Thursday July 26, 2018



U of T launches Canada's first engineering undergraduate program in machine intelligence

Students will begin courses in the new major in September

In the future, cars, drones and other robots may not need human pilots – but they will need creative and knowledgeable engineers. Two new programs at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering will prepare a new generation of experts to lead the development of artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data.


How Canadian Boomers Got Into Pot

The legalization of marijuana in Canada comes almost a century after the drug was first declared an illegal substance in 1923, but pot didn’t explode in popularity until the 1960s when a group of rebellious people began promoting it a shortcut to peace and enlightenment. Concerned about the new use of this drug, in 1969, the Royal Commission on the Non-Medical Use of Drugs visited coffee shops and universities to talk to young people about marijuana use.


Fake videos of real people -- and how to spot them

Do you think you're good at spotting fake videos, where famous people say things they've never said in real life? See how they're made in this astonishing talk and tech demo. Computer scientist Supasorn Suwajanakorn shows how, as a grad student, he used AI and 3D modeling to create photorealistic fake videos of people synced to audio. Learn more about both the ethical implications and the creative possibilities of this tech -- and the steps being taken to fight against its misuse.

World Trade

Monitoring report shows increase of new trade restrictions from WTO members

WTO members introduced more trade-restrictive measures from mid-October 2017 to mid-May 2018 compared to the previous review period (mid-October 2016 to mid-October 2017), according to the Director-General’s mid-year report on trade-related developments presented to members on 25 July at a meeting of the Trade Policy Review Body. While WTO members continued to implement more trade-facilitating than trade-restrictive measures, the value of trade covered by the restrictive measures rose and the value covered by facilitating measures fell. The report draws attention to this shift, and to the fact that it is taking place at a time of heightened trade tensions and associated rhetoric, which should be of concern to the international community.

Changing Force

Why the workforce gender gap matters to business

Reducing barriers to adding women to the workforce in Canada could add $150 billion to $420 billion in GDP over 10 years - By Denise Mullen and Kristine St. Laurent

In British Columbia and Canada more broadly, the proportion of females aged 15 and over who participate in the labour force remains nine percentage points below that of males. And it has stayed this way since the early 1990s. Why does this matter?


Financial Accountability Officer of Ontario (FAO) releases 2017-18 Annual Report

Ontario - Peter Weltman, Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer, submitted his 2017-2018 annual report to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. The report summarizes the FAO’s activities in support of all members of the Legislative Assembly undertaken during the 2017-2018 fiscal year.


Premier Doug Ford Reinforces Michigan Trade Ties

Reminds Governor Snyder that Ontario is Their Top Customer

Ontario - Premier Doug Ford spoke on the phone last week with Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan. The call was an opportunity for the Premier to connect directly with Governor Snyder, and build on the mutually beneficial trade relationship between the two jurisdictions. "Ontario and Michigan share a very valuable trade partnership," said Ford. "We're their number one customer. We trade more than US$64 billion in goods every year, and our automotive and agri-food sectors support thousands of jobs on both sides of the border. Governor Snyder and I spoke openly about the importance of continued trade. We agree that our economic ties are crucial for creating the good local jobs people depend on."

Labour & Travel

Steelworkers Make Significant Gains at Delta Airlines

New collective agreement includes wage increases making Delta employees the highest-paid in Canada.

The best pay rates in the industry are among significant improvements in a new collective agreement achieved by United Steelworkers (USW) members working at Delta Airlines operations in Canada. USW Local 1976 members approved the new, five-year contract in ratification votes held across Canada this month. The contract covers more than 300 Delta employees at airports across the country, including ticket and gate agents, baggage handlers and ramp workers.


World Bank Group Exceeds its Climate Finance Target with Record Year

Fiscal Year 2018 sets record with $20.5 billion in finance for country-level climate action

The World Bank Group announced today that in fiscal year 2018, 32.1 percent of its financing had climate co-benefits – already exceeding the target set in 2015 that 28 percent of its lending volume would be climate-related by 2020. This amounted to a record-setting $20.5 billion in climate-related finance delivered in the last fiscal year - the result of an institution-wide effort to mainstream climate considerations into all development projects. The 28 percent target was a key goal of the Bank Group’s Climate Change Action Plan, adopted in April 2016, and was designed to support countries to deliver on their national goals under the Paris Agreement on climate change.



How AI is making it easier to diagnose disease

Today's AI algorithms require tens of thousands of expensive medical images to detect a patient's disease. What if we could drastically reduce the amount of data needed to train an AI, making diagnoses low-cost and more effective? TED Fellow Pratik Shah is working on a clever system to do just that. Using an unorthodox AI approach, Shah has developed a technology that requires as few as 50 images to develop a working algorithm -- and can even use photos taken on doctors' cell phones to provide a diagnosis. Learn more about how this new way to analyze medical information could lead to earlier detection of life-threatening illnesses and bring AI-assisted diagnosis to more health care settings worldwide. Dr. Pratik Shah creates novel intersections between engineering, medical imaging, machine learning and medicine.


One step closer to closing the gender gap in engineering

More young women will likely go into engineering if it is promoted as a profession for well-rounded people with a desire to serve society, according to a new study at the University of Waterloo. The findings suggest that efforts to close a gender gap in the field should stress key reasons for women to pursue engineering along with the current approach of instilling confidence in their technical and academic abilities to succeed. “The message to women isn’t just that they can do it,” said Lukasz Golab, an engineering professor who led the research. “The message is also that women should want to do it because engineering is an excellent fit for their values, priorities and approaches.”

Better Understanding

New research from Western University a call to arms for ‘flat-brainers’

While flat-earthers continue to debate even the remote possibility that our world is spherical, new research from Western University shows that the human brain is actually better understood in 2D rather than 3D. A team of Western University neuroscientists, led by physicist Andrea Soddu, has developed a new method of calculating distance in the human brain, which will revolutionize the basic understanding of how we store, organize and analyze data while we are awake and asleep.


Canada’s ‘innovation economy’ has been over-hyped and needs a reality check

Neil Desai and Graeme Moffat are executives with Canadian technology scale-ups and Fellows at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto.

There has been a steady drumbeat of headlines praising Canada’s innovation economy of late, including our academic contributions in the area of artificial intelligence, federal “superclusters” that will foster collaboration between large multinationals, local startups and postsecondary institutions, and strategies to increase access to venture capital.


Laurier explores the impact of computational and design thinking at its first annual Ignite Your Teaching event

Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier University is offering its first annual Ignite Your Teaching event, a professional development opportunity for instructors at Laurier and surrounding educational institutions, which will be held on Aug. 21 at the university’s Waterloo campus. Ignite Your Teaching 2018, a partnership between Teaching and Learning and the Faculty of Education at Laurier, will bring faculty, industry leaders, and professional staff together. Using active and innovative methods, attendees will explore the importance and implementation of computational and design thinking in higher education and why they are essential skills for student success while in university and in their careers.



Jeffrey H. Barnes succeeds Iain Burns as President & CEO of Philips Canada

Markham - Royal Philips announced that Jeffrey H. Barnes (right) has succeeded Iain Burns as President and CEO of Philips Canada, with immediate effect. Mr. Barnes is a member of the Philips North America Executive Team and will report to the CEO of North America, Vitor Rocha. After leading the Canadian organization for 17 years, Mr. Burns plans to retire on July 31, 2018.

Fall Trade Show

Only have 20 Booths Remaining!

2018 Business Expo@Bingemans - members only

The Guelph, Cambridge and Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chambers of Commerce invite you to participate in the 2018 Business Expo. The tradeshow will offer exhibitors the opportunity to display their products and services as well as network. Over 1200 attendees. Exhibitor displays are now available. Members of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chambers of Commerce and the Guelph Chambers of Commerce, this is your opportunity to showcase your business; admission is free for all attendees and is open to the public!


New Associate Vice-President (Research Services) Named

Karina McInnis has been appointed as the University of Guelph’s new associate vice-president (research services). Her appointment begins Sept. 10. McInnis is currently the executive director of university research services at Queen’s University. A renowned leader in Canadian research administration, she has 17 years of experience supporting university researchers. “Ms. McInnis is an outstanding choice for this leadership role that provides the underpinnings for the University’s extensive, world-class research enterprise,” said Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research).

Love My Hood

City of Kitchener celebrates community connectedness during Placemaking Challenge Days

On July 27, 28 and 29, 2018, Placemaking Challenge Days will take place across the City of Kitchener. This weekend will mark the completion date of several of the Placemaking Challenge projects that received grants from the city. The three-day celebration will also feature previews of projects in progress and include exciting activities for residents to enjoy.


July 27, 2018

Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival Ball to help fight cancer, blood disorders through initiative with SickKids

A new charitable partnership between this summer’s Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival and the Hospital for Sick Children will help Caribbean kids with pediatric cancer and serious blood disorders. The Carnival, marking its 51st anniversary of celebrating Caribbean culture in Toronto, has chosen the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative as the beneficiary of its gala Carnival Ball on Friday, July 27. Proceeds from the black-tie event – one of the highlights of the four-week festival – will be donated to the initiative. In partnership with six Caribbean countries, SickKids is building local capacity through the charitable initiative to advance the study, diagnosis and treatment of pediatric cancer and serious blood disorders across the region.

August 12, 2018

Cambridge Rotary Ribfest Returns

One of the most delicious events in the region is fast approaching on Friday August 10 to Sunday August 12 in Riverside Park, Cambridge. Enjoy FREE Admission, Parking, Entertainment & KidZone at this popular family-friendly event. A donation to Rotary is greatly appreciated.

August 20-22, 2018

Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada Show to Unveil Futuristic Clothing

Fashionwear that diagnoses, treats health conditions among products to be featured at Toronto show, August 20-22

Toronto – Canada is leading the way in breakthrough technologies in the rapidly-growing apparel and textile industry, with many innovations set to be unveiled to the public at the upcoming Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada (ATSC) show, August 20-22, 2018 in Toronto.

October 24, 2018

Partners in Prevention Health & Safety Southwestern

Bringing the Latest OH&S Updates to Your Community

The Canadian health and safety landscape is constantly changing. Whether it’s new legislation, innovations in technology, quality and safety standards, changing demographics or workplace culture, today’s health and safety community is challenged with staying ahead of the curve.

November 8, 2018

Discover Rockway - Gr. 7-12 Open House

This event is an opportunity to see Rockway in action, meet the faculty, administration, parents and students and see why Rockway might be the right place for your family. Join us! Register at

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ISSN 0824-45
Copyright, 2018