News, updates, and so much more…


Government of Canada launches online calculator to help businesses apply for the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program

The Government of Canada remains committed to supporting Canadian businesses in the face of the ongoing pandemic. With the recently announced Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP), hard-hit businesses will be able to hire the workers they need to recover and grow as local economies reopen. The CRHP supports payroll as businesses grow, whether as a result of hiring staff, increasing shifts, or increasing overall pay.

Today, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, launched an online calculator to help eligible employers prepare their CRHP applications. This calculator integrates the new CRHP with the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), automatically showing applicants which subsidy will provide them with more support, based on the information they enter.

Federal minimum wage of $15 per hour to come into effect on December 29, 2021

In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada proposed to establish a federal minimum wage of $15 per hour, rising with inflation. Today, the Government is announcing that this important change will come into effect on December 29, 2021, following Royal Assent to Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1. The changes will affect workers in the federally regulated private sector and represent an important step towards reducing poverty and inequality.

Note: Federal minimum wage laws apply only to federally-regulated industries such as banking, airlines, and telecommunications. Other industries are bound by provincial minimum wage laws. If your business is not federally regulated, this legislation does not affect you.

Niagara Regional Council adopts Niagara’s first Community Safety and Well-Being Plan

Approved by Regional Council at its June 24 meeting, Niagara’s first ever Community Safety and Well-Being (CSWB) Plan aims to strengthen how Niagara’s governments, police service and agencies work together on important safety and well-being issues in our community, and provides a framework to address emerging issues through ongoing engagement and collaboration.

The Plan identifies opportunities for action, alignment and monitoring in four areas of focus: mental health and addictions, housing and homelessness, poverty and income and systemic discrimination.

Watch the second half of our Community Awareness Webinar Series, where Claire Laurie from Street Works within Positive Living Niagara talks about how to respond to difficult behaviour.

Government expands Canada Workers Benefit to support one million more Canadians

Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, announced that the Canada Workers Benefit will now be available to about one million more Canadians.

With the passage of changes contained in the budget, a million more low-income workers are now eligible for a tax refund of up to almost:

  • $1,400 for workers who are single and without children (a group that does not receive many benefits); and
  • $2,400 for workers with families.

A total of 3.2 million Canadians will now be eligible for this support.

Ontario appoints task force on women and the economy

The Ontario government is creating a Task Force on Women and the Economy. The new task force has been convened to fulfill a commitment in the 2021 Budget – Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy to establish a task force on inclusive economic growth that will seek to address the unique and disproportionate economic barriers women face, particularly in an economy that will look different after COVID‐19.

The Task Force will be chaired by Dr. Karin Schnarr, Associate Professor of Policy & Law at the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. The Task Force will meet throughout the summer of 2021 and consider three areas of focus relating to women’s participation in economic growth:

  • supporting women as they enter and re-enter the workforce;
  • supporting women’s entrepreneurship; and
  • removing barriers for women to enter fields in which they are underrepresented, including the skilled trades and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Niagara Health closing assessment centres, as demand for COVID-19 tests decreases

Despite efforts to encourage more people — even with mild symptoms — to get tested for COVID-19, Niagara Health has announced planned closures of testing locations in Welland and Niagara Falls due to a lack of demand.

Meanwhile, Niagara Region Public Health reported a record number of vaccinations for Monday, with 7,392 doses of vaccine administered by health-care workers. Only four new positive cases of COVID-19 in Niagara were reported Tuesday, while 169 cases remain active.

City of Welland
For Immediate Release
JUNE 30, 2021

Welland, ON – On Friday, June 25, 2021, at 2:00 p.m., Nominations closed for the 2021 Ward 3 By-Election. To view the certified list of candidates, visit https://www.welland.ca/Elections/CertifiedCandidatesList.pdf.

Beginning the week of July 19, Ward 3 residents will start to receive their Vote-By-Mail kits to cast their vote for the 2021 Ward 3 By-Election. Resources for voting, including a video on how to complete the Vote-By-Mail kit, is available on our website at https://www.welland.ca//Elections/ElectorsResources.asp.
Resources included in Vote-By-Mail kit:
·        Information regarding the Voters list.
·        Important Dates for Electors
·        Ballot Return Locations
·        Frequently Asked Questions

All information regarding the 2021 Ward 3 By-Election is available at https://www.welland.ca/Elections/index.asp.

For additional information, 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
Corporate Services
905 735-1700 Ext. 2159

Online Course Provides Guidance on COVID-19 Risk Assessments and Workplace Safety Plans

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has developed a free online course to help organizations in Canada conduct a COVID-19 workplace risk assessment and safety plan.

COVID-19 Workplace Risk Assessment and Safety Plan is available in English and French. The course outlines the steps needed to plan and conduct a COVID-19 workplace risk assessment, and to plan and evaluate a workplace safety plan.

Managers, supervisors, and health and safety committee members or representatives will learn the work and personal factors to consider when assessing and preventing the risk of exposure, reviewing a safety plan to ensure it is effective, and keeping up to date with current COVID-19 guidelines.

COVID-19 Workplace Risk Assessment and Safety Plan is available on the CCOHS website.

Quick facts

  • The average time to complete this course is approximately 20 minutes.
  • CCOHS courses are unique in that they are developed by subject specialists in the field, and reviewed by representatives from labour, employers, and government to ensure the content and approach are unbiased and credible.

Niagara municipalities receive provincial & federal infrastructure funding

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing more than $51.2 million to protect the health, and well-being of residents in 129 municipalities across Southwestern, Midwestern and Central Ontario. Funding will support the development of modern and accessible recreational spaces, and the replacement of equipment in health and emergency facilities. Other investments include increased options for active transportation, and the renovation of municipal infrastructure and community centres to provide safe and inclusive spaces for residents across Southwestern, Midwestern and Central Ontario.

Niagara municipalities are receiving the following funding:


Federal Contribution

Provincial Contribution

Fort Erie









Niagara Falls









Port Colborne



St. Catharines












West Lincoln




Government of Ontario to invest $7 million in training for automotive manufacturing sector

The Ontario government is investing $7 million to deliver training and paid job placements in the automotive manufacturing sectorfor up to 800 people from underrepresented groups. The project will be led by the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA).

Starting this month, APMA is working with community agencies and employment service providers to place up to 100 trainees per month with hundreds of auto parts manufacturers across Ontario, most of which are small and medium-sized businesses, and APMA members. Trainees will participate in paid job placement sessions that last a minimum of three months. Participating employers will receive up to $8,000 in supports per trainee, of which a maximum of $3,000 can be used as a wage subsidy and $5,000 to cover costs related to training.


Government of Canada moves to increase transparency in Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program

Today, The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities announced another step in the Government of Canada’s commitment to “Open, Transparent and Accountable Government,” reflecting a mandate commitment to ensure that Canadians have access to accurate and timely information about infrastructure investments in their communities. Starting June 25, Infrastructure Canada will publish on its website the project funding applications it receives from provinces and territories (PT) under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. Information is updated on a weekly basis when project lists are received from PTs.

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker (June 30)

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: 448,214

Total doses administered in Niagara since yesterday: 8,179

Ontario will move into Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen on June 30, 2021.

Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen will begin when Ontario has vaccinated 70-80% of adults with one dose, 25% of adults with two doses, has positive public health indicators, and has been in Step Two for at least 21 days.


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. 

Feature with Krystal Riddell for Essentials
There are some jobs that not everyone is made for. To be a funeral director takes a special, compassionate, patient, genuine person and Krystal Riddell and her team are all those things.
If you’re passing by Division Street in Welland, you might come across Essentials Cremation and Burial Services. But it’s important to note that Essentials is not your cookie cutter funeral home. Before learning more about Essentials and their unique services, let’s talk about the people behind it.
Krystal Riddell is the Owner of Essentials Cremation and Burial Services with locations both in Welland and Niagara Falls. You might ask, how does someone get into this profession? Krystal Riddell lost someone very close to her when she was only a teenager. Her family’s plans were to ship their loved one’s urn back to their homeland, to honour their wishes, and help gain some closure for their family. There ended up being a very upsetting accident that threw these plans off the rails, which left her family upset, and unable to follow through with their original intentions. This stuck with Krystal.
As previously mentioned, Krystal was a teenager, a high schooler while this all happened, which is a time in your life where people always ask that terrifying question, “So what are you going to be when you grow up?”. Krystal’s Father was surprised, to say the least, when she expressed interest in funeral services and how these processes worked. Krystal looked into the profession herself and after learning more, she knew she would be able to help people the same way. After graduation she attended the 2-year funeral services program at Humber College and began working in Niagara shortly after.
Considering Krystal’s drive, passion and admiration for people in this profession, it wasn’t surprising that Krystal opened up her own business. She created Essentials which was incorporated in 2017 and she has been in the business for a total of 16 years!
What sets Essentials apart from other funeral homes? Essentials prides themselves on offering simple, affordable services because they want everyone to have the opportunity to honour their loved ones. Generations today are looking for more simple services, for example – a celebration of life rather than a full traditional memorial. Her website is very transparent, as all prices are listed which is especially helpful to clients with a modest budget. What Krystal sees as important is being able to share stories and stay true to their lost loved ones, and change people’s experiences for the better when having to make these arrangements.
 A unique service that Essentials offers and encourages is green burials. A green or natural burial refers to returning a body to the earth as simple and with as little an impact on the environment as possible. For people who are mindful of the cyclical nature of life, a green or natural burial is a spiritually fulfilling alternative to conventional burial or cremation. Additionally, Essentials still does offer traditional burials and cremations of any scale.
People find value in the uniqueness of Essentials all the lengths Krystal and her team are willing to go to make your experience as easy as possible, even if that means offering guidance for the government paperwork and how to handle the estate.
Krystal is thrilled to have opened the second Essentials location in Welland. They were already serving many families in the Welland area, so it just made sense, and now they are equipped to help clients with whatever they need from two locations!
These people have such an important job that not just anybody can do, but as Krystal says, the passion carries them through. If you are looking for a refreshing, innovative and cost-effective option, do not hesitate to reach out to Krystal and her team for your funeral service needs. Thank you Krystal for always putting others before yourself.
Best regards,

Alexis Higginbotham
Executive Director
60 East Main Street
Welland, ON
L3B 3X4
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195 East Main Street Unit 4C
Welland, Ontario

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