Thursday February 14, 2019



Detect Explosives with a Strip of Paper? This Edmonton Company is Disrupting the Market with its Groundbreaking Technology

Paper-thin strip being developed by Applied Quantum Materials Inc. and being tested by the RCMP, is poised to revolutionize law enforcement, travel, food and health industries It looks like a simple slip of paper, but its capabilities are set to explode the market for detection technologies. A disposable test strip being developed by Edmonton-based Applied Quantum Materials Inc. (AQM) detects trace quantities of chemicals — including those used in explosive devices — in an instant. Under a UV flashlight or lamp, a glowing strip becomes dark when trace amounts are present. The strip, which is poised to revolutionize how law enforcement agencies and security professionals look for explosives, was invented by Mitacs researcher Dr. Christina Gonzalez (right) in collaboration with her PhD advisor, Professor Jonathan Veinot of the University of Alberta Chemistry Department. Dr. Gonzalez’ collaboration with AQM to commercialize the technology is supported by Mitacs, a not-for-profit organization that connects industry with postsecondary researchers to solve business challenges.

Building for ICI

Seven Ontario ConstructionAssociation REvive Link2Build Ontario With Bids & Tenders

eSolutionsGroup has announced the development of a completely new web - based application that will use the existing LINK2BUILD Ontario brand. The application is being developed specifically for the newly formed Ontario Construction Alliance Association (OCAA), a coalition of Ontario construction associations. The seven associations represent the majority of the Province’s construction stakeholders. They will use the new web - based app to collect construction tenders for the entire province and display them in one place. Companies that become LINK2BUILD Ontario members will benefit from more bidding tools for estimating, and more time to prepare bids. A major bonus of the new LINK2BUILD On tario is that it will integrate with eSolutions’ digital bidding platform, bids&tenders. Currently, more than 200 buyers post billions of dollars in bid opportunities exclusively on bids&tenders.


Research will help urban planners prioritize bike lanes

A new virtual tool could help planners choose the best places to install bikes lanes in cities.

The data-based tool builds on previous research at the University of Waterloo that validated the safety benefits of bike lanes for cyclists and motorists. Collected using sensors and a handlebar camera as researchers cycled hundreds of kilometres in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, the data showed bike lanes virtually eliminate vehicles getting too close to cyclists when they pass them. “Drivers aren’t trying to scare cyclists or be inconsiderate,” said Bruce Hellinga, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Waterloo. “In many cases, they just don’t feel they can leave more space because of the geometry of the road and the proximity of other vehicles."


McMaster helps provide new insight on gene mutations associated with autism

A McMaster scientist has co-led new research which ssuggests increased activity in neurons that are deficient in two genes could cause autism-related characteristics in humans. The novel investigation into the impacts of neuronal mutations of the CNTN5 or EHMT2 genes on autism-related characteristics has been described in the open-access journal eLife. “We’re glad to be involved in this research which shows such promise,” says author Karun Singh, associate professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster and a principal investigator of the Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute. “We can now use the resources developed in this study to identify new therapeutics for autism.”


Social media fantasies can demolish confidence, but it’s not all bad

By Eleftherios Soleas and Jen McConnel

If social media was a person, you’d probably avoid them. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are loaded with pictures of people going to exotic places, looking like they are about to be on the cover of Vogue, and otherwise living a fairy-tale existence. And, like all fairy tales, these narratives feel a lot like fiction. When you compare the “projected reality” to your lived experience, it would be easy to conclude that you do not measure up. Research shows that young adults are especially vulnerable to this phenomenon.


Evolve or dissolve: Economic reality check for Canadian CEOs

Upskilling is key to ensure a long-term success; 62% of Canadian CEOs believe that global economic growth will decline or stay the same; 84% of Canadian CEOs agree AI will significantly change their business within the next five years; 88% of Canadian CEOs say they're concerned about the availability of important skills in their industry—up from 51% in 2018.

According to the Canadian results of PwC's Global CEO Survey, 62% of Canadian CEOs (vs. 57% globally) say global economic growth will decline or stay the same. While they are less optimistic about the global economy and their growth prospects compared to last year, this is a prime opportunity to focus on transforming how they work including upskilling. The results of the survey also focus on technologies like data analytics and artificial intelligence to meet rapidly evolving customer needs.

Advancing to the Next Level

Public speaking champions chosen in Cambridge

Two area residents will compete at a Toastmasters International public speaking contest March 30, facing competitors from across central Ontario. Nancy Movrin, of Cambridge, and Randy Moore, from Ayr, won at an annual Toastmasters International competition Fri., Feb. 8, 2019, at Langs community centre, Cambridge ON. Movrin took home the Best Speaker trophy, after presenting a prepared speech. Moore was top Speech Evaluator, after listening to another speech and then immediately standing before an audience to verbally present constructive criticism of that speech.


Statement by Premier Doug Ford on Terms of Reference Signed Between the Province of Ontario and City of Toronto

On Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford issued the following statement on the signing of Terms of Reference: "Necessary maintenance and investment in the subway system has been put off for too long. We've also been waiting far too long for subway expansions. New subway construction has been stuck in red tape, for years. It's time to take action and speed things up.

Ontario's Health Care

Warning that Leaked Health Care Omnibus Bill Would Create Health Care Chaos:

The Waterloo Region Health Coalition held a press conference at Queen's ParkTuesday morning made up of Longstanding Leaders of Organizations Representing Patients, Care Workers, Doctors

Academic leaders, democracy advocates, patient advocates, front-line care workers and doctors are all speaking with one voice when it comes to the leaked health care omnibus bill that has secretly been planned by the Ford government for months: if passed, it would cause health care chaos that will last for years. Speaking at a Queen’s Park press conference this morning, representatives called on the Ford government to rethink their plans; to rebuild capacity in our public health care to meet population need and consult with Ontarians in a proper and meaningful democratic consultation process about the future of our health care system, rather than engaging in massive restructuring and privatization.

Data Transparency

CRTC must correct flawed report, explain missing data

Without explanation, the 2018 Communications Monitoring Report broke with past standards and omitted data that is highly relevant to CRTC proceedings

TekSavvy Solutions Inc. issued a letter to the CRTC calling for greater transparency and disclosure regarding its Communications Monitoring Report, published on 20 December 2018 (“2018 Report”). At the heart of the CRTC’s mandate is to serve the public interest by consulting and informing Canadians about its work. Published annually by the CRTC, the Communications Monitoring Report provides comprehensive data and analysis about Canada’s communications sector. Each edition of the report serves as an important source of public evidence to inform Canadians and enable them to participate meaningfully in the CRTC’s proceedings.


Cross-Species Cancer Comparison Uncovers New Drug Targets, Study Reveals

New drug targets for a rare form of melanoma may result from the discovery of similar genetic mutations found in humans, dogs and horses under a first-ever tri-species DNA sequencing study involving a University of Guelph researcher. Melanoma is a cancer that most commonly occurs in the skin in people, but a subtype called mucosal melanoma arises in non-skin locations such as sinuses, nasal passages and mouth. Oral melanoma in dogs is much more common than in humans and also has a poor prognosis, while melanoma in horses is generally less aggressive. Currently there are no known risk factors for this cancer in humans, which is often diagnosed late. In all species, the main treatment is surgical removal of the tumour. Published in Nature Communications, the study was designed to pinpoint key genes that are mutated in mucosal melanoma. The study was the first to compare cancer genomes across human, canine and equine tumours, the first to sequence horse tumours and the first sequencing study of this scale on dog melanoma.


Cutting-edge technologies to benefit cardiovascular patients worldwide

Over $3.9 million invested to help medical company expand, capture global market and create over 60 skilled jobs

Yesterday, FedDev Ontario, announced a FedDev Ontario contribution of over $3.9 million for Conavi Medical Inc., a developer and manufacturer of leading-edge medical technologies, to support the expansion and reconfiguration of its production facility in Toronto.

Vulnerable Populations

Study shows London’s vulnerable populations live near primary care, but language remains a challenge

Researchers at Western University are using geography to better understand access to primary care in London, Ontario, and have shown that accessibility for vulnerable populations is quite good in the city, while access along linguistic lines is less certain. The team led by Jason Gilliland, PhD, Professor in the Faculty of Social Science and the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western, looked at accessibility to a primary care provider, either a family doctor or nurse practitioner based on distribution and geographical proximity. They focused on accessibility for vulnerable populations, specifically seniors, lone-parents, and low-income households.

Deceptive Publishing

Checklist to spot deceptive publishers becomes national resource

Some journals may have all the trappings of a reputable publication, but really just seek to turn a profit from unsuspecting academics. The University of Toronto’s Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation worked with U of T Libraries on a checklist that helps researchers spot these deceptive publishers before it's too late. The resource, published under a creative commons license so it could be shared widely, was recently endorsed by Canada’s Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research, which put it on its website and translated it into French.


10+ years of community supporting immigrants and refugees

Yesterday the Immigration Partnership celebrated 10+ years of community collaboration settling immigrants and refugees in Waterloo Region. Planning for the Immigration Partnership of Waterloo Region began in 2009, building on the work of its predecessor, the Waterloo Region Immigrant Employment Network. Funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the Ontario Government, the Region of Waterloo and United Way Waterloo Region Communities, the Immigration Partnership has worked since that time to make Waterloo Region a community where immigrants and refugees successfully settle, work and belong.


The 25th Anniversary of Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights

The Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) is 25 years old on February 15, 2019. This law, unique in Canada, gives Ontarians the right to participate in environmentally significant decisions. Better environmental outcomes result when Ontarians know and use their environmental rights.

Arts & Culture

Music Director Andrei Feher Announces the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony’s 2019/20 Season and New Artist-In-Residence

Last night Music Director Andrei Feher, Executive Director Andrew Bennett and Artistic Administrator Olga Mychajluk announced the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony’s 2019/20 Season. Attendees were treated to a special performance of Maang Kwe (Loon Woman) on the pipigwan (Anishinaabe cedar flute) by new Artist-In-Residence and Cultural Consultant Barbara Croall to open the evening.


February 15, 2019

Spectrum Academy expands education pilot program for autistic children

Founded in 1980, Ontario’s longest operating private special education school expand pilot program

This Friday, February 15, 2019 Kitchener's St. Jude’s School, after two years of conducting a pilot program wil announce it's expansion of Spectrum Academy. Amy Fee, MPP and Regional Chair Karen Redman will be announcing the official opening and expansion of Spectrum Academy, Ontario’s first full day, education & therapy integrated, school for autistic children. Spectrum Academy’s two-year pilot is a primary class – ages 5 to 7.

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

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!

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