Thursday December 5, 2019



New math model could lead to more personalized cancer therapies

Researchers have found a new way to use math to better treat cancer and prevent its relapse.

Using the first mathematical model of its kind, researchers at the University of Waterloo found a way to study the interactions between the immune system and different types of cancer cells. Using their new model, the researchers found that administering different cancer therapies in a particular sequence could better target cancer stem cells in tumours, potentially leading to more personalized treatments for cancer patients.
Cancer stem cells are known to drive tumour growth, which means that eradicating them can lead to long-term treatment success with a reduced likelihood of disease relapse.


City of Calgary Selects eleven-x to Manage LoRaWAN Network and Deliver Smart City Solutions

LoRaWAN® Network Enables Deployment of Cost-Effective IoT Solutions Across City Assets and Infrastructure

Waterloo's eleven-x announced that The City of Calgary, Canada’s third largest municipality, has selected them to be the managed service provider for The City’s LoRaWAN® based Smart City network. eleven-x will bring its wireless connectivity expertise to help operate the low-power IoT platform which enables the connectivity and management of numerous Smart City solutions designed to help The City manage a diverse set of challenges and thrive with future innovative programs.


33% of Companies in Canada that Offer Year-End Bonuses Plan to Increase Them

Some workers will be bringing home bigger paycheques this month, suggests new research from global staffing firm Robert Half. Nearly two-thirds of senior managers polled (64 per cent) in Canada said their company offers year-end bonuses. Of those respondents, a third (33 per cent) noted their organizations plan to increase bonuses this year, while 64 per cent plan to keep them the same. Only three per cent of executives anticipate reducing the amount given to employees. In a separate survey of workers, 27 per cent said they expect a bonus this year. Professionals have a variety of plans for the extra money, including paying off debt (47 per cent), putting it toward long-term savings (44 per cent), a vacation in the new year (26 per cent), and holiday shopping (18 per cent).

Prestigious Chair

Laurier’s Alison Blay-Palmer named UNESCO Chair in Food, Biodiversity and Sustainability Studies

Wilfrid Laurier University Professor Alison Blay-Palmer has been named United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Chair in Food, Biodiversity and Sustainability Studies. Led in Canada by the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the prestigious UNESCO Chairs program promotes international inter-university cooperation in key priority areas for the agency. The chair program involves more than 781 institutions in 116 countries. It includes relatively few Canadian English-language universities, making Blay-Palmer only the fourth Ontario scholar to participate in the program.

Home Economics

Canada 2020 Food Price Report Finds Imported Produce Driving Up Canadians' Grocery Bills

10th annual food forecast announced December 4

Canadian families can expect to fork out $487 more on food this year. Rising meat, produce and seafood prices are to blame according to the 2020 Canada's Food Price Report. Released yesterday, the 10th annual report provides a price forecast for eight food categories and is a joint project between the University of Guelph's Arrell Food Institute (AFI) and Dalhousie University's Agri-Food Analytics Lab.

Most Distinguished

Conestoga grads honoured at 2019 Premier’s Awards gala

Three Conestoga alumni joined the ranks of Ontario’s most distinguished college graduates on Monday, December 2, when they were named as 2019 recipients of Premier’s Awards at a gala celebration held at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. The awards, established in 1992, acknowledge the social and economic contribution that Ontario college graduates make to the province and throughout the world. Award recipients, chosen from nominations submitted by the province’s 24 colleges, have demonstrated outstanding career success related to their college experience and have made significant contributions to their community.


Skills Ontario launches #FillTheToolbox engagement campaign to raise funds and celebrate 30 year anniversary

The campaign aims to represent how Skills Ontario programs give youth the tools of education, experience, and employment in order to recognize their opportunities in skilled trades and tech

Skills Ontario announced the official launch of the #FillTheToolbox engagement campaign, where every donation supports Skills Ontario programming and counts towards representatively giving Ontario’s youth the tools to learn about career opportunities in the skilled trades and technologies.

Home Sales

Slower Home sales bring Big Price Gains in November

Four hundred and twenty four residential properties sold through the Multiple Listing System of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS (KWAR) in November, a decrease of 12.4 per cent compared to the same month last year. Home sales in November included 265 detached (down 1.5 per cent), and 46 condominium apartments (down 28.1 per cent). Sales also included 75 townhouses (down 38.5 per cent) and 38 semi-detached homes (up 31 per cent). “Home sales were slower in November,” says Colleen Koehler, KWAR President. “However, looking at the last six months of activity combined, unit sales are up four per cent over last year, and trending above average,” says Koehler.

Community Health

Kitchener launches pilot of free menstrual products in City facilities

As part of Kitchener’s commitment to provide welcoming community spaces and programs, the City of Kitchener has begun a pilot to provide free menstrual products in City-operated facilities. Washrooms in The Aud, Chandler-Mowat Community Centre, Victoria Hills Community Centre, Breithaupt Centre, Lyle Hallman Pool, Activa Sportsplex, and Kitchener City Hall will be equipped with menstrual products that visitors can use free of charge. “Access to free hygienic products is an issue of menstrual equity,” said Ward 10 Councillor Sarah Marsh. “Ensuring that our facilities and programming are accessible means working to overcome all potential barriers facing people who wish to engage with the City’s services and programs.”


TextNow Announces Mike Grishaver as New VP of Product

Former Pandora and Etsy Executive Joins TextNow to Expand its Free Phone Service Offering

TextNow, the leading mobile app providing free and low-cost phone service, announced the addition of Mike Grishaver as the company's VP of Product. Grishaver is responsible for leading the product vision, strategy, and development that supports TextNow's 15 million monthly active users. Grishaver reports to TextNow's Founder & CEO, Derek Ting. "As we continue to make phone service accessible to everyone at any budget, TextNow's mobile experience is a top priority," said Ting. "Mike strikes the right balance between data-centric and creative visionary as a product leader. His expertise in building user-friendly mobile products that leverage robust technology is key to scaling TextNow. I'm excited to welcome Mike to the TextNow family and grow the company with his partnership."

International Transfers

Libro Credit Union Partners with EncoreFX for effortless cross-border payments

EncoreFX has partnered with Libro Credit Union to offer self service international payments and foreign exchange services to Libro’s Business Owners.

In today’s fast-paced world, business owners expect international transfers and payments to happen easily and quickly. Libro Business Owners have identified that the ability to transfer international funds effortlessly is crucial to their continued success. All future Owners will have a similar expectation. With this in mind, Libro is pleased to establish this partnership with EncoreFX in order to leverage the capabilities of Express, EncoreFX’s debut Fintech platform.

Attraction & Retention

Redfin Unveils the Best Canadian Cities for Biking

Seattle company releases its inaugural Bike Score ratings of Canadian cities, neighborhoods and addresses; Waterloo scores 7th.

Victoria, Vancouver and Montréal are the most bike-friendly cities in Canada, according to a new ranking from Redfin. This is the first time Redfin has used its Bike Score® tool to rate Canadian cities, neighborhoods and addresses. Scores are based on several factors including access to bike lanes, road connectivity and hilliness. Cities where daily errands can be accomplished by bike score 90 points and above, cities where biking is convenient for most trips score 70-89 points and cities with some bike infrastructure score 50-69 points.


Lung images of twins with asthma add to understanding of the disease

Two lung imaging studies from Western University, including one performed in non-identical twin patients with life-long asthma, have shown that airway defects in the lungs of asthmatic patients are like thumbprints – they have a unique pattern and maintain that pattern over time. These studies deepen our understanding of asthma and also open up opportunities for personalized therapies that can target specific areas of the lungs. In a study published recently in the journal Radiology, researchers used a specialized MRI technique developed at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, to follow 11 patients with mild to moderate asthma over a six year period and were able to visualize where air goes in the lungs and more importantly, where it does not.


Canadian Business leaders uncertain about economic outlook: CPA Canada Business Monitor

Optimism and pessimism about the economy are running neck and neck, according to a new survey conducted for Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada). Optimism about the Canadian economy over the next 12 months is at 28 per cent among professional accountants in leadership positions surveyed for the CPA Canada Business Monitor (Q3 2019). Meanwhile, another 28 per cent of those surveyed reported feeling pessimistic. The largest group took no position, with 44 per cent reporting neither optimism nor pessimism.


New tech allows Western neuroscientists to study virtual reality through sound

When exploring virtual reality, most consider the simulation as a visual experience. New technology at Western University will allow neuroscientists and audiologists to investigate simulated spaces through sound. Ingrid Johnsrude (right), Director of Western’s renowned Brain and Mind Institute, and her collaborators at the School of Communication Sciences & Disorders and the National Centre for Audiology will now be conducting auditory assessments and cognitive neuroscientific studies using an advanced geodesic dome, boosted by more than 100 speakers, allowing the researchers to better understand how people’s brains process sounds.


Canadians Rapidly Adopting New Payments Channels

Electronic payments account for 73 per cent of all transaction volume versus cash at 21 per cent, reports Payments Canada

New technology and payments innovation are transforming the way Canadian consumers and businesses make payments, according to data from Payments Canada's annual Canadian Payments Methods and Trends Report. In pursuit of more convenient, faster and secure payment experiences, Canadians are rapidly adopting newer digital channels, such as contactless (tapping card or mobile), e-commerce, mobile and online transfers, in favour of more traditional 'paper and coin' payments.

Low Carbon Community

Twenty-six CEOs and civil society leaders tell Prime Minister and Premiers “time is now” for implementing a clean, low carbon economy

Twenty-six prominent CEOs and civil society leaders from across Canada sent a letter to the Prime Minister and to provincial and territorial premiers today, with eight key recommendations for how to move beyond climate targets and plans and get to the implementation of a cleaner Canadian economy. “Building a low carbon, high performance economy is a vital environmental responsibility. It is also a major economic opportunity for all sectors and regions of the country”, notes the letter, adding “we believe the time for us to capture this economic and environmental opportunity is now”.


Funding renewal supports delivery of training in long-term care

Conestoga College, in partnership with the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging and the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation, will continue to deliver training in person-centred care to long-term care home teams across the province thanks to a funding renewal for the Personal Support Worker Education Fund. On November 25, the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care announced that the Ontario Ministry of Health and the Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care would extend the $4 million funding for a third year.


eSentire Announces Amit Mital as Strategic Advisor

Tech veteran brings expertise in accelerated innovation to global leader in Managed Detection and Response

eSentire, Inc., announced that Amit Mital, CEO and founder of Kernel Labs, has joined eSentire as a strategic advisor. Mital brings over 25 years of extensive experience in the tech and security sectors to the company, including 20 years with Microsoft and as chief technology officer (CTO) of Symantec. As artificial intelligence, digital transformation, cloud and cybersecurity continue to converge it becomes even more crucial to understand the future enterprise software landscape. As a strategic advisor to eSentire, Mital will work with eSentire's product and technology teams to accelerate innovation.

Air travel

In-Flight Services—Not Ticket Prices—Boost Passenger Satisfaction on International Flights, J.D. Power Finds

Turkish Airlines Ranks Highest in Overall Satisfaction among Airlines Flying to Europe; Japan Airlines Ranks Highest among Airlines Flying to Asia

Great food—the spicier the better—plus good customer service and a positive track record are the primary drivers of passenger satisfaction on international airline flights. In a stark departure from the price-driven culture of domestic airline customer behavior, the J.D. Power 2019 Airline International Destination Satisfaction Study,SM released today, finds that cost and fees are notably less important than in-flight services when it comes to delighting passengers on international flights.

Reference Grace

The 4 Best Ways To Cultivate a Positive Job Reference

How To Stay In Your Professional References’ Good Graces

Personal relationships are the foundation of professional success, so it if you’re searching for a new job, it makes good business sense to stay in touch with your former bosses, says Allison & Taylor a professional reference checking firm. It’s also respectful professional etiquette, and as your career advances, your efforts to stay connected with past employers could pay dividends many times over as they respond to reference requests. Conversely, failing maintain a solid relationship with your references could have long-reaching professional consequences.


Made-in-Canada Japanese-Brand Auto Manufacturing Stays the Course With Continued Stability and Growth

Employment growth in Japanese-brand auto manufacturing stands in contrast to the rest of Canada’s automotive industry

Japanese-brand auto manufacturers produced 47 per cent of light vehicles manufactured in Canada and employed nearly 40 per cent of Canada’s automotive industry workforce in 2018, according to a report released by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association of Canada (JAMA Canada). The report, The Economic Contributions of the Japanese-Brand Automotive Industry in Canada, 2001-2018, was prepared for JAMA Canada by Greig Mordue (McMaster University) and Brendan Sweeney (Trillium Centre for Advanced Manufacturing/APRC). It reveals the Japanese-brand automotive industry in Canada employed more than 94,000 people in 2018 – 14,560 in vehicle manufacturing, 17,776 in parts manufacturing, and 58,343 in Japanese-brand new vehicle dealerships.

Added Value

Restaurants Canada applauds Manitoba for paving way for alcoholic beverages to be sold through takeout and delivery

Canada’s national restaurant association is pleased to see Manitoba’s newly re-elected government uphold a key commitment to the province’s foodservice sector and set an example for other jurisdictions.

Restaurants Canada welcomes new legislation introduced Tuesday that will allow Manitoba’s restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages through takeout and delivery service. “This is something that restaurants and their customers have been wanting for years,” said James Rilett, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Central Canada. “We’ve been working with Manitoba’s government toward making this change for quite a while now. We commend Premier Pallister for upholding his commitment and making Manitoba an example for other jurisdictions to follow.”

Ambitious Scenario

Tourism’s Carbon Emissions Measured in Landmark Report Launched At COP25

Transport-related emissions from tourism are expected to account for 5.3% of all man-made CO2 emissions by 2030, up from 5% in 2016, a landmark new report from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the International Transport Forum (ITF) shows. At the same time, as tourist numbers rise and the sector makes progress in achieving low-carbon travel, emissions per passenger kilometer are expected to decline over the coming decade. Against this backdrop, UNWTO calls for enhanced cooperation between the transport and tourism sectors to effectively transform tourism for climate action.


No change to policy rate, but a more optimistic tone

BoC leaves its policy rate unchanged at 1.75%, as expected; Greater optimism amid nascent signs that global economy is stabilizing, and unexpectedly strong business investment in Q3; Future policy decisions will be guided by evidence on the impact of trade conflicts, judged against domestic economic resilience

The Bank of Canada left its policy rate unchanged at 1.75%. The consensus expectation was for no change. The Bank noted that its October global economic outlook remains intact, but that there is "nascent evidence" that the global economy is stabilizing. Meanwhile, global trade tensions remain a source of uncertainty, and are considered the biggest risk to the outlook. In terms of the domestic economy, the Bank said that GDP growth slowed in Q3, in line with their October forecast. That said, yesterday's statement did highlight the surprising strength in business investment in Q3.


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.

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Copyright, 2019