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____ Friday December 4, 2015 ____

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Innovation

Chieko Asakawa: How new technology helps blind people explore the world

Dr. Chieko Asakawa invents technology to make the visually impaired more independent. How can technology help improve our quality of life? How can we navigate the world without using the sense of vision? Inventor and IBM Fellow Chieko Asakawa, who's been blind since the age of fourteen, is working on answering these questions. In a charming demo, she shows off some new technology that's helping blind people explore the world ever more independently ... because, she suggests, when we design for greater accessibility, everyone benefits.

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Energy

Ontario Commits to Future in Nuclear Energy

Agreement Secures Low-Cost, Clean Electricity Supply and Supports 23,000 Jobs Across Province

Queens Park - Ontario has updated its contract with Bruce Power and will proceed with the refurbishment of six nuclear units at the Tiverton-based nuclear generation station.

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Middle-income Earners

Brian Lee Crowley and Sean Speer launch the first in a series of papers aimed at helping the newly-elected government achieve its ambitious agenda

MLI Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley and newly-appointed Senior Fellow Sean Speer kicked off a series of commentary papers titled “From A Mandate For Change To A Plan To Govern”.

Ottawa – The new Liberal government has put the Canadian middle class at the centre of its agenda. This should be lauded. Canada is stronger when incomes are broadly growing. But how best can the federal government help middle-income earners?

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Energy

OMERS to Invest in Future Bruce Power Refurbishment Projects

Toronto - OMERS announced yesterday that Bruce Power has signed a definitive agreement with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) which will allow OMERS to invest in the refurbishment of six Bruce Power reactor units over the next twenty years. This framework agreement with the IESO for the refurbishment of the units will increase their lifespan 30 to 35 years, guaranteeing the Province of Ontario access to safe, reliable and carbon-free electricity. In return, Bruce Power will receive an agreed price for all generation from the site, which will be subject to certain adjustments over time.

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Philanthropy

W.C. Wood Foundation gives Guelph Lake Nature Centre campaign a boost

Guelph - With more than 20,000 students passing through the doors of Guelph Lake Nature Centre each year, it’s getting harder and harder to find someone in the community who doesn’t have a memory about their time spent on the shores of Guelph Lake.

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Trading Grid

ELIOR Transforms Supplier Relationships With OpenText

OpenText helps ELIOR to Maintain its Competitive Advantage through Management of Supplier Orders, Invoices and Payments

Waterloo -- OpenText announced that ELIOR, the largest contract catering organization in France and the third largest in Europe, has adopted OpenText Trading Grid to support electronic invoicing and payments to suppliers. Working with OpenText, ELIOR aims to simplify the exchange of high volumes of data, transform its relationships with trading partners, and streamline and accelerate key business processes.

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Power Outage Notice

Hydro One Announces Proactive Outage Alerts

New Feature is Designed to Keep Customers Across the Province Informed

Toronto - Hydro One announced that residential customers can register to receive proactive, personalized text or email alerts about outages that may be affecting their homes, cottages, farms or small businesses. Hydro One is the first utility in Canada to offer this service.

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Risk, Barriers, Opportunities

Engaging the private sector in climate change adaptation

PARIS - Jean Lebel, President of Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), along with Aron Cramer, President and CEO of Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), announced a joint initiative to help companies protect their businesses and assets from the impacts of climate change.

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Chart of the Week

Santa's Coming

by Mike Hayhoe, BSc, CIM

Kitchener - The S&P 500 has rallied during the final 30 trading days of the year for the last 12 years in a row! This is known as the "Santa Claus Rally".

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Agriculture Prices

Farm Product Price Index, September 2015

Ottawa - The Farm Product Price Index (FPPI) increased 5.6% in September compared with September 2014, largely resulting from higher crop and cattle prices. The year-over-year increases began in August 2014, mainly because of higher livestock prices. However, the crops index also started rising in January 2015.

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TFSA

Majority of Canadians support leaving TFSA limit at $10,000, poll shows

Toronto – A recent public opinion poll shows majority support among Canadians for leaving the TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account) limit at $10,000, not reducing it to $5,500 as the Liberal government is considering. This support is consistent across income levels, age, region and whether the respondent worked in the public or private sector. Catherine Swift, spokesperson for Working Canadians said, “53% of Canadians are in favour of leaving the TFSA limit at $10,000, while only 19% favoured reducing the limit.” A total of 27% of respondents said either “it depends” or “I don’t know.” These results are consistent with other polls conducted on this issue.

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Construction Investment

Residential construction investment, third quarter 2015

Ottawa - The total value of investment in residential construction rose 3.3% to $31.9 billion in the third quarter compared with the same quarter a year earlier. This marked the seventh consecutive year-over-year quarterly growth.

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An Effective Tool

CMHC President Explains "Why Housing Matters" to the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - Evan Siddall, President and CEO of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), spoke yesterday to the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. In his speech, Siddall explained to the Montreal business community "why housing matters" and how housing can be an effective tool to achieve broader social and economic policy objectives.

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Growing Communities

Ontario Passes Legislation to Promote Smart Community Growth

Expands Municipal Revenue Tools and Streamlines Land Use Planning and Appeals

Queens Park - Yesterday Ontario passed legislation to give the province’s residents a greater say in how their communities grow and to provide municipalities with more opportunities to fund community services like transit and recycling.

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Water

Grand River Source Protection Plan approved

Cambridge - A plan to protect the sources of municipal drinking water in the Grand River watershed has been approved by the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) announced yesterday.

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Partnership

Ontario Improving Employment Opportunities for People Facing Barriers

Province Invests $4 million to Pilot Community Loans Fund

Queens Park - Ontario is partnering with leading financial institutions to create a fund aimed at increasing employment opportunities for people facing employment barriers.

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#EcemberWR Campaign

Year of Code Waterloo Region Launches E-cember Tech Drive to Deliver Computers and Coding Classes to Families in Need

Waterloo Region - Year of Code Waterloo Region (YoCWR) has launched a holiday-season program to give the gift of tech and opportunity to local families and children in need. During December, YoCWR’s E-cember Tech Drive is collecting gently used computers (less than three years old) that will be refurbished, loaded with learn-to-code information and software, and paired with seats at CodeCrafters programming classes for kids.

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Comparison

Price of cancer drugs varies by up to 388% between European countries, Australia, and New Zealand

Vienna, Austria - The price of new cancer drugs varies widely (from 28% to 388%) between high-income countries in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, new research published in The Lancet Oncology has found.

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