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____ Monday January 11, 2016 ____

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James Veitch: This is what happens when you reply to spam email

Suspicious emails: unclaimed insurance bonds, diamond-encrusted safe deposit boxes, close friends marooned in a foreign country. They pop up in our inboxes, and standard procedure is to delete on sight. But what happens when you reply? Follow along as writer and comedian James Veitch narrates a hilarious, weeks-long exchange with a spammer who offered to cut him in on a hot deal. For James Veitch, a British writer and comedian with a mischievous side, spam emails proved the perfect opening to have some fun, playing the scammers at their own game.

Women Entrepreneurs

What's Holding Women Back: A Look at Female Ambition in Canada

New Research Finds Few Corporate Women Believe C-suite is Achievable

Toronto - Can women have it all? New research commissioned by American Express Canada and Women of Influence suggests a more pertinent question for 2016—do they even want it all? With the workplace and landscape of life changing rapidly and the word success being redefined, this research examines the state of female ambition in Canada, looking at what, if anything, is holding women back.

Innovator of the Year

Canadian Business names Laurier grad’s start-up Innovator of the Year

Plasticity Labs was named Innovator of the Year by Canadian Business magazine.

Waterloo - Jim Moss (BA, ’12) founded Plasticity Labs two years ago with his wife Jennifer, chief marketing officer, and Lance Mohring, chief technical officer. The concept for the company blossomed out of a digital gratitude journal called The Smile Epidemic, which Moss began while recovering from a rare autoimmune disease. Moss realized the happier and more optimistic his outlook, the more success he had with his rehabilitation. By sharing moments of gratitude on the blog, he also received feedback from others sharing their stories of happiness and gratitude.


Labour Force Survey for December 2015

Ottawa - Employment edged up 23,000 (+0.1%) in December and the unemployment rate was 7.1%, unchanged from the previous month. Following employment growth of 0.4% in the first quarter of 2015, the pace of growth slowed to 0.2% for each of the subsequent three quarters. In the 12 months to December, employment gains totalled 158,000 or 0.9%, slightly above the growth rate of 0.7% in both 2013 and 2014. A year-end review for 2015 is presented in a separate section below.

New Government

Reflecting on Justin Trudeau’s Election Campaign and First Months of Power

History professor sees reminders of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, but also intentions to connect to the deeper Liberal heritage - by Teresa Pitman, University of Guelph

Guelph - A few months after Canada’s federal election, commentators are still dissecting the campaign and new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is attracting global attention. Prof. Matthew Hayday studies the history of Canadian politics at U of G. He’s intrigued by the ways Justin Trudeau’s campaign in the 2015 federal election echoed his father’s (former prime minister Pierre Trudeau) in 1968 and how it differed.

Climate Change

As Climate Change Hits the Caribbean, Partners Collaborate To Boost Resilience and Rejuvenate Coasts

by Randall Brummett World Bank

Washington - Even before Hurricane Joaquin’s catastrophic flooding of South Carolina in October, the storm had hit ten islands of The Bahamas with brute force. On Crooked Island, 85 percent of the homes were destroyed. Over 36 hours, the storm rested menacingly over the islands, closing airports as well as destroying communications and electrical infrastructure, according to the Ministry of Environment and Housing in Nassau.

Cluster Development

Ontario Launching New Fund to Develop Globally Competitive Clusters

Province Strengthening Regional Economies, Boosting Innovation and Productivity

Queens Park - Ontario is partnering with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to launch a new fund to help develop globally competitive clusters that will fuel innovation and productivity across the province. The Cluster Development Seed Fund offers grants of up to $100,000 to support networking activities or research and feasibility studies that will lead to the growth of more competitive clusters. A cluster is a geographic concentration of interrelated businesses and other organizations. Examples include Kitchener-Waterloo’s information and communications technology cluster, the life sciences cluster in Toronto, and Sarnia-Lambton’s chemical cluster. Strong clusters can help attract new investment and business to regions, creating more high-value jobs and economic growth throughout Ontario.


Ontario Adds 34,900 Jobs in December

Province Focused on New Business Growth Initiative

Queens Park - Ontario’s economy continues to create jobs and grow, with 34,900 jobs added in December. This brings the total increase in employment since the recessionary low in June 2009 to 588,100.


Drones Offer Innovative Solution for Local Mapping

The World Bank’s Innovation Labs in the Leadership, Learning, and Innovation vice presidency owns a “Sensefly eBee fixed-wing UAV” to pilot its usage in World Bank projects. UAVs are rapidly becoming an effective tool for mapping in many diverse scenarios. - by World Bank

Washington - In 1999, the men and boys of the Krusha e Madhe village in Kosovo were killed in the Balkan conflicts. In the almost 20 years since that time, the women of Krusha have been rebuilding their community and lives with the support of international donors. Like many small business owners around the world, the women have organized cooperatives and sell their products throughout the region.


Research Looks at Why We Lose Muscle Mass as We Age

by Susan Bubak Unoversity of Guelph

Guelph - As we age, we begin to lose muscle mass, which can lead to loss of strength, speed and power. Researchers at the University of Guelph are trying to understand why this happens and what can be done to protect muscles as we age.

Agriculture: July - November 2015 - Chart

Farm product prices for November 2015

Ottawa - Prices received by farmers in November for grains, oilseeds, specialty crops, cattle, hogs, poultry, eggs and dairy products are now available. The November Saskatchewan hogs price was $63.63 per hundredweight, down 20.3% from October and down 24.7% from November 2014 when the price was $84.52.

Correction Union

Union, province reach deal in Corrections talks

Toronto - The OPSEU bargaining team for frontline correctional services workers has reached an agreement to settle all outstanding issues in contract talks with the Government of Ontario. The announcement comes after marathon negotiations that began Friday and went through to the early hours of Saturday morning.

UK Aquisition

Avison Young acquires North Rae Sanders, opens new office in Coventry, U.K., eight members join

Purchase widens Avison Young's U.K. footprint, adds four new Principals

Toronto - Mark E. Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young, the world's fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm, announced today that it has acquired market-leading U.K. firm North Rae Sanders (NRS) and opened a new office in Coventry.

Widespread Decline

Building permits for November 2015

Ottawa - The value of building permits issued by municipalities was down 19.6% from October to $6.2 billion in November, falling below the $7-billion mark for first time since May 2015. The decrease was the result of widespread declines in both residential and non-residential sectors in most provinces, particularly Alberta.


Trudeau government faces challenging economic times in 2016

Its best response to the crisis would be to ensure responsible public finances and a competitive tax environment - By Livio Di Matteo

Thunderbay - The Trudeau government has a full agenda on its plate for 2016 given the global political and economic envronment, as well as its own list of election promises.
Yet, the fundamental issue that Ottawa must deal with is simple: how Canada will continue to make its economic way in the world given the end of the commodity boom and the tightening of global credit markets. With a lackluster Central Canadian economy and a depressed Western Canadian resource sector, rising interest rates will reduce what has been an important source of stimulus for the Canadian economy.

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