Thursday May 9, 2019


New Fuel Cell

Clean fuel cells could be cheap enough to replace gas engines in vehicles

Advancements in zero-emission fuel cells could make the technology cheap enough to replace traditional gasoline engines in vehicles, according to researchers at the University of Waterloo. The researchers have developed a new fuel cell that lasts at least 10 times longer than current technology, an improvement that would make them economically practical, if mass-produced, to power vehicles with electricity.

Canada AI

'What a great place to be working in AI': Why this U of T alumnus left Silicon Valley for Toronto's tech scene

Alex Grbic, who holds a PhD in computer engineering from U of T, is back from Silicon Valley to head up Deloitte Canada's AI practice, which seeks to develop AI-powered software solutions for a range of industry clients Artificial intelligence, or AI, is fundamentally changing how businesses operate, introducing challenges that would have been unimaginable just five years ago – problems that University of Toronto alumnus Alex Grbic aims to solve. After 10 years in Silicon Valley where he led teams at chip manufacturing giants Altera and Intel, the graduate of U of T’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering recently returned to Toronto to head up Deloitte Canada’s AI practice just as the city emerges as a hotbed of machine learning research and entrepreneurship.


The crisis of leadership -- and a new way forward

Halla Tómasdóttir has never been much for "business as usual." Throughout her career, as a business leader, entrepreneur, investor and presidential candidate, she has been dedicated to purpose-driven and principled leadership. As an entrepreneur, she introduced "feminine values" into the world of finance and, with her independent campaign for president, she nearly won highest office of her home country, Iceland.


Draft Corporate Climate Change Adaptation Plan

City of Waterloo Council received an update on the draft Corporate Climate Change Adaptation Plan. The plan is an outcome of the city’s last strategic plan and is focused on the effects of climate change on the assets, operations and services that are the direct responsibility of the city. The plan sets out actions to reduce vulnerability and risk and build resilience. The city also recently concluded a robust community engagement effort to gain input on the plan.

Research Prize

Anna Golubeva wins NSERC Brassard Prize

Perimeter PhD student Anna Golubeva is honoured for her interdisciplinary research by Stephanie Keating

Perimeter PhD student Anna Golubeva (right), a recent recipient of a prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, has just won this year’s NSERC Gilles Brassard Doctoral Prize for Interdisciplinary Research. Golubeva works with Perimeter Associate Faculty member Roger Melko on applying machine learning methods to problems in complex quantum many-body systems. Golubeva first came to Perimeter from Germany in 2016 to take part in Perimeter Scholars International (PSI), the Institute’s one-year master’s program. During the program, Golubeva approached Melko expressing an interest in computer simulation techniques for condensed matter systems. That led to a collaboration between the two for her PSI essay research project.


Ontario Welcomes New Investment at GM Oshawa

Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, issued the following statement in response to the announcement from General Motors Canada and Unifor about transformation of the Oshawa assembly complex: "We welcome the agreement between GM Canada and Unifor, which will maintain 300 good jobs at General Motors Oshawa. This is good news for the City of Oshawa and all of Durham. We are glad this historic site will continue to be a hub for vehicle parts manufacturing, technological innovation and regional economic growth.

Award Night

United Way Waterloo Region Communities’ 2nd Annual Spirit Awards

Waterloo Region - United Way Waterloo Region Communities is pleased to invite community members to join them on Thursday, May 9th, 2019 for a celebration honouring more than 40 individuals and organizations nominated for the organization’s Spirit Awards. The 2nd annual Spirit Awards will take place May 9th at 5:30 pm at Whistle Bear Golf Club, 1316 Dickie Settlement Rd. in Cambridge. Tickets can be purchased at

Contest Reboot

Can RBI reboot Roll Up the Rim and revive Tim Hortons?

RBI blames the Canadian dollar, franchising turnover issues and the weather. You can add environmental concerns to the pile - By Sylvain Charlebois

Restaurant Brands International’s (RBI) less-then-convincing results in the last quarter suggest the company’s turnaround isn’t working – at least not yet. Overall sales were up slightly but the drop in same-store sales of about 0.6 per cent caught many by surprise. For stores outside Canada, same-store sales dropped a whopping 2.6 per cent, compared to 0.4 per cent for Canadian stores.


Waterloo Company Enhances Caesars Entertainment Gaming Experience with Real-Time Data That Forecasts Table Game Trends

Software Program Can Optimize Guest Experience by Predicting Player Demand, Staffing Needs on Casino Floor, Table Spreads and Pricing

Tangam Systems is helping Caesars Entertainment, the world’s most diversified gaming and entertainment provider identify gaming trends among its table games. By utilizing the software program “Table Games Yield Management" (TYM), properties can optimize the guest experience by forecasting player demand, staffing needs on the casino floor, table spreads and pricing. “We’re thrilled to partner with Caesars Entertainment, whose forward-thinking leadership has already proven how data analytics can be successfully applied to all aspects of the business to guide strategy, operations and innovation,” stated Maulin Gandhi, President of Tangam Systems. “Our award-winning software and business support are a natural fit in the Caesars’ analytics ecosystem.”


Laurier recognizes student teachers with awards of excellence

Wilfrid Laurier University is recognizing four outstanding student teachers with the university's Laurier Student Teaching Award of Excellence. The awards program recognizes the diverse ways that Laurier undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students positively impact the learning experience and development of their peers in the roles as teachers. Winners receive their awards at upcoming convocation ceremonies.

Food Secure

Addressing Food Insecurity in the Digital Age

By Laxmi Pant, University of Guelph, Adjunct Professor, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development

In the search for food — whether through foraging, hunting or agriculture — we are constantly at war with nature. In addition, food is distributed unequally: over 800 million people experience hunger while 2 billion are overweight or obese. Successive industrial revolutions have defined who we are and what we eat. In the mid-18th century, steam engines, railways and mechanized agriculture changed the ways food was produced and transported. The Second Industrial Revolution, in the mid-19th century, brought electrical grids, assembly lines and mass production. Job loss happened in agriculture, while employment in the manufacturing and service sector grew. In the United States, for instance, 90 per cent of people worked on farms at the beginning of the 19th century, but now it is under two per cent.


Ontario Supports French-Language Education

New Fund to Help Students Succeed

Ontario will invest $19.41 million in several projects and initiatives to support students, parents and teachers in French-language schools. This investment is part of the new $330 million Priorities and Partnerships Fund (PPF) which funds high impact initiatives that directly support students in the classroom. "We continue to take action to protect what matters most to Franco-Ontarian families by putting them first," said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Education. "Every Franco-Ontarian family in this province should feel supported when it comes to ensuring their child has access to a meaningful and modern education."

Climate Change

Rapid Permafrost Thaw Unrecognized Threat to Landscape, Global Warming Researcher Warns

A “sleeping giant” hidden in permafrost soils in Canada and other northern regions worldwide will have important consequences for global warming, says a new report led by University of Guelph scientist Merritt Turetsky. Canadian Press covered the research in an article that appeared in several publications, as did Global News. Internationally, the research attracted attention with reports in CNN and Newsweek magazine in the U.S., Radio-Canada International and the Russian online publication, Sputnik. Scientists have long studied how gradual permafrost thaw occurring over decades in centimetres of surface soils will influence carbon release to the atmosphere. But Turetsky and an international team of researchers are looking at something very different: rapid collapse of permafrost that can transform the landscape in mere months through subsidence, flooding and landslides.


Economic optimism continues to slide: CPA Canada Business Monitor

Optimism about the national economy remains on a downward trend, according to a new survey conducted for Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada). In the opening quarter of 2019, only 22 per cent of the professional accountants in leadership positions surveyed for the CPA Canada Business Monitor were expressing optimism about the Canadian economy over the next 12 months. The number has dipped from 26 per cent in the final quarter of 2018 and is down sharply from 34 per cent roughly a year ago. In fact, the last time optimism stood at 21 per cent was in Q3 2016.

Inner City

Waterloo Region announces June 21st ION (LRT) launch date

Following years of planning, construction and testing, the ION launch date for start of service has been set as June 21, 2019. The grand opening event will take place at ION Fairway Station as this location provides the greatest opportunity to accommodate a crowd. Fairway Station also allows the opening ceremony to highlight the ION bus connection from Fairway Station in Kitchener to Ainslie Street transit terminal in Cambridge – the first step to light rail in Cambridge.

Risk of Collapse

Remedy Unsafe Building Order issued for 152 Shanley Street

A structural condition assessment of the former Electrohome building at 152 Shanley Street has concluded that the building is in poor condition and significant structural deterioration has occurred. The building is unsound and is at significant risk of collapse if exposed to another winter without substantial repair. As a result, Kitchener’s Chief Building Official has issued a Remedy Unsafe Building Order, requiring the owner of the property to take action immediately to remedy the unsafe conditions.


1st responder wellness facility to open on Monday 13th

A Kitchener “Grand Opening” will be announced in the coming weeks! Bryan Stevens – Founder and President of Frontline Forward has created a “first of its kind” facility in Kitchener, Ontario and has been working with his staff to ensure a safe and secure environment for frontline workers.

Tourist Tax

New Tax on local hotel rooms will raise money for tourism marketing

Waterloo Region area municipalities will be implementing a tax on local hotel rates (called a municipal accommodation tax) beginning July 1, 2019. This four per cent tax – which will generate an estimated $3.3 million a year – will be used for tourism marketing of Waterloo Region across Ontario and beyond.

Arts & Culture

MT Space Announces Lineup for IMPACT 19

Sixth biennial international theatre festival held in Waterloo Region

On May 21, 2019, MT Space will announce the programming for this year’s international theatre festival, IMPACT 19. The biennial festival will feature productions from Tunisia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Iran, as well as theatre and dance from across Canada and Waterloo Region with a focus on Indigenous and culturally diverse productions.

Sustainable Brewing

Sleeman Breweries is Canada’s First Brewery to Achieve 3RCertified Gold

In today’s climate, incorporating sustainability is a crucial aspect for any business to thrive. It is also increasingly important for organizations to have third-party review to verify its achievements. That’s exactly what Sleeman Breweries did for its Guelph facility to become Canada’s first brewery to achieve 3RCertified status.


Business community welcomes General Motors investments in Oshawa

Nancy Shaw, CEO of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce (GOCC) and Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released the following statement in response to the General Motors (GM) announcement made yesterday.

ICI Property

Strong demand and tight supply define industrial property sector in markets around the world

Spring 2019 Global Industrial Market Report

Demand for industrial property across the globe continues to show remarkable strength in most markets. The demand for space continues to be driven by e-commerce and last-mile logistics as retailers seek further supply-chain efficiencies. Online retail giants and their third-party logistics partners are impacting market dynamics with their demand for large facilities near major cities. This trend has resulted in rising land and development costs in many key markets in which the largest companies are driving demand for customized design-build facilities that are fully automated and reliant on new technologies.


Cybercrime Costs Canadian Companies more than US$9M Last Year

Study finds malware and people-based attacks most common cyberattacks in Canada

The cost to Canadian companies from malware and people-based cyberattacks, such as phishing and social engineering, was an average of US$9.25 million in 2018, according to new research by Accenture and the Ponemon Institute. Based on interviews with more than 2,600 security and information technology (IT) professionals at 355 organizations worldwide, including 179 senior leaders from 25 companies in Canada, Accenture's 2019 "Cost of Cybercrime Study" found that globally, the cost to companies due to malware increased 11 per cent, to more than US$2.6 million per company, on average, and the cost due to malicious insiders — defined as employees, temporary staff, contractors and business partners — jumped 15 per cent, to US$1.6 million per organization, on average.


Polluter-pay decision a small but important step, says NFU

On Friday May 3, 2019 in Swift Current, Saskatchewan the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal released its decision on the Constitutional Reference Case regarding federal jurisdiction over climate change measures. The majority of the Court is of the opinion that the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act is not unconstitutional in whole or in part. “The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ruling that the federal government has the jurisdiction to enact legislation to control greenhouse gas emissions is a small but important step on the journey to sustainability,” said Stewart Wells, National Farmers Union (NFU) 2nd Vice-President.

True Diversity

Diversity of Thought, Not Appearance, Championed at Discovery Shareholder Meeting

Cable Giant Values "Diversity," But Not Diverse Political Opinion on Board

A US conservative organization blocked a left-wing shareholder proposal rooted in racist and sexist precepts from being presented at yesterday's annual meeting of Discovery, Inc. investors. Instead, a proposal to promote true diversity of opinion on the media giant's board of directors was available for consideration.


May 9, 2019

United Way Waterloo Region Communities’ 2nd Annual Spirit Awards

Waterloo Region - United Way Waterloo Region Communities is pleased to invite community members to join them on Thursday, May 9th, 2019 for a celebration honouring more than 40 individuals and organizations nominated for the organization’s Spirit Awards. The 2nd annual Spirit Awards will take place May 9th at 5:30 pm at Whistle Bear Golf Club, 1316 Dickie Settlement Rd. in Cambridge. Tickets can be purchased at

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 11, 2019

The Waterloo Region Children’s Business Fair will be showcasing local kids’ entrepreneurial genius!

On Saturday, May 11, 2019, from 11 am to 2 pm, the 1st annual Waterloo Region Children’s Business Fair will host 75 child-run businesses (110 kidpreneurs) at Catalyst 137.

This event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Children and their families have a chance to shop locally for handmade items made by creative and inspiring kidpreneurs between the ages of 4-14. Most notably, two young brothers Wally (7) and Marvin (10) will be selling an innovative version of a band-aid protector that they have designed, called “Knee Cap”! The product is a protective barrier moulded using temperature formable plastic that comes in different styles and sizes to cover over a cut or injury to the skin. They discovered through market research that nearly all kids have scraped knees that sting in the shower, so their first product helps divert water away from the knee in the shower to keep it comfortable and dry!

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.

June 7, 2019

June 12 & 13, 2019

Big Data and AI Toronto Returns for its Fourth Year

The annual two-day conference and expo is the largest event of its kind

The Big Data and AI Toronto Conference and Expo returns on June 12 and 13, 2019 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Over 5000 attendees will take advantage of an expanded exhibition floor and new conference tracks tailored to both Big Data and AI professionals. With over 150 expert speakers and 90 sponsoring brands, the conference will address today's leading topics in data science, analytics and machine learning.

June 18, 2019

Women in Engineering STEM and Diversity

On behalf of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE), we would like to invite you to attend the 17th annual Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Fall Forum entitled It’s Time We Build. This annual conference is the province’s most significant event for women in engineering and advocates for diversity and inclusion in STEM.

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Copyright, 2019