News, updates, and so much more…


Government of Canada confirms pre-entry test requirement removal for fully vaccinated travellers

Today, the Government of Canada announced that effective April 1, 2022 at 12:01 AM EDT, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to provide a pre-entry COVID-19 test result to enter Canada by air, land or water. Fully vaccinated travellers seeking to arrive in Canada before April 1, 2022, must still have a valid pre-entry test.

As a reminder, travellers arriving to Canada from any country, who qualify as fully vaccinated, may need to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival if selected for mandatory random testing. Travellers selected for mandatory random testing are not required to quarantine while awaiting their test result.

Click here to read more.

Federal minimum wage to rise to $15.55 per hour on April 1

On April 1, 2022, the federal minimum wage will increase from $15.00 to $15.55 per hour. For those working in provinces or territories where the general minimum wage rate is higher, the higher rate will continue to apply.

The federal minimum wage, which came into force on December 29, 2021, is adjusted automatically on April 1 of every year, based on the average annual increase of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), as reported by Statistics Canada. This is to ensure that the federal minimum wage keeps pace with inflation. This year’s rate increase reflects the 3.4% annual average rise of the CPI for Canada in the previous calendar year, rounded up to the nearest $0.05.

This increase only applies to federally-regulated industriesClick here for a list.

Click here to read more.

Ontario providing more support for Niagara Health

The Ontario government is providing $5,006,981.00 to Niagara Health as part of its $572.3 million investment to reimburse hospitals across the province for their lost revenue during the pandemic in order to provide financial stability and support continued high-quality patient care people need and deserve.

“As a local MPP, access to high-quality health care has been one of my top priorities,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.

“Niagara Health has been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic, and our government is committed to supporting hospitals through this challenging time. This investment is a key part of our government’s plan to end hallway healthcare, cut hospital wait times and build a better, more connected health care system that puts patients and their families first.”

Click here to read more.

All doses available aboard GO-VAXX bus at Niagara College campuses March 17 and 30

The GO-VAXX mobile vaccine clinic will be at Niagara College campuses this March to administer COVID-19 vaccines to students, employees and the general public.

The fully accessible buses will be providing first, second, third, and booster doses for adults and youth ages 12 and up, as well as the pediatric Pfizer COVID‑19 vaccine for children aged five to 11.

The converted Metrolinx bus will be at Niagara College on the following dates:

  • March 17 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake in parking lot
  • March 30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Welland Campus in parking lot

Book an appointment via the COVID-19 vaccination portal or provincial hotline at 1-833-943-3900. Walk-ins are also accepted. Maps of campus lots can be found on the NC website. Parking is free for those visiting the GO-VAXX bus.

To learn more about the GO-VAXX bus, visit ontario.ca/page/go-vaxx-bus-schedule.


Niagara Health now permits two visitors for in-patients

Starting Monday, March 14, Niagara Health is relaxing visitor guidelines to welcome two visitors at the bedside for inpatient units, including Labour and Delivery and NICU. At this time, there is no change for outpatient, Emergency Department (ED) and Urgent Care Centres (UCC) where patients can continue to bring one person to support them.

Niagara Health asks patients and their loved ones to review the visitor guidelines before coming to the hospital.

Click here to read more.

Ontario Staycation Tax Credit offers 20 per cent back on accommodation

The Ontario government is encouraging the people of Ontario to rediscover the province and support Ontario’s important tourism industry this March Break and all year round with the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit. With this Personal Income Tax credit, residents will get back up to 20 per cent on their eligible accommodation expenses for leisure stays in the province this year.

The temporary Personal Income Tax credit will allow Ontario residents to claim eligible accommodation expenses, up to a maximum of $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for families. The credit will provide up to a maximum of $200 for an individual and $400 for a family.

Click here to read more.

Venture Niagara is partnering with the St. Catharines and Niagara Falls Enterprise Centres by hosting a virtual event on March 31, 2022.

Table Talk: Bringing Together Niagara Food Entrepreneurs is a virtual event that is themed on providing information and inspiration for early stage food entrepreneurs and food producers in the Niagara Region. 

If you are a seasoned food entrepreneur or considering starting a new food venture and looking for tips to get your food business started, keynote speaker Dana McCauley from the Canadian Food Innovation Network will offer valuable insight on key trends and best practices to help your business take off. Discover available supports and resources, as well as regulatory requirements for food-based businesses during the speakers series and stick around to hear from a panel of local Niagara business owners about their journey in the local food industry. With increased innovation and creativity happening in the local food scene, there is opportunity for success.

Join them on Thursday, March 31st for an insightful morning of speakers and panel discussions about how to start and grow a successful food venture in Niagara. RSVP Today https://bit.ly/tabletalkniagara

Chair Bradley and Niagara mayors end COVID-19 State of Emergency

Effective Tuesday, March 15 at 12:01 a.m., Niagara’s municipalities are officially ending the municipal States of Emergency that have been in place since April 3, 2020 as they are no longer necessary.

Despite this significant progress, a joint statement said, it is important to remember that the pandemic is not completely over. Residents are encouraged to consider taking steps to protect themselves and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Some of these steps include getting a third vaccine dose, practicing physical distancing when possible, and participating in outdoor activities, as opposed to indoor, when that is an option.

Click here to read more.

Best regards,

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