Tuesday February 5, 2019



How do we learn to work with intelligent machines?

Matt Beane is an Assistant Professor in the Technology Management Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Research Affiliate with MIT's Institute for the Digital Economy.

Matt Beane does field research on work involving robots to help us understand the implications of intelligent machines for the broader world of work. Any of his projects mean many hundreds of hours -- sometimes years -- watching, interviewing and often working side by side with people trying to work with robots to get their jobs done.

Housing Sales

January Home Sales Up over last Year

There were 307 residential sales in January through the Multiple Listing System of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors (KWAR), an increase of 14.6 per cent compared to January 2018. “January was surprisingly busy with an above average number of home sales,” says Brian Santos, KWAR President. “The number of units sold last month were up nearly fifteen per cent compared to the previous ten-year average for January.” Total residential sales in January included 189 detached (up 26 per cent), and 80 condominium units (up 19.4 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 20 semi-detached homes (down 28.6 per cent) and 17 freehold townhouses (down 19 per cent).


Flanagan foodservice annouNces new president

Dan Flanagan, CEO of Flanagan Foodservice Inc. announced the appointment of Dan Lafrance to the position of President. Mr. Lafrance (photo) will join the organization on February 19, 2019. Previously, Dan Flanagan held the position of CEO and President since 1998. Lafrance will assume responsibility for providing strategic leadership to Flanagan Foodservice and will work collaboratively with Dan Flanagan, the Board of Directors and the entire Flanagan team on long-range business goals and strategies. Lafrance is a seasoned executive and leader with over 25 years of experience in the Consumer-Packaged Goods industry where he achieved business success in Sales, Foodservice and Senior Management roles; most recently as Canadian Vice President of Sales & Foodservice for the Kraft Heinz Company.

Agriculture Investing

Finnfund invests in sustainable avocado farming in Tanzania

Finnfund, a Finnish development finance company, provides a 3.7 Million CDN secured loan to Africado, a Tanzanian avocado producer. Sustainable avocado farming is a viable alternative for Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro region farmers whose livelihoods have been shaken by the plunging price of coffee. The price of coffee has fallen sharply in recent years primarily due to expanded production in Brazil and Vietnam. The impact is felt also in Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro region where coffee farming has long been an important source of livelihood. Now local farmers are urgently seeking alternative crops.

Smart Implant

New self-powered, smart implant may greatly reduce knee replacement surgeries

Knee replacement surgery is one of the world’s most common orthopedic procedures, but the implants don’t last forever. They can wear out, loosen or just fail to meet patient expectations and require revision surgery. A new self-powered, load-sensing smart implant could help reduce the required number of ‘revision’ operations significantly.


Output declines slightly in November, amid signs the economy is losing momentum

GDP declined by 0.1% month-on-month in November. This was in line with the consensus expectation; GDP growth slowed to 1.7% year-on-year, slowest since January 2017; The details were generally weak, with key cyclical industries losing momentum into year end

Economic output declined by 0.1% month-on-month in November. This was in line with the consensus expectation, but was a bit weaker than our expected flat reading. In the month, the output of goods producing industries declined by 0.3%, led by manufacturing, construction, and mining and oil and gas extraction. These declines, in the three largest goods producing industries, could not be offset by gains in agriculture or utilities. Output was unchanged on the services side of the economy.was mixed The declines, which were led by, wholesale trade, retail sales, were largely offset by gains other industries.

College MBA

Partnership provides students with MBA pathway

Eligible students in Conestoga’s School of Business will now have the opportunity to earn a Master of Business Administration through a new partnership between the college and Niagara University. Agreements between the two institutions were recently signed by Conestoga President John Tibbits and Dr. Timothy Ireland, Niagara University Provost.

An agreement between Conestoga and Niagara University was signed on January 9 by Conestoga President John Tibbits and Dr. Timothy Ireland, Niagara University Provost, during a luncheon hosted by students in the School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts at the Waterloo campus.

Through the agreement, students in Conestoga’s Bachelor of Business Administration - Accounting, Audit and Information Technology (Honours) program and Bachelor of Business Administration - International Business Management (Honours) program will have a pathway to earn advanced standing in Niagara University’s Master of Business Administration program.

Honeybee Threat

Mite Versus Mite: The Search for an Effective Way to Save Honeybees

Finding new and environmentally friendly ways to control pests is both challenging and exciting. This is even more true when it involves developing a tool to address one of the greatest threats to honeybee colonies. Honeybees are extremely important insects because they pollinate much of the food we eat and other crops we rely upon. But the essential services they provide are in danger since massive honeybee losses are continually reported in many countries. The main cause of these colony losses is the Varroa mite. Also called Varroa destructor, Varroa mites are tiny red-brown external parasites that feed and live on honeybees. Like tiny vampires, they weaken the bees by sucking up their hemolymph — the blood of insects — and their fat bodies. The parasitic mites also transmit bee diseases that can ultimately wipe out entire bee colonies.

Job Market

Canada’s job market is solid, but some key questions remain, Senior Deputy Governor Wilkins says

While the labour market in Canada is in good shape overall, answers to some key questions will help provide insight into slower-than-expected wage growth, Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn A. Wilkins said January 31, 2019. In her remarks to the Toronto Region Board of Trade, Senior Deputy Governor Wilkins addressed three main questions: Is the job market really doing well? Why don’t firms offer higher wages if jobs are tough to fill? And what structural factors could weigh on wage growth going forward?


Carizon Counters the Winter Blahs by Proposing Self Care

An agency dedicated to mental health and wellness, Carizon knows that February can be a tough month for succumbing to the winter blahs. The Carizon team also recognizes the value of self-care in achieving wellness. So, last year during the month of February, Carizon dedicated the month of February to promoting self-care to their employees and the community to help counter the winter blahs. “Last year, we heard from the community a resounding ‘yes, we love the idea of promoting self-care,’” says Julie Newman, Director of Talent Management at Carizon. “So, we’re doing it again this year.”


9 in 10 Executives in Canada Say it's Challenging to Find Skilled Candidates for Professional-Level Positions

CFO Survey Also Reveals Hiring for Finance Roles Can Take a Month or More

The current hiring environment is making it difficult for companies to attract top talent, which may be causing delays in the overall process. In a new survey of CFOs in Canada, more than nine in 10 (92 per cent) said it's challenging to find skilled candidates for professional-level positions. As a result, respondents said their search could take a month or more – four weeks, on average, to fill a staff-level accounting or finance position and five weeks to hire for a management-level role.

Canada Can Do Better

Colleges and polytechnics key to business innovation

Let's unlock their full potential with greater and more consistent government funding By Sarah Watts-Rynard and Denise Amyot

Canada is at an innovation crossroads. Productivity measures have long lagged our international counterparts and our small businesses often lack the internal resources to fulfil their potential. Developing new prototypes, adopting new technologies and designing new processes takes time, money and human resources. As Canada's economic engines, small and mid-sized enterprises represent the greatest potential source of innovation and productivity gains.


Laurier-Prepr co-hosted workshop challenges students and educators to solve big global problems

High school and post-secondary students will tackle projects to create a more sustainable future during Prepr’s United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals Challenge, a three-day innovation workshop taking place at Wilfrid Laurier University's Brantford campus from Feb. 1 to 3. Prepr, a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the intersection of innovation and education, created the workshop in partnership with Laurier’s User Experience Design program, which provides students the skills to create something new in the world by combining creativity, strategic design thinking, user research and social awareness.

Standard of Living

Growth Distribution and Mobility in Ontario

Peter Weltman, Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer has just released Income in Ontario: Growth, Distribution and Mobility, an assessment of the personal income of Ontarians. “Assessing shifts in income is an important element in understanding the extent to which the material standard of living of all Ontarians is improving,” says Peter Weltman, Financial Accountability Officer of Ontario.


OpenText Buys Catalyst Repository Systems, Inc.

A Leading Provider of eDiscovery Solutions for the Legal Industry

OpenText announced it has acquired Catalyst Repository Systems, Inc. (Catalyst), a leading provider of eDiscovery solutions for corporate legal departments and top law firms. "The joint strength of OpenText and Catalyst confirms our position as a leading provider of eDiscovery technology and combines a powerful set of solutions to help corporate legal departments and law firms seize the opportunities of automation, digital transformation, AI and machine learning," said Mark J. Barrenechea, OpenText CEO & CTO.


Changes to Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program and Commodity Loan Guarantee Programs

The NFU-O is pleased to see that OMAFRA has listened to farmers regarding compensation for livestock predation and adjusting the Commodity Loan Guarantee Program (CLGP) for farmers affected by high levels of Deoxynivalenol (DON) in their corn; both of which issues the NFU-O has raised directly with the Minister.


Leading CPA Firm, DSK, Partners with Profitable Wisdom to Guide Businesses and their Owners to Success

DSK Chartered Professional Accountants and Profitable Wisdom have partnered to form DSK Profitable Wisdom LLP: they are finance leaders providing expert advice, training and outsourced CFO services - by Kevin Ballantyne

In 2018 the partners of DSK established, through research and client interviews, the additional services their clients required to reach their goals and be more successful. They recognized a need for leadership assistance to help business owners achieve their family’s long-term strategic goals.

Risk of Death & income

More people die after surgery worldwide than from HIV, TB, and malaria combined

Around the world, 4.2 million people die every year within 30 days of surgery, and this translates to the third leading cause of death worldwide, a new study reveals Since 50 per cent of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, where surgery is less accessible, it reveals the disproportionate burden of postoperative death globally. While risk of dying is related to the type of procedure, on average, the risk was twice as great in lower income countries than high-income countries.


Nonprofits Nationwide (US) Prioritize Hiring Diverse Talent for 2019

Nonprofit HR announced the results of its third annual Nonprofit Talent Management Priorities Survey, which this year indicates the nonprofit sector is continuing to focus on attracting and hiring diverse talent.

Partnership for Warmth

THEMUSEUM and House of Friendship partner to fill immediate need in our community for men’s winter coats and boots.

House of Friendship has once again partnered with THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener to give back to those in need during this winter. Now through Friday, March 1st, THEMUSEUM will be accepting donations of men’s winter coats and gently used winter boots. In return for their donation, visitors will receive one FREE admission for each coat or pair of boots that are donated.

Art Project Funding

Region of Waterloo Arts Fund hosts open house today

This is not a grant writing session. Board members are restricted from providing specific application assistance. No pre-registration required; just stop by.

Waterloo Region – The Region of Waterloo Arts Fund’s board of directors is hosting an Open House for grant applicants in advance of the Spring 2019 round. This will be an informal drop-in session where board members will be available to share general information about the Fund and its mandate.

Art and Science

The Brain Dialogues: The Neuroscience of Groove

A Free Night at THEMUSEUM Discussing The Brain’s Relation to Music

The fourth instalment in the Brain Dialogue Series is all about music, as THEMUSEUM welcomes Dr. Gabe Nespoli on Wednesday, February 6th.

City Tax

Kitchener approve 2.25 per cent tax increase

Kitchener council has approved the 2019 budget, authorizing a financial plan that maintains existing services and invests in four priority areas. The property tax increase of 2.25 per cent is slightly below Ontario’s rate of inflation and water utilities will see a combined rate increase of 6.5 per cent as the result of necessary investments to ensure the safe and consistent delivery of these valued services.

Grand River Water Shed

Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety

The weather system that moved into southern Ontario over the weekend has brought mild temperatures across the Grand River watershed. These mild temperatures have triggered a gradual melting of the snow pack resulting in runoff into local waterways. Mild temperatures are forecast to persist through the day on Monday before returning below freezing early Tuesday morning. Light rainfall is expected to accompany this weather system before tapering off late Monday evening. Less than 10mm of rainfall is expected based on the current forecast.


Month of February

THEMUSEUM and House of Friendship partner to fill immediate need in our community for men’s winter coats and boots.

House of Friendship has once again partnered with THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener to give back to those in need during this winter. Now through Friday, March 1st, THEMUSEUM will be accepting donations of men’s winter coats and gently used winter boots. In return for their donation, visitors will receive one FREE admission for each coat or pair of boots that are donated.

February 7, 2019

St. Mary’s General Hospital Heart Month Event

Heart Disease: Understanding the Nature of Risk, Prevention and Recovery.

You’re invited to attend this FREE educational session hosted by St. Mary’s Regional Cardiac Care Centre. Through the lens of his patient’s personal story, Cardiologist Dr. Matthew Chamberlain will share how you can take charge of your heart health. St. Mary’s new president, Dr. Andrew Falconer, will also be on hand to introduce himself to the community. Complimentary parking, entry and refreshments. Thursday, February 7th, 2019. 7pm. RSVP required at www.supportstmarys.ca/heartmonth

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 www.supportstmarys.ca/sheshares

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