Tuesday July 9, 2019


Emotional Brain

Researchers show how marijuana produces radically different effects in different individuals

How marijuana affects us may come down to the region of the brain it is acting on. Researchers at Western University have shown that different regions of the brain produce radically different effects from marijuana use. The psychological effects of marijuana can differ between individuals - some experience highly rewarding effects which may lead to dependence on the drug, while others may experience negative psychiatric side effects including paranoia, cognitive problems or an increased risk of developing schizophrenia. “Until now, it was unknown which specific regions of the brain were responsible for these highly divergent effects of marijuana,” said Steven Laviolette PhD, Professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry (photo). “Translational rodent research performed in our lab has identified highly specific target regions in the brain that seem to independently control the rewarding, addictive properties of marijuana versus the negative psychiatric side-effects associated with its use.”

Textile Waste

Taking action on fast fashion: Study shows way forward on textile waste

Consumers and sectors of the fashion industry alone cannot drive the change needed for a more sustainable textile industry, new research shows.

The textile industry will require government policy and market intervention to make the necessary changes, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo. “Because the current state of the fashion industry is linear — meaning all products are made from entirely new materials — only a small percentage of used textiles are being diverted from landfills and only three per cent are making their way into new clothing,” said Sabine Weber, a doctoral student from Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment. “To move the fashion system towards circularity, governments must strengthen the markets for reclaimed fibres.”

Lifetime Achievement

Ontario Chamber of Commerce selects David ‘Patch’ Patchell-Evans for the 2019 OBAAs Lifetime Achievement Award

GoodLife Fitness Founder & CEO recognized for exceptional contributions to the province

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce GoodLife Founder & CEO David ‘Patch’ Patchell-Evans as the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient at the Ontario Business Achievement Awards (OBAAs) being held on Thursday, November 14 at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto. The OBAAs are the most recognized industry gala in the province focused on celebrating business success. Award recipients exemplify why Ontario is the best place to live, work, and do business. Each award recipient is selected by a panel of judges whose background and experience provide the needed independence to select award recipients that epitomize the spirit of the OBAA categories. The OBAA Lifetime Achievement Award is given to a proven achiever and strong contributor to Ontario’s economy; a pioneer in their defined business industry who has had a positive impact on the province.


Heidi Northwood named permanent Senior Executive Officer of Laurier’s Brantford campus

Brantford – Wilfrid Laurier University has appointed Heidi Northwood as the Senior Executive Officer (SEO) of the university’s Brantford campus. Northwood has served in the role on an interim basis since April 2018 and was appointed following a national executive search. “I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Heidi Northwood as the senior executive officer of our Brantford campus,” said Deborah MacLatchy, Laurier’s president and vice-chancellor. “Dr. Northwood’s commitment to Laurier and the broad Brantford community is second to none. She has made significant contributions during her time as dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and more recently in the interim role as SEO, including developing strong internal and external partnerships and bringing the Laurier-Brantford YMCA to completion. Her next steps will be just as significant as we plan the One Market development and implement the university’s strategic plans.”

Home Sales

Strong Home sales in June

Kitchener/Waterloo –– 658 residential properties sold through the Multiple Listing System of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS (KWAR) in June, representing an increase of 8.8 per cent compared to the same month last year. Home sales in June included 404 detached (up 8.9 per cent), and 50 condominium apartments (down 28.6 per cent). Sales also included 159 townhouses (up 27.2 per cent) and 45 semi-detached homes (up 15.4 per cent). “Home sales continued their strong momentum from last month,” says Brian Santos, KWAR President. “On a year-to-date basis we’re seeing sales have increased slightly over last year’s mid-year mark.” A total of 3,154 homes have sold in Kitchener-Waterloo and area during the first half of this year, an increase of 1.4 per cent compared to 2018.


The SMB Guide to Success in the LGBTQ Market

by Alex Gentile

If you own or manage a small or medium-sized business (SMB), this article is for you. With less resources to play around with, SMBs must pull on all available resources to effectively work with and market to a wide customer base focused on interests, not social demographics. That’s why SMBs must begin building strategies to effectively market to and work in an LGBTQ-affirming world. The LGBTQ market is one of the fastest-growing sectors out there, and it’s becoming an increasingly valuable customer base across all industries. In fact, according to GayStar News, a conservative estimate on the size of the global LGBTQ market is $3.7 trillion – that’s a huge market that could be left out of your customer base unless you take the right steps. This community is also particularly sensitive to social issues.


Canada’s first food policy is pointless

The federal government’s new national food policy is an affront to anyone who considers Canada’s agri-food sector to be the cornerstone of the economy - By Sylvain Charlebois

After more than two years of work and hearing from almost 45,000 Canadians, Agriculture Canada has released its first ever food policy. A total of $134 million will be spent to support this five-year plan that centres around four major pillars: food security, health, environment, and the sustainable growth of the agriculture and food sector. These are noble goals, but the policy by itself is an affront to anyone who considers our agri-food sector to be the cornerstone of our economy. The budget is underwhelming at less than $4 per capita and is expected to cover an endless wish list before going to the electorate.


Researcher imagines the future of wastewater treatment

Waterloo - In the 1970s and ‘80s, people used rotary dial phones, film cameras and bunny ears on cathode ray TVs. These technologies have changed radically. But in most places, wastewater treatment remains much the same as 40 or 50 years ago. Wilfrid Laurier University professor Scott Smith says we’re overdue for an overhaul. “Our current infrastructure was designed for lower populations and less stringent criteria, so it’s meeting the end of its design life,” says Smith, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “That means that now is a good time to reimagine how we do wastewater treatment.” Knowledge and mindsets have shifted too. In the 1970s, regulators were just starting to get serious about limiting obvious forms of water pollution. Today, people are concerned about tiny and trace contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and microplastics. Some are even starting to think about recovering resources from what we flush down the toilet.

Bank of Canada Commentary

As domestic economy rebounds from soft patch, global challenges intensify

Thinks the market is priced for the Bank's next move to be a rate cut

HSBC Global Research expects the Bank of Canada to remain on hold, keeping its policy rate at 1.75% on 10 July. HSBC Global Research anticipate the Governing Council will maintain a neutral stance and again conclude that the current degree of accommodation remains appropriate. While there is a risk that the Bank could adopt a more dovish stance amidst heightened global economic uncertainty, HSBC Global Research would consider such a move premature. Instead, HSBC Global Research see reasons for the Bank to leave open the option that the next move might be a hike.

Future Outlook

Artificial intelligence and other technological advancements unlikely to lead to mass unemployment

Vancouver - Despite dire predictions, history and demographics suggest that burgeoning technologies (including automation, artificial intelligence and robotization) will not lead to substantial job losses, finds a new essay series released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank. “While some believe the rise of artificial intelligence and other technologies will lead to massive unemployment, the effect will likely resemble past experiences with other new technologies—new jobs will emerge as businesses and workers adapt,” said Steven Globerman, Fraser Institute senior fellow, contributing editor and author of the essay Artificial Intelligence and Employment: Will History Repeat?


Significant growth projected in Canada for data consumption, internet access, over the top (OTT) services and esports

Canadians are using an expanding array of connected devices to organize, curate and discover their own unique worlds of content and media. According to PwC's Global Entertainment and Media Outlook, Canada's total revenue for the industry is projected to remain stable at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% over the next five years, the same as last year. Despite the stability, the report projects staggering growth for data consumption, internet access, over the top (OTT) services, and esports while modest growth for cinema, music, and internet advertising.

Business Monitor

Economic optimism rebounds in second quarter

Canadian business leaders are more optimistic about the prospects of the Canadian economy heading into the summer, according to a new survey conducted for Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada). Optimism about the economy over the next 12 months is up sharply among professional accountants in leadership positions surveyed for the CPA Canada Business Monitor. Almost one in three (31 per cent) of the survey respondents were optimistic in the second quarter of 2019, up from 22 per cent the previous quarter. About a quarter of respondents (24 per cent) were pessimistic, while cautious neutrality continues to be the opinion of the largest group (44 per cent), very similar to last quarter (47 per cent). What is interesting about the latest findings is that optimism and pessimism essentially flipped in the second quarter when compared with the year's opening three months.

Green Politics

Full house at Kitchener stop of Clean and Caring Economy Tour

Waterloo Region – The Leader of the Green Party of Ontario was met with a full house at the Kitchener stop in his Clean and Caring Economy Tour last Saturday. Hosted by Kitchener Centre Green Party candidate Mike Morrice (photo), the event took place at the Downtown Community Centre with 100 people in attendance. "Kitchener was an obvious choice to bring our Clean and Caring Economy Tour. With thousands of tech companies, Waterloo Region is a hub of thinkers, innovators and problem-solvers that is already leading the clean economy revolution in Ontario. People were enthusiastic about our message that we must tackle the climate emergency by embracing the clean jobs of tomorrow," said Ontario’s first Green MPP Mike Schreiner.

Antidumping in US

U.S. Preliminary Determinations in the Countervailing Duty Investigations of Imports of Fabricated Structural Steel from China, Canada, and Mexico

In the Canada investigation, Commerce made a negative determination; Customs and Border Protection made affirmative determinations and will proceed to collect cash deposits from importers of fabricated structural steel from China and Mexico

Washington – Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced its preliminary determinations in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of fabricated structural steel from Canada, China, and Mexico. In the China and Mexico investigations, Commerce made affirmative determinations, finding that exporters received countervailable subsidies at rates ranging from 30.30 to 177.43 percent, and 0.01 (de minimis) to 74.01 percent, respectively. In the Canada investigation, Commerce made a negative determination, finding that exporters received countervailable subsidies at de minimis levels ranging from 0.12 to 0.45 percent.

Canada: Employment

Weak headline, but details confirm strength of the labour market

Employment fell in June, compared to expectations of a gain, and the unemployment rate rose slightly; However, the details of the report were strong. Full-time employment increased, and wage growth rose to a 12-month high; Jobs data confirm that domestic economy was on a roll in Q2 - by David Watt

Employment fell by 2,200 in June. The consensus expectation was for a rise of 9,900. The unemployment rose to 5.5%, in line with the consensus expectation. Average hourly wages of permanent employees (AHWPE) rose by 3.6% y-o-y, the highest in a year. This was up from the earlier 2.6%, and was above the expected 2.7%. On a month-on-month basis, the increase in AHWPE was 1.1%, the largest since January 2005. Hours worked rose by 0.7% m-o-m, and increased at an annualized pace of 3.4% in Q2. This is up from -0.9% in Q1. In the month, there was an employment gain in the full-time category (+24,100) that was offset by a 26,200 decline in part-time employment. Increases in public sector (+16,200), and private sector (+23,000) employment were offset by a drop in self-employment.

CommonWealth Law

The Future is Bright for Smaller Law Firms, Latest Bellwether Research Reveals

Solicitors leaving larger practices to work in smaller firms has increased from 53% in 2016 to 64% in 2019

London, U.K. – The latest Bellwether report titled, ‘Is the Future Small?’, published by LexisNexis UK, a leading global provider of information and analytics; highlights that not only is the small law firm sector thriving, the future also looks bright for this segment. Solicitors leaving larger practices to work in smaller firms has increased from 53% in 2016 to 64% in 2019.


July 19, 2019

Fairways 'n Friends

July 9th is just around the corner! 18 holes, delicious lunch and dinner, silent and live auctions, tasty samples, great memories, and raising funds for the community, need we say more? Fairways 'n Friends is the region’s premiere ladies golf tournament, reserve your spot on course at Whistle Bear today! www.supportstmarys.ca/fairways

November 13-15, 2019

Sixteenth Annual Ontario Economic Summit to Address Competitiveness Challenges for Ontario Industry

Ontario’s business community to gather in Toronto to drive Ontario’s economic agenda forward

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) announced advance access registration for the sixteenth annual Ontario Economic Summit (OES), “Our Economy. Our Future. Our Ontario.” OES will be hosted in Toronto for the first time in almost a decade at Hotel X and Beanfield Centre from November 13 to 15.

Not a Subscriber? Receive more articles on business issues

contact us

Publisher is Exchange Business Communication Inc.
No part of this article may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.
Email Publisher

ISSN 0824-45
Copyright, 2019