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Welcome to Kingston! T

he city of Kingston is bursting with opportunity. It is home to world-class educational and health care institutions, offers a low cost of living with an unparalleled lifestyle, is full of great employment opportunities and is just a short commute from major commercial centres. In short, Kingston is a smart choice for people who want an exceptional city in which to live and work. Located at the convergence of Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River and Rideau Canal, Kingston is a city built on a grand heritage and defined by an ability to merge its historic legacies with its innovations of today. With a municipal population of 124,000 residents, Kingston is situated between the major hubs of Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Syracuse, New York. While Kingston is a small city, we compete on a big city scale – both in terms of lifestyle offerings and business excellence. Kingston is a great place to live. That’s a fact. With our combination of quality

of life, history and architecture, cultural and recreational amenities, education and healthy living options, the city is one of Canada’s premier communities. We have consistently been ranked one of the best cities in Canada to live for young talented workers, families and retirees – confirming that Kingston has something to offer at all stages of life. Kingston is a great place to work. That’s also a fact. The city has realized successful growth in part due to our stable and diversified public/private sector economy as well as our smart and innovative companies who are making an increasing impact on their fields around the world. Kingston employers are hiring and their continued growth and success has ensured that the city’s unemployment rate remains one of the lowest in Canada while our labour force participation rate is one of the highest. Kingston is also a great place for business. Our central location, proximity to three

major uncongested border crossings, opportunity for industry/academic partnerships and access to leading edge research are all part of the Kingston advantage. Combine that with first-class infrastructure, competitive tax rates and a skilled and motivated labour force and you have a city that is the perfect place to start or grow your business. This year we are taking Kingston to the world, to market Kingston’s strengths to international audiences and promote key sector opportunities for expansion. As the city’s economic development agency, we are extremely proud of our community and its strongest ambassadors and sales agents. The recent naming of Kingston as one of the world’s most intelligent cities is an honour that all Kingstonians deserve a share of. Through the individual passions and experiences of our residents, a collective community spirit is created that makes Kingston truly unique. We invite you to join us and discover Kingston – be it for a getaway visit or the start of a new life. It’s the smartest choice you will make. – Jeff Garrah, CEO Kingston Economic Development Corporation

Kingston CMA Economic Indicators

2010 2011

2012

2013f

2014f

2015f

2016f

2017f

Real GDP at basic prices (2002 $ millions) percentage charged

5,691 2.6

5,789 1.7

5,876 1.5

5,976 1.7

6,090 1.9

6,200 1.8

6,306 1.7

6,401 1.5

77 –3.3

80 3.2

81 1.3

80 –0.2

82 1.6

83 1.3

84 1.1

84 0.6

6.1

6.6

6.5

6.3

5.7

5.4

5.2

5.1

36,839 2.8

37,403 1.5

38,261 2.3

38,964 1.8

40,217 3.2

41,473 3.1

Population (000s) percentage change

163 0.8

164 0.9

165 0.8

166 0.6

167 0.6

168 0.6

169 0.6

170 0.6

Total housing starts

653

959

943

602

578

570

569

567

Retail sales ($ millions) percentage change

1,867 4.9

1,928 3.2

1,959 1.6

2,029 3.6

2,112 4.1

2,182 3.3

2,255 3.3

2,326 3.1

CPI (2002 = 1.0) percentage change

1.165 2.4

1.201 3.1

1.220 1.6

1.244 2.0

1.272 2.2

1.299 2.1

1.325 2.0

1.351 2.0

Total employment (000s) percentage change Unemployment rate Personal income per capita percentage change

f = forecast Sources: Statistics Canada; CMHC Housing Time Series Database; The Conference Board of Canada.

42,799 44,043 3.2 2.9

Produced by Perspective Marketing Inc. 1464 Cornwall Rd. Suite 5 Oakville, ON L6J 7W5 1-866-779-7712 info@perspective.ca www.perspective.ca Publisher, CEO Steve Montague VICE-PRESIDENT Ed Martin executive editor Bruno Ruberto media executive Linda Eccles editorial Ben Benedict Frank Armstrong Photography Wayne Hiebert Laura Meggs Suzy Lamont Barry Kaplan Rob Taylor Paul Wash Scott Adamson Perspective™ Kingston was produced independently of the City of Kingston and KEDCO. Contents are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the written consent of Perspective Marketing Inc. The publisher is not liable for any views expressed in the articles and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or the City of Kingston and KEDCO.

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Kingston earns spot as one of the world’s smartest communities

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• Innovation Park houses close to 300 knowledge workers from more than 50 organizations in 23 industry clusters. More than 50 students from Kingston’s three academic institutions are conducting research there amidst more than 25 industry collaborations.

hen four Kingston-area communities joined the Ontario push to amalgamation in 1998, the new city of Kingston created a motto for the new municipality. The phrase was a notion that at first blush seems contradictory, but isn’t: “Where history and innovation thrive.” Kingston was named one of the planet’s 21 smartest communities by the Intelligent Community Forum this year, which highlights communities that harness information and communications technology to foster inclusive, prosperous, sustainable economies. More than 400 cities applied to the New York-based think tank’s Intelligent Community Awards in hopes of earning bragging rights as one of the world’s Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year. Kingston was one of only four Canadian communities and one of seven in North America to make the Smart21. And it missed out on the Top Seven by just one point. The City of Kingston, Utilities Kingston and the Kingston Economic Development Corporation partnered to write the application. Mayor Mark Gerretsen notes that the eighth-place ranking speaks volumes about the community of approximately 124,000 people. “Kingston insiders have long known that their hometown lives up to its motto, “Where history and innovation thrive,” but now the city that’s already well known for being Canada’s richly historic first capital can prove it to the world.” In order to make the Smart21, Kingston had to prove that it possessed five key features needed to build a prosperous broadband-based local economy: • Broadband connectivity with a clear vision for the future; • A knowledge workforce able to carry out tasks as varied as factory floor labour to web design work; • A growing innovation capacity; • Digital inclusion so that everyone has access to digital technology and broadband Internet; • Marketing and advocacy about the community’s position as a great place to live, work, and build a business.

It’s a remarkable city with everything that people and organizations need in order to be successful. Kingston scored above average among the Smart21. It scored higher than the Top Seven average in broadband and knowledge work, and it was almost on par with the Top Seven in innovation, digital inclusion, and marketing and advocacy. “It says we have a remarkable city that has everything people and organizations need in order to be successful here,” Campbell Patterson, the Utilities Kingston project manager spearheading the application process said recently from New York City, where he was attending the forum’s annual broadband economy summit. “Not only does each of these criteria have to be present, they have to be working together,” says Patterson. “Then you have a truly innovative community.” The key to Kingston’s innovative capability is the presence of Queen’s University, Royal Military College of Canada, and St. Lawrence College. These three post-secondary research-focused educational institutions frequently partner with local research giants, including INVISTA, Dupont and Bombardier as well as smaller enterprises to develop enhanced products and services. Queen’s is among Canada’s “Ivy League” of Canadian universities and at the centre of innovation in Ontario with more than 30 laboratories. They conduct research and development in the area of fuel cells, alternative energies, robotics, cancer research, and biotechnology. The university is believed to produce more PhDs per capita than any other university in Canada. … continued on the following page


Perspective … continued from previous page The Royal Military College of Canada has been ranked Canada’s second best smaller research university. Students do state-of-the-art research in fields such as advanced engineering materials, space surveillance, and environmental science. Meanwhile, St. Lawrence College has become a top technical training and applied research institution for sustainable energy technologies. Among the college’s more renowned initiatives is the Energy Systems Engineering Technology program, which was the first to offer technologist- and technician-level diplomas on designing, installing, and maintaining sustainable energy technologies. The college also runs the Sustainable Energy Applied Research Centre, which provides research services to smalland medium-sized renewable energy enterprises in Eastern Ontario. Of particular interest to the Intelligent Community Forum was the emergence of a community-driven facility called Innovation Park at Queen’s University. In a building that used to be occupied by Alcan Aluminum, a growing community of academics, industrial and government researchers and others are working together to drive innovations into the marketplace. Innovation Park houses close to 300 knowledge workers from more than 50 organizations in 23 industry clusters. More than 50 students from Kingston’s three academic institutions are conducting research there amidst more than 25 industry collaborations. Many technologies are under development, including advanced materials, clean and alternative technologies, communications and security technologies, and medical technologies. One of the researchers there is Queen’s engineering professor Steven Harrison, a recognized leader in photovoltaic technologies who played a big part in establishing Dorchester, Ontario’s EnerWorks, arguably North America’s leading manufacturer of solar water heating systems. Inside Innovation Park is GreenCentre Canada, a non-profit National Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research that advances the commercialization of existing research and discoveries that can benefit the environment. The Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) works closely

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• Dr. Rui Resendes, GreenCentre Canada’s Executive Director, takes a hands-on approach to commercializing emerging Green Chemistry innovations originating from academia and industry.

Some of the most important factors when considering investing here are a sustainable and well-financed infrastructure with a stable economy and tax rate.

with Innovation Park to market the facility and to bring innovative technologies to Kingston – and to help grow existing businesses. The community collaboration that resulted in the creation of Innovation Park was of particular interest to the Intelligent Community Forum, says Robert Bell, the forum’s co-founder. “To make that happen, you had to have universities at the table, and the city had to get involved aggressively,” Bell says from the New York summit. “And you had to have business leaders who saw an opportunity to get graduates coming out of (local) universities to help them commercialize their ideas to make sure they stay there as opposed to going someplace else.” In his Kingston report card, Bell described the city as an “intelligent

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community in every way” and as an “innovative community determined to grow a knowledge-based economy with a special focus on green technologies and practices, and a deep commitment to quality of life.” Indeed, quality of life is one of the big reasons that people choose to locate their families and businesses to Kingston, says Patterson. With Kingston halfway between Toronto and Montreal, right on Highway 401, and minutes from a U.S. border crossing, there is easy access to markets; yet there are few of the annoyances of the big cities. There is little traffic congestion, there’s excellent healthcare and education, and rents and property costs are comparatively low. Collaborations also tend to be easier in the smaller, close-knit community while there are still many of the amenities of the larger cities. There’s also an excellent, wellfinanced infrastructure, including highspeed broadband Internet and a reliable, modernized sewage and water system— essential features to modern-day R&D companies and manufacturers. KEDCO uses all of these features to promote Kingston to the world. It also highlights its strong and diversified economy as a safe place to invest, its highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce, community linkages to its three top research institutions, excellent tourism, and the superb available business space for development. “Some of the most important factors for companies considering investing here are a sustainable and well-financed infrastructure with a stable economy and a stable tax rate,” adds KEDCO chief executive officer, Jeff Garrah. Garrah adds that a high-quality skilled and knowledgeable labour force is another of the key features that KEDCO promotes. Earning a place among the Intelligent Communities Smart21 will definitely help Kingston validate the community’s status as a smart community, adding to other related high-calibre accolades. These include being named one of the top Best Places to Live in Canada and being ranked by Next Generation Consulting a Top Canadian Hotspot for Young, Talented Workers. “It’s another great feather in Kingston’s cap,” says Garrah. “It certainly helps keep us on the map.”


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Are you looking to launch a business in Kingston? It’s simple

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hen the Findlay family launched their food and beverage distribution company in Kingston almost 27 years ago, they chose the city purely because of its proximity to markets: it was close to several major government institutions, midway between Toronto and Montreal, and minutes from a U.S. border crossing. If Findlay Fine Foods Kingston Ltd. had chosen to set up in Kingston today, location would have played a role, but there would have been many other reasons for opening its head office in this city. “There’s collaboration and a lot of conversation happening in Kingston and a real open-for-business attitude here,” said Stewart Findlay, company owner and president.

“The city’s economic development corporation has made it easy for us to communicate with people in the city and to understand what’s available here.” “The city’s economic development corporation has made it easy for us to communicate with people in the city and to understand what’s available here in terms of government programs and how the city’s trying to position itself in the marketplace,” said Findlay. Easy, Simple. These are two of the words that Kingston economic developers use most often when describing to potential investors why they will love doing business in their city. Indeed, the catchphrase “It’s simple” was coined by Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) as part of a new campaign to promote

Kingston as a great place for specialty food and beverage companies to expand their businesses. The campaign involved a June trip by KEDCO business development officer Jan Dines to two international specialty food and beverage tradeshows – the Fancy Food Show in New York City and Brazil’s SIAL International Food Expo. KEDCO targeted these specialty food and beverage tradeshows because the natural food and beverage sector is a fast growing yet sustainable one. KEDCO went to Brazil because they are becoming an international leader in natural food and beverage production. “In Brazil, we’re using the line ‘It’s simple’ because trying to get anything done in Brazil is extremely difficult,” said Dines. “So when we’re talking to food processing executives, we’ll tell them we’ll help them register their business, find land and facilities, supply chains and distribution channels and joint ventures that will get them up and running in no time – and at low cost,” she said. KEDCO estimates it costs 40 per cent less to set up a food-processing operation in Kingston compared to bigger cities such as Toronto and Montreal. In trying to lure food processors to expand to Kingston, KEDCO offers to start by connecting them with the city’s food distributors – such as Findlay Fine Foods – who will help them to introduce their products to the Canadian market. Once their products grow in popularity, KEDCO will assist those companies in setting up shop here, Dines said. Kingston is particularly attractive because it is part of a region that represents the largest food and beverage processing jurisdiction in Canada and the third largest in North America. More than 3,000 businesses make food products in Ontario and Eastern Ontario hosts manufacturing operations run by some of the world’s largest food and beverage companies. … continued on the following page

• Business Development Officer Jan Dines promotes Kingston as an ideal location for companies to develop a Canadian presence.

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Opportunity abounds in Kingston … continued from the previous page There are also a number of engineering companies that can provide support services and a plethora of farms in the area that grow more than 200 agricultural commodities. Federal and provincial incentive programs can return, on average, up to 30 per cent of what companies invest to set up business here. And the city’s general crime rate is very low at more than 16 per cent below Canada’s national average. Many companies have benefited from KEDCO’s funding application writing services through which they have helped local enterprises to capture more than $50 million in direct capital and project investment since 2008. Kingston is also home to thousands of post-secondary students at Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC),

• Global defence company Thales Canada established a Defence and Security centre in Kingston.

St. Lawrence College, and Queen’s University, many of whom are interested in eating international and natural foods. This makes Kingston an ideal Canadian starter market, particularly for smalland medium-sized specialty food enterprises, Dines said. Then there are plenty of opportunities for research collaborations at the three post-secondary institutions.

It’s these research collaborations that are of particular interest to the sectors that KEDCO is focused on growing in Kingston, including the agri-food processing, advanced manufacturing and information and communications technologies, specifically in security and defence. Tier-one global defence company Thales Canada initially established

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a presence in 2004 to be close to its Department of National Defence customer at Canadian Forces Base Kingston. In January, the company, which employs 22 people locally, officially opened an office in Kingston to not only grow its core services but to fortify research and development relationships with Queen’s and RMCC. The company is participating in Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council initiatives with Queen’s and is talking to RMCC about potential collaborations, said Liam Porter, manager of the Thales Canada Defence and Security Centre, Kingston. St. Lawrence College may also prove to be a great source for future skilled workers. Kingston has been a fairly “easy” place to do business and the community seems to be keen to see Thales succeed and grow, he said. “There’s accessibility for who we need to talk to, whether that be at the municipal, provincial, or federal end user customer level, and I’ve had several discussions with the CEO of KEDCO while the mayor has visited a couple of times,” said Porter. “For Thales, that’s a level of interest that’s quite refreshing.”


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St. Lawrence College ...

Delivering a world-class educational experience since 1967

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utting students’ interests at the forefront of everything we do means delivering relevant, in-demand programs taught by industry professionals in state-of-the-art facilities. That commitment is paying off with St. Lawrence College (SLC) outperforming all other Ontario colleges, ranking number one, in Graduate Employment, with a rate of 90.5 per cent of graduates finding work within six months of graduating according to the April 2013 Key Performance Indicators (KPI) report. SLC continues to develop new and engaging initiatives that meet the contemporary demands of Kingston’s regional economy. A key initiative is Corporate Learning and Performance Improvement, which is currently working with over 345 organizations and hundreds of their employees focused on programs and skills that address the demands of the new economy.

providing a strong foundation to management teams across all types of business in our communities.

• St. Lawrence College makes sure that students’ interests are always at the forefront. That means delivering relevant, in-demand programs taught by industry professionals in state-of-the-art facilities.

Corporate Learning is focused on client productivity, employee engagement, and developing performance improvements for the long-term viability of employers, offering leadership development programs focused on soft skills training including managing client expectations, operationalizing the strategic plan, and project management Training focuses on both the theoretical and practical applications in developing solutions to the client’s particular business challenge. This includes the development of customized training initiatives. “We’re a turn-key professional development partner for businesses in Eastern Ontario where we’ve become their in-house development program,” says Charlie Mignault, Director of Business Development. According to recent client, Burnbrae Farms, “St. Lawrence College is providing a strong

foundation to management teams across all types of business in our communities. The modular approach to Leadership for Managers is a good example of how flexible and cost competitive their programs can be. This program has helped the managers at Burnbrae Farms to be consistent, be professional in their approach, be understanding, and most importantly, be a TEAM,” says Cec Drake, Senior Director of Processing Operations Lyn and Brockville, and a Leadership for Managers Certificate public and custom program client. Applied Research at SLC focuses on solving problems and generating ideas that are marketable. Research projects can help a business or agency to acquire knowledge with a specific application in view; aid communities, customers, and public services; and enhance efficiencies with technologies and business practices. Renewable energy is a key research area housed in the Sustainable Energy Applied Research Centre (SEARC) and supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). “Applied Research at St. Lawrence College brings industry, students, and faculty expertise together,” says Cam McEachern, Director of Research. “This supports and enriches our local economy.” The college is advancing applied research in other program clusters across Brockville, Cornwall, and Kingston campuses which promise excellent matches between program strengths and industry needs. “At this time we have completed many applied research projects that leverage our expertise in a variety of fields. We have partnered with industry in culinary, environmental sciences, health sciences, behavioural psychology, and sustainable energy,” says McEachern. “Students are an integral part of our applied research projects. They get hands-on experience and the opportunity to work with real industry partners.” For more information on the Corporate Learning and Performance Improvement visit www.slccorporatelearning.com. For information on research partnering with or study at St. Lawrence College visit www.stlawrencecollege.ca.


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Events & Management Plus Inc.

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ith the continuous advances in technology that seemingly arrange our daily schedules with only the click of a button, organization is a key ability we tend to take for granted. We often forget the bigger picture – beyond our personal schedules are worldwide meetings and conferences in need of in-depth planning and preparation with thorough attention to detail accompanied by a structured team with organized individuals who can look past the present and plan for the future. This core element has become the essential ingredient to Kingston’s first and longest standing professional conference association management company, Events & Management Plus Inc. (EM+). Kingston’s strong service-based companies have allowed EM+ to grow largely due to state-of-the-art services available we require to fulfill our clients’ needs and have allowed our business to break through both geographical and technological barriers throughout the last two decades.

Our entrepreneurial firm created in 1990, and prodigy project of CEO and President Elizabeth Hooper, provides administrative support to provincial, national and international professional associations run by volunteer members. Hooper started EM+ with just two national associations, The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists (CSCC) and The Canadian Association of Pathology (CAP/ACP). Today our Kingstonbased company provides services to eight national associations, three international associations, and one provincial association, including long-term clients CSCC and CAP/ACP. EM+ organizes the annual association conferences in cities across Canada and worldwide, with conference dates already set for 2016. Hooper says her experiences organizing sporting events as a Phys Ed teacher and numerous volunteer activities led her to starting the local business focused on managing associations’ operations and organizing their conferences. “I felt very comfortable knowing what I would

do. When I was the president of various volunteer organizations in Kingston I realized how much more I could have done if I had administrative support.” Now with a close-knit team of 15 employees including Hooper’s daughter and vice-president, Pamela Lyons, EM+ is able to pursue and maintain large not-for-profit associations outside of Kingston. Technological advances have allowed EM+ to move almost entirely electronic, an imperative move in the meeting planning industry. Our ability to continuously communicate with members through e-blasts and social media, and improve our clients’ cash flow with ecommerce systems, has made it possible for us to become more valuable to our clients in today’s technical environment. We can progress in a way so necessary planning can be done more efficiently on a time sensitive basis while simultaneously

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Advertising Feature diminishing location barriers among the memberships we serve. Kingston’s focus on green technology has driven our company to take environmental strides in providing our clients with sustainable advances including our recent move toward onsite Apps, allowing conference attendees to easily download material. We have also jumped into social media as a way to keep our clients’ up-to-date onsite, using live Twitter feeds to ensure attendees are regularly in the know. We strive to be as organized as we can to provide the best possible outcome of all our client association and conferences and continue to jump on board with today’s latest innovations. After all, we know organization is this industry’s best asset! • By Megan Lyons, conference assistant and media specialist, Events and Management Plus Inc. For more information, you can visit www.eventsmgt.com


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Research is a major focus at RMCC of various bicycle helmets when cooling a cyclist’s head, or measured the torque and thrust of fully operating propellers. One particular cutting-edge research project is currently being undertaken by Dr. Dominique Poirel, a specialist in aero-elasticity. He is exploring the complex interaction between the structural behaviour of wings, and their environment in moving air. Due to the light-weight construction of aircraft, wings are never truly rigid. Considering the weights of aircraft that wings are designed to lift, they must generate enormous forces.

• Dr. Valerie Langlois and an officer cadet study aquatic organisms.

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s part of its mission to produce “officers well-educated” for the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a wide range of disciplines and engages in nationally and internationally recognized research of benefit to government, industry and society. – Dr. Joel Sokolsky, Principal of the Royal Military College of Canada The above statement is realized at RMCC through the research done in several departments at the College. Some current activities include: Department of Physics The RMCC Department of Physics has developed a satellite payload that will track aircraft from space. Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) is a system in which aircraft continually transmit their identity and GPS-derived navigational information. ADS-B networks for air traffic monitoring have already been implemented in areas around the world, but ground stations cannot be installed in mid-ocean and are difficult to maintain in the Arctic, leaving a coverage gap for oceanic and high latitude airspace. A potential solution for worldwide tracking of aircraft is through the monitoring of aircraft-transmitted ADS-B

signals using satellite-borne receivers. RMCC Space Science students were the first to demonstrate that ADS-B transmissions can be received from near space through a series of high altitude balloon experiments started in 2009. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Some of the research in RMCC’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering is focused on fluid mechanics and aerodynamics. This field includes two broad streams of study: experimental fluid mechanics which usually involves wind tunnels and computational fluid mechanics which uses sophisticated computers and programming to predict the way air will flow around an object or in a passage, like a pipe network. RMCC has six wind tunnels which operate a range of speeds up to Mach 4, and a water tunnel which can simulate very high airspeeds as well. The largest tunnel was designed and built at RMCC in the 1970s and remains a very important research and educational support tool. Previous windtunnel test campaigns assessed the implications of adding antennas or radar domes to aircraft, investigated the path of high temperature exhaust gases over the tailboom of a helicopter, measured the performance

Environmental Toxicology and Endocrinology Lab (ETE) Dr. Valerie Langlois leads the research group ETE that primarily focus on physiology and ecotoxicogenomics. Dr. Langlois has recently obtained a prestigious Defence Research and Development Canada grant to lead a team of both governmental and

academic researchers to demonstrate that hair follicles can be used as readily accessible and non-invasive clinical samples for indicators of brain trauma, pre-symptomatic infections and exposure to extreme operational stressors. The long-term goals of the work are to simplify the assessment and diagnosis of complex problems and to expand the range of physiological states that can be identified through this simple non-invasive analytical procedure. Dr. Langlois’ research group has also demonstrated that certain textile dyes present in aquatic environments can be toxic and induce hormonal disruption in aquatic animals. Indeed, her group has first shown that these compounds can induce malformations and alter the male reproductive axis in frogs, and second, unrevealed the mechanisms of action behind these health disruptions. For more information, please consult www.langlois-lab.com


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A Smart Choice for a New Life

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hen Ruth Noordegraaf and her husband were considering immigrating to Canada from the Netherlands, the two professionals travelled coast to coast investigating where they wanted to work and raise a family. After several fact finding visits, they moved to Kingston in 2010. “It was a smart choice,” said Noordegraaf. “We loved the size of the downtown, the waterfront, the big-city amenities and the walkability, and there were opportunities for both of our careers.” Although newcomers often migrate to Canada’s large urban centres, with Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal topping the list, bigger is not always better. When it comes to personal and professional networking, there’s no comparison to the advantages of settling in a smaller community. Noordegraaf and her family felt welcomed by the Kingston community, and trusted that when they reached out for support and guidance, they received it. “It felt encouraging to have so many people who actually cared about you as a new resident, as a new Canadian,” said Noordegraaf. When Noordegraaf, an urban planner, and her husband Erwin Kooi, a web designer, moved to Kingston with their young daughter, they took advantage of the variety of services that are available to newcomers. The immigration settlement services provided by both the KEYS Job Centre Immigration Services and Immigration Services Kingston and Area (ISKA), were instrumental to their family’s success. ISKA assisted the couple with everything from paperwork and language training assistance to building a community network. The couple was connected with a Canadian host family that provided insight and guidance in areas that many Canadians take for granted such as neighbourhood information, school enrolment, recreational activities for their daughter, and how to secure car insurance. In order to help the family build a community network, ISKA organized potluck events where Noordegraaf and Kooi met other new immigrants

“We loved the size of the downtown, the waterfront, the big-city amenities and the walkability, and there were opportunities for both of our careers.” and existing Canadians to grow their network and make friends. Noordegraaf observed that newcomers to Kingston are primarily from Southeast Asia, Latin America, the United Kingdom and the United States. KEYS Job Centre provided excellent job search support, and Noordegraaf participated in a number of career workshops including sessions on Canadian-style resume writing and workplace culture. Kooi used the Kingston Economic Development Corporation’s Entrepreneur Centre, which helped him to navigate the local business community to set up his web design firm. The Entrepreneur Centre assisted Kooi in registering his business, developing his professional network, and securing the services of an accountant. Just over three years later, Noordegraaf holds the position of Facili-

tator with the Kingston Immigration Partnership and Kooi operates a successful web design firm. The couple now has two children who are active in both academic and recreational activities in the community. In addition to the supports provided by ISKA, KEYS and the Kingston Immigration Partnership (KIP), newcomers to Kingston can access settlement services in French through ACFOMI Settlement Services; enroll in a business language program with a work placement component through the Limestone District School Board; access services for internationally trained nurses through CARE (Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses); or improve language skills through English as a second language classes. In partnership with KEYS, KIP has developed the Professional Mentoring Partnership for Skilled Immigrants, which pairs internationally educated professionals with local professionals in their field. The mentors meet with their mentees monthly to provide guidance, insight into Canadian business practices, and networking opportunities. People considering a move to Canada, who are interested in Kingston Ontario can utilize the website, www.immigrationkingston.ca, which offers key information on the essentials that potential newcomers need to know and do before

and after they arrive. It also contains a plethora of information on the city itself as well as on living, working, studying, and doing business here. For those interested in learning about the job opportunities the community has to offer, the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) has developed www.kingstonishiring. com, an online job posting board and database that connects professionals and skilled workers with employers in Kingston. “Ninety-eight per cent of Kingston employers are companies with 100 employees or less. Smaller firms are focused on growing their business, and they often don’t have the resources to conduct a comprehensive talent search,” said Carey Bidtnes, KEDCO’s Human Resources and Labour Market Specialist. “There are a lot of local jobs advertised in Kingston that don’t make it to the national or international job boards.” While the kingstonishiring.com site won’t be fully launched until September, hundreds of jobs have already been posted, said Bidtnes, adding that there’s significant demand for IT professionals, health care workers and engineers Currently, kingstonishiring.com is primarily serving as a job board, but KEDCO aims to turn it into a much more comprehensive talent attraction and applicant processing service, said Bidtnes. Workers who want to find employment in Kingston can register to receive job alerts or apply for jobs while employers can use the site to manage communications with candidates throughout an entire hiring process. For an annual subscription fee, local employers can use the site to receive applications, pre-qualify applicants by asking them skill-testing questions, inform candidates if their applications have been received and when interviews are taking place and notify candidates if they didn’t get the job. “It’s a great tool for showcasing Kingston opportunities,” said Bidtnes. “And for helping employers connect with people interested in a new career and life in Kingston.”


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