-day quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated Canadian travellers

The federal government has announced that fully vaccinated Canadian travellers will no longer need to spend 14 days in quarantine upon arriving home, the Canadian Press and 680 News have reported.

It will apply to Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have had a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu made the announcement during a news conference, saying affected travellers will still have to take a COVID-19 test on arrival — and stay in isolation until the test comes back negative.

Ontario Chamber Network ramps up deliveries of rapid test kits to small businesses provincewide

Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Government announced that the Ontario Chamber Network has supported the delivery of 2.4 million free rapid test kits in over 105 communities across the province through the COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative in partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Ontario and Canadian governments.

Through this initiative, local chambers of commerce and boards of trade are rolling out free rapid tests for small- and medium-sized businesses. The program is helping small businesses keep their employees and families safe by curbing the spread of COVID-19 at work so that we can get on the path to economic recovery faster.

Click here to see which chambers and boards of trade are participating in the program to date. Visit gncc.ca/workplace-self-screening-kits to reserve kits for your organization through the GNCC.

City of Welland
For Immediate Release
JUNE 8, 2021
Welland, ON – With multiple days of extreme heat anticipated to set new June records across Ontario, the daily operational hours for all Welland Splash Pads will be extended to 8AM – 8PM starting tomorrow, June 10. Timers have already been set to ensure all pads will be operational for the early morning visitors.

All splash pads are activated through push-button feature. Caregivers are reminded to supervise children closely as these water play areas are not supervised by City staff.

Please be mindful of your surrounding while visiting a park, a trail or public square and practice physical distancing. Please ensure keep two metres (six feet) away from people who are not from the same household.

Residents should not use a splash pad if feeling ill. When using a splash pad, residents should practise good hand hygiene and return at another time if the splash pad is crowded.

Visit https://www.welland.ca/RecCulture/publicswimming.asp for more information such as park locations and for immediate alerts, follow the City’s on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Peter R Boyce, NPD 82
Manager Parks, Facilities and Canal Lands
Community Services Department
905 735-1700 Ext. 3051
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

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