News, updates, and so much more…


Welland Canal mayors issue joint statement on Seaway strike

The Mayors of the Welland Canal issued a joint call today pushing for both sides of the St. Lawrence Seaway labour disruption to get back to the bargaining table, and reiterated the vital need for the Seaway to maintain operations. With the visible imagery of ships lining up in front of the canal at both ends, the ramifications of the shutdown are clear to the Mayors of Port Colborne, Welland, Thorold and St. Catharines.

The Seaway is one of the most vital conduits for trade throughout North America, supporting over $12 billion in economic activity annually. The potential impacts of a strike on the economy, jobs, and the supply chain highlight the importance of marine shipping on the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway, and the need to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible.

Click here to read more.


Ontario reverses official plan for Niagara, undoes changes to urban boundaries

In a statement issued today, Paul Calandra, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, said that in keeping with his priority to review past decisions, he would introduce legislation that would reverse the official plan decisions for Barrie, Belleville, Guelph, Hamilton, Ottawa and the City of Peterborough, the Regional Municipalities of Halton, Niagara, Peel, Waterloo and York, as well as Wellington County.

This legislation would wind back provincial changes to official plans and official plan amendments, except in circumstances where construction has begun or where doing so would contravene existing provincial legislation and regulation. This includes winding back changes to urban boundaries.

Click here to read more.

Navigating retirement can be complex and stressful for seniors and others planning their retirement. That’s why we’re promoting two new tools that Canadians can use to help them plan for a secure and dignified retirement.

These tools help Canadians make informed decisions when it comes to retirement planning, so they can retire with confidence and peace of mind.

1. Retirement Hub

Service Canada has launched the Retirement Hub – a new user-friendly online tool which will provide a simple and improved experience for Canadians planning their retirement. The Retirement Hub helps Canadians understand the process of planning, applying for and receiving the retirement income security benefits like the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement.

A key feature of this online tool is the Retirement Ready Quiz. By answering a series of questions, the quiz gives users access to a personalized checklist to help them prepare for retirement.

We have included a short FAQ below on what the Retirement Hub is and how to use its features.

2. New version of the Old Age Security Benefit Estimator

Service Canada has also launched a new version of the Old Age Security Benefits Estimator on Canada.ca.

In a few easy steps, users can find out if they are eligible and get an estimate of how much they may be entitled to, based on their personal circumstances, for:

This version provides access to new features such as spousal estimates, the partial Old Age Security pension and the additional Guaranteed Income Supplement.

Attached is an infographic to help users get their estimate.

Have your say about the estimator

Help us make government digital services simpler and easier to use. Share your experience using the “feedback” link at the top of the page of the Old Age Security Benefits Estimator.

Other concrete actions

These two updates are just some of the concrete actions that the Government of Canada is taking to support seniors and improve service delivery. They build on the existing ways that the Government has supported seniors financially over the past eight years, including:

  • providing over 9 million Canadians, including seniors, with the dental care that they need through the new Canada Dental Care Plan;
  • putting hundreds of dollars back in the pockets of seniors who need it most through the July 5th grocery rebate;
  • restoring the age of eligibility for the Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement from 67 to 65;
  • increasing the OAS pension by 10% for seniors 75 and over; and
  • increasing the GIS by up to $947 per year for the lowest-income single seniors, benefiting close to 900,000 vulnerable seniors across Canada.

Recently, Minister O’Regan was at the Crapaud Community Curling Club in Malpeque, Prince Edward Island to speak with New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) recipients. He highlighted the $105,197 for six community-based projects that support seniors in the area. He also announced a larger investment of over $490,000 for twenty-five community-based projects across Prince Edward Island.

The NHSP supports projects that help seniors stay active and engaged in their community. Every year, organizations can apply for up to $25,000 in grant funding. Since its inception in 2004, NHSP has funded more than 36,500 projects in hundreds of communities across Canada, with the Government of Canada having invested a total of more than $780 million.

Yours sincerely,

Employment and Social Development Canada and Service Canada

For regular updates, please follow:

Twitter: @ESDC_GC Facebook: Seniors in Canada Twitter: @ServiceCanada_E Facebook: Service Canada En


1) How do the OAS Benefits Estimator and the Retirement Hub differ?

The Old Age Security Benefits Estimator is an interactive online estimation tool that can help individuals determine their eligibility and entitlement for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance and Allowance for the Survivor. The Retirement Hub provides assistance through a personalized checklist of tasks to help users plan for their retirement.

2) What is the Retirement Hub?

The Retirement Hub is an educational online tool that will improve how seniors, near seniors, and those who support them navigate their retirement years.

There are three main purposes for the Retirement Hub. First, to help prepare Canadians for retirement. Next, help near seniors understand the sources of income that they may have access to in their retirement, such as the benefits they could receive through federal retirement income programs like Old Age Security (OAS), the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), and Canada Pension Plan (CPP). Finally, the Retirement Hub provides case studies and retirement stories that may help with decision making based on various scenarios.

3) What is the Retirement Ready Quiz?

By answering a series of 8 simple questions, users will be given a curated list of tasks to help them prepare for their retirement.

This quiz brings together information from several sources into one easy-to-use online tool. Should the user need to learn more, links to further reading will be provided.

4) Can I complete the Retirement Ready Quiz on behalf of another person?

Yes, a user can answer the quiz questions on behalf of another person. To electronically share the tailored quiz, a user simply shares the link to the completed quiz with whomever they wish.

5) Does the Retirement Hub cover all potential seniors’ benefits?

The Retirement Hub focuses on federal programs such as OAS, CPP, and GIS benefits, and provides tools that help users plan for their specific retirement situation and employment history.

6) Will completing the retirement ready quiz submit an application for pensions or benefits?

No, the quiz is solely for educational purposes to help Canadians plan for their retirement. No information from the quiz is submitted to or received by ESDC/Service Canada.

7) Do users have to answer all the questions in the retirement ready quiz?

No, the quiz will generate the checklist based on the questions answered.

8) Will the Retirement Hub give users investment advice?

No. Information provided on the Retirement Hub is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional investment, financial, accounting, legal, or tax advice.

9) Where does someone go if they have questions on how to use the Retirement Hub or need more information?

The traditional contact channels are still open. We encourage anyone with questions to call 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232) Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (your local time).

Access the Retirement Hub by visiting https://retraite-retirement.service.canada.ca/en/home .

Niagara Region to open new temporary, housing focused shelter in St. Catharines

Niagara Region announced today that it is establishing a temporary, housing focused, 50-bed modular shelter at 29 Riordon St.

Operational in early 2024, the site will remain open for approximately two years while a permanent, year-round shelter is established, in a location yet to be determined. Modular housing units will provide a unique and rapid solution that allows the Region to advance recommendations made in a recent shelter capacity review. 

Click here to read more.

Welland Mayor Frank Campion says he will invoke strong mayor powers

Mayor Frank Campion will be accepting his strong mayor powers when they come into effect at the end of the month.

In front of a boisterous crowd that packed city council chambers Tuesday, Ward 6 Coun. Bonnie Fokkens asked Campion to not invoke the powers and moved that they be delegated back to council.

Prior to Tuesday’s council meeting, on at least three occasions Campion had told fellow elected officials he was undecided whether he would use the powers.

Click here to read more.


The following fixtures will remain dark on Bridge 13 until the replacements are installed: 

– Wheel house – upper lighting fixtures on the east side

– West tower – all lighting

– East tower – south pully fixture


Premiers ask Ottawa for COVID-19 small business loan extension

Canada’s premiers have sent a joint letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking the federal government to extend the repayment period for a year for interest-free loans given to small businesses and non-profits during the pandemic.

The federal government’s Canada Emergency Business Account offered interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

B.C. Premier David Eby says in a letter to the prime minister that small businesses, like most other Canadians, are feeling squeezed by the rising cost of housing, groceries and other daily essentials, and just when they are starting to recover after the pandemic they are facing higher inflation and interest rates.

Click here to read more.


Government of Ontario introduces new consumer protection laws

The Ontario government has introduced new legislation that, if passed, would strengthen protections for Ontarians from unfair business practices such as price gouging, and aims to make it easier for businesses to comply with consumer protection rules.

Consumer protection laws have not been comprehensively reviewed and updated since the Consumer Protection Act, 2002, came into force in 2005.

Changes in the legislation include:

  • Prohibiting unfair business practices such as taking advantage of a consumer’s inability to understand language in a contract.
  • Limiting when businesses can make one-sided contract amendments, renewals, and extensions without express consumer consent.
  • Prohibiting businesses from creating unnecessary barriers when consumers are trying to cancel a subscription or membership-based contract.
  • Providing fairer exit options to consumers and their families who find themselves locked indefinitely into a timeshare contract as well as homeowners tied to long-term leases for home comfort appliances like HVAC systems.
  • Providing stronger enforcement powers to better enable the ministry to hold bad actors accountable including doubling maximum fines to further deter offences and egregious business behaviour.

Click here to read more.






Media Release

Tree Canada and LCBO plant $10,000 grant in Welland to help replace trees lost to disease


October 24, 2023

Welland, ON – An area along Kingsway that saw the removal of approximately 250 trees due to Emerald Ash Borer will begin a rejuvenation of its tree canopy thanks to a $10,000 grant from Tree Canada and the LCBO’s Spirit of Sustainability initiative.

The grant allows the City of Welland to plant 20 native tree species along the canal, primarily in the location of Kingsway and Glenwood Parkway. This project area is used for many summer recreational events, including international rowing competitions.

“Increasing canopy in Welland is important to the Community Services – Parks and Forestry Division,” said Dave Steven, manager of parks, forestry, cemeteries, operations, and development. “By improving our park green spaces through canopy replacement, it provides residents with an area that is more inviting and cooler for recreation and relaxation, plus they provide habitat and food for animals.”

City staff plant 300 to 350 trees annually to beautify residential and park spaces as part of the City’s canopy replacement strategy.

“Each year, Tree Canada’s Community Tree Grants help support schools, community groups, Indigenous communities and municipalities across Canada to increase their green infrastructure through the planting of trees and shrubs,” says Nicole Hurtubise, CEO, Tree Canada. “Thanks to the contribution of partners like LCBO’s Spirit of Sustainability initiative, we are able to take meaningful steps to increase Canada’s tree canopy and help grow better places to live in communities like the City of Welland.”

The City is looking for five to 10 volunteers to join Tree Canada and the City as they plant and mulch the new trees. The City will supply all volunteers with shovels, gloves, and other necessary equipment. Planting occurs on Friday, October 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact cnexfnaqsberfgel@jryynaq.pn.

Tree Canada is the only national non-profit organization dedicated to planting and nurturing trees in rural and urban environments in every province across the country.

Tree Canada helps to grow Canada’s tree canopy through their programs, research, and engagement efforts and by offering grants to communities and schools. Learn more about Tree Canada by visiting their website www.treecanada.ca.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Marc MacDonald

Corporate Communications Manager

905-735-1700 x2337



7 tips for setting goals for your business plan

It’s never a bad time to sit down with your team to set goals. A strategic plan with ambitious targets will help you grow, confront challenges and make adjustments to changing conditions.

“By setting goals, you mobilize your team and generate action,” says BDC Business Consultant Jean Joncas. “This is how you achieve your vision for the business.”

He offered some tips on how to plan and set goals for the year ahead.

Click here to read more.

Ontario Energy Board announces changes to electricity prices for small business

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) announced that electricity prices under the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) for households, small business and farms will increase as of November 1. The winter Time-of-Use (TOU) hours and the change in the threshold for residential customers on Tiered pricing will take effect November 1 as usual.

Also effective November 1, the Ontario government’s Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER) will increase to 19.3 per cent. The OER provides a rebate on the electricity bill of residential, small business and farm customers. For a typical residential customer who uses 700 kWh of electricity per month, the OER will decrease bills by about $26 each month.

Click here to read more.

Save The Date 

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