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Wednesday July 31, 2013

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Ted Talks

Eli Beer: The fastest ambulance? A motorcycle

As a young EMT on a Jerusalem ambulance, Eli Beer realized that, stuck in brutal urban traffic, they often arrived too late to help. So he organized a group of volunteer EMTs -- many on foot -- ready to drop everything and dash to save lives in their neighborhood.

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Recognition

fDi Magazine ranks Brantford in Top 10 for American Cities of the Future Again!

Brantford – Brantford has been named among the top 10 “American Cities of the Future” by fDi Magazine for a second consecutive edition of the rankings. Building on its 2011/12 ranking as one of the most cost competitive micro cities in the Americas, Brantford now ranks eighth in terms of overall business friendliness based on factors such as knowledge based industries, global 500 companies, job creation, foreign direct investment projects, corporate taxation and credit rating, as well as ease of doing business.

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Technology

William Shatner to Keynote at OpenText Enterprise World 2013

Celebrated actor scheduled to attend annual Enterprise Information Management Conference in November

WATERLOO - OpenText announced that William Shatner, iconic actor and philanthropist, will be speaking at its EIM conference, OpenText Enterprise World 2013 in Orlando, Florida, November 17-21. Best known for his role as Captain James T. Kirk in the television series Star Trek, Shatner will appear on stage alongside OpenText CEO Mark Barrenechea for the opening keynote.

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Loss Due to Catasrophe

Economical Insurance estimates losses from recent weather-related catastrophes in Alberta and the Greater Toronto Area

WATERLOO - Economical Insurance released catastrophe loss estimates from the storms and floods in Southern Alberta in June and the Greater Toronto Area in July.Economical estimates that its loss related to the Southern Alberta floods in June will amount to $30 million after taking into account expected reinsurance recoveries. The company will record the loss estimate in its 2013 second quarter results which are scheduled for release on August 7, 2013. Economical also estimates that the loss incurred from the July flooding in the Greater Toronto Area will be $30 million net of reinsurance. Economical will record the estimated losses from the Greater Toronto Area flooding in its 2013 third quarter results.

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Accelerator

Communitech’s Improved Seed-Accelerator Unveils Third Cohort

HYPERDRIVE’s new six-month format puts the emphasis on investment, sales & marketing

Waterloo Region – Eleven promising startups have made the cut to participate in the third cycle of Communitech’s HYPERDRIVE seed-accelerator, one of the most successful programs of its kind in Canada.

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Stem Cells

Sun Life Financial donates $100,000 to help build Canada's first national public umbilical cord blood bank

TORONTO - Sun Life Financial is part of a ground breaking initiative that will help save the lives of nearly 1,000 Canadians who are waiting for an unrelated stem cell match. Sun Life Financial has donated $100,000 to the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) to support the "For All Canadians" campaign to build Canada's first national public umbilical cord blood bank.

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Divesture

Manulife Financial Sells its Life Insurance Operations in Taiwan to CTBC Life

TORONTO - Manulife Financial Corporation announced that its subsidiary, Manulife (International) Limited, has signed an agreement to sell its life insurance business in Taiwan to CTBC Life Insurance Co., Ltd. (CTBC Life), a subsidiary of CTBC Financial Holding Co., Ltd., one of the largest financial holding companies in Taiwan.

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Funding

The Co-operators grants $258,440 to 14 Canadian community organizations

GUELPH - Yesterday, The Co-operators announced $258,440 in funding to 14 Canadian community organizations across Canada, each of which works to help disadvantaged people achieve greater self-reliance. The funding comes from The Co-operators Foundation Community Economic Development Fund (CED) and Co-operators Fiftieth Anniversary Community Fund. These funds support organizations from St. John's to Vancouver that assist people who face barriers to employment in finding meaningful work that socially, economically and environmentally benefits them and their communities.

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Food Industry

Canada's barriers on food trade only hurt ourselves

Reducing tariffs likely to lead to more exports abroad and greater choice at home

OTTAWA - Canada should be a leader in reducing trade barriers on food products - instead of being one of the strongest holdouts in the developed world. A new Conference Board of Canada report, Liberalization's Last Frontier: Canada's Food Trade, argues that the food industry and Canadian consumers would benefit if import duties on food were significantly lowered.

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PR

New book rejects 'staying on message' approach to media interviews

TORONTO - Yorkland Publishing (www.yorklandpublishing.com) today announced the publication of a ground-breaking media interview guide that rejects the standard practice of "staying on message" in favour of a responsive approach in which the spokesperson directly answers reporters' questions.

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Finance

Debt Free? 14 per cent of Canadians with debt say it will never happen

Canadians 65 and over more likely to feel their debt could be with them for life; Some Canadians comfortable with current debt level and don't plan to pay it off

TORONTO - A new poll conducted by Harris/Decima shows 14 per cent of Canadians carrying debt believe they will never be debt free - a number that jumps to 21 per cent for Canadians 65 years of age and up.

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Books

Carol Shaben named winner of the 2013 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction

WATERLOO – Carol Shaben has won the 2013 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction for Into the Abyss: How a Deadly Plane Crash Changed the Lives of a Pilot, a Politician, a Criminal and a Cop (Random House Canada, 2012). Award receptions to honour Shaben will take place Nov. 13 at Laurier’s Waterloo and Brantford campuses.

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Emerging Markets

High risk, high reward: small and medium enterprises can find success in fast-growth emerging markets

Conference Board report, webinar, describe how SMEs succeed in challenging markets

OTTAWA - Small and medium-sized Canadian companies that succeed in fast-growing international markets are technologically-advanced trail blazers according to a new Conference Board report. But these firms do more than offer world-leading product: they develop a worldwide reputation, choose fast-growing markets to enter selectively, and make "bridging" arrangements with local partners to reduce barriers associated with working in new markets.

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Gender

Study Shows Room - and Reasons - for Improvement in Gender Diversity in Canadian ICT Boards

OTTAWA - A study released by ITAC, the Information Technology Association of Canada, reveals that while Canadian information and communications technology companies are performing about as well as other sectors in terms of the engagement of women on their boards of directors, there are compelling strategic reasons to do better. The boards of the 10 largest Canadian ICT companies are 16.5% female compared with Spencer Stuart's 2012 Board index of larger Canadian companies which average about 17%.

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Beef Levy

Canada Beef Pleased Import Levy Introduced

OTTAWA - Canada Beef and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced an amendment to the Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Levies Order to include an import levy on beef cattle, beef and beef products. The import levy will treat importers in the same way as Canadian cattle and beef purchasers, all paying the equivalent of $1 per head of cattle.

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Direct Investment

With Canada rated as China’s number one choice for outward-bound investment, Consider Canada City Alliance organizes one of the largest-ever gatherings of Chinese and Canadian business leaders

For the first time, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade teams with leading Canadian economic development organizations to host an investment mission to Canada

Calgary – In 2012 Canada bumped Australia to become the lead country in the world for Chinese outward-bound direct investment, according to data from the global accounting firm KPMG in a report released in March of 2013. To ensure this momentum continues, nearly 150 Chinese and Canadian business and government leaders are meeting in Calgary today to discuss how to leverage Canada’s large cities to increase investment from China and learn more about China’s investment priorities through its Going Global program. This is one of largest-ever gatherings of Chinese and Canadian investment and business development executives on Canadian soil.

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Real Estate

New record high for commercial real estate investment sales in Greater Toronto Area

Toronto - Healthy commercial real estate market fundamentals encouraged buyers and sellers to continue consummating deals, generating record total investment sales volume in the second quarter of 2013. Sales of office, industrial, retail, multi-residential and ICI land properties across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) reached $4.5 billion, shattering the previous high-water mark (just under $4 billion) from the fourth quarter of 2006. The second- quarter tally was $2.4 billion higher than the previous quarter (+116%) and almost $1 billion (+28%) above the same quarter in 2012, bringing year-to- date investment sales volume at mid-2013 to $6.5 billion, up 15% over last year. Portfolio transactions drove sales up, and though cap rates remain low, the rate of compression appears to have moderated for some property types.

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Incentives

Use of Corporate Incentive and Rewards Programs Climbs in Canada

- Corporate incentives used to gain a competitive advantage-; Recipient satisfaction grew in importance when measuring program success; Prepaid Visa, MasterCard, and American Express corporate incentive cards preferred over traditional giveaways, especially by Millennial Generation employees

TORONTO - The use of corporate incentive and reward programs in Canada jumped in 2013, with Canadian organizations increasingly using incentives to gain a competitive advantage, according to the 2013 Canadian Incentive Trends Survey. The study also revealed that while program budget is still the most important consideration when offering incentives, recipient satisfaction is growing as a key measure of program success. The research also showed that prepaid Visa, MasterCard and American Express corporate incentive cards continue to grow in preference over traditional branded merchandise and gift cards.

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