Thursday January 17, 2019



Special Advisors Appointed to Begin Regional Government Review

The Ontario government is moving ahead with a review of regional government by appointing Michael Fenn (below photo) and Ken Seiling (photo/link) as Special Advisors. The regional government model has been in place for almost 50 years in Ontario and we are taking steps to ensure that regional governments are working efficiently and effectively. These advisors will consult broadly over the coming months and provide recommendations to improve governance, decision-making and service delivery.

Start-Up - Agriculture

Grain Discovery Execute World's First Corn Trransaction Using Blockchain

New Prince Edward County tech start-up Grain Discovery will revolutionize how farmers trade their grain

New tech start-up Grain Discovery sets its sights on transforming the agriculture industry following the world’s first corn transaction using blockchain. This trade on the Grain Discovery platform is the first step in creating a more modern, transparent, and secure agricultural supply chain. Founded in 2018 by leaders in the commodities, blockchain, trading and data fields, Grain Discovery aims to revolutionize how farmers trade their grain. "Farming technology in the agricultural industry is incredibly advanced," explained Rory O’Sullivan, CEO of Grain Discovery (photo). "However, the way grain is bought and sold hasn't changed much since our grandparents were farming! In the age of Amazon and eBay, we reckoned the industry deserves better.”

13 Recomendations

Fiscal Balance and Strategic Action Required to Build a Stronger Ontario

Chamber urges provincial government to focus on spending smarter and evidence-based tax reforms to help businesses strive and grow in upcoming budget

On January 15, 2019, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) provided the Government of Ontario with thirteen tangible recommendations for the upcoming provincial budget to build a stronger Ontario and create a business climate which encourages growth. The OCC presented the submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, calling on the government to prioritize small business tax reforms, strategic infrastructure investment, and value-based procurement in Budget 2019.

Regional Government


Yesterday, the Ontario Government provided more details surrounding its plan to review regional government in Ontario, a project first announced in July 2018. The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark, appointed Michael Fenn and Ken Seiling as Special Advisors who will bring extensive municipal experience to the review process.

Start-Up Investment

University of Waterloo’s Velocity to launch startup investment fund

The University of Waterloo’s flagship entrepreneurship program, Velocity, is launching a venture fund that aims to connect early-stage startups to the capital they need. The new AngelList-powered venture fund, which will invest in startups in sectors ranging from software to biomedical, will launch this Spring. It will give investors a simple way to invest in a diversified portfolio of early-stage startups supported by Waterloo’s Velocity Garage. Since launching 10 years ago, Velocity has helped launce 300 companies who have collectively raised over $850 million in funding.


Dr. Veronique Boscart appointed president of Canadian Association on Gerontology

Dr. Veronique Boscart (photo), director of Conestoga's Schlegel Centre for Advancing Seniors Care, has been named president of the Canadian Association on Gerontology (CAG) for a two-year term. Founded in 1971, CAG is a national multidisciplinary association for those who research, work and have an interest in the field of aging. Between 2014 and 2017, Boscart served two terms on CAG’s board of directors and was initially involved with the association early in her career as a student member. As Conestoga’s CIHR/Schlegel Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Seniors Care, Boscart combines extensive clinical practice experience with graduate education, postdoctoral research focused on knowledge translation, and teaching expertise. Her research interests include evidence-based care in gerontology, curriculum development in gerontological education for nurses and health-care professionals, and care models for residential care settings.

Global State

Weakened International Cooperation Damaging Collective Will to Tackle Global Risks

Rising geopolitical and geo-economic tensions are the most urgent risk in 2019, with 90% of experts saying they expect further economic confrontation between major powers in 2019; Environmental degradation is the long-term risk that defines our age, with four of the top five most impactful global risks in 2019 related to climate; Rapidly evolving cyber and technological threats are the most significant potential blind spots; we still do not fully appreciate the vulnerability of networked societies

The world’s ability to foster collective action in the face of urgent major crises has reached crisis levels, with worsening international relations hindering action across a growing array of serious challenges. Meanwhile, a darkening economic outlook, in part caused by geopolitical tensions, looks set to further reduce the potential for international cooperation in 2019. These are the findings of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2019, which was released yesterday.

Expanded Services

EY Canada announces Centre of Excellence for Insurance and Actuarial Services

Weak sector growth fuels need for efficiency gains through technology and innovation; Centre to guide insurers on regulatory change and digital transformation; Top bilingual talent from across Canada accessible through Centre of Excellence

EY Canada announced a new EY Centre of Excellence for Insurance and Actuarial Services. The Centre – based in Toronto and Québec City – will offer insurers across the country access to cutting-edge services that meet the most pressing needs of their business today and in the future.


The start of a new year brings lots of excitement at JA

JA Waterloo Region is very excited to be back in classrooms and out in the community in an effort to inspire and prepare youth to be successful in 2019 and beyond. With your help they can be in more classrooms than ever before, delivering programs on financial literacy to students in Waterloo Region and inspiring youth to be leaders of change and innovation.

IT - Education

York University School of Continuing Studies responds to labour shortage with innovative new IT Audit program

"There simply aren't enough qualified IT auditors to meet demand right now"

Changes in government regulations1 are requiring organizations across Canada to revisit their Information Technology (IT) systems and controls, investing more than ever in effective IT auditing to protect themselves. This demand has created a job market shortage, with 75% of senior leaders citing a challenge in finding the right professionals to execute their IT audits2. In response to this urgent need, The York University School of Continuing Studies is launching an innovative new Certificate in IT Audit Execution. Taking a real-world approach to nurturing the practical job skills required to fully execute an IT Audit, this part-time program is currently open for enrolment, with the first session starting September, 2019.

Union Position

Keep Safeguards in Place to Protect Canada's Steel Industry

Ken Neumann, National Director of the United Steelworkers union (USW) said today that, with no sign of U.S. steel tariffs ending anytime soon, the federal government must continue safeguard measures on several categories of foreign steel imports, which surged throughout much of 2018.


U of T’s Anna Goldenberg named SickKids’ first-ever chair in biomedical informatics and artificial intelligence

Anna Goldenberg is an associate professor of computer science at U of T, a senior scientist at SickKids, and a faculty member at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence (photo courtesy of U of T department of computer science) Anna Goldenberg, a University of Toronto associate professor of computer science, is breaking ground in her new role at the Hospital for Sick Children. She has been named the hospital’s first-ever chair in biomedical informatics and artificial intelligence – the first post of its kind to exist in a Canadian children’s hospital.

Colour Facts

THEMUSEUM Celebrates Colour with Interactive, Immersive Experience

14 Installations by Local and International Artists Set to Launch January 2019

SPECTRUM is an interactive, immersive, shareable, and playable exhibition which explores the world of colour, curated by THEMUSEUM’s Senior Director, Curation, Exhibitions & Program Development Laurel McKellar with creative technology assistance from THEMUSEUM’s Technology Manager, Daniel MacPherson. In response to the recent pop culture phenomenon where museums, major brands, and cultural institutions are sharing pop-up experiences, THEMUSEUM intends to bring both new and familiar concepts to its audiences. Among the collection of vibrant installations is Martin Creed’s Half the Air in a Given Space, this installation will return with Work No. 329 Pink Balloons; a favourite that visitors of all ages fondly remember and often ask “when is the balloon room coming back?”


The Global Search for Education: The Reality of Deforestation – Coming to a Classroom Near You.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality Markets are expected to reach US$162 billion by 2020. How can schools use virtual reality to make learning more engaging?

Most of us don’t live in a rainforest but we do know that they are in great danger. Classrooms are looking for ways to help young learners better understand the deforestation crisis, for which we urgently need to find global solutions. What if it were possible to have first-hand experience on how we as humans are contributing to the extinction of trees?


Despite government subsidies, Canadian innovation wanes

Burdensome regulation, limited competition and unfavourable taxes hold Canadian companies back - By Steven Globerman

Studies show that innovation is the driving force behind long-run increases in incomes in developed countries. But Canada is falling behind. The implementation and adoption of new methods of producing goods and services, along with the introduction and use of new products and new ways of organizing businesses, remain critical to improving living standards. Canada's federal and provincial governments have tried to promote innovation for decades, primarily through direct and indirect funding of research and development by established domestic companies and by funding startup businesses.


49 Per Cent Of Workers In Canada Would Relocate for a Job, Survey Finds

Better pay and perks is the top factor for changing cities; Nearly a quarter of companies have increased their relocation packages in the past five years; 37 per cent don't provide assistance for moves

Offering relocation benefits to job candidates may be a good move for employers, suggests new research from global staffing firm Robert Half. Forty-nine per cent of workers surveyed said they would consider moving for a position. They identified better pay and perks (46 per cent) as the top motivation for moving to a new city, followed by family or personal reasons (18 per cent) and cost of living (16 per cent).

Merging Services

OC and ORTIS to Merge

Over 13,000 REALTORS® Spanning 22 Ontario Associations to be Served by Same Shared MLS® System

The Governors of the Ontario Collective™ (OC), a regional group providing MLS® System services to 12 real estate associations representing over 5,000 REALTORS®, and the Directors of the Ontario Regional Technology & Information Systems Inc. (ORTIS), a regional group providing MLS® System services to 10 real estate associations of over 8,500 REALTORS®, are pleased to announce they have signed a Transition Agreement to blend their two separate systems into one common shared regional MLS® System.

Expanded Duties

Loblaw Announces Expanded Responsibilities for Company President, Sarah Davis

Loblaw Companies Limited announced that Sarah Davis will assume expanded responsibilities in her role as President. In addition to day-to-day oversight of Loblaw's business performance, she adds full responsibility for the company's 13-member Management Board, and expands her direct-reporting lines with the addition of Finance and Human Resources. Davis continues to report to Galen G. Weston, who becomes Executive Chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited. Loblaw's executive leadership is otherwise unchanged as a result of this announcement. In her 12 years at Loblaw, Davis has served as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, and the executive lead of most business and operational functions. She has been President since January 2017.


Two-thirds of Canadians can't afford time off for caregiving

Finding spurs first-ever disability rider for family compassionate care; Two-thirds of Canadians can't afford the loss of income if they were to take time off work to act as a caregiver; To fill the gap and allow clients time off to support a terminally ill or injured child or spouse, RBC Insurance is the first in the industry to launch the Family Compassionate Care Rider as an option for select disability plans.

The emotional, mental and financial burden of being a caregiver can be challenging at best, and potentially catastrophic without the proper supports in place. According to a recent RBC Insurance survey among working Canadians, two in 10 had to take time off work to provide care for a loved one, and only one in three said they could comfortably afford the loss of income if they were to take three months off work to act as a caregiver, adding significant burden to an already difficult time.


January 23, 2019

Public Lecture: Dr. Bruce McKay on the psychological and biological effects of cannabis

On October 17, 2018, after a century of prohibition, cannabis was legalized in Canada. This lecture will begin to answer the following questions: (Click title)

February 7, 2019

St. Mary’s General Hospital Heart Month Event

Heart Disease: Understanding the Nature of Risk, Prevention and Recovery.

You’re invited to attend this FREE educational session hosted by St. Mary’s Regional Cardiac Care Centre. Through the lens of his patient’s personal story, Cardiologist Dr. Matthew Chamberlain will share how you can take charge of your heart health. St. Mary’s new president, Dr. Andrew Falconer, will also be on hand to introduce himself to the community. Complimentary parking, entry and refreshments. Thursday, February 7th, 2019. 7pm. RSVP required at

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

Educational Leadership


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.

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Copyright, 2019