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W ell Fall is here and for some of us we now understand that we are not the greatest at picking the right teams for our fantasy football and hockey pools. So maybe it is time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and escape those fantasy blues or other stresses by getting out and enjoying what the outdoors has to offer. Maybe it is to get that last bike ride in before the snow falls, and as we are confident that Mike Clyde and his team over at Pedego Canada are going to be out there along with many others as you will read about the explosion in North America for electric powered bikes as consumers look to be more environmentally aware, but for the most part Pedego customers are buying electric bikes for the same reason that we buy any bike, electric or not, and that is because they are fun, the positive impact on the environment is just a bonus. For others like the team over at MotoTrax, they can’t wait for the snow to fly and that is when they trade their bike wheels for a track and skis. Well it is not that easy, but you will be amazed at the MotoTrax product line which will get you on your bike enjoying the outdoors in every season. Plus as you will realize not only is it an amazing product, it is also an innovative one taking your outdoors experience to the next level and beyond. So once you get the need to be outdoors and enjoy what nature has to offer, maybe you want to stay there for a few days. Well get ready to read how Napier Outdoors can keep you there with their Truck and SUV tents, with

everything that you need to keep you comfortable in the deep outback or on the side lines watching your kids play football or soccer. We are sure once you read this article you will want to be part of the Napier Nation. One thing that we are confident about is if you team up with Pedego, MotoTrax, Napier or Haldimand Synthetic Oil, not only will you keep active and have fun doing it, but most of all you will not be disappointed with your pick, like you are with your fantasy pools. We at Spotlight on Business Magazine also want you to keep an eye open for our “Best of 2016” Issue that will be coming out in December to celebrate the Holiday Season with the best articles of the year.


70 Gary Martin Drive, Suite 108, Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada B4B 0N8 P: 613 699 6672 E:




Alternative fuel vehicles are here to stay. They’re not a trend. They’re a solution. They’re a cost solution and an environmental solution. Do the math. A light- weight and low-power EV (Electric Vehicle) like an electric bike that runs on a lithium ion battery costs less than 0.2¢ per kilometre to operate – with zero emissions. City driving in most late model cars average 12.9¢ per kilometre with emissions in the range of 210 to 400 grams of CO2 for every kilometre travelled.. .

Mater artium necessitas . It means ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ and it was his way of telling us to never give up, even when it seems hopeless. It speaks to the kind of resolve that separates those who look to others for solutions from those who look within...






Alex and Anne Farkas are married. Alex is in insurance. Anne is a church secretary. They’re from Haldimand, a rural city-status single-tier munici- pality on the Niagara Peninsula in Southern Ontario, Canada “that offers,” according to the business homepage of Haldimandcounty.

Experience + Imagination = Fun


The AMSOIL Brand Runs on Stories Like This, “road, rail, seaway and nearby international airport access to North America’s industrial heartland.” These are the kinds of roots that help an inde- pendent AMSOIL Dealer grow tall and grow fast. In fact, the Farkases are the epitome of the kind of commitment AMSOIL founder Al Amatuzio had in mind when he first took on the big brands in 1972 with the first ever synthetic oil to be recognized by the American Petroleum Institute, AMSOIL 10W-40...


How’d you like to be dashing through the snow on a 50+ horse power Honda CRF450F dirt bike with a Trax Mountain snow bike kit installed? I’ll confess, it lacks the melody of Pierpont’s original Jingle Bells, but it’s a lot more fun than carol- ling. This version has a verse about “the industry leading ForkSafe ski mounting system that allows you to use any of the snow bike skis on the market, including the newly devel- oped Carve Ski from Moto Trax.” Like I said, it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but man does it fly through the powder!..




A IDACAMEDIA understands that small and medium size busi- nesses (SMEs) are key to the successful growth of any economy and just as important as big businesses to the global economy as a whole. That is why AIDACA MEDIA is excited to offer Spotlight on Business Magazine, which offers an interactive experience for SME businesses to communicate with each through a mobile-optimized website and give a global viewof business today and what can be expected tomorrow at all levels. AIDACA MEDIA understands business moves at the speed of the web and today’s SME business leaders live in a technology based world of smart phones, tablets and information at your fingertips.



“Do you want to try some?” Usually when I conduct interviews for the magazine, it’s me asking the questions, but this was definitely an occasion where I was hoping to be asked that one question in particular. The man asking was Andy Armstrong, co-owner and managing partner of Spindrift Brewery in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He was offering me samples of Spindrift Brewery’s four micro brewed lagers and after a tour of the 3,400 square feet state of the art pro- duction space where Brewmaster Kellye Robertson puts them all together, I was thirsty.



NSW MAJOR PROJECTS CONFERENCE 2016 Dolton House - Hyde Park – Sydney, NSW, Australia

November 19th 2016

NSW’s largest infrastructure & major projects conference is back in its 8th year. The event will take place on 15th & 16th of November 2016 at the Dolton House, Hyde Park, Sydney and each year continues to attract over 250 delegates. The two days conference will highlight NSW Government’s “A Plan for Growing Sydney” vision. Strong population growth & retail spending is a clear indicator of NSW being Australia’s best performing economy. The government is committed to invest over $73.3 billion into infrastructure with focus being on revitalisation of Public Transport, Roads, Supply Chain Infrastructure, Hospitals and Schools. This year’s NSW Major Projects Conference aims to develop an atmosphere and debate around major projects currently underway and planned that will shape the future of NSW. Key industry stakeholders from the public & private sectors will come together to present a line up of topics and presentations showcasing opportunities available for contractors and suppliers in the infrastructure space.

The event will deliver a combination of panel discussions, Q&A sessions and presentations featuring some of the most important projects & challenges involved in delivery world class infrastructure.

For more information visit

CAPE BRETON BEER FEST Pittman Hall, Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion - Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada

November 19th 2016

Welcome to the inaugural Cape Breton Beer Fest. This event will mark the largest celebration of craft beer on Cape Breton. Coming at the end of the Craft Beer Festival season, CB Beer Fest will attract quality craft beer producers from across Canada and the United States to our beautiful island. While the focus of Cape Breton Beer fest will be on the amazing craft beers and microbrews, we will also showcase many other aspects Cape Breton’s artisan community.

For more information visit

ANNUAL NORTH QUEENSLAND CONCRETE ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY SEMINAR James Cook University, Townsville – QLD, Australia The North Queensland Concrete Engineering and Technology Seminar is an important annual event orga- nized by the Concrete Institute of Australia North Queensland Sub-Branch Committee in partnership with James Cook University. This year the seminar focuses on the various design issues in concrete industry. Distinguished academicians and professionals will share their knowledge on different aspects of concrete design and construction. It is expected to be of a great interest to those involved in concrete technology and design including engi- neers, concrete entrepreneurs, concrete professionals, government agencies and engineering students.

November 25th 2016

For more information visit



ONE OF A KIND SHOW AND SALE Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Nov 24th - Dec 4th 2016

An inspired shopping experience since 1975, the One of a Kind Show and Sale has been the place to go for unique, handmade pieces. This show offers everything from food, jewellery and clothing to furniture and major artworks. Intermingle with the designers and craftspeople, so you get to learn first-hand the inspiration behind the work and their passion for the industry.

For more information visit

BANFF CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL Cave and Basin National Historic Site - Banff, Alberta, Canada The Banff Craft Beer Festival will be taking place at the home of Canada’s first national park. The Cave and Basin is beautifully set in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, and is now home to the world’s most beautiful beer festival.

WINTERLICIOUS Various Venues - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

November 25th-26th 2016

Jan 27th - Feb 10th 2017

Toronto comes come alive for foodies looking for an amazing dining experience so try something new, try something exotic, try something traditional or just try it all during this luscious series hosted by more that 200 of Toronto’s top restaurants. For more information visit events/winterlicious/

For more information visit http://

IIDEX / NEOCON CANADA Metro Toronto Convention Centre – North Building – Toronto, Ontario, Canada IIDEXCanada is part of The Buildings Show which includes Construct Canada, PM Expo Toronto, World of Concrete Pavilion, HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo, and The Real Estate Forum Toronto. The Buildings Show is North America’s largest exposi- tion, networking and education event for design, construction and real estate which attracts 1,600 exhibitors, world-class keynotes, 500 speakers, 350 seminars and tours, and 30,000 Canadian and Interna- tional trade attendees including interior designers, architects, property managers, landscape architects, facility managers, builders, developers, real estate, suppli- ers, government, media, creative thinkers and corporate clients.

CONSTRUCT CANADA 2016 Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building – Toronto, Ontario, Canada The 28th Annual Construct Canada at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on November 30th - December 2nd, 2016 will be held concurrently with PM Expo, HomeBuild- er & Renovator Expo and World of Concrete Pavilion in the South Building, and IIDEXCana- da in the North Building. All shows combined will create The Buildings Show, North Ameri- ca’s largest exposition, networking and edu- cational event. Visit 1,600+ exhibits, including 100+ international exhibitors, bringing the latest in design and construction innovation in products, technologies, best practices and applications.

Nov 30th- Dec 2nd 2016

Nov 30th- Dec 2nd 2016

For more information visit http://www.

For more information visit http://www.





By David MacDonald S he’s right. Self-promotion is the new norm. But it’s a two-way street. In the last decade or so, social media has given consumers a voice like never before. Getting what you want from your purchase has never been so connected to your persona, online and otherwise, and manufacturers have taken some drastic turns to meet increasingly personalized demands. For those of us who grew up in a world where a pizza was the only customiz- able purchase we made in the run of a day, the examples are ubiquitous. I’m sure there are plenty of people reading this who know the words “They’ll stop hurting your feet after a few gym classes” all too well. Now, a trip to Nike, Vans, Converse or with mom gets you custom sneakers and a pain-free walk home from school. This is the new shopping standard and there’s a whole genera- tion of consumers coming up with expectations of Made for Me products. Blessing Okoro is about to see what it’s like when a dream comes to life. This coming February, the Canadian entrepreneur launches Perfect Fit, an e-commerce startup that’s one-part fashion show and one-part boutique. Okoro’s timing couldn’t be better, which explains why she seems more intrepid than trepidatious. In 2013, the world famous Montreal Fashion Week fizzled into oblivion when it merged with the Fashion+Design Festival. Toronto Fashion Week – the North American go-to after New York’s namesake – followed suit earlier this year. It’s a trend that’s sweeping the globe. In a not entirely unrelated move, fashion retailers are pulling their inventories from Big-box store shelves, closing the doors behind them – at an unprecedented rate – and setting-up camp on the battlefield of online shopping. “The lesson,” Okoro said, “is that people want to do their window shopping and their actual shopping from home and that means fashion designers have to look to new ways to get their latest creations noticed. Self-promotion has become more of a mantra these days for everyone and that’s where comes in.”



“We’re trying to eliminate those frustrating online shopping experiences in the design and fashion world where finding something that actually fits is more difficult than finding something you love,” Okoro explained. “I have a lot of experience with this being a plus-size girl. It’s a reality more and more shoppers – not just online shoppers – from every demographic are dealing with every day. It’s frustrating to pay more for something because you have to have it taken-in, fitted, or break it in. I want to change that. That’s the motivation behind this online community. Your choice, your measurements.” “People want to do their window shopping and their actual shopping from home and that means fashion designers have to look to new ways to get their latest creations noticed. Self-promotion has become more of a mantra these days for everyone and that’s where comes in.” Where better to base a business built on choice and voice than in the shadows of Parliament Hill, Canada’s bastion of federal government. “Perfect Fit is based in Ottawa but everything is done online. We are a platform connect- ing fashion designers with shoppers and an online mar- ketplace where we allow fashion designers to create their own boutiques and shops,” Okoro outlined. “They are able to upload their designs and connect with the shopper directly in order to provide specific, custom designs to every aspect of their size. We don’t have restrictions on what the designer can post. In other words, they don’t need approval from me to profile and sell a new design. They upload it instantly. They have full control of what they post and what we sell. Perfect Fit is the ultimate in custom fashion.” Okoro’s business model expertly links the wants of the sovereign shopper with the self-promotive needs of contemporary fashion designers. “For designers, it’s extremely expensive to start your own collections. It’s dif- ficult because creating inventory comes with more chal- lenges than people think. You have to take a look at the state of the industry and ask yourself ‘How many of this design should I produce in the small, medium, and large size ranges?’ and these upfront inventory costs really stop a lot of people before they start. It’s also tough when you have to sell each piece just to break even. We’re trying to break down that wall. So every time you make that dress, for example, you’re making a profit. This is the perfect setup for young designers.”

“We are a platform connecting fashion designers with shoppers.”

“Another thing to consider,” Okoro continued, “is that



we don’t have a fashion council in Canada, a council that helps designers with grants or organizes shows or fashions weeks. Fashion weeks are dying, actually. The govern- ment just isn’t sponsoring this industry. Most designers in Canada have to struggle to promote themselves and unfortunately, many have to leave the country to find success. For now, I’m focused on Canadian designers only for the reason that our fashion industry is comparably weak. Giving talents in Canada the chance at recognition is step number one.” It wasn’t hard to tell that Okoro is serious. Her knowledge of local, regional and national talent is comparable to the baseball card expert everyone grew up with. “The designers on-board in the pre-launch stage are amazing. They are mostly graduates from the Richard Robinson Academy of Fashion Design, the top fashion school in Ottawa. Designers like Ines Kljajic and Rebecca

Rowe are on-board and I couldn’t be more excited. They’ve been showcased in the Runway for Hope where they raised $4,000 for CHEO, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, so their profile is well-established.”

Okoro is equally faithful in her market.

“Our clientele is going to be diverse. There won’t be any restrictions on the demographic. I could tell you 18 to some other arbitrary age but really, Perfect Fit shoppers will be anyone who has had frustrating online – and brick and mortar, for that matter – shopping experiences when it comes to finding fashion that fits. I know I’m an idealist, but I believe people should be able to go online and find products that are tailored for them in all facets of life.” “I hope Perfect Fit can bring people in the design commu- nity together – I hope it brings everyone together. We’re going to work hard to connect designers with shoppers.”

“Giving talents in Canada the chance at recognition is step number one.”



gommeaux saying, “They clearly are aiming for the con- noisseurs and whisky lovers, and this first whisky is going to get them a lot of favourable comments from people who know their whisky.” The respected whisky writer and author of Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert then goes on to say, “This is not a gimmick or cynical line extension of the Gretzky brand. It is a serious attempt to make good whisky in Niagara.” Gretzky knows a good thing on and off the ice and that is why the same soils that produce the grapes for his wine in Niagara- on-the-Lake is also used to grow the grains that are used to produce his No. 99 signature blend. Gretzky, who acknowledges that people buy celebrity brands the first time out of curiosity for the product, however he followed that up with “people are smart” so it’s important to have a top quality product to keep them coming back for more. The Great One is definitely keeping himself busy these days as he recently opened up a wine and whisky bar at the Edmonton International Airport. Plus signed on as partner and vice-chair of the Oilers Entertainment Group last week and just released a new book 99: Stories of the Game to coincide with the 99-year anniversary of the NHL. If this was not enough to keep Gretzky busy, his new Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery & Distillery in Niagara-on- the-Lake will open to the public next spring. This amazing 23,000-square-foot facility is the first of its kind in the region and will feature both wine and distilling production along with tasting rooms. Like at his restaurant in Toronto I am sure that the Great One will visit often and in true Gretzky fashion happily autograph a few bottles for cus- tomers, while chatting happily about his days on the ice.

By Katie Davis Y ou do not need to be from Canada or a hockey fan to know about know who Wayne Gretzky is. But it seems that the Great One is looking to go back on the ice again and we are not talking about the outdoor classic game that was recently held in Winnipeg. After more than 10 years in the wine business with partner Andrew Peller Ltd., Wayne Gretzky recently launched his No. 99 Red Cask Whisky at a private tasting in Maple Leaf Square’s LCBO. As Wayne Gretzky was and is passionate about the sport of hockey, he also brings this passion to his other business inter- ests. The Great One did not want to just release another celebrity-branded booze saying recently, “We wanted to do something first class. . . to bring something different and unique to separate ourselves from other whiskies.” Known for a different twist on the sport of hockey, Gretzky looks to do the same with another Canadian classic, the spirit is finished in his winery’s red wine casks, which give the whisky a pale amber hue. Gretzky knows a good thing on and off the ice and that is why the same soils that produce the grapes for his wine in Niagara-on-the-Lake is also used to grow the grains that are used to produce his No. 99 signature blend. Very much like the Great One’s moves on the ice, this new product is receiving high praise from experts in the industry. With Canadian whisky expert Davin de Ker-

For some they say that the Great One retired in 1999, as for us we say that Wayne Gretzky was just getting started.



concern” or enable a restart of operations with restric- tion after emerging from Chapter 11. General Motors and Chrysler Fiat took the same path in 2009. CEO Harlan Kent commented in a statement that “the agreement we have reached with Sagard Capital and Fairfax Financial is a testament to their confidence in the future of our business and all of our great brands.” Kent made it clear that a sale is the direction they are headed and stated “we believe that pursuing a sale through a court-supervised restructuring process represents the best path forward for our customers, vendors, retail and business partners, employees and other stakeholders.” Earlier this year the company board hired independent legal counsel to review the holdup in finalized financial statements which were preventing corporate results from being certified for lender analysis. The lenders agreed to wait until October 28th but that deadline was not met by the organization and the Chapter 11 process was started shortly after. While the brand remains strong the company said the market was not. According to the organization retail sales have been way off in areas such as baseball bats. The company also took a major hit when U.S. sports retail giant Sport Authority filed for Chapter 11 earlier this year. The shopping list of excuses for poor performance was long including lower youth baseball numbers, customer credit issues, currency rates and a bad economic climate. Performance Sports has reported owing $608 million on $594 million in listed assets.

By Jamie Barrie T he first pair of ice skates to go onto the feet of many people were probably Bauer. It’s nearly impossible to attend a hockey game and not see the name stamped on everything from players sticks to even the referee’s pants. That is why so many people were taken by surprise this week when the maker of Bauer hockey and Easton baseball equipment filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The parent company Performance Sports Group based in Exeter, New Hampshire filed a motion in Delaware to protect itself from creditors. A similar motion was filed in Canada. The company also took another crucial step and set an opening bid for an auction of its assets through a process known as a “stalking horse” offer. A stalking horse bid is an effort by a company declaring Chapter 11 protection to see what the market will offer prior to a court ordered sale of their assets. The intent is to fend off low ball offers and avoid the ugly process of valuation which happens during a true liquida- tion under a bankruptcy judge’s over- sight. The bid is often lined up by the company through a trusted firm which is the case with Sagard Capital Partners

and Fairfax Holdings who bid $575 million. They are the largest shareholder with just under 17% of the total equity.

Performance Sports will keep the lights on and still pay employees primarily because of their ability to secure debtor- in-possession financing of $386 million. This is the surest way to enable a sale as a “going





By Jamie Barrie W hile the rhetoric runs wild in the US election campaign about Wall Street sending America’s jobs to low wage nations like Mexico, a similar pre- dicament is emerging quietly in Canada. The difference is that the Canadian federal and Quebec provincial govern- ments are investing billions in the company behind it. Bombardier announced recently it would slash 7500 jobs worldwide to improve their strength and competitive- ness by the year 2020. Under this reduction plan, 2,000 Canadian jobs will be eliminated with 1,500 of those disap- pearing in Quebec. This is the second such cost control move in less than a year. It was only in February of this year that Bombardier eliminated an additional 7,000 paychecks. The company refused to describe the February changes as offshoring jobs to Mexico and other countries. Instead, Bombardier called the move relocating some “work packages” from Canada and other regions to lower cost wage areas. The move was poorly received by many and questions surfaced about the ethical correctness of layoffs by Bombardier after receiving billions of dollars in government assistance to keep jobs in Canada. At the time spokesperson Haley Dunne stated “just because a work package or certain tasks are being trans- ferred to another Bombardier site in another country doesn’t mean that we don’t have plans to hire and continue to build our workforce here.” Now, with the second round of layoffs, that sentiment is lost on many. The firm’s Mexican operations have increased six-fold to more than 1,800 since 2006 and will undoubtedly continue to grow under this strategic corporate direction. The latest announcement has also left many watching the move puzzled about the wording and tone of the work- force changes. Instead of a straight outsourcing arrange- ment, Bombardier is quick to point out this work will remain within their organization at their Mexican opera- tion. Their release states there will be 7500 worldwide layoffs but also mentions offsetting job losses with a stra- tegic and selective hiring of 3700 new global positions. Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare stated the new jobs will be added in low cost countries and more established high-cost operations. The company has been under- performing because a spending plan on new aircraft that has been hard to maintain, decreased demand for some products and challenges in sales of railway con- tracts. There are also pension fund issues that need to

be addressed. The workforce changes are being rolled out to

deal with these problems and others hurting the competitiveness of the firm on critical contracts they need to stay profitable. Earlier this year the union representing employees in Montreal noted jobs have trickled to Mexico from Northern Ireland, Toronto, Montreal and Wichita, but the media hasn’t given it much attention. Dave Chartrand, representative of the International Association of Machin- ists and Aerospace Workers, said “it’s always going to be a concern because we never know how fast it’s going to shift. Right now, it’s trickling, but the valve can open any time where big units end up leaving and that creates a lot of job loss.” Of greatest concern to those working in Quebec is the investment that province has made in Bombardier. The company received a $1-billion USD investment in the new CSeries development from the Quebec government. Additionally, Quebec’s pension fund manager, the Caisse de depot, bought 30 percent of the Bombardier Trans- portation division. The biggest issue on the table presently is a request from Bombardier for a $1 billion-dollar handout from the Trudeau government. The rest of Canada is watching closely to see if Ottawa is prepared to reward the firm with a lifeline despite the fact they are sending Canadian jobs to Mexico. Federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains has all but committed to the deal saying the only thing left undecided is how it will be done. If Canadian firms see large federal handouts for firms offshoring Canadian jobs, the consequences may be problematic for the Canadian worker. Bombardier appears poised to double dip in the pool of taxpayer capital available to them while they restructure. When announcing their planned strategic hiring of 3700 jobs at low wage cost facilities and established plants the company asserted those positions would in part be based on providing rail contracts to customers like the Toronto Transit Commission and Metrolinx. In the 2016 federal budget the Trudeau government announced the creation of a $3.4 billion Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and named replacing subway cars and other fleet purchases for the Toronto Transit Commission as a primary project. The TTC already uses a modified version of the Bombardier Movia subway car throughout the fleet of nearly 500 cars. Bombardier manufactures and sells the line globally.


By Jamie Barrie C ovanta Holding Corporation, which operates modern Energy-from-Waste facilities and safely convert approximately 20 million tonnes of waste from municipalities and businesses into clean, renewable electricity to power and recycles approximately 500,000 tons of metal, would have thought that loose pocket change from their incinerator could add up. Well, over the course of a year, those charred coins add up to about $360,000. This is money that is literally piling up as the company waits for the U.S. Mint to resume coin purchases under an exchange program it suspended in November. It is estimated that almost $62 million in loose change is accidentally thrown away every year in the U.S. which ends up in landsites all across the U.S. “It’s amazing what people throw away,” said Alex Piscitelli, who manages the plant in Chester, Pennsylvania, where Covanta developed its technique to separate change from other burnt metal. Covanta stepped up its efforts in 2011 to recover metals

from the ashes at its power plants, spending about $70 million on powerful magnets and other equipment. Over five years, it has recovered more than 2 million tonnes of metal that was sold to recycling companies. That gen- erated $61 million last year, or 3.7 percent of Covanta’s revenue. In 2017, the company plans to open a central facility to sort aluminum, copper and coins captured at plants in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. The Covanta process uses the trash as fuel to produce steam to power the generator, consuming every flamma- ble scrap of trash and reducing it to a pile of ash, stone and metal. These then get moved onto conveyor belts and pass by powerful magnets. Metals containing iron will be attracted to the magnets and collected as the Aluminum, copper and other non-ferrous metals are sorted, leaving nothing but ash and stone behind. The process is both environmentally friendly and cost effective as landsite costs continue to increase and sites start to fill up making it a great opportunity to cash in on their waste management solution as a commercial viable option to other fuel sources.



By Jamie Barrie D isney is looking at start ups as the key to the future of the business as part of Walt Disney Co.’s Accel- erator program. The program offers a three- month mentoring session at Disney’s Burbank, California, headquarters with executives like Disney’s Chief Execu- tive Officer, Bob Iger. The program gives Disney a chance to partner with prom- ising startups and gives investors a window into what the world’s largest entertainment company thinks may be growth opportunities for the future. This year’s program candidates show Disney’s focus and interest in e-sports, virtual reality, robotics and content for social media. “We thought about the future of media and entertain- ment and how we see the world evolving,” said Michael Abrams, the Disney executive who oversees the program. “We focused on areas that we considered important.”

A couple of the companies that are competing to be part of the program this year are Jaunt Inc. and Hanson Robotics. It is easy to see why these companies would be an excellent fit for Disney. Jaunt Inc. produces video for viewing through virtual- reality goggles. This is a company that Disney invested in last year and has collaborated on productions for its ABC News division. Hanson Robotics is a Hong Kong-based robotics company that creates life-like robots that talk and mimic human expressions. It is very easy to see where this could fit into Disney’s portfolio given they are the world’s largest theme-park operator. We are sure that the Walt Disney Co.’s Accelerator program will offer an amazing opportunity for the candi- dates and for Disney themselves as they look to the future for the entertainment company.



By Jamie Barrie W hether you are looking at buying a new car or for a new place to call home the age old questions is whether it is better to buy or lease?



When looking at cars, the decision really comes down to usage and how long you look to keep your vehicle. If you are a person that likes a new car every 3 or 4 years and you do not put a lot of mileage on a car then a lease might be the way to go, as it will allow you to get more vehicle for less money. However, for those who are more on the go or say a hockey parent then a lease is out of the question as you are sure to go over your miles which will cost you additional money or put you into the position of having to purchase the vehicle at the end of the lease or pay a huge penalty. The decision comes down to personal circumstance and this can be said for homeowners. The truth is that most home- owners will start out leasing and the decision to purchase a home, like a car, be driven by personal circumstances. Very much like buying a car, home ownership has its benefits, but it also has its drawbacks. The cost of owning a house increases over time as home repairs start to come into the cost equation plus as the population ages more and more people are moving from home ownership to leases or renting condos and apartments because they no longer want to worry about the yard or if the roof will last another year.

and you do not have the tax advantages that our neigh- bors to the south have.

In the U.S. Trulia, an online residential real estate site for home buyers, sellers, renters and real estate profession- als, has been compiling the report for years, and buying is now a better bargain relative to renting than in any year since 2012. This is because the low mortgage rates have helped offset rising home prices at a time when rents have continued to rise. Also in the U.S. the mortgage-interest tax deduction, which provides homeowners annual tax breaks also makes ownership a better option. Given the current conditions in the U.S., Trulia chief economist, Ralph McLaughlin contends that buying will probably be a better deal well into the foreseeable future. “Nationally, we don’t think it will become cheaper to rent than to buy, because of the tax advantages of home ownership.” Mortgage analysts will always tell you that for the best bang-for-your-buck, it’s better to buy than to rent. However, with lower interest rates that might be the case. However, once all costs are factored in the decision becomes more of a personal decision to what works best for you and your lifestyle and where you call home and how you drive there.

If you are in Canada than recent changes to government policies on lending have made it more costly to purchase



By Katie Davis I am sure that there are a lot of you just like me that login to Facebook each day and see one of these posts asking for you to “Like” and or “Share” a post. They are all the same as they always seem to have millions of likes, comments or shares. If you are like me I am sure these posts not only pull at your heart strings at times but also frustrate you as you want to support the cause but you do not want to promote a Facebook scam. Not to add to the fact people sending these Facebook posts are filling up your already overpopulated newsfeed with useless ads that distracting us from the stuff we actually want to keep on top of and use Facebook for, such as keep up with friends and family. So I thought that I would look into why these posts exists and what the benefits would be to creating a Facebook post with a picture of an ill person with a quote like, Like to fight Cancer, Ignore if you don’t. Well I had to do some research to get an answer to my question. But it seems that it is all about the Facebook Like algorithm, which is a secret formula that makes activi- ties such as sharing, commenting and liking a post such a very valuable commodity these days. The Facebook Like algorithm is Facebook’s way of dictating if content is of any value to users. The more likes/shares/comments it gets, the more exposure to

certain people it, and the profile it belongs to, will get both short term and long term.

All these metrics contribute to a users “EdgeRank” score which is attached to your profile and dictates how your page interacts with other profiles on Facebook. The greater a page/profiles edge rank is, the more it will be exposed in people’s newsfeed. EdgeRank is the reason you see a lot of what you see in your Facebook newsfeed these days. Certain people and pages have EdgeRank factors that Facebook have decided are relevant to you. So that answers the questions to how they get on my Facebook book page, but does not answer why. The why is because money can be made from it. Businesses world- wide are trying to figure out how to best utilize platforms like Facebook and others on social media to promote their brand along with their products and services. These businesses and marketing gurus know that EdgeRank, likes, brand exposure and followers are impor- tant, even if they don’t know exactly why or what to do with it right now, so they continue building up these audi- ences and Edgerank scores to use for a marketing oppor- tunity in the future. So to limit getting these in the future be careful about the site that you visit and while trying to hold back the tears on that next post from out of nowhere also try not to like and share.



By Jamie Barrie W hile Canada continues to weigh itself down by borrow without an end in sight and the United States stalls all forward momentum while sifting through hacked emails to decide who the least objection- able candidate to be president is, China keeps innovating and moving forward at the speed of sound, as they look to developing technology for a new bullet or super train. It is no secret China has a love affair with trains. The interest is particularly keen on the highly advanced magnetic levitation type ormaglev transportation. Maglev uses magnetic levitation to propel without touching the ground. The system travels along a guideway and magnets produce both lift and thrust without friction loss. This method is energy intensive at low speed but when reasonable momentum is obtained the train is literally flying permitting extremely high speeds. China is already home to the fastest commercial train the Shanghai Maglev which shuttles airport travelers at a whopping 430 km/hr. completing the 30 km ride in 8 minutes. According to a recent story by Smartrail World the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation has started devel- opment of a commercial train they claim will travel 600 km/ hr. That is nearly half the air cruising speed of a Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 while the train remains on the ground.

bullet train makers. The company is preparing a test track 3 miles long for the project. Other than that, the devel- opment has been kept top secret. The whole world is watching the proliferation of Maglev travel explode. The concept of using an air cushion and gaining a natural rear push and front pull frommagnets is clearly a greener alter- native and catching the eye of environmentally focused organizations worldwide. The downside is very few com- panies have access to sufficient capital to make the initial investment in building maglev infrastructure. There are no limits to maglev technology and certainly no shortage of future projects for companies in the sector. One Japanese maglev is being highly recognized and drawing significant attention to the use of this technology globally when it set a world record last year of 589km/ hr. Although industry experts say that meglev technol- ogy will not be commercially viable until 2027 globally as getting a maglev up and running requires all new infra- structure and is very capital intensive. When looking at capital cost, The Shanghai Rail System was the second largest public works project in history after the US Interstate Highway, but even giving these costs there are several maglev proposals currently being considered in various regions across the United States as governments look for greener forms of transportation for commercial goods and travel.

China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation is a state-owned company formed after the merger of China’s two largest



By Jamie Barrie A pple Inc. customers got a little bad news as the company announced that its anticipated irPods, were not going to be shipped to new iPhone7 owners. The AirPods were introduced as an acces- sory in September alongside the iPhone 7, which was designed without a standard head- phone jack.

Trudy Muller, an Apple spokeswoman, said “We don’t believe in shipping a product before it’s ready, and we need a little more time before AirPods are ready for our customers.” There was no word to when Apple would have the AirPods ready for customers. The AirPods delay is the first hardware-related post- ponement since the white version of the iPhone 4 was announced in 2010, but didn’t ship to customers until 2011 because of a production problem. Reviews of pre-production models of the AirPods sug- gested the device needed fine-tuning and that feedback is the reason for the possible delay, as this negative feedback in addition to product spurred criticism that the new earphone would allow Apple to limit music that could be played and that the cordless earphones could easily be lost which would be costly to owners. AirPods are part of a growing number of accessories that work around Apple’s most important product, the iPhone. Chief Design Officer, Jony Ive referred to the AirPods as the start of a new wireless future for the company. The Airpods which cost around $160.00 come with a charging case that doubles as a mechanism to initially pair the headphones to the iPhone and with the use of iCloud, the AirPods can automatically be matched with other Apple devices like computers and watches. We are sure that Apple users will continue to keep an eye out or in this case an ear out for any new announcement on a possible availability date.



By Jamie Barrie I t looks like the U.S. offshore wind farm in the U.S. will double soon. They will not be anywhere near the ocean, but heading for the Great Lakes as the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo), which is a private nonprofit economic development corporation represent- ing Northern Ohio’s public interests in offshore wind that was founded in 2009. LEEDCo expects to finalize a deal by year end with Fred.Olsen Renewables AS to build a 20.7 megawatt wind project in Lake Erie, off the Ohio coast. LEEDCo is developing the $130 million USD project to demonstrate that offshore turbines are commercially viable in the Great Lakes, with the potential to generate 1,000 megawatts of wind energy by 2020.

being the Deepwater Wind LLC project near Block Island that was completed this year.

“Building offshore wind on the Great Lakes is our best opportunity to generate clean energy locally,” LeedCo President, Lorry Wagner said in a recent interview at the American Wind Energy Association Offshore Windpower conference in Warwick, Rhode Island. The project is a huge announcement as governments look to move from our oil and coal based energy products. The project will received a $40 million USD grant from the U.S. Energy Department. Norway-based Fred.Olsen Renewables AS will build, maintain and eventually own the project. Also as part of the deal, Cleveland Public Power has agreed to buy two-thirds of the electricity and LeedCo is negotiating to sell the remainder to other companies.

LEEDCo looks to start construction in early 2018 and will make it the second U.S. offshore wind farm with the first



By Jamie Barrie F or some of my friends and me, seeing a driverless transport truck full of beer on the side of the road is a dream, but now seeing one on the highway is a reality. Recently in a publicity stunt a tractor trailer full of Budweiser beer drove itself down Colorado’s I-25 without a driver behind the wheel of the 18-wheeler. Uber Technologies Inc. and Anheuser-Busch teamed up on the delivery, which both companies say is the first time an autonomous truck had been used to make a commer- cial shipment. Proof that Otto, the self-driving vehicle group that Uber acquired back in July of this year, could successfully put an autonomous commercial truck fleet into service. According to Lior Ron, President and Co-founder of Uber’s Otto unit, “We wanted to show that the basic building blocks of the technology are here; we have the capabil- ity of doing that on a highway,” Ron also went on to say, “We are still in the development stages, iterating on the hardware and software.” What does this mean for Anheuser-Busch, well company analysts say that it could save the company $50 million a year in the U.S. by deploying autonomous trucks across its distribution network, which will get the attention of executives in a hurry at Anheuser-Busch along with other companies looking to get on board with this technology with their commercial fleets. Ron has said that Uber has no plans to start manufacturing its own trucks, but looks to partner with truck and auto- makers, like it has done with Volvo on self-driving cars. Ron also went on to say that Uber is in discussions with a

few truck manufacturers, but that these discussions are in the very early phases and there are a lot of items to work out. Plus, the software still has a long way to go before being commercial viable.



It has been a slow year for technology companies IPOs in the U.S. with only 7 offering this year. So, there is lots of interest in what might come in the first few months of 2017 as the last tech offering that created this much interest was almost a year ago when Match Group Inc., went public. Snap Inc. makes an application for sharing selfies and videos, watching news videos and chatting with friends. After its last funding round, Snap Inc.’s private market value reached $18 billion, meaning that its IPO would be the biggest of a social media company since Twitter Inc. sold shares years ago. The company like the app has matured from a destina- tion for sending silly annotated selfies between friends into a media platform that advertisers are starting to take seriously. As for the company’s evolvement, in the last year they have built out channels where news partners can create mini mobile magazines and it also compiles its users’ short videos into live coverage of events around the world making it a global application for information. Which will make it even more popular with investors and Snap Inc. continues to pioneer new forms of advertising for the app which has over 150 million daily active users.

By Jamie Barrie N ews is that Snapchat, a Los Angeles-based image messaging and multimedia mobile application company created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown[3] when they were students at Stanford University, will look to move forward with a planned initial public offering. Industry experts say the initial public offering could value Snapchat at between $25 billion to $40 billion USD, but there has been no indication from Snapchat officials as to when or the size of the IPO that will be offered. Snapchat, which recently changed its corporate name to Snap Inc., which has got people talking about them pre- paring filings for a listing and predicting an IPO in the first quarter of next year, but this has not been confirmed nor denied and because the company’s revenue is less than $1 billion, Snap Inc. will be able to file IPO documents confi- dentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.



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