Second round of applications for Low Carbon Economy Fund open
On January 27, 2022, the Government of Canada opened the second round of applications for $200 million in funding for climate action initiatives through the Government of Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Fund Champions stream.
The Champions stream is open to a wide range of applicants, including:
provincial governments, bodies, and boards
territorial governments, bodies, and boards
regional, local, and municipal governments
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit governments, communities, and organizations
public sector bodies and boards
private sector for-profit small, medium, and large businesses
Applicants can request between $1 million and $25 million in funding for eligible project expenditures, with cost-share ranging from 25 percent to 75 percent of total project costs depending on the recipient type.
Nominations open for 2022 Regional Chair’s Niagara Impact Awards
The Niagara Impact Awards showcase those who offer a helping hand in order to make living in Niagara better for others. Last year, winners represented a diverse group of residents who contributed in various ways to help their neighbours, local businesses, and the larger community. Award recipients made a meaningful impact on Niagara’s social economic wellbeing as well as the overall health of the region.
Bank of Canada maintains policy rate, removes exceptional forward guidance
The Bank of Canada today held its target for the overnight rate at the effective lower bound of ¼ %, with the Bank Rate at ½ % and the deposit rate at ¼ %. With overall economic slack now absorbed, the Bank has removed its exceptional forward guidance on its policy interest rate. The Bank is continuing its reinvestment phase, keeping its overall holdings of Government of Canada bonds roughly constant.
The global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is strong but uneven. The US economy is growing robustly while growth in some other regions appears more moderate, especially in China due to current weakness in its property sector. Strong global demand for goods combined with supply bottlenecks that hinder production and transportation are pushing up inflation in most regions. As well, oil prices have rebounded to well above pre-pandemic levels following a decline at the onset of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Niagara Region will receive provincial funds for storm and wastewater infrastructure
The Ontario government is investing $15 million over two years to help 18 municipalities, including Niagara Region, improve aging and outdated storm and wastewater infrastructure.
Eligible municipalities will be able to use the funds for minor sewage treatment plant improvements such as optimization, local sewer system upgrades, cleaning out sediment and debris from stormwater management ponds, and putting green stormwater infrastructure in place.
The government will also provide funds to help improve monitoring and public reporting capacity of sewage overflows and bypasses.
The Ontario government has launched Skilled Trades Ontario, a new Crown agency, to improve trades training and simplify services. The new agency will aim to promote and market the trades, develop the latest training and curriculum standards, and provide a streamlined user-friendly experience for tradespeople.
The skilled labour shortage in Ontario is estimated to reach 350,000 by 2025, by which time 20% Ontario jobs will be in one of the 144 recognized trades. In 2016, nearly one in three journeypersons in Ontario were aged 55 years or older, and the current average age of an apprentice is 29. Under the Ontario College of Trades, apprentice registrations fell by over 17,000, or 40%.
The new agency aims to streamline and simplify the process by which people can enter the trades.
The new online services will provide an online one-stop-shop for scheduling classes and exams, submitting forms, paying fees and more. Processing and registration times for applicants should be reduced from 60 days to 12.
An independent Board of Directors will lead the agency in delivering on the government’s Skilled Trades Strategy to break the stigma surrounding the trades, simplify the system, and encourage employers to hire more apprentices. The incoming Board of Directors includes representatives from law, trade unions, post-secondary education, contractors, and others.
City preparing to reopen recreation and programming facilities as restrictions lift Jan. 31
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2022
Welland, ON – As the current provincial order, which has seen the province return to a modified stage 2 set of restrictions, is set to expire, the City of Welland’s recreation and programming services are preparing to reopen.
On Jan. 31, recreation facilities will reopen with a 50 per cent occupancy level as per Provincial directives. Any indoor social gathering rental in city of Welland facilities will have a further indoor gathering limit of 10 people.
All indoor environments require proof of vaccination. As per the provincial mandate, Welland facilities only accept QR code proof (printed copy or digital).
“City staff have been preparing to reopen since the day we had to shut down,” said Rob Axiak, director of community services. “We are ready to welcome residents back to our facilities and provide the same great services and programs we were before the shutdown.”
The Welland Community Wellness Complex (WCWC) welcomes back drop-in programs and swimming lessons the week of Jan. 31 and paid programs and classes the week of Feb. 13:
Drop-in programs – register online or call the WCWC
Swimming lessons – ensure you know the modified dates and times for classes.
Paid programs and classes – register online or call the WCWC
Ice at the Main and Jack Ballantyne Memorial Arenas reopen on Jan. 31 with an on-ice capacity of 80 people. Spectators are limited to 500 in the main arena and 112 in the youth arena. Face coverings and physical distancing requirements remain in effect. Public skating returns beginning Feb. 5.
The Welland International Flatwater Centre also reopens on Jan. 31
The province has outlined future dates of Feb. 21 and Mar. 14 as potential markers to lift restrictions further. As restrictions lift, the City will amend its offerings.