Thursday June 18, 2020



The Cowan Foundation Announces $5M Investment in Conestoga College to Create Canada’s First Integrated Strategy to Support the Training and Education of Personal Support Workers (PSWs)

Most technologically advanced PSW and supportive care program of its kind in Canada and lead a change movement in the workforce for seniors care.

The Cowan Foundation announced a $5M major investment in Conestoga College and its partnership in a broader $10M initiative to address the urgent need for additional health care professionals including personal support workers (PSWs) at the frontline of care. This innovative and unique collaboration will create the most technologically advanced PSW and supportive care program of its kind in Canada and lead a change movement in the workforce for seniors care. Across Canada, the shortage of PSWs has caused interruptions in seniors' care and services, and added to the long wait times for care services in home and community settings, creating undue burden and stress for seniors, their families and care partners. With one-quarter of Canadians projected to be seniors by 2036, this shortage in PSWs is a national priority. The Cowan Foundation's partnership with Conestoga will build upon the college's existing Cowan Health Science Centre to create an epicentre for remote simulation learning, with a unique emphasis on innovative and tailored delivery approaches to support PSW learning, eliminating many of the financial, travel and time barriers that exist today for PSW students.

Canada & IP Commercialization

Huawei hires lobbyists to expand artificial intelligence research in Canada

The company partners with McGill University, the University of Waterloo, the University of Montreal and Mila, the Quebec AI Institute ... the intellectual property created by any of Huawei’s artificial-intelligence research in Canada would certainly be funnelled back to China ... Chinese companies, including Huawei, have “to be seen in more Cold War competition concepts ... - by Nathan Vanderklippe & Steven Chase, The Globe and Mail

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has hired lobbyists in Ottawa to discuss artificial intelligence research in Canada and how the government supports foreign investment – a sign the company is seeking to further benefit from Canadian expertise in a branch of computing science vital to technology companies and to China itself. The Chinese government has called artificial intelligence (AI) “a strategic technology,” and has said it wants to make China into the world’s primary AI innovation centre by 2030. The technology has economic value, but also importance for social governance and national defence, China’s plan for AI development says. According to the federal lobbyists’ registry, earlier this year, Huawei tasked Joe Jordan, a former parliamentary secretary to prime minister Jean Chrétien, with lobbying the federal government about “the location of an artificial-intelligence research centre in Canada.” Mr. Jordan works for Bluesky Strategy Group, an Ottawa-based lobbying firm. He and Bluesky co-founder Tim Barber give a Huawei artificial-intelligence research centre as an objective in their listings with the federal Registry of Lobbyists.


eleven-x and Pinchin Partner to Provide Indoor Environment Monitoring and Risk Management Solutions for COVID-19 Building Re-Occupancy

LoRaWAN® Based Solutions Offer Remote, Real-Time Air Quality Monitoring and Management Capabilities

eleven-x, a global leader providing complete, wireless, full-service low power IoT solutions, and Pinchin, one of Canada’s largest building science, environmental and health & safety consulting firms, announced a partnership to deploy innovative new building and indoor environment monitoring as part of a comprehensive solution to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in support of safe building and workspace re-occupancy. Risk assessment has been identified as a necessary step in opening more workplaces and, in lieu of a vaccine, following a structured risk assessment model is an important strategic tool in terms of re-occupying workspaces. Part of the risk mitigation involves addressing potential airborne transmission by managing ventilation rates, relative humidity and monitoring and communicating these conditions to staff and tenants. The solution is based on a partnership that brings together two companies with very complimentary areas of expertise in indoor environment monitoring with Pinchin, who possess a rich history of providing solutions that ensure safe and healthy spaces in complex environments, and eleven-x and their world-class expertise in integrating wireless, cost-effective solutions designed for real-time monitoring.

Consumer Awareness

Don’t be fooled by the COVID-19 cons

Food-related businesses must adjust to COVID-19 but some may cut corners. Consumers need to be more vigilant than ever - By Sylvain Charlebois

When costs rise, most food companies adjust. Safe, fair and sustainable business practices are always a priority in this sector – almost. Several food science experts believe an increase in food fraud is inevitable due to COVID-19. The Food Authenticity Network advisory board, which includes more than 1,500 food science experts from around the world, met earlier this month. Given the disruption in global supply chains caused by COVID-19 and the decrease in the level of surveillance, an increase in the number of cases of food fraud is more than likely, according to the group. There have already been some reported cases around the world. Several packages containing counterfeit food products were seized during a recent investigation in the European Union. Over the last two months, packages came from Brazil, China and Hong Kong, Germany, Sweden and Great Britain.


Kitchener-Based Diva International Inc. Recognized as One of Canada’s Greenest Employees for 2020

Factors for selection include environmental management programs, building footprint and employee engagement in green initiatives for the 45-person company

Close to 20 billion sanitary pads, tampons and applicators are disposed of in North America every year. A local company is trying to change that. Waterloo-Region operated Diva International Inc. not only offers a more sustainable way to period, but is proud to announce today it was been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers of 2020 by Mediacorp Canada Inc. This is the first year Diva has been recognized for this honour, after also being recognized as one of Waterloo Area’s Top Employer (2019) and Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2020).

Less Talk More Action

Data Innovation Critical to Ontario’s Economic and Social Well-Being

Report outlines need for strong data governance in modern, post-pandemic economy

On Tuesday the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released its latest report, In Data We Trust: Unlocking the Value of Data in Ontario. With the COVID-19 crisis rapidly transforming the modern economy, the report outlines the need for Ontario to unlock opportunities and manage the threats of its increasingly data-driven economy.


Accelerate Infrastructure Projects and Adapt Restructuring Processes: Crisis Working Group on Business Continuity and Trade

Accelerating productivity-enhancing infrastructure projects could provide much-needed stimulus and help Canada’s economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis, according to a C.D. Howe Institute Crisis Working Group. The Crisis Working Group on Business Continuity and Trade, in its most recent meetings on May 26 and June 2, 2020, also emphasized the need for adapting Canada’s bankruptcy and restructuring process to cope with the potential for widespread insolvencies. The group of industry experts and economists, co-chaired by Dwight Duncan, Senior Strategic Advisor at McMillan LLP and former Ontario Minister of Finance, and Jeanette Patell, Vice-President of Government Affairs and Policy for GE Canada, considered a number of measures for enhancing Canada’s prospects for a resilient recovery:

Top 10

Quarry ranks top 10 in 2020 US B2B agency report

B2B demand marketing firm Quarry has once again been named a top 10 US B2B marketing agency—and recognized for specialist expertise in account-based marketing (ABM)—in the US Agencies Benchmarking Report 2020, published by B2B Marketing. This year’s annual report analyzed and ranked almost 40 B2B agencies to identify the strongest players in the US market. This is the third year in a row that Quarry has made the top 10 list. “To be recognized three years running speaks to our team’s proven strength in B2B demand marketing,” says Richard Hill (right), Managing Director for Growth, Quarry. “Though what we’re most proud of is our amazing clients and the incredible trust they place in us everyday to help drive their businesses forward—particularly in these turbulent times.”

AI Blindspots

COVID-19 revealed 3 critical AI procurement blindspots that could put lives at risk

Artificial intelligence is powering Chatbots, diagnostics and contract tracing tools used in the fight against COVID-19; To work effectively and to ensure trust, critical questions must be asked about performance, and accuracy; governments should ensure there is robust oversight through an independent third party; Bridging these governance gaps will be key to harnessing AI’s transformative potential and guiding economies through a recovery that does not sacrifice privacy and compromise public health; Global crises have underscored the need for responsibility in innovation and the ethical use of technology. By Eddan Katz, AI Project Lead, and Conor Sanchez, Project Specialist, World Economic Forum

COVID-19’s global impact has shown how outdated technologies are obstacles to effective policy making. As a result, many entities and governments have found themselves rushing to catch up – identifying, evaluating, and procuring reliable solutions powered by artificial intelligence (AI).


Confidence is Essential to Successful Strategy

by Marc Lacoursière

Confidence in our organizations requires three elements:
1. We believe our organization has a sound plan to accomplish its goals
2. There is clear communication about both the goals and the plan to achieve them
3. A way exists to measure progress toward the goals
It sounds so simple but all too often we miss the mark. The more we fail to achieve our goals, the less confidence our team has in our ability to set and achieve goals. However, the opposite is also true: set and achieve goals consistently and we increase confidence in our ability.


Even mild hits in contact sports show obvious changes in the brain

Suffering a concussion can cause serious and often lasting damage in the brain. For athletes, it could be one strong blow to the head during a tackle, or an aggressive head-first check into the boards, but what about all of those minor hits to the head in everyday practices?

New research published in the June 17, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, shows that those mild impacts are causing subtle brain changes, even in the brains of otherwise, healthy symptom-free athletes. “Even with no concussions, the repetitive impacts experienced by players clearly had effects on the brain,” said Ravi Menon (right), PhD, Professor at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and principal investigator on the study. “We were able to show quite strikingly a very obvious trend in athletes that play contact sports over multiple seasons.” The study followed 101 female varsity athletes at Western – 70 who played rugby, and 31 who participated in either rowing or swimming. The idea was to compare the brains of the athletes who played contact sports, with age and sex matched controls who were also involved in the same level of intense exercise without the contact. It is the first study of its kind to use another group of athletes as the control rather than using baseline pre-season measures.


47% of Workers in Canada Second-Guessing Careers Amid Pandemic

Of Those, More Than One-Quarter Want a More Fulfilling Job

After months of maneuvering through the coronavirus crisis, many employees are rethinking what's most important when it comes to their career, new research from global staffing firm Robert Half suggests. Nearly half of office professionals surveyed (47 per cent) said they have experienced a shift in their feelings toward work due to the pandemic. Of those:
• 60 per cent are more motivated to be employed at an organization that values its staff during unpredictable times
• 43 per cent will prioritize their personal life over their job moving forward
• 29 per cent want to pursue a more meaningful or fulfilling position

Muted Democracy

“It is a New Low” Behaviour of Government MPPs in Home Care Legislation Public Hearings Unprecedented and Unacceptable says Ontario Health Coalition

"In addition, we have never heard or seen before MPPs cutting off presenters and telling them that they must answer only “yes” or “no” to trick questions that do not have a clear yes or no answer. It is a new low in what is supposed to be a public hearing, a vital part of our democracy".

The Ontario Health Coalition made a formal complaint yesterday regarding the behaviour of three government MPPs in the public hearing into Bill 175 the Ontario government’s new home and community care legislation. The Coalition reported that yesterday Ford government MPPs, Christina Maria Mitas, Robin Martin and Sam Oosterhoff on multiple occasions cut off participants who were trying to answer questions in what were supposed to be public hearings by demanding that they answer only “yes” or “no” and not be allowed to contextualize their response, explain, nor in fact, say anything else. The Coalition notes that this behaviour was directed at presenters who were critical of the government’s Bill 175. In the OHC’s decades of experience in public hearings of Standing Committees of the Ontario Legislative Assembly they report that they have never seen MPPs behave in such a way. In addition, the Coalition cited behaviour in which government MPPs cut off the answers in order to disallow participants, including the Ontario Health Coalition, from responding to categorically false statements, including false characterizations of what the presenters actually said, reported the Health Coalition.


Second Month of Deflation Since 2009

The Conference Board of Canada’s Economist Anna Feng offers the following insights on the recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) data: “Consumer prices were off their year ago level (-0.4 per cent) again in May, recording the second month of deflation since 2009. The Bank of Canada’s preferred measure of core inflation decelerated to just 1.4 per cent, well below the Bank’s 2.0 per cent target. Depressed oil prices combined with suppressed household demand for discretionary spending contributed to May’s deflation. As such, we expect that inflation will continue falling behind the Bank’s 2.0 per cent target for the rest of 2020.”


Equalization program can’t adapt to rapid fiscal changes among provinces

Canada’s equalization program is not designed to handle the dramatic fiscal changes among provinces happening today, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank. “As the fortunes of provincial economies change, the equalization program—in its current form—can’t adapt to reflect these changes,” said Ben Eisen, Fraser Institute senior fellow and co-author of Equalization and Stabilization post-recession: Is Canada ready? For example, under Canada’s current equalization program, provincial governments receive or do not receive equalization payments based on their “fiscal capacity”—essentially, their ability to generate revenue.


More amenities reopening at Grand River Parks

The GRCA has begun to open gatehouses, beaches and some washrooms in most of its conservation areas.

The Ontario government recently announced more businesses and services are permitted to reopen, provided that the proper health and safety measures are in place. The Province’s announcement currently applies to most conservation areas within the Grand River watershed, with Byng Island in Haldimand County entering this stage beginning June 19. Local health units may have additional requirements that must be followed.


Region of Waterloo shares details about opening of child care centres, library branches and museums

With the province’s recent move to Stage 2 of their recovery plan, the Region of Waterloo is beginning to gradually open more facilities and programs.


November 5 - 7, 2020

Board Governance Boot Camp

Capacity Canada presents our annual Manulife Board Governance BootCamp November 5, 6 & 7, 2020 delivered virtually for the first time. This BootCamp delivers practical governance training to non-profit Boards and equips them with relevant action plans that will deliver a noticeable performance improvement in their boardrooms.

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Copyright, 2020