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Automation will transform retail, manufacturing in post COVID-19 economy, new study says
Canada’s post COVID-19 economy will see more automation, particularly in the retail and manufacturing sectors. Professor Joel Blit of the University of Waterloo’s Department of Economics used data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) to analyze which industries are likely to undergo the greatest automation as the economy recovers from the pandemic. “In every recession since the beginning of the information and communications technology (ICT) revolution, the Canadian economy has undergone significant technological automation and resource reallocation. This COVID-19-induced recession will be no different, and in fact, will trigger an even bigger economic transformation due to the added health-related incentives to automate,” said Blit. “With the right policies in place, we can ensure that we emerge from the crisis with a stronger and more productive economy that benefits all Canadians.”
Canada invests in Waterloo Region companies to help them scale up and succeed
Waterloo Region is renowned globally as a leading centre of innovation, talent and growth. Boasting the second highest density of start-ups in the world, it is home to some of Canada’s largest technology companies and leading global brands, as well as many emerging tech companies and innovative manufacturers. The Honourable Mélanie Joly (photo), Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, met with Waterloo Region tech leaders and policy thinkers to discuss challenges facing the industry and to explore opportunities for collaboration. As part of her visit, Minister Joly announced nearly $30 million in federal funding to support eight innovative companies from Waterloo Region. This funding, from FedDev Ontario, will support companies in the fields of advanced manufacturing, medical technology, information and communications technology and video communications to scale up and grow. These businesses will leverage nearly $95 million in total investment for the community, significantly boost local supply chain spending, create nearly 500 new jobs and maintain an additional 300 jobs in Waterloo Region.
When clinicians are focusing on lifestyle changes for the management and prevention of multiple chronic conditions, they will often ask patients about their alcohol consumption, smoking habits, exercise regime and diet. But what about the quality and duration of their sleep? Researchers at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry have shown that how well you sleep and for how long is linked to increased odds of living with multiple chronic conditions, and argue that promotion of good sleep habits should be given greater focus in clinical practice and public health. The study, “Sleep behaviours and multimorbidity occurrence in middle-aged and older adults,” was recently published in the journal Sleep Medicine, and used data from more than 30,000 adults over the age of 45 who were part of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA).
As the potential for a second wave of COVID-19 looms in Canada, an associate professor of marketing at Wilfrid Laurier University has collaborated with doctors in Wuhan, China to test a telemedicine system for coronavirus patients that relieves pressure on health-care systems. The research team published its promising results in the Journal of Medical Internet Research in early July. Chun (Martin) Qiu, who teaches in Laurier’s Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, lent his mobile marketing expertise to the study, which during the peak of the pandemic in China utilized the popular Chinese smartphone app WeChat to establish two-way communication between a multidisciplinary medical team and 188 patients sent home by physicians to self-isolate after showing mild COVID-19 symptoms. The patients self-reported their symptoms every day on a cloud-based online form available to the medical team at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, where staff successfully identified six patients who progressed to critical condition and hospitalized them in time to receive treatment. Of the 74 study participants confirmed to have COVID-19, all have since recovered.
Will COVID-19 change how we build our homes and offices? Will architects use different materials? Will they design with a pandemic in mind? We spoke to the Director of the architecture program at the University of Waterloo, Anne Bordeleau (photo), to hear her thoughts. How will the pandemic affect the future of building design?
A new report by the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) and the Society of Actuaries investigates the financial considerations of delaying Canada Pension Plan (CPP) payments and looks at the risks and opportunities associated with this delay. The CPP Take-Up Decision, authored by Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, FCIA, aims to better inform the decisions of Canadians for whom delaying CPP benefits might provide improved financial outcomes and greater retirement income security. The analysis looks at workers retiring at age 65 who intend to use some portion of RRSP/RRIF savings towards increasing their lifelong annual retirement consumption. It also includes a comprehensive financial risk/return evaluation of the timing decision for take-up using stochastic individual microsimulation modelling.
On Tuesday, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) released its Expenditure Monitor 2019-20: Q4. This report provides information on spending by the Province through the end of the 2019-20 fiscal year (March 31, 2020), including changes to the 2019-20 spending plan, actual spending results compared to planned spending and an updated budget deficit projection for 2019-20. Since the tabling of the 2019 Ontario Budget, the Province increased its spending plan by a net $2.6 billion, through Supplementary Estimates (tabled in December 2019) and program budget reallocations. The budgets for electricity subsidy programs (up $1.6 billion) and children’s and social services (up $0.8 billion) received the largest increases.
Heavier regulatory burdens on technology startups are associated with a greater chance startups will fail—and those burdens can prevent prospective companies from starting in the first place, finds a new essay released by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank. “The heavier the regulatory burden, the greater the death rate—and the lower the birth rate—of technology startup companies, which often fuel innovation and job growth,” said Liya Palagashvili, a Fraser Institute senior fellow, assistant professor of economics at the State University of New York-Purchase and co-author of Technology Startups and Industry-Specific Regulations.
Before COVID-19, the craze for vegetable proteins was palpable. All we heard about were sustainability, animal welfare and Beyond Meat. The health of the planet and well-being of animals became increasingly important factors to a growing number of Canadians, and it showed in the numbers. A few months after the great confinement started, some new figures tell us that the interest in meat-free diets is still there. In just four months, from February to July of this year, the popularity of major meat-free diets that don’t include land animal meat seems to have risen and continues to do so. __________________________
Updates to the plan that protects the sources of municipal drinking water in the Grand River watershed were approved by the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks in June. The updated Grand River Source Protection Plan took effect on June 5, with the exception of amendments affecting the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, which will take effect on October 1, 2020. The plan and its associated documents are now available online at www.sourcewater.ca. The Grand River Source Protection Plan was first approved in November 2015 and came into effect July 1, 2016.
Half (48 per cent) of Canadian businesses said they were unprepared for the immediate technological changes necessitated by COVID-19, according to a recent survey by OVHcloud in conjunction with data service solutions company Maru/Blue, with 48 per cent concerned they will need to maintain long-term remote operations. In fact, only a third of companies (32 per cent) feel 'very confident' in their ability to seamlessly scale cloud capabilities for the new realities of work. And while most organizations (90 per cent) would of course like to speed up their digital operations, only 32 per cent feel very confident they can. According to the survey, two thirds (66 per cent) of businesses surveyed believe that the impact of COVID-19 on their organization would have been less severe if they had had a more robust digital strategy in place to manage online operations.
With current events contributing to high unemployment and an uncertain job market, it makes good business sense — and is respectful professional etiquette — to stay in touch with your former bosses. Follow these 5 guidelines to ensure your references will continue to advocate on your behalf:
A major new study reveals “an overwhelming majority” of donors don’t expect COVID-19 will curtail their charitable giving for the rest of the year. But experts warned nonprofit organizations not to be complacent in their fundraising efforts, saying there will be “winners and losers” in the quest for donations.DB - cover.jpg The comprehensive, nationwide survey of the giving intentions of 1,079 donors across 44 states was conducted from May 29 to June 22 by North Carolina-based consultancy firm DickersonBakker. According to the just-released report, 85 percent of the donors surveyed online expect the amount they give to charity to stay at last year’s level or increase in the second half of 2020.
There is a little extra colour on the patios of Waterloo Region. Art Fresco has launched at 50 bars, restaurants and eateries across the region, a massive public art project that has placed bespoke picnic tables hand painted by artists on local patios for diners to enjoy and admire. “The Art Fresco Picnic Tables are unique pieces to inject some colour and vibrancy into a sector that was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Minto Schneider (photo), Chief Executive Officer of Explore Waterloo Region. “Bars and restaurants were forced to close during what would typically be a busy time for them. They need some help to rebound and get back on their feet.”
Board Governance Boot Camp
Capacity Canada presents our annual Manulife Board Governance BootCamp November 5, 6 & 7, 2020 delivered virtually for the first time. This BootCamp delivers practical governance training to non-profit Boards and equips them with relevant action plans that will deliver a noticeable performance improvement in their boardrooms.