InkSmith expands access to education opportunities with Farnell
Waterloo Region-based education company, InkSmith, has signed a global distribution agreement with Farnell, an Avnet Company and global distributor of electronic components, products, and solutions, to distribute its popular coding and robotics product known as the Climate Action Kit. The partnership agreement will expand access to learning through educational technology, democratizing STEM and digital literacy education to students throughout the world in the context of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). “Our exclusive global distribution partnership with Farnell means that educators beyond Canada will have access to our Climate Action Kit and the valuable digital, critical thinking, and design thinking learning opportunities that it enables,” says Jeremy Hedges, CEO and Founder at InkSmith. “It’s important to us that while we empower the next generation of makers, coders, and problem solvers that we do so in as equitably as possible — regardless of economic, socioeconomic, and now geographic limitations. The UN Global Goals are a key driver behind why we do what we do, and this partnership helps further that mission.”
A commitment to continue providing world-class, critical services as well as an historic investment in upstream funding was approved by Regional Council yesterday. These investments help further advance Council’s vision to improve the lives of all 630,000 residents. In approving the 2021 budget, Council is committed to investing thoughtfully to reflect a diverse and growing community, while helping ensure the community is well-positioned to emerge from the pandemic. Highlights of ROW's 2021 budget approval include:
A business partnership isn’t all business. When two people start a company together, they often were friends already, and they see that bond strengthened by the hard work they put into building it up. So when things go south, it can be traumatizing. In fact, the emotional stages of the breakup of a business — what people in my line of work sometimes call a business divorce — are strikingly similar to that of a marital divorce. Just as Covid-19 has put a financial and emotional strain on marriages, it has also strained business partners struggling to work through the pandemic. In some cases, the pandemic is also making pre-existing issues harder to avoid.
Government restrictions on various forms of gathering have bothered many Canadians throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. While freedoms are subject to limits for appropriate policies to protect life and health, there is a lingering sense that some of these policies have gone astray. But many find it hard to pin down exactly why. There is an underlying reason for this struggle. The parts of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms that protect activity involving assembly and association have long been neglected. Freedom of assembly and freedom of association are both in the Charter. But there has been limited case law and scholarly work on them. In many ways, they are part of a broader problem we have both written about, in so far as they became “forgotten freedoms.”
Waterloo Region’s longest running film festival will celebrate its 14th season as a newly formatted at-home virtual experience. The Grand River Film Festival (GRFF) is introducing the virtual festival experience, GRFF@Home, in May 2021 as a continuation of its annual film festival programming. “For GRFF, a virtual festival is a brave new world. But it has become the reality for festivals across the country and around the world, and the options available to us are quite impressive,” says Michael Clarke, Programming Chair. The virtual festival, GRFF@Home, will include an expanded selection of films available for online streaming. Viewers can expect interactive activities, such as live events and Q&As, allowing patrons to enjoy a variety of festival content from the comfort of their home. “Despite the challenges COVID-19 has erected, GRFF sees opportunities for more varied engagements with the film loving community,” says GRFF Chair, Paul Tortolo. ___________________
For the second year in a row, Wilfrid Laurier University is being recognized as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People by Mediacorp Canada Inc., organizers of the annual Canada’s Top 100 Employers awards. Laurier is one of only two post-secondary education institutions selected for the honour, and the only one in Ontario. “This honour is a reflection of Laurier’s commitment to investing in our people,” said Deborah MacLatchy, Laurier president and vice-chancellor. “Providing our young employees with opportunities to grow – both professionally and personally – is a priority for us.” The Canada’s Top Employers for Young People competition recognizes organizations that offer the nation's best workplaces and programs for young people starting their careers. One hundred winners are chosen for their efforts to attract and retain younger workers, including offering benefits such as tuition assistance, mentorship and training programs, flexible work options and paid personal days off.
Waterloo Region Council approved a budget increase of 0.51 per cent as part of a plan to lead the region beyond COVID-19. Council’s vision, created with input from residents, also reflects the realities of life for our diverse community as it moves through the COVID-19 pandemic. A purpose built plan and budget continues to prioritize the elected council’s vision through ongoing investment in:A Thriving Economy, Sustainable Transportation, Environment and Climate Action, Healthy Safe and Inclusive Communities, Responsive and Engaging Public Service, Our People. ___________________
The onset of the pandemic in early 2020 raised concerns about securing sufficient supplies of imported active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) from China and India, which supply most of the APIs used in North America. Between early March and mid-June of 2020, Ontario doctors and pharmacists were asked to dispense 30 days or less of medication at a time for Ontario Drug Benefit recipients to ensure there was an adequate supply during the first wave of COVID. In August, Canada's doctors and pharmacists wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pointing to shortages of essential and critical care medications exacerbated by the pandemic, including propofol, ketamine, succinylcholine, fentanyl, midazolam and more. These drugs are essential in the treatment of COVID-19 patients in critical care and are also used in operating rooms, emergency departments and palliative care settings. Health-care professionals have also seen shortages in antibiotics.
Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, issued the following statement yesterday on the United States' decision on the Keystone XL project: "Earlier today, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States of America. While we welcome the President's commitment to fight climate change, we are disappointed but acknowledge the President's decision to fulfil his election campaign promise on Keystone XL. "I spoke directly with President Biden about the project last November, and Ambassador Hillman and others in our government made the case to high-level officials in the incoming administration. "Workers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and across Canada will always have our support. Canada is the single-largest supplier of energy to the United States, contributing to U.S. energy security and economic competitiveness, and supporting thousands of jobs on both sides of the border.
In normal times, end-of-life care discussions are most commonly led by senior doctors. However, new research from a busy London hospital shows that the high numbers of deaths taking place in hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic, frequently out-of-hours, is leading to junior (foundation level) doctors having to lead on these difficult discussions with families, often with no formal experience or training. Dr Edmund Lodwick, King's College Hospital NHS Trust, London, UK, explains: "During the COVID-19 pandemic Croydon University Hospital faced a high number of critically unwell patients in short period of time. Unfortunately, this resulted in much greater need for discussions regarding treatment escalation and resuscitation with both patients and families. It was observed that complex discussions regarding these topics were often conducted by junior doctors, and that in many cases junior doctors would be engaging in discussions that may have been deemed exceptionally challenging for even the most experienced doctors."
The commitment to tackling climate change is accelerating in all sectors of society, with net-zero pledges from companies, cities, states, and regions doubling in the past year. Decarbonizing supply chains is a major opportunity for companies to put these commitments into practice. New research published today by the World Economic Forum and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) shows how tackling supply chain emissions can be a game changer in the global fight against climate change. Net-Zero Challenge: The Supply Chain Opportunity analyzes the top eight global supply chains that account for more than 50% of global greenhouse gas emissions and finds that end-to-end decarbonization of these supply chains would add as little as 1% to 4% to end-consumer costs in the medium term. The report breaks down the major sources of emissions along each of the eight major supply chains—food, construction, fashion, fast-moving consumer goods, electronics, automotive, professional services, and freight. It assesses the key levers to reduce emissions in each supply chain and shows that many can be easily deployed today and cost very little to implement. The report also points to the global nature of many supply chains, enabling companies to support decarbonization across borders and in countries where governments do not yet prioritize climate action.
Global leaders are advocating for cooperation to be the new compass for international relations and have released a set of seven Principles for Strengthening Global Cooperation. The World Economic Forum’s Global Action Group, comprised of senior members of government, business, civil society, and the expert community, developed the principles. The seven principles call for prioritizing peace and security, equity, gender equality and sustainability because each of these is advanced by and is needed to advance global cooperation. Their absence can cause deep fractures as highlighted by the Global Risks Report 2021 released earlier this week by the Forum.
Challenge your creativity this winter with Create 31. Get creative for 31 minutes a day for 31 days this January with prompts on Create Waterloo’s social media. Starting earlier this month, the City of Waterloo’s arts and culture team (Create Waterloo) launched a creativity campaign to get people creative for 31 minutes a day throughout January. At a time when most people are stuck at home and are limited on gathering, Create 31 aims to motivate and inspire around the home. People participating in Create 31 can do so with any skill level. The challenge encourages people to flex their creative muscles and challenge themselves to practice creative habits all month long. Simply spend 31 minutes per day engaging in a prompt delivered by local artists, influencers, businesses, political representatives, and more. Create 31 will give you ways to stay creative and active as we continue to stay home due to Covid-19. Creative challengers thus far have included Mayor Jaworsky and Amit from Good Co Productions, with more to come from locals like Ajoa from Four All Ice Cream and the band Onion Honey.
In recognition of reduced recreational opportunities due to COVID-19 this winter, the City of Waterloo is increasing services levels in an effort to provide three additional walking/hiking opportunities. Residents can use the trails and roadway networks at Mount Hope Cemetery, Parkview Cemetery and Bechtel Park Woodlot, and Clair Creek Trail (located between Sundew Drive and Columbia Forest Blvd at Erbsville Rd). Washroom facilities will be open at the Parkview Cemetery and Bechtel Park Woodlot location and will be accessible at the Manulife Centre daily from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.). Walkers/hikers are reminded to please maintain two metre physical distance when using trails and walkways throughout the city unless with members of the same household. Wearing a mask, even outdoors, is recommended. The cemetery locations both have relatively flat asphalt surfaces and benches to sit and rest when needed. The Clair Creek Trail is a longer (approximately 2 km), and more natural trail experience.
Waterloo Region’s longest running film festival will celebrate its 14th season as a newly formatted at-home virtual experience. The Grand River Film Festival (GRFF) is introducing the virtual festival experience, GRFF@Home, in May 2021 as a continuation of its annual film festival programming. “For GRFF, a virtual festival is a brave new world. But it has become the reality for festivals across the country and around the world, and the options available to us are quite impressive,” says Michael Clarke, Programming Chair. The virtual festival, GRFF@Home, will include an expanded selection of films available for online streaming. Viewers can expect interactive activities, such as live events and Q&As, allowing patrons to enjoy a variety of festival content from the comfort of their home. “Despite the challenges COVID-19 has erected, GRFF sees opportunities for more varied engagements with the film loving community,” says GRFF Chair, Paul Tortolo.