Tuesday March 19, 2019


Labour & Economy

Ontario's New Education Plan Crucial To Building Workforce of Tomorrow

Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), released the following statement in response to the government’s new education plan, “Education that Works for You.”

“Young Ontarians need to be given the tools and opportunities they need to successfully navigate the labour market and economy. We have urged the government to take action in promoting the skilled trades and STEM as viable career options for young people, developing a comprehensive financial literacy curriculum, and expanding broadband access. We welcome today’s announcement of initial steps to further help prepare our youth to contribute to the future of the province.”

Federal Budget

Serial deficits must end… before 2040!

Today, the federal government will present its last budget before the elections expected in the fall. Contrary to what was included in the government's fiscal framework during the last election, a substantial deficit is expected again this year. Indeed, according to Finance Canada's projections, the budget will only be balanced in 2040. "Unfortunately, the federal government continues to pile up deficits, while Canada has been experiencing good economic growth. It's important to remember that today's deficits often become tomorrow's tax increases," explains Mathieu Bédard, Economist at the MEI.


Grand River Hospital is laying-off and redeploying frontline health care workers

Unifor is calling on Grand River Hospital administration to stop further lay-offs or redeployment of frontline health care workers in order to ensure patients receive adequate care. "What separates us from our neighbours south of the border is our firm belief all Canadians deserve access to health care," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "Grand River Hospital is framing these cuts and redeployment measures as budgetary constraints. Though that may have some truth to it, the fact/or truth is the administration is prioritizing profits over people."


Millennials are the Fastest Growing Cohort Filing Insolvency

37% of Insolvencies are Filed by Millennials

Updated research by Licensed Insolvency Trustee firm Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc. reveals that 37% of Ontario insolvencies in 2018 involved Millennials, up from 35% in 2017. On average, Millennial debtors owed $35,733 in unsecured debt, less than any other cohort, yet still an overwhelming burden that is causing Millennials to file insolvency at a faster rate than any other age group. "Millennials are graduating with much more student debt than previous generations and this is certainly a contributing factor," says Doug Hoyes, Licensed Insolvency Trustee and co-founder of Hoyes, Michalos. "As more Millennials pass the 7-year limitation for student debt forgiveness in a bankruptcy or consumer proposal, student debt insolvencies rise."


BlackBerry Expands Line-Up of Asset Monitoring Solutions with BlackBerry Radar H2

New intelligent, data-driven asset monitoring device to help automate operations and improve utilization of trailers, containers, chassis and other remote assets

Yesterday at the American Trucking Associations' Technology & Maintenance Council Annual 2019 Meeting, the industry's largest fleet-focused technical event, BlackBerry Limited launched BlackBerry Radar® H2, a new intelligent, data-driven asset monitoring device that can help automate operations, improve utilization of trailers, containers, chassis and other remote assets, as well as ensure assets are safe and secure.

3 Minutes

Undergraduate and graduate researchers to compete at Laurier’s Three Minute Thesis competition

More than 40 graduate and undergraduate students will compete for thousands of dollars in prizes at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) event on March 27. Competitors are challenged to present their research in a way anyone could understand, in three minutes or less. They’re allowed one slide but no notes and no props. The competition has historically been open only to master’s and doctoral students but this year undergraduates will also compete.


New wheel units could bring vehicle costs down

Vehicles could be affordably produced for a wide variety of specialized purposes using a sophisticated wheel unit developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo. The self-contained unit combines a wheel and an electric motor with braking, suspension, steering and a control system in a single module designed to be bolted to any vehicle frame. It would free manufacturers from making huge investments to develop those components from scratch and enable the economical production of specialized vehicles in even small quantities.


Stage 2 ION public consultation continues

The Region of Waterloo is continuing public consultation on Stage 2 ION, light rail transit (LRT) from Kitchener to Cambridge. In June 2018, Region of Waterloo Council endorsed a Preferred Route for the Stage 2 ION project, subject to further evaluation of the portion of the route between Shantz Hill Road and Eagle Street North at William Street in Cambridge. The project team have further considered route and station location refinements through this area and will present the evaluated refinements and the project team preferred route refinement through this area.


Construction skilled trades have high job satisfaction levels, but recruitment is a challenge

Ontario's construction industry is facing labour supply issues despite the tremendous opportunities that await young people across a wide spectrum of trades. These opportunities will improve for two major reasons: (1) the wave of retirements that is anticipated over the next decade, and (2) the expectation that construction activity will increase due to the emphasis on infrastructure from Ottawa and Queen's Park, with budgets due today and April 11th respectively. The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), with support from the Ontario government, commissioned two reports that provide a road map to improve recruitment and retention of young workers. These reports are bolstered by a video series which highlights the high job satisfaction of trades who are currently employed across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond.

Best Managed

Home Hardware Awarded Platinum Status for Canada’s Best Managed Companies

Home Hardware was recognized for overall business performance and sustained growth with the prestigious Canada’s Best Managed Companies designation. The 2019 Best Managed program award winners are amongst the best-in-class of Canadian owned and managed companies with revenues over $15 million demonstrating strategy, capability and commitment to achieve sustainable growth. Now in its 26th year, Canada’s Best Managed Companies is one of the country’s leading business awards programs recognizing Canadian-owned and managed companies for innovative, world-class business practices. Every year, hundreds of entrepreneurial companies compete for this designation in a rigorous and independent process that evaluates the calibre of their management abilities and practices.


Global leverage makes financial system vulnerable, Senior Deputy Governor Wilkins says

Global debt is now US$100 trillion higher than just before the financial crisis and more than three times global gross domestic product (GDP), presenting a headwind to growth and making the financial system vulnerable, Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn A. Wilkins said last week. In remarks to UBC’s Vancouver School of Economics and CFA Society Vancouver, Wilkins highlighted trouble spots of particular concern arising from elevated household, government and corporate debt in different places around the world. “Whether you are a homeowner or a businessperson, you know first-hand that high leverage can leave you in a vulnerable financial position,” Wilkins said. “It’s no different for economies.”

Advancements in Radar

Quantum researchers show vast new potential for radar technology

Researchers at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) performed the first demonstration of quantum-enhanced noise radar, opening the door to promising advancements in radar technology. The researchers showed how the quantum process can outperform a classical version of the radar by a factor of 10, enabling the detection of objects that are faster, smaller, or further away – all while making the radar less detectable to targets. “We are applying technology developed for quantum computing to immediate, practical situations,” said Christopher Wilson, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo and principal investigator of the Engineered Quantum Systems Lab at IQC. “Our results show a promising improvement for radar, an important real-world application, using quantum illumination.”

Research Endeavours

Laurier appoints Jonathan Newman to role of Vice President: Research

Wilfrid Laurier University has appointed biologist Jonathan Newman as the university’s vice-president: research, effective August 1, 2019. As the vice-president: research at Laurier, Newman will lead the Office of Research Services, providing vision, strategy and support for Laurier’s overall research endeavours. Newman has served as the dean of the College of Biological Science at the University of Guelph since 2015, where he developed the faculty’s first strategic plan. Newman began his tenure at the University of Guelph in 2004, where he held several administrative roles including the chair of the Department of Environmental Biology and the founding director of the School of Environmental Science.

Culture Deck

8 lessons on building a company people enjoy working for

Patty McCord served as chief talent officer of Netflix for 14 years and helped create the Netflix Culture Deck. Since it was first posted on the web, the Culture Deck has been viewed more than 15 million times, and Sheryl Sandberg has said that it "may be the most important document ever to come out of Silicon Valley." Most companies operate on a set of policies: mandated vacation days, travel guidelines, standard work hours, annual goals. But what happens when a company looks less to control and more to trust? Patty McCord, the iconic former chief talent officer at Netflix, shares the key insights that led her to toss the handbook out the window.


World Water Day events at Laurier to focus on water in Ontario and the Northwest Territories

Water is essential to us all. To examine water issues in Ontario and the Northwest Territories, Wilfrid Laurier University is hosting a day and evening of public events for World Water Day on March 21-22. Aligned with the United Nations World Water Day 2019 theme “Leaving no one behind,” the events include a talk by David Livingstone, a Yellowknife-based environmental stewardship expert, panel discussions on water as it relates to Waterloo Region and Canada’s First Nations, and a student poster session. The best student poster presentations will win prizes and all attendees can vote for the best poster. “Water is a global issue and World Water Day events are being held around the world,” said Jonathan Mark Wilson, co-director of the Laurier Institute for Water Science (LIWS) and an associate professor of biology. “At Laurier, we are raising awareness and also highlighting some of the work that we are doing in this area.”


CEO/Owner/Philanthropist/Visionary Jim Estill receives Order of Canada

Last Thursday Jim Estill, CEO of Danby Appliances, and founder of EMJ, was invested into the Order of Canada with 40 others by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada at a ceremony in Ottawa at Rideau Hall. It was announced in June 2018 that Estill would be receiving this honour, with the ceremony to be held at a later date. Previously, Estill received the Order of Ontario in 2017 which is the province’s highest honour for his work in bringing hundreds of Syrian refugees to Guelph. It is Estill’s ongoing “contributions to the Guelph and Waterloo technology communities and for his philanthropic efforts benefiting refugees” that allowed for this incredible recognition, according to the Governor General of Canada.


Federal infrastructure funding will help Laurier researchers advance science

Wilfrid Laurier University researchers are receiving federal funding that will go toward purchasing sophisticated new equipment, allowing them to make significant advances in biochemistry and psychology. Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan announced the latest round of federal funding for labs and research equipment on March 13 at Western University. In total, the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) will invest $39 million into 186 projects at 43 universities across Canada. “This infrastructure funding will help Laurier researchers gain new and exciting insights that will shape their specific disciplines and lead to tremendous benefits for society,” said Rob Gordon, Laurier’s provost and vice-president: academic.

Woman in STEM

Nobel Prize Recipient Donna Strickland to Deliver Keynote at Women in STEM Event

On April 24th, the Guelph Chamber of Commerce will host its second annual Women in STEM event and is honoured to announce that Nobel Prize recipient Donna Strickland will be delivering the keynote speech to business and community leaders in attendance.


How to keep human bias out of AI

Kriti Sharma creates AI technology to help address some of the toughest social challenges of our time — from domestic violence to sexual health and inequality.

AI algorithms make important decisions about you all the time -- like how much you should pay for car insurance or whether or not you get that job interview. But what happens when these machines are built with human bias coded into their systems? Technologist Kriti Sharma explores how the lack of diversity in tech is creeping into our AI, offering three ways we can start making more ethical algorithms.

New Release

Maple 2019 Offers Greater Mathematical Power to All Customers

New release strengthens core math capabilities, opens new areas for technical research

Maplesoft announced a major new release of its flagship product, Maple, the mathematical software that makes it extremely easy to analyze, explore, visualize, and solve math problems. Maple 2019 includes substantial improvements to its mathematical engine, for both core routines and specialized tools. The release also provides advances to the Maple programming language, more education tools, new visualizations, and other improvements for the mathematicians, educators, students, engineers, and scientists who use Maple.


The Future of Digital Tax

Companies that conduct business internationally may want to follow the ongoing global debate on the digital economy and taxation. KPMG recently submitted its views on potential multilateral tax measures to address the international tax challenges of digitalization to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in response to a public consultation.


XSurgical names Michele Marzola as Chairman of the Board

XSurgical, a firm developing and bringing to market a remotely controlled surgical robot, announced Michele Marzola (photo) as its Chairman of the Board. In this capacity, he will work with XSurgical President and CEO Gianluca DeNovi, PhD to help oversee the general strategy and direction of the company. Marzola, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Interceptin srl in Firenze, Tuscany, Italy, is a veteran investor with experience in facilitating more than 20 start-up companies in the life sciences, digital and professional services industries. He brings over 35 years of experience administering activities in all major Western economies and emerging markets and is versed in the areas of energy, machinery, raw materials, process industries, services and information technology.

Survey Results

Concerns for Canadian economy at the forefront of survey

Early results of our Federal Budget survey show that two-thirds of KPMG clients and stakeholders who responded to the survey are concerned or less optimistic about the Canadian economy in the short-term, and the top challenge for the economy is taxation and regulatory requirements.


Mayors march for meals to improve food security for seniors

Local mayors and special guests are rallying together on Thursday, March 21 to spread awareness about Meals on Wheels, an invaluable program that delivers a nutritious meal, a smile and a safety check, to help local seniors and adults with disabilities live in their own homes. “March for Meals is an opportunity to celebrate the very people who built our community,” said Will Pace, Executive Director of Community Support Connections – Meals on Wheels and More (CSC). “Our population is aging and for our neighbours struggling with access to food, Meals on Wheels is a proven collaboration of local community organizations, businesses, levels of government, and hundreds of dedicated volunteers.”


March 28, 2019

St. Mary’s She Shares : Dr. Vivien Brown

Canadian family physician and author of “A Women’s Guide to Healthy Aging” to share her wisdom March 28th.

As a recognized expert on women’s health, Dr. Vivien Brown tells women what they need to do to stay healthy as they grow older. Spanning the topics of the mind and body, Dr. Brown identifies “Seven Proven Ways to Keep You Vibrant, Happy & Strong”. Sweeping away the myths and sales tricks that populate the internet, she offers insightful and sensible advice based on the latest scientific evidence. Join us for this invigorating luncheon event on Thursday March 28th, 12pm – 2pm. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.supportstmarys.ca/sheshares

March 29, 2019

Build Resilience, improve your mindfulness and overall well-being and learn about Flanagan Foodservice's major expansion throughout Southern Ontario

Business owners and advisors that support family enterprises are invited to gather at Bingemans Conference Centre to hear about family business best practices from Dan Flanagan, President of Flanagan Foodservice. In addition, Nahla Kor of Kor Capabilities Consulting will host a highly interactive session to highlight workplace techniques to help build resilience, improve relationships and affect overall well-being of employees.

April 10, 2019

Regardless of Pathway

Deciding which career path to follow is a difficult decision for many youth. Help them find their fit by showcasing your industry at Explore Your Future, Waterloo Region’s annual career exploration fair for grade 7-12 students and their parents/guardians. Join 60+ local employers and community organizations as an exhibitor, offer an interactive session, or come as a parent/guardian and bring your kids: thanks for the support of local sponsors, this event is free to attend for youth and parents. Register today!

May 5, 2019

Lutherwood’s Steps for Kids 2019

Join us on Sunday May 5th, as we walk, run and take another big step towards ending the stigma associated with mental health. Steps for Kids is a fun, fabulous and family friendly event. It’s dog friendly too! The 3-5 km beautiful route will take you through the farms and trails of North Waterloo; watch live performances, enjoy snacks and refreshments and have a great day out! Come as an individual, join a team, bring your friends and colleagues, or come with your family. For more information, to register, volunteer or donate please visit: www.lutherwoodstepsforkids.ca

May 10, 2019


The World’s Largest Leadership Event Returns to Cambridge

The world’s largest leadership event is back by popular demand! Drayton Entertainment and the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce will once again team up to host Leadercast, an educational event aimed at developing leaders across all industries and at any career level, so they are better equipped to take on the next challenge and inspire others. The 2019 event will be streamed live at the Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge on Friday, May 10.

May 28, 2019

Local Credit Unions Unite for Change: Charity Golf Tournament

Education Credit Union (ECU), Kindred Credit Union (Kindred), and Your Neighbourhood Credit Union (YNCU) announced their upcoming charity golf tournament, Credit Unions for Change. The fundraiser will be held at Rebel Creek on May 28, and it will include an 18-hole golf tournament, a boxed lunch, raffle table, and dinner. The three credit union hosts operate in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. They are sharing the costs of the event and directing all profits to their three chosen charities, which are in support of food security. ECU will support Nutrition for Learning, Kindred will direct funds to The Working Centre, and YNCU has chosen to send proceeds to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.

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Copyright, 2019