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Volume 4, No. 7 March 2014

• Jim Innes Not all wine & roses, Page 4 Part 2 • Janine Lunn Just 10 minutes Page 5 • Duncan Watterworth The great white north revisited Page 30 Special Feature Your Income Tax Pages 18-21

Adrian Peters A&M Sounds Thirty years of crowd pleasing Cover story: Page 3


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Thirty years keeping people happy on the dance floor A&M Sounds evolves into a producer of events

by Terry Carroll

In an industry made up largely of part-timers keeps people on the dance floor for two, three, who work weekends for a period of time, Adrian four songs in a row and come off the floor at the Peters has done the seemingly impossible. His end of the night saying, “I’ve never danced so business, A&M Sounds Disc Jockey Service, is much. We had a blast.” The books these chapters come in are usually a full-time occupation. And after many years of ups, downs, and changing with the times, he is sorted by decades. When Adrian began at the age proud to say that in 2014, he is celebrating 30 of 18, it was 50s, 60s and 70s. Then, of course, it became 80s, 90s and the 2000s. A great wedding years in business. What explains his longevity and his success? “To dance may encompass all of these, seamlessly rollme, it’s not a job,” he says. “I love being in front ing out the decades for dancers. The name A&M Sounds was coined from Adriof people and making their day.” Fortunately for Adrian, his wife, Tamara – “my an’s first name and the last name of a DJing partrock,” he says” – understand this devotion very ner in the 80s. It also reflected AM Radio, still a well. In 1994, when Adrian’s business was about dominant force in radio at the time. His first venue for dances, outside of schools, 10 years old, someone broke into his shop and stole about two-thirds of his gear. It was decision- was a St. Thomas strip club that closed Saturday time for him. Continuing the business was going evenings. “They got the bar, and I got the gate,” to require a large capital investment, and the mu- Adrian says. That experience also got him started in another sic world had rapidly turned from vinyl and tapes to the (then new) CD technology. “You can’t give one of his passions: fundraising. He started with fundraisers for the motorcycle club the Rail City it up,” Tamara told him. “You love it too much.” Riders. But it was the Fingal With that level of support, tornado relief in 1991 that Adrian decided to embrace the was his “most powerful feelCD era, invest in new equipto me, it’s not good moment.” The tornado ment and keep doing what he happened on a Tuesday and loves: making people happy at a job that Friday, Adrian and othevents. ers had organized a fundraiser The year 1994 was also the year at the Shedden Corral that that Adrian made the commitment to hosting a maximum of three events at any had “people on the outside waiting to get in,” he one time. He works only with DJ associates he says. The event raised $7,300 and was matched knows and trusts to give clients the best possible three-to-one by the government, for a total that experience. One of the three DJs at any of these exceeded $28,000 “It was the beginning of what events will usually be Adrian himself, motivated was possible,” he says. Many of the causes A&M by his love for what he does as well as his dedica- Sounds has been associated with are listed on his tion to keeping his finger on the pulse of what website. Fast forward to 2011 and the Goderich Tornado Relief Fundraiser, co-organized by Adrikeeps people dancing. While technology keeps changing – his 25,000 an Peters. That event raised just under $100,000. Weddings, anniversaries and similar events have song library is now all digital – some of the fundamentals have not changed. It’s not just about always been, and still are, the bread and butter of spinning platters, or playing tapes or CDs or digi- the business. (In the very early years, Adrian was tal music. Adrian likens the experience of choos- IN the bread and butter. Like former St. Thomas ing music for a wedding, an anniversary or any mayor, and provincial Cabinet minister Steve Peevent to editing a book. “Music gets played in ters, Adrian worked part-time and then full-time chapters,” he says. It’s what’s in those chapters that at the old A&P Store, where Giant Tiger is now

Elgin This Month General Manager Terry Carroll Section Editor Business Beat – Bob Hammersley Regional Sales Manager Nelson Parreira

Adrian Peters, getting the sound balanced. located). As Adrian became a full-time business owner, he developed expertise about sound in a space, about the clarity of the sound and how to balance it. This may mean speaker placement so people can dance to loud music on the floor and still converse when they sit down. It may mean creating clear sound in an arena, and so on. He has also become a producer of major events that involve sound, lighting, video, sometimes with multiple locations in one venue, always working to achieve a great event through meticulous detailing. A&M Sounds is all about the quality of the event, achieving balance, “creating a space instead of filling a room,” as Adrian says. And sometimes, that space is a little unusual. “We’ve even done wakes,” he says. “If people want to celebrate a life, we can help them with that atmosphere.” Front cover photo by Philip Bell, Shutters 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 March, 2014

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INNES As I see It

It’s not all wine and roses - Part II by Jim Innes “If only it was all roses and wine. Makes me feel so sad some days ... brings tears to my eyes… wondering where I’m meant to be ... and … why I’m here.  Such an empty feeling...lost and alone.” This burden is intensely felt by many adoptees. Shared by permission, this reaction underscores a significant learning curve for many of us: to differentiate lonely and lost from the experience of aloneness, our innate solitude. Solitude is an innate reality. Poet and novelist, Rainer Marie Rilke writes, “[to] speak of solitude again, it becomes always clearer that this is at bottom not something that one can take or leave … [we] are solitary … [we] may delude ourselves and act as though this were not so.” Indeed, in my experience many run roughshod over this reality. Some days though, like the one referenced in the adoptee’s sentiment above, the experience can’t be trampled down. And unless we have come to terms with our innate solitude, havoc can be created, matters made worse. Solitude forced upon us, can trigger anxiety, irrational fear, mistrust and dark depression. And so suffer the adoptee, the widow(er), the separated erate me. I went through hell to find this out. spouse, children on their own for the first time, After differentiating solitude from suffering, the senior placed in a retirement home, and the particularly in times of forced solitude, I found person enduring a debilitating pain which limits myself more grounded in addressing the suffersocial contact. ing, without making matters worse by overreactAn adoptee once described forced solitude as a ing to the solitude. Grief, physical pain, old age, “panic,” likened to “being nailed alive in a coffin.” and all such suffering is the human condition and A newly separated spouse described it as a “per- unavoidable. We humble ourselves and ask for verse abandonment.” Rilke said that it is likened help, especially emotional and spiritual support. to being unexpectedly “set upon the height of a Sometimes we need seek medical assistance. great mountain range … [experiencing] an unparalWhen solitude is differentiated from suffering, leled insecurity, an abandonment to something inex- solitude can be befriended. According to all the pressible … falling or hurled into space, or exploded great sages, solitude is a place out of which creinto a thousand pieces”. ativity is born and replenished. This is difficult My journey with solitude, whether chosen con- for the adoptee as they seem to experience a botsciously, or forced by cirtomless pit when they enter cumstance, began in earnest the dark unknown of solitude. when I was able, through asSolitude pulls on our learned they seem to sistance, to differentiate solisense of self containment. And, tude from suffering. I had to experience a for some, like the adoptee, make friends with it. This this learning was interrupted bottomless pit demanded constant remindby traumatic breaches in paers that solitude was innate, rental connections. In these and, as such, wouldn’t oblitcases, which may not be just

the adoptees’ learning curve, but also involve past drama, solitude puts them in touch with their broken heart. It is difficult to feel creative in that place, let alone safe. I am reminded of the story of Jesus’s 40 days in the wilderness. How much creativity was born in those days? And I am intrigued by the role played by those ‘angels’ who ministered to him. As I see it, solitude is a place where we most intimately connect with ourselves. When we run from it, there is a severing of our truth, even the dreaded truth that can feel so painful. Yet if we endure, we find redemption. I pray that, in this process, you feel the angels nurturing you tenderly.

Jim Innes is a clinically trained therapist and a priest at St. John’s Anglican Church

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4


The reasons we’re late (farm edition)

Agriculture On The Farm

by Janine Lunn With some amusement and several nods of or hammer out one final tune on the piano. agreement, I read a blog post recently along the As you might guess, having added three children lines of ‘reasons moms are late.’ While the author to our life, plus the farm factor, we have found a had definitely captured the busy and distracted number of ways to be late, or at the very least, process of guiding children out of the house, I rushed a great deal of the time when attempting found myself instantly composing a list of my to leave the house. own, which must include several mentions of 1. Ten more minutes in the barn. This fictional farm life! 10 minutes can last anywhere from 20 minutes to Growing up on the farm, my parents seemed to “go ahead without me” depending on the maghave the “early departure” mastered. Mom could nitude of the mechanical failure or animal crisis. feed, sort, organize and line up four children like 2. The vehicle is packed and ready to go, and nobody’s business, and dad would sprint in from some number of children are missing, later rethe barn and could squeeze dinner-shower-dressed trieved from the hay mow. into no time flat. But here’s the full 3. Hay and straw removal disclosure … I have always found from clothing and hair is one more thing to do before headrequired before anyone en“a mysterious patch of ters the vehicle (see previous ing out. As a girl, I still remember tractor grease, my dad hollering from the door point). while I scrambled to brush my hair 4. Everyone who has spent or manure”

time sweating or wrangling livestock has to shower before leaving the house. 5. The ‘decent’ jeans that were clean after the last outing now have a mysterious patch of tractor grease, or manure. 6. Not everyone leaving the house has realized that we are required to change into (or out of ) decent clothing resulting in a mixture of semiformal wear and muddy, ripped-at-the knee barn clothes. 7. Optimism (or delusion) has convinced us that there’s always more time available. After squeezing in the aforementioned ’10 more minutes in the barn,’ the parents will only take 2 minutes to get ready (reality: 10) kids will only take 1 minute to get their coats on (reality: 12), drive will only take 15 minutes (reality: 25) 8. A salesperson stops in to talk seed, feed or insurance, and it would be rude to cut him or her short! 9. The children have decided that this exact moment is when they really need to care for their menagerie … check on the rabbit, pet the 4H calf, cuddle the cat and feed the dogs. 10. Footwear intended for indoors-only shows all the signs of a barnyard jaunt, resulting in a lastminute scrub at the sink. 11. While we’re on our way out, we receive word that someone out in the field requires parts, seed, food, coffee, or a drive, so it only makes sense to swing by on our way out the door. 12. Time is of the essence. In our efforts to maximize each minute of the day, sometimes the list of farm tasks outlast the time available. Just think of the motto: Time is money. So really, there is no sense being early. 13. And sometimes, on this farm anyway, we’re even late because ‘someone’ is still tapping out “one last sentence” to finish off a farm article for the local news magazine.

Janine Lunn’s family operates a sheep farm, a source for local sheep’s milk cheeses.

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Business & Community Leadership

Taking charge – choosing your script by Cheryl Lester

We’ve all been ‘there’ at different points in our personal and professional lives — some more regularly than others. I’m talking about drama. I enjoy live theatre drama; but what’s not so enjoyable is ‘real life’ drama — the kind of negative, hurtful, disempowering conversations that occur everyday at work, at home, or in public places. Such dramas perpetuate pain, dysfunction, and no-win situations. Here’s a simple workplace drama that may be all too familiar to you either as a witness or a participant. Person #1 (to #2): “The project was due at 10:00am. It’s 2:00pm and still NOTHING! You’re useless. You never meet deadlines and I’m getting REALLY tired of your incompetence.” Person #2 (to #1): “It’s not my fault. They were supposed to get their information to me last week. I still don’t have it. They’re always

trying to mess me up and make me look bad.” Person #3 (to #2): “Don’t take it so hard. You’re having a tough time. Here, let me take care of things for you.” Stephen Karpman’s (Dreaded) Drama Triangle (DDT), a psychological and social model of interaction first introduced in 1968, identifies the roles as: 1) Persecutor; 2) Victim; and 3)

you can take steps to change Rescuer. Truth is that we all play all of Karpman’s DDT characters, but typically we have a ‘favourite’ or default position. When using the DDT script in workshops or

private coaching sessions, I ask, “Which one of the three roles did you identify with most?” or, “Which best describes your ‘out of the gate’ tendency?” Whether or not they verbalize their answers, most people exhibit a deep knowing about how they most often show up. The good news? Once you become aware of the DDT, you can take steps to change your involvement. David Emerald provides a useful alternative that he named TED (The Empowerment Dynamic). He offers three corresponding roles that provide positive choices for people who want to escape the DDT, i.e. Challenger, Co-Creator, and Coach. You can learn more about David Emerald’s model in his book The Power of TED. Here are some simple alternative scripts that will give you a sense of how DDT and TED differ. Challenger (replaces Persecutor): “This project was due this morning at 10:00am. It’s now 2:00pm. How soon can you have this on my desk? I want to emphasize that it has to be completed before you leave today.” Co-Creator (replaces Victim): “I need to figure out what I can do to help get this project back on track and completed today.” Coach (replaces Rescuer): “What’s the main priority right now? What’s the biggest obstacle? What steps can you take now to move things forward? What can you do differently in t he future?” As a leader, boss, owner, or manager you have an opportunity and responsibility to ensure that you’re neither contributing to nor condoning DDT-type drama. Own your DDT ‘out of the gate’ tendency. Then, when drama beckons, choose a TED script instead. It’s worth the effort. 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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BUSINESS & COMMUNITY Fundraising

Pathways to Prosperity Courtesy of YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin

Pathways to Prosperity – they diverge and intersect with bumps and bends along the journey we each make to achieve and maintain economic well-being for ourselves, our families, our businesses and our community. While having what we need is an ongoing work in progress, the effort and energy within Elgin and St. Thomas to work together in overcoming challenges by building on opportunities is worth mentioning. This has been the focus of the local Pathways to Prosperity project that began in 2012 with funding from Status of Women Canada to develop and implement a community plan for

women’s economic well-being. Women play a key role in our economy – besides representing half of the workforce, women shoulder the majority of unpaid work related to dependent care – their stability and prosperity affects the whole family and the community at large. Beginning a dialogue around how women’s experiences differ in terms of their economic situation and steps to be taken, first involved reaching out to stakeholders and women to engage in working together. An Advisory Council led by the YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin and with representatives from multiple sectors was formed to guide research, planning and implementation. In the spring of 2013, local research gathered during the first year was released in the report Pathways to Prosperity: Community Planning for Women’s Economic Well-Being in Elgin St. Thomas. The report provided a gender-based analysis and made recommendations for community planning to centre around advocacy, awareness and coordination to bring about tangible results for women and their families. For the full report, visit: ywcapathways.com Since the launch of the framework for community planning, the Advisory Council has engaged in strategic planning to identify priority areas and to develop related actions. Efforts to increase advocacy through research and education and to increase awareness of avail-

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able supports are being combined with activities to enhance childcare and to promote sufficient incomes and workforce participation. Having engaged communities in providing feedback with these directions, the focus in 2014 will be on implementing actions, building resources and sustainability. With International Women’s Day approaching, we will be gathering on March 12th at the St. Thomas Seniors Centre in bringing economic well-being for women to the forefront at Let’s Prosper! This event will feature a keynote presentation, guest speakers and learning cafés presented by local providers in the areas of social assistance, housing, education, employment & entrepreneurship. If you are interested in learning more about women’s economic well-being, would like to be a part of working together with others for collective impact or would just like more information about what supports are available locally on your journey, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to connect! Children’s activities will be provided on site in partnership with the Ontario Early Years Centre at no cost and transportation support is available. Join us for a day of networking, learning and inspiration! Register in advance online at letsprosper.eventbrite.ca or call 519-631-9800.

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Business & Community Mediation

Mediation – What is it, and does it really work? by Karen Kimble

“I just want it over.” I have heard this many times solutions that litigation may discourage, getting from people in the midst of separating. Emotions the focus off winning and on a mutually acceptcan get out of control and often a lengthy expen- able solution. The process is confidential other sive court battle is not something they want to than a few exceptions and not to be used later in face. Many feel that with a little help they can court proceeding. work out their agreement themselves. Initially the mediator describes the process. Both So what can they do? parties present their versions of the issues and how Mediation is an option. Nothing can be lost in these have affected them. Then joint discussion attempting to mediate because other options are further identifies issues. Further joint negotiation still available. All parties to the dispute must vol- exploring ideas for settlement will result in a muuntarily agree to participate. tually satisfactory agreement. It can be particularly valuable when a dispute Most typically believe their positions are right, involves someone who will remain in your life to but focusing on who is more right rarely does some extent. The dispute can be resolved without much in reaching a resolution. Mediation encourdestroying the relationship entirely. In a fight, the ages all parties to gain realistic understanding and goal is to win with no regard for your opponent. voice opinions, concerns and feelings. In mediation, the goal is resolution, finding opParties should be respectful. It is essential to tions that satisfy both parties. identify each party’s interest, and that each party A mediator does not take sides and has no au- understand the other’ position. In achieving resothority to render a decision. Mediation is a more lution, all interests must be reconciled. Options relaxed process, open to compromise and de- are identified or created through open-minded signed to get results. The parties work toward problem solving. No idea is rejected or criticized. their own agreement and unless Parties then evaluate and select both parties fully agree, there those which result in maximum will be no final resolution. to both. “a mediator does not benefit Mediation can be beneficial Patience is key. Both parties take sides” even if you are already involved enter the process feeling that in a lawsuit. Parties communithey have a valid position. Some cate creative ideas, feelings and feel that they are victims of unfair treatment. Rarely are they on the same page. Some find it difficult to treat the other with a degree of respect or understanding. This takes time. At some point in the process, the parties realize that their position may not have been entirely right, and there will have to be some level of compromise in order to arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution. The main provisions of the agreement are written which can either be signed

4th Annual Mayor’s Charity Hockey Game City of St. thomaS vs County of Elgin

by the parties, or taken to legal counsel for review and written into a legally binding agreement. Mediated agreements are more likely to be carried out than imposed orders. The party who considers himself or herself to be the “loser” often looks for opportunities to violate the judgment. Those who have freely participated in reaching solutions are more likely to follow through. In the event no agreement is reached, the process is discussed and options explored, which could involve further mediation or pursuing the court process. If a dispute involves substantial property and legal rights, it is recommended that the parties consult with a lawyer prior to meeting and the lawyers’ approval can be included as a condition of the agreement reached. The lawyer chosen should support the process and focus on helping work towards a compromise solution. Both parties should set out the involvement they want the lawyers to have and determine if there is an understanding of the mediating process. Many lawyers have taken mediation training, either to become mediators or to effectively represent their clients through the process. The key is to have roles and fees clearly defined, as well as determining how supportive they will be of the entire process.

Karen Kimble is a mediator with Elgin Counselling & Mediation Centre.

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2014 Update: The Top 10 barriers to competitiveness

Canada is struggling to stay competitive. In fact, our country’s ability to remain a leader among nations is stagnating. For the second consecutive year, the World Economic Forum ranked Canada 14th in global economic competitiveness—down two places from 2011 and sliding five places since 2009. Restoring Canada’s competitiveness requires an ambitious, aggressive and innovative private sector. Strategic thinking and smart public policies are also needed to address long-standing structural impediments that hinder businesses at a time when they need much greater flexibility to compete. Since 1925, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has fought for a strong, competitive economic environment that benefits all Canadians. To further our mandate, every year we identify the Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness. This ongoing initiative aims to direct attention to the key impediments holding back Canada’s progress and to urge all levels of government to act more swiftly in increasing our country’s ability to compete globally. Since launching this initiative across the entire national network of chambers of commerce, including the St. Thomas & District Chamber, we have made great progress in furthering our competiveness agenda, particularly in addressing the barrier our Members identified as being the greatest impediment to the success of Canadian business: the growing skills gap. The federal government

Business Beat Table of Contents

Take part in our Golf feature coming up in the April edition of Elgin This Month

To China with love .... Page 11

To take advantage of excellent advertising opportunities like this, give me a call at 519-633-1640 (ext. 22)

Legal business........... Page 12 100 years .................. Page 14

Skills shortages Canada’s labour market is affected by a demographic shift resulting in retirements and a growing gap between the skills needed and those available. Business, governments and academia must work together to address the current and future skills needs of the workplace, concentrating particularly on four key areas: upskilling; education and employment connections; immigration; and Aboriginal workforce development. To better address skills shortages, Canada also needs improved data on the skills gap and the mobility of individuals. Uncompetitive travel and tourism strategies Canada has declined from the seventh largest tourist destination in the world to the 18th. Today, it is too

often a high-cost, high-hassle destination with aging attractions infrastructure and inadequate marketing. Canada’s travel and tourism sector is critical to its economy, and the government must both invest in national marketing initiatives and address Canada’s inefficient visa system, the very high cost of air travel in Canada and its layers of regulations, fees and taxes. Inadequate public infrastructure Public investment in infrastructure has not kept up with Canada’s economic needs. Now Canada’s investment needs far exceed the availability of public funds. Bringing infrastructure in Canada back to the level needed to support prosperity will require an ongoing commitment by all levels of government, an active engagement with private sector stakeholders and a greater appreciation of the opportunities that exist for Canada to be more competitive through more modern public infrastructure. Continued on Page 15...

Spring is Coming!

JHSC, workin’ it ........ Page 10

Chamber golf ............ Page 13

and several provincial and territorial governments have also named this issue as the country’s biggest challenge. The following paragraphs set out our Top 10 list for 2014, which was determined in consultation with Chamber Members of all types, in all sectors, across Canada. The need for action is urgent. The standard of living of every Canadian depends on how well we as a people respond to the challenge. We must identify and implement real, tangible solutions to break down the barriers to our competitiveness and create more opportunities and greater prosperity for Canadian businesses and families.

Greg Minnema, Advertising Sales

or email me at gregthismonth@theweeklynews.ca April Edition Advertising Deadline is March 12th

New Members........... Page 16

March, 2014

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9


Viewpoint Events and News of Interest to our Members

Wake the sleeping giant: How to uncover your JHSC’s potential Joint Health & Safety Committees are like sleeping giants: they have enormous capability to improve an organization’s competitiveness and profitability, but their potential sometimes goes unrealized. At the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce, and in our work with the St. Thomas Elgin Safe Communities Coalition, we know that JHSCs are a priority because we respect the law, and we also see that with just a little fine-tuning, or perhaps a lot, JHSCs can surpass your expectations, leading to quick resolution of health and safety risks, declining rates of injuries and illnesses, and lower costs. Participation in the JHSC is both mandatory and a right for all mid-size and larger employers with 20 or more people on staff. Most important, it builds ownership for and commitment to safe work practices, and involves workers in protecting their own well-being and that of their fellow workers—a powerful way to foster a positive employee culture.

Safety Act (OHSA), organizations with 20 or more employees must have an active JHSC, with at least two members certified (one worker and one manager). 2. They are built on the principle that workers and employers must work together “jointly” to identify health and safety problems in the workplace. 3. The JHSC’s “internal auditor” role is to a) inspect workplaces and investigate problems to make sure the organization’s health and safety program is working as designed; and b) to make recommendations to management about required changes. 4. Their “communicator” role is to provide employees with a formal way to voice their concerns and provide suggestions to improve health and safety in the workplace. 5. Managers, not JHSCs, are accountable for implementing a fix in response to the recommendations made.

The most important thing JHSCs can do Looking for burned-out light bulbs, misplaced boxes in the aisle, messy supply rooms, and other physical problems is okay, as far as it goes—which isn’t very far. High-funcOur Member tioning JHSCs, on the Benefits Bundle other hand, try to prevent problems from hapIs Growing pening again, or from of happening in the first place, by asking questions such as: Quantum RBS has joined us with a special offer for • Why aren’t light bulbs being systematiall businesses and organizations that are Members cally replaced when they of the Chamber! burn out? • Why do we continuTry Quantum’s reliable and affordable ally find trip hazards in this corridor? off-site data back-up services FREE! • How should our health and safety program have prevented this Members now SAVE 15% on Quantum’s

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injury? • Where’s the evidence that managers are talking to staff about personal protective equipment? • When is the last time your manager talked to you about health and safety? • It’s been two months since you had WHMIS training—can I ask you a few questions to see how much you’ve retained? • As an employee, do you know your top three health and safety rights? Four ways managers and owners can immediately boost the effectiveness of the JHSC Research is especially clear on one point: a prevention culture depends on the senior leader’s passion for health and safety. Here’s what owners, employers and other leaders can do to help the committee achieve its outcomes: 1. Make your passion for health and safety personal: who would tolerate an injury to oneself, one’s family members, or one’s co-workers? 2. Join the JHSC members for meetings and inspections at least twice a year. 3. Seriously consider and respond promptly to issues and recommendations raised. 4. Make your expectations of supervisors known, and hold them accountable. Supervisor awareness—for example, around the critical issue of orientation training—is often the weak link in an organization’s health and safety performance. For more information Look for simple, easy-to-use resources to help you design an effective JHSC, provided at no cost by our trusted health and safety advisor, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS). Search on “JHSC” at www.wsps.ca, and click on each tab for a full spectrum. Also, stay informed with timely information about occupational health and safety by connecting with WSPS on Twitter at twitter.com/wsps_news.

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: mail@stthomaschamber.on.ca Website: www.stthomaschamber.on.ca President & CEO Bob Hammersley Accounting Coordinator Susan Munday Member Services Jeff Sheridan

ELGIN THIS MONTH

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 Vice-Chair: Dan Kelly Dowler-Karn Fuels Ltd. 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: 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

10


Chamber News Events and News of Interest to our Members

BMO VP & Senior Economist coming Outlook 2014 Luncheon March 25 The St. Thomas & District Chamber’s annual Outlook economic forecast luncheon will be held Tuesday March 25, sponsored by BMO Financial Group. Sal Guatieri, BMO Capital Markets Vice President and Senior Economist, will be our keynote speaker. Sal has two decades experience as a macro economist. With BMO Financial Group since 1994, his main responsibilities include analyzing and forecasting the U.S. and Canadian economies, interest rates and exchange rates. Prior to joining BMO, he worked at the Bank of Canada as an economist in their Research Department. Sal received his Master’s Degree in Economics from Queen’s University in 1990. Outlook 2014 is a luncheon event to be held at St. Anne’s

Centre in St. Thomas from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday March 25. Tickets are $30 per person and available by advance sale only through the Chamber office. To order, call us at 519-631-1981 or reach us by email: mail@stthomaschamber.on.ca Full event details are also on the Chamber website in our Events section at www.stthomaschamber.on.ca

MP & MPP Luncheon April 23 Our elected federal and provincial representatives will take the Chamber’s stage on Wednesday April 23 as we host our annual luncheon event with the pair. MP Joe Preston & MPP Jeff Yurek will offer individual and joint comments on activities that impact Elgin-Middlesex-London from provincial and federal perspectives but the most important element of the event will be dialogue with the

audience; questions and answers from everyone attending. Our location will be St. Anne’s Centre on Morrison Drive in St. Thomas. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Keynote remarks from the MP and the MPP start at 12 Noon over lunch, followed by the question-and-answer session. Tickets are $30 per person, advance sale only, from the Chamber. Additional details are on our

China this fall?

It was a very successful venture for all involved last year, so we’re going back to China! 100% of the 48 passengers on our 2013 adventure to China reported a great experience, and everyone said they would definitely recommend our tour to friends and associates so plans are in the works to return for an 11-day tour departing Toronto on Wednesday October 22, returning Saturday November 1. Look for more information to be shared soon via our weekly Green Mail email newsletter and on the Chamber website. As it was last year, our plans are being made in partnership with the Strathroy & District Chamber and Elgin Travel & Cruises will be the licensed travel agency working with us. We will soon announce information events in both communities featuring photos and remarks from local people who participated in our 2013 trip. The same all-inclusive approach we used last year will apply. Round-trip air, all taxes, 3 meals per day, 4 & 5-star hotels, deluxe bus tours, fluent Englishspeaking tour guides and admission to sites and attractions for just $2599 (US) for Chamber Members!

website now at www.stthomaschamber.on.ca The Chamber also welcomes questions for the MP & MPP from our Members in advance of the event via email to mail@stthomaschamber.on.ca

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Legal Business Events and News of Interest to our Members

The high cost of doing battle by Monty Fordham might wind up as an “unrepresented litigant”. The underway within the present system to address process, which is painful enough to begin with, the problem of access to justice. Under the Onthen begins to resemble both combat and ordeal tario Rules of Civil Practice, either party to a civil (albeit without the cool weapons and equipment). suit may bring issues to a judge prior to the actual And, somewhat surprisingly, statistics show when trial. These actions are called motions, and usuyou take lawyers out of the equation, the whole ally don’t result in a final decision, leaving that for the eventual trial. In 2010, Rule 20 was enhanced thing takes considerably longer. In a recent decision of the Supreme Court of so that upon the motion of either party, where Canada, Hryniak v. Mauldin, a case dealing with the evidence warrants, the judge can pronounce the scope of Rule 20 of the Ontario rules of Civil a final judgment. This is called “summary judgPractice, Mr. Justice Karakatsanis decried the ment”, and it renders the process a lot shorter, and therefore, a whole lot less expensive. This was the present state of the civil courts: “Ensuring access to justice is the greatest chal- path endorsed by the Hryniak case. As more cases move through the summary judglenge to the rule of law in Canada today. Trials have become increasingly expensive and protract- ment process, it will become clearer whether or not this mechanism reduces ed. Most Canadians cannot time and legal costs and thereby afford to sue when they are there are improves access to justice for wronged or defend themselves cases which … the average person. My personwhen they are sued, and canal impression is that the whole not afford to go to trial. Withshould never civil process needs to undergo out an effective and accessible revision, particularly at the means of enforcing rights, go to trial commencement of proceedthe rule of law is threatened. ings. There are cases which, by Without public adjudication of civil cases, the development of the common the fundamental nature of their issues, should never go to trial; there are other cases with highly law is stunted.” Justice Karaksanis’ remarks echoes those of the contentious evidence which require the “day (or Chief Justice, Madam Justice McLachlin, in a weeks) in court.” The key is knowing which ordeal recent address to the Ca- you’re in at an early stage. Weeks could be shortnadian Bar Association. ened to days, and days to hours. With all the free time this would generate for For many Canadians, the system is broken. Justice lawyers, I guess we’d have to branch out a bit. Oh, and by the way, how many lawyers does it is simply unaffordable. In 2011, the World Jus- take to shingle a roof? Depends on how thin you tice Project created the slice them. “Rule of Law Index.” As one might expect, of the 66 countries surveyed, Lawyer Monty Fordham prepares this monthly column Canada ranked far ahead for the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce of most, in almost all in- and our Members. Monty is also a volunteer servdices. But when only the ing on the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Questions, 12 wealthiest countries comments and suggestions for future columns are were considered, Canada welcomed by Monty at his office: Fordham & Brightranked ninth in the cat- ling Associates – Lawyers, 4 Elgin Street, St. Thomas. egory of access to justice. Telephone 519-633-4000, FAX 519-633-1371 or Efforts are constantly e-mail: montyfordham@4elgin.ca For your no obligation quote,

One of the oldest lawyer jokes goes like this: How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: How many can you afford? In the olden days, before the Monty Fordham enactment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, even before many of my colleagues were born, there were decidedly different ways of settling civil disputes than exist today. Long ago, disagreements were resolved by a process known as Trial by Combat (jousting, duels, etc.). This loutish paradigm eventually gave way to the Trial by Ordeal (Think Salem witch trials). The advantage of both models of justice lies in their finality. Victory went to the last guy standing, or in the case of the ordeal, the defendant with the highest tolerance for pain. Out of all this chaos evolved the modern adversarial legal system. Of course, in modern times, we are much more civilized in our approach to conflict resolution. Since the invention of lawyers, when civil disputes arise, we simply send our legal champions into battle on our behalf, or to the rack, as the case may be. Well ... maybe, but only if we are very wealthy (money to burn), or very poor (qualify for legal aid). If we’re somewhere in between, we

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Member News Events and News of Interest to our Members

Our 40th annual Member’s Golf Day

Our annual opportunity to showcase one of the best golf courses in Canada returns this year on Thursday May 29 when the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce presents Member’s Golf Day at St. Thomas Golf & Country Club. With a complimentary “Golf Pro Driving Clinic,” all-

you-can-eat dinner buffet, post-game social mixer, amazing prizes, silent auction, it’s a not-to-bemissed event. And, this year, we’re marking a milestone of 40 consecutive years making the Chamber’s event one of the longest successfully-run golf days in the region.

The only thing missing in this picture is you! The warmth of the season, the beauty of the environment and the rewarding experiences of food and fun all come together in the Chamber’s 40th annual Member’s Golf Day on May 29. Registration is open now through the Chamber office.

Early-bird pricing is in effect until May 1, or until our capacity of 120 players is reached. $575 for a foursome or $149 single. For full information and a downloadable registration form, see the Events section of the Chamber website at www.stthomaschamber.on.ca or call us at 519-631-1981.

You can call us, or our Golf Committee volunteers could call you. Our group is making special plans for the Chamber’s 40th Member’s Golf Day coming May 29. Shown here, Golf Committee members, l to r, Kimberly De Sousa of Libro Credit Union; Ginette Minor of Alexelle Slipcovers & Décor; Ray Bosveld of Edward Jones; Mark McIntosh of Mark IT; and Jeff Sheridan, Chamber Member Services Representative.

Spring into Seasonal Work

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Talbot Teen Centre, 745 Talbot Street, St. Thomas Bring your resume & meet employers hiring for the 2014 season. Positions are seasonal and options include pools, landscaping, farm labour and golf courses.

“Building P Prosperity for St. TThomas & Elgin Coun ounty Residents & Employers.”

For more information, contact the job developer team at 519-631-5470 or stejobs@fanshawec.ca

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Pro Text Events and News of Interest to our Members

A rare milestone: 100 years & four generations by Nikki Vanderwallen The company I work for sees something very special this year ... its 100-year anniversary. Reith & Associates Insurance and Financial Services Limited is ready to celebrate. We’re already reminiscing about the great friends and partnerships we have made within our community; the wonderful clients we have been privileged to work with over these many years and how our business, like our industry, has changed. We are proud to serve and to protect the people and property that matter most to you. Reith & Associates will be hosting various events throughout the year for our clients; industry partners and the community. We are eagerly anticipating and excited to launch a key legacy project to commemorate our centennial later this year. Dan Reith is our Principal Broker. When I asked him to comment, his pride was obvious, saying, “An achievement such as this is something to truly recognize and appreciate. To be a fourth-generation familyowned business is rare. We are very proud of this accomplishment.” How and where did it all begin? In the autumn of 1914, Alvin Brown began his insurance practice in Shedden, representing a major Canadian insurer as a purveyor of accident and sickness policies to area farmers. In 1917 Mr. Brown re-located his practice to St. Thomas, opening his office at #2 Southwick Street ... The A.M. Brown Insurance Agency. In 1961, Harold Jackson, cousin to Alvin Brown,

left his position as a Field Inspector with a major Canadian insurer to join the agency. 1962 brought the formation of Reith & Jackson Insurance Agency Limited when Harold Jackson’s son-in-law, Dan Reith Sr., joined the agency and acquired the practice from Alvin Brown. The name change reflected new ownership and Mr. Brown’s retirement. Harold Jackson retired in 1973, and Jerry Beavis took partnership in the practice after merging his agency with Reith & Jackson. The name changed to Reith & Beavis Insurance Agency Limited. In 1981 the provincial government introduced a new regulatory authority to govern and provide professional oversight: The Registered Insurance  Brokers of Ontario (RIBO). With the establishment of RIBO, insurance agencies representing more than one insurer were subject to higher professional standards of practice and education and were now identified as Brokers. This regulatory change caused the firm to rebrand as Reith & Beavis Insurance Brokers Limited.      1987 brought the acquisition of George S. McLachlan Insurance, and another name change to Reith & Associates Insurance Brokers Limited. In 1992, the brokerage welcomed Dan Reith Jr., and in 1994 his brother Darren Reith.  At this time, the brokerage re-branded to Reith & Associates Insurance and Financial Services Limited to reflect the expansion of products and services with the introduction of the life insurance and investment services team. In December 2000, the brothers Reith took over the brokerage with the passing of their father. 

Darren’s work adds the financial services dimensions. “Understanding how insurance is an investment in the continuity of your organization and your family’s quality of life is something we help our clients with,” he explains. Today, the Reith & Associates team is a blend of 15 passionate professionals uniquely trained and qualified to take care of the people and property that matter most to you while remaining dedicated to the family tradition of providing an exceptional client experience. The brokerage distinguishes itself by its Unique Process—Mission to Your ProsperityTM—its exclusive Discovery Method and the ability to provide all insurance and financial services under one roof. Although Reith & Associates has undergone many changes over this past century the one thing we have never lost sight of is the importance of our clients and how privileged we are to have the opportunity to work with them. “To know that local families and businesses rely on our solutions to protect their needs and ensure their future goals and dreams become reality is a task we are quite prepared to meet,” remarked Darren. Events commemorating the anniversary will be announced as details become available. This column appears monthly in Business Beat and has been prepared by Nikki Vanderwallen, BA, Executive Assistant to Dan and Darren Reith at 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

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Chamber News Events and News of Interest to our Members

Continued from Page 9... Barriers to success in global markets Faced with a small domestic market, Canada’s ability to compete depends on reliable access to foreign customers and production capabilities. But due largely to policy and regulatory barriers and operating challenges in foreign markets, Canadian businesses are not globalizing as quickly as their OECD peers. Canada must successfully negotiate trade agreements with key markets, renew its commitments to trade promotion and commercial diplomacy and update its tariff and customs policies. Internal barriers to trade The lack of a single domestic market in Canada is a serious and self-imposed weakness in the Canadian economy. Tariff barriers amongst provinces are banned by the Canadian constitution, yet the national economy is fractured by a host of non-tariff barriers, particularly in procurement, energy, agriculture and transportation, and in the mobility of labour. The federal government must promote more meaningful sanctions against jurisdictions that practice protectionism against other Canadians while supporting those that embrace free internal trade. A complex and costly tax system Canada over-relies on income and profit taxes rather than on taxes on consumption, which are relatively easy to collect and are least harmful to growth. Canada’s tax code is also overly complex and imposes significant compliance costs on businesses and consumers while governments spend billions of dollars each year administering and enforcing convoluted tax laws. Canada must undertake a comprehensive review of its tax system with the aim of reducing its complexity and improving the way it raises tax revenue. Lack of clear sustainability policies Public concerns over Canada’s ability to responsibly develop its natural resources has led to proj-

ect delays, constrained investment and limited access to some markets. International concerns have also overshadowed Canada’s diplomatic and trade initiatives on occasion. For Canada to claim its rightful place as the world leader in responsible resource development, it must establish a credible climate policy, clarify businesses’ duty to consult with Aboriginal peoples and aggressively contest unfounded allegations about its environmental stewardship. Severe shortage of economic development tools for businesses in Canada’s Territories The federal government has a critical decision to make regarding Canada’s territories if it is to fully a more attractive location for foreign investment. leverage their economic potential. That decision is Insufficient support for innovation in Canawhether or not to provide them with tools to be- dian manufacturing come more financially independent in the belief Manufacturing, the largest sector of the Canadithat doing so will unleash their ability to help the an economy, has not yet fully recovered from the entire country be more competitive. Businesses 2008 recession and remains significantly reduced see themselves as the means for the territories to from its pre-recession size. Canadian companies achieve more financial independence from the can no longer rely on traditional manufacturing federal government if they are provided with ad- processes to solve this problem. They must innoditional tools to enable them to do so. vate to capitalize on new technology and processInconsistent regulatory policies between es that improve productivity in order to remain Canada and the U.S. competitive. Businesses also need a policy frameInconsistencies between regulatory standards in work that reflects the importance of the innovaCanada and the U.S. cost unnecessary time and tion ecosystem imperative. money as these minor differences result in additional verification, inspection or testing of goods once they cross the border. Given the integrated nature of the two countries’ economies, greater alignment and better mutual reli• Lets your wishes be known. ance in their regulatory • Reduces stress for friends and family approaches would lower costs for businesses at an already emotional time. and consumers, create more efficient supply • Saves money (Guarantees your family will never have to pay chains, facilitate crossmore for your funeral, no matter what happens with inflation.) border trade, reduce regulatory administraWe invite you to discuss Funeral Preplanning with any tive costs for governof our qualified Funeral Directors ment and make Canada

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Chamber News Events and News of Interest to our Members

New Members The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce proudly welcomes the following businesses and individuals as our newest Members. Those listed below were accepted as registered Members January 16 to February 15, 2014. Once an organization registers with the Chamber, all personnel (owners/managers/staff) within the organization have full access to all Chamber programs, projects, events and services. Lassam & Co. Chartered Professional Accountant 115 Curtis Street St. Thomas, ON N5P1J4 Phone: 519-631-1631 Email: mark@lassam.ca Website: www.lassam.ca Contact: Mark Lassam, CA, CPA Buyers Guide Categories: Accountants – Chartered; Tax Services; Products & Services: Lassam & Co. Chartered Professional Accountant offers a full range of public accounting services including auditing, accounting and taxation services. Their knowledgeable, friendly staff have the experience, training and skills to help

you with all of your business accounting needs. Their commitment to excellence is demonstrated in the high level of quality service that you will experience each and every time. Lassam & Co. exceeding expectations! Catering By James Meadows 481 Talbot Street St. Thomas, ON N5P 1C3 Phone: 226-448-8466 Email: cateringbyjamesmeadows@gmail.com Web: www.cateringbyjamesmeadows.com Contact: James Meadows, Executive Chef Buyers Guide Category: Catering Products & Services: Welcome to Catering by James Meadows! They pride themselves on their unwavering promise to deliver the very best quality cuisine. Elgin County is rich in agriculture and they are fortunate to be able to locally source their ingredients. Situated in the heart of historic St Thomas and with a deep commitment to community, Catering by James Meadows supports local charities and is involved in many community events. They look forward to catering your wedding, corporate event, private function or any event you may have! Elgin Speech & Language Services 26 Margaret Street

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St. Thomas, ON N5R 3H7 Phone: 519-902-6757 Email: m.oshalla@elginspeech.ca Web: www.elginspeech.ca Contact: Mohamed(Mo) Oshalla, Speech-Language Pathologist Buyers Guide Categories: Speech-Language Pathologist, Medical Services Products & Services: Elgin Speech & Language Services provides assessment and treatment of speech and language difficulties in children 1 to 18 years old. The Speech-Language Pathologist brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to identify your child's unique needs. Such experience includes working with children of many ages and diagnoses to identify levels of language understanding and expression compared to expected milestones, and to provide treatment and recommendations to promote their development. The clinic offers a private, scenic setting to motivate your child and encourage parental involvement in assessment and treatment sessions. You don't have to wait valuable months to identify your child's needs. Contact Elgin Speech & Language Services today to speak to a SpeechLanguage Pathologist who can help guide you and your child. HASCO Health & Safety Canada Corporation 11885 Belmont Road Belmont, ON N0L 1B0 Phone: 519-652-5949 Toll Free: 866-250-1677 Email: info@hasco.ca Web: www.HASCO.ca Contact: Marty Dol, President Buyers Guide Category: Occupational Health & Safety; Education; Training Services Products & Services: HASCO Health & Safety Canada is dedicated to occupational health & safety with programs aimed at creating the safest working environment possible. Over 95% of their clients would recommend HASCO to others.They believe that statistic tells you almost everything you need to know. HASCO offers a full suite of consulting services and Instructor-Led and Online Workplace Health & Safety training courses that are interactive, engaging and fun. HASCO is the training company that won't put your people to sleep!

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Business Profile

Fixed Right: High standards and hi-tech At Fixed Right Automotive on Edward Street in St. Thomas, everyone works hard to fulfill the business slogan “fixed right, every time, guaranteed.” And staying current with technology has been an important part of that focus since Warren Silverthorn started the business 17 years ago. To some extent, brakes are still brakes, tires are still tires, and so on. But repairing automobiles has become a whole other matter. Computers and on-line services are changing the automotive repair business as rapidly as they have changed other businesses. Computers on vehicles with OnStar, for example, can already email owners to let them know when oil changes are required. Modern cars have no throttle cable; everything is done with sensors. Vehicles with active cruise control and 360-degree sensors won’t let drivers get too close, will speed up if being tailed and do all kinds of other things to avoid an accident. Society is on the cusp of a driverless vehicle. And it’s on the brink of a time when most auto repairs will involve one computer “talking” to another. With this world in mind, Warren and his staff, keep up with the latest technology and undergo constant retraining. Last year, Fixed Right invested in all new computers for the shop as well as continuing to invest in diagnostic and scanning equipment as well as keeping current with purchases such as the latest equipment in wheel align-

ments. “We have five scanners, and I’m sure I’m not done yet,” Warren says. “And we have a state-of-the-art lab scope. About half our equipment and building budget goes toward diagnostic equipment.” While technology is huge, so are two other mainstays at Fixed Right Automotive. One is hiring good people. Warren and his wife Sandra, who was also instrumental in helping establish the business, realized early on that they were only interested in working with employees of high integrity. That attitude shows in the length of service of people like Gord Teetzel (left) and Warren Silverthorn work at fixing another vehicle Bill Cook, who usually right, the first time. mans the front counter, treated,” he says. and long-time mechanic With five full-time employees, and two partGord Teetzel. Both men have been with Fixed Right for most of its 17-year history. The other time, seven bays, 45 parking spots, room to exmainstay is Warren’s version of the Golden Rule. pand if needed, and the latest in technology, Fixed “I believe in treating people the way I want to be Right Automotive is a leader in St. Thomas and area automotive repair.

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Your Income Tax RRSP and investment scenarios

Income tax and other decisions for ordinary Canadians Scenario 1 Just starting out in your career? Contributing to an RRSP may not be right for you Jennifer is a recent university graduate who owes $20,000 in student loans. She has a job and no credit card debt. She anticipates receiving a $2,000 income tax refund. Should Jennifer use the refund to pay down her student loans, or should she deposit it in a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)? “A number of variables will affect Jennifer’s decision,” says Kevin Porter, a CPA, CA in Brampton. “If her income — and therefore her tax rate — is relatively low, an RRSP contribution will not trigger a significant refund.” Roberto Umana, CPA, CA, an Associate with Gallagher & Mannisto in Toronto, agrees. “If Jennifer is making $40,000 a year or less, an RRSP contribution is little benefit to her,” he explains. “In five or six years, if her income has gone up to $75,000 or $80,000, an RRSP contribution will really help her because it will trigger a larger refund.” The up side to Jennifer contributing the $2,000

to her RRSP is that the amount will grow inside the RRSP, tax-free. “It’s important to keep in mind that, even if Jennifer does put money into her RRSP this year, she does not have to claim the deduction this year,” says Porter. “She can carry forward the deduction indefinitely, and use it in a year when her income is higher.” If Jennifer chooses to forego an RRSP contribution this year, she can also carry forward her unused contribution room. When she is earning a higher income, she can use that room to make a sizeable contribution to her RRSP, triggering a larger tax refund. So, if Jennifer does not contribute the $2,000 to an RRSP, should she pay down her student loan or put it in TFSA? “That depends on the interest rate on her student loan,” says Umana. “If the interest rate is eight or nine per cent, she should definitely pay down the loan. However, if the interest rate is low, she should pay the minimum required to service the student loan debt and put the $2,000 in

a TFSA or RRSP.” Jennifer may also be able to claim a non-refundable tax credit for interest paid on her student loan. Porter agrees that the decision depends on the rate of return. “Jennifer needs to evaluate her investment knowledge and determine what rate of return she is likely to get in either a TFSA or an RRSP, compared to the interest rate on her student loan,” he says. “Whichever is the best return is where she should invest. It really comes down to doing the math.” When comparing the returns, she needs to factor in the tax credit she is entitled to. If Jennifer contributes to a TFSA for several years, she can then withdraw the money and use it to make an RRSP contribution when her income is higher. This option would also increase the TFSA contribution limit she can use in the future. Brought to you by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario

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Your Income Tax Scenario 2

Couple should focus on saving for children’s education and paying down mortgage Allan and Eileen are a young couple with a large mortgage, two children and taxable income of $85,000. They have $1,500 available. Should they pay down their mortgage or put the money in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)? “The answer largely depends on the timing of Allan’s and Eileen’s financial goals,” says Bill Hyde, CPA, CA, a Partner with Millard, Rouse & Rosebrugh LLP in Brantford. “In this case, funding the children’s education through an RESP is the priority in terms of timing.” Investing the money in an RESP also provides the highest net economic benefit, Hyde says. Assuming the couple’s marginal tax rate is 40 per cent, the interest rate on their mortgage is five per cent, and that the marginal tax rate on an RRSP contribution will be the same when the funds are taken out, Hyde calculates that the net economic benefit of a $1,500 contribution to an RESP would be $1,134. This compares to a net economic benefit of $945 from investing the same amount in an RRSP, a TFSA or paying down the mortgage by that amount. “The federal government provides a Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) of at least 20 per cent of the RESP contribution,” Hyde says. “This additional amount makes the RESP the best option of the four.” The down side of an RESP contribution is that it does not trigger a tax reduction. Tax is payable by the student on the accrued earnings of the RESP as the funds are drawn out. However, in most cases, the student is not in a taxable position when this occurs. If the child does not pursue an eligible post-secondary education program, the CESG is returned to the government. “Contributing to an RESP and paying down the mortgage are a virtual tie in my mind although, the older the children are, the more I would lean

more toward the RESP,” says Eugene Cholkan, CPA, CA, a Partner with Cholkan + Stepczuk LLP in Toronto. “Otherwise, I would recommend paying down the mortgage.” Cholkan says financial security should be Allan and Eileen’s top priority. “The last thing they want to do is uproot their young family by selling their home in case of financial difficulty,” he explains. “Several things beyond their control could lead to that, such as job loss or an increase in interest rates.” For example, an increase of two per cent on a $300,000 mortgage would increase a monthly mortgage payment by about $325, Cholkan says. “Paying down the mortgage principal can help Allan and Eileen keep their monthly payment as low as possible, if interest rates are higher when they have to renew. It also creates equity in their home that can help them get a low-cost home equity line of credit to temporarily cover unexpected expenses.” Choosing between paying down the mortgage and contributing to an RRSP also depends on the difference between the interest rate paid on the mortgage and the rate earned on the investments inside the RRSP. If the rate earned on investments is higher, Allan and Eileen may want to consider the RRSP contribution, says Hyde. “If the marginal tax rate is lower when the funds are withdrawn from the RRSP than when the funds are contributed, there will be a benefit to

contributing to the RRSP,” he adds. “Even if the tax rate is not materially lower at that time, the longer the funds are invested, the greater the benefit of contributing to an RRSP.” Allan and Eileen can also use the tax refund from an RRSP contribution to help pay down their mortgage. Hyde and Cholkan both say that putting the money in a TFSA is the least attractive option for Allan and Eileen. “TFSAs should be used when the RRSP limit has been fully funded and mortgage debt has been eliminated,” advises Hyde. Cholkan agrees that the time is not right for the couple to contribute to a TFSA, “Except, perhaps, if they are temporarily saving up for a renovation or for a new car,” he adds. “Even then, since interest on short-term savings is so low, so little tax would be saved it might not be worth the effort to set up a TFSA, as opposed to a regular savings account of Guaranteed Income Certificate (GIC).” Brought to you by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario

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Your Income Tax Scenario 3

Borrowing to make RRSP contribution may not be a good idea Rajiv is 40, single, has no debts, and rents an apartment. He has $50,000 in his Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), but hasn’t saved any money to make a contribution to his RRSP this year. He has access to a line of credit. Should Rajiv borrow money to make an RRSP contribution this year? “If Rajiv makes $75,000 a year or less, an RRSP contribution won’t generate a very large tax refund,” says Chris Alexander, CPA, CA, CBV, Principal, CJA Professional Services in Oakville. “If he is making $100,000 or more, and is in a higher tax bracket, it may be advantageous to make an RRSP contribution because the refund will be higher.” Alexander says it may make more sense for Rajiv to not make an RRSP contribution this year. “Instead of taking out a loan to finance an RRSP contribution, he could skip this year and make a diligent effort over the coming year to contribute each month to his RRSP,” he explains. “This is a better approach than always playing catch-up by paying off an RRSP loan from the prior year. Also, if he borrows to make an RRSP contribution, the interest on the loan is not tax deductible.” Rajiv should make the decision in the context of his overall financial and retirement plan, advises Tom Trainor, CPA, CA, Managing Director,

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Hanover Private Client Corporation in Toronto. “Before thinking of borrowing, he should look at the stability of his employment, his cash flow and what he would do if he lost his job and couldn’t service the debt,” explains Trainor. “Does he have an emergency fund? Does he have disability insurance if he becomes ill or is injured? Can he cut back his spending if he has to? Rajiv needs to assess these risk factors.” Placing some funds inside a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) is another option for Rajiv. “If he is considering buying a house in the next few years, putting money into a RRSP just ties up the funds,” says Alexander. “A TFSA is more flexible because you can

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take money out without affecting your ability to use a TFSA again in future years.” That being said, under the federal Home Buyers’ Plan, Rajiv may be able to borrow up to $25,000 from his RRSP to buy or build a house. A number of conditions apply, so he should seek professional advice before going this route. If Rajiv does not contribute to his RRSP this year, he can carry forward his unused contribution room to a future year. “If he decides to borrow to contribute to his RRSP this year, he can take the tax deduction this year or carry it forward to another year,” says Trainor. Both Alexander and Trainor agree that, if Rajiv does borrow to make an RRSP contribution, he should use his tax refund to pay down the debt. “It’s human nature to earmark a tax refund as some kind of windfall to be used for things like vacations or a big screen TV,” says Alexander. “But it should definitely be applied to paying off the loan.” Brought to you by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario

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Your Income Tax

Scenario 4

Couple has many options for investing inheritance

on his 2013 return, $10,000 as a deduction on his 2014 return and to use the remaining $5,000 on his 2015 tax return,” explains Bassett. “By doing this, he’ll reduce his tax bills by 11 per cent more—extra tax savings of $1,650—on the last $15,000 contributed.” Dave and Sandra could also use funds in their RRSPs to help them finance a house purchase. “They could each contribute $25,000 to their RRSPs, find a house, and ensure the closing date is no sooner than 90 days after their RRSP contributions were made,” explains Bassett. “Then, under the Home Buyers’ Plan, they could use the $50,000 in their RRSPs as part of a down payment for the house. They can still take advantage of the tax savings from the RRSP contributions. Then, over a 15-year period, they must either repay the $50,000 to their RRSPs or choose to include annual amounts of $1,667 each in their taxable incomes.” Finally, Dave and Sandra should consider contributing the maximum amount to Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs). “If they have not put anything in

TFSAs to date, they each can contribute $5,000 per year since 2009 ($5,500 for 2013 and 2014), or, cumulatively $31,000 to date to a TFSA,” says de Gannes. TFSAs are more flexible than RRSPs because you can take money out without affecting your ability to use a TFSA again in future years. “Contributions to TFSAs don’t give you a tax deduction, but when you withdraw money from them the accumulated contributions and income you receive are not taxable,” adds de Gannes. Dave and Sandra could use any money left over for other investments, says de Gannes. “They should invest in conservative equity investments yielding low tax dividends and capital gain potential,” he says. So, how do Dave and Sandra decide what to do? “They need to consider their specific circumstances closely to determine which combination of these various tools will provide the optimal result for them,” says Bassett. “They may also wish to seek professional help to determine their best options from a tax perspective.” Brought to you by the Chartered Professional Accountants

Dave and Sandra are in their 50s and have just inherited $150,000. They rent their home. Both are working and making ends meet, but they have very little saved for retirement and neither has a pension. Should they use their inheritance to buy a house or continue to rent and deposit the money in their Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs)? “Dave and Sandra have a pleasant problem to deal with,” says Rick Bassett, FCPA, FCA, a Taxation Partner with Durward Jones Barkwell & Company LLP in St. Catharines. “A windfall can be used to shore up their personal net worth statements.” Bassett suggests that Dave and Sandra first consider paying off any high-interest debt, such as credit card debt. “Interest rates on such debt will often be at rates of 18 per cent or more, and sometimes as high as 29 per cent,” he explains. “Reducing such debt should be a priority.” Dave and Sandra’s second consideration should be whether they should continue to rent, or buy a house. “They may want to continue renting, since their rental costs are likely no greater than the costs of home ownership,” says Derek de Gannes, CPA, CA, a Tax Partner with CW Partners LLP in Toronto. “Mortgage principal and interest, repairs, utilities, etc. are all part of those costs.” On the other hand, Dave and Sandra may want to think about buying an affordable house that will grow in value. “There is no better tax rate than zero per cent, and that is the rate that Canadians pay on any capital gains earned on the eventual sale of their principal residence,” says Bassett. “They may also quality for the First-Time Home Buyers’ tax credit worth $750 if they buy a house, as long as neither one of them has been a homeowner during the past five years.” A third consideration is whether to contribute to their RRSPs. “They may want to avoid RRSP contributions, as the tax savings may not be significant at their current income levels,” advises For 60 years, we’ve been meeting with our Members at their homes and de Gannes. “There is also the potential for businesses saving them time and money. higher tax expenses upon death or deregistration of the RRSP, when it all turns into taxable income.” Being there also allows us to better understand the details of each operation, However, RRSP contributions could promaking sure we don’t miss a thing. vide some advantages. “Because Dave and Sandra do not have pension plans through their employment, and because they have Plus, we stand behind our work with audit protection. We’ll be there through the not found it possible to make significant entire process. At no extra cost to you. contributions to their RRSPs to date, they will each most likely have ample contribution room,” says Bassett. “If they do conWith over 50,000 Members, we are Canada’s Farm & Small Business tribute to their RRSPs, they will need to deTax Specialist™. cide when it is most advantageous to claim the resulting tax deductions.” For example, if Dave has a taxable income Meet with your Local Tax Consultant of $54,000 for 2013 and lives in Ontario, he will pay a little over 31 per cent on the Brian Schepers last $10,000 of his taxable income. However, for taxable income less than $44,000 his 519.453.5040 tax rate will be just over 20 per cent. “Under this scenario, if Dave contributed $25,000 www.fbc.ca to an RRSP this year, he would be best to use approximately $10,000 as a deduction

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Dining & Entertainment Food & Wine

Sediment in wine

The presence of sediment isn’t necessarily bad by Jamie Quai

JEFF YUREK, MPP

ELGIN-MIDDLESEX-LONDON Here to Help You with:

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March, 2014

to bottling. The time that wines used to sit and naturally clarify would allow for the wine components that were unstable to sediment out. The longer a wine sits in waiting the more the wine costs to produce, in overhead. There is very little incentive to hold off on wines at the lower end of the price spectrum. These wines will have a broad spectrum of fining agents added to them and then are filtered clear to ensure a quick turnover. These are not fine wines, these are generic wines. In fine winemaking, the goal is to interfere with the wine as little as possible. Fine winemakers will opt not to use a fining agent unless it is absolutely necessary, and filtration is an option of last resort. With higher quality wines the timeline from harvest to bottling is extended, and the wines will achieve a measure of stability prior to release. Even delicate What two things do yeast cells, fining will strip more than the targrape proteins, natural acid crystals, geted sediment out of the wine. Even colour pigments and tannins all have the best filter can remove more than in common? Besides being an im- the haze in a wine. Wine is a very portant part of wine structure, these chemically complex product. Many are all components that can form of the compounds that will invarisediments in an otherwise vividly ably sediment out of a wine contribclear wine. By the end of this article ute to structure. Fine wines need as I hope to convince you that a little much structure to age as possible. sediment is actually a mark of qual- Fining and filtration can really cut a ity. wine’s lifespan down. One of the biggest hurdles in getFine winemakers will bottle a wine ting more consumers to move up the that appears to be clear but has the fine wine spectrum is a rather fun- potential to drop sediments. It’s a damental misunderstanding about trade-off between a misguided perwhat wine should and shouldn’t ception of quality and the knowllook like. The presence of excessive edge that the wine has the framebubbles in a still wine is bad. The work to age intact. Sediments are presence of an excessive haze can be almost always the result of delicate or a fault. The issue for the wine trade minimal handling, a change in storto overcome is that the presence of age conditions, or extended cellar sediment isn’t necand bottle agessarily bad. ing. In the fine Wine consumers wine business “in fine winemaking, we do as much have come to expect that a wine ‘should’ the goal is to interfere as we can to enhave flawless clarity. sure the wines as little as possible” Sediments are erare stable, but as roneously viewed as an industry we a fault. Brilliantly need to do a better job of educating clear wines are a two-fold result of our customers that with fine wines ... filtration and the addition of vari- super spotless isn’t always better. ous fining agents that are used to remove the precursors to sedimentation. While fining agents are a fairly time-tested method of cleaning up Jamie Quai is head a wine, filtration on the other hand winemaker at Quai is a rather recent technique used by du Vin Estate Winery wineries. Filtration allows wineries in Elgin County to compress the time from harvest

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Do you need to be fixed?

Healthy Living SELF DISCOVERY

Or are you out of sync with your life and the world? by Anouschka Van den Bosch

The voice at the other end of the line has stopped talking. There is silence, an uncomfortable silence and a silence that is needed to be there. My client has spent the last few minutes explaining her situation and finished with the questions: “Can you fix me?” We are both sitting in the silence. Then I respond in a calm voice: “You are not broken, why would I fix you?” My client is now silent on her own account. She is digesting my statement and question. Slowly she starts to speak, and I can tell from the tone of her voice that she does not believe me. We continue on with our coaching conversation, and when we hang up I believe she can see that she is not broken. We have some work to do together to

help her see things differently, to take baby steps on is that you are feeling out of sync with your life in creating the change; we are not however, fixing and the rest of the world. You want to be “fixed” her. so that life can be normal again. I’m not sure where we got the notion that there When we are going through a life change such is something wrong with us, and we need to be as a job loss or the breakup of a relationship, it’s fixed. It’s actually sad that we have come to the easy to think there is something wrong with us point. To me, we are all whole and complete. and we need to be fixed. We have lost the joy for To fix means “to make (something) whole or able life, we are not feeling like ourselves anymore, and to work properly again: to repair (something).” So we are uncomfortable with this feeling. And that when you feel you need to is okay. Feeling stuck is a better be fixed you are implying expression when that out-of-sync that you are not whole or feeling hits us. Not being able you feel you need something “it’s actually sad that we to move forward, not being able to make you work properly to find breathing room and not have come to the point” knowing what is next are unpleasagain. Maybe what is really going ant feelings. So instead of looking at how you can “fix” yourself, you need to recognize you are stuck, you are not happy with where you are now and that is what needs to change. You start taking a look at the things you are able to change. Is it the first baby step of letting go of what no longer is, or is it the first step to realizing this job is not making you happy anymore? From there you create a plan that will help you take bigger steps to moving out of being stuck and into your new world of possibilities. And throughout this process, you will see that, if anything, you are resilient, you are strong and you have the tools to create new opportunities. If you truly want to fix something, find something in your basement that has not worked for years. I’m sure someone will be grateful for that. Anouschka Van den Bosch is a Human Resources Professional and Certified Life and Career Coach.

Joe Preston, M.P. ELGIN-MIDDLESEX-LONDON

• Revenue Canada • Seniors’ Issues • • Citizenship & Immigration • • Employment Insurance • Passport Inquiries • 24 First Ave., Unit 2, St. Thomas, ON N5R 4M5

519-637-2255 • 1-866-404-0406 www.joeprestonmp.ca

March, 2014

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HOMESTYLE DECORATING

Arranging furniture

Affordable ways to update a tired room by Renée Carpenter

If you are someone that either tires easily of your surroundings, or have surroundings that are tired, there are a number of ways to easily and affordably update your room. Sometimes it can be as simple as rearranging the furniture! It's fast, free and easy and can make the room feel like new. It doesn’t matter whether your rooms are big or small: having the right furniture arrangement will make them more enjoyable. Before you begin, start with a plan – a creative floor plan that considers three things: flow, function and focal points. For instance, if it is a family room that involves high traffic, then flow is essential. All furniture should be situated so that it maximizes the room’s focal points, presumably a TV and maybe even a fireplace. Plot out the scenarios on graph paper before you begin slugging. Utilize wasted space and create cozy conversation centers. You really can enjoy your movie, the warmth of a fireplace and the company of family and friends all at the same time if you plan it properly.

“a creative floor plan considers flow, function and focal points”

If the room’s function is entertainment- ate your own by hanging large art on a wall or a focused, place the television or computer collection on a console or bookshelf. so that the screens face away from the For face-to-face chats, place seating no more sunlight. The viewing distance for a stan- than 8 feet apart. If the room is large, use furdard TV is 8-12 feet, and the best view- niture to create comfortably islands. Face two ing angle is not more than 30 degrees. For sofas in the center of a room, and place a group traffic flow, create paths that flow behind of chairs and side tables at one end to create a the viewers and not between them and the separate conversation area. Allow 30” between pieces in places where you need to be able to walk screen. Once the function of the room has been around furniture and 14-18” between a coffee determined, the next question is how table and sofa so drinks are within reach. A table many people will be using this space. Plan should be placed within reach of each seat. The your space to maximize seating based on curves of round pedestal tables between chairs the answer. If planned well, the cozy gath- and sofas make them easier to navigate around. ering spot in the long room scenario could Nesting tables are great for flexible use when space is tight. comfortably seat seven to nine people. To bring this all to light, remember to plan your A familiar scenario in family/living rooms would be a long room with the fo- lighting. It is the key to seeing and enjoying the cal points all at one end. Generally the en- space you have created! try to these rooms is at the opposite end as passage to the adjoining room. This pass-through Renée Carpenter owns would be your high traffic area and a minimum Jennings Furniture & of 3 to 4 feet should be left open for just that Design & Stage It With purpose. This basically divides the room into two Jennings in St. Thomas. different functions. Create your cozy gathering at the opposite end and treat the traffic area as an entry drop spot. You Century Sound Sales and Service might include a couple of chairs beside a small chest as a separate reading area away from the TV or just a wall console as a key and mail drop. The next scenario frequently encountered in open concept plans is that there are no free walls and with potentially a centered fireplace. In this case, float the furniture in the center of a room filled with doors and windows. Face the From Rough sofa and chairs toward Wiring to Choose the Home Theatre System that suits each other to encourage Complete your layout and budget and we’ll take care of conversation. Anchor Installations this area with a rug and everything else... from start to finish! large coffee table. This space can be framed 21 Years of New Home & Renovation Home Installations, with additional seating Surround Sound Systems, P/C and Internet Solutions, and cabinets for storCar Audio and much more. age by positioning them around the perimeter of the room along the walls. If your room doesn’t From Restaurants have a fireplace, orient and Bars seating so it takes advan930 Talbot St., St. Thomas to Office and Industrial… tage of whatever view your room has to offer WE DO IT ALL!! w w w. c e n t u r y s o u n d . c o m – a bank of windows Monday to Thursday 9am-6pm, Friday 9am-7pm, Saturday 9am-5pm with a view, TV, or cre-

Relax and enjoy.

Business Solutions

March, 2014

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Lifestyles Our Heritage

The Elgin County Museum

A culturally fascinating experience by Katherine Thompson

A visit to the Elgin County Museum is an educational journey through the area’s storied past. Delving into the daily lives of past residents, politicians and businesses is a fascinating cultural experience. The museum is located on the fourth floor of the Elgin County Administrative Building at 450 Sunset Dr., St. Thomas and is open to the public Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm (hours change after May 24th). The museum is tasked with the promotion of Elgin’s rich historical and agricultural heritage through the preservation, acquisition and display of artifacts. The museum’s roots can be traced back to local Women’s Institute branches that began compiling the history of Elgin’s communities in the 1930s. In 1954, Middlemarch Women’s Institute president Dorothy Futcher led a group through three years of planning, fundraising and collections development for the establishment of an Elgin County Museum. The museum committee was able to purchase a historic home, built by Dr. Elijah Duncombe in 1848, as a permanent location for their collection. In 1957, Elgin County Council voted unanimously to take over the ownership of the museum making it eligible for provincial funding. After a 2001 fire at the Duncombe House and growing concerns regarding accessibility, the Elgin County Museum was eventually relocated to its current location and opened again to the public in 2006. Today, the museum hosts several interesting exhibits a year, displaying artifacts from many

March, 2014

of Elgin County’s oldest families. On now until August 30, 2014, the Treasures from the Vault exhibit highlights some of the museum’s bestknown artifacts. Among the “Treasures” is an 1898 Port Stanley life saving medal, the blue gown worn by Susan Paul to the Prince of Wales ball in 1860, an 1885 high wheel bicycle, trophies and ribbons from Major League umpire Robert Emslie and athlete Billy Devine, and Col. Thomas Talbot’s chair. The museum is also responsible for curating two virtual exhibits: one on the Scott Studio and the other an in-depth look at Elgin County’s founding settler Col. Thomas Talbot. For more information about the programs offered by the Elgin County Museum or to access its virtual exhibits and online collections database visit www.elgincounty.ca/museum.

ELGIN THIS MONTH

Katherine Thompson is Marketing & Communications Coordinator with The County of Elgin

25


HEALTHY LIVING EVERYDAY HEALTH

Get ready for spring by Dr. Greg Johnston B.H.K., B.Ed., D.C.

Well, believe it or not, spring is right around the amount of body weight to corner, and with it also comes the beginning of the foot to stretch the achilles our spring and summer athletic activities. In par- and calf muscle. An excellent ticular, these commonly include baseball/softball, way to help strengthen this soccer and golf. This article is a reminder that you area is to do body weight calf roughly have about six to eight weeks to start do- raises by raising yourself up ing some pre-season conditioning to help prevent onto the “tippy-toes” repeatthose annual aches and pains that usually accom- edly for sets of approximately pany the start of the new season. 10 to 15 repetitions. Other One of the most common general mobility problems that we generally see exercises for the in the early spring with both start with some ankle include baseball and soccer involves writing the algentle stretching phabet in the the feet and ankles. Problems include ankle sprains, Achilair with your exercises les tendonopathies and general big toe. Write foot pain. Many of these probthe capital letlems are attributable to the increased stress and ters and try to gently force strain that baseball and soccer cleats put on the the ranges of motion as you structures of the achilles and calf muscle as well work your way through the as the decreased amount of support and stability alphabet. Finally, when betthat these types of footwear offer. ter weather eventually arrives, Now is the time to start working on increasing take some time to put your the resiliency of the calf and Achilles tendon com- cleats on and begin getting plex by starting a regular stretching program. One use to them again by walking of the best ways to stretch this area is by stand- or running in them for a few ing on a stairway and gently letting the heel of minutes several times before one foot drop off the stair, applying a graduated wearing them in a game.

41st Annual

Honours and Awards Banquet Thursday April 24, 2014, 6 pm at Memorial Arena.

NOMINATIONS ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED

Pay tribute to the hardworking volunteers, athletes, artists, and heroes who bring pride and distinction to St.Thomas. Nomination forms and eligibility criteria are available on the City’s website: www.stthomas.ca or at the Parks and Recreation Department, 2 Third Avenue (Timken Centre), the City Clerk’s Office and Mayor’s Office at City Hall. Completed forms must be received at the Parks and Recreation Department Office inside the Timken Arena, 2 Third Ave. no later than 4 pm, Friday March 14, 2014. For information please contact:

Parks and Recreation Department 519-633-7112 agazda@stthomas.ca March, 2014

Shoulder injuries and pain are also extremely common at the beginning of baseball season. In many cases, it will have been several months since participants have actually thrown a ball, and then they jump right back into the activity without the proper preparation. Again, now is the time to start working on stretching and strengthening the throwing shoulder. As with the ankle, start with some gentle stretching exercises to increase flexibility and resiliency. Gently and gradually progress to more active exercises such as shoulder circles and if possible short easy sessions of playing catch or even throwing a ball against a wall. A professional such as a chiropractor or physiotherapist can instruct you on how to properly strengthen the

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all-important rotator cuff muscle group which is at the core of many shoulder problems, especially involving throwing. A final, but in no way less important, consideration is to begin a good overall fitness routine to help prepare for the upcoming sport season. Be sure to include the components of flexibility, strengthening, and cardiovascular conditioning and pay particular attention to sport specific areas of concern. Those of you who have re-occurring injuries or pain every season should consider addressing the causes of those injuries now in an effort to try to avoid the problem this year. Again, this is an excellent time to consult with a chiropractor or physiotherapist to discuss the problems that you usually encounter so that they can determine the root causes of these problems and instruct you on the proper ways to condition your body to minimize and hopefully eliminate these problems. The purpose of this article is to serve as a wakeup call. Spring is coming, and if you are planning on pursuing a specific sport or activity this spring and summer, now is the time to start to get your body in shape in anticipation of the upcoming season. Get to work so that you can have a more enjoyable and pain free season. Dr. Greg Johnston is a Chiropractor and partner in Family Health Options Treatment & Resources Centre in St.Thomas 26


Business & Community Business ResouRces

Market segmentation

Help your business survive and find direction by Lisa King Market segmentation is a tool for analyzing the market to ensure the company’s survival and find its direction. Market segmentation takes a look at all of the target markets available with an easy to follow process. What is a market? A market is a group of potential customers with similar needs who are willing to exchange something of value with sellers offering various goods or services – that is, ways of satisfying those needs. Next look at the markets the company wants to serve and see if there is room for growth or new opportunity. Step 1: Identify the broad product-markets What products does the company offer or want to offer to consumers. Segmentation will help differentiate the markets that are available and develop suitable marketing mixes. Step 2: Gather as much information about your target market as possible. Make sure that the information that is gathered is relevant and timely. Keep in mind that consumers do not purchase features, they purchase benefits. Look to see what benefits the consumers are seeking. One of the useful methods is to use the five W’s. • Who are the consumers? o People types o Gender o Geography • What are consumers in this market buying? o Frequency of use o Who in the household uses the product • Why are they buying or what benefits are being sought? o What are their needs • Where and how are they buying? o Location o Type of outlet o Quantity oMethod • When are they buying? Step 3: List the appropriate qualifying and determining dimensions for segmentation Qualifying dimensions include who, what, why, where and when. These qualify the people to be included in the market, as they are interested in the product, have the resources to purchase the product and have access to your distribution system. Determining dimensions are the factors that determine what segment they fall into and what makes them different. These include consumer needs, benefits sought, buying behaviour, and product usage. Step 4: Form possible market segments Compile the information gathered into a chart. Patterns will emerge that will help sort them into different markets (i.e.) Constant users, potential clients, March, 2014

not interested. Or possibly Standard Product, New Products, Outside of the Box products. Ensure that the markets are as different from one another as possible, but at the same time ensure they are similar within a given segment on a least one key dimension as well as substantial and operational. If a determining dimension is used across the chart then this dimension is not useful information as it does not assist in identifying segments. Other aspects to take into consideration when forming segments are attitudes, lifestyles, age, gender, typical stage in family life cycle, buying behaviour, buying situation, rate of use, frequency of use, purchase occasion, price sensitivity, willingness to compare or to try, urgency to satisfy need, media viewing

habits, size, growth trends, and relevant economic, cultural or religious data. The information gathered may also help to pinpoint gaps in the data that will need to be investigated to form a complete analysis. Step 5: Identify potential target markets and possible positioning Now that the market has been analysed the information collected will help to identify the key target market(s) that could be pursued. Segmentation will enhance the ability to aim the marketing efforts to the target market. Lisa King is Accounts Manager with Elgin Business Resource Centre.

March 27th, 2014 in St. Thomas

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Business & Community Avoiding FrAud

Is your small business vulnerable to fraud? (NC) Organizations of all sizes are susceptible to fraud and scams, but it’s the small and medium businesses that are the most vulnerable. According to Canadian accounting associations, SMBs represent the most important employment sector in the country, constituting 99.7% of all business establishments and two thirds of the private workforce, making them a prime target. Their limited ability to allocate resources to prevention and detection means that fraudulent activity can usually go unnoticed until a high price has already been paid. “Another factor that makes small businesses susceptible to fraud is the limited overall knowledge that they have on the subject” notes François Ramsay, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel for Yellow Pages Group. “ The majority of SMBs aren’t aware of the different ways they could become victims of internal and external fraud, which makes it difficult for them to identify the chinks in their armour and to ensure prevention, detection, and appropriate response measures.” To help increase awareness, Ramsay identifies some of the most common and other not-so-obvious types of fraud that exploit small businesses. Employee Fraud: Unfortunately, studies have shown that even trusted employees, who don’t fit the stereotypical profile of a thief, can engage in fraud-related conduct. If they have easy access to funds in a company that lacks appropriate control systems in the accounting and inventory departments, employees may give in to the temptation to take company resources when faced with per-

sonal financial stress and the right opportunity. Impersonators: Some scammers send pretender invoices or try to pass themselves off as legitimate businesses that you usually deal with. SMBs may receive bills for print and online listings or advertisement which they did not order or authorize. Other order forms or invoices that seem to come from well-known supplierscould actually be from fraudsters who have made very subtle changes to that company’s logo and name, hoping that you won’t notice and that you will pay the invoice. Start-ups are especially vulnerable to illegitimate companies claiming to represent the government by offering them funding programs which are hard to understand. Cyber Fraud: Most small business owners are aware of malicious software that poses online security threats. Spyware, malware, and trojan horses are all designed to gain access to sensitive information stored on your computer by tricking you to click a link or visit a fake website. Even social media platforms are potential risks with links sent by a direct message from fans’ and friends’ accounts. But fewer people know about mobile phone scams. Text messages and missed calls coming from numbers you don’t recognize can charge a premium rate when you call or answer back. Small companies who rely most on their mobile phone for business are prime targets. Identity theft: Scammers are assuming business identities in order to steal company assets, such as client lists, credit card information, and business relationships. Confidential electronic information and paper document thefts can be committed in

the most mundane way, when computers are not properly password protected or files are left out in the open. Some businesses also do not take proper steps to safely destroy sensitive data, making dumpster-diving and hacking into company networks easy ways to access information. Once businesses have identified their areas of vulnerability to fraud, they can then start taking periodic assessments of risks and developing a simple response plan to guide staff and management in cases when fraud is detected. More information on this topic is available online at yellowpages360solution.ca/fraud. www.newscanada.com

Is your small business cyber-safe? (NC) With the increasing use of mobile devices and the prominence of social media in our lives, cyber crime poses serious security risks, especially for small businesses. In 2013 alone, cyber crime has cost Canadians $3 billion (in USD) according to a recent Norton report. “Being cyber safe is a practice that should be part of a company's regular operations,” says Paul T. Ryan, Chief Technology Officer for Yellow Pages Group, a company that provides digital media

and marketing solutions to Canada's small businesses. “Small business owners may believe that they are too small to be targeted by cyber criminals, but the fact is that they're a huge target because of their often less robust security systems.” Ryan suggests implementing a few security measures for small businesses that are looking to protect themselves against cyber fraud: • Tablets and smartphones are great tools for sales teams but, because of their size, they are a target for both theft and fraud. Always protect your devices with a password, frequently back-up your data, and install security, encryption, and locator apps to protect sensitive business information. Most importantly, don't access private information on free WiFi networks, as they often aren't very secure. • With the growing use of mobile comes the move to cloud computing. It's great for data storage, as well as for marketing and sales, but

Counselling HELP with Anger, Anxiety and Adoption issues. Jim Innes, BA, MDiv. 20 years experience 519-280-7795 St. Thomas, Ont www.JimInnes.com March, 2014

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this means that you're storing your data online, outside your business and sometimes outside the country. Protect yourself by using a service that allows you to encrypt information before uploading or sharing and by only giving access to a limited number of people in your organization. Don't forget to do your research before choosing a service provider; read their legal terms, know where your data is being stored, and make sure their service fits your security needs. • Social media sites provide another marketing tool for small businesses to reach their potential customers, but they're also easy targets for hackers looking to get access to private business information. If you're using social media to promote your business, select only a small number of individuals who can post on your company's behalf. Also, it's important to use the site's privacy controls, ignore requests for sensitive business information, and continue to be on the lookout for spam posts. For small businesses, cyber crime continues to be a very real threat. Ultimately, cyber safety must become the responsibility of all members of an organization, and with the implementation of simple security measures, the high cost of falling victim to this kind of fraud can often be prevented. More information on this topic is available online at yellowpages360solution.ca/fraud. www.newscanada.com 28


LIFESTYLE THAT’S LIFE

Kids are compulsive hoarders

Various interventions and purgings have little effect by Elizabeth VanHooren

I know that you can’t believe everything on the Internet, and my family physician has warned me about self-diagnosing my kids’ ailments. But I’ve done some extensive research, and according to Wikipedia my children are compulsive hoarders. Compulsive hoarding is defined as, “a pattern of behavior that is characterized by the excessive acquisition of or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that cover the living areas of the home and cause significant distress or impairment.” My children hoard paper products. I have exactly twenty-six magnets on my fridge, all the letters of the alphabet, and each one is holding up a scrap of paper my sons want to display. I’ve tried having “limited exhibitions” on the fridge gallery or at least rotating the old with the new “art work” as it is produced at school or at home. But I am met with pouts and big blue eyes questioning me: “Don’t you like our drawings Mom?” Cardboard boxes and egg cartons are equally as attractive to my little pack rats. Empty cereal and Kleenex boxes make the perfect tunnels for their train sets.  Egg cartons can be used to sort Lego blocks, or display their Lego men. I’ve always encouraged re-cycling, re-purposing and my son’s imaginations, but honestly, my house looks like I simply forgot to recycle. “Compulsive hoarding behavior has been associated with adverse effects on friends and family members … it can prevent typical uses of space so as to limit activities such as cooking, cleaning, and sleeping.” My children do not recognize their behavior as a problem.  So, I have had to hold various interventions and mandatory purges. Some of the most successful have occurred when my collectors are fast asleep. I’ve even taken to hiding recyclable items in my cupboards to be taken out to the blue box in the garage under the safety of darkness and away from creative eyes. Sitting in my office at work I dig deeper into my Google search looking for a cure. “There is no cure for compulsive hoarding,” comes up in one search. “There is no treatment that will make the problem go away completely and never come back.” I pause for a moment, and take the statement in. Looking about my office my eyes settle on my bulletin board filled to capacity with various pieces of coloured construction paper, finger painted drawings and sketches entitled “To Mom.”  I look back at the computer screen and in bold print I see the next search result, “Hoarding runs in families.” Elizabeth VanHooren is General Manager of Kettle Creek Conservation Authority

Mental Health Care in Your Community Another milestone has been achieved in mental health transformation in your community. Together, St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital (STEGH) and St. Joseph’s Health Care London (St. Joseph’s) provide your community with mental health services.

St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital (STEGH) STEGH’s new Mental Health Care program opened on January 13, 2014 for adults 18 and older. This program includes: • Short-term inpatient care • Emergency psychiatry • Outpatient programs by referral through your family health care provider Located at the hospital on 189 Elm Street, first floor of the main building.

Not sure who to call? Contact the STEGH Mental Health Care Outpatient Department at 519 637-0511 For emergency care: call 911 or go to your closest emergency room For more information on our new program visit www.stegh.on.ca

St. Joseph’s Health Care London (St. Joseph’s) On a referral basis, St. Joseph’s Health Care London provides specialized inpatient and outpatient mental health care to individuals. Services are provided at the current Regional Mental Health Care London site at 850 Highbury Ave and in the future, at the new mental health facility opening adjacent to Parkwood Hospital in London (late 2014). St. Joseph’s role as an outpatient service provider to St. Thomas and Elgin County will continue through the Elgin Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams and the Steele St. Treatment and Rehabilitation Residence. For more information on St. Joseph’s mental health services visit www.sjhc.london.on.ca Crisis outreach services provided by CMHA Elgin Branch - 24 hours each day, seven days per week, including holidays.

If you need support, please call 519 631-2180 or toll-free at 1-888-631-2180 March, 2014

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LIFESTYLE TIME ON MY HANDS

Another way to enjoy the Canadian winter With gasoline, propane, red meat, beer, and a miracle outhouse by Duncan Watterworth

Since I wrote last month’s column, on “winter camping,” I again found myself alone in the northern bush as darkness fell. I was standing on a frozen lake, far from any road. But this time, on the hill above the lake was a sturdy little cabin – no hydro or plumbing, but a heat-blasting woodstove and a pile of wood. It’s the off-the-grid retreat of old Aylmerites Nick and Mark. We three had been up at 4:00 a.m., and convoying north in a truck and car, snowmobile in tow. In Sudbury we wolfed down a working man’s breakfast of eggs, bacon, ham, and home fries, for this was a working trip. In Iron Bridge we picked up a propane stove and refrigerator. It’s much easier to move big items by snowmobile and sled in winter than by boat in summer. When we finally reached the trailhead, Mark and I, with the first sled-load of gear, made the eight kilometre run to the cabin. But the snowmobile bogged down in the metre of snow on the hill up to the cabin. We unloaded the sled on the lake and Mark headed back to the steak and lamb. A selection of eight cheeses filled road. In the twilight, I wondered if I would see the any gaps in the menu. boys before morning. My Over the next days, the refrigjob was to tromp the hill erator, stove and a large propane a few times in snowshoes tank were hauled in and installed, to harden the trail for the and the cupboards and counter “the outhouse was no snowmobile, and hump as refitted. The completion of these hardship ... thanks to much gear as I could up to projects (okay, and sometimes the Nick’s genius idea” the top. Take the most imcommencement) was celebrated portant stuff first, Mark told with a brew. From now on, in me, indicating the beer. the summer, the food can be kept They did make it back chilled without hauling in big with another load, well after dark, and were able to coolers and blocks of ice. And the cold storage – climb the hill. After the necessary chores, a hard- an insulated hole in the ground, which a bear once earned beer or two, and a quick but substantial ripped into – can be retired. meal of sausages on a bun, we fell exhausted into The other major chore was to fell a mature, dead bed. cedar at the water’s edge, and chainsaw it up for On this winter working trip we knew we needed firewood. With its branches, we kept a bonfire go– and certainly deserved – serious fuel. We enjoyed ing for hours right on the ice. It was a unique pleahearty fried breakfasts, and dinners of barbequed sure to sit on the lake in its warm glow, drinking

beer so cold it was slush. Since you might be wondering, I’ll mention that the outhouse was no hardship at all. This thanks to Nick’s genius idea of covering the seat with a slab of styrofoam. I can honestly report there was not a nanosecond of cold upon touchdown. A modern miracle. We could blissfully sit with the door wide open, gazing across the almost chin-high snow, decorated with the shadows of birches. After all this winter work, sustained by hardearned barbeques and beer, we can now look forward to a lazy summer of unearned barbeques and beer. Those are okay too. Maybe even better. Duncan Watterworth is a retired lawyer whose mind tends to wander.

• (Larger vehicles extra). • Vehicles with pet hair/extra dirty-additional charge.

Other Services: Inside Shampooing, Leather Cleaning & Conditioning, Glass Treatment & Fabric Protection

160 Burwell Road, St. Thomas 519-631-5502 Car Wash & Auto Detailing March, 2014

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Drop off of Recyclables and Bulk Waste (Temporary Arrangement)

The City of St. Thomas is pleased to introduce alternate solutions in waste diversion

www.greenvalleyrecycling.ca 1200 Green Valley Road, London (519) 681-0606 www.forcegroupofcompanies.com Hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm Saturday 8am to noon 71 Centennial Ave.,

St. Thomas (519) 633-2223

Accepted Items: Electronics Scrap Metal Appliances (including fridges/ freezers) Tires Batteries Propane Tanks

Accepted Items: Home renovation waste Electronics (free of charge) Construction and demolition debris Brush & Tree stumps Household junk and rubbish Concrete (free of charge) Brick, block & rubble Asphalt (free of charge) Wood/shingles/drywall Tires (free of charge) All items subject to a tipping fee, unless otherwise stated Site has a $25 minimum charge (approx 450 lbs)

No Charge for drop offs

www.tryrecycling.com 3544 Dingman Drive, London (519) 457-1566 Hours: Monday to Friday 7am to 6pm Saturday 8am to 2pm

Accepted Items: Home renovation waste Construction and renovation debris and mixed loads YardWaste (brush, grass, leaves), Household junk and furniture, Reinforced concrete Rubble (concrete, brick, blocks), Shingles Recyclable Fill (Dirt, gravel) Asphalt (free of charge) Tires (free of charge) All items subject to a tipping fee, unless stated Site has a $25 minimum charge (approx 450 lbs)

Coming Soon Environmental Services Department 545 Talbot St. P.O. Box 520 St. Thomas, ON N5P 3V7

(519) 631- 1680, ext 4258 Fax: (519) 631-2130

www.stthomas.ca

March, 2014

My Waste smartphone App!

Managing Household Waste in St. Thomas will be Easier! Download and setting up My Waste takes seconds and is FREE! Get answers to all your waste/recycling questions instantly

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The St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital Foundation proudly hosts

Clara Hughes at

Opening Hearts, Opening Minds A Celebration of Mental Health Awareness • • • •

Saturday, March 15th, 2014 Hospital Atrium 7:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Free parking and refreshments

Complimentary tickets available at the STEGH Foundation Office, myFM radio station, the West Elgin Chronicle in West Lorne, the St. Thomas/Elgin Weekly News office, and BMO Bank of Montreal - East End, St. Thomas branch.

For more information, please visit: STEGHFoundation

189 Elm Street, St. Thomas

519-631-2030, ext. 2246 www.steghfoundation.ca

March, 2014

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March 2014  

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