Vivek Goel named president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo
Vivek Goel, a distinguished scholar with extensive achievements in research, teaching and leadership across both public and private sectors, will become the seventh president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo. Goel, who begins his five-year term on July 1, 2021, is recognized in Canada and around the world as a leading public-health researcher, health-services evaluation expert, and champion for the use of research evidence in health policymaking. Goel has held several senior roles at the University of Toronto, including Vice-President and Provost and most recently as Vice-President of Research and Innovation. The public health physician currently serves as a member of the federal government’s COVID-19 Immunity Task Force and Scientific Advisor for the CanCOVID Research Network. He was previously the founding president and CEO of Public Health Ontario.
Scoring Canadian Tech Talent is a comprehensive analysis of labour market conditions, cost and quality for highly-skilled tech workers. 20 Canadian cities were ranked according to their competitive advantages and appeal to tech-talent workers and tech employers. This study also provides insight into the quality of tech talent and how their growth patterns are impacting cities and real estate markets across Canada.
Deloitte is honoured to announce this year's winners of the Technology Fast 50, Companies-to-Watch, and Enterprise Fast 15 awards. Recognizing the world-class achievements of Canadian technology companies for the 23rd year, the Technology Fast 50 program highlights true resilience, commitment to innovation, leadership, and rapid revenue growth between 2016 and 2019. This year, the average three-year growth of the Fast 50 winners is 2,144 per cent, compared to 1,689 per cent in 2019. At the top of this year's Fast 50 list, with three-year growth of 19,311 per cent, is Intellijoint Surgical Inc. The Kitchener-based company develops smart tools designed to enhance the accuracy of orthopedic surgery, increase hospital efficiencies, and improve patients' lives by providing surgeons with effective, easy-to-use technology. Taking second place is the SaaS-enabled recruitment platform, ApplyBoard, with three-year growth of 12,597 per cent. The Kitchener-based company helps international students study at the best institutions of higher education in the world, by revolutionizing the way they experience the application process and empowering them to access the highest quality education available.
The Region of Waterloo announced that ION light rail has been selected as the winner of the Gold Award for Service Delivery by the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships for 2020. The Service Delivery award is presented annually to showcase Canadian excellence and innovation in project financing, service delivery, infrastructure investment and/or generation of economic benefit, which result in enhanced quality of public services and facilities.
The World Economic Forum announced today that 36 cities across 22 countries and six continents have agreed to pioneer a new roadmap for safely adopting new technology as part of the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance. Cities are facing urgent challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and other major disruptions, which are expected to culminate in a budget crisis that could reach $1 trillion in the United States alone. They need data and innovation to become more resilient, responsive and efficient. Yet there is no global framework for how cities should use these technologies, or the data they collect, in a way that protects the public interest. This is set to change with the launch of a new global policy roadmap by the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance, designed to give cities the procedures, laws and regulations they need to use new technology responsibly. The secretariat of the alliance is hosted at the World Economic Forum.
Pfizer and Moderna announced in recent days that they have vaccine candidates that are over 90 per cent effective in preventing the COVID-19 virus. UW talk to Professor Kelly Grindrod, Canada’s Pharmacist of the Year and an expert in vaccines, to unpack which vaccine will work, the logistics of distributing them, and how long it will take for Canada and the world to go back to “normal.” What is the difference between the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine? With the Moderna and Pfizer announcements over the last week, it appears we now have two promising vaccine candidates. Both vaccines use engineered RNA, which is a new approach for vaccine development. Pfizer’s vaccine is the result of a partnership with German biotech company BioNTech. Moderna, which is an American biotech company, developed their vaccine together with the U.S. National Institutes of Health as part of the country’s Operation Warp Speed program.
Yesterday, the Ontario Auditor General released a 2020 Value-for-Money-Audit which includes a section on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy use in buildings. Efficiency Canada’s 2020 Provincial Energy Efficiency Scorecard, released on Monday and covered by Exchangemagazine.com, provides added insight to the Auditor General’s findings, showing how Ontario compares to other provinces and US states. The Audit noted that:
Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) Chair Helen Jowett (right) is convening a special meeting of the GRCA board for members to review and discuss the Province’s proposed changes to the Conservation Authorities Act. On November 5, the provincial government identified a number of legislative amendments to the Conservation Authorities Act and the Planning Act through Schedule 6 in Bill 229: Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures). The GRCA is encouraged that the Conservation Authorities Act continues to provide for a watershed-based approach to conservation, restoration, source water protection and natural hazards management. The GRCA is also supportive of the Province’s stated objectives to modernize the Act, enhance transparency and accountability. However, the GRCA is concerned that some of the proposed changes, if enacted, may have a significant impact on conservation authorities and their watershed management responsibilities.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenu Quebec (RQ) should be held liable when its employees make mistakes that impact small businesses, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). Last Thursday, CFIB submitted an affidavit in support of Restaurant Le Relais de Saint-Jean and its owner Gary Chionis’ petition to have their case heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. Restaurant Le Relais de Saint-Jean and Mr. Chionis of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, are petitioning the Supreme Court of Canada to review a decision by the Quebec Court of Appeal on whether CRA and RQ are liable for errors committed by their auditors and collection agent. In 2005, an audit by RQ mistakenly claimed Restaurant Le Relais de Saint-Jean owed $1 million in sales taxes. It took the restaurant and Mr. Chionis five years and $350,000 in accountants and lawyers’ fees to prove the error, but they have not been compensated by CRA or RQ for the stress and damages it has caused them, including the permanent closure of their restaurant.
With ongoing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, more than a third (37 per cent) of business owners surveyed in Canada wish they could retire, transition or sell their business but are not prepared, finds a recent poll by KPMG in Canada. “With the COVID-19 pandemic, many business owners have been forced to make tough decisions around investments needed to manage through the crisis and beyond,” says Yannick Archambault, national family office leader for KPMG in Canada. “Given the ongoing challenges, more than a third wish they could sell or transition their business to the next generation today. “But these kinds of decisions require serious planning and the persistent economic uncertainty posed by the pandemic has accelerated the normal planning timeframe for these decisions. As a result, there is a greater urgency today to have robust, forward-looking plans in place and solidify leadership and governance structures to protect the business and facilitate a transition.”
In its latest Provincial Economic Outlook, The Conference Board of Canada forecasts that localized closures and a retrenchment in household spending and business activity will hold back the pace of economic recovery into mid-2021. For most Canadian provinces, economic activity is not expected to return to pre-COVID-19 levels until the second half of 2021. However, the economic outlook for Canada’s provinces differs because of the varying effects of the pandemic on different industries across the country. Meanwhile, federal and provincial governments will record massive deficits this year that will likely result in weak public spending growth once the pandemic is behind us. “We expect global real GDP to decline by 4.7 per cent this year,” says Pedro Antunes, Chief Economist at The Conference Board of Canada. “The Global economy partly recovered in the third quarter, but a second wave of the virus, and a delay in additional stimulus measures in the United States, will hamper the recovery in the fourth quarter.”
The Nightingale Centre for Grieving Children, Youth, and Families celebrates International Children’s Grief Awareness Day this year as their efforts to support grieving children and families in Guelph and Wellington County is recognized with welcomed financial support from local community grant funding. Founded in February 2019 to support families with children and youth who have experienced, or are anticipating, the death of a parent or sibling, The Nightingale Centre has seen much success in the last 22 months of operations — helping 57 grieving families receive the support they need. To further the services the Centre has offered, it has also hosted two educational events to benefit the local community, delivered training to various community organizations, and provided a week-long certificate course in partnership with SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health to professionals working with grieving children.
As part of its Ontario Business Achievement Awards (OBAAs), the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is proud to announce Joseph Mancinelli, International Vice President and Regional Manager for Central and Eastern Canada of the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) as the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Mr. Mancinelli is the first labour leader to be recognized as part of the OBAAs. “We are extremely proud to announce that Joseph Mancinelli is the 2020 OBAA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “This award is given to a Leader who demonstrates incredible leadership and has made a significant and positive impact for the province and beyond. Under Joseph’s leadership, LiUNA has become a new face of Labour, working together with the private sector and government to build better communities. His business acumen and ongoing service across communities has and will continue to positively impact the lives of Canadians.”
Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days in North America, but this year is going to look a bit different. The world is still in the grip of a pandemic, meaning people are more likely to be glued to their computer screens than they will be stampeding through a big box store to get the hottest deal. There is also a good chance people will be starting before Black Friday arrives, both to ensure what they want is delivered in time and to increase the odds that it is in stock. But while staying home and shopping online will keep people safe from COVID-19, it does open shoppers to more risks if they don’t know the ins and outs of adding items to a digital cart instead of a push one.