Volume 4, No. 6 February 2014
• Jamie Quai Restaurant wine wish list • Renee Carpenter Room stylin’ 2014 Page 26 • Dr. Greg Johnston The sitting disease Page 28 Special Feature RRSPs & Investments Pages 17-22
Cory Stuart and Darryl Turley Impressive progress at Impressions Cover story: Page 3
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Cory Stuart President
Carey Jennery Brooke Turley
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 2
High quality printing with a commitment to going green Impressions Printing expands in a world that can’t do without paper
by Terry Carroll
All successful businesses reach a critical juncture along the way – if they are going to continue to grow, they need to make changes and do things differently. It’s a crucial point because both risks and money are involved as they enter unfamiliar territory. At the same time, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you will only get what you’ve always got.” About five years ago, Impressions Printing had reached such Rubicon. The owners knew several of their customers were using services related to printing, and Impressions Printing decided to start serving these needs. They invested in inserting and inkjet equipment as well as software so they could do process additional projects in-house and mail for customers. Their Secap InkJet personalizes anything from envelopes to flyers to catalogues and can handle many pieces at once exceeding speeds of 12,000 pieces per hour. For instruction booklets or training manuals, their Kodak Digimaster 9110 has the ability to meet all inline folding and stitching needs. These in-house production and mail capabilities eliminated the need for multiple vendors, thus reducing client cost and offering a quicker turnaround time. And Impressions began to seriously enter the digital printing market. The investment in equipment—and people—has paid off handsomely. Cory Stuart, who owns the company with Darryl Turley, reports that Impressions has grown by 97% over the past four years. As operations manager Dan Carter, likes to say, “If it’s ink on paper, we’ll print it.” With that philosophy, the business continues to print business cards, letterheads and envelopes as it did when it started over 45 years ago as a two-man operation. But increasingly, it has invested in the equipment to also produce high-end, top quality jobs. It’s now a multi-location, 24-hour printing business that ranks as one of the top 50 commercial printers in the country … and beyond. Impressions Printing does some business overseas, as well as the United States, Toronto, Burlington, Hamilton, London, and a strong core business in St. Thomas. On the digital side, it was one of the first printing companies in Canada to install the Kodak Nexpress S3000 Digital Production Colour Press.
With growth over the last five years, the owners of Impressions Printing are looking to sell the building on Laing Blvd. in St. Thomas and move to premises large enough to incorporate everything under one roof. To accommodate this increased growth, Impressions Printing has been renting about 10,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space in addition to its 10,000 sq. ft. on Laing Blvd in St. Thomas. The owners are looking to expand to a new 30,000 sq. ft. location – ideally the building recently vacated by GCW, once the current Impressions building is sold. All of this has happened in an era when society was rumored to be going paperless. What’s happening here? Cory Stuart says that when email blasts first started, everyone saw them as the greatest new thing in marketing, easy to use and almost free. But Cory says he now wakes up to 25 to 30 of these emails on his phone every day. “And what do I do? I’m the same as everybody else. I delete, delete, delete.” There’s a need for paper production, he says, “something to touch and feel, especially the higher end products.” This isn’t just his opinion. One of Impressions’ largest clients conducted a year-long survey reaching out to over 265,000 potential clients. Their response was that in a world of tweets and Facebook and millions of websites, 86% of their customers buy in response to printed products. It’s not hard to imagine where this company decided to allocate more of their marketing dollars. Impressions Printing also continues to move beyond paper to print on almost any surfaces – vi-
Elgin This Month General Manager Terry Carroll Section Editor Business Beat – Bob Hammersley Regional Sales Manager Nelson Parreira
nyl banners, labels, window decals and so on. The plant has grown to three shifts around the clock during the week and a day shift on Saturdays or Sundays. At Impressions, everyone takes very seriously their environmental responsibility. They use renewable resources and eco-conscious materials. They’ve been recycling for 20 years, and they use vegetable-based inks with low volatile organic compounds. The Eco-Ultra ink features excellent scratch resistance under aggressive conditions. It has a fast dry-time with almost no odour or fumes. In 2006, Impressions Printing was the first printing company in Ontario to use processless plates from Kodak. These plates eliminate harsh chemicals from the plate production. In 2008, they earned the Forest Stewardship Council certification, which allows them to print their certified paper with the FSC logo. This logo assures clients that their prints were harvested and produced to meet strict environmental, social and economic standards. Impressions Printing’s main facility is located at 31 Laing Blvd with their Sales & Logistics facility at 1155 Talbot Street. They welcome anyone to stop in for a tour of some of the astonishing things one local company can accomplish by listening to customers and expanding on its core business. Front Cover Photo by Philip Bell, Shutter Studios
Graphic Design / Production Metroland Media Group Sales Representative Greg Minnema
Elgin This Month is a monthly magazine focusing on business and lifestyle issues and includes Business Beat, the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce newsletter. The publication is available for pickup at no charge at news stands and other locations around Elgin County, as well as distribution to businesses and selected households.
Published monthly by Metroland Media Group Ltd., 15 St. Catharine Street, St. Thomas, ON N5P 2V7 519-633-1640 www.theweeklynews.ca/etm February, 2014
E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 3
INNES AS I SEE IT
The month of love
It’s not all wine and roses by Jim Innes Data strongly suggests that adopted children struggle with loving relationships. The only question is whether they are beyond healing. In a series of well researched books, Nancy Newton Verrier speaks boldly about the woundedness of all adopted children. It is woundedness, she argues, that occurs when the bond between the biological mother and her child are torn apart: “the resultant experience of abandonment and loss is indelibly imprinted upon the unconscious mind of the child”. In a book entitled ‘The Primal Wound,’ Verrier argues that despite the loving embrace of adoptive families, all adoptees essentially struggle with “separation and loss, trust, rejection, guilt and shame, identity, intimacy, loyalty, and mastery or power and control...” These issues play out dramatically when an adoptee attempts a loving connection to an intimate other. In my experience there are significant divorce risks among adoptees. Too long has the adoptee struggled with the ba-
sics of intimate connection! Too long have their struggles been diagnosed (in personal and marital counselling) as some pathology unconnected to their adoption. And, even if the personal or marital issues were properly connected to the adoption, the kind of information necessary for healing has been buried under the nondisclosure practices of adoption agencies. Verrier and others have daringly revealed of love lost. These feelings may not be easily identhe painful harm caused by severing all links be- tified by the adoptee. Much of this is the result tween adoptee and their birthmother history. In of poor information and the lack of professional a book entitled ‘Lost and Found,’ Betty Lifton, support in the adoptees formative years. Since the counsellor and researcher, argues that disclosure start of adoption practises, the subtle expectation practices favouring concealment have limited of the adoptive parents (and involved agencies) the adoptee in their endless struggle in forming is that the adoptee can be raised with love and an “authentic sense of self.” Without a history, affection to be a happy, thankful, well adjusted the adoptee is lost in a artificially created fantasy. contributor to society. Without a word or wink from the In my experience as a biological mother, the adoptee’s counsellor, loving adopwounds grow deeper and the rejective parents and compas...these issues tion turns to an anger sionate understanding play out that has no outlet. spouses provide an enviThe psychological imronment so very appredramatically... plications of limited or ciated by the adoptee. non existent adoption Often their supportive, records are too involved selfless patience is a testo explain well in this tament to the power of brief article. For those of you touched prayer. However, not all the pieces to the adoptee’s by the adoption process, please con- puzzle are resolved through those relationships, no sider reading some of the above men- matter how well intentioned and long suffering tioned literature. they are. And despite how strongly one believes Thankfully disclosure practices are is the bond between oneself and the adoptee, the beginning to shift. With the support of adoptee has struggles beyond the reach of his or agencies such as Family and Children her care; perhaps even beyond awareness. Services, more compassionate, adopAs I see it, love is more than a warm feeling. It tee friendly practises are being imple- is a work in progress and as such is not all wine mented. Contact your local F&C’S for and roses. further info. Jim Innes is a clinically For the adoptee, the emphasis on trained therapist and intimate relationships, in this ‘Month a priest at St. John’s of Love,’ can provoke an intense grief. Anglican Church According to Verrier, even their own birthdays can be traumatic reminders
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Business & Community Leadership
Growing your business
by Brian Vine
What is marketing? First, it’s about understand- selling system. Marketing allows you to target and ing deeply the needs and wants of your customers influence large groups of customers, prospects, aland providing them with greater value. You must liances, referral sources, reporters, etc. in a single clearly identify the demand in the marketplace. At action. a minimum, most businesses can improve signifiUnfortunately, most business owners mistakenly cantly in this area. However, the real power and try to tackle most goals (i.e. growing sales) with leverage of marketing comes from the next level a one-to-one, single weapon, combat mentality. of influence, communicating convincingly your For example, instead of considering the leverage unique and superior value proposiof marketing (i.e. strategic tion. alliances, referral systems, Marketing is about communidirect mail, telemarketing, “marketing is about etc.) to grow sales, many cating with and educating your customers, prospects, and referral educating your target owners remain in the same sources why it’s in their best interest comfort zone and deadly market” to do business with your company. rut of using a single weapIt is about educating the right target on like direct selling. They audience on the unique and superior advantages, miss the chance to use air support (marketing) to benefits, value, and results you can provide and vastly aid their ground war (selling). They fail to sharing the credible evidence/reasons that support consider and try new options, new approaches, and back-up such promises. In short, marketing and new strategies. is about educating your target market on the adWhile all businesses have a selling process (convantages of doing business with you and the rea- verting leads to customers), most do not have a sons why they should trust you to deliver on your legitimate marketing process (generating qualified promises. leads). As such, they miss out on tremendous leInstead of impacting one prospect at a time (i.e. verage and opportunities. direct selling), marketing allows you to commuYour goal should be to add an ongoing marketnicate with, educate, and influence many buyers ing process to your business. Again, marketing is at once. In a sense, marketing is a one-to-many nothing more than understanding the needs of
your customers and then communicating to them the superior advantages/benefits they can derive by doing business with you. Think of marketing as ongoing education. You are educating customers, prospects, and referral sources why it’s in their best interest to do business with your company. There are only 5 ways to grow your business: 1) Keep the customers you have, 2) Bring in more customers, 3) Increase the average transaction size (unit sale), 4) Increase the frequency of purchases, and 5) Say “no” to bad customers/prospects. In short, keep what you have, bring in more customers, sell larger amounts to them, and sell to them more often. Do one of these ways and your business grows. Do two or more of these well, and your business can grow by quantum leaps and bounds, geometric growth instead of mere linear growth.
Bryan Vine is the owner of The Growth Coach in St. Thomas and Southwestern Ontario.
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BUSINESS & COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP
Five reasons why doing a ‘360’ is a good idea by Cheryl Lester
The concept of a ‘360’ has been around for years. Using multi-source feedback as a performance evaluation and training tool reportedly began around the time of World War II. Here’s a current definition of a ‘360’ that I like from businessdictionary.com: “Performance-appraisal data collected from ‘all around’ an employee, i.e. his or her peers, subordinates, supervisors, and sometimes, from internal and external customers. Its main objective usually is to assess training and development needs and to provide competence-related information for succession planning not promotion or pay increase. Also called multi-rater assessment, multi-source assessment, multi-source feedback.” Also, importantly, it is a professional development tool that can facilitate a deeper understanding about what may be driving behaviours; however, the outcomes and success of the ‘360’ process is contingent upon several factors, including: • Design of the ‘360’ assessment survey; • Skill and knowledge of the ‘360’ assessment Administrator/Coach; • Strict adherence to a process that ensures confidentiality for the evaluators;
• The trust, understanding, and engagement developed with the evaluatee AND their prospective evaluators during the pre-survey setup stage; • A thorough and eﬀective ‘360’ Assessment Debriefing process; • Individual and organizational commitment to ongoing professional development that leverages
facilitate a deeper understanding about what may be driving behaviours the insights gained through the ‘360’ process. I have been involved in leadership level ‘360s’ for many years, but did not fully appreciate the potential power of this tool until I became a certified Leadership Circle ‘360’ Profile (LCP) assessment administrator in Chicago in May 2012.
During an LCP certification demo I discovered how one of my underlying beliefs, based on flawed logic, was holding me back from my full potential — personally and professionally. That ‘rabbit hole’ experience had a profound and positive impact on my leadership eﬀectiveness as well as my ability to show up more fully in life and relationships. So, why is doing a ‘360’ a good idea for you — particularly if you are an organizational or business leader, manager, or owner? Here are a few good reasons: 1. It lets the people around you know that you take personal and professional development seriously…that it’s not just something you ‘mandate’ for other people. 2. It will give you valuable information about how you actually show up versus how YOU THINK you show up—provided you are courageous and intentional enough in involving evaluators who can be trusted to give candid, honest and professional feedback. 3. It can help you identify—and take steps to change—the underlying beliefs that may be hindering your eﬀectiveness…and quite likely the effectiveness of your staﬀ or colleagues. 4. It will help you understand what you are doing well so you can do more of the same and thereby leverage the benefits of your best skills, experience, and knowledge. 5. Ultimately, it will have a transformative positive ‘spill over’ eﬀect that reaches beyond just your workplace. So, in order to maximize your ability to show up and bring your ‘best stuﬀ’ to your role as leader, manager, or owner, plan to include a ‘360’ assessment process in your professional development goals for 2014. Cheryl Lester, Eagle Tree Leadership, is an international leadership coach known for her ability to help people improve their performance and effectiveness.
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Local immigration partnership
Dining & Entertainment Cultural Diversity
Entering fourth year of celebrating cultural diversity by Alfredo Marroquín The St. Thomas-Elgin Local Immigration PartTo celebrate the accomplishments and the ongonership (ST-ELIP) is about to begin its fourth ing achievements of our community driven projyear in our community. It is part of the initiative ect, ST-ELIP will be hosting our second annual that began in 2005 when the Federal and On- Moving Forward: Building Welcoming, Caring tario provincial governments and the Association and Inclusive Communities. This is a great chance From Left: Petrusia Hontar, Sam Yusuf, Amy of Municipalities of Ontario signed the Canada- if you want to learn more about the project and Thanh , Alfredo Marroquin, Shelley Harris Ontario Immigration Agreement. They initially its goals, to talk to committee members, or learn established 34 Local Immigration Partnerships about our cultural diversity initiatives. Alfredo Marroquín is the Project Everyone is welcome to join us on March 6, across Ontario, and in 2011, with support from Coordinator of the St. Thomas-Elgin the community and many agencies, the YWCA 2014 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the CASO StaLocal Immigration Partnership and St. Thomas-Elgin entered into an agreement with tion. Childminding will be provided and refreshco-founder of the St. Thomas-Elgin Citizenship and Immigration Canada to lead the ments will be served. Cultural Diversity Committee. St. Thomas-Elgin Local Immigration Partnership (ST-ELIP). The ST-ELIP is a collaborative community initiative to facilitate the development and implementation of sustainable solutions for the successful integration of newcomers to St. Thomas and to Elgin County. The ST-ELIP is committed to building welcoming, caring and inclusive communities. Since its inception in March 2011, the ST-ELIP has been able to engage a wide range of sectors to produce compelling results. By December 2011, the ST-ELIP established its own Council, and in 2012 the first three-year Settlement Strategy (2012-2015) was developed based on County- wide and multi-sectoral consultation and community research. Throughout 2013, the ST-ELIP has been implementing several of the 49 action steps that fall under the 20 strategies derived from the five key priJeff Smith Alaina Vaughan Sales Agent Sales Agent orities; namely Employment and Labour Market Access, Coordination of Services, Settlement and Integration, Jeff Smith has deep roots in the community, and As a lifelong resident of the St. Thomas, Alaina Language, ESL and Communication Vaughan identifies with the needs of her community resides at his family farm on Sparta Line. He is and Public Awareness. and strives to build long lasting relationships with the second licensed agent in his family, as he is her clients. Highlights of the first two years of the son of Gil Smith, who has been part of the Yarmouth Mutual team for 17 years. implementation of the Settlement Recently she organized a Christmas gift drive for Strategy include: the women and children of Violence Against Women In addition to working on the family farm, Jeff has Services Elgin County. • The establishment of the also been employed with St. Thomas Ford, Echo St. Thomas-Elgin Cultural Diversity Power Equipment, and more recently at Huron Alaina comes to Yarmouth Mutual as a licensed Committee Tractor. Jeff is active in the community with the Insurance Agent and has previous experience as an Masonic Lodge and is a past President of the • The development of colInsurance Broker and a Horticulturalist. Aylmer Shrine club. laborative working relationships with Consider having her tailor an insurance portfolio to agencies, communities, municipalities your specific needs for your business pursuits or Jeff has been recruited to succeed his father as and institutions personal insurance. Yarmouth Mutual’s farm insurance representative. • Walk with Me: a Networking email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Conference for Service Providers and Newcomers • Moving Forward: BuildCall us today for a FREE, no obligation quote. ing Welcoming, Caring and Inclusive Communities event Rooted in your community. Discover the Mutual difference. The ST-ELIP looks forward to the next tasks ahead, which include the 1229 Talbot St., St. Thomas implementation of the remaining action steps in the 2012-2015 Settle1-877-792-3693 | 519-631-1572 ment Strategy and the development of a new Settlement Strategy for the 2015-2018 period.
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 7
heading needed HEADING NEEDED
New building for Elgin St. Thomas Public Health Executive director explains why by Cynthia St. John For anyone wondering what the new building is on the east side of Talbot Street -– it is the new home of Elgin St. Thomas Public Health (ESTPH). After rigorous site evaluations, needs assessments and planning sessions, the burst of construction began early in 2013. By the time you read this, local contractors will be putting the finishing touches on the much anticipated facility for public health in Elgin County. A structure built from the ground up to meet the communities’ needs. After 23 years at the Edward St. location why move? We lacked space. We conducted multiple reviews of our programs and services, as well as extensive evaluation of the current location. All this research made it clear that a purposely-designed facility was required for ESTPH to meet the present and future needs of our community. In addition, the capacity for achieving new standards with our programs for child dental care, school nutrition and harm reduction (to name only a few) were limited in our current space. Thus, the excitement and enthusiasm for wellness in a new home was supported by evidence that construction was needed. ESTPH staff works with our communities to promote wellness, protect health and prevent injury as well as advocate for positive change. Here are some of the features in the new building that help us to meet our goal: 1. A ‘teaching kitchen’ – This fully equipped kitchen is built for hands on learning of safe preparation, cooking and storage of healthy foods. Approved for use by public health inspectors, the room will be used by public health staff and community partners to help people learn how to buy, cook and store healthy food. 2. A ‘Community Room’ aptly named the Elgin
Room. The large space enables hosting our large vaccination or immunization clinics on site. Keeping resources centralized helps Public Health respond to the demands of a local outbreak like the one we saw with Pertussis in 2012 or another pandemic such as H1N1.
Artist’s rendering of the new Talbot Street location
The room will also be available for hosting larger gatherings or community events. The location is central to a large residential neighborhood, and is accessible by bus, foot and car. St. Thomas Transit added a bus stop on the north side. It is accessible from the adjacent local park and the Elgin Mall, that is 1km away. Parking will no longer be an issue for visitors of public health, as the number of spaces is almost double what is currently available. Internal and external emergency preparedness has improved with onsite defibrillators, assistive lighting, improved alarm notifications, the capacity to convert facilities into an emergency operations centre for health unit response, and fire safety measures including a sprinkler system. Communications – A digital sign in front of the building (along Highway #3) allows for
sharing of regular updates on public health services, news and events. 7. A comfortable space on the main floor is designated for feeding infants. 8. Improvements to the equipment and privacy measures in the clinical services area are tremendous. Clients seeking dental and / or sexual health services will appreciate the commitment to many new resources available. This includes special devices to accommodate persons with disabilities such as a hydraulic bed that allowing easier access. The most frequently asked questions about the building relate to its costs. The total cost of the 30,000 square foot building is currently on budget. It is worth noting that although the total construction costs are important, the utilities and operating expenses of a building are also very critical factors. Energy efficient building materials and construction methods were used and as a result, lower heating and cooling costs are projected. Thus, the build was a smart investment in both the short and long term. Please note that ESTPH is only moving 3km away from the current site. Starting February 4, 2014, services will be available at 1230 Talbot Street in St. Thomas. To celebrate the new building, an open house for the community will be planned after the move in. Everyone is welcome to see the new building and learn more about what public health has to offer. Details about this event will be advertised. For further information on services you currently access or updates on the new building and the grand opening event please visit www.elginhealth. on.ca or www.facebook.com/ESTPH. Cynthia St. John is executive director of Elgin St. Thomas Public Health.
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• February 2014 •
Delighted winners Tanya Hutchison from Milestones Children’s Centre and retired City Clerk Peter Leack are all smiles after winning two of the big prizes at the January Business After 5 at the CASO Station. Tanya won a $600 CAO rental and Peter walked away with two Raptors tickets worth $191 each, courtesy of Yurek Pharmacy.
State of the Municipalities luncheon 2014
There’s still time to order tickets for the Chamber’s 4th annual "State of the Municipalities" luncheon on Wednesday February 19 with presentations by all 3 local Mayors at St. Anne's Centre in St. Thomas. To order, just contact the Chamber office by calling us at 519-631-1981. $30 per person + HST. Tickets for this event are offered by advance sale only and reserved seating is assigned with single orders or 4 tickets or more. Our event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday February 19. Doors open at 11:30 with lunch service starting at 11:45. Starting at 12 Noon, the Mayors each get up to 10 minutes for individual remarks, followed questions from the floor and the Chamber.
Wednesday February 5 Boston Pizza 860 Talbot Street, St. Thomas Co-Sponsors: Boston Pizza, ARC Financial Group & the National Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan
Bring your business cards to enter our door prize draws! Free admission to all personnel from any business or organization that is a Member of the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce
Southwold Mayor James McIntyre
2014 is a municipal election year and we're looking forward learning more about our local leaders' plans going forward. Please join us! This event is made possible thanks to sponsorship by Steelway Building Systems, the Elgin Business Resource Centre, and the Workforce Planning & Development Board.
Central Elgin Mayor Bill Walters
We salute their interest and support of this annual Chamber event!
Busy events schedule ahead The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce has a busy events calendar for the first half of the year. In addition to our regular, monthly Business After 5 networking events, we’re adding 7 other functions after our event with the local Mayors on February. Full details and registration information are posted in the Events column on the main page of the Chamber website at www.stthomaschamber.on.ca Here’s a snapshot look at what we’re doing: E-Commerce Lab #2 Tuesday February 25 Fanshawe College, St. Thomas
Business Beat Table of Contents Some optimism.......... Page 10 Nominate a business.. Page 11 Insure your love......... Page 12 Kids with robots......... Page 13 Rule of the play.......... Page 14 Events, events............ Page 15 Inspections coming.... Page 16
St. Thomas Mayor
E-Commerce Lab #3 Thursday February 27 Fanshawe College, St. Thomas Outlook 2014 Economic Forecast Luncheon Tuesday March 25 St. Anne’s Centre, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Keynote Speaker: BMO Chief Economist Sal Guatieri MP/MPP Luncheon Wednesday April 23 St. Anne’s Centre, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. MP Joe Preston & MPP Jeff Yurek will be our guests
Free Enterprise Awards Reception & Presentations Wednesday May 7 St. Anne’s Centre, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. 40th Annual Members Golf Day Thursday May 29 St. Thomas Golf & Country Club (full details on page 13) SwagFest Wednesday June 11 Western Fair District, London (our regional Chamber business showcase)
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 9
Viewpoint Events and News of Interest to our Members
One step at a time The economic outlook for the London/ St. Thomas region is cautiously optimistic, as it continues to experience slow growth and adjusts to considerable challenges in its manufacturing base, according to a new economic forecast released by the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce and the Credit Unions of Ontario. Local economic growth will remain slightly below the provincial average through 2014 and into 2015, held down by weak gains in consumer spending, personal income and residential investment as well as declining government investment and spending. Total employment in the region is well above its 2009 recession low, and is expected to grow modestly over the next two years, from 327,500 in 2013 to 333,100 in 2015. Most jobs will be created in health-social services, retailwholesale trade and various other service industries. Manufacturing employment is expected to hold at current levels. The unemployment rate is forecasted to decline to 7.6 percent in 2015, from 8.1 percent in 2013. Housing prices across the entire London region will continue to grow at a healthy rate and will rise to an average of $257,000 in 2015, up from $230,000 in 2011. Housing sales are expected to pick up again in 2014 after a 0.9 percent decline
in 2013. St. Thomas will continue to offer exceptionally good value in housing compared to other municipalities in the region, thanks to very competitive and aggressive pricing on land, taxes and construction. Private sector investment in nonresidential building construction, mostly stores and offices, is also expected to increase. “The economic picture for our region isn't perfect, but it is definitely showing improvement and promise over the long-term”, says Bob Hammersley, President & CEO of the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce. The London economic region covers Oxford, Elgin and Middlesex counties and is home to over 660,000 residents. The region’s economic base is relatively more concentrated in manufacturing and agriculture, its primary export industries, and has a fairly broad service industry base. Its principal centre is the London Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) which contains most of the region’s manufacturing base. Key Facts and Highlights in our review: • Housing prices across the entire London continue to grow at a healthy rate and will rise to an average of $257,000 in 2015, up from $230,000 in 2011. Housing sales are expected to pick up again in 2014 after a 0.9 percent decline in 2013. • Net migration to the London region is expected to rebound modestly after a dip in 2013. Over 5,000 people are expected to move to the region by 2015. • The unemployment rate in the region will fall gradually to 7.6 percent by 2015, still above the projected provincial average of 6.8 percent. • Those industries contributing most to economic growth through 2015 will be
manufacturing, professional services, financial services, and retail-wholesale trade. • Public sector investment continues to shrink in the short term, reversing the post-recession fiscal stimulus. No major investment projects are confirmed across the region in the near term, yet several potentials remain under active consideration and negotiation. The value and employment considerations of the acquisition announced in St. Thomas January 13 by Sle-co Plastics Inc. is unknown to date. General Motors Canada has announced that it will invest $250 million at its Ingersoll plant. The London Regional Economic Overview is one of 12 similar reports produced for the various regions of the province as part of a large project supported through the Chamber network by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and The Credit Unions of Ontario. The author of our report is Helmut Pastrick, Chief Economist for Central 1 Credit Union. Mr. Pastrick is the editor of the Economic Analysis of British Columbia and the Economic Analysis of Ontario publications. In addition, he provides economic analysis and forecast services to the credit union system. Prior to joining the Central 1 Credit Union in 1997, he spent many years with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in B.C. analyzing and forecasting the provincial housing market and economy. He is former president of the Association of Professional Economists of B.C., a member of the Canadian Association for Business Economics, and the B.C. Economic Forecast Council. This economic outlook was produced by Central 1 Credit Union. Central 1 is the central financial facility and trade association for the B.C. and Ontario credit union systems. Central 1 represents a consumer-oriented, full-service retail financial system that serves 3.2 million members and holds $91 billion in assets and is owned primarily by its member credit unions, 44 in B.C. and 96 in Ontario. To view the full report, and to see data tables that compare the London Region against all others, visit the Chamber’s website at www.stthomaschamber.on.ca
Business Beat Published by Metroland Media Group Ltd., and delivered to businesses in St. Thomas and Elgin Country For complete information on the St. Thomas and District Chamber of Commerce, reach us at: 115-300 South Edgeware Rd., St. Thomas, Ontario N5P 4L1 Telephone: 519-631-1981 Fax: 519-631-0466 E-Mail: email@example.com Website: www.stthomaschamber.on.ca President & CEO Accounting Coordinator Member Services
www.chambers.ca February, 2014
Bob Hammersley Susan Munday Jeff Sheridan
St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce 2014 Board of Directors Chair: Laura Woermke St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre Vice-Chair: Ross Fair Fanshawe College Treasurer: Mark Lassam CPA, CA Lassam & Co. Past Chair: Jason White Steelway Building Systems Director: Sean Dyke
St. Thomas Economic Development Corp. Director: Monty Fordham Fordham Brightling & Associates Lawyers Director: Brian Helmer Reith & Associates Insurance & Financial Director: Dan Kelly Dowler-Karn Fuels Ltd. Director: Jeff Kohler Presstran Industries Director: Phil Mauer Phil Mauer & Associates Inc. Director: Ginette Minor Alexelle Slipcovers & Décor Director: Rob Mise myFM 94.1 Director: Allan Weatherall Elgin Military Museum – Project Ojibwa
E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 10
Chamber News Events and News of Interest to our Members
Let’s celebrate excellence Calling for nominations The Free Enterprise Awards are the cornerstone of the Chamber’s work to celebrate success. Since the 1970s, we have welcomed nominations of businesses, organizations and individuals who deserved to be recognized for their excellence in business and community service. There are three award categories, and nominations are open now through March 28. The 2014 Free Enterprise Awards will be presented in an event at St. Anne’s Centre in St. Thomas on Wednesday May 7. Chair’s Awards This presentation reflects service and contributions, including volunteer activities, that have assisted the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce. Presented at the discretion of the Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors when events or circumstances reflect service or contributions of an extraordinary nature. Free Enterprise Award of Merit Recognition of those businesses and/or individuals whose recent or specific accomplishments are significant. There is no limit to the number of times that an individual or business might receive
a Merit Award. Entrepreneurial success is the primary focus of the Merit Awards with consideration of other desirables reflecting on community, civic and/or social betterment. No more than 3 winners may be named in any year. Free Enterprise Master Awards Our major award. This honour recognizes businesses and individuals making significant, allencompassing contributions within St. Thomas, Central Elgin and/or Southwold. The recipients are proven leaders, as evidenced by repeated success in endeavours that relate to entrepreneurship along with community spirit and social well-being. No more than 3 winners may be named in any year. Submit a Nomination? Success, innovation, leadership, community betterment and concern for social issues are all attributes of our award winners in every category. Choose from the 3 categories described above and tell us why your nominee should be selected. Our Awards & Recognition Committee, under the leadership of the Immediate Past Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, will review all submissions. Chamber staff may conduct additional research. Self-nominations are welcome. Individuals and businesses nominated must be active in serving the communities of the City of St. Thomas, Municipality of Central Elgin, and/or the Township of Southwold
The following points & questions may be helpful in writing a nomination: • Describe the nominee’s relationships with staff, clients, suppliers, etc. • Growth, changes or improvements that have enhanced performance? • Are there any innovation, trailblazing or risktaking initiatives and strategies that have been developed or undertaken? • Describe any situation where the nominee has created new jobs or successfully fought to sustain jobs in our market. • Describe successes and achievements in community service, work with civic or charitable/ non-profit agencies, or volunteer activities • Has the nominee utilized conservation and stewardship techniques, advanced technologies, or developed programs to save, protect or enhance or environment? • Name something that makes this nominee stand out above all others. • Describe the time, energy, resources dedicated to professional growth and continuous learning. • Details on measurement, practices and internal processes for customer service. • Coaching, mentoring, assistance to other businesses, individuals or organizations? • How has new technology helped? • Marketing successes and strategy? • Growth beyond local service to regional, national and/or international levels? 2014 Nominations close Friday March 28, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. For additional information, contact Bob Hammersley at the Chamber oﬃce at 519631-1981 Ext. 524, or send your nomination to us: St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce 115 – 300 South Edgeware Road St. Thomas, ON N5P 4L1 CALL: 519-631-1981 FAX: 519-631-0466 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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ELGIN THIS MONTH
Pro Text Events and News of Interest to our Members
Insure your love
by Darren Reith
save up for that special family vacation. We rush out of the office to make sure we’re home in time for dinner with our loved ones. Yet, if you died tomorrow and were no longer around to provide for your family, who would? Without your income and all the other things you do for your loved ones, would they be able to maintain their current lifestyle and keep future plans on track? Would the kids be able to go to college or university; continue with their sports; remain in their home? That’s where life insurance comes in. Preparing a romantic dinner. Planning a surprise weekend getaway. These expressions of love are sure to be appreciated. But why not consider giving your loved one a more enduring gift of love: life insurance – permanent financial security.
February – the month of love and romance. We celebrate our affection with cards and gifts on February 14, Valentine's Day. In fact, approximately 141 million Valentine's Day cards are exchanged annually, making it second only to Christmas as the most popular card-giving holiday. It is appropriate, then, that February is also "Insure Your Love Month," and the logic in this thinking is solid. An important, enduring and permanent way to celebrate your love is to purchase life insurance to provide for your loved ones when you are no longer here. What do love and life insurance have in common? More than you might realize. The motivation behind purchasing life insurance is love: We buy it because we love our family and want to protect them financially. Think of it as the ultimate act of enduring love. It's just that simple. We go to great lengths for our loved ones. We work hard to provide them with a life filled with happiness, comfort and opportunity. We re-arrange our schedules to never miss our kids’ sporting events. We put in extra time at work to
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Quick tips on buying Life Insurance: Virtually everyone should have life insurance. Only a few people don't need life insurance. Most people need it because they do not have the funds readily available to cover all debts and funeral expenses, they want to offset the loss of their income to their spouse and/or children, or simply because they want to leave additional money to extended family or a charity. Workplace life insurance is often not enough. Your workplace life insurance coverage may not protect you and your loved ones as much as you think. Review how much your employer-paid life in-
surance provides and calculate whether this is enough to keep your family comfortable in the absence of your income throughout their lives without you. The 'when' of life insurance: People often look to buy life insurance when they are planning on getting married, starting a family, buying a home, changing jobs, facing unemployment, starting up a business, or retiring. It is during these life event milestones when your life insurance needs are most likely to come to the forefront. If you are even thinking about life insurance then the answer is: Now! Meet face-to-face with a trusted life insurance advisor within our community. Many people apply for life insurance online or through the banks, and are applying for a general life plan that is not completely tailored to their needs. Life insurance advisors work with a variety of life insurance companies and it is important to use a broker who works with multiple carriers and not just one or two. Advisors work to find the plan that suits you and your family, bespoke to your needs, goals and lifestyle. When you receive your policy, review it carefully, including the application. Verify that there are no discrepancies in the policy. Be sure to ask any questions you may have and go through everything with your advisor. Advisors are there to help you and they have your best interest in mind. While the romance of February may have you swooning, your loved ones must mean more than a simply box of chocolates or arrangement of flowers. The best way to show your loved ones the true meaning of your affection and devotion, is by ensuring that they are cared for, even after you are gone. Take this time to sit down with your significant other to review your current plans and ensure that both of you are aware of your coverage, needs and goals for the future. It is important to look into your life insurance, investment program, funeral arrangements and your wills to ensure you both know the locations of your programs prior to the loss or sickness of one of you. These should be reviewed annually whether with your advisor This column appears monthly in Business Beat and has been prepared by Darren Reith, BA, RIBO, RFC, RCIS, a principal in Reith & Associates Insurance and Financial Services Limited, 462 Talbot Street, St. Thomas. Questions and comments are welcomed by the writer at 519-631-3862 or via e-mail: info@ reithandassociates.com
E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 12
Member News Events and News of Interest to our Members
40th Annual Members Golf Day! It’s one of – if not the – longest consecutively-run golf events in our area. The Chamber’s 40th annual Members Golf Day at St. Thomas Golf and Country Club will be held Thursday May 29. Early-bird registration is open now. Book a spot for $149 single or $575 for a foursome until April 30, or when we sell-out at 120 players. Forty years in the making, this anniversary edition of our popular event will be the best ever. Eighteen holes on the premium-quality STG&CC course, cart, buffet dinner, a Golf Pro driving clinic, the postgame social, prizes and a big silent auction ensure that the elements of fun and value blend perfectly.
40th annual Members Golf Day
Thursday May 29, 2014 St. Thomas Golf & CC 42325 Sparta Line Driving Range: 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Registration & Valet Club Service: 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Shotgun Start: 11:00 a.m. For details, questions or to reserve your spot call the Chamber office at 519-631-1981 or email Member Services Rep Jeff Sheridan: jeff@stthomaschamber. on.ca Jobs, jobs, jobs St. Thomas Mayor Heather Jackson is enthusiastic January 15 at the Chamber Business After 5 as she announces the move by Sle-Co, a plastics injection moulding company, from London to the former A. Schulman plant on South Edgeware Rd. in St. Thomas. The new plant may be employing as many as 200 people once the move is completed.
Renaissance in the making St. Joseph’s Catholic High School students took the Rookie Inspiration Award in regional FIRST Robotics competition in 2013. This year, they’re back, hoping to do even better with their Renaissance Robotics project. St. Joe’s students networking at the January Chamber Business After Five, in search of the three Ms “money, materials and mentorship” include (front left) Jenna Mitchell and Shelby Hayward with fellow engineering-oriented students and last year’s 4525 Rambot.
Rooting for Robotics St. Joseph’s Catholic High School student Jenna Mitchell inspires Chamber of Commerce members at the January Business After Five at the CASO Station. She encouraged business people to support the 4525 Rambot project at the school. St. Joe’s students will be competing in the FIRST (For Recognition and Inspiration of Science and Technology) robotics challenge at the University of Waterloo in March.
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is a provincial initiative for full time students aged 15-30 that intend to return to school. The Chamber sincerely thanks everyone who attended and supported our 2nd annual “St. Thomas Uncorked” wine & art appreciation event on Saturday January 25. Our second consecutive sell-out virtually guarantees a repeat on our 2015 calendar. If you liked the wine choices and would like your own list with names, LCBO catalogue numbers, etc., just call the Chamber and we’ll get one to you. As with any event, it’s our sponsors who made it possible. HUGE Chamber thanks to: TD Canada Trust P.J. Smith & Associates Appraisers and Property Tax Consultants Real Canadian Superstore 94.1 myFM Jennings Furniture & Design Photos by MG Alexelle Slipcovers & Decor February, 2014
For more information, contact:
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 13
Legal Business Events and News of Interest to our Members
Review of the play
Supreme Court is both simple and complicated. Section 4(2) of the Supreme Court Act states In professional football (and that Judges “shall be appointed by the Governor most other sports), certain plays in Council”. (This really means by the Governor are reviewable. I haven’t kept an General by Order in Council). Once appointed, accurate tally, but, it seems that, it’s nearly impossible to “unappoint” them. As for most often, after review, the dethe qualifications of appointees, ah, here is where cision of the official calling the Monty Fordham it gets a little murky. (And if it didn’t, we wouldn’t play stands. After all, the rules need lawyers now would we?) in most sports are pretty clear. The only question Section 5 states that “Any person may be apto answer is whether or not the players followed pointed ... who has been a judge of a superior them. Was his toe out of bounds? Did the ball court of a province or a barrister or advocate of at bounce before it was caught? Was that a fumble least 10 years standing at the bar of a province.” or an incomplete pass? However, the results of the Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? review can be very critical to the outcome of the Well, section 6 provides that “At game. least three of the judges shall be Historically, appointments to the Supreme appointed from among the judgCourt of Canada have not been often, if ever, re- es of the Court of Appeal or of viewed to determine if the rules were followed. the Superior Court of the ProvBut, on Wednesday, January 15, the Supreme ince of Quebec or from among Court heard arguments in a case unlike any it has the advocates of that province.” been called upon to decide. It has been asked to Take a moment to compare secdetermine whether the qualifition 5 and ...the case is cations of one of its members, section 6 and Mr. Justice Nadon, pass muster. the murkiness as important Since Justice Nadon was apbegins to emerge. as it is pointed and sworn in as a Justice Justice Nadon was called in the fall of last year, it’s hardly to the bar in the Provence of unique... an instant replay. Quebec many years ago. He The selection process for the eventually became a partner in one of the largest firms in Montreal and practised for some 20 years. He was appointed to the Federal Court in Ottawa, and was semi-retired from the appeals branch when he was called over to the Supreme Court. See the problem? For one, the Federal Court Practising in Association is neither a Superior nor Appeal court of the Province of Quebec. As well, it’s been a while since Justice Nadon was Wide Range of “an advocate of that province.” But does any Legal and Advisory Services by Monty Fordham
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of that matter? After all, Justice Nadon is from Quebec, and he practised law there. Apparently well enough to be appointed to the Federal Court. And another justice of the court was appointed (unchallenged) from the Federal Court. In reality, the Governor General does not make the appointment. The Prime Minister recommends all Supreme Court appointments to the Governor General. The appointee is then interviewed by an ad hoc committee of parliament. He/she is then sworn in as a Justice of the Supreme Court. Not so fast. It has been alleged that Justice Nadon did not meet the selection criteria of section 6 of the Supreme Court Act. As a result of a legal challenge filed initially by a lawyer from Toronto, and quickly followed by six other interested parties, including La Belle Province, the whole issue has been referred to the Supreme Court of Canada. Of course, Justice Nadon is not participating in the process, nor is another Justice not from Quebec, who was appointed from the Federal Court. It becomes apparent that the rules for appointments from Quebec are quite different from the rest of Canada. The case is as important as it is unique. It involves a number of constitutional issues, including the separation of powers in the three branches of government, the extent of the powers of the Prime Minister, and the extent of the powers of the Supreme Court to review itself. The final decision of the Court could take weeks or months. However, I don’t think it will. I predict that by the time you read this, the review of the matter will be complete and the serious business of the Court continued. Lawyer Monty Fordham prepares this monthly column for the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce and our Members. Monty is also a volunteer serving on the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Questions, comments and suggestions for future columns are welcomed by Monty at his office: Fordham & Brightling Associates – Lawyers, 4 Elgin Street, St. Thomas. Telephone 519-633-4000, FAX 519-633-1371 or e-mail: email@example.com
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ELGIN THIS MONTH
Chamber News Events and News of Interest to our Members
$22 billion in Canada alone! One of our biggest initiatives for Members through 2014 will see the Chamber focus on building and expanding e-commerce and online opportunities for our Members. Retail sales to on-line consumers hit more than $20 billion in Canada last year and will climb to nearly $40 billion within 5 years. And that’s just retail. The other dimensions of on-line business for purposes beyond sales such as training, service and awareness are mind-boggling. For example, it often surprises our Members, and even our Chamber staff and volunteers, at the quantity of traffic using the Chamber’s on-line business directory. It’s the most popular feature on our website and recorded over 291,000 specific searches last year for St. Thomas & District businesses, products and services. That’s an average of more than 1,160 searches every weekday with people looking to connect to the businesses registered as Members of the Chamber. Following the delivery of our E-Commerce Sales Solutions event January 30, and our free January 29 webinar for Members on the new CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation) that takes effect July 1, our February focus turns to the computer labs at Fanshawe College for two sessions led by local business professionals who will share their own real-time examples on real & local successes. Members are welcome to register for one or both of these events: Tuesday February 25 - Social Media Strategies for Small Business Success is a great teacher, so we've designed a full-day session using the computer labs at Fanshawe’s St. Thomas – Elgin Campus (120 Bill Martyn Parkway) to give our Members a chance to learn from the successes and experiences of local experts. Join the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce as our panel guides participants through the process of creating a social media site, drawing more traffic to your site, creating & sharing relevant content and defining the "time vs reward" ratio. Panel presentations by: Twitter - Dr. Danielle Marr, Chiropractor & owner, Dr. Marr Pain Relief Clinic Facebook - Andrew Buttigieg, Morning News Anchor/Reporter, myFM 94.1 LinkedIn - Ginette Minor, Owner, Alexelle Slipcovers & Decor Youtube - Bryan Bakker, Owner, BizBio TV Advance registration is required. Maximum 40 participants, to allow everyone hands-on access to individual computers in the lab. $25 per person (plus HST) with lunch included. To register call the Chamber office 519-631-1981 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thursday February 27 - Advanced Online Sales & Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business Event #3 in our series on E-Commerce TechFebruary, 2014
Our February workshops will be hands-on learning experiences using this lab at Fanshawe College on Bill Martyn Parkway. nology The St Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce presents a full day seminar designed to increase sales & create new customers in the online market place. Our speaker will guide Members through the process of integrating their social media profiles, website and ecommerce solutions to create the perfect marketing & buying experience. We will welcome expert presenter Tyler Logtenberg of ClarisTech, Google certified in advertising and website analytics, as our leader for the days informative agenda. Tyler will be covering topics such as: effective online Advertising & Marketing strategies, the formula for Social Media success, understanding and interpreting client behaviour, elements of a good website, how to get your business referred, and how to ensure repeat business in the online marketplace. Advance registration is required. Maximum 40 participants, to allow everyone hands-on access to individual com-
puters in the Fanshawe College computer lab. $25 per person (plus HST) with lunch included. To register call the Chamber office 519-6311981 or email email@example.com.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 is...
E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 15
Chamber News Events and News of Interest to our Members
Ministry of Labour to conduct warehouse safety blitz this month. Will you be ready? Raise your hand if you’re one of the many St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce Members that has a warehouse out back. No matter how small it may be, the fact it exists automatically puts you on a list for the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s warehouse inspection blitz this month. Inspectors will be looking for compliance with safety requirements in six areas common to warehouse operations: 1. lift trucks 2. cranes 3. conveyors 4. racking systems 5. loading docks 6. housekeeping, as it affects slips, trips and falls Why the time to get ready is now Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) has learned a lot from previous warehouse-related blitzes; for example, inspectors don’t want to wait around while you collect your documentation.
Also, if your documentation isn’t current and complete, inspectors are far more likely to look into corners and dig deeper. Start on the right foot by gathering and updating this documentation now, before ministry inspectors walk through your door: • Preventative maintenance records for the equipment listed above • Inspection reports to demonstrate that you’re inspecting and doing preventative maintenance on a regular basis What inspectors look for on loading docks and racking systems In February 2011, the ministry conducted an inspection blitz on loading docks, issuing many orders to employers who were falling short on • maintaining equipment, materials and protective devices; • regularly inspecting shipping and receiving areas; • identifying and controlling key hazards related
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to material handling activities, in both indoor and outdoor shipping and receiving areas; for example: o ensuring safe vehicle immobilization o securing procedures at loading docks o ensuring safe loading and unloading activities • providing sufficient information and instruction to workers on indoor and outdoor materialhandling activities. What inspectors look for on racking systems In November 2011, the ministry conducted an inspection blitz on racking systems, issuing many orders to employers who were falling short on • ensuring equipment, materials and protective devices are maintained in good condition; • ensuring materials are stored safely so workers are not endangered; • providing an engineer's report on load limits for structures that could collapse if overloaded. Five steps to building a sustainable warehouse health and safety system Think of these five steps as a starting place, and add to the list to reflect conditions and circumstances unique to your environment. 1. Conduct thorough inspections of essential equipment or components, make all necessary repairs or upgrades, and benchmark the results for future inspections. 2. Create and implement detailed inspection checklists. These invaluable tools bring everyone up to speed and highlight when safety pins are missing, or safety bars aren’t bolted to the floor. 3. Protect workers and prevent property damage by giving yourself enough time to do each inspection thoroughly. 4. Train supervisors, maintenance staff, workers, and joint health and safety committee members on hazardspecific training, in addition to certification training. 5. Involve workers or their representatives before making decisions that affect them; workers often know better than anyone else if you need a counterbalance lift truck or a reach truck, and can save you time and money.
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 16
RRSPs & Investments Twelve steps to a successful RRSP by Ellen Luft
when withdrawn. The investments that provide interest income are best in your plan and those that have growth should be outside your plan. This reduces the amount of tax payable since only 50% of capital gains are taxable outside an RRSP. 12. Don’t speculate with your RRSP. Speculating should take place in investments outside
your plan since you will pay less tax if you are right. If you are wrong your losses cannot be replaced within your RRSP plan and therefore your potential tax-free growth is lost as well. To create a successful and fruitful RRSP plan you should always consult an investment advisor who can recommend the best investments for your situation.
This article was prepared by Ellen Luft who is an Investment Advisor with Scotia Capital Inc. a HollisWealth Inc. Company. This is not an official publication of Scotia Capital Inc. The views (including any recommendations) expressed in this article are those of the author alone, and they have not been approved by, and are not necessarily those of, Scotia Capital Inc. MKT-5264A-C-FL JUL 2010
1. Begin your RRSP plan as soon as possible. Delaying your plan could cost you thousands of dollars. If you invest $1,000/year at age 25, with an annual return of 10%, at age 65 your retirement amount would be $486,852. If you start at age 30, you would retire with $298,127 and if you are just beginning at age 40, you would retire with $108,182. 2. Contribute early. Starting a year in advance is like making an extra contribution to your plan because you get an extra year’s compounding until retirement. Using the same scenario as above, a 40 year old would accumulate almost an extra $10,000 if he/she contributed at the beginning of each year, whereas a 25 year old would see a difference of over $44,000. 3. Contribute your maximum. This will maximize your retirement investment. If you cannot maximize, contribute what you can. 4. Choose investments that meet your needs, objectives and risk comfort. Most people choose growth mutual funds when they are younger and switch some funds to less fluctuating fixed income funds as they grow older. Your portfolio must be diversified but comfortable. 5. Don’t over-diversify. Diversity is necessary since markets can be volatile. But some people end up in investment vehicles that are dependent solely on market activity 6. Invest some funds outside Canada. This allows for the opportunity to receive potentially higher returns in some foreign investments. 7. Consolidate you RRSPs in a single plan. In a single plan there is only one fee, one statement and diversification is simplified. 8. Watch your portfolio performance. Monitoring your performance at least annually will help you attain your long-term goals. Adjustments may be necessary so see your advisor. 9. Consider a spousal plan if you are in a strong relationship. The spouse with the higher income can contribute to their partner’s plan. This allows the contributing spouse to receive a larger tax deduction, reducing the amount the tax paid out for the couple. 10. Avoid gimmicks. During RRSP season, watch for investments that appear too good to be true. These tend to be higher risk investments aimed to get your attention. 11. Think of your RRSP as part of your entire financial package. Your investments can grow in your RRSP untaxed, but are taxable
Saving for the Future Was the First Step.
Let Us Help You Make Those Savings Last. How much can I withdraw to do everything I’ve planned? How much spending is too much spending? Will all the years of saving be enough? If these are the questions you’re asking yourself these days, let’s schedule a time when we can sit down and answer them together. We’ll take a look at all your investments – regardless of where you hold them – to determine if your savings match your plans, or if we can adjust your plans to meet your savings. A lot went into getting you to this stage in your life. Let us help you make sure you get the most out of it.
Call today to schedule a personal financial review.
Call today to schedule a personal financial review. Kelly Ruddock Kelvin Saarloos Scott Carrie Ray Bosveld Paul Bode 584 Talbot St., 310 Wellington St., 534 Elm St., 300 S. Edgeware 287 Talbot St. W., St. Thomas Unit 5, St. Thomas St. Thomas Unit 2, St. Thomas Aylmer www.edwardjones.com 519-633-7824 Raymond 519-637-0305 519-631-4282 519-633-4334 519-773-8226 M Bosveld Financial Advisor .
300 South Edgeware Road Suite 2 St Thomas, ON N5P 4L1 519-633-4334
Member – Canadian Investor Protection Fund
Member - Canadian Investor Protection Fund
E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 17
RRSPs & Investments Step-by-step approach key to managing retirement income
by Ray Bosveld
There's no doubt that saving and investing during your career – particularly through a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) - is critical to setting yourself up for an enjoyable retirement. But it's important to understand that the story doesn't end there. You also need to know that your money will be there for you as you need it during retirement. To help you ensure that your retirement funds will last, here's a systematic, step-by-step approach you may want to follow. The first step is to make a list of all your assets and debts so you can determine how much you have. That total should include all your stocks, bonds, mutual funds GICs and annuities. These assets should all be consolidated in one place, if possible. Next, you'll need to determine your retirement income needs. Whether you stop working or work part time, you'll likely need from 70 to 90 per cent of your pre-retirement income to maintain your standard of living in retirement. But remember that because this is just a rule of thumb, it makes sense to list your specific expenses to es-
timate how much you'll need. To have that income, you'll probably need to use withdrawals from your registered retirement plans. These withdrawals will have to bridge the shortfall you have between your estimated annual retirement expenses and any outside sources of income you may have - such as pension plans, government benefits, non-registered savings and part-time employment income.
“figure out how much you can withdraw each year” Knowing that, you'll then have to figure out how much you can withdraw each year. This is a complex decision that must take into account a number of factors including your life expectancy, risk tolerance and asset allocation. Of course, your choice of withdrawal sum will have a significant impact on how long your money will last, so
PLAN THE RETIREMENT YOU WANT. Start with professional advice. A professional Advisor can help you understand today’s market and provide the tools and information you need to successfully plan the retirement you want.
HollisWealth Ellen Luft, CFP® Investment Advisor 519-631-4088
HollisWealth Advisory Services Inc. Karin Barrie, MBA, R.F.P., CLU, CFP® Financial Advisor 519-631-4724
make sure you consult with a financial advisor in determining an appropriate amount. Once you decide how much you can realistically withdraw, and from which accounts, you need to put your strategy into action. This involves selecting a portfolio objective specifically matched to your goals and the risks you are comfortable taking. You should also have a spending strategy to help ensure your money lasts as long as your retirement does. Finally, it's important to review your situation annually. Over time, your health or income needs may change so your strategy may need to be adjusted. In tackling each of these steps, make sure you speak to your financial advisor so you have the professional support you need to do it all prudently and comprehensively.
Raymond Bosveld is a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones.
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HollisWealth is a division of Scotia Capital Inc., a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. HollisWealth is a trade name of HollisWealth Advisory Services Inc. ™ Trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under license
Call us today to learn more about how we can help you reach your financial goals. February, 2014
Cash Flow Preparation Management Consulting • Small Business Services • Bookkeeping Services
E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 18
RRSPs & Investments RRSP contribution limits Courtesy of rbcroyalbank.com You may contribute to your RRSP until December 31 of the year in which you reach age 71. Certain limits and deadlines apply annually. The annual RRSP contribution for 2013 is $23,820. Your allowable RRSP contribution for the current year is the lower of: • 18% of your earned income from the previous year, or • The maximum annual contribution limit for the taxation year, or • The remaining limit after any com pany sponsored pension plan contributions. Earned income includes salary or wages, alimony received, and rental income, among other income sources, but does not include items such as investment income. You’ll find the exact amount you can contribute to your RRSP for the current year on the Notice of Assessment you receive from Canada Revenue Agency after they process your previous year’s tax return. Those with a company pension plan or deferred profit sharing plan have different guidelines. As a member of a company-sponsored registered pension plan or deferred profit sharing plan, the amount that you can contribute to your RRSP must be reduced by the total value
of the pension credits you earned for the year. This amount is referred to as a pension adjustment (PA) and it is reported on the T4 slip (Statement of Remuneration Paid) that you receive from your employer. Don’t forget the deadlines. To be eligible for an RRSP deduction in a specific taxation year, you can make contributions anytime during the year, or up to 60 days into the following year.
Spousal RRSP Courtesy of rbcroyalbank.com If you are married or in a common-law relationship, you may choose to direct some or all of your RRSP contribution to a spousal plan. You still get the tax deduction, but the plan is registered in your spouse’s name. Your contributions to a spousal plan do not affect your spouse’s contribution limit to his or her own plan. Why would you want to contribute to a spousal plan instead of your own? If you and your spouse earn different levels of income, a spousal RRSP may be an effective way to “split income” over the long term. To do so, the spouse who is expected to have a higher level of income at retirement should make the contribution to a spousal RRSP. This will allow you to build a nest egg that will provide each of you with a source of income in retirement and an overall reduction in taxes. February, 2014
E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 19
RRSPs & Investments Is there a financial plan in your New Years resolution?
by Stephanie Farrow
A new year often means a fresh look at things build you a financial plan what does that look in your life: resolutions, health, family, financial like? Well, there are as many different plans as matters. there are people, but here are some of the basics. Have you taken your financial matters into conFirst of all, you would participate in a survey sideration for 2014? Have you made a financial or fact-find with your advisor so they can ask as New Years resolution? It can be hard to make a many relevant questions as possible that may perspecific resolution if you don’t know where to tain to your situation. These questions will cover start. The financial world is filled with many op- your current income and occupation plans, your portunities and avenues. family income, dependents, household and living My advice would be to take it one step at a time. expenses, any assets or investments, pensions and Why not start with a financial plan for begin- benefits from your employer, liabilities you need ners? Financial plans can range from simple to to pay off and your time frames for these, etc. complex and don’t let the complexities scare you. They will ask you about what your goals are for You can always start simple and add retirement, children’s educasome complexities as you are ready for tion, and saving for a home, them. just to name a few. A simple first step is to contact a fi- “first of all, you would You will complete a profile nancial planner to discuss the creation participate in a survey” to help your advisor identify of a financial plan. As the old saying your risk tolerance and the goes, “People don’t usually plan to type of investment style that fail, they failed to plan.” It seems financial plans would best suit you. are often one of those things we’re going to ‘get Once all of this information is collected, the around to one of these days.’ advisor will enter all of your information into a If you decide to seek a financial professional to financial planning software, and apply variables
consistent with your wishes and goals. These software programs can calculate many things as well as help identify gaps and opportunities. Financial planners will apply their knowledge and expertise to these outputs and be able to create a simplified plan to get started with. You can start with the basics and build on it over the years and add complexities as they are needed. Financial plans aren’t just for the wealthy. Everyone can benefit from a planning approach to suit their needs. By getting a financial plan started, at whatever stage you are at, you can have some peace of mind you are taking steps in the right direction. A plan is fundamental. After all, how can you figure out where you are, if you don’t know where you are going? Stephanie Farrow, B.A., C.F.P., is a Certified Financial Planner and co-owner of Farrow Financial Services Inc., in Belmont
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 20
RRSPs & Investments Interactive listening What to do and what to avoid
by Neil Ambrose
Have you ever been talking to someone who ap• Let the person say everything she wants without side interruptions and distractions pears to be hanging on every word you say, but you • Make the other person feel comfortable by maininterrupting (you will get your chance to speak) know they are a million miles away? taining eye contact and be aware of your body lanIt is important that we know we have been heard by Or how about the boss who is sorting her mail or guage (sit up and be attentive) others and they have been heard by us and interaclooking out the window while you are trying to tell • Ask the other person to clarify or add to her com- tive listening is a great technique to use in finding her something? Kids texting while you are talking other’s interests and hopefully finding a resolution to ments; don’t make assumptions to them? • Ask specific questions related to what others say, the problem. Or my favourite – the person who is planning what ensuring they know you have been listening We hear but we don’t always listen. he is going to say next while you are still speaking? I • Summarize what the other person has said to conlike to call this “listening with your answer running!” firm you have been listening (it doesn’t mean you These, and many more, are examples of bad listenagree with him, but he will know you understand Neal Ambrose is a Mediator ing habits I am sure we have all used from time to his position) with Elgin Counselling and time, but can be very detrimental when you involved • Recognize the other person’s feelings if the discusMediation Centre. in a negotiation or mediation. The person may hear sion gets emotional what you are saying, but are not listening. Hearing and listening are not the same thing. My four-year-old grandson may have said it best when he told his mother that his little sister was not “listening to his words.” It is easy to hear but it can be very difficult at times to listen. Your Partner in Investment Excellence Whether you are in a mediation, a neBacked by the strength and stability of gotiation or simply having a discussion at home, it is important to understand some Royal Bank of Canada of the reasons why listening may be difficult and how you can recognize them and Award-Winning Portfolio Comprehensive Lineup, Including fix them. Managers RBC Funds, PH&N Funds and Distractions – have you ever been at a party where there are ten conversations BlueBay Funds An industry-leading 10 portfolio going on at the same time, and it is very managers named to Brendan Wood Canadian Fixed Income Chris Davies, PFP difficult to hear the person you are talking International TopGun Investment Financial Planner to? Or you are trying to have a serious disGlobal and High Yield cussion at home while you are watching Minds list for Canadian equity Fixed Income Royal Mutual Funds Inc. Jeopardy? You need to clear the distracmanagers in 2012 1099 Talbot St E Balanced Monthly Income tions and eliminate any interruptions so St Thomas, ON N5P1G4 Investment Executive Fund Manager that you can concentrate on listening to Equity Monthly Income Tel.: 519-473-9974 the other person. of the Year: portfolio managers Chris Low Volatility Equity firstname.lastname@example.org Assumptions – people make assumpBeer in 2010 and Hanif Mamdani tions about others and can “tune them Canadian and U.S. Equity in 2011 out” and miss important information. Global and Sector Equity Ever had someone finish your sentence? It Award-Winning Fund Families can be very frustrating and counter-proPortfolio Solutions ductive. Be open and listen to everything 2012 Morningstar® Analysts’ Choice Corporate Class others have to say. Fund Company of the Year The listener is formulating a response (RBC GAM) Low MERs and Tax-Efficient while the other is talking – listening with Strategies their answer running! Although difficult 2012 Morningstar Fixed Income to do, try very hard to listen to every91% of our fund MERs are below Manager of the Year (PH&N) thing the other person has to say before their category median1 responding. Lipper’s Best Bond Fund Family for The listener is bored – have you ever the past seven years2 Series T and Corporate Class been listening to a speaker who has gone tax-efficient solutions available on Lipper’s Best Overall Fund Group in on too long and you find yourself thinkleading funds six of the past seven years3 ing about anything but what the speaker is talking about? Try to keep your statements brief and concise, avoid repeating 1. MERs are based on RBC Funds Series A and PH&N Funds Series C and median is based on yourself, and be sincere. Canadian Investment Funds Standards Committee categories and Morningstar Canada data as of March 31, 2013 In any negotiation or mediation, inter2. PH&N Funds 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 RBC Funds 2009 active listening is vital to each side un3. PH&N Funds 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 RBC Funds 2007, 2008 derstanding the interests and needs of the other party. Both sides must be able to express their interests and have the ability to understand the interests of the other party. Here are some helpful hints to ensure you are listening to the other person: • Find a quiet place to meet, free of out-
Why RBC Global Asset Management?
E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 21
RRSPs & Investments
Advisor provides expertise, experience and excellent customer service As well as Brian R. Wilson Insurance Agencies Inc., Brian owns Tax Free Cash Inc. This company’s goal is to offer people the secure advantages of investing in life insurance products as well as the services of life insurance companies. Brian works Brian R. Wilson has been a trusted with Guaranteed Investment Funds, and caring financial advisor for nearly giving the client the ability to lock 30 years. Having started out his career in investment gains, the potential in 1984, Brian opened up his own agency in 1988 in St Thomas and has been personally serving his clients ever since. The world is in constant change and life can throw a few curve balls along the way. It is important to have a person on your side with the knowledge to help you through each challenge.
Brian puts his clients first, making personal house calls to homes and businesses. He shops the markets to find the best products and services for his clients based on each individual’s needs. “I have a natural ability to assess my client’s needs on a holistic basis,” Brian says. “I work with what clients are interested in, but I also help them with their entire financial picture.” Brian offers his expertise with retirement planning, RRSPs, RRIFs and annuities, TFSAs, RESPs, permanent and term life insurance, critical illness and disability protection, group insurance, health and dental plans, and long term care insurance. The majority of Brian’s client base resides in St Thomas, but he works with people from Windsor to Toronto and everywhere in-between. He has a very loyal client base, a large number who have been with him from the start, but he is always interested in helping new clientele as well. “I want people to know they are getting a very knowledgeable advisor,” Brian says. “I have a lot of experience.” Brian is a 25-year member of The Million Dollar Round Table, a designation earned by only the top 3-5 % of the world’s financial advisors. Members must be very successful in the industry to qualify. The Million Dollar Round Table designation is proof not only of his abilities, but also his commitment to his clients and their loyalty.
519-473-9683 February, 2014
“When you become my client, you know who you are dealing with … me,” Brian says. “I really care about my clients. I don’t believe there is another profession on the planet that helps as many people Brian promises his clients a trusted and provides as much financial advisor who is there whenever he security for their families and is needed, “through the thick and businesses as the business in which I am part of.” thin of life.” to transfer proceeds directly to beneficiaries at death and avoid costly time delays and expenses associated with probate and trustee fees that may arise at death.
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You have worked hard to save your money. Now let me work to protect it and ensure your investments grow. RRSPs RRIFs PENSION FUNDS TFSAs (Tax Free Savings Accounts) GICs GUARANTEED INVESTMENT FUNDS ESTATE PLANNING
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Serving St. Thomas, London & Area since 1984
E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 22
Business & Community JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT
Local Junior Achievement bursting with energy Thirty-one teens are operating two companies by Terry Carroll
Thirty-one teenagers, working with six adult mentors have formed two companies this season in the Junior Achievement (JA) program in St. Thomas. One is called Colourful Creations, and the directors are producing and selling uniquely painted vases. On the production side, they begin with elegantly shaped clear vases, apply elastic bands, and apply up to three coats of enamel spray paint. In the other company, Wacky Wear, teens are manufacturing and selling Arctic fleece scarves in what might be best called funky, dragon-tail styles and colours, the type often seen at sporting events. Junior Achievement literature points out that “all decisions affecting the operation of the company are made by the students. As a result, the participants in the JA program have an opportunity to fail.” Of course, the adult mentors do their best to make sure this doesn’t happen. This year, that team consists of Gene Ryan, Barry Fitzgerald, Scott Patterson, Tara McCaulley, Brandon deVries and Dan Kelly. Participants in the program are at the high school level. They meet Monday nights at Elgin Business Resource Centre in St. Thomas from October until April. Directors put in $10 to purchase shares in the company, they work on the product and are paid 50 cents an hour. The management team is made up of a president and vice presidents of areas such as production, sales, marketing, finance and so on. Management team members are paid two dollars for their Monday evening work. Generally speaking, participants receive 10 percent commission on their own sales. Jeff Kelly from St. Joseph’s Catholic High School is the president of Colourful Creations, and C J Liddy, also from St. Joseph’s, is the vice president of sales. C J says he’s “developed a sales pitch for directors, keeps track of sales, sets sales goals and makes sure people who sell do up reports.” Most of the marketing efforts have been through social media like Instagram and Facebook, flyers and word of mouth. As “the boss,” president Jeff re-
Some of the JA Wacky Wear company: Branden Miller, Tara McCaulley (mentor), Spencer Ray and Bryce Gardner.
Members of the Colourful Creations company: Jeff Kelly, Barry Fitzgerald (mentor), C J Liddy and Casey Murphy.
ports that he’s already had to readjust the breakeven point for the company. As Wacky Wear president, Spencer Ray from East Elgin Secondary School says the sports scarves are made from material cut into 9” X 60” strips, with two pieces sewn together, then fringed and “tied with our signature knots.” She and her team learned early the absolute importance of get-
ting the measurements right. Either company may be contacted for orders through their Facebook pages or through students involved in this year’s Junior Achievement. Business owners or managers who want to mentor or help promote Junior Achievement through the schools or by calling Junior Achievement 519439-0854.
Congratulations to Junior Achievement on another successful year!
We salute Junior Achievement for helping to create tomorrow’s leaders.
Excellence isn’t a skill... it’s an attitude
Mayor Heather Jackson and City Council
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(226) 378-8983 email@example.com 545 Talbot St., St. Thomas February, 2014
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Dining & Entertainment FOOD & WINE
My restaurant wine wish list by Jamie Quai
Around the holidays, several of my favourite wine writers publish their annual lists. These lists would include: wines that stood out, up and coming trends, and predictions for the following year. One writer in particular penned a tremendous piece on what he felt was lacking on fine dining wine and beer lists. I agreed with most of his points but felt that his perspective wasn’t entirely transferrable to what we experience here. (He lived in New York City, where the wine and food selection is a little more diverse). But the core of his wish – to see more interesting things on a restaurants’ wine and beer selection, has inspired me to devote this month’s article to the same topic. I want to preface, of course, that I am not in the restaurant business and don’t fully appreciate the economic drivers that lead to the selection (or lack thereof ); they know their clients and food better than I do. This article is my personal wish list of things that I would love to see at my favourite fine food establishments. Make your own if you feel inspired (and drop it in a comment box at your favourite restaurant). First up is wine in kegs. This may be a little too bold to start off my wish list but hear me out. The markup on wine is astronomical. And it may surprise you to learn on a wine priced under ten dollars a bottle at the LCBO, the packaging likely costs more to produce than what is in it. Additionally, the carbon footprint of a glass bottle is also pretty big relative to the wine itself. Enter wine in kegs. The technology, after a few false starts, is pretty sound. The wine comes out fresh, no foam, and at a fraction of the cost of the same pour from a bottle. Kegs are around, to some extent, in the generic franchise restaurants, but they need to become more widely used in finer dining. Quality wine producers are recognizing that they can be greener by packaging in kegs. There is very little reason why a restaurants house blend shouldn’t be in keg. Wine on tap – yes please! Kegs also lend themselves to the second item on
my wish list: small tasting flights. The craft brewers have really taken off with this one. Essentially, one orders a flight of wines and is presented with 3-4 glasses each with a few ounces of different wines and the whole selection amounts to a standard wine pour. This one is a win-win for everyone involved. The established wine brand gets to show off its range, a new wine brand can be compared to a benchmark, the restaurateur gets to showcase his or her selections, and the consumer gets a variety of experience without having to commit to several glasses. Restaurateurs can use this avenue to test new wines. It also can facilitate a wine of the month, or be tailored to the food selection. The last item on my wish list is really two things that fall under one umbrella: better selection that incorporates true diversity of producers and at least one ‘adventurous’ wine. I live for wine with food, I accept the markups, but if I’m at a restaurant with a poor selection – I unequivocally pass. Water makes a better pairing than poor wine selection. Better selection can be as simple as buying from multiple companies. Quite a few franchises buy their whole line from one salesperson, whose company represents global product lines. We see this with beer, we see this with pop, but wine can still be saved from monopolies. Lastly, nothing makes me happier than finding a gem on a wine list: a producer I don’t recognize, a wine style that rarely makes the list or an interesting wine that no one else is carrying – something adventurous. I wish there were more gems on wine lists. Even one adventurous wine selection, for me, is usually the difference between the average and the great experience.
“first up is wine in kegs”
Jamie Quai is head winemaker at Quai du Vin Estate Winery in Elgin County
JEFF YUREK, MPP
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Oh February! Chasing away the winter blues
Healthy Living SELF DISCOVERY
by Anouschka Van den Bosch
I can feel it, it is around the corner, and it is coming. I cannot hide from it, cannot run away from it and it is certainly not running away from me. It happens every year, sometimes worse than others, those dreaded February blues. I am okay during most of our Canadian winters. I can handle the cold, the snow and actually love those sunshiny days with clear blue skies and crisp snow. For some reason February just never does it for me. Over the years, I have learned to accept that February is what it is and I can be miserable until Easter, or I can do what I need to do to make it more bearable. I now declare February Sundays my pyjama days. I decided if we are meant to be hibernating in winter so be it, and I create my own little hibernation cave with a book, yummy tea, snacks and a comfy blanket. This little retreat allows me to do what my body naturally wants to do, so why fight it? It is not difficult to see how some of us suffer from the February blues. Have you noticed how we dress when we go to the office? Let’s make it as dark as possible. Do not go with that fun yellow top, please! And we must eat at our desk, can brighten up my desk and make me feel like in our cubicle where there are no windows. And spring might be around the corner. How about then we leave work in the dark and drive back to dress down Friday becomes a fun Hawaii day work in the morning, in the dark. I say let’s try where everyone can wear happy spring /summer something different. Waiting until it is light to coloured attire (keeping within the dress code of course) and have a barbeque go to work would be awesome, lunch? Yes, this may mean barbut not too many companies bequing in the snow, and that would go for that. How about will just be part of the fun. Win“let’s try wearing your favourite colour besides black to work? And, yes, something different” ter is as Canadian as hockey and Tim Horton’s coffee. We love to the men can brighten it up too – talk about it, complain about it try a brighter tie! Have lunch in the lunchroom, or find a place in your building and, yes, even brag about it. But it is part of our where there is natural light. Obviously if that lives. We can run away to the south, and winter is the boss’s office, you might want to ask for is still here when we come back as we walk off permission first. Definitely make an effort to eat the plane in our flip-flops. There are many resources out there to help you lunch away from your desk. I love bringing flowers to work; one or two colourful gerbera daisies through the winter blues – including lists a mile
long of dos and don’ts, and at the end of the day you choose what works for you. If however your winter blues turn into a depression, it would be wise to call a professional. As I finish up this article the wind is blowing the snow around the house, and Environment Canada is calling for a wind chill of –30C tonight. I am grateful for my packed suitcase sitting in my bedroom with flipflops and my bathing suit ready for some serious sunshine and swims in the ocean. Yes, I am running way, and that is how I chase away my winter blues. Summer will be here soon enough and then we can talk about how hot we are. Anouschka Van den Bosch is a Human Resources Professional and Certified Life and Career Coach.
Joe Preston, M.P. ELGIN-MIDDLESEX-LONDON
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Beloved interiors in 2014
by Renée Carpenter
Trends and colours change annually, providing both temporary and long term modifications in the world of fashion and interior. 2014 boldly leads with its vivid Radiant Orchid colour of the year. The options for its use are endless as they are portrayed in magazines and storefronts. In reality, any trend can be customized to fit your own personal style. The theme is to make it yours! Global prints in the form of quilts, throws, toss pillows, rugs, all bring international flair into the home. Look for items that pick up your colour scheme. In the world of rugs, dhurries are huge! Rugs in general are huge! Dhurries are a concept imported from India: flat, woven floor coverings often without the backing typical of an area rug and offered in an array of colours. They work well alone or layered over larger rugs. Try pairing one with a jute or solid colour area rug. Brass! It’s going to be a golden year in 2014, but not the dated shiny polished brass from the 90s! The difference is that the brass tends to have a striated appearance or antiqued. You will see it in curtain rods, lamps, chandeliers, kitchen and bath faucets, metal tables, or on any metal surface. You will also find wood and brass mixed together as they nicely complement each other with wood grains and striated brass. Yellow seems to be the new orange for warmth this year. Remember, your home is about using
colours you love, not what’s trendy and hot. Purple has hung back in recent years but made its way to the top now so expect to see it everywhere and in various shades. If this is a colour you wish to add to a room, repeat it at least three times so it flows seamlessly into your room. Try using it in a set of toss pillows, a piece of art, or a few accessories. Purple goes with any colour! Texture is a vital décor element no matter the era, style or look you wish to emulate. And, animal hide steps up as the hot textural counterpoint to brass. Hides are gorgeous in rugs, pillows, ottomans, accent chairs, headboards, etc. Chunky knits still reign this year as a trendy way to bring essential texture to a space. Large cable knits are used in throws for sofas, bedding, as stacking floor pillows/seats, toss cushions or wherever else it can be worked in. Most commonly is found in a neutral tone so the texture can speak more loudly. Nailhead still rules – and no longer just for up-
holstery but also is beginning to appear on accessories and accent tables, as well. It’s an ideal trim to embrace for larger investment pieces, such as upholstered headboards, chairs and sofas, because its timeless. The good thing is even though it is a prominent feature now, its use won’t leave you stranded with something that looks dated later. The retro ikat pattern is not new, but it is still going strong. It works well in a variety of spaces and meshes with almost any style. Ikat can be found in various colourways ranging from simple white and blue to a rainbow of multiple tones. Rope is also nothing new to the fashion world, yet its still a contender in home décor trends. Also, whether in a simple plume silhouette or more actual vibrant, colourful motif, feathers continue to soar. Obviously just a few 2014 trend pointers to get you inspired and make it yours! Renée Carpenter owns Jennings Furniture & Design & Stage It With Jennings in St. Thomas.
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$17,000 grants are available to start your business! You must be EI eligible or a recent recipient of EI benefits.
Elgin Business Resource Centre provides business loans up to $250,000 and we can also meet those small business needs with loans for $5000 or less.
The Self-Employment Benefit (SEB) program provides funds to qualified individuals while they start their own businesses! For more details on how to access this opportunity call Kevin Jackson at:
We specialize in loans for women, youth and new business start-ups.
519-633-7597 ext 337 Info Sessions - Feb 4 and Mar 4 @ 9 am 300 South Edgeware Rd New SEB Business Start-ups for Elgin include:
• Tamarra Previl - Monster Maid • Robert Taylor - Taylor Superior Painting & Decorating • Kevin Quick - Quick’s Plumbing
Call Glenn for information on our loans programs:
519-633-7597 ext 333
E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 26
Business & Community Our Heritage
Discover Elgin County’s rich and exciting history
by Katherine Thompson
Elgin County offers kilometres of stunning shoreline, picturesque towns and villages, talented artists, and quality dining options featuring fresh produce and local wine. From shopping to fishing to peaceful hiking trails, Elgin has something for everyone including more than enough to keep heritage enthusiasts well entertained. Learn about the area’s first aboriginal inhabitants, be transported back to the early settlement days of Colonel Thomas
Talbot or relive a time when trains travelled across the countryside bringing goods and passengers to growing towns and villages. The Attawandaron also known as the Neutral Nation established villages and grew crops in this area of southwestern Ontario until the mid 17th century. In 1803, Colonel Thomas Talbot arrived on the fertile shores of Elgin County. Over the next 30 years, in his role as official land agent, he oversaw the
settlement of 3,000 residents in the area stretching from Woodstock to Windsor. Early settlers to the area fulfilled conditions such as building roads and clearing land. During the War of 1812, American raiders plagued the settlement, burning mills and stealing horses, clothing, food and any possessions they could carry. Colonel Thomas Talbot was a target for capture but was never caught. After the war, more settlers arrived: Highland
Scots, Irish and Quakers from Pennsylvania. Towns appeared and ports developed along Lake Erie’s shores. Railway arrived in the 1850s. Over the next 50 years five railway lines were established through St. Thomas and Elgin. Processing plants such as the Carnation Milk Company and the Canadian Canners Limited in Aylmer as well as cheese factories and fisheries made food processing a key industry. Sandy soils in the County’s east were
ideal for tobacco production and the Imperial Leaf Tobacco Company opened a facility in Aylmer in the 1940s. Elgin County’s heritage is a rich tapestry made up of thousands of unique stories. Today these stories are brought to life in our museums, archives, historic buildings, and preserved through the efforts of curators, historians, re-enactors and hundreds of volunteers. Elgin County’s storied past can be found in the historic village of Sparta, at the Southwold Earthworks near Iona and during its many annual
heritage events including Doors Open each autumn. For more information about Heritage in Elgin County visit elgintourist.com/heritage to download a virtual copy of the Elgin County Heritage Guide. Katherine Thompson is Marketing & Communications Coordinator with The County of Elgin
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 27
Healthy Living Everyday Health
The sitting disease
by Dr. Greg Johnston B.H.K., B.Ed., D.C.
Hopefully the title of this article surprised you and caught your attention. Few people might think that sitting could actually cause disease but sitting is a plague on our society. I recently read an article in Macleanâ€™s magazine that discussed how sitting and being sedentary are major contributors to many health concerns including obesity, hypertension, diabetes and even death. As alarming as the information about how sitting contributes to these very serious health concerns is, there is a glaring omission in the article. Along with the health concerns previously stated, the deleterious effects that sitting has on spinal health need to be emphasized as well. As a society we spend more time sitting than perhaps we ever have. The Macleanâ€™s article states that over the years we have instituted more and more sitting into our lives. In 1970, two in 10 worked at jobs that required sitting at a desk while three in 10 were in high activity jobs. By 2000, more than four in 10 were in desk jobs and we were also spending longer hours at the office. The reality is that the human body is built for movement and not for sitting still. It takes a surprisingly short period of time for real physiological changes to start taking place with periods of inactivity. One study found that, just 24 hours after being completely sedentary, measureable changes in gene expression that could lead to muscle wasting could be found. The progression toward sitting in our society is an interesting anthropological fact directly linked to the development of chairs dating back thousands of years. Certainly our ancestors did not spend much time sitting, and if they did, it definitely was not in a chair. One need only watch two-year-olds play, and see them squat down in a deep, bottomed-out position and continue to stay that way for an extended period of time, to know that we all had the ability to do that at one time. Looking globally, it can be seen that certain populations continue to have the ability to squat down in that same position and some even work in that position. In my experi-
ence, if one asks the average person in our North American society to squat, they seem to loose all balance and coordination at precisely the point where their buttocks would normally be landing squarely in the seat pan of their chair. With regard to spinal and back health directly, there is no doubt that sitting for extended periods of time has tremendous negative impact. Professions that require sitting are notorious for having disproportionate numbers of people with chronic conditions such as degenerative disc disease and facet joint arthrosis. In fact, studies show that those who have
sitting is a plague on our society
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is to simply be aware of the seriousness of the situation. Once that is established, it is then easier to be motivated to make changes to help lessen the potential negative effects. Obviously, the first thing is to try to reduce the amount of prolonged periods of sitting. Be sure to try to take short frequent breaks. Try to get up a move around when possible; on breaks and at lunch go for a short walk. There are also a myriad of simple exercises that can be employed to stretch and work the kinks out that are produced from sitting. Office furniture manufacturers are now beginning to produce more and more standing and adjustable work stations. Innovations such as exercise ball chairs and kneeling chairs can also help. Finally, be conscious of your spine and back. Take steps to exercise, strengthen and stretch your back and core to help lessen the negative effects of all that sitting. Keep in mind that health professionals like chiropractors and physiotherapist specialize in helping people develop programs to help keep their spines strong and healthy. Consider consulting with someone that can help.
jobs that require prolonged periods of sitting have as many or perhaps even more back problems then their counterparts that are in jobs that may require heavy lifting. So what can be done to help? As with many problems, the first thing
Dr. Greg Johnston is a Chiropractor and partner in Family Health Options Treatment & Resources Centre in St.Thomas E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 28
Lifestyle That’s Life
Hormones, husband and a heart-shaped cake A Valentine’s Day to remember
by Elizabeth VanHooren
tempted to make another batch of icing. Through tears of frustration, I thought a second coat might work. That’s when my husband entered the room, all ready for the party, wanting to know when I would be ready to go. I remember saying something like, “This was supposed to be my birthday party,” and “Why exactly am I making my cake?” All the time waving around a spatula dripping with hot pink icing for emphasis. “You better get to town and fix this mess” I cried. My husband slowly withdrew from the kitchen. Backing up slowly as if he was carefully retreating from a viral cat. By the time he returned with, not one, but two, store-bought cakes, my surge of hormones had sub-
sided. We ended up taking my husband’s cakes and my home-made cake, now pieced together with toothpicks and a very thick coating of frosting, to the party. According to my niece it was the “best birthday party ever” not because her poor pregnant aunt had slaved away trying to perfect a home-made, heartshaped cake, but because her uncle – my loving husband – made the best cake she ever tasted.
I remember my husband backing away from me slowly, as if there were a silent alarm going off in his head: “Danger. Retreat. Step away from the hormonal pregnant lady.” I think most women, can recount at least one time when the hormones raging through their bodies have taken over their reason and self-control. For instance, when my sister was nine months pregnant, all she wanted was her favourite meal Elizabeth VanHooren is from a fast food joint and a large Root Beer. Her General Manager faithful and attentive husband drove across town to of Kettle Creek pick up her order. At home, when she opened the Conservation Authority order to find her favourite meal and a large Diet Coke, she pushed past her bewildered husband, stomped out of the house and drove back across town. In a cool, calm and collected manner, she informed an equally bewildered 17-year-old attendant how he had ruined, RUINED, her evening with his lack of attention to detail. She left with an extra-large root beer. No charge. opening February 2014 I’m reminded of my irrational hormonal flux every Valentine’s Day. at 1230 talbot street, When I was eight months’ pregnant, my husband informed me that st. thomas he had arranged with my sister to hold my birthday celebration jointly with my niece. Our birthdays are a week apart, before and after FebruElgin St. Thomas Public Health provides services to area residents, ary 14. My sister would host the professionals and businesses throughout Elgin County. Some of event and look after the meal. All my husband had to do was look afthese services include: ter the heart-shaped cake requested by my niece. The day before the event and a • Home visits for parents by • Vaccination clinics week after Valentine’s Day I asked public health nurses and my husband if he had ordered the • Surveillance in infectious cake. “I’ll just pick one up at the parent resource workers diseases store,” he answered all nonchalant. • Inspections, investigations and He managed a sheepish smile • Partnerships to promote and when I informed him that you can’t consultations to protect your support healthy communities just “pick-up” a heart-shaped Valenhealth tine’s Day cake a week after Valen• Skill building and education tine’s Day. • Clinical services ranging from In order not to ruin my niece’s sessions birthday I “googled” instructions on dental services to how to bake a heart shaped cake. It sexual health required two round cakes, which I set out to baking the night prior to the birthday party. The morning of the party, I dragged my rather large and round self out of bed and began cutting and piecing the cake together as per the instructions. It actually looked like a heart until I started to apply the icing. Despite adding almost a bottle of red food colouring, the icing still wasn’t red. It was pinkish and worse 519-631-9900 it was thin. So instead of sticking to www.elginhealth.on.ca the cake and holding it all together it ran down the sides like a glaze. Too late to bake another cake. I at-
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 29
Lifestyle Time On My Hands
From the sublime to the ridiculously cold Revealed: The many pleasures of sleeping in the snow
by Duncan Watterworth
It was one of those sublime moments. Twentyfive years later, the memory still warms my soul. It was February, and I was alone in the dark, in the bush somewhere north of Lake Superior. I was on an Outward Bound winter camping course, traversing the backcountry on skis and dog sleds with eight other clients and two guides. Per O.B. tradition, I was at the start of my two-night “solo experience,” and I had set up my tarp, collected firewood, and built a wind-sheltered campsite. I had everything I needed to be comfy and warm. All my chores were done. As I sat by my fire, it struck me how rare it was to have absolutely nothing to do. I felt some sort of freedom and lightness. With nothing to do, I could only be. As I stared into the flames and listened to the wind in the treetops, I was overtaken by a sense of utter contentment and peace. For an evening, the world was perfect. I’ve been on a handful of winter camping adventures with friends since then. It’s not always sublime, but there are always pleasures. There is a sense of satisfaction in knowing how to survive comfortably in the winter. Being warm and cozy in that environment feels especially sweet. A special bond with friends grows around the fire, backs turned to the cold. It is a time to eat hearty, and sleep long. On skis or snowshoes, we tow sleds, and pick a campsite near a lake, but protected from the wind. Tent platforms are stomped down and left to harden, and a fire pit is dug down to the earth, creating a snowy bench around it. Before bedtime, we fill nalgene bottles with fire-warmed water and shove them deep in our sleeping bags, warming our beds, and providing drinking water in the morning. Before slipping into the bags, we may do a few jumping jacks or arm swings to get heated
up, and eat some fat to fuel a long, slow burn in the digestive furnace. During the day, we explore a natural wonderland – sparkling, clean and renewed with each snowfall. We look for animal tracks. From the lake, we admire frozen sunsets, and watch the sky darken behind silhouettes of pine. And then the stars – so intense in the crisp, dry air. As metabolic creatures in a frozen world, we become attuned to our inner furnaces, and the basic biological equilibriums that keep us alive. We monitor food and water intake, body temperature and insulation, energy output and sweat. In the cold, we learn how little it takes to live, and how little it takes to die. The safety margins narrow. On these trips, my thoughts are often drawn to the prior occupants of these woods … the earliest hunters and gatherers, and then the aboriginal farmers. It’s hard to imagine the knowledge and skills – not to mention tenacity and suffering – it took to survive the winter with gear of bark and fur, made with stone blades and sinew. I un-
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derstand how blessed I am to live in a house with perfect temperature, all year round. I also remember the trip when my friend Stewart and I skied into Algonquin and it got ridiculously cold, the air like razor blades. We were okay at night, but couldn’t keep our feet warm in our ski boots during the day. We bailed, and came out early. If it’s not sublime, it should at least be fun.
Duncan Watterworth is a retired lawyer whose mind tends to wander.
160 Burwell Road, St. Thomas 519-631-5502 February, 2014
E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 30
Ascent Group Inc. and St. Thomas Energy Inc. are proud to recognize the efforts of their staff and contractors who supported Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro, Milton Hydro, Veridian Connections (Port Hope, Ajax and Belleville), and Hydro One (Walkerton and Listowel) during the severe ice storm that hit Ontario December 22, 2013. Many of our staff worked right through the holidays and into the New Year under extreme weather conditions to ensure families and businesses in those communities had their power back on.
Special recognition goes to: Jeff Fleming Logan Fleming Brent Graham Paul Gerber Josh Harder Conrad Julien Larry Martin
Mike Neilson Rick Nurton Peter Orr John Pettit Arnold Portt Sam Stephenson
Ascent is an integrated energy services and solutions provider with our roots in small towns, yet our capabilities are world class. Our work takes us across Canada and to sites throughout North America. Our customers range from industry partners, electrical contractors and municipalities to private industries, institutions and utilities. We provide leading edge solutions for the energy sector, including the planning, engineering, design, construction, commissioning and maintenance of substations; power distribution system services; automation and control solutions; green energy; renewable energy technologies; and technology services. St. Thomas Energy Inc., a division of Ascent, is a local distribution utility regulated by the Ontario Energy Board serving the city of St. Thomas Ontario. February, 2014
E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 31
l Pay The Ta l ’ e
SELECTION OF FLOORS
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 32