Stephen Harper targets billions for infrastructure projects

Tue, 25 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Harper used an event in London, Ont. to unveil $5.8 billion in “new” infrastructure spending – most of it to be spent over the next three years – in what had the feel of an election-campaign spending announcement, as the Conservative government unloads potentially billions of surplus dollars before they even arrive in the treasury. Approximately $5.3 billion of the cash will go to modernizing and repairing federal infrastructure assets across the country, while another $500 million has been earmarked for repairing and building on-reserve schools for First Nations (cash that was already identified in the budget.) The projects receiving funding have been specifically selected and designed with two things in mind, Harper said, including: They will deliver needed improvements to federal assets and communities “reasonably quickly”; and the investments will provide jobs now and better opportunities in the future. Read Article

Canada’s Startup Communities Shining Brighter Than the California Sun

Tue, 25 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Silicon Valley may be the first place that comes to mind when you think of tech startups, but when considering resources, financial support, and a welcoming atmosphere, Canada has been steadily putting itself on the map. The startup communities in cities such as Vancouver, Waterloo, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal have proven to be a sought after home for some of the world’s most notable tech innovations of the last few years. Read Article

Four Ways Canada's Accelerator Landscape Will Shift in 2015

Tue, 25 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT
When Extreme Startups and GrowLab merged in August 2014, it served notice to the Canadian accelerator landscape that things were being taken a little more seriously. With more programs popping up every year, those two reputable institutions did the opposite of flooding the market. They consolidated their energies into one offering, the HIGHLINE program. It wasn’t hard to decipher what the move pointed at: there’s too many accelerators in Canada, many of which are poor-quality. We chatted with HIGHLINE’s CEO Marcus Daniels about what will change in 2015. Read Article

XMG Studio & Government of Canada Announce CODE 2015: Accelerating Innovation

Tue, 25 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Jointly envisioned and hosted by the hackathon experts at XMG Studio Inc. and the Government of Canada, the Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE) will drive creative and ambitious innovation in Canada by 'hacktivating' the use of federal open data. Over the weekend of International Open Data Day (February 20th – February 22nd, 2015) all go-getters and tech enthusiasts are invited to participate in this second annual 48-hour event to hack and liberate Government of Canada open data available on Open.Canada.ca. All teams that successfully submit an application compete for the $15,000 Grand Prize, three $5,000 Category Prizes, as well as a $5,000 prize for the best submission of a student team and a $5,000 Fan Favourite Prize. Read Article

Ontario, Quebec sign climate change, energy projects pacts

Tue, 25 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Ontario and Quebec signed several agreements last week promising to co-operate on trade, climate change, energy projects and alcohol sales at a joint meeting of the two provinces’ Liberal cabinets in Toronto. Premiers Kathleen Wynne and Philippe Couillard agreed to build “a stronger and more competitive low-carbon economy” to fight climate change, but wouldn’t say when people could start paying a carbon tax. “We believe that putting a value on carbon is very important,” Wynne said following the meeting. “We’ve been supportive of cap-and-trade process for many years, and we are continuing to have that discussion with Quebec.” Read Article

New Internet of Things Companies Created at Startup Weekend Toronto

Tue, 25 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT
A new wave of IoT companies got their start in Toronto over the weekend at Startup Weekend Toronto: Internet of Things Edition. The 54-hour event brought together makers, designers, developers and entrepreneurs to share ideas and launch new businesses. Teams spent the weekend talking to potential customers and building product prototypes before presenting to a panel of judges on Sunday afternoon. Judge Natasha Baker, founder of SnapEDA, spoke about the importance of events like Startup Weekend for fuelling innovation in the IoT space. Read Article

Ontario Supporting Groundbreaking Stem Cell Research

Tue, 25 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT
The province is investing in the health of Ontarians by supporting stem cell researchers to develop new treatments and therapies to help those who live with debilitating and costly chronic diseases. The establishment of the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine (OIRM) will bring together world-class teams to conduct cutting-edge research and apply newly discovered treatments to a wide variety of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, blindness, heart and lung diseases. Read Article

Canadian health technologies playing in international markets

Tue, 25 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT
The global crisis of Ebola, with its reach from Africa to North America, and the amazing things that Canadian companies such as PlantForm and Chematria are trying to do to combat the disease, have got us thinking about some of the other remarkable solutions Canadians are creating for international markets. I’d like to highlight two stellar Toronto startups that are working on solutions to ease access to diagnosis for patient groups suffering from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in two very different markets. Read Article

Airport tunnel enters final phase

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Last week, the concrete was poured to create the floor of the tunnel’s mainland pavilion, and this week, the first of two water mains that have been built into the tunnel will be hooked up. It’s the final stage of the project begun in 2012, to create a six-minute pedestrian connection to Billy Bishop Airport, Canada’s ninth busiest. Beginning in a few months, passengers and employees will be able to use an elevator to descend 30 metres to subterranean moving sidewalks that will take them under the bit of water known as the Western Gap at a speed of 2.3km an hour so they no longer have to wait for the ironically named Marilyn Bell ferry to transport them across one of Lake Ontario’s shortest spans. Read Article

Rogers family’s landmark donation to forge world-class cardiac centre

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Dr. Gosevitz was on hand Thursday as Mr. Rogers’s widow, Loretta, announced that her husband’s quest for improvements in cardiac care would be revived with a landmark $130-million donation to establish the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research. The Rogers family’s gift – the largest ever to a Canadian health-care initiative – is aimed at cutting in half the number of hospitalizations for heart failure in Canada over the next decade. The money will fund a slew of research and patient care projects, focusing on everything from childhood cardiac genomics to new technologies to monitor cardiac symptoms from home. The Hospital for Sick Children, the University Health Network and the University of Toronto, the three institutions that will house the centre, will roughly match the donation for a total of $269-million over 10 years. Read Article

China has taken the first step towards opening its financial system. It may change the world

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Call it “globalisation 2.0.? China’s integration into the global economy is now a 35-year-old story, dating back to the free market reforms of Deng Xiaoping. For both China and the West, the consequences have been transformational, and for the West at least, not obviously in a particularly good way. Many jobs have been lost to the cheap labour of the East. Read Article

Province's investment-fund industry booming: Study

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Ontario’s investment-funds industry has ballooned into one of the province’s biggest businesses, employing more than 44,000 people and generating $2.8 billion in tax revenues, a new Conference Board of Canada study has found. In a report to be released Thursday, the think-tank concluded that over the past decade, the value of mutual funds and exchange-traded fund (ETF) assets in Ontario has grown by 90 per cent to $489 billion. Overall, the funds business now accounts for 1.8 per cent of the provincial economy, directly employs 44,413 Ontarians and sustains a total of 119,100 jobs in the province. Read Article

New Delta embraces its neighbourhood

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT
While construction workers, carpenters and sous chefs apply the finishing touches for the Delta Toronto’s official opening on Nov. 27, the hotel’s executives, managers and marketing team have been reaching out to make sure the franchise is fully integrated with its new neighbourhood. The 46-storey Delta Toronto, built on the corner of Bremner Boulevard and Simcoe Street in the city’s south core, will be the hotelier’s flagship property and the first dedicated standalone hotel to open in Toronto in more than 20 years. Read Article

Dutch firm wants to replicate glow-in-the-dark bike path in Toronto

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT
A Dutch design company hopes to bring its Van Gogh-inspired glowing bicycle path to Toronto in time for the Pan Am Games next year. Thousands of fluorescent-paint-coated stones are embedded in the 1-kilometre-long path. The stones absorb light during the day, and at night they glow in a swirling pattern inspired by the Dutch painter’s The Starry Night. The path gives off a soft, “poetic light,” enough for a user to see ahead but without producing significant light pollution in the wooded area, designer Daan Roosegaarde said. Read Article

Social Venture Connexion links Toronto and California startups

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT
California has long been seen the centre of the tech world. With companies like Apple, Facebook and Google all calling the relatively small confines of Silicon Valley home, many aspiring to helm their own tech juggernauts move to the Golden State to launch a startup. For decades, this has meant that a wealth of talent and capital has flowed to the state at expense of other North American territories. Now, that flow is set to become a bit more reciprocal. On November 6, the Province of Ontario and State of California announced a new co-investing and collaboration partnership. Read Article

IIDEXCanada Brings Design and Architecture Show to Toronto

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT
There are less than two weeks to go before the arrival of IIDEXCanada, the annual architecture and design trade show coming to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on December 3rd and 4th. The two-day event will be happening alongside related trade shows Construct Canada, PM Expo, HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo, and Concrete Canada to form The Buildings Show, and a huge combined total of over 40,000 trade professionals are expected to attend. Read Article

My interpretation of Prime Minister Harper’s third visit to China

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT
In early November, Prime Minister Stephen Harper successfully paid his third official visit to China. The leaders from both countries held in-depth, productive and candid exchange of views on China-Canada relations, international and regional issues of common interest as well as human rights and other issues, and reached broad consensus on deepening bilateral co-operation in politics, economy and trade and people-to-people exchanges. The two sides also inked co-operation agreements worth as much as 2.5-billion Canadian dollars and announced a Joint List of Outcomes covering a wide range of areas, charting a roadmap for future bilateral co-operation. As Mr. Harper wrapped up his third visit to China, it delivered a new milestone in the development of China-Canada relations. Read Article

Silicon Valley startup Frankly goes public via Canada

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT
San Francisco-based instant messaging startup Frankly Inc. is making a break from traditional Silicon Valley financing practices. It intends to publicly list its stock north of the border, via a reverse takeover listing on Canada’s TSX Venture Exchange next month. Founded in 2013, Frankly owns the messaging app Frankly Chat, which has been downloaded two million times. Messages sent on Frankly Chat self-destruct seconds after being read. “Gossip with your best friends without getting caught” is one of the company’s tag lines. Read Article