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Friday March 30, 2012

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Ted Talks

Ayah Bdeir: Building Blocks that Blink, Beep and Teach

Ayah Bdeir is an engineer and artist, and is the founder of littleBits and karaj, an experimental art, architecture and technology lab in Beirut. littleBits is an open source system of preassembled, modular circuits that snap together with magnets – making learning about electronics fun, easy and creative.

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RIM Rupture

Balsillie Resigns, RIM Results Disappoint

Waterloo - Jim Balsillie has left Research in Motion, a move announced on the same day that RIM issued year-end and fourth quarter financial figures that showed less than stellar results. Media reports referred to the company as “a beleaguered smartphone giant” and termed its status “wobbly.” Buried deep into a media release issued by RIM was the news of Balsillie’s departure. The release said, “Jim Balsillie, former Co-CEO of the Company, has resigned as a Director on the Company’s Board.

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Budget Response

2012 Federal Budget Analysis from CCoC

Ottawa - With improved economic assumptions and lower than anticipated spending numbers, the federal government is enjoying a brighter fiscal outlook. The deficit for fiscal 2011-12 is now estimated at $24.4 billion, a $6.6 billion improvement relative to what it had predicted in the November fiscal update. There are also small improvements in the size of the deficits going forward. The government anticipates a return to surplus in fiscal 2015-16, as previously forecasted. We are pleased the government has answered the Canadian Chamber’s call for a balanced budget in the medium term. In a world awash with debt, we are securing crucial fiscal flexibility to survive future downturns and respond to the challenges of an aging population.

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Budget Response

Federal Budget Positive Step for Region Businesses

Kitchener - The 2012 Federal Budget provides incentives for businesses to create jobs and initiate growth according to Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Ian McLean.

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Budget Response

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting Blast Cuts to CBC

Ottawa - A statement from the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting slams Thursday's federal budget. It says "In today's Budget, the Harper government has broken its election promise and cut the CBC's budget by 10% - this is $115 million! This will require CBC to cut hundreds of staff, including some of the most famous personalities from flagship TV and Radio shows, thereby incurring heavy separation costs, putting further downward pressure on programming."

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Budget Response

Analysis of What Ontario’s 2012 Budget Means for People on Social Assistance

Ottawa - The 2012 Ontario Budget is deeply disappointing for the nearly 900,000 men, women, and children in Ontario who currently rely on Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program for income and other necessary benefits. As previously announced, the Budget includes a freeze on social assistance rates and a delay in increasing the Ontario Child Benefit to the promised maximum of $1,310 per child per year. ISAC has already commented on the impact of these measures, which will take at least $150 million out of the pockets of people on OW and ODSP each year.

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Budget Response

Budget 2012 a “Roadmap to Long-term Prosperity”

Ottawa - The new federal budget provides Canadians with a “roadmap to long-term prosperity” said Kitchener-Conestoga MP Harold Albrecht. “Minimizing taxes while we return to a balanced budget in the medium term provides a healthy foundation for economic growth.”

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Budget Response

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Focus of Economic Action Plan 2012

Ottawa - Stephen Woodworth, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre welcomes Economic Action Plan 2012’s focus on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Keeping taxes low and returning Canada to balanced budgets over the medium term is good news for Kitchener families.

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Outstanding Woman Award

Laura Crocker Named Outstanding Woman of Laurier

Waterloo – Laura Crocker has been named the 2012 Outstanding Woman of Laurier. Crocker, the skip for Laurier’s varsity women’s curling team, received the award today during a luncheon at the Waterloo Inn Conference Hotel.

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Municipal Appointment

Craig Dyer Appointed Chief Financial Officer

Waterloo Region – Craig Dyer has been appointed the new Chief Financial Officer for the Region of Waterloo. “Craig brings to the CFO position a strong municipal finance background and an excellent fit with the Region’s organizational values and culture,” said Mike Murray, Chief Administrative Officer. “I’m sure he will build on and enhance the prudent financial management the Region’s Finance Department has always provided.”

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The Environment

Get involved: Turn Off Lights and Participate in This Year’s Earth Hour!

Guelph – Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. is reminding Guelph and Rockwood residents and local businesses to show their support for Earth Hour this weekend by turning off all non- essential lights between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 31.

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Local Food

Local Food is Always in Season in Woolwich!

Woolwich - Join in the fun at the sixth annual Taste of Woolwich event on Monday, April 16, from 5-8pm at the Breslau Mennonite Church, 226 Woolwich Street South, Breslau. A Taste of Woolwich has moved to a brand new location this year. In addition to a spectacular range of local farmers and food producers, the event features a special Youth Recipe Challenge and four informative workshops. We welcome $2 donations for adults, children attend for free.

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Municipal Government

Region Increases Sustainability Grants

Waterloo Region - Council approved an additional $99,651 in sustainability grants to be allocated from the Community Environmental Fund. The 10 approved projects include: solar research; University of Waterloo sustainable vehicle technology; the Green Living Technology Fair; energy and greenhouse gas reduction; a ‘Buy Local Buy Fresh’ mobile application; waste diversion; organic gardening workshops and a new electric vehicle for Grand River Carshare.

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Innovation

Desire2Learn Announces Release of Desire2Learn Assignment Grader for iPad

Kitchener-Waterloo - Desire2Learn Incorporated, a leading provider of enterprise teaching and learning platforms, has announced the debut of Desire2Learn Assignment Grader. An application for the Apple iPad tablet, Assignment Grader enables instructors and educators to manage, grade, and provide feedback on digital assignment submissions in either offline or online mode.

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Environmental Ethics

Laurier Prof Writes Canada’s First Environmental Ethics Textbook

Waterloo – Laurier Professor Byron Williston has authored an environmental ethics textbook for students, considered to be the first of its kind in Canada. Previously, no other textbook dealing with the key theoretical questions in environmental ethics was available specifically for Canadian students.



 
Current Exchange Magazine: March/April 2012

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