Tuesday November 5, 2019



Scientists create 'artificial leaf' that turns carbon dioxide into fuel

Scientists have created an “artificial leaf” to fight climate change by inexpensively converting harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) into a useful alternative fuel. The new technology, outlined in a paper published last week in the journal Nature Energy, was inspired by the way plants use energy from sunlight to turn carbon dioxide into food. “We call it an artificial leaf because it mimics real leaves and the process of photosynthesis,” said Yimin Wu (photo), an engineering professor at the University of Waterloo who led the research. “A leaf produces glucose and oxygen. We produce methanol and oxygen.”

Trade Mission

Waterloo Region Investment-focused Mission to California

Waterloo EDC is in San Francisco and Los Angeles this week to support investment and marketing efforts of Waterloo Region. Throughout the week, the group will meet with California-based companies with new and expanding operations in Waterloo Region to build stronger strategic relationships with headquarters leadership. They will also meet with key investment intermediaries, including site selectors, venture capitalists and business executives to promote the unique talent value proposition and benefits of investing in Waterloo Region. “This is an exciting time for Waterloo Region on a number of fronts. We look forward to promoting the strong value proposition of our ecosystem to new and existing investors in California,” said Tony LaMantia (photo), President & CEO, Waterloo EDC. During the visit, Mayor Berry Vrbanovic (Kitchener), Mayor Kathryn McGarry (Cambridge) and Mayor Dave Jaworsky (Waterloo) will be travelling with the Economic Development initiative.

Climate Change

The Truth Behind the Paris Agreement Climate Pledges

Partially sufficient. Climate pledges commitments between 20-40 percent emission reductions were ranked as partially sufficient. The countries with pledges under this category need to do much better to reduce emissions. These 12 countries are Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Israel, Japan, Montenegro, New Zealand, San Marino and the Republic of Korea.

Almost three-quarter of the 184 climate pledges made under the Paris Agreement aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions are inadequate to slow climate change, and some of the world's largest emitters will continue to increase emissions, according to a panel of world-class climate scientists. It is these increasing greenhouse emissions, which are driving climate change. The Truth Behind the Climate Pledges, a new report published by the Universal Ecological Fund, examines in great detail the 184 voluntary pledges under the Paris Agreement, the first collective global effort to address climate change.

Skill trades

Government Launching Online Trades Hub

Ontario's Government is continuing to promote rewarding and vibrant career opportunities in the skilled trades as part of National Skilled Trades and Technology Week. About one in five new jobs in Ontario over the next five years is expected to be in trades-related occupations. Across the country this week, people and organizations will be hosting events to raise awareness about the many exciting career opportunities in that sector. "There's a problem on our horizon: Ontario is facing a shortage of workers in the skilled trades," said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. "The solution is clear. We need to let young people and their parents know that a career in the trades is exciting, fulfilling, and lucrative. These are well-paying jobs. We also need to transform our apprenticeship system to make it easier to use."

Getting a Lift

Lutherwood Unveils New Elevator as Part of Accessibility Project

MPP Belinda Karahalios; Ontario Trillium Foundation Board member Mary Heinen Thorne; Jon Arnold, Melloul-Blamey Construction; John Colangeli, Lutherwood CEO; Pam Gillespie, North Dumfries Councillor; and MP Bryan J. May, gather outside a new elevator made possible with Ontario Trillium Foundation funding.

Last week, Lutherwood welcomed residents of Cambridge to its Open House to celebrate the completion of its newly renovated office space. Local MPP Belinda Karahalios and OTF Board member Mary Heinen were on hand to congratulate Lutherwood and hear more how the $54,500 OTF Capital grant increased accessibility to its office space.


Canada vies with US as top destinations for international business expansion

Top 10 markets identifying Canada for trading expansion in next 3-5 years

The latest HSBC 'Navigator: Now, next and how' survey of over 9,100 companies in 35 markets finds that 11% of international business leaders identified Canada for expansion in the next three to five years, coming close second to the United States, the most popular destination at 14%. Businesses see Canada as an attractive market due to favourable partnership opportunities and proven customer demand. The country is also seen as a gateway to nearby markets by nearly a third (29%) of those planning to expand there. "Canada outperforms its peers thanks to its open economy," said Linda Seymour, Head of Commercial Banking at HSBC Canada.

Pilot Project

Kitchener joins Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy Showcase Cities pilot in Canada

Kitchener among twenty-five municipalities across Canada selected for an intensive pilot with the leading global climate initiative

Kitchener has been selected to join the first Showcase Cities cohort led by the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) Canada. Over the next year, Kitchener will receive intensive support to help reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change. Municipalities are on the front lines of climate change, and through this pilot project which includes technical support, training, exclusive networking opportunities and access to tools and resources, Kitchener will advance its ambitious climate action objectives.


More Than One-Third of Workers in Canada Say Their Commute Is Stressful

36% of workers in Canada feel their commute is too long

Are Canadian employees stressed out before they even arrive to the office? In a new survey from Robert Half, more than one-third of professionals (35 per cent) said travelling to and from work is stressful. In addition, 36 per cent of respondents lamented that their trip to the office is too long, up from 28 per cent in a similar 2017 survey. Professionals said they spend an average of 53 minutes commuting each day, and more than one-quarter (26 per cent) stated their travel time exceeds one hour.

Free Speech

Ontario Protecting Free Speech on Campuses

The Ontario government delivered on its promise to uphold free speech on Ontario's publicly assisted university and college campuses, with full compliance with its new free speech policy requirements. Yesterday, the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) released its first college and university free speech report, which showed that all universities and colleges are in compliance with a free speech policy that meets the government requirements. "Our government worked quickly to protect free speech on campus, and colleges and universities have done a great job of putting consistent, effective policies in place," said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities.


Cell Phone Restriction in Classrooms to Take Effect

Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued the following statement regarding the cell phone restrictions coming into force. "Our government heard clearly from parents and educators about the growing challenge related to distracted students in the classroom. When in class, students should be focused on their studies and not on social media.


Simple injection of air proves successful in releasing child's tongue trapped in bottle, inspired by opening a wine bottle

A relatively simple injection of air has proved successful in releasing a 7-year-old boy's tongue that became entrapped in a juice bottle, says a letter published in the latest edition of the European Journal of Anaesthesiology (the official journal of the European Society of Anaesthesiology). The technique, inspired by the author's memory of opening a wine bottle with a similar method, means other more complex techniques involving general anaesthesia and physically cutting off the bottle from around the tongue can be avoided. The report is by Professor Christoph Eich and Dr Simone Arndt, Auf der Bult Children's Hospital, Hannover, Germany.

Celebrate Volunteers

International Volunteer Managers Day

On November 5th, volunteers and those who participate in the many community services available recognize and are grateful to the volunteer management professionals who manage complex programs.

In Waterloo Region over 48% of those over the age of 15 years volunteer. That equates to well over 210,000 volunteers in our region. 210,000 individuals that give of their skills and time to ensure that our community has access to a full selection of programs and services. These programs and services range from arts and culture to social services, healthcare to sports and recreation, environmental to faith services and beyond. It is great to know that people who work and reside in Waterloo Region value the ability to contribute to community through volunteering.


Canadian Consumers Feel Dissatisfied and Trapped by Large Telcos

Landmark survey reveals unprecedented level of consumer frustration; lack of fairness, affordability and choice seen as creating anti-consumer telecommunications environment

The majority of customers of large telecommunications firms in Canada feel frustrated to be paying some of the highest prices in the world for home Internet and almost half feel trapped by their current provider. These and other survey findings confirm an unprecedented level of Canadian consumer dissatisfaction, frustration and cynicism based on their treatment by large telecommunications providers. Conducted by Leger on behalf of Distributel Communications Ltd., this national survey entitled Broken Connection: Canadian Consumers' Views on Large Telecommunications Providers, showcases clear insight into Canadians' perception of the affordability, service, value and respect they are receiving from the large telecommunications providers.

Historic Center

City of Kitchener to search for a new Victoria Park Boathouse tenant

After five years of operation, the Boathouse will be closing to the public on October 31. The Victoria Park Boathouse is owned by the City of Kitchener and the City leases the facility to an operator. Centrally located in the heart of Victoria Park, the Boathouse is a historic building equipped for food and live music. “We want to thank Mark Forwell for his commitment, and operation of the facility for the past five years,” said Brian Bennett, Manager, Business Development.

Indigenous Health

Community-driven project improves patient outcomes for diabetes in Indigenous communities

A Western University based project has led to significant improvements in health outcomes for people living with diabetes in Indigenous communities across Canada. The FORGE AHEAD project was launched in response to data showing the incidence and prevalence of type 2 diabetes was significantly higher among Indigenous populations and that people living in Indigenous communities were less likely to receive adequate care. The project, which officially wraps up on March 31, 2020, used Quality Improvement (QI) methods and the integrated population health principles of the Expanded Chronic Care Model to drive forward unique initiatives for diabetes prevention and clinical management. Recognizing that the model of care varies by province, isolation level and community size, the main thrust of the project was to empower community leaders and health care providers on Indigenous reserves to take a leading role in the design and implementation of health care initiatives in their unique contexts.


Why Psychological Safety Matters: 16 Ways to Make It Okay for People to Tell the Truth and Take Risks

Quint Studer shares advice for creating a psychologically safe work environment.

When Google conducted its internal research study Project Aristotle in 2015, it found that psychological safety—the belief that one can speak up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes without punishment or humiliation—was the most important characteristic in terms of what makes a team productive.1 While everyone wants to feel safe at work, Quint Studer says few things are more dangerous to the health of an organization than for leaders to surround themselves with people who only agree with them, or act like they do when in reality they don't.

Climate Change

Laurier research finds increasing shrub growth on the tundra may cause permafrost to thaw faster

As the climate heats up, the Arctic tundra is becoming shrubbier. Now Wilfrid Laurier University-led research has found increases in some types of shrubs are causing permafrost to thaw faster in many places, which may release greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and affect snow and water patterns in ways not being considered in current models. Geography doctoral student Evan Wilcox (photo) is the lead author of a paper recently published in Arctic Science, which found shrub expansion in the tundra can have varying effects on permafrost depending on factors such as shrub species, snow depth and topography. However, Wilcox and his colleagues found that overall, increased shrub growth is likely to accelerate permafrost thaw.


Microsoft Innovation Center Partners with æternity to Support Blockchain Startups in Malta

AE Ventures and Microsoft to host the accelerator program in Malta, providing funding and support to the blockchain ecosystem

æternity, announced a partnership with Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC) to support the growth of blockchain technology in Malta. Through this partnership, æternity’s investment arm, AE Ventures, and Microsoft will host regular blockchain events in Malta to promote the country’s positioning as a friendly jurisdiction for blockchain businesses to launch and incorporate. “After all the hype there has been about blockchain in recent years, now is the time to demystify all the doubts there could still be about this technology. We are very proud to have æternity on board as our second Microsoft Innovation Center partners,” said Mary Downing, Manager of Microsoft Innovation Center. “Having æternity promote and nurture blockchain startups from the Microsoft Innovation Center will not only bring a more flexible development of new technology but will also be an opportunity to promote blockchain as a tangible technology that brings real value.”


Warrior Spirit Can Drive Teams And Companies Toward Success

Book written specifically for executives who have been labeled abrasive or accused of workplace bullying

Have you been labeled a bully, abrasive or worse at work? Workplace Warrior helps tough bosses channel their "Warrior Spirit" and provides the tools you need to survive, thrive and lead your teams to greatness in an age of political correctness. Being the boss has never been harder. Recent events in the corporate world, Hollywood and politics have focused negative attention on the kind of tough, demanding leaders who used to be valued for getting things done, labeling many as bullies and accusing them of fostering a "hostile workplace environment.” They are demeaned and called names, as society demands that they change their ways.

Philanthropy in Time

Food Bank Food Sort Challenge

The competition during the 6th annual Great Food Sort Challenge was fierce but fun as nearly 300 community members came together to raise food and funds for The Food Bank of Waterloo Region. The annual three-day challenge welcomed 30 teams to The Food Bank to see who could sort the most food the fastest and be named the Great Food Sort Challenge champion!


November 7, 2019


Rockway Mennonite Collegiate is hosting our annual "Discover Rockway" evening

Join us on Thursday, November 7th from 7-9pm . This is an opportunity for future parents and students to meet Rockway Mennonite Collegiate's faculty and explore the school's academic program and extra curricular opportunities. We look forward to welcoming you! Register at www.rockway.ca

November 8 & 9, 2019


It’s the BIG Art$Pay show on Friday November 8th and Saturday November 9th! Enjoy a wonderful juried exhibition of original art selected from over 140 Art$Pay artist members, a special juried student artist display and much MORE.

November 8, 2019

Local Restaurants create a special Community Breakfast to support local student nutrition programs

Simon Mathias the Chef / Owner of the popular Rustico Kitchen & Bar and local musician Juneyt had an opportunity to visit one of the local student nutrition programs and became inspired to help in a meaningful way to support student nutrition programs here in our community.

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.

November 18 & 27

GRCA workshops to focus on sampling soil fertility

Many factors go into farming success. Did you know soil fertility is one of them?

The Grand River Conservation Authority is hosting two workshops in November to help agricultural producers and farm property owners better understand the benefits of soil sampling and soil fertility testing.

November 23


On Saturday, November 23rd everyone is invited to attend the Free Movember Kids KW event at Kitchener Market from 10am-Noon. Activities include face painted moustaches, moustache cooking baking, special guest appearances, including a Meet and Greet with Mayor Berry, and the always-popular photo booth. This family-friendly event is held in the Upper Marketplace Kitchen and will be the 10th Anniversary Celebration for Movember KW.

November 28, 2019

Employers Can Register Now for our Part Time Job Expo

Part-time opportunities can be a solution to the workforce gap.

The Workforce Planning Board, in partnership with the Immigration Partnership of Waterloo Region, is holding a job expo focused on part time employment. Employers have hard to fill job vacancies, many people want part-time employment whether it is because of school, semi-retirement, parenting or just a preference. Part-time opportunities can be a solution to the workforce gap.

November 29, 2019

CFFB Signature Event: “Jumping the Fences” by Terry O’Reilly

CFFB is hosting Terry O’Reilly, popular radio host from CBC.

In the age of transformational technological change and disruption, technical know-how is no longer sufficient. Building influence and strong working relationships with people in positions of power is absolutely necessary! Join business owners, their families and advisors that support family enterprises for breakfast and learning at the CFFB Signature Breakfast Event November 29th (7am – 10am), Bingeman Embassy Room. This event will be sure to inspire, challenge and encourage you in your pursuit of skills to navigate through this era of disruption.

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Copyright, 2019