Thursday January 23, 2020



KWCF’s New Impact Amplifier Tool Changes the Way We See Giving

Imagine being able to see in seconds the number of families in need you can feed, or the educational, environmental and support programs you can fund in your community? That’s the idea behind an innovative Impact Amplifier tool being launched today by Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation (KWCF). “The goal of the Impact Amplifier is to give community members an immediate, specific — and real-world view of how establishing a fund with KWCF impacts local issues and organizations in Waterloo Region,” says Elizabeth Heald (photo), President & CEO, Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation. “With this tool, you can link your giving to what matters to you, and do it all from the comfort of your own home.” The Impact Amplifier allows you to select from six key areas of focus. These are related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and are linked to six local charitable organizations: The Food Bank of Waterloo Region, Grand River Conservation Foundation (GRCF), Reception House, Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region (SASCWR), Strong Start, and Supportive Housing of Waterloo (SHOW).


Waves of migrants escaping sea level rise could flood urban centres inland

On the heels of a recent warning from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees that climate change will force millions around the world to relocate away from coastal areas, a new study co-authored by a University of Waterloo researcher offers the first clear tool to predict where these climate migrants could move to, and how this will affect communities. The report is a collaboration between professor Juan Moreno-Cruz, Canada Research Chair in Energy Transitions at the Faculty of Environment, and coauthors Caleb Robinson and Bistra Dilkina, at the University of Southern California. It assesses the broader impacts of climate change on communities displaced by rising sea levels and those receiving an influx of migrants. Their framework is the first to aggregate patterns that could help prepare policy responses by local communities and governments.

Healthy Cities

Waterloo Region delegation wins grant to attend Implementing Urban Healthy Policy Workshop in Copenhagen

Waterloo Region – Region of Waterloo staff, with the assistance of Dr. Jennifer Dean, from the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo were successful in winning the Canadian Institutes for Health grant ‘Implementing Healthy Urban Policy Planning’. This planning grant is a pilot program designed to bring researchers and city decision-makers together to collaborate, design, implement and evaluate healthy cities programs related to active transportation and design of public spaces. The $65,000 grant will cover all costs for the Waterloo Region delegation attending the five-day immersive workshop in Copenhagen, Denmark hosted by 8 80 Cities April 19-23, 2020. An organization that strives to improve the quality of life for people in cities by bringing citizens together to enhance mobility and public space and to create more vibrant, healthy, and equitable communities.

Climate Action

Regional Council approves 2020 budget

Regional Council approved the 2020 budget that will help provide citizens the services and infrastructure necessary to meet the needs of our community. Council decided to enhance public transit, paramedic services and seniors’ care in this year’s budget. “This reflects what we’re focusing on based on our community’s priorities,” said Karen Redman, Regional Chair. “Services that promote climate action, as well as healthy, safe and inclusive communities, ensure a high quality of life for the people of Waterloo Region.” Major investments in 2020 include enhanced paramedic services and increased transit services as outlined in our long term business plans. This includes the addition of two 12 hour ambulances and 10 paramedics. Council has approved 35,000 additional hours of Transit service in 2020. This will improve service frequency in all three cities and will better align with ION service.


Capacity Canada is working with TD to facilitate the placement of their executives on non-profit boards

Capacity Canada is expanding their MatchBoard Program in Canada through their new relationship with The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Serving on a board of directors is an excellent way for people to give back to their communities while enhancing their leadership skills. Yet for many individuals who hope to serve on a board, it can be difficult to know where to start. With thousands of non-profits across Canada and new responsibilities to learn in a governance position, the process of finding the right board and learning how to fulfill a director role can be daunting. Capacity Canada’s award-nominated MatchBoard Program will support a TD executive’s search to serve on a non-profit board that suits their passions, personalities, and professional skills – all while building their capacity to serve in governance roles. Through coaching by Capacity Canada Executives in Residence, the availability of in-depth research about potential organizations, and diverse learning opportunities, the MatchBoard Program is focused on providing a positive experience and winning fit for both the TD executive and their selected non-profit board.

Sustainable Building

Ontario homebuyers and builders to benefit from EnerQuality’s new Net Zero Energy Technology Adoption Program

For over two decades many Ontario homebuyers have benefited from EnerQuality’s advancement of innovative energy efficiency programs. The new decade starts with the launch of a new program, Net Zero Energy Technology Adoption Program (NZETAP) designed to embed emerging energy saving technology into new homes faster. NZETAP is all about overcoming barriers to net zero energy homes technology adoption. Overcoming barriers such as lack of awareness and incomplete product knowledge is key to accelerating the use of net zero oriented building products and technologies into mainstream housing.

Organizational Strategy

Purpose As The Foundation of Strategic Planning

by Marc Lacoursière

One approach to creating the organization’s strategy is to start by defining its purpose. We often hear about vision, mission and values, but less often about purpose. Sometimes it is promoted as a replacement for one of the other key elements; and that may be your bias, but here’s how some strategic planning experts include purpose as one of the four key elements of strategy: • Vision: A clear, concise description of our organization’s future destination.
• Mission: An articulation, generally written in the present tense, of the central reason for our organization’s existence, often with additional detail about how we achieve it.
• Values: Those beliefs, feelings and behaviours relevant to the work we do.
• Purpose: A statement of why we exist, with an emphasis on what guides us rather than the “how” articulated in the mission.
Purpose is an excellent starting point in the process of creating a strategy. In their 2019 HBR article, “Put Purpose at the Core of Your Strategy*” the authors discuss two approaches to determining purpose:

Public Spending

New report shows how vital government spending is for sustainable development

Efficient public procurement allows the governments to make substantial progress towards achieving their social, environmental and economic sustainability objectives; Improved government spending practices can free up resources to address a critical funding gap in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals; Strategic procurement of goods and services can promote social and environmental sustainability; Public spending typically comprises between 15-30 per cent of gross domestic product, and is thus a powerful force for change

More effective public spending can play a key role in helping countries make progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to a new report by The Economist Intelligence Unit. Supported by UNOPS, the report, “The future of public spending: Why the way we spend is critical to the Sustainable Development Goals”, highlights how less wasteful, more efficient government spending practices can free up resources to address a critical funding gap in achieving the SDGs. At the same time, the strategic procurement of goods and services can promote social and environmental sustainability.


Rapid Dose Therapeutics and McMaster University Awarded NSERC Research and Development Grant to Develop Oral Dissolvable Film for Enhanced Drug Delivery

Rapid Dose Therapeutics Corp. announced their newest research partnership program entitled “Rapid Delivery of Therapeutics via Dissolution of Polymeric Films” with McMaster University, located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. This research program, which was successfully awarded a NSERC Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) grant, will receive a total funding amount of $540,000 over three years, effective January 1, 2020. The research collaboration will be led by the principal investigator, Dr. Alex Adronov (photo) and co-investigator Dr. Harald Stover, both of whom are full professors in the department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at McMaster University. The project will focus on developing novel biopolymer compositions that can offer enhanced drug delivery performance when formulated in oral dissolvable thin films.

The Rich

Top 10% of income-earners earned 34% of Canada’s total income—yet paid more than 54% of total income taxes

The share of income tax paid by the top 10 per cent of income-earners in Canada is markedly disproportionate to the share of income earned by this group of Canadians, finds a new essay released by the Fraser Institute. “Despite common misperceptions and misleading rhetoric, our top 10 per cent of income-earners pay more than half of Canada’s income taxes—and this group includes people that few would consider wealthy,” said Philip Cross, former chief economic analyst at Statistics Canada, senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and author of Should Upper-Income Canadians Pay More Income Tax? In recent years, many governments in Canada—including the federal government (in 2016) and seven of the 10 provinces—have increased the income tax rate for upper-income-earners. Governments have in part justified these tax increases by implying that Canada’s “rich” don’t pay enough tax.

Future Growth

Sustainability Is Key if Financial Markets Are to Remain Buoyant

Financial markets are hovering near record all-time highs, yet systemic shifts and technological disruption loom on the horizon; The trade detente is welcomed, but leaders called on the United States to continue to ease tensions

With the global economy back on a more stable footing, the focus of policy-makers is shifting towards creating a more inclusive and sustainable economy. Indeed, for the future of financial markets to be bright, leaders must embrace structural reforms including social and environmental policies, placing sustainability at the core. This long-term perspective is enabled by a more upbeat short-term outlook – global economic growth has improved dramatically in recent months. First, the completion of phase one of the United States-China trade deal has boosted confidence. Second, global central banks are pursuing accommodative policy in a synchronized way. Third, there has been a bottoming out in the trade and industrial outlook.


Feds' Buy Canadian food campaign could be a disaster

The feds want to spend $25 million to get you to buy Canadian. This is a great idea that could easily turn into a marketing disaster - By Sylvain Charlebois

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is going into marketing. It wants you to buy Canadian. The federal government intends to spend $25 million over five years starting this summer to promote Canadian food products and instill pride in what our country can bring to our tables. This is a great idea. But promoting Canadian products may not be quite so simple. The idea is to tell the story of our food sector and highlight the advantages of Canadian-made food products. The initiative also intends to provide transparency so Canadians can understand how our products are made. The focus is to build public trust in our food sector and promote Canada’s brand, if it can be defined. The government is looking for a marketing firm to promote Canadian food products and honour the mandate put forward by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Black Hole

Gravitational-wave echoes may confirm Stephen Hawking’s hypothesis of quantum black holes

Echoes in gravitational-wave signals suggest that the event horizon of a black hole may be more complicated than scientists currently think.

Research from the University of Waterloo reports the first tentative detection of these echoes, caused by a microscopic quantum “fuzz” that surrounds newly formed black holes. Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time, caused by the collision of massive, compact objects in space, such as black holes or neutron stars. “According to Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, nothing can escape from the gravity of a black hole once it has passed a point of no return, known as the event horizon,” explained Niayesh Afshordi, a physics and astronomy professor at Waterloo. “This was scientists’ understanding for a long time until Stephen Hawking used quantum mechanics to predict that quantum particles will slowly leak out of black holes, which we now call Hawking radiation.

Cyber Attacks

New Internet Security Principles Developed with World Economic Forum to Help Protect up to 1 Billion Users.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are the critical community to protect us against cybersecurity threats and scale impact; BT, Deutsche Telekom, Du Telecom, Europol, Global Cyber Alliance, Internet Society, Korea Telecom, Proximus, Saudi Telcom, Singtel, Telstra, ITU endorse new principles combatting high- volume cyberattacks, protecting up to one billion consumers in 180 countries

While certain cyberattacks focus on specific organizations, the majority target the largest number of internet users possible. Such attacks are often relatively easy for cybercriminals to undertake and can cause serious harm. The impact of indiscriminate malicious activity online can be significant and carries an estimated global price tag of $6 trillion in 2021.


42 Global Organizations Agree on Guiding Principles for Batteries to Power Sustainable Energy Transition

In the next decade, batteries will be a major driver in reducing the carbon footprint of the transport and power sectors, which are currently responsible for 40% of annual carbon emissions globally; 42 organizations – including businesses from automotive, mining, chemicals and energy with a combined revenue of approximately a trillion dollars – have agreed on these principles

Batteries will be a major driver in reducing the carbon footprint of the transport and power sectors through the use of electric vehicles and renewable energy. To help companies and governments, the Global Battery Alliance designed 10 guiding principles for the creation of a sustainable battery chain by 2030. These principles are intended as the first step in a responsible, sustainable battery value chain as set out in the Global Battery Alliance’s “A Vision for a Sustainable Battery Value Chain in 2030”.Implementing commitments will be based on existing standards such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Due Diligence Guidance and economically viable considerations for a circular and low carbon economy.

Jobs for the Future

The Reskilling Revolution: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Education for a Billion People by 2030

Reskilling Revolution, an initiative to provide one billion people with better education, skills and jobs by 2030; The scheme aims to future-proof workers from technological change and help economies by providing new skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The World Economic Forum today launches Reskilling Revolution, a multistakeholder initiative aiming to provide better education, new skills and better work to a billion people around the world by 2030. The Reskilling Revolution platform has been designed to prepare the global workforce with the skills needed to future-proof their careers against the expected displacement of millions of jobs and skills instability as a result of technological change. It is also designed to provide businesses and economies with the skilled labour needed to fulfil the millions of new roles that will be created by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, shifts in the global economy and industrial transitions towards sustainability. “The best way to foster a more cohesive and inclusive society is to provide everybody with a decent job and income. Here in Davos, we are creating a public-private platform to give one billion people the skills they need in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The scale and urgency of this transformation calls for nothing short of a reskilling revolution,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.

Sustainable Future

Measuring Stakeholder Capitalism: World’s Largest Companies Support Developing Core Set of Universal ESG Disclosures

140 of the world’s largest companies support effort to develop a core set of common metrics and disclosures on non-financial factors to their investors and other stakeholders; Chief executive officers increasingly see topics of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as important to long-term business value creation.

On Tuesday, the chief executive officers of many of the world’s largest companies expressed support for aligning on a core set of metrics and disclosures in their annual reports on the non-financial aspects of business performance such as greenhouse gas emissions and strategies, diversity, employee health and well-being and other factors that are generally framed as ESG topics. Though business leaders increasingly see the topics of ESG and the SDGs as important to long-term business value creation, lack of comparable ESG reporting in mainstream reports hinders the meaningful benchmarking of sustainable business performance by investors and society. Additionally, this prevents effective communication about a company’s long-term and sustainable value creation.

Historic Decision

Cambridges Chief Building Official calls for demolition of former Preston Springs Hotel due to public safety risk

The City’s Chief Building Official issued an Order to Remedy an Unsafe Building today, under authority of the Building Code Act, which calls for the demolition of the vacant building at 102 Fountain Street South. “We recognize that this building is a community landmark and this decision has not been made lightly,” said Dennis Purcell, the City’s Chief Building Official. “However, public safety is our first priority and there is no other option but to issue the Order to demolish.” Recent assessments of the building by two independent engineering firms, both with heritage experience, have determined that the building is in very poor condition which will lead to structural failure. The reports indicate that restoration of the building to meet minimum safety standards presents significant and costly challenges which are not guaranteed to fix the safety concerns. The findings of both reports demonstrate that the building is now in an advanced state of deterioration and decay. This has led to the loss of much of its historical potential as well as rendering the existing structure unsafe and potentially dangerous. The Chief Building Official has therefore determined that demolition is the only appropriate action to protect public safety. The owner has until February 5, 2020 to apply for a permit for the demolition.

Climate Restoration

New Investments and Research Indicate Multi-Trillion Dollar Market for Climate Restoration Through Carbon-Capture

Arizona State University Knowledge Enterprise unit Thunderbird Convenes Global Leaders Across Sectors to Advance Climate Action

The Thunderbird School of Global Management released a new report projecting that the world can realize at least $1trillion - $3trillion dollars in market opportunities and $3trillion - $5trillion dollars in broader economic, social and environmental benefits per year by 2030. Thunderbird’s Director-General and Dean, Dr. Sanjeev Khagram authored the new report and shared it at a cross-sectoral gathering hosted by Thunderbird with the Foundation for Climate Restoration in Davos during the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting.

Nature Restoration

Restoring the Earth: Announced to Accelerate Nature Restoration to Tackle Climate and Biodiversity Crises

Mass-scale nature restoration is an essential part of the solution for tackling climate change while also delivering important biodiversity, livelihood and broader sustainable development benefits; Scheme endorsed by US President Donald Trump; Nature-based solutions will only be effective if undertaken in conjunction with other efforts to transform energy, heavy industry and finance sectors is a World Economic Forum initiative, designed to support the trillion tree community. It is being set up with the initial financial support of Marc and Lynne Benioff. is a platform for leading governments, businesses, civil society and ecopreneurs committed to restoring and reforesting the planet. The plan represents a major initiative in the global effort to tackle the climate change and biodiversity crises.

Letter - Mental Health

What do you suppose would happen if... a letter to the editor

What do you suppose would happen if Bell were, now entering its 11th year, to stop saying "there is a stigma" to mental illnesses? One obvious result: Editors would not be repeating it. Readers would not be reading it from them. Who knows, educators might even stop teaching it.

Digital Trust

Forgotten Your Password? Not Having One Will Make You Safer

Four out of five global data breaches are perpetrated from weak and stolen passwords, driving the rising cost of cybercrime; Average annual large company spend on password resets is over $1 million; Six principles proposed to guide and advocate the adoption of a passwordless future

A new report released finds that freeing ourselves of passwords will actually make us safer and businesses more efficient. Cybercrime is set to cost the global economy $2.9 million every minute in 2020 and some 80% of these attacks are password-related. Knowledge-based authentication – whether with PINs, passwords, passphrases, or whatever we need to remember – is not only a major headache for users, it is costly to maintain. For larger businesses, it is estimated that nearly 50% of IT help desk costs are allocated to password resets, with average annual spend for companies now at over $1 million for staffing alone. Passwordless authentication does not mean removing all security barriers to our digitalized society. It means harnessing tools such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to save users time and save company money.


Vice-Premier Renews China’s Commitment to Globalism

China’s Vice-Premier Han Zheng said China will not follow others towards more protectionism; Blaming the economy’s problems on globalization neither reflects the facts nor provides a solution, he said

Han Zheng, Vice-Premier of the People's Republic of China, reaffirmed China’s commitment to continued global economic integration and multilateral institutions even amid growing international tension. “Despite the protectionist and unilateral moves by some countries, China will not stop opening up,” he said. “We will not follow in the footsteps of those moving in the opposite direction.” Han’s comments came during his special address to a plenary session during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020. He noted that globalism is both an underlying trend and a driver of economic growth in today’s world. Economic uncertainty engenders greater friction in terms of trade and investment, but protectionism is not a good remedy. “All countries feel pressure, but to simply blame economic globalization does not reflect the facts – nor does it help solve the problem,” he said. Instead, he advocated building “an inclusive and open world economy” that will “make the pie bigger” for everyone.

GRT Strike

Talks break off between Region and Unifor 4304

The Region and Unifor 4304 met Wednesday and were unable to reach an agreement.

“The Region is extremely disappointed that negotiations have broken down. We understand this strike has seriously impacted the lives of our citizens and we are committed to reaching an agreement that will get buses back on the roads as soon as possible,” said Mike Murray, Chief Administrative Officer, Region of Waterloo. The Region remains available to negotiate a resolution that is fair to employees and regional taxpayers. While no further negotiation dates have been established, the parties remain in close communication.

Regional Life

Waterloo Regional Council Info from January 22, 2020

Council Info is a summary of discussion and the major items presented at Council meetings. Wellbeing Advisory Committee approved; Region responds to Provincial changes to Paramedic Services; Staff support for Sunnyside convalescent care; Design concept for Victoria Street Multi Use Trail (MUT) approved. Tenders/contracts approved.


Award Night - Tonight

The BOLD Awards tonight at Bloom Conestoga College

The event will be held January 23rd at the BLOOM Conestoga College. Waterloo.

Nominations are in and the judging is complete! Tonight the GVCA will honour someone born in 1979 or later, in one (or more!) of these categories: Craft Award; Safety Award; Onsite Award; Leadership Award; Spirit Award; Customer Service Excellence Award; Outstanding Apprentice Award. Join us for a Gala evening on January 23rd when the winners are announced and we pay tribute to the next generation of construction professionals!

January 26, 2020

The Arab Canadian Women Award 2020

The Arab Women of Waterloo Region is hosting its first awards gala.

Waterloo Region is home to a large and diverse community of Arab-Canadians, and this community is still growing. The Arab Women of Waterloo Region wants to recognize the different roles Arab women have taken up within Waterloo Region, and acknowledge the tremendous impact they have made on the community as a whole. These awards are open to all Arab women in Waterloo Region, regardless of religion and immigration status.

January 31, 2020

Alone in the world?

Economic Outlook with Larry Smith

A discussion of how the current assault on the structure of post-war trading arrangements by the U.S. and China challenges Canada, a highly trade-dependent economy. Adding to this stress is the effect of global tech companies whose IP and acquisition strategies limit Canada’s ability to grow its own tech enterprises. Event held at the Tannery Event Centre, 151 Charles St W, Kitchener Registration and More Information

February 19, 2020

Picklers Unite! St. Mary’s Pickleball Cardiac Classic aims to perk your pulse this Heart Month

The Waterloo Pickleball Club will host players of all skill levels in a fun & friendly tournament supporting St. Mary’s Regional Cardiac Care Centre February 19th – 21st, 2020, on the courts at RIM Park Manulife Sportsplex. “Playing Pickleball provides a boost to the entire cardiovascular system, which helps to lower blood pressure and prevent stroke or heart attack. As well, the smaller court format of pickleball gives you a good aerobic workout without much stress and strain on joints and muscles, which can be a concern with other racquet sports.” Endorses Dr. Matt Chamberlain, Medical Director of St. Mary’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program.

February 20, 2020

Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce 2020 Business Excellence Awards Nominees!

The Business Excellence Awards Gala is a celebration that recognizes Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber members who have made exceptional contributions through their involvement and leadership in the community. AND THE NOMINEES ARE...

March 26, 2020

St. Mary's She Shares

Personal finance expert, Kelly Keehn will share wisdom related to the unique financial journey of women at St. Mary’s She Shares luncheon. By 2024, three generations of women in Canada are destined to control an estimated $3 trillion or 46% of personal wealth, are they ready? On March 26th, better equip yourself with a solid financial foundation, now, and in the future. Join women from across Waterloo Region for a luncheon with speaker Kelley Keehn, Canadian finance educator, award-winning author, and consumer advocate for the financial planning standards council. Learn more and get tickets at

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