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____ Friday February 26, 2016 ____
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US Health Care

Mary Bassett: Why your doctor should care about social justice

In Zimbabwe in the 1980s, Mary Bassett witnessed the AIDS epidemic firsthand, and she helped set up a clinic to treat and educate local people about the deadly virus. But looking back, she regrets not sounding the alarm for the real problem: the structural inequities embedded in the world's political and economic organizations, inequities that make marginalized people more vulnerable. These same structural problems exist in the United States today, and as New York City's Health Commissioner, Bassett is using every chance she has to rally support for health equity and speak out against racism. "We don't have to have all the answers to call for change," she says. "We just need courage."

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Ontario Budget

Ontario Builds on Record Infrastructure Investments

Toronto - The Government of Ontario has built upon record infrastructure investments with the release of Jobs for Today and Tomorrow: 2016 Ontario Budget. The Ontario government will spend $137B in infrastructure over the next 10 years, $3B more than the total proposed in the 2015 Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review. These planned investments are expected to support more than 110,000 new jobs for Ontarians on average, each year.

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Chart of the Week

It's been a LONG TIME coming but we finally saw a year over year decline in US domestic oil production.

by Michael Hayhoe

Waterloo Region - US oil production peaked last spring at 9.6MM barrels a day. It dropped marginally last summer but then flattened out for months. However, it has finally started to turn down again, and more importantly, it has dropped below the previous year's production level turning year-over-year production growth negative. The 70% drop in price is finally starting to hit home.

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Advanced Manufacturing

Three Ontario universities receive funding to create Advanced Manufacturing Consortium

Waterloo - Three of the top research-intensive and industrially collaborative universities in Ontario – McMaster University, University of Waterloo and Western University – received $35 million in funding over five years from the Government of Ontario today as part of a $50 million project aimed at combining existing strengths in the heart of Ontario’s manufacturing region to create an Advanced Manufacturing Consortium.

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Ontario Budget

Professors welcome investments in student access, caution that Ontario still needs to invest in universities

Toronto - Professors and academic librarians across Ontario are welcoming changes to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) to make higher education more accessible to low-income students, announced in today's Budget. At the same time, they are reminding the government that new investment in universities is urgently needed to ensure that that every student has access to a high-quality learning experience.

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Ontario Budget

Students achieve historic victory in Ontario budget with introduction of new needs-based grant program

Toronto - Student representatives are applauding the government's new investment of over $1 billion in a singular Ontario Student Grant that will provide up-front, non-repayable assistance to struggling college and university students. Additional changes to current restrictive student financial assistance regulations will broaden access to non-repayable and repayable assistance.

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Recognition

Homebuilders Recognized for Building Green

Net Zero and ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes in the Spotlight

Toronto - EnerQuality announced the 2015 EnerQuality Award winners last night at a sold-out gala in Toronto. Each year the awards are presented to builders committed to building energy efficient and sustainable homes.

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Today

Grand River Hospital celebrates the successful completion of its inpatient pharmacy renovation.

Kitchener - After a 14-month long renovation, the new space features improved workflow efficiencies and state-of-the art equipment to meet best practice and accreditation standards. The renovation has provided the following benefits:

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Food

The good news at the heart of rising food prices in Canada

Wages are on the rise, and the food and hospitality industry is flourishing - By Sylvain Charlebois

Guelph -Canada's food inflation rate remains at four per cent, yet there are encouraging signs for the consumer. Statistics Canada's recent consumer price index numbers, for example, show that the gap between the general inflation rate and food inflation is shrinking - the general inflation rate now stands at two per cent, its highest point in nearly two years.

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Ontario Budget

Ontario’s Investments Creating Jobs for Today and Tomorrow

Government Continues with its Plan to Grow the Economy, Create Jobs and Balance the Budget in 2017–18

Queens Park - With the release of the 2016 Ontario Budget: Jobs for Today and Tomorrow, which outlines the next phase of the government’s plan to create jobs, and economic growth. More than 600,000 jobs have been created since the recessionary low in June 2009, with 3,382 jobs produced in Waterloo Region in 2015. Ontario is projected to create more than 300,000 additional jobs by the end of 2019.

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Ontario Budget

Ontario budget funding falls short says Unifor

Toronto - Unifor welcomes investment in education, health and infrastructure but says overall funding in the Ontario budget falls short. “Increased funding in these key areas is overdue,” said Unifor Ontario Director Katha Fortier. “"Today'’s budget is a start, but we need greater investment to really make a difference in the lives of Ontarians.”"

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Ontario Budget

Ontario Budget Takes Aim at Auto Insurance Fraud

Toronto - As Fraud Prevention Month is set to kick off, Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa announced that the government's budget includes a plan to establish a "serious fraud office" with a special focus on auto insurance fraud says, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

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Ontario Budget

Tobacco Tax Increase Will Hand Millions of Dollars to Underground Economy, says NCACT

Toronto - With the release of the Ontario budget, the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT) warned that the government's decision to increase tobacco taxes by $3 per carton will heighten demand for contraband tobacco in the province and be a boon for criminals profits.

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Ontario Budget

Toronto Financial Services Alliance supports Province maintaining budget targets and delaying ORPP

Toronto – The Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA) welcomes statements in yesterday’s Ontario Budget confirming the Government’s plan to maintain the balanced budget target date of 2017-18, and the delay of the implementation of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) by one year.

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Ontario Budget 2016

Ontario budget fails to address growing demand for physician services

Toronto - The Ontario government failed to make funding for medical care a priority in its 2016 provincial budget, says the Ontario Medical Association. At a time when Ontario's population is growing and aging, the government has cut the funding it provides for physician services by nearly seven per cent, resulting in a serious threat to quality, patient-focused care.

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Ontario Budget

EACOM Welcomes Ontario Budget, Including Measures that Support Forestry

Montreal - EACOM Timber Corporation welcomed the 2016 Ontario provincial budget. The company is especially pleased with Premier Wynne's sustained commitment of $60 million in public resource access roads funding for 2016-17. This funding demonstrates the Government's support for building and maintaining public resource access roads in Northern and rural Ontario that benefit all Ontarians.

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Ontario Budget

Ontario Hospital Association Welcomes Investment in Hospitals

Funds Will Maintain Stability and Access for Patients and Clients

Toronto - The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) welcomed the 2016 Ontario Budget, calling it positive news for Ontario's hospitals and the health care system.

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Ontario Budget

College education will be strengthened by the 2016 Ontario Budget investments

Toronto - College education in Ontario will be strengthened by the measures announced today in the 2016 Ontario Budget. "There is a clear commitment to college education and helping greater numbers of students pursue the career-specific programs at colleges," said David Agnew, the president of Seneca College and chair of Colleges Ontario. "The budget measures will help more people find rewarding careers and help businesses to become more innovative and create more jobs."

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Ontario Budget

Budget ignores crisis in corrections: OPSEU

Toronto - The Ontario Budget does not come close to addressing the crisis in correctional services in Ontario, the head of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union says.

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Ontario Budget

Ontario Budget Will Improve Care for Seniors in Long-Term Care with Dementia

Toronto - The Ontario Long Term Care Association called the Government of Ontario's 2016 Budget a positive step for seniors living in long-term care with dementia, and committed to working with government to work on the development of a plan to rebuild outdated long-term care homes, and to hire more staff to meet the growing needs of seniors living in long-term care.

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Ontario Budget

Students Applaud Landmark Improvements to Financial Aid

Toronto - The release of the 2016 Ontario budget announced enormous changes to financial assistance that will make university education more accessible and affordable, according to the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA). The newly announced Ontario Student Grant (OSG) builds on existing programs to increase the amount of grant money available to students, and according to OUSA, focuses on helping students with the most financial need.

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Ontario Budget

Wealth transfer in budget is "biggest unreported story in Ontario," OPSEU's Thomas says

Toronto - The 2016 Ontario Budget continues a massive multi-year transfer of wealth that is "the biggest unreported story in Ontario," the president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union says.

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Ontario Budget

WWF-Canada reacts to Ontario budget unveiled

Toronto - WWF-Canada welcomes the cap-and-trade program outlined in the Ontario provincial budget unveiled yesterday. The proposed Climate Change Mitigation and Low Carbon Economy Act is a significant and concrete step toward achieving Ontario's greenhouse gas reduction targets while strengthening the economy.

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Profits

Quarterly financial statistics for enterprises for fourth quarter 2015

Ottawa - Canadian corporations earned $77.4 billion in operating profits in the fourth quarter, down 3.1% from the previous quarter. The decrease was driven by a $2.4 billion decline in profits in the financial sector, while profits among non-financial enterprises fell by $104 million. Overall, operating profits were down in 13 of 22 industries.

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Earninigs

Payroll employment, earnings and hours for December 2015

Ottawa - Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $959 in December, up 0.9% from the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings increased by 1.7%.

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Climate Change

Ontario Introduces New Climate Change Legislation

Proposed Law to Ensure Transparency, Accountability for Use of Cap and Trade Auction Proceeds

Queens Park - To build on the work already underway to fight the effects of climate change, Ontario is laying a foundation to join the biggest carbon market in North America by introducing new legislation today that, if passed, would ensure that proceeds from the province’s cap and trade system are transparently reinvested into green projects and actions that will reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

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Water Damage

Gore Mutual Launches New Flood Protection Coverage that is Simple and Affordable

Cambridge - Gore Mutual Insurance Company announced an expansion of its water damage coverage with a new combined overland water and sewer backup product called WaterEscape Plus.

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Maker Movement

Brampton’s Technology Playground

MakerSpace program creates opportunities at the grassroots

Brampton - Elizabeth Gyurán was in the Brampton Public Library when she saw the flyer. It was promoting MakerSpace Brampton, a unique program developed by the City of Brampton, Sheridan College and the Library to make advanced technology generally available to Brampton residents and businesses. Her first thought was that it might be a fun thing for her family to try. Her husband, a car buff, was excited at the prospect of 3D printing for car parts that are no longer available. She wasn’t thinking about how it would change her home-based business.

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Work Place Safety

MP Bryan May introduces bill to promote first aid training

Proposes non-refundable tax credit to offset cost of lifesaving courses

Ottawa/Cambridge – Yesterday, Cambridge MP Bryan May introduced his first Private Members Bill, an Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (tax credit - first aid). The bill would provide a non-refundable tax credit to those who take an accredited first aid, CPR, or AED training course. “Having worked at community non-profits, I know firsthand how important first aid training can be,” May said. “These types of courses save lives in our community, help reduce the burden on our health care system, and help make people more attractive to potential employers.”

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Credit Card Fees

Canada imitates Europe and soon caps credit card fees at 0.30%

Private Members' Bill tabled today to put a cap on credit card fees

POINTE-CLAIRE, QC - Australia has done it, Europe just did it and it is now Canada's turn to follow suit in the implementation of a regulatory cap on hidden credit card transaction fees that represent $7 billion a year of unnecessary costs imposed on Canadian retailers and consumers. Today, a significant milestone was reached by the introduction of a Private Members' Bill entitled An Act to amend the Payment Card Network Act (acceptance fee for a credit card) by Linda Lapointe, Liberal MP for Rivière-des-Milles-Îles, an initiative warmly applauded by the Quebec Convenience Stores Association (AQDA) and its 6 400 Quebec c-stores that are each paying, on average, $36,000 per year in credit card fees, the equivalent of all their hard-earned annual profits.

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Overnighters

Characteristics of international overnight travellers, third quarter 2015

Ottawa - Canadian residents made 9.0 million overnight trips abroad in the third quarter, with spending totalling $9.4 billion. Of these trips, 6.2 million were to the United States, accounting for $4.3 billion in spending.

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Appointments

Grant Thornton LLP Announces New Regional Managing Partners – Driving Excellence in Atlantic and Western Canada

Toronto - Further to announcing incoming CEO elect, Kevin Ladner on December 21, 2015, Grant Thornton LLP announces the appointments of Regional Managing Partners: Michele Williams, FCPA, FCA, for Atlantic Canada and Norm Raynard, CPA, CBV, for Western Canada.

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Arts & History

HOLOCAUST ARCHITECTURE EVIDENCE TO BE SHOWCASED AT PRESTIGIOUS VENICE BIENNALE

Waterloo - An Auschwitz exhibit, focusing on a forensic analysis of the crematoria produced by University of Waterloo professors and students, will be featured at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia.

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Regional Airports

Toronto Region Board of Trade to host 2nd Annual Aviation Summit

Chris Wood, General Manager of the Region of Waterloo International Airport will take part in a panel discussion titled “Fueling Ontario's Economy: the Vital Role of Regional Airports

Toronto — On Monday, February 29, Toronto Region Board of Trade will host its 2nd Annual Aviation Summit: Airports as Economic Hubs, a full-day of insights and knowledge-sharing examining the often under-recognized role of airports in regional economic growth and in the development of a much-needed multi-modal transportation network. The conference will feature a keynote by Susan Baer, Global Aviation Leader at Arup, and former Aviation Director for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.


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