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____ Wednesday March 30, 2016 ____
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Safer Place

Dan Gross: Why gun violence can't be our new normal

It doesn't matter whether you love or hate guns; it's obvious that the US would be a safer place if there weren't thousands of them sold every day without background checks. Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, makes a passionate, personal appeal for something that more than 90 percent of Americans want: background checks for all gun sales. "For every great movement around the world, there's a moment where you can look back and say, 'That's when things really started to change,'" Gross says. "For the movement to end gun violence in America, that moment is here." As president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Dan Gross seeks to cut US gun deaths in half by 2025.

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Competitiveness

Canada keeps top spot as most cost competitive mature market for business

Study sheds light on a more positive outlook, highlighting that the high value of the US dollar has actually been a driver in improving Canada's competitiveness and overall cost advantage

Toronto - KPMG in Canada released its Competitive Alternatives 2016 report, revealing Canada as the most cost competitive mature market for business. The high value of the US dollar has enabled Canada to maintain its competitiveness and status in the international rankings, despite higher local business costs such as lease costs for downtown and suburban office space and reductions in federal R&D tax credits. The study, which is conducted biennially, looks at more than 100 cities and 10 countries around the world, examining 26 significant business cost elements, including labour, facilities, transportation, utilities and taxes.

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Education & Climate Change

“We have a responsibility to take decisive action on climate change”

University of Toronto President Meric Gertler announces climate change challenge, new investing strategy

Toronto – University of Toronto President Meric Gertler today unveiled a 14-point plan of specific, targeted actions that aim to make a difference on climate change now. Gertler outlined U of T’s plan to battle climate change in a bold report, Beyond Divestment: Taking Decisive Action on Climate Change.

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The Dark Net

Seven in Ten (71%) Global Citizens say the “Dark Net” should be Shut Down; Three in Ten (29%) Disagree

Toronto/Waterloo – Seven in ten (71%) global citizens say the “dark net” should be shut down, according to a new Ipsos poll commissioned by the Centre for International Governance Innovation(CIGI). The poll, titled the 2016 CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust, dove into the contentious area of the “dark net” – an area of the internet only accessible via special web browsers that allow you to surf the web anonymously. This realm is used by hackers and illegal marketplace sellers and buyers (eg. Child Abuse Imagery, Weapons, Narcotics) to hide from law enforcement. At the same time, journalists, human rights activists, dissidents and whistleblowers can use these services to rally against repression, exercise their fundamental rights to free expression and shed light upon corruption.

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Food & Health

BPA found in majority of food cans tested in Canada, contaminating the food that many Canadians consume daily

Toronto - A new report by six non-profit organizations, including Environmental Defence, shows that the majority of food cans sold by popular retailers contain bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical linked to endocrine (hormone) disruption; hyperactivity and low prosocial behaviour in children; and breast and prostate cancers.

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Housing

Housing Market Correction Fears Exaggerated

New report analyzes five key areas of risk to house prices and finds the threats to further growth are based on shallow analysis and inadequate data

Toronto - Despite a decade of warnings, the latest "hot button" threats to housing market stability: foreign investors, mortgage fraud and over leveraged buyers have no comprehensive statistical support, says Fortress Real Developments in the Spring 2016 edition of the Market Manuscript.

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Update

Canadian Internet Law Update for 2015

Vancouver - Canadian Internet law continues to develop in interesting ways. This paper by Borden Ladner Gervais summarizes selected developments in Canadian Internet law during 2015.

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Autism Program

Ontario Investing $333 Million to Improve Autism Services

New Autism Program to Reduce Waitlists and Provide Better Services for Families

Queens Park - As part of the 2016 Budget, Ontario is investing $333 million over the next five years to launch the new Ontario Autism Program, which will provide children and youth with critical interventions faster, and provide services that are better matched to their needs.

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Stress Study

OVC, Zoetis Team to Study How Vets Cope with Stress

Guelph - The University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) and Zoetis, an animal health company, have teamed up to study ways to help veterinarians handle stress.

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Transportation

Rail transportation from 2014

Ottawa - Operating revenues for the Canadian railway industry continued their upward trend in 2014, rising 10.0% from 2013 to $14.3 billion. Freight transportation revenues, which accounted for 91.4% of total revenues, were up 10.8% to $13.1 billion, while revenues from passenger operations increased 4.3%.

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Raw

Industrial product and raw materials price indexes for February 2016

Ottawa - The Industrial Product Price Index (IPPI) declined 1.1% in February, led by lower prices for energy and petroleum products. The Raw Materials Price Index (RMPI) fell 2.6%, mainly as a result of lower prices for crude energy products.

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Clearing House of Red Tape

Help Ontario Cut Red Tape

Government Launches Crowd-sourced Program to Modernize Regulations

Queens Park - Ontario is asking businesses and the public to help identify and improve regulations that are unclear, outdated, redundant or unnecessarily costly.

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Billing Errors

Ontarians Fight Back Against Continued Utility Bill Errors

Condominiums, apartments, retirement homes and hotels among those eligible for large-scale refunds

Toronto - Ontarians are fighting back against billing errors made by the province's utility companies. After a 2015 Ontario Ombudsman investigation brought to light the tens of thousands of billing issues experienced with Ontario's largest utility transmission and distribution company, many have now taken matters into their own hands, seeking energy audits and justice in the form of substantial refunds.

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Ice Storm 2016

Damage Results After Easter weekend storm

Toronto - Hydro One crews cleared more than 50,000 trees, replaced over 180 poles, 41 transformers, 141 cross arms and kilometres of line to restore power to more than 125,000 customers after a daunting weekend of weather that brought freezing rain, lightning strikes, high winds and finally flooding.

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Ride Share World

Is anybody buying ride-hailing insurance for UberX?

Toronto - Just because an insurance product exists does not mean anybody is buying it, taxi industry leaders told the province of Ontario.

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Education

Education indicators in Canada: An international perspective for 2015

Ottawa - The proportion of adults aged 25 to 64 who had completed high school was higher in Canada than in all but four of the reporting members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In 2014, 90% of Canadians aged 25 to 64 had completed at least high school, well above the OECD average of 76%. Conversely, the Czech Republic (93%), Estonia (91%), the Slovak Republic (91%) and Poland (91%) posted higher proportions. The United States matched Canada at 90%.

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Disaster Management

Virtual Reality Can Help Better Integrate Syrian Refugees into Canada

World Conference on Disaster Management speaker demonstrates unique three-step approach from the field that could help manage Canada’s refugee effort

Toronto – In the wake of the end of the first phase of Canada’s Syrian refugee resettlement program – which welcomed its 25,000th refugee in late February – Canadians should be reminded to see refugees not as victims, but as survivors capable of moving forward. One way to achieve this goal is through the use of advanced 3D technologies such as virtual reality.

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HR

Exit (Interview) Strategy

Survey Shows Majority of Companies Act on Feedback from Departing Employees

Toronto - Many employers are taking their workers' parting words to heart, new research suggests. More than half (54 per cent) of human resources (HR) managers said their company commonly acts on feedback from exit interviews.

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R&D Digital

Digital Marketing Research Survey Results on "What Makes a Good Website?"

Toronto - Results of a 2016 Digital Marketing Research Report undertaken in late 2015 in by Georgian College Centre for Applied Research and Innovation and the National Research Council of Canada.

EVENTS

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April 24, 2016

Waterloo Region Hall of Fame 2016 Inductions

Waterloo Region – The Waterloo Region Hall of Fame will hold its Annual Induction Ceremony at the Waterloo Region Museum in Kitchener on Sunday, April 24 at 2 p.m.

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Today

Mayors join volunteers to deliver meals to local seniors

Waterloo Region – Local mayors are hitting the streets today delivering hot and nutritious Meals on Wheels, a service allowing some of our most vulnerable neighbours to stay in their own homes.



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