Webmaster Aaron Allen

Editor Lee Atwater

Research Manager Brent Brown

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Managing Director Stewart Gregg

Research Sarah Lajoie Alia Morash

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Publisher AIDACA Media

Editorial David MacDonald Jamie Barrie Katie Davis

Office Administrator Kyte Carter Operations Manager Samantha Ford

Contributing Writers Janice Buckler

W e hope you enjoyed the “Best of 2016” issue, which highlighted the most viewed articles in 2016. We are very excited to welcome in 2017 and look forward to continuing to keep you informed of what is hap- pening in business and industry while sharing success stories of businesses and people that are making it happen with our readers and viewers. 2016 saw many challenges and we look forward to featuring the companies that met these challenges head on in an ever changing business environment with you. Starting this month we have a new series called “small town, BIG BUSINESS” which will feature some of the best small towns to live, work and do business in and why big businesses are setting up in these areas. Our first installment of this series will put the spotlight on Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. Our con- versation with Mayor, Bill Mills and his Business Development Team, tells why business are attracted to this hub town in Nova Scotia and it have nothing to do with the Tidal Bore that happen twice a day at the head of the Bay of Fundy town. We also have another new monthly series starting this month that will focus on “Holistic Health and Wellbeing” . This monthly series features articles by Registered Holistic Nutritionist, JaniceBuckler from Natural Legends Nutri- tional Consulting focusing on helping people achieve optimal health by focusing on root causes and holistic solutions.


PO Box 350007 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3M 0G3 P: 613 699 6672 E:




In2016,theCanadianFederationofIndependentBusiness(CFIB)rankedTruroat32intheir9thannualreport,Entrepreneurial Communities: Canada’s top places to start and grow a business. According to Truro Town Hall, this one-year 42 place improvement is due in part to three factors: Population Demographics and Growth, Education and Available Talent, and the fact that Truro is a Transportation and Logistics Corridor ( I spoke in mid-December with the Mayor of Truro, Bill Mills and Truro Business Development Officer, Ben Seveno about the big boom in their small town.


There are a lot of fine people who have walked in Karen Baillie’s shoes, literally and figuratively speaking. Karen is the owner of Elegant Steps, an independent shoe and fashion store located in the heart of Downtown Truro, Nova Scotia, as well as the current President of the Downtown Truro Partnership. It was in her role on the Executive Committee of the DTP that she spoke with Spotlight on Business Magazine in early January. Karen’s assertive business instincts took over before the first question was even asked and the spotlight, as they say, was briefly on us.





When Brian Herman, President and Operations Manager of Casino Taxi in Halifax, Nova Scotia, met me in the foyer of his company’s NovaLea Drive customer service and dispatch centre, I was quickly reminded of an old French proverb: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (The more things change, the more they stay the same). You see, the wallpaper on your left as you step into the reception area is a nearly life-size blown-up black and white photograph of Casino Taxi’s original Gottingen Street office taken in 1937...





A IDACA MEDIA understands that small and medium size enterprises and businesses are key to the successful growth of any economy and just as important as big businesses to the global economy as a whole. By putting a spotlight on your business, organization or community with effective and interactive media and advertising we will help you capture the interest of business leaders and potential clients, giving you an opportunity to promote your brand and grow market share through mobile, online, print and social media support, helping your business connect and stay engaged with your customers.



In this issue you will find our most viewed articles of 2016, and we wanted to share them with you again in our “Best of 2016” Issue, just in case you are one of the few that did not get a chance to read them the first time around. We thank all our feature companies for allowing us to tell your amazing stories and all of our advertisers for your business in 2016. Spotlight on Business Magazine looks forward to influential entrepreneurs, business groups, associations, and all levels of government in the new year...



and technology with the help of multiple exhibition stands and booths. A vast range of high quality truck accessories, modern trucks, trailers, spare parts and automotive supplies are put on exhibit at the show to attract a number of poten- tial buyers among the numerous attendees etc. in the Automotive, Media & Advertising, Power, Renew- able Energy & Energy Conservation industries.

Sports offers you the opportunity to meet professionals of the boating sector, speakers, sailors and retailers across the province. With an exhibi- tion area of 300,000 square feet, the 2017 Montreal Boat Show will host 275 exhibitors and more than 450 boats

For more information on the event:

For more information on the event:

THE SEATTLE BOAT SHOW, INDOORS + AFLOAT January 27th – February 4th, 2017

ATLANTIC CRAFT TRADE SHOW February 4th – 6th, 2017


Halifax World Trade and Convention Centre - Halifax, NS, Canada

CenturyLink Field – Seattle, WA, USA

The Seattle Boat Show, Indoors + Afloat, is the West Coast’s Largest Boat Show featuring more than 1,000 recreational watercraft with every- thing from stand-up paddleboards to superyachts and everything in between! Plus, more than three acres of accessories, over 225 free boating and fishing seminars and the latest gear indoors at CenturyLink Field, plus afloat on South Lake Union.

Place Bonaventure - Montreal, QC, Canada

This event showcases products like arts and crafts, giftware, home and indoor decor items, outdoor gifts, fashion gifts, sawdust products, gifts and accessories, candles and clothing, food and glass, jewelry and metal products, leather, native paint- ings etc. in the Antiques & Philately, Gifts & Handicrafts industries.

The exhibitors of Montreal Boat and Water Sports Show will exhibit the latest products and services includ- ing advanced marine accessories, contemporary models of boats and latest equipments. The 18th edition of the Montreal Boat and Water

For more information on the event:

For more information on the event:


MID-WEST TRUCK AND TRAILER SHOW February 3rd – 4th, 2017

Vancouver Convention Centre West Building - Vancouver, BC, Canada

The Peoria Civic Center - Peoria, IL, USA

This event showcases products like carriers, logistics, infrastructure, real estate and store equipment, freight

This event showcases products like displays of their innovative products



ATLANTIC MOTORCYCLE & ATV SHOW February 10th – 12th, 2017

transportation support services, technology systems and communi- cation, freight transportation equip- ment and materials, distribution, warehousing and material handling equipment and services, technologi- cal services etc. An event encom- passing the entire cargo movement chain, purchasing and procurement professionals from the retail, manu- facturing, natural resources, freight forwarding and government sectors come to this event in large numbers. Technological knowhow in freight handling and movement as well as information on the most innova- tive of freight movement systems is exchanged in this fair of international repute etc. in the Business Services, Computer Hardware & Software, Embassies & Consulates, Environ- ment & Waste Management, Hand, Machine & Garden Tools, Logistics & Transportation, Marine & Boat, Packaging Materials, Plant, Machin- ery & Equipment, Railway, Shipping & Aviation and Real Estate industries.

Moncton Coliseum Complex – Moncton, NB, Canada

The Moncton Motorcycle & ATV Show is the biggest Manufactur- ers show in Atlantic Canada, with a wide-ranging and exciting line-up of exhibitors that celebrates the motor- cycle and off-road vehicle lifestyle. Meet tons of experts, check out the latest gear and apparel, and get all- revved up for your next adventure! Whether you’re a hardcore rider or a recreational enthusiast, a curious fan or just tired of the cold winter weather, The Motorcycle Show has got you covered! Because PASSION DOESN’T STOP. Not for winter, not for anything! For more information on the event: http://www.monctonmotorcycleshow. ca/

hand and motor garden tools and glasshouses and equipment. Apart from these the main exhibitors will be home builders and interior design- ers. The companies which deal in the field of home and garden will exhibit the show. The exporters who deal in this field would participate in the show to search for new business opportunities. For more information on the event: http://www.bchomeandgardenshow. com/

For more information on the event:



Metro Toronto Convention Centre - Toronto, ON, Canada

Halifax Exhibition Centre – Halifax, NS, Canada

The Canadian International Auto Show has offered more than 40 years of automotive awesomeness in Toronto and this year’s event will be no exception with 600,000 square feet of exhibits of products and services that will include, experimen- tal and concept cars, alternative fuel vehicles, auto accessories, cars and trucks, sport utility vehicles, automo- bile relative products and many other innovative products for automobiles, dealers and owners.

The Halifax International Boat Show has been bringing together the largest and most sought-after brands of boats and equipment from across eastern Canada for nearly 40 years. Featuring boats of all shapes and sizes… plus exhibits of marine equip- ment, marine engines, diesel, gas, outboard and inboard, marine elec- tronics and accessories, docks and dock builders.

BC HOME & GARDEN SHOW February 15th – 19th, 2017

BC Place Stadium - Vancouver, BC, Canada

This event showcases product from Architecture & Designing, Building Construction, Home Furnishings & Home Textiles, Household Consum- ables and Real Estate industries. Some of the main exhibitors of the BC Home & Garden Show will be manu- facturers of equipment for gardens,

For more information on the event:

For more information on the event:



RED DEER RV SHOW February 17th – 26th, 2017

thrilling adventure travel presenta- tions. It is an exciting event that you do not want to miss. See it, Live it, Do it at the Outdoor Adventure Show, presented by Ontario Tourism.

Westerner Park - Red Deer, AB, Canada

For more information on the event:

The Red Deer RV Show is one of the biggest events for a show and sale in Central Alberta, for all things camping, RV travel, outdoor activities and much more! Their show features five big RV dealers, selling many dif- ferent lines and types of RVs, includ- ing trailers and motor homes, and the tools and gadgets to keep everything like new. There are also a wide range of other vendors at the show offering just about everything you need or want with over 220 exhibitors.

THE FRANCHISE SHOW February 25th – 26th, 2017

The Toronto Congress Centre - Toronto, ON, Canada

Franchising offers you the chance to be in business for yourself, but not by yourself. For more than a decade, The Franchise Show has helped Canadians discover the many reward- ing franchise opportunities available and realize their dreams. Produced by the Canadian Franchise Asso- ciation (CFA), The Franchise Show is Canada’s largest and most-trusted franchise-only tradeshow. Exclusively featuring franchise systems, many of which are the biggest names in a variety of industries and sectors.

For more information on the event:

For more information on the event:

THE OUTDOOR ADVENTURE SHOW February 24th – 26th, 2017

The International Centre - Mississauga, ON, Canada

Calling all outdoor enthusiasts- Find everything you need to plan your next adventure! Our Camping Showcase offers a one-stop-shop for all your camping needs and our Adventure Travel Pavilion will bring together representatives from des- tinations in all corners of the globe and they will be ready to assist you in booking your next great escape. Combine that with pre-season deals on the newest outdoor gear and





By Jamie Barrie W al-Mart Stores Inc. is going after a larger online market share challenging industry leader Inc using its recently acquired Jet. com business, more selection and lower prices. Marc Lore, CEOof Wal-Mart’s e-commerce operation, said Wal-Mart bought Jet in September for about $3.3 billion, turning to the startup to bolster an online operation that has lagged behind Amazon. “We’ve talked a lot about becoming a more customer- centric organization,” Lore said. “Our strategy is about offering more choice and competitive prices -- particularly on food and consumables -- and operating on the strength of the world’s most efficient e-commerce supply chain.” The company is looking to attract key customers whether they shop online or in stores. Wal-Mart is currently under increased pressure from Amazon as it tries to grow its grocery business to try and draw more online shoppers

to Amazon. Big-box retailers have traditionally used food to draw shoppers into stores, and convert them over to other goods with higher-profit margins. Amazon has many of its own plans and strategies to pick off more of Wal-Mart’s customers as the online giant targets food-stamp recipients under a pilot program to begin this summer. Wal-Mart is said to be responding to this Amazon threat with its Fresh service, offering delivery of fresh food without a membership fee. Wal-Mart is looking to match Amazon’s reputation for being customer-focused. In a recent memo, Lore said, “We’re on a mission to reshape e-commerce and create a best-in-class shopping experience that empowers customers to save money in completely new ways,” when speaking of Wal-Mart’s plans for the future of their online business.



By Katie Davis B ack in May of last year, Ben Moss applied for creditor protection and began closing 11 under-performing stores in an effort to restructure, sighting a weak Canadian dollar and sluggish Western Canadian economy for its decreasing sales performance. Their efforts failed and this past July, the company announced it would close all of its 54 stores.

Dartmouth-based Charm Jewelry Ltd recently announced that it had acquired the rights to the Ben Moss Jewellers banner and will reopen 16 stores that were closed when Ben Moss filed for creditor protection last year.

Although the financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed, Charm Jewelry Ltd did say that it will retain more than 100 Ben Moss Jewellers employees and has plan to add an additional 75 staff as part of a grand re-opening event, which will take place in time for Valentine’s Day.

Charm Diamond Centres president Troy Calder says he’s “delighted” to be able to give the Ben Moss brand, which began in Winnipeg in 1910, a fresh start. “They have great locations, great people. We think we can turn this company around,” said Calder. In the sale, Charmacquired 16 lease assignments to Ben Moss locations along with fixtures and all intellectual property associated with the brand; however they did not purchase any remaining Ben Moss jewelry.

“We have been competitors for many years, decades,” said the Charm president. “It was disappointing to

see a Canadian legacy jeweller going under. We did want to see if we could save that legacy and help the customers and the staff.”

Charm Jewelry Ltd, will look to expand the brand with Calder saying, “We have plans of growing the Ben Moss brand in the future out West.”



By Katie Davis P resident-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration is just a few weeks away, when Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on the steps of the U.S Capital on Friday, January 20th. This will be a great moment for President-elect Donald Trump, his family and his supports. But it goes without saying that President Trump is going to have his hands full given the results of a recent Gallup survey which shows that the President is going to take office in a historically weak position. The Gallup survey, which polled 1028 adults between December 7th and 11th, shows that less than half of people in the U.S., 46 percent, said they are confident in the new President’s ability to handle an international crisis. With 47 percent saying they were confident in his ability to use military force wisely. With 44 percent saying they were confident in President-Elect Donald Trump’s ability to prevent major scandals in his administration. So what do these numbers tell us? Well first of all that the new President will have a lot of work to do to increase his approval rates in the first days of office. Looking at survey results for the same questions asked regarding the past three Presidents it is easy to see that confidence levels are at a historically low level for an incoming President. When President Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were coming into office over 70 percent of the people surveyed were confident in the President’s abilities. Additional Gallup survey results show that 60 percent of those surveyed were confident that President-elect Donald Trump could work with the GOP-controlled Congress effectively and 59 percent saying that Trump will be able to handle the economy effectively. Unfortunately, for President-elect Donald Trump, his predecessors all received higher survey results in those areas, too.

One thing that we do know about President-Elect Donald Trump as was seen in the election itself is his ability to overcome survey numbers, and we must remember after all that survey numbers are just that, numbers.



By Katie Davis S un Capital, the private-equity firm that owns The Limited, makes the decision to close all 250 of its stores and laid off 4,000 workers as it now focuses its business online because of falling foot traffic at shopping malls. The women’s clothing store chain announced the closures in a statement on its website saying, “We’re sad to say that all The Limited stores nationwide have officially closed their doors,” the statement then goes on to say. “But this isn’t goodbye. The styles you love are still available online — we’re just a quick click away 24 hours a day.” “We have worked very hard and made significant investments over nine years to improve operations and create a sustainable business at The Limited,” Sun Capital

told Reuters in an emailed statement. “In an increasingly challenging environment for mall-based retail and women’s apparel, we are very disappointed that the company has had to make the difficult decision to close its retail locations.” The Limited, is not alone and not the only victim to declining consumer traffic at malls and retail outlets as Sears and Macy’s have also announced mass closures will take place in 2017. Sears is planning to close 150 of its and Kmart stores this year, and Macy’s has announced it is planning to close 100 stores with 70 of those announced already in response to consumers spending their shopping dollars online rather than at the malls.



By Jamie Barrie $ 1 value menus are once again back in the spotlight, with Taco Bell learning from the mistakes made by McDonald’s and turning that into a gain for Taco Bell’s. Taco Bell, debuted in December with the $1 Double Stacked Taco and its Feast for $1 All Day campaign in October, the fast-food chain is putting its $1 menu items front and center as the restaurant industry faces slumping sales. In a recent interview Taco Bell’s chief marketing officer, Marisa Thalberg said, “We have not walked away from the dollar-menu price point when others have.” Thalberg was making reference to when McDonald’s replaced its iconic Dollar Menu with the Dollar Menu and More, as it became more difficult to sell items for just $1 and still turn a profit. It was a switch that caused problems for the chain. In 2015, CEO Steve Easterbrook said McDonald’s had not replaced the menu “with significant- enough value in the eyes of consumers.”

for $4” promotion, and the Taco Bell $5 Cravings deal. These deals all drove sales in the fast-food industry in 2016 by offering customers perceived value without the thin or nonexistent profit margins that made McDonald’s franchisees hate the Dollar Menu. Now with a restaurant recession looming as cost- conscious customers increasingly eat at home and seek deals on food when they do eat out, they are looking to get more meal for the $1 and Taco Bell is looking to capitalize on this where others have failed. While McDonald’s was forced to sell classic Dollar Menu items at just $1 despite rising food costs and inflation, much of Taco Bell’s $1menu is made up of new and limited- time items. Taco Bell’s willingness to chase bizarre trends, which allows the chain to use $1 menu items as a way to get customers in the door will be a win for the chain. At the same time, Taco Bell will not just rely on $1 menu items to attract bargain shoppers and get them through the doors and drive troughs as Thalberg states that the $5 Craving Deals and other bundled deals will also play a valuable part in the chain’s marketing game plan in 2017.

While McDonald’s and other fast-food chains have turned to bundled deals such as the McPick 2, the Wendy’s “four



By Jamie Barrie P arrot SA, maker of the smart phone controlled toy drones will cut a third of its staff after having to lower prices over the holidays to compete with industry rivals. Parrot has been facing tough competition from the likes of DJI and GoPro Inc. to grab a share of a consumer drone market that is estimated to reach over $4 billion USD by 2024. While the fight has focused on additional features, like live streaming and high-definition cameras aimed at more serious consumers, the market has also been flooded with cheaper models from upstarts, competing on price. Parrot sales were short of what the company had forecast in the fourth quarter even as profitability fell in consumer drones, to a level unsustainable in the long-run.

Parrot’s revamp, which will cost the company $47.7 million USD and the company will cut 290 of its 840 jobs.

Meanwhile, Parrot’s commercial drones and systems for cars, including infotainment, performed in line with expectations. The company said it’s on track to sign a definitive agreement with Faurecia, one the largest international automotive parts manufacturer in the world.



By Katie Davis J ust as the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has kicked off in Las Vegas and it’s just as you expected from the latest electronics such as virtual reality, wearables and hearables. Everything smart; cars, homes you name it. Consumers are getting older in the U.S. and Canada for that matter. There are 106 million people in the U.S. who are over 50 and this group is having an impact on the sale of goods. If you were to measure GDP by the consumer spending of this over 50 age group, the economic impact by GDP would be $7.6 trillion and at the current rate that would be 42% of U.S. GDP and by 2032, which is projected to be $13.5 trillion. Let’s take a closer look at the purchase power of the over 50. This group is responsible for 46% of the U.S. GDP and only account for 33% of the U.S. population. Excluding healthcare, people over 50 contributed around

$3.0 trillion to consumer spending which is more than any other demographic.

So where does technology fit into all of these numbers, well by 2020 there will be 50 million caregivers in the U.S. alone with more than 115 million people in need of care giving. This means technology has to play a key role in meeting those needs. “We’re a consumer interest group looking for better ways to serve our clients and that boils down to technology,” said Jody Holtzman, Senior Vice President, Market Innovation, “We’re looking at the technology coming down the road that will help close the gap on their unmet needs - all the way from mobility issues to communications tools to healthtech. We’re asking one question to the technology and consumer electronics market: what’s your strategy for 50 plus?”

Something tells me that they are getting ready.



is big business as, McKinsey & Company, a worldwide management consulting firm, estimates that mobile and data-driven services in vehicles will generate $1.5 trillion by 2030. “When you think of a person driving and what your needs are when you’re on a typical trip, it’s food, it’s fuel and it’s rest stops,” said John Butler, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst. “Owning the inside of the car is critical, it’s really where the money is made. The real value is locked up in the ad opportunity.” This is more or less how the smart windshield will work, a driver that’s close to running out of gas would see an alert pop up that notes the fuel situation and navigation will offer to find a nearby gas station. Because the car’s virtual assistant is tied to your smart phone and its information, it will offer choices that meet and fit with the driver’s buying patterns and preferences. This technology is not that far away and experts say could be in your next vehicle in as little as two years. However, to get you ready for what is to come the Panasonic Corporation recently demonstrated the technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Tom Gebhardt, the head of Panasonic’s automotive business in North America, was very quick to address that smart car and windshield connection subscription services could generate hundreds of dollars in additional recurring revenue per car each year as automakers and tech companies transform vehicles into connected devices. The big hurdle with this technology will be with safety concerns and how it will be regulated given concerns about driver distraction. However, suppliers are eager to promote heads-up displays as safety tools as a drivers aid. A driver could be given the speed and location of vehicles in a driver’s blind spot which would be projected onto the windshield reducing collisions, which will be a positive for having this technology approved for use. Given the consumer’s thirst for connectivity there is little doubt that this technology will make its way into production and be an option on your new vehicle in 2018.

By Jamie Barrie F irst was the smart phone, then was the smart car with Bluetooth integration and Wi-Fi capabilities, could the next big thing in automotive technology be the smart windshield, well Automakers, technology companies, glass manufacturers and advertisers are betting on it in a big way partnering up to display what is on the screen of your smart phone on the windshield of your car. This technology would not only show the driver what is happening on their smart phone, but also add in directions and give updates on vehicle information and performance. Try skipping that next oil change now. This new technology in your car is creating a buzz in the advertising world as using a drivers windshield will offer the ability for advertisers to get literally in the face of the consumer to pitch products and services. This





By David MacDonald

A QUESTION OF SPEED As soon as you make the leap from the iPhone 6 to the 6S or 7, you’ve left the world of 1GB of RAM behind forever. Both the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 have 2GBs of RAM. Both have a Six Core GPU. The iPhone 6S has an Apple A9 Chipset: Dual-core CPU. The iPhone 7 has an Apple A10 Fusion chipset: Quad-core CPU. If you’re on a 4G network that regularly peaks above 150Mbit and hovers there, upgrading to the iPhone 6S or iPhone 7 may be worth your while. ARE YOU INTO SELFIES, GRANDMA? If you’ve been around this debate already, you’ve probably heard the camera complaints – or rationales. While the rear cameras on all three models feature 4K video recording, only the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 do so with a 12 megapixel sensor, the 6S with the help of a dual-LED flash and the 7 with a quad-LED dual-tone flash. The rear camera of the iPhone 6 features an 8 megapixel sensor with dual-LED flash. Here’s one way to look at it: Their shared screen resolution means that all three iPhones are equal when it comes to displaying megapixels, but their ability to capture megapixels with their rear camera is a different story. So if you’re going for less The Blair Witch Project and more Slumdog Millionaire, you want the iPhone 6S or better. The front camera of the iPhone 6 might not inspire a lot of its owners to spring for a selfie stick. It’s a Spartan 1.2 megapixels and records video at 720 pixels. The front camera of the iPhone 6S is an industry competitor at 5 megapixels, but still records video in what’s beginning to feel like an antiquated 720 pixels. The iPhone 7 is a step above. Its front camera is equipped with a 7 megapixel sensor and records at what feels like the standard: 1080 pixels. So, if you’re a dynamic selfie-snapper, consider the 6S and 7 a wish come true. But if your selfies are short, sweet, and stable, keep your iPhone 6 – I’m talking to you, grandma! THE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK MIGHT TAKE SOME GETTING USED TO If you’re looking for a place to plug in your headphones on your iPhone 7, you’ll need an adapter. The headphone jack is no more, and wireless is Apple’s answer. Sort of. You can still listen to music on the iPhone 7 all wired-up, but you’ll need to use the Lightning port. It’s kind of an everything port now. Looking ahead, it’s believed that the ‘All glass’ iPhone 8 slated for a 2017 release will feature an edge-to- edge OLED display, wireless charging, and a faster A11 processor.

T HE DEBATE I t has the making of a Straight Outta Comicon nerd-off. It has that A New Hope versus The Empire Strikes Back versus The Return of the Jedi feel. With this one, you know there’s going to be equal representation amongst your friends and that the argument could last well through the winter – and Winter is Coming. There’s going to be some hard truths spoken, and we might even learn a thing or two about our… iPhones. I’m talking of course about the iPhone 6 versus iPhone 6S versus iPhone 7 debate. EVERYTHING IS RELATIVE Have you ever noticed that even when the least tech-savvy person in your life talks about their iPhone, they suddenly become Sheldon Cooper? I’ll give you a for instance. I recently had to say the words, “Not everyone needs a 256GB phone,” to my grandmother. Yeah, that’s right. People need to stand up more in these situations. She takes minimal pictures on her phone. She Skypes. She Facebooks. She Emails. She plays Cribbage (and usually wins). And she reads the news. A lot of news. Her iPhone 6 is in pristine condition, sitting in its Teacup Yorkie case as always. But one trip to the Apple Store to get a new charger for her 16GB iPhone 6 and she’s an expert on the iPhone 7. While she’s a great listener, my grandmother’s not an impulse buyer, so she usually has to convince herself through what she calls “rationalizing.” I call it “justifying,” but apparently I’m wrong. I also think her sister, my great-aunt, is peer-pressuring her into getting the iPhone 7, but I digress. To really set the stage, my grandmother frankly informed me that the iPhone 6 is no longer available to purchase new, as if that made hers obsolete. I was about to lecture her on technological obsolescence, but then I remembered she’s the person who you give your DVD to from your Blu-ray-DVD combo pack. She then threw the great-grandchild card across the table, telling me in her own to-the-point way that the enhanced battery life and dual external stereo speakers of the iPhone 7 would allow my son to listen to more of his favourite music by the pool when he visited. I told her, with a grin, that when he’s by the pool, he should concentrate on swimming. THE BRIGHT SIDE The only thing that has my eye drawn to the iPhone 6S or iPhone 7 for my grandmother’s sake is the brighter screen and increased resolution available in these two models. The impressive 4.7-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD display universal to all three models is at its brightest in the iPhone 7. iPhone 6S is 25% dimmer – or maybe you’re a 25% less bright kind of person, like my grandmother – while the iPhone 6 is, comparatively, the dimmest or “least bright.” In any case, it’s 1334x750 pixels of high definition potential.

Like I said, it’s all relative.



By Jamie Barrie P lanet Labs Inc was founded in 2010 by a team of scientists who worked together at NASA Ames, a major research center in Silicon Valley. After shortening their name last year, Planet purchased purchased BlackBridge Corp.’s Satellite Unit, including five RapidEye satellites and an archive of imagery. Now the San Francisco-based startup now has more than 100 customers from agricultural giants like Bayer CropScience to humanitarian organizations, accessing its images anddata through a software platform that organizes the pictures taken by its dozens of small satellites. It looks like Planet is on the move again to grow its operation and capabilities as it is said to be in talks with Alphabet Inc. to buy their Skybox Imaging satellite business. Alphabet Inc only acquired the business less than three years ago, but analysis say that it is a clear sign

that the technology giant is scaling back its strategy to offer a global internet service and in this past October the company cut from its Fiber fast internet service. The plan for Google when it purchased the Skybox was so that it would provide accurate with up-to-date imagery for Google Maps. Google was hoping to use the technology to improve internet access and disaster relief. The division operated within Google’s mapping business and it launched a small number of satellites but it seems to be changing its strategy of developing its own satellite businesses to investing in other companies in this sector. The Skybox sale to Planet is said to be an equity transaction, which means Alphabet will own a stake in Planet which would fit their new strategy. This acquisition will also put them in a better position to compete against DigitalGlobe Inc. and Airbus Defence & Space.



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By Jamie Barrie I n just a few days President Elect, Donald Trump who won the presidency by winning the American heartland, will take office. Trump, who campaigned on making “America Great Again,” was in a constant battle with auto- industry leaders during the election, most prominently Ford’s CEO, Mark Fields over establishing manufacturing operations in Mexico and taking unwarranted credit for bringing production back to the US from Mexico. So what does Donald Trump in the White House mean for the US auto industry especially at a time when U.S. auto sales are at record levels? Well auto makers with established plants in or thinking of moving auto production to Mexico could face increased political interference from the White House. With Trump calling NAFTA the worst deal ever signed by the U.S. This being said with SUV and crossovers dominating sales in the U.S. auto market, automakers are moving production of smaller vehicles to Mexico, which provides them with cheaper labour as these vehicles do not have the profit margins to be produced in the U.S. at the same price point. This strategy could become politically more challenging, depending on what actually happens with NAFTA during the Trump administration over the next four years. But, we do know with the shift in the market toward SUVs, it’s going to increasingly be a money-losing proposition for the carmakers to build small vehicles in the US. So what happens if automakers cannot move the production of these low profit small vehicles to Mexico, well they will have to re-think their domestic assembly of passenger cars, which will drive prices for these cars up as production will decrease.

Analysts are predicting that U.S. auto sales will most likely stay on track with 2016’s record total sales of 17.5 million units, which is good news to the industry. But overall market instability, coupled with consumer fear about the future of the industry and product availability could bring on a decline in the industry, so all eyes will be on the first quarter sales to see if they are staying on pace with 2016’s numbers. Automakers are looking to see if Trump’s administration will give a break on higher fuel-economy standards set by the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) which are supposed to rise substantially for automakers selling vehicles in the US by 2025, as the current mix of vehicles sold in the U.S. has shifted from small, fuel-efficient cars to big trucks and SUVs. These new CAFE goals are at odds with what people are actually buying. Plus with the sales of Electric and hybrid vehicles weak, it is becoming more difficult for automakers to produce these vehicles, to meet the CAFE goal. Who has the most to gain from the Trump’s administration in the auto industry; well it might just be the auto worker unions themselves. If the Big Three U.S. automakers have to expand domestically because it’s too difficult to establish manufacturing in Mexico, the jobs they create will be UAW jobs most likely in the upper Midwest. Time will tell of course, however, given that the U.S. auto industry has seen steady growth since President Obama won his second term, a Republican in the White House, particularly Trump, who opposes many of the global business agreements that have been made to see jobs move to Mexico could create some political tension with automakers, but at the same time ease some of the CAFE regulatory pressures.



Now what is wishful thinking by Canadian viewers has erupted into a giant court battle between the National Football League and Canadian telecommunications giant BCE Inc., whose Bell Media unit owns the broadcast rights to the Super Bowl, who are joined Canadian lawmakers, actors and unions in a battle is underway, with the NFL essentially suing to keep its U.S. ads out of Canada. Stephen Waddell, executive director of ACTRA, a union representing 23,000 Canadian performers that fears the move could ultimately trigger the end of a system the domestic arts sector relies on. The Canada Radio-television Telecommunications Commission ruling, finalized in 2016, slightly loosens the grip of simultaneous substitution, or simsub. The practice began in the 1970s so broadcasters who paid for rights to U.S. shows wouldn’t see their advertising base eroded by viewers watching American feeds readily available to viewers near the border. When CRTC Chairman, Jean-Pierre Blais announced the change which applies only to the Super Bowl, calling the existing system an “addiction” broadcasters backed at the expense of viewers. However, it must be said that a key pillar of Canada’s TV and film industry, along with rules requiring broadcasters to air a certain amount of made-in-Canada content is in effect to fund the production of Canadian shows. But times are changing fast with online streaming services threatening to make Canadian-content rules irrelevant even without any government regulatory change. The migration from traditional cable to online content is already eating into ad revenue for Bell and its cable TV competitors, Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. There are no signs that in power Liberals will intervene at this time, but there is still hope U.S. Super Bowl ads will be for blocked from Canadian viewers forcing them to bring them up on YouTube for another year. The ruling is a test case for how Canadian broadcast regulations will evolve in an era of Netflix.

By Jamie Barrie T he Super Bowl is known as one of the largest sporting events of the year for viewers and advertisers alike. Advertisers are looking at the key demographic to their target customers and build awareness to their products and services. For viewers, the commercials are as much about The Super Bowl as the game itself, viewers eagerly waiting for the kick off and for the ads to start, well that is if you are south of the border. For Canadian viewers, NFL’s television’s premiere event is much different as most U.S. Advertising for the game is blocked and replaced by local ads instead. This year could be different as Budweiser Super Bowl Commercials could be showing up on Canadian screens during the big game and a political and legal faceoff that would be bigger than any match up on the field is building up in the court room.



By Jamie Barrie T he latest forecasts from the U.S. Energy Information Administration suggest that their agreements to boost prices and hasten the rebalancing of oil supply and demand by cutting output may bring much needed life to the U.S. shale industry. The EIA’s monthly report that recently went public raised its forecast of global oil demand growth for 2017 from 1.56 million barrels a day to 1.63 million barrels, which is good news for producers. At the same time, though, the EIA boosted its outlook for U.S. oil production. The good news for U.S. oil producers will get a different reaction from The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as recent weekly EIA data showed a 176,000 barrel-a-day jump in U.S. production from the previous week, the biggest increase since May 2015. A large part of that increase came from a revision of fourth-quarter output figures, with U.S. production raised by 100,000 barrels a day from the previous estimate.

TheEIAnowseesU.S. production reaching9.22millionbarrels a day by December, an increase of 320,000 barrels over the year. But this could quickly start to look like a conservative forecast. The incoming U.S. president and Congress may turn out to be more supportive of oil extraction than the outgoing ones, after Donald Trump said in September that he would “lift the restrictions on American energy and allow this wealth to pour into our communities.” This could give the shale sector a further boost. With U.S. oil production growing again, it means that shale production will increase as the price starts moving towards the $55 a barrel mark, making shale production more economically feasible. However the extra boost to the U.S. shale oil industry will rest in the hands of OPEC members comply with agreed on production rates. Industry experts are saying that OPEC is already talking of extending the time frame for its output cuts and may even look to increase them which would be more positive news for the U.S. and Canadian shale oil industries.



By Jamie Barrie

O ne the heels of a visit to Alberta by Jane Fonda, where she stated, “We don’t need new pipelines,” as she held a press conference at the Univer- sity of Alberta where she also dismissed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a “good-looking Liberal” who couldn’t be trusted.

Well if you are from Alberta or in the Canadian Oil business you might be saying that she is 50% right.

But just like when Leonardo DiCaprio was here, when Fonda steps into her full size SUV and gets back on her private jet to go on her next environ- mental event, it will benothingbut an adventure for her, however like the PMhimself she will remain an enemy of the province of Alberta. Interesting enough Fonda’s visit and comments was not the only thing upsetting Alberta politicians and Albertans alike as they were also recovering fromnews that PrimeMinister Justin Trudeau was talking again about of phasing out the oilsands which is not good news for an area that has taken a major hit as oil prices have declined.

When the Prime Minister was asked at a town hall event in Ontario about the federal government’s recent approval of expansionof KinderMorgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, Trudeau reiterated his remarks that he is attempting to balance economic and environmental concerns. “We can’t shut down the oilsands tomorrow. We need to phase them out. We need to manage the transition off of our

dependence on fossil fuels but it’s going to take time and in the meantime we have tomanage that transition,” Trudeau said.

Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said Trudeau’s remarks were a “direct attack” on Alberta.

“By vowing to ‘phase out’ the oil sands, Mr. Trudeau has declared his true feelings towards our province, and Western Canada as a whole,” said Jean.

“The economic benefits of the oil sands are immeasur- able.”

In a statement from the PMO said “the Prime Minister, as he and previous Prime Ministers including Stephen Harper have been saying for a long time, was reiterating the need to move away from our dependency on fossil fuels and his commitment to growing the economy all while protecting the environment.”

There has been lots of debate and most industry experts see that new pipelines projects are going to be key for Alberta to connect its oilsands crude to newmarkets and access a better price. In saying that companies will be less interested in being part of these projects is the PM continue to make reference to phasing out the industry.



By Katie Davis U .S. government data continue to show that traditional department stores are continuing to lose sales ground when compared to online retailers. Sales at all U.S. retailers increased 4.4 percent in December on an unadjusted basis from a year earlier, according to recently released Commerce Department figures. The Commerce Department figures show purchases at traditional department stores fell over 7 percent, making it 23 consecutive months of year-over-year declines for the sector. The news is very different for online and non-store retailers as they captured over 10 percent more sales and have shown double digit sector growth in 6 of the last 12 months. The government data follow poor sales results from many U.S.-based retailers, which say that dwindling mall traffic and consumers switching to the ease of shopping online is primarily to blame for industry’s performance. Online shopping ismore targeted, as customers are looking for a specific item which is far different from those that are heading to the traditional department stores at the mall. The consumers are more likely to pick up more impulse items than those consumers that are shopping online.

The shift toward online shopping is also having a effect on the labor market, with employment at non-discount department stores is down 45 percent from 2000, the number of e-commerce jobs over that same time period have increase 346 percent. It must be said that the Commerce Department numbers do not break down the differences in average hourly earnings between traditional department store and Internet-retail employees nor does it reference the fact that e-commerce jobs are still just a fraction of the millions of positions across all different kinds of merchants in the industry. To show that this industry trend is here to stay, Amazon. com Inc. recently announced that it plans to create more than 100,000 full-time positions in the U.S. in the next 18 months as the world’s largest online retailer further expands into new categories.



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