January 2021
Your monthly news & updates
On Sunday, January 24th the Western Ontario Wardens' Caucus had the opportunity to meet with multiple Ministers from the Government of Ontario during ROMA 2021.

The discussion focused on our key priority areas of; broadband, municipal finance, affordable housing and long term care.

In addition to the Multi-Minister delegation the Economic Development Committee Chair met with Minister Monte McNaughton, Labour Training and Skills Development and Minister Vic Fedeli, Economic Development Job Creation and Trade. The three main topics discussed were; high speed fibre, Made In Ontario supply chains and planning for our recovery.

SWIFT Broadband Project Now Providing Improved Internet Access in Wellington County
  • On January 28th SWIFT announced the construction of a $2.7 million high-speed network in Wellington County is now complete and is delivering improved broadband access to more than 670 households.

SWIFT Announces Broadband Expansion Project for London
  • On January 28th SWIFT announced it has signed an agreement with North Frontenac Telephone Company (NFTC) to expand high-speed internet access to 485 underserved homes and businesses within the City of London.

SWIFT Announces $21M Broadband Expansion Plan in Niagara Region
  • On January 27th SWIFT announced it has awarded funding to expand access to high-speed fibre-optic broadband service to 5,629 households and businesses in the Niagara Region.

SWIFT Announces Broadband Improvements For Brant County
  • On January 26th, SWIFT announced it has signed an agreement with Xplornet Communications to improve access to high-speed internet in the County of Brant and throughout portions of the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation community.

SWIFT Broadband Projects Now Underway in Caledon
  • On January 25th SWIFT announced that construction is now underway to improve access to high-speed broadband services in Caledon. Vianet, which entered into a funding agreement with SWIFT to construct two new high-speed fibre-optic networks, has broken ground on both awarded projects.

General Motors To Invest C$1 Billion To Convert CAMI into Canada’s First Large-Scale Commercial Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Plant

General Motors plans to bring production of its recently announced BrightDrop electric light commercial vehicle, the EV600, to its CAMI manufacturing plant in Ingersoll, Ontario. 

The approximately C$1 billion investment will support GM’s timing to deliver BrightDrop EV600 in late 2021. The investment will enable GM to make CAMI into Canada’s first large-scale auto plant converted to produce electric delivery vehicles in Canada.

Work will begin immediately to transform the CAMI plant to support electric vehicle production. This will support jobs and transform work at the plant over the next two years from Chevrolet Equinox production to a new focus on the production of EV600s, to serve the growing North American market for electric delivery solutions.    

Congratulations to Sarnia - Lambton Economic Partnership's
Matthew Slotwinski
It is with great pleasure that Consultant Connect announces the North America's Top 50 Economic Developers of 2021! Each individual on this list has been nominated by someone in the economic development and site consultant communities. These winners represent a group of individuals who are continually fighting for their communities and making waves with their leadership.

We're shaking things up this year: Starting February 2, each recipient will be honored as we take a virtual "road trip" through North America, featuring each person and their community on our social media channels of Twitter and LinkedIn. In addition, learn from the best of the best as they will be featured on our America's Jobs Team Podcast where they will be sharing their knowledge with us in these dynamic interviews you surely don't want to miss. Make sure to follow us to get the latest on their perspective on the industry and for their leadership insights! 

Congratulations to each of this year's recipients!
Top 20 Places People are Moving to, according to U-Haul
U-Haul, the rent-a-trailer franchisor, has created a list of the Top 20 cities and towns seeing a recent influx of people. Typically, we think it’s those moving out of a big, crowded city to a smaller, more rural location, but that may not always be the case, as huffingtonpost.com reports. 

Though residents of Toronto and Montreal are rapidly heading out, maybe they’re aiming for Vancouver, which hits No. 7 on this list — perhaps an indicator that it’s not crowded city-living that’s driving people to move, but lifestyle. Great skiing within an hour of home? Check. A sunset run along an ocean-front beach? Please! Easy winters? Pack the car!

Chatham makes the list at number 9 and Sarnia at number 10.

Impact of Covid-19 on Rural Employment up to
December 2020
ROI is making available another issue in their special series of “Focus on Rural Ontario” with extensive tables related to economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as reflected in employment statistics. This release takes the data analysis up to December (data are for the week of December 6 to 12) when the second wave was upon us.

The estimated gap in rural employment due to COVID-19 has remained less than in urban areas (in most months). Importantly, the COVID-19 employment gap is continuing to close. In December, the estimated gap due to COVID-19 was -1.7% which represents a job loss of 11 thousand workers.

Ontario Expands Workplace Enforcement Campaigns
The Ontario government is expanding the current workplace inspection campaign to further protect workers and customers at essential businesses. Following last week's big-box store blitz, provincial offences officers will be now be visiting an expanded range of workplaces across Ontario to educate and ticket businesses that are not complying with COVID-19 health and safety requirements.

This week, more than 300 officers will be supporting these blitzes, and will be visiting a variety of workplaces that are allowed to be open during the provincial shutdown such as: retail establishments, including big-box stores; restaurants providing take-out meals; essential service-sector establishments (such as gas stations); and farming operations

FedDev Ontario’s RRF protects more than 1,700 jobs in Windsor-Essex in 2020
On January 12th FedDev announced that 80 businesses and organizations in Windsor-Essex received a total of $11.1 million in combined RRRF funding, protecting more than 1,700 jobs in the region in 2020.

This funding has supported the immediate needs of a broad range of businesses, from main street businesses such as retail shops and restaurants, to tourism operators and many manufacturing companies. 

Businesses and organizations in southern Ontario that have applied for other federal COVID-19 programs, but were unable to access sufficient relief, are encouraged to review RRRF eligibility requirements or contact FedDev Ontario for more information. 

WOCFDCA: Here to Help
Community Futures is no rookie when it comes to providing business support, financing, and advice. They have been helping businesses accomplish their goals for over 30 years. Find out how they can help you.