Ottawa Business Journal March 2020

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Business news from across Eastern Ontario P23-33

Inside the capital’s red-hot real estate market PLUS: Where in Ottawa are home prices rising the fastest? P14-19 March 2020 Vol. 23, NO. 01






OBJ expands its scope to Eastern Ontario It was arguably the best business meeting I’ve had in years. (Apologies to the CEOs I meet every week. They’ll soon understand my rationale.) On the way down to Cornwall to meet economic development officials, my colleague Terry Tyo and I planned a quick stop at Olymel. I recognized the company name, but didn’t know much about its operations. Its expansive plant in a business park just east of Cornwall was a sight to behold. In Ottawa, we don’t often see food processing plants that stretch longer than city streets, surrounded by a couple dozen tractor trailers. The plant’s size wasn’t the marvellous discovery. It was the smell wafting through the air as you stepped into Olymel’s business offices. It was the mouthwatering, oh-soCanadian smell of perfectly cooked bacon. You might recognize Olymel from its products, likely packaged bacon or deli meats, from your local grocery store. What you don’t know is that Olymel also makes private-label bacon for many of Canada’s biggest food retailers. It’s so successful that its Cornwall plant is now approaching 700 employees. Not only do they process the bacon in Cornwall, they have the enviable job of taste testing it. Yes, OBJ reader, I sampled some of the best bacon ever. Salty, smoky,

candied, thick cut. Oh, they had it all. Best meeting ever. There is a point to all of this. I’ve not gone bonkers for bacon. That trip to Cornwall and many others to nearby municipalities gave OBJ a very real sense of the larger regional economy of Eastern Ontario. From logistics to advanced manufacturing and adventure tourism to high-tech hotspots, there is way more happening in Eastern Ontario than business leaders in Ottawa realize. It started to dawn on me. How many of us in Ottawa limit our knowledge of Eastern Ontario to lakes, cottages and small towns next to highways leading to Toronto and Montreal? As OBJ moves closer to its 25th anniversary later this year, it takes an important step forward. (More are coming.) It’s a step to expand our editorial mandate outside of Ottawa proper and dedicate news coverage to outlying communities with fascinating businesses and real economic development potential. With this newsmagazine, OBJ Regional launches. Keep flipping these pages to read about increased foreign investment potential from China following a $225-million infant formula plant in Kingston, ongoing efforts to make Renfrew the “Banff of Eastern Canada” and how the Port of Johnstown is experiencing an almost 50 per cent

MARCH 2020




The Ottawa Association Exchange is an exclusive report on best practices and current issues facing association executives. The 2020 edition explores the top risks facing associations and how executives can mitigate them.

increase in shipments. OBJ Regional will also include a new section on, a new dedicated email newsletter, video profiles on YouTube and, later this year, a dedicated annual publication. What’s the end goal? OBJ Regional will raise awareness of economic activity and potential in Eastern Ontario. In doing so, it will foster relationships and connections between established business owners and ambitious entrepreneurs in the larger region. Imagine what could happen when Ottawa’s money and engineering talent – responsible for global successes such as Shopify – meets the ingenuity and knowhow of Eastern Ontario? I can’t wait to see.

@objpublisher Michael Curran

ORDERING FOR OBJ DELIVERY Want this great publication conveniently hand-delivered to your office each month? Well, now that’s a lot easier. Thanks to a partnership with local tech company Fusebill, you can now guarantee your regular monthly delivery of OBJ through an easy online system. Simply visit to place your order. It’s a nominal fee of $8 per month to get 1-25 copies of OBJ hand-delivered. Pick the number of copies that you need. It’s a flat delivery fee. Use the promo code PROSPECTUS for 50 per cent off the delivery fee for three months.



Fan of TED Talks? Experience compelling presentations designed to “ignite” your intellect. One of the featured speakers at TEDxKanata is Ashley Kennedy, a health tech entrepreneur from Stanford with a PhD in exercise physiology and a postdoctoral fellow in neuroscience. Check out the full speaker roster at


Association executives take note: the second annual OAX is just around the corner. OAX is the Ottawa Association Exchange, a special project intended to provide association and non-profit executives with best practices to stay relevant, boost membership, diversify revenue and other key business objectives. This half-day forum is co-organized by OBJ and OTUS Group. Special guests will include David Coletto of Abacus Data, who will present findings from a survey of association executives, and Michael Brennan, executive director of the Canadian Association of Management Consultants. Brennan will share lessons learned from his nearly three decades of experience from the “third sector.” Full details at


Adding to the local celebration of women in business will be Christiane Germain, one of Canada’s most powerful hoteliers. As the story goes, Germain attended school for hotel management in Toronto and then, along with her brother, operated several successful restaurants in Quebec City. Her eureka moment came in the 1980s, when she visited the renowned Morgans Hotel on Madison Avenue. It served as inspiration for her now successful chain of boutique hotels under the brands Le Germain, Alt Hotel and Alt+ Hotel. The chain stretches


from St. John’s to Calgary and employs 1,250 people. Germain will be part of a fireside chat with Ottawa Board of Trade boss Sueling Ching at CEO Talk, a biannual event organized by OBOT and OBJ. Full details at

He shoots, he scores. The Ottawa Senators have a CEO once again. Jim Little, a proven marketing executive with experience at RBC, Bell Canada and Bombardier Aerospace, will take the podium at the Mayor’s Breakfast Series in March. Visit for details.







March is teeming with women-focused business events, all scheduled around International Women’s Day. One of these is the 12th Annual Women in Business Conference, which has lined up local and national speakers to inspire and educate attendees. Golfer Lisa “Longball” Vlooswyk, BMO Private Wealth executive Lesley Marks, former TV host Lianne Laing and comedian Heather Hurst are among the lineup of speakers. For details, visit

MARCH 2020


With the proliferation of social media has come a surge in online bullying. This is part of a larger problem of children who are tormented by peers. Local charity Proud To Be Me is throwing a Bullyfree Gala at Brookstreet Hotel, complete with custom cocktails, great silent and live auction items and a who’s who of Ottawa. Full details at


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Fully Managed snaps up Calgary IT firm



When Ottawa-based IT and senior care technology firm Fully Managed announced in late January that it had landed a new $25-million financing round, CEO Mark Scott said the company planned to invest part of the cash in “strategic acquisitions across North America.” It didn’t take him long to make good on that pledge. Fully Managed said in early February it’s acquired Calgary-based managed service provider TWT Group in a cash-and-share deal. The company would not provide further details about the transaction. Scott told OBJ his company had been eyeing the Calgary market for years because of the large number of major corporate head offices that are clustered there ​– more than 130, as opposed to fewer than two dozen in the nation’s capital. Having staff on the ground to bend the ear of key C-suite execs in Alberta’s largest city is a major part of the growing IT firm’s strategy to boost its market share in Western Canada, Scott noted. Founded in 2006, Fully Managed has about 315 employees in Canada and the U.S., with offices in Ottawa, the Greater Toronto Area, Vancouver, Edmonton, London, Ont., Summerside, P.E.I., and now Calgary. The company is a leader in the field of managed IT, which uses cloud-based software and remote monitoring technology to assist customers without requiring support workers to be physically on site. The firm also has a senior care division that produces touch-screen devices and mobile workstations, allowing health-care professionals to access patient records at their fingertips.

If we do all this together, we will have a safer, better and more inclusive city that represents the best country in the world.



in staffing costs for the weekend-long event, where their gourmet offerings would be undercut by $2 “hot dogs on a stick.” He also heard there was a lack of brand association at the old event, as attendees would float from sample to sample without any lasting impressions. dance music festival Escapade, To remedy this, Crave will feature uncorked the news Tuesday. themed “aisles” with experiences that Crave has no connection to the go beyond consumption. Shafaee offers original Ottawa Food and Wine Festival, a the example of the France corridor, which long-running event that brought together will have a bistro-style feel with classic food and alcohol vendors for the better black-and-white films projected nearby. part of the last decade. The belief is that someone enjoying a Ali Shafaee, executive director of glass of French vino surrounded by the DNA Live, said he heard from previous unique sights and sounds will develop vendors of the Ottawa Food and Wine a sensory memory of the vendors that Festival that they were losing money lasts past the next sip.

DNA Live bringing new food and wine festival to Shaw Centre in April A new celebration of Ottawa’s food and wine scene is popping into the Shaw Centre this year, with organizers hoping to learn lessons from previous takes on the popular festival. The Crave – Food & Wine Festival will pair fine wines with creations from Ottawa chefs at the downtown convention centre over the first weekend of April. DNA Live, the local organization that also runs events such as electronic



Ottawa-Gatineau unemployment rate in January, down from 4.4 per cent in December.


Ottawa’s Calian increases planned financing round to $60M


City council to pull curtain back on phase two LRT procurement Ottawa city council came together in mid-February in an effort to uncover more information on the controversial procurement process to construct phase two of light-rail transit. City council voted unanimously to make public documents detailing the decision to allow TransitNEXT – a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin – to remain in the running for a contract to extend the north-south Trillium Line despite submitting a bid that contained serious

flaws, according to recently released documents. Though TransitNEXT was ultimately awarded the $1.6-billion contract last March, evaluators said the organization submitted a “generic” bid that contained factual errors and was missing critical information. The technical evaluation committee had recommended the contractor’s proposal, which failed to meet the minimum technical criteria even after a rescoring of all bids involved,

Aecon breaks ground on $32M Campeau Drive extension in Kanata North When the infrastructure project is complete in two-years time, the two unconnected sections of Campeau Drive will be linked through Didsbury Road and

In a statement, Mayor Jim Watson said the new project will streamline local traffic and alleviate congestion for commuters – a common complaint from companies in the nearby Kanata North tech park. Construction of the Campeau Drive extension is expected to finish by the end of 2021.


A forthcoming four-lane road connecting two sections of Campeau Drive is expected to improve capacity for commuters in Kanata North.

Country Glen Way, parallel to Highway 417. The new road, across the Queensway from the Canadian Tire Centre, will provide the neighbourhood of Arcadia access to Terry Fox Drive and the Kanata Centrum Shopping Centre to the north. The fresh roadway will include cycling lanes, sidewalks and a bridge over the Carp River.

MARCH 2020


be disqualified from further consideration. A steering committee nonetheless moved TransitNEXT’s bid on to the financial scoring round, where the contractor scored top points for its low cost – giving the company the highest overall score. City staff say they then worked with TransitNEXT to remedy technical shortcomings before awarding the contract. The motion will see documents detailing the Trillium Line procurement process released to council and the public for the first time. Information regarding technical compliance scores and how TransitNEXT’s bid was amended are to be made public before the next meeting of the finance and economic development committee on March 3. Council will also have the chance to review legal advice given to the steering committee from law firm Norton Rose Fulbright during the evaluation process.

Ottawa’s Calian Group is capping off a banner few weeks with plans to raise $60 million in funding to finance its “organic and acquisitive growth.” The planned public offering of common shares increases a previously announced $40-million round, which is to be underwritten by a group led by Desjardins Capital Markets. Calian Group, which operates in a range of fields including health care, training and agriculture technology, had planned to offer just over 900,000 common shares in its financing round at $44 per unit. That amount was boosted to more than 1.3 million shares just a day after the original announcement. Calian CEO Kevin Ford said in a statement that the Kanatabased company “offers a unique value in today’s marketplace: a diversified company, with a long track record of profitable execution, and a focus on organic and acquisitive growth.”


‘I wanted to do more and I wanted to do it better’ Three decades on, CEO Kathryn Tremblay writes new chapter for excelHR BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS

MARCH 2020




When Toni passed away, it was like recreating the business and recreating myself. I asked myself, ‘What can the business be now? What’s possible for our business now?’ – KATHRYN TREMBLAY, CEO, EXCELHR

hen CEO Kathryn Tremblay first co-founded recruitment and staffing company excelHR, jobs were still being posted in newspapers, the Rolodex ruled the desk and resumes got banged out on typewriters. So financially strapped were she and her business partner that they filled their shared office space with discarded furniture and would often drive doorto-door to drop candidates’ resumes off by hand because it was cheaper than courier service. Tremblay, 21, and Antonio Guimarães, 23, worked night and day to stay ahead of the game and to become leaders in their field. They hardly made money their first year but what profits they did turn were invested back into the Ottawa-based business. That was 1989. Some 31 years later, the company is a recognized leader in the delivery of recruitment and staffing services in Canada, both to the private and government sectors. ExcelHR and its affiliated companies – excelITR, altisHR, Altis Technology and Altis Professional Recruitment – hit $140 million in revenue last year. Altis-excelHR attracts qualified jobseekers in the fields of administrative support, information technology and professional services, particularly with the placing of senior professionals in executive contract roles. The company has 2,000 contractors on assignment every day. It runs seven offices, including two in Western Canada, three in the GTA and two in Ottawa. It employs more than 175 people.

Altis-excelHR has been recognized 14 times as a winner of Canada’s Best Managed Companies program.

ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT One thing you should know about Tremblay is she loves work. “It’s a passion,” she says during an interview at excelHR’s Bank Street headquarters in downtown Ottawa. “I see work as play. I see work as fun. I’m privileged to go to work.” Tremblay, 52, grew up in suburban Orléans back when it was still rural countryside. Her father Terry worked for the federal government while her mother, Lorraine, stayed home to raise her and her two brothers. All three kids became successful entrepreneurs. “My parents encouraged us to really chase our dreams,” says Tremblay. It was her mother who taught her the power of gratitude. She describes her mom as “one of the happiest people I’ve ever met.” One could easily say the same thing about Tremblay. At age 16, Tremblay borrowed one of her mom’s suits, boarded a public transit bus bound for downtown and got herself a student position doing administrative jobs for a staffing company. It was there that she met and befriended Guimarães, with whom she shared an entrepreneurial spirit. Their business partnership eventually evolved into a life partnership, as well. They would later have four children, all girls. “The first decade was all climb,” says Tremblay of how they built capital and used their retained earnings for growth. On the side, she also earned her commerce degree at the University of Ottawa.

The company next worked on cementing its growth, adding new business practices and expanding to more locations. Former vicepresident and regional director Tara Azulay, who went on to co-found Clariti Group, helped the company break into the Toronto market. Meanwhile, Tremblay and Guimarães led remarkably busy lives, managing their business and raising their girls. They relied on spreadsheets to keep track of their kids’ many activities. Tremblay’s daughters – Morgan, 23, Brooklyn, 21, Torey, 17, and Camryn, 13 – remain the most important people in her life. Guimarães, 51, passed away four years ago this September. He’d been good at overcoming the odds, having gone from underprivileged childhood to achieving great things, including a Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 award. Unfortunately, his advanced prostate cancer diagnosis was unbeatable. He died two years and three months after his diagnosis. What Tremblay did next was take

a tragic situation and make the best of it. “I lost his passion and knowledge and inspiration, but I also gained something,” she says. What she gained was a desire to bring about change as she continued to lead the company, riding solo this time. She focused on modernizing the work environment, improving client and employee satisfaction as well as evolving the company brand. “When Toni passed away, it was like recreating the business and recreating myself,” she explains. “I was no longer in a partnership, both professionally and personally. I asked myself, ‘What can the business be now? What’s possible for our business now?’” “In that context of exploring ‘What’s possible’ it changed so much for me. It made the business more real and more meaningful. I wanted to do more and I wanted to do it better. “It’s sad, because I miss Toni, but it’s not sad in that it’s been exciting.”

Université d’Ottawa


University of Ottawa


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family and non-family members and developmental coaching have proven to be completely unsuccessful. Exasperated, the Patriarch decides to release the inlaw who now has multiple children of their own. The repercussions affect the Patriarch to the very core, their immediate and extended family’s relationships and, of course, the released in-law. The latter is stunned, acrimonious and at once trying to undermine the Patriarch as well as trying to have Patriarch reverse the decision… which is not going to happen. Does the situation call for succession planning, family counselling, psychotherapy, career counseling, anger management, mitigating legal battles or some combination Feel free to call for a no-obligation interview of all of the above? You guessed it!


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he client is a second generation Patriarch of a 70 year old, significant sized company. The Patriarch is a highly principled and values-driven human being who above all loves and is devoted to family. A member of their family, which consists of 5 adult children and spouses, a number of whom work in the business, marries and the in-law joins the family business and works their way up the ladder. Technically brilliant, a driver, and personally responsible for several huge wins valued in the tens of millions of dollars over their now 15 year tenure with the company… this in-law is out of touch with how their aggressive interpersonal style impacts others….including most of the family members, non-family executives and the Patriarch. Numerous attempts at feedback provided by a variety of


Festival umbrella group aims to step up sponsorship game Ottawa Festival Network executive director Carole Anne Piccinin seeks more corporate support for industry that plays a major role in the vibrancy of our community’ BY DAVID SALI f there’s one thing that most of us in Ottawa can agree on, it’s that we love our festivals. From the internationally renowned celebration of music called Bluesfest to lesser-known events that celebrate some of life’s other joys –​ the Ottawa Coffee Fest at Lansdowne Park in late March, for example –​ there are enough highlights on the capital’s annual festival calendar to keep residents and visitors busy seemingly every week of the year. What we might not give much thought to while we’re soaking up the sounds of the headliners at CityFolk, however, is the impact of all these events on Ottawa’s economy. According to a study commissioned last fall by the Ottawa Festival Network, a local non-profit organization that helps promote more than 100 festivals, special events and fairs throughout the National Capital Region, such events pump more than $140 million in direct spending into the local economy each year and help support nearly 70,000 jobs. “This is money that is (invested) directly back into our community,” explains Carole Anne Piccinin, who has served as the executive director of the Ottawa Festival Network for the past six years. “We have a very diverse sector. We’re very lucky in Ottawa.” With the Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival and Winterlude now behind us and the busy summer season on

to the study). We’re talking about 68,000 total jobs supported. In the study, we had 15 festivals report that they had raised $1.1 million for charity. This is money that is (invested) directly back into our community. We play a major role in the vibrancy of our community. Our city is a little event engine for sure. We have tons of hidden local gems that tourists are looking for.

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OBJ: Sponsorships are a key revenue

Carole Anne Piccinin

the horizon, OBJ recently sat down with Piccinin to talk about some of the challenges and opportunities facing one of the city’s most important tourism subsectors. Here is an edited transcript of that interview.

OBJ: Ottawa is a festival town. What’s your role in helping to build the industry? CAP: (The organization’s) role is really to help the business community understand the economic impact that our industry is (providing) to Ottawa and to tourism overall. What we’re talking about here is $222.6 million in total spending. That represents only 40 festivals in our industry (that responded

generator for festivals – BeaverTails, for example, was the title sponsor of the Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival for the first time this year. How is the relationship between festivals and corporate sponsors evolving? CAP: I think sponsorships are critical. During a recent member survey that we did, members identified that sponsorships are one of their biggest long-term pressures. We’re seeing brands embrace festivals as an opportunity to reach their audience in a more personal way, but I think to a certain extent, Ottawa is still a little bit behind the trend. We are seeing festivals like Dragon Boat try to find those more innovative partnerships. I think part of the challenge is we don’t have a lot of marketing offices here in Ottawa. We’ve got a lot of startups that don’t really have a lot of money to sponsor. Partly because we see a lot of head offices in Toronto, I think it’s challenging to bring some of those dollars here to Ottawa. Certainly, one of my personal mandates really is

to help make those connections. Now that we understand festivals’ (economic) impact on such a quantifiable level, I want to help the business community better understand the value that we get from the festival industry. I’ve joined the economic committee with the Ottawa Board of Trade to help marry that understanding and those opportunities. There is so much to gain for our industry in terms of shared benefits.

OBJ: What are the most important things your organization has to do to build those relationships? CAP: It’s staying on top of the industry measurements. It’s helping to get the word out about our value proposition in whatever way that we can and really just continue the outreach and continue the networking that we do as an organization to really just spread the gospel about why festivals are so important. We know that festivals show up as the top-rated reason why tourists have an affinity for Ottawa. That’s a very important marker for businesses to understand and to capitalize on. Working together with the city, working together with Ottawa Tourism, working together with the Board of Trade, seeing more of those barriers broken down, creating that understanding of our already tremendous (economic) impact, I think can help stimulate some of that connectivity between business and the festival industry that we so desperately need right now. Creative and cultural industries are acknowledged by the City of Ottawa as key economic drivers, and research shows that major corporations and their skilled workers are demanding dynamic cities to live in. The more we can do to showcase our city’s festivalcity brand to the world, the better. Ottawa is the most celebrated Canadian city by the International Festival and Event Association. So our continued partnerships with the City of Ottawa and with Ottawa Tourism to this end are very important. Working effectively together, it’s a win-win-win relationship. Continued on page 10

Photos courtesy the 2020 Masters Indigenous Games.


OTTAWA READIES FOR 2021 MASTERS INDIGENOUS GAMES With some 2,000 athletes – plus their supporters and other spectators – anticipated, sports tournament and cultural festival expected to deliver major economic boost


great sign of reconciliation and partnership with our Algonquin communities; it will also be a great boost to Ottawa’s economy, helping us sustain thousands of good jobs in the tourism sector.’’ Ottawa, which is on the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation, will host the Games in 2021 and 2023. Signing on to be the host city for two consecutive Games will build momentum for an event that can really draw on the capital’s many unique offerings, says Ottawa Tourism president and CEO Michael Crockatt. “As the capital of Canada, Ottawa takes seriously its role in telling stories from this land, and an important part of this is recognizing Indigenous stories and storytellers,” Crockatt says. “Ottawa Tourism looks forward to showing our ability to host large-scale sporting events such as this and to welcoming the athletes and spectators who will visit Ottawa and enjoy the vibrant experiences that can be found here.” Ottawa Tourism collaborates with the city on a joint strategy of “bid more, win more, host more” that’s helped to bring dozens of national and international events – as well as thousands of visitors – to Canada’s capital in recent years.



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mid a push to bring more major events and sports tournaments to Canada’s capital, Ottawa is preparing to host the 2021 Masters Indigenous Games (MIG) – a vibrant sporting and cultural event that gives Indigenous adults from all over the world a unique opportunity to come together and compete against their peers. Hosted by Indigenous Sport and Wellness Ontario (ISWO), the event will take place at Lansdowne Park and various athletic venues across the city between July 8 and 11, 2021. The itinerary will include a variety of sporting competitions for registered Indigenous athletes as well as a three-day cultural festival that is completely open to the public. The festival will feature a variety of Indigenous performances, food stations, art demonstrations and more, giving people from all backgrounds an occasion to celebrate Indigenous cultures from around the world. ‘’I very much look forward to hosting the 2021 Masters Indigenous Games in Ottawa, when we will welcome thousands of participants to celebrate their wonderful Indigenous culture through sport,” says Mayor Jim Watson. “But this event is more than a

‘I COULDN’T IMAGINE A BETTER PLACE’ During the MIG, athletes will compete in a mix of contemporary and traditional Indigenous sporting events. While the schedule is still being finalized for 2021, the 2018 Games featured competitions in popular sports such as basketball, lacrosse and canoeing. Demonstrations of traditional sports, such as Okichitaw (Tomahawk throwing), will be showcased at the cultural festival, where attendees can learn about and participate in the sports. “The Masters Indigenous Games are an important pathway to continue the dialogue and journey of reconciliation through sport,” says ISWO president Marc Laliberte. “(The event) gives people something to strive for, to look forward to and to be a part of, creating opportunities for wellness in a fun and culturally rich environment. Sport is a part of who we are as Indigenous Peoples; sport is medicine.” Laliberte predicts the 2021 Games will host close to 2,000 athletes, a significant leap from the 600 or so who competed at the inaugural Games in Toronto in 2018. Ottawa resident Maria Jacko competed in the MIG in 2018 after being inspired by her daughter’s participation in the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG), a similar event geared toward Indigenous youth. Taking home a medal in each of the eight track and field events she participated in, Jacko says she is eagerly awaiting the MIG to come to Ottawa. “The greatest thing about the Games was meeting other Indigenous athletes,” said Jacko. “Ottawa is the capital of our country. I couldn’t imagine a better place in Canada for people to come together to celebrate Indigenous culture and sport.”

Continued from page 8

OBJ: Last summer, the provincial

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MARCH 2020

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government announced it was giving Eastern Ontario festivals more than $750,000 in additional funding in 2019-20. Are you happy with the level of funding you’re getting from the various levels of government? CAP: I think that is certainly a challenging area at the moment. We’re very grateful that (Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Lisa MacLeod) stepped up and was able to bring more money into our area than was originally expected. But funding has remained stagnant across most levels of (government). Federally, for example, we’re seeing funding that is supplemental and not sustained. That puts a tremendous pressure on our industry to be able to plan and grow. But we’re also seeing the new destination development fund that is being managed by Ottawa Tourism. That’s very positive for our area. We continue to work with Ottawa Tourism to support local festivals. Funding is always a concern. Festivals are always challenged to do more with less, it seems.

OBJ: How are local festivals attempting to target a new generation of tourists who are craving experiences they can share via social media? What else is the industry doing to remain relevant to younger festival-goers? CAP: Festivals have the flexibility to provide innovative offers that traditional marketing really can’t. When you look at the market, it’s typically a millennial and boomer market. Millennials, for example, are very concerned with inclusion and diversity, and so we’re starting to see a better reflection of that in the programming and even in terms of how grounds are set up. There’s an increase in demand for safe spaces. We’re seeing far more innovative and interesting food options. (The weekend of Feb. 8-9), there was a culinary food festival where Indigenous food was featured. These are the kinds of experiences that visitors are looking for, and they’re not settling on the same old, same old anymore.

OBJ: How do you try to stay ahead of Traduction et services linguistiques

that curve? CAP: That’s a very good question. First

of all, we have to remember that we have a very rich culture here in Ottawa. The more authentic experience that a festival can provide and stay true to its mission, I think that’s the winning equation. We also have the benefit of checking things out on social media and through the internet. Competition is fierce; you can take a look and see what your competition is doing and look for ways that you can borrow from those ideas and make them better, but never forgetting what we can bring authentically here to our own Ottawa experience. That’s what visitors are truly looking for.

OBJ: Where do you think the local industry is headed? Do you see room for more festivals in Ottawa? CAP: I think that only innovation and creativity will guide and drive that. Ottawa gets the rap for sometimes being sort of a quiet city. That perception is certainly changing. I certainly hope that we continue to see festivals that are reflecting the vibrancy and diversity of our expanding community. We’re going to be a city of 1.5 million people before you know it.

OBJ: What other challenges does the industry face? CAP: We know that we have rising security costs and risks. We see terrorism (threats) that need to be mitigated. It’s a threat that certainly festivals are aware of and that they need to be prepared for. We’re also seeing that legal liability and safety regulations have increased insurance costs. Audiences for that traditional cultural experience, they’re aging. Those hyper-experience-seeking millennials, there’s certainly a growth market. They’re also demanding investments in technology. These are all things that festivals have to stay on top of. We don’t have the same pool of traditional private-sector sponsorships that we used to have in years gone by (from) tobacco and alcohol (companies). Digital media is changing the audience experience.

OBJ: Is there anything you want to add in closing? CAP: Festivals are a really important economic engine for the city. Festivals mean business, and I think that’s the really important piece that our funders need to better understand.


Low-cost airline Flair connecting Ottawa to Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Toronto this summer BY CRAIG LORD


MARCH 2020


n ultra-low-cost air carrier will fly into Ottawa this summer with cheap flights connecting Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax and Toronto to the capital. The Ottawa International Airport Authority confirmed to OBJ that Flair, the Edmonton-based low-cost airline, will begin serving YOW with three routes starting June 16. The flights, which will run until Oct. 24, will see Ottawa act as a midpoint between Halifax and the two Alberta cities. Flights connecting Halifax to Calgary and Edmonton will each run three times weekly, while Toronto service will operate daily. Mark Laroche, CEO of the local airport authority, said the rise of airlines offering lower-cost, unbundled fares is changing the state of aviation. “Every passenger has the choice to pay for the options they value, such as seat assignments, checked bags, as well as in-flight food and beverage. Flair

Airlines is a welcome addition to YOW’s offering,” he said in a statement. A spokesperson for the Ottawa airport said Flair is the first low-cost carrier to serve YOW. In response to a question about Swoop, WestJet’s lowcost alternative, the spokesperson noted that should the airline seek to add YOW to its routes, the local travel hub would be happy to talk. “YOW is an economic engine that drives prosperity for our community. If more air capacity and choice serve the market better, then we encourage the opportunity,” the spokesperson wrote. The new low-cost service comes amid stagnant traffic numbers for the Ottawa airport in 2019. A total of 5,106,487 people passed through YOW’s gates in 2019, down slightly from the previous year. Domestic and transborder passenger volumes were down last year as United Airlines temporarily suspended service along its popular Chicago route. Connections to Chicago’s O’Hare airport are set to resume in March.


Can I take a mental health day?

What if it’s too late?

Can I be fired? What if everybody finds out?

MARCH 2020

Busting workplace mental health myths



n Can I take a “mental health day”?

Yes. The law requires employers to treat mental and physical health difficulties the same. If an employee is dealing with a mental health issue such as stress, anxiety or depression, and requires time to recover, this must be treated the same as any other health difficulty or physical ailment.

n How much do I have to tell my employer? The law tries to balance the rights of employers to medical information with the employee’s right to privacy. Employers should be given only enough information to properly accommodate an employee. Generally, employers are entitled only to know how the

employee’s condition is developing or progressing (a prognosis) and not the exact details of the health condition (diagnosis).

n Do I just need a note from my doctor?

While your diagnosis is determined by a physician, the duty to accommodate is a legal test. Your

medical questionnaire or doctor’s note should properly list your medical limitations and restrictions so that your employer can properly accommodate you. A lawyer can work with your doctor to provide this information while still protecting your privacy.



espite the growing prevalence of mental illness in the workplace, many employees and employers are lost when it comes to understanding their rights. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), one in five Canadians will experience a mental illness in any given year and half a million Canadians are unable to work due to mental illness in any given week. Unfortunately, the impact of silence is not as easy to measure. Less than one third of employees claim they would feel comfortable talking to their employer about their mental health. There is a noticeable increase in workplace “presenteeism” — when ill employees continue to work but are not performing as they should be at work . The need to remove stigma and dispel myths has never been greater: • It could be a worker who is struggling at work and is not sure what to do. • Or they may have taken action but not received fair or adequate support from their manager. • In extreme cases they may have been outright dismissed because of the impact of their disability. But in all cases, employees have rights and options. Employment lawyer Jill Lewis cautions that employees often wait too long before seeking advice. “We still see some people waiting to seek help until after they’ve lost their job due to mental health stigma or performance issues resulting from their mental health issues,” says Lewis, an associate at Nelligan Law. “We initiate

Accommodations help manage symptoms

A mental health disability can affect an individual’s life or job performance as much as a physical disability; it is up to the employer to treat all disabilities appropriately.

Accommodation isn’t necessarily about ensuring an employee remains in the workplace; it’s about taking steps so an employee’s disability is not the basis for excluding them from the workplace. This was the situation facing Colleen*, a director with a global consultancy firm. A strong performer, Colleen is well-liked by management. Colleen struggles with anxiety and depression, which impacts her family life and sleep, elevating her blood pressure. Her physician recommended she reduce her hours at work, but when she approached her manager, Colleen was told she must continue working to meet her minimum billables, as those are the terms of her contract. As a result, she was given a warning of possible dismissal. Colleen was being treated unfairly. “On its own,” Lewis warns, “failure to carefully consider how Colleen’s health difficulties could be accommodated in the workplace could be a violation of Colleen’s human rights. “First of all, Colleen’s employer has a duty to accommodate her. It needs to consider what steps can be taken to assist her,” Lewis underlines. Options are numerous: the workload could be redistributed between directors, or the number of projects Colleen is managing could be reduced. After consulting an employment lawyer, Colleen created a modified work plan with her employer and remained a valued member of the team.

n What if it is too late?

Even if your employer provided early accommodations for your health concerns, your full recovery gives you the right to return to your former role.

n Can I be fired?

If you were fired due to the impact your disability had on your workplace, your employer may have violated

illness. “Workers in Ravi’s situation often just hide. Employees have a right to confidentiality,” Lewis says, “and they have a right to seek proper treatment which may include time off of work to pursue therapy.” Finally realizing his situation could worsen without treatment, Ravi sought out legal advice before approaching his employer. “When the workplace culture supports mental wellness, employees are more likely to reach out and prioritize asking for the help they need,” emphasises Lewis. “Legal guidance can best ensure treatment doesn’t jeopardize career success.”

Setting the tone for success Jill Lewis Lawyer, Nelligan Law

Be upfront with employers

An accommodation isn’t about treating a disability; it’s about managing symptoms. An employee’s complaints of pain, anxiety or depression may not always trigger an employer’s duty to accommodate, but they should trigger the employer’s duty to inquire. Mental health rights provide the safety and security needed to create an environment where people can make health their priority. These rights need to be part of the growing awareness and understanding around mental health.”You can’t let fear, myths or a lack of information get in the way of your health” emphasizes Lewis. “Talk to a lawyer, know your options, and build a plan that supports your health.”

It’s illegal for an employer to discriminate against someone simply because they have a mental health

*Employee names have been changed to protect their privacy.

This was new information for Ravi*, a project manager at an Ottawa technology company. His employee evaluations were always strong, but Ravi went through a bout of depression and separated from his partner. He abused sleeping pills and alcohol and was admitted to hospital. Ashamed, Ravi was afraid to approach his employer about his situation. He became concerned he’d be reassigned or demoted. He called into work, claiming he had the flu and would be absent for a few days.

human rights legislation. Even if the termination was just tainted by the disability, this could be enough to ground a claim of discrimination. Damages can include financial relief and/or reinstatement.

n What if everybody finds out?

Your mental health disability must

be treated confidentially by your employer. They cannot inform your colleagues. Your employer cannot discriminate. For more FAQs, including how much accommodation must be provided and how it can impact compensation, visit employment-law/mental-health-faqs


An employee’s rights do not depend on an employer’s readiness or willingness to act on them. Having legal support from the outset can ensure your needs are met, and even help establish long term processes.

Treating disabilities appropriately

MARCH 2020

n What if my employer does not have a process or support system in place?

conversations at all stages, but it’s best to speak with a lawyer early.”


There are a lot of homes selling out there that I’m like, ‘There’s no way that’s worth that money.’ – Ottawa realtor Paul Rushforth

‘Everyone’s just fighting for houses’ High demand fuelled by historically low unemployment has combined with plummeting inventory to create a ‘perfect storm’ in Ottawa’s scorching residential real estate market, realtors say MARCH 2020





o illustrate just how frenzied Ottawa’s resale housing market is at the moment, veteran real estate agent Jennifer Skuce points to a transaction she brokered last year in Mechanicsville. The property on Stirling Avenue –​ in the heart of what not too many years ago

was a working-class neighbourhood ​– had been stripped down to its studs, with no working furnace or even any electrical wiring. “It was a bare shell, and it sold for $800,000,” says Skuce, a partner at downtown Ottawa’s Bytown Brokers. “That is ridiculous.” Skuce is by no means the only local realtor shaking her head over the

stratospheric prices being commanded in the capital’s red-hot real estate market. Every broker OBJ talked to recently had a similar anecdote when asked just how rapidly housing values have escalated over the past couple of years. Longtime realtor Paul Rushforth, for example, told of a condo in Bells Corners. Initially listed for $330,000, it sold in January for $430,000. “There are a lot of homes selling out there that I’m like, ‘There’s no way that’s worth that money,’” he says. And yet, “That’s now the new benchmark.” And he doesn’t see a major correction on the horizon any time soon. “This is probably the first time in my real estate career that I can say I have no idea where prices are going, this is so crazy,” says Rushforth, who’s operated his own real estate firm for nine years and has been in the industry since 2005. “Everyone’s just fighting for houses.” According to the Ottawa Real Estate Board, the average value of a resale home in the capital rose by 8.4 per cent in 2019 to nearly $442,000. The figures for January were even more striking – the average residential property jumped a whopping

19.3 per cent year-over-year to $516,000, while condos fetched an average of $338,000, also up nearly 20 per cent. In sought-after communities such as Manotick, Stittsville and Kanata, resale property values have rocketed up more than 40 per cent over the past five years. “We’ve got a perfect storm right now,” explains Deb Burgoyne, the board’s new president and a broker at Royal LePage Team Realty. “I would tell you for the first time in my licensed life that all areas (of Ottawa) are hot.” Burgoyne and other industry experts say a confluence of factors have stirred up Ottawa’s frothy real estate market, leading to a spike in prices not seen for well over a decade. First, Ottawa is riding an employment boom, with the tech and government sectors both in full hiring mode. The region’s jobless rate is hovering below 4.5 per cent, and talent-hungry firms are constantly bringing in new employees who need a place to live. In short, many realtors say, Ottawa has become a more attractive destination for skilled workers with relatively high incomes. “The city itself has such tremendous potential that I believe is untapped,” says Ross Tavel, a sales representative at Keller Williams Integrity Realty. “We went through so many years where we really didn’t have much growth. The growth is finally here.”

AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET RESIDENTIAL: 66 (January 2016) 39 (January 2020) CONDOS: 73 (January 2016) 31 (January 2020) At the same time, the city’s stock of new and resale housing has failed to keep pace with the stampede of new potential buyers. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., developers started work on about 7,800 housing units of all types last year, up only slightly from the two previous years. A lack of new inventory has prompted bidding wars for just about

anything that goes on the resale market – and right now, that’s not a lot. In a city with more than 400,000 dwellings, there were just 1,525 properties listed for sale at the end of December, compared with 2,075 the year before. Condos were particularly scarce, with the available inventory falling more than 50 per cent to below 270 – about a onemonth supply. As a result, condos that sold last month spent just 31 days on the market, down from 73 days in January 2016. “I’ve never seen that low inventory,” Burgoyne says. “We all hope it’s going to break. We all have our fingers crossed hoping that it’s going to get better.” Rushforth feels the same way. “How do you get into the Ottawa real estate market when the average price of a townhome is in the fours (in high-demand neighbourhoods)?” he says. “How does the first-time homebuyer afford that? It is concerning.” Still, many longtime realtors argue that while bidding wars might be keeping a few would-be buyers from entering the fray, the Ottawa market is nowhere near the boiling point yet.

Jennifer Skuce, partner, Ottawa’s Bytown Brokers. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON.

“We’ve always believed here that our prices were a bubble on the low end and had to burst and go up,” says veteran broker Kent Browne, a past-president of the real estate board. “While other cities had huge gains, we didn’t have that. Honestly, it’s long overdue.” Angela Augsbury, who’s been selling houses for Coldwell Banker Rhodes &

Company for more than a decade, agrees. “It’s much more affordable here still than, say, Toronto or the West Coast,” she says. “Ottawa has been undervalued for a long time.” According to a new report from national real estate firm RE/MAX, Augsbury and Browne are on to something. The firm surveyed 16 major Canadian markets, ranking their affordability based on factors such as average household income and the percentage of a buyer’s monthly income needed to carry a mortgage, assuming a down payment of 25 per cent and based on the forecasted 2020 average sale price per region. Based on those criteria, RE/MAX ranked Ottawa the sixth-most affordable market in the country. According to the study, the average Ottawa household would need to spend about 17 per cent of its monthly income on a new mortgage ​ – well below Toronto (40 per cent) and Vancouver (58 per cent). But that middle-of-the-pack standing is no reason to break out the champagne, many observers caution. Continued on page 17

Good People. Great Lawyers.

Lights, Camera, Ottawa:

The exploding growth in Ottawa’s film, television, and animation industry.

Moderated by Bruce Harvey,

Ottawa Film Commissioner Panelists to be announced!




MARCH 2020 |

March 2nd, 2020 11:30am-1:30pm Chateau Laurier


(All data courtesy of the Ottawa Real Estate Board)

Rockcliffe Park

Benchmark price:

1. Rideau Township (south of Regional Road 6, east of McCordick Road) 2020: $361,000 2015: $236,100 Increase: 52.90% FITZROY

MARCH 2020

8. Carlington, Central Park 2020: $483,300 2015: $331,500 Increase: 45.79%



9. Between Franktown Road and Fallowfield Road 2020: $552,000 2015: $382,100 Increase: 44.46% 10. Belair Park, Copeland Parkand area 2020: $480,300 2015: $332,600 Increase: 44.41%





10 11




11 6


7 17






4. Manotick south to Roger Stevens Drive 2020: $589,200 2015: $387,200 Increase: 52.17%

7. Elmvale Acres and area 2020: $462,300 2015: $316,300 Increase: 46.16%



3. Leitrim 2020: $534,200 2015: $350,400 Increase: 52.45%

6. Munster 2020: $441,100 2015: $300,500 Increase: 46.79%

(up 5.2 per cent over 2018)


2. Manotick east to Manotick Station 2020: $775,900 2015: $507,800 Increase: 52.80%

5. North Gower 2020: $507,400 2015: $345,100 Increase: 47.03%








1 5 13




Bells Corners and south to Fallowfield

Benchmark price:


16.9 per cent $312,700 (up over 2018)

11. Meadowlands, Crestview and area 2020: $595,800 2015: $412,800 Increase: 44.33% 12. Kanata 2020: $484,100 2015: $335,500 Increase: 44.29% 13. Manotick Village and Manotick Estates 2020: $799,100 2015: $556,500 Increase: 43.59% 14. Barrhaven 2020: $447,700 2015: $312,100 Increase: 43.45%

15. Carlsbad Springs 2020: $384,800 2015: $268,500 Increase: 43.31% 16. Stittsville (central) 2020: $562,300 2015: $392,600 Increase: 43.22% 17. Blossom Park, airport and area 2020: $450,800 2015: $315,400 Increase: 42.93% 18. Parkway Park, Queensway Terrace south and area 2020: $432,200 2015: $303,800 Increase: 42.26%




19. Stittsville (north) 2020: $559,200 2015: $394,800 Increase: 41.64% 20. Stittsville (south) 2020: $601,800 2015: $425,100 Increase: 41.57%















2% 2017

0% 2016

-2% 2015

2% 2013


2% 2011















17 2016




3% 2012




8% 5%





she adds. “Unfortunately, I have lots of clients that would love to buy a house, and there’s just nothing to sell them,” she says. “If you want to enter into the housing market, you either have to probably start out in the suburbs and work your way back in … or you just are really good at saving.” It’s yet another sign, realtors say, of a market that’s evolving in a way almost no one could have expected just a few short years ago. “The dynamic of real estate has changed almost on a dime,” sums up Nancy O’Dea of Engel & Volkers Ottawa Central. “What we’re going through right now, it’s really quite unprecedented.”



Although these neighbourhoods certainly don’t qualify as hidden gems, veteran realtor Paul Rushforth says they just keep growing in popularity (check out the map of Ottawa’s 20 hottest neighbourhoods on page 16 if you don’t believe him). “When someone calls me and says, ‘Hey, I’m looking to find a townhouse in Barrhaven for fourhundred thousand (dollars), my response is, ‘Good luck,’” Rushforth says with a chuckle, adding the west end is thriving in large part due to the booming tech sector. “It’s almost impossible.”


MARCH 2020

Continued from page 15 While more and more millennials are targeting smaller bungalows inside the Greenbelt as a way to live closer to downtown, some local realtors fear such properties are close to being out of reach for young families. “As prices continue to rise like this, people are looking on the fringe of everywhere to try to get in (the market),” Skuce says. “Certainly, in the next five years, it’s going to get way more expensive to live in the core.” Augsbury agrees, saying properties near the new Confederation LRT line, for example, are highly coveted because of their proximity to transit and other amenities. But affordable properties in those nodes are few and far between,




Jennifer Skuce, partner at Ottawa’s Bytown Brokers, says this part of town just south of Westboro and slightly west of the Glebe is gaining in popularity thanks to its proximity to the Glebe, its easy access to the Queensway and its relatively affordable prices. “It’s a sweet spot in Ottawa, as far as I’m concerned,” she says. “It’s become more of a destination. There’s a good selection of single homes, rows and a few other things.” Fellow broker Deb Burgoyne is also a big fan of Carlington. “It’s still a really bucolic neighbourhood,” she says, pointing to its well-manicured lawns and treelined streets and noting the area is still reasonably affordable. “It’s attainable and it’s central. People are willing to sort of perhaps scale down and take a smaller house in those (types of) neighbourhoods.” Ross Tavel of Keller Williams Integrity Realty agrees, adding nearby Little Italy is really gaining steam as well.

Tavel notes that while Vanier and nearby Overbrook have often been overlooked by many prospective homebuyers, the neighbourhoods just east of the Rideau River are starting to come into their own. “That area is so close to downtown. The price point is really low,” he says. “When a good home comes to the market and it’s priced properly, it sells very quickly in VanierOverbrook.”







OBJ asked local realtors to spotlight the city’s hottest up-and-coming neighbourhoods when it comes to residential real estate. Here are some of their top picks:

“You’re so close to downtown, you have Dow’s Lake, you have the new hospital coming,” he explains. “That area is on fire.”




Price ceiling on the rise in Ottawa luxury market

MARCH 2020




illion-dollar home transactions in the nation’s capital used to be almost as rare as a unanimous vote in the House of Commons, but times have changed. When Nancy O’Dea, a sales rep for luxury real estate firm Engel & Volkers, started in the business 15 years ago, the city’s only seven-figure properties were in tony neighbourhoods such as Rockcliffe Park and Rothwell Heights. “Now, there’s million-dollar properties all over the city,” she says, noting that more than 300 houses traded for seven figures last year. Since late 2018, there have been three transactions worth at least $5 million in Ottawa, O’Dea says, adding that she believes high-end homes in the capital have been underpriced for far too long. “If you looked at those same properties in other cities in Canada like Toronto and Vancouver, those houses would be … close to ($10-million),” she says. “I just think that the Ottawa market is becoming more sophisticated.” O’Dea points to the rise in popularity of homeimprovement and real estate-themed programming on specialty networks such as HGTV as a major reason why luxury properties are becoming more mainstream. “It’s all about improving real estate and letting people see about possibilities,” she says. “Once people see possibilities, they want them.” – David Sali

Luxury properties ​– such as this five-bedroom mansion at 61 Parkland Cres. in Nepean currently listed for $2,990,000 –​ are becoming more prevalent in Ottawa, says realtor Nancy O’Dea.

REAL ESTATE January housing starts more than double year-over-year D

evelopers in Ottawa-Gatineau continued to rev up housing starts in January in an effort to respond to unrelenting demand for new inventory, according to the latest figures from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. The region’s builders launched 611 new residential units last month, up from 249 a year earlier, the federal housing agency said. Those numbers were bolstered by a significant jump in multi-unit starts, which rose 187 per cent to 491 units in January. Meanwhile, construction of single-detached homes was up 54 per cent to 120 units. Builders on the Gatineau side of the

river were particularly busy last month. Developers in the city started work on 240 new units in January, including 223 multi-unit projects such as condos, row houses and townhomes, up from 64 in the first month of 2019. In Ottawa, developers launched 371 new builds, more than double January 2019’s tally of 185. Multi-unit projects accounted for roughly 70 per cent of that activity, with builders starting a total of 268 new condos, rows and townhouses. Meanwhile, the region’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of starts dropped 10 per cent in January to 8,878 from 9,896 in December.


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NEW ONLINE ACCESSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS OPENS OPPORTUNITIES FOR OTTAWA BUSINESSES Complying with January 2021 deadline will help organizations reach new

MARCH 2020

customers, improve SEO



New online accessibility rules in Ontario are prompting thousands of businesses and organizations in Ottawa and across the province to rethink the design of their websites and other digital content. Any business or association with 50 more employees must comply with the updated Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) contained in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) by Jan. 1, 2021. However, organizations of all sizes stand to benefit from having a website that’s accessible to all audiences, including those with physical or mental disabilities and restrictions. Non-compliance can come with serious ramifications, says Nigel McKechnie, an employment and human rights lawyer at Mann Lawyers. “The legal risks are important,” he says, adding that corporations can be subject to a costly Human Rights Tribunal complaint and penalties of up to $100,000 per day for failing to meet the accessibility laws. “In addition to the costs of the fines or awards for damages, businesses could be put to onerous legal fees, either to appeal those fines or to defend those human rights applications,” he says, adding that the process could also damage an organization’s public image.

HOW ONLINE ACCESSIBILITY CAN BENEFIT YOUR BUSINESS 1. Customer loyalty: By providing all users a positive online experience, your business is more likely to have repeat clientele. 2. Better SEO: Using alternative text for images, captions on videos and a navigable site map results in increased search engine optimization, making it easier for people to find your business online. 3. Broadening your reach: Reaching and engaging a wider audience can dramatically affect the ability of your organization to meet its goals, acquire new customers and provide a high-level customer experience.

One of the local companies that’s helping businesses and organizations meet the new requirements is Ottawa-based digital agency OPIN Software, which has developed significant expertise in this area. In recent years, the OPIN team has drawn on its deep knowledge of online accessibility to help clients such as the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and the Canadian Paralympic Committee transform their websites, making web experiences easier and more effective for users, says Chris Fenn, a senior account executive at OPIN. “Having an accessible website sends a clear message about your values and how those values translate into actions for your audience,” he says. “In today’s world, people are aligning with brands and organizations that not only provide products and services that they need and want, but that also share their values and vision for the world.”


UNDERSTANDING ACCESSIBILITY The upcoming requirements build on existing accessibility regulations and push organizations to go a step further. Current rules include having clear page titles for easier navigation, supplying text alternatives for non-text content such as images as well as providing alternatives to colour-coded instructions. (For example, think how problematic, “press the green button to continue” could be for an individual with a visual impairment.) The new set of rules includes additional requirements such as using consistent menus and buttons across a website, superior colour contrast and the ability to resize text without losing functionality. These technical updates will allow a website to better integrate with assistive technologies such as screen readers. Providing closed captions and audio descriptions on both pre-recorded and live videos is also a measure contained in the new set of regulations.


Chris Fenn

All of OPIN’s staff undergo training to ensure the agency’s projects meet Ontario accessibility guidelines. (from left to right) are Chinpreet Kaur, Intermediate Web Developer and Dean Chimezie, Junior Web Developer. Photos by Mark Holleron

Businesses will be expected to implement both types of captions to allow those with difficulty hearing to better access their content. It all adds up to more engaged interactions with all visitors to an organization’s website. “Your digital experience should enable and empower your audience to engage and become informed, rather than frustrated,” Fenn says.

GET YOUR SITE ACCESSIBILITY READY OPIN Software can help your business implement an accessibility roadmap with its on-demand webinar “Preparing for Ontario’s Upcoming Web Accessibility Requirements (AODA).” Learn more about what your website needs to become fully accessible and tips on how to achieve it.



– Chris Fenn, senior account executive, OPIN Software.

MARCH 2020

BECOMING ACCESSIBLE While redesigning a website to be fully accessible may seem like a daunting task, Fenn says there are several online tools that can help businesses get started through a preliminary scan that identifies problematic areas of their website. “Most sites have some issues present, so it’s important to document and understand the nature and impact of the issues that are flagged,” he adds. OPIN works with clients to understand where

their websites need adjusting before making recommendations that will produce the highest accessibility scores. The digital agency team also continues to work with their clients after the initial website overhaul to assist in preventing future accessibility issues from developing. OPIN has made accessibility a core value of the agency, reflecting its importance to the company’s work. All employees undergo accessibility training, which means all of the company’s projects are designed with WCAG standards in mind. “Ultimately, OPIN does more than comply with accessibility requirements – accessibility has been a cornerstone of OPIN’s company, culture, and projects since the company’s inception,” says Fenn. “Just as an accessible website sends a certain message, so too does the choice to not offer an accessible experience to your audience.”

“People are aligning with brands and organizations that not only provide products and services that they need and want, but that also share their values and vision for the world.”


Daring Ottawa to ‘imagine,’ CHEO’s For the Kids Gala returns this spring with flare Annual fundraiser is a fun-filled evening featuring spectacular auction items and entertainment in support of a worthy cause


ibrant colours, whimsical decor and Dr. Seusslike characters will transport guests of the 2020 For the Kids Gala to a land of imagination alongside some CHEO patients looking to inspire the crowd. Planned and hosted by the CHEO Foundation, the annual gala is a highly anticipated fundraiser for development and rehabilitation services at CHEO, the local children’s hospital. The unit offers services and support for children and youth who have injuries, physical or mental disabilities, complex care needs, degenerative conditions and developmental delays. With CHEO’s help many children who face life-long conditions will learn to enjoy and participate in their lives to the fullest of their potential. “We work with businesses to develop this gala and to give them the chance to meet the families they’re helping,” says Chantal Charbonneau, director of annual giving and employee engagement at the CHEO Foundation. Previously known as the For the Kids Auction under the auspices of the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre – which merged with CHEO in 2016 – the event has grown to become a huge hit for guests and patients alike. This year’s gala, which takes place Wednesday, April 1 at the Infinity Convention Centre, will feature an online silent auction, networking, a gourmet three-course dinner and live music performed by



MARCH 2020

WHEN: April 1, 2020



WHERE: Infinity Convention Centre TICKETS: *If you can’t make the gala, be sure to check out the online silent auction - you can still bid even if you aren’t attending!

Guests had a spectacular time at the last year’s event. former CHEO patients and their siblings. Sticking with this year’s theme of “imagine,” there will also be a raffle in which guests will have the chance to win a bucket-list trip to a destination of their choosing as well as a fashion show starring some of the children currently being cared for by development and rehabilitation at CHEO. Staff will also be on hand to showcase some of the equipment and technology the program uses to assist its patients. From power wheelchairs and eyegaze machines to toys that have been adapted to suit the children’s needs, the goal is to demonstrate to guests the importance of their fundraising efforts, says Lydia Blanchard, director of community engagement at the CHEO Foundation. “We want people to interact with the technology and actually see what they are fundraising for and the good it does,” she says, adding that the team hopes to surpass the $116,000 raised last year. A PERSONAL CONNECTION While the gala is a fun way to give back to the community, network with clients, partners and friends, and rub shoulders with local celebrities and media personalities – Ian Mendes will be on hand to emcee, Melissa Lamb will be the voice of the fashion show, and local athletes have been known to make an appearance – the cause hits much closer to home for some attendees. OBJ360 CONTENT STUDIO

The Danson family proudly represented CHEO at this important fundraiser. Am-Tech Electrical president James McKellar is a member of the Foundation’s board and a strong supporter of the gala who’s also seen CHEO’s work up-close. McKellar’s daughter has cystic fibrosis and needed surgery at the children’s hospital shortly after birth. The team at CHEO were caring and compassionate, he says, recalling how they brought him a Polaroid photo of his newborn daughter – the only image he had to share with family and friends while she was in CHEO’s extended care. “I just can’t say enough about how much support CHEO gave us as parents,” says McKellar, who made several return visits to the children’s hospital with his daughter for follow-up treatment. “They need the support that the gala gives, and for other families to know that they’re not alone.” One of the most rewarding parts of the evening is seeing the smiles on the children’s faces and how much joy they bring to the event, he adds. It’s also a fantastic place to gather with other local business owners to celebrate a worthy cause. “I bump into all of these people inside my own community that I really never get to see. I get to sit and talk to them and we have a wonderful night together,” says McKellar, who hasn’t missed a gala since joining the board around five years ago. “There’s a lot of room in Ottawa to support the CHEO Foundation, because giving back to our community is really giving back to our children.”


MARCH 2020



Loblaw readies massive expansion to Cornwall distribution centre With 5.5 million square feet – and growing – of warehousing and distribution space, Cornwall anchors position as Eastern Canadian hub BY LEO VALIQUETTE


commenced operations in Ottawa’s east end last summer.) After Walmart took the leap, other brands took notice and decided to follow. Why? Walmart, Loblaw and tire distributor Benson Group did not respond to interview requests by press time, but others who service Cornwall’s warehousing and distribution sector did offer their thoughts on the subject. “Once one settles in, it becomes a blueprint to others,” said Bob Gauthier, president of local trucking company Seaway Express.


Walmart occupies some three million square feet of warehouse space in Cornwall spread across two distribution centres.

between Cornwall and Toronto, where comparable commercial land can cost as much as $2 million an acre. “When I talk to real estate agents in

Toronto and tell them they can get land here at $30,000 an acre serviced, they don’t believe me,” he said. Continued on next page


Back in the ’90s, Cornwall city council decided to actively promote the area’s largest advantage – “serviced commercial land that was shovelready and available for immediate development,” said Bob Peters, manager of Cornwall Economic Development. The city expanded the Cornwall Business Park, offering up the huge tracts of serviced land that distribution centres require. It also waved development charges. Even today, the average cost of land per acre in the park is low compared to major cities on the Windsor-Quebec City corridor. Yves Poirier, president of local trucking company Minimax Express Transportation, travels frequently

MARCH 2020

hen grocery and retail giant Loblaw announced in January that it would shutter warehousing operations in Ottawa and Laval while expanding them in Cornwall, many saw it as a corporate restructuring and jobs lost to automation. But that simplistic narrative misses a powerful story of how Cornwall grew to become one of Eastern Canada’s major warehousing and distribution hubs. Municipal policy decisions, a strategic geographic location and other competitive advantages have helped to attract some of the country’s biggest corporations to this city of 50,000 residents. Loblaw’s Shoppers Drug Mart facility isn’t the only warehousing and distribution operation in Cornwall. In fact, multiple companies have set up shop over the past 20 years. These warehousing, distribution and head office operations collectively add up to about 5.5 million square feet (and growing). The heavyweight is Walmart Logistics, which first arrived in 1999. Today, it operates two Cornwall distribution centres, each 1.5 million square feet in size. (Compare that, for a moment, to Amazon’s one-millionsquare-foot fulfillment centre that

Loblaw is expanding an existing Shoppers Drug Mart regional distribution centre, operated by Matrix Logistics in Cornwall to 900,000 square feet.


Continued from previous page Land availability and cost is only part of the equation, added Peters. The City of Cornwall obtains its electrical power from Quebec Hydro, not Hydro One. Electricity costs as a result average 25 per cent lower than in other Ontario communities. Location is another major factor beyond such obvious advantages as Highway 401 access, the proximity of an international bridge into the U.S. or even the CN rail line that runs into the business park. Cornwall is ideally located for

trucking fleets to make overnight runs to Toronto for freight, said Poirier, then have that freight reloaded on other trucks for delivery as far as Quebec City the next day. Cornwall gained a further advantage in 2012 when Autoroute 30 opened up. This allowed trucks to bypass Montreal for points east without having to get stuck in traffic crossing the island. There is also the simple fact that Quebec operates with rules and regulations that are unique to the province. Labour unions are also more widespread than in other parts of Canada. These factors can also influence where a major brand may decide to set up shop. Cornwall’s proximity to the Quebec border makes it the next best alternative for serving the province without actually being in Quebec. Brands such as Walmart, Loblaw and Benson Group may be investing in Cornwall, but what does this really mean in terms of job creation? While Loblaw’s Shoppers facility in Cornwall will expand from 500,000 to 900,000 square feet, it will be equipped with the latest in automation technologies. There is no firm word yet as to how many new jobs


MARCH 2020




In the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, Marie-Noëlle Lanthier, chair of La Nation’s economic development committee, is heading up an effort to support local entrepreneurs and the growth of local businesses as a way to stimulate more economic activity. More than 60 surveys of local businesses have been carried out to understand how they can be better supported to drive their growth and job creation. It’s part of a larger effort to encourage more young people to stay in these rural communities east of Ottawa and also develop the area’s natural assets to attract more tourists. On March 28, Prescott and Russell will host an Employment and Skills Development Fair at Collège d’Alfred,

in Alfred-Plantagenet County, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fair will cover employment, skills development, virtual career exploration, immigration, conferences and discussion panels on current subjects of interest to all. The Fair is intended to help address the area’s labour shortages and promote its diversity of jobs and businesses. Learn more at

RETAIL ROLLERCOASTER FOR SMITHS FALLS Entrepreneurial partners Brian Paquette and Vanessa McLellan have closed several businesses they had opened in Smiths Falls. The Axe and Arrow Gastro Pub on Russell Street, which had replaced a failed expansion to Eastern Ontario by café chain Coffee Culture just last year, is now closed with no plans


will be created. Walmart Logistics, however, which already employs about 2,000 people in Cornwall, said in mid-February it will hire an additional 150 staff by midyear. According to the City of Cornwall, some 3,000 people are employed in the local sector overall, including in transportation. Peters points out that the growth of Cornwall’s warehousing and distribution industry is the hub of an entire ecosystem that drives job and wealth creation for

to reopen. Also closed is Willa’s Fish and Chips on Russell Street. Meanwhile, new retail development continues at the Smiths Falls plaza at 207 Brockville St. The Smiths Falls Family Pharmacy opened in January, which includes Smiths Falls’ first walk-in clinic – the Good Doctors Medical Clinic. Over at the Rideau Plaza at Lombard and Abbott streets, a redevelopment is underway that will include a new KFC. Lastly, the Lombard Street Plaza on Highway 15 is expanding with three new stores, one of which will be Smiths Falls’ first Starbucks location.

CHRIS KING ELECTED OEEDC PRESIDENT The Ontario East Economic Development Commission held its annual general meeting on Feb. 5 in Toronto and elected Chris King, CEO of the Quinte Economic Development Commission, as its president for a two-year term. The commission is a regional economic

a host of satellite industries. In addition to trucking, there are technical support businesses, trailer rentals, commercial garages and pallet manufacturers. It is also no coincidence that the Cornwall campus of St. Lawrence College offers a one-year graduate certificate program in supply chain management to feed the demand for qualified workers. “Cornwall’s position as one of the major hubs for supply chain activity in Canada is only going to get stronger,” Peters said.

development organization that promotes Eastern Ontario as a centre for investment and business growth. It has more than 140 members in more than 200 communities across the region.

SUPPORT FOR GRAPE GROWERS The governments of Canada and Ontario are committing up to $2 million for grape growers to support projects that will help grow the province’s wine grape industry. Some 500 growers across Ontario produce grapes used to make award-winning Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) wines. For 2018-19, sales of Ontario wines in Ontario alone added up to $374 million. The government funding will cover up to 35 per cent of eligible costs, to a maximum of $100,000 per vineyard, for equipment, irrigation infrastructure, environmental monitoring equipment, pest management and consultation for new technology adoption.


Taking the Ottawa Valley’s adventure tourism sector to new heights New real estate development, services in store for whitewater capital of Canada BY LEO VALIQUETTE


Claudia Van Wijk took over OWL Rafting and Madawaska Kanu Centre from her parents and runs it with her husband Dirk and their two daughters.

connected to our land.” This ultimately drives the need to strike that delicate balance between conservation and preservation while also engaging in new real estate development to provide accommodation.



Kowalski is convinced this balance can be achieved and that the area can “become the Banff of Eastern Canada.” “What we have here in the Ottawa Valley is as nice as you would find anywhere and I am quite bullish on it,” he said. So bullish in fact that he lobbied about 30 years ago for a new national park (the area already has two provincial ones). While that effort failed, Kowalski wouldn’t be deterred. Over the years, he has bought up every acre of waterfront he could as it became available. Today, he is the largest private landowner in the area, with about 5,000 acres of shoreline on both sides of the Ottawa River that he still intends to someday become a national park. In the meantime, he is carving off about 10 per cent of his land where the whitewater section of the Ottawa River flows into Rocher-Fendu Lake for a new real estate development called Voyageur Bay. It features 23 one-acre waterfront lots surrounded by 500 acres of natural wilderness. While he declined to get into the

details, Kowalski also recently listed for sale the land on which his Wilderness Tours Adventure Resort has long operated. He’s not selling the business, just the land on which it operates. There is no word yet on a buyer, but with 323 acres of real estate available (listed for $5.35 million) that has 3,700 feet of waterfront, water and septic service already in place, and plenty of land that is still undeveloped, the site has a lot of potential. Despite developments like Voyageur Bay and a new chapter pending for the Wilderness Tours site, Van Wijk said that the region remains challenged by a lack of sufficient accommodation. It needs more bed and breakfasts, more Airbnb rentals and more homebuilding overall. One person with his eye on Renfrew County is Ottawa Senators founder and real estate investment coach Bruce Firestone, with Century 21 Explorer Realty. The outdoor adventure and tourism sector is “growing twice as fast as the rest of the economy,” he said. “So places like Renfrew County with abundant lakes, rivers and natural features that are also close to fast-growing urban centres … are well-positioned to take advantage.” “A couple of provisos though,” he added. “They have to offer the right high-end products and services plus local authorities can’t bog down landowners with approval processes that take forever.”

MARCH 2020

hat does it take to build a world-class travel and tourism destination? It’s a burning question in Renfrew County where the Madawaska and Ottawa rivers feature some of the best whitewater experiences in the world for rafting, canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts. Two area businesses pioneered the adventure tourism potential of this area through the 1970s and ’80s. In 1972, champion kayakers Hermann and Christa Kerckhoff started the world’s first whitewater kayak and canoe school, Madawaska Kanu Centre. Hermann and daughter Claudia became the first kayakers to descend the whitewater region of the Ottawa River. In 1981, the Kerckhoffs founded OWL Rafting to give others the whitewater experience. Joe Kowalski, meanwhile, launched Wilderness Tours on the river in 1974. Both businesses continue to thrive today. Claudia Van Wijk took over OWL and Madawaska Kanu Centre from her parents and runs it with her husband Dirk, with their two daughters assuming increasingly active roles in the business. Over at Wilderness, the acquisition of a third local rafting company, RiverRun, has left the business primed for its own strong handoff to the next generation of Kowalskis. OWL and Wilderness have each expanded beyond whitewater to also offer other outdoor experiences as well as camping, RV and resort facilities. Both Claudia Van Wijk and Joe Kowalski see so much more potential for

the whitewater region of the Ottawa River than just supporting a couple of familyowned businesses. OWL, Wilderness and RiverRun together have earned an Ontario Signature Experience designation from provincial tourism organization Destination Ontario. OWL also holds a Canadian Signature Experience designation from Destination Canada – the only attraction of its kind in Ontario to do so. It’s that kind of marketing and promotional horsepower from the federal and provincial governments that is key to drawing the volume of visitors and residents for the area to realize its full potential, said Van Wijk. Preserve the wild and untamed beauty that makes this section of the river unique and build off of that to make it a true signature destination that will attract greater numbers of yearround visitors and residents. People who have discovered the area are drawn by the appeal of living close to that natural beauty, even if they have no desire to put an oar or paddle into the water, and the fact that Ottawa is only an hour down the road, said Van Wijk. Trail riding, mountain biking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and even a new buylocal, farm-to-table agricultural industry have sprung up. All of it is supporting the growth of new local service and hospitality businesses. “It’s the same as why people move to places like alpine ski areas where there is only snow in the winter – in the summer it is still unspoiled wilderness,” Van Wijk said. “People do want to move into an area that is vibrant but is still serene and

OBJ REGIONAL This puts Kingston and the area on the map for Chinese investment.


– Ian Murdoch, business development officer, Kingston Economic Development Corp.

Chinese investors prepare to open $225M infant formula factory Canada Royal Milk puts Kingston on Chinese companies’ radar, officials say BY ADAM LANGENBERG MARCH 2020




hina’s single-largest investment in Canada’s agriculture and food sector – a massive infant formula factory in Kingston – is accelerating interest in Eastern Ontario among businesses in the Asian country, local officials say. Ian Murdoch, business development officer at Kingston Economic

Development Corp., says he’s received several calls from Chinese companies looking at investment opportunities in the area in the last eight months. He credits most of those calls to Feihe International’s construction of a 300,000-square-foot infant formula plant in the city, under the name of Canada Royal Milk. “An investment like this puts Kingston and the area on the map for Chinese investment, and we’ve had several requests from China looking for different types of businesses,” Murdoch says. “The Chinese market probably sees this investment as a safe one, so what other businesses will do now is look at Kingston as a destination that’s welcoming foreign investment, especially from China.” Chinese investment in Ontario has totalled $14.6 billion since 1993, putting

the province third behind Alberta ($49.7 billion) and British Columbia ($20.2 billion), according to the University of Alberta China Institute’s investment tracker. Institute director Gordon Houlden says the $225 million Canada Royal Milk investment, characterized as a greenfield investment, is the biggest Chinese investment in Canada’s agriculture and food sector, which includes 20 individual investments totalling $448 million. Seven of those investments have been in Ontario, at a combined value of $264 million. Of the 13 sectors tracked by the institute, Canada’s food and agriculture sector ranks 10th for total Chinese investment. “It is reasonable to assume that, given our reputation as a safe and reliable food producer, similar greenfield investments could flow into Canada to meet the needs of China’s growing middle class,” Houlden says. He adds public commitments in 2018 by Canada’s ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, to ensure the Kingston infant formula plant was not adversely affected by the yet-to-beratified United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, demonstrated the investment’s importance to the Canadian economy. Houlden says those promises would have reassured Chinese investors and been viewed as an “encouraging sign for business/investor confidence.”


CONSUMER CONFIDENCE Feihe is reportedly the only major Chinese milk powder company to remain successful in China following the 2008 milk scandal that led to the hospitalization of around 54,000 babies. Houlden says other Chinese dairy and infant formula producers may turn to Canada in a bid to “recapture the confidence of consumers.” Houlden predicted China would continue to seek investment opportunities and increase protein imports from abroad, given that only 10 per cent of its land is arable and its population of 1.4 billion continues to grow. Chinese companies have aggressively invested in the dairy and agriculture sectors of countries around the world. For example, Chinese-owned Moon Lake Investments purchased Australia’s largest dairy company – Van Diemen’s Land Co. – in 2016. The international interest comes despite confusion over Canada Royal Milk’s launch date, listed as both “soon” and in September 2019 on its website. Canada Royal Milk did not respond to requests for comment. Murdoch says his understanding is that Canada Royal Milk is still looking to fill positions at the plant before launching. Ontario Federation of Agriculture director Jackie Kelly-Pemberton says she had been told by her members that the plant would initially begin operations at below capacity because of a lack of local supply. Kelly-Pemberton says the plant, once it begins operating, would provide “another great avenue” for local farmers as well as opportunities to grow. She says she has had no indication of further foreign investment in Ontario’s dairy or agricultural sectors but added there were opportunities for similar investments in the province and around the country.

Explore the Ottawa Valley Science & Tech Corridor Hundreds of innovative firms operate between Kanata and Deep River. Here’s your opportunity to join them. The Ottawa Valley Science and Tech Corridor is anchored by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories in the west- one of the world’s leading nuclear, hydrogen, advanced materials, environmental, biology and human health science and technology clusters. Together with aerospace, metals, radiation and explosives detection, security and defence suppliers, pharmaceutical products and composites manufacturing businesses, we are directly linked to the Kanata technology community.

BUSINESS INVESTMENT ARNPRIOR PRIME 173,300 SQ. FT. COMMERCIAL/INDUSTRIAL/MANUFACTURING/ WAREHOUSE/DISTRIBUTION FACILITY $6,932,000 Bordering the city of Ottawa, 25 minutes to Kanata, 45 minutes to downtown Ottawa along HWY 417. DEEP RIVER COMMERCIAL/LIGHT INDUSTRIAL BUILDING – 8,300 SQ. FT $420,000 Just off Highway 17, in the picturesque Town of Deep River, home to Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, a “Top 100 Employer”. Two buildings with shipping and receiving docks, a large manufacturing area and office, boardroom and employee kitchen.

DEVELOPMENT LANDS Waterfront Investment Lands Opportunities

RETAIL RENFREW PRIME DOWNTOWN RETAIL BUILDING WITH 4 UPSTAIRS APARTMENT UNITS $429,500 Retiring owners - Located in the historic town of Renfrew, this building has enjoyed 30 + years of retail success!

START-UPS Entrepreneurial spirit is strong in the Ottawa Valley and we have the peer community and support structures in place to accelerate your success. Enterprise Renfrew County provides the basic business planning foundation, coaching and mentoring- and seed money from our Starter Company Plus program. The RC 100 (Renfrew County 100) program from Renfrew County Community Futures Development Corporation is a competitive process to support innovative technology development at the pre-commercial stage, with a $100,000 debenture to accelerate your growth. Our entrepreneur network meets periodically for sharing, collaboration and mutual support, joined by government agencies supporting industry with financial and technical resources and by local investors and entrepreneurs.

PETAWAWA FOLLOW THE SMART MONEY – BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY – RETAIL DEVELOPMENT LAND AND BUILDING WITH UPSTAIRS APARTMENT $399,000 Fast growing, underserved, small town boasting the second highest median income in Ontario. Starbucks located here last year, who’s next?

Check us out at Renfrew County Economic Development and Investment Services 613.735.0091 |


Let’s arrange a tour of the Valley for you!

TOWNSHIP OF MADAWASKA VALLEY LAKEWOODS ON BARK LAKE, WATERFRONT RESORT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Group of Seven Canadian Shield landscape with 1,600 acres and 5 kms of shoreline on gorgeous Bark Lake near Algonquin Park. With a resort community plan of subdivision in place and several existing lot owners and roads, this development is already selling. A much sought after cottage area by both Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa residents.

MARCH 2020

WHITEWATER REGION TOWNSHIP WHITEWATER RESORT SITE Ottawa River waterfront with 323 acres of fields and forests and 3,700 ft. frontage on a 12 km long lake, all located downstream of a world-class whitewater paradise. Just 95

kms from Kanata. Ideal for year-round and cottage living development project, corporate retreat or training centre.

MARCH 2020




There are, of course, ups and downs from year to year due to the unpredictable impact of weather on local crop yields and of foreign demand for Canadian grain. The objective since 2001 has been to find new ways to hedge against that unpredictability through diversification of the port’s business.



Tide turns for Port of Johnstown following $35M upgrade, diversification efforts Cargo volume up 47% since township took over operations in 2001




ate last summer, the Port of Johnstown on the St. Lawrence River an hour south of Ottawa took delivery of massive turbine parts for a new wind power development. Destined for EDP Renewables’ planned 100-megawatt Nation Rise Wind Farm in North Stormont, the parts were meant for towers that would stand 130 metres tall at their hubs. “When (EDP Renewables) came, they basically said, ‘Wow – we can’t believe this is here,’” said Robert Dalley, the port’s general manager. Two months later, the company made the decision to use the port. Not so long ago, the Port of Johnstown

would never have even been considered to handle such an undertaking due to its aging infrastructure and other limitations. The contract would have instead likely gone to the Port of Montreal. But a lot has changed over the past 19 years. Roughly $35 million from various levels of government has been invested to repair and upgrade docking facilities, expand the grain elevator and onsite storage capacity, and to increase the speed at which the port can load and unload ships. Some 1.29 million metric tonnes of total cargo passed through the port in 2019. That’s up 47 per cent from when the Township of Edwardsburgh Cardinal first took over operation of the port in 2001 from Ports Canada and ranks as its second-best year.

MARCH 2020

Capable of receiving any vessel that fits the St. Lawrence Seaway locks system. Receives grain from around the region and provides a range of grading, storage, cleaning and drying services in addition to loading vessels bound for overseas destinations. Supported 357 jobs and generated $37.1 million in economic activity in Ontario in 2017.


Originally built in the 1930s to move Prairie wheat to Eastern Canada, the port had waned in importance by the 1990s. When the Township of Edwardsburgh Cardinal purchased the facility, it considered how it could best build on the port’s key asset – a grain elevator – with repairs and upgrades of the docks and cargo-handling infrastructure. This came at a time when many shipping companies were investing in new fleets to ply the St. Lawrence Seaway. “We saw the investments happening around us, by ports like Montreal and Hamilton, and we had to have faith that if we increased our infrastructure here … we would get more marine business which would complement our agriculture business,” Dalley said. That agriculture business includes two big local customers. In 2009, Greenfield Global established an ethanol plant across the road from the port. Today, it purchases 23.5 million bushels of local corn a year. A few miles down the road in the town of Cardinal, the Ingredion Canada plant is also a boon to cash crop farmers in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec who grow nonGMO corn. Additionally, the port is a major arrival point for road salt to tackle Ontario’s harsh winters, handling a record 620,024 metric tonnes of salt in 2019 alone. Grain shipments, meanwhile, amounted to 199,041 metric tonnes last year, with soybeans the chief commodity, followed by corn and wheat (this included two ocean-going vessels that were loaded up for export). Other notable cargo include steel, those turbine parts for Nation Rise (a project that’s since stalled due to political wrangling and local opposition) as well as aggregates and calcium chloride for road construction and maintenance. Port, continued on page 32


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Tackling Eastern Ontario’s talent shortage Immigration, training opportunities and jobmatching efforts among initiatives aimed at accelerating population growth BY ADAM LANGENBERG


ess than a week into February, 97 jobs had already been listed on the City of Cornwall’s job board, bringing the total to more than 200 openings available to job seekers. The jobs range from selling paint, delivering pizzas, grooming pets and mopping floors at midnight to completing tax returns, ensuring the safety of at-risk children as well as a variety of roles at the Cornwall Community Hospital. Bob Peters, manager of Cornwall Economic Development, says it’s standard for 200 jobs to be up on the site at any time. It’s a handy resource for individuals who no longer need to search dozens of company websites for openings. It also neatly illustrates the biggest issue facing regional communities as they grapple with slow population growth and rapidly aging communities: Finding enough people to meet the growing demand of local employers.



– Glenn Vollebregt, CEO, St. Lawrence College for a decade without meaningful results. Janet Deline, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, acknowledged the two-year pilot alone would not solve the problem. However, she said the government would monitor its success and may use it as a model for other communities. Another strategy involves using post-secondary institutions to introduce young people to the region. Glenn Vollebregt, the CEO of St. Lawrence College, said 90 per cent of the


Politicians and policymakers have been working for years to reverse those projected trends. In December, the provincial government announced a Regional Immigration Pilot program that grants permanent residency to foreign workers willing to work in 13 manufacturing job categories in Cornwall, Chatham-Kent and Belleville/ Quinte West. The program requires employers to offer a job to a foreign worker and then recommend them as a potential immigrant to the province. While welcoming the program, Peters cautioned against “overselling it” because the eventual granting of permanent residency remains a federal government responsibility, with the province only “supporting the immigrant’s path to permanency.” That caution was shared by Renfrew County economic development manager Alastair Baird, who noted that governments have experimented with various pilot projects

When we recruit students to St. Lawrence, our goal and theirs is to get a job. Once they settle into our communities they generally stay.

MARCH 2020

Five-year population change from the 2016 Census: ONTARIO: 4.6% CITY OF OTTAWA: 5.9% LEEDS AND GRENVILLE: 1.2% COUNTY OF RENFREW: 1.1% CORNWALL: 0.5% KINGSTON: 0.4%

Cornwall’s job board is just one of the strategies that Eastern Ontario municipalities are turning to in a bid to attract workers. Ontario’s Ministry of Finance estimates that Eastern Ontario’s population, including the City of Ottawa, will rise by one-third from 2016 to 2046, from 1.82 million to slightly more than 2.41 million. While Ottawa’s population is expected to increase by 44 per cent, that healthy level of projected growth is not projected to be replicated in the region’s rural areas.

school’s students stay in Eastern Ontario after graduation, increasing the labour pool for local employers. With campuses in Cornwall, Brockville and Kingston, St. Lawrence College decided in 2010 to aggressively target international students to maintain its student numbers in an increasingly competitive market for higher education. Thanks to targeted marketing campaigns and recruitment agents in offices all over the world, Vollebregt says international student numbers have grown from just 85 individuals three years ago to a projected 2,000 students by this fall – representing about 22 per cent of the college’s total enrollment. Vollebregt aims for his international student cohort to diversify – recruiters have attracted students from 51 countries, but India and China are the largest source of recruits – and eventually grow it to represent 40 per cent of St. Lawrence’s total student body. “When we recruit students to St. Lawrence, our goal and theirs is to get a job,” Vollebregt said. “Once they settle into our communities they generally stay and that’s so important for rural Eastern Ontario.” St. Lawrence College also partnered with the Ontario government and the economic development offices of Leeds and Grenville, Brockville, Prescott and Gananoque last year to create a manufacturing skills training program for 50 unemployed residents, called Pathways to Production. This program, now at the threequarters mark, is already starting to fill available entry-level positions, said Leeds and Grenville economic development manager Ann Weir. Talent attraction and workforce development have become a strategic focus for the municipality’s council, and Weir said it is constantly working with local school boards to “narrow the gap” between employers and educators. Renfrew County’s Baird said retaining and expanding the community’s workforce is its highest economic development priority. Multiple businesses in Renfrew County with expansion plans struggle to find suitable employees. In response, the county has ramped up its promotional activities and presence at job fairs in the province. Labour, continued on page 32

OBJ REGIONAL Labour, continued from page 31 Promoting Eastern Ontario’s advantages – its lifestyle and proximity to major population centres – is also a key theme for Lianne Ing, vice-president of Bubble Technology Industries, a radiation, explosives and research company based in Chalk River. Ing suggested that programs aimed at making it easier for spouses of prospective employees drawn to Eastern Ontario by Bubble Technology Industries and other employers to find a job would greatly aid her recruitment efforts. Ian Murdoch, business development manager at Kingston Economic Development, said it was precisely that issue which led the City of Kingston to establish the Dual Career Support Program. This program links a relocating spouse up with a career and relocation specialist to provide job searching assistance,

networking opportunities and referrals to local support services. Kingston has also become a referral partner for Global Skills Strategy. This program allows visa applications from highly skilled international applicants to be fast-tracked for certain positions. Another program, the Queen’s Career Apprenticeship, grants employers up to 40 per cent of the cost of hiring a Queen’s University arts or humanities graduate for 12 months in a bid to provide students with an incentive to stay in the region after graduation. Despite all these efforts by individual communities, Peters says a concerted effort is needed by all levels of government to ensure more immigration reaches Ontario’s regional areas beyond the major cities. “That’s the challenge – there’s not much that Cornwall can do to change a worldwide phenomenon,” he said.

Made and built in Eastern Ontario

Port, continued from page 29 Last August, the federal government committed $4.8 million (being matched by the township) from its National Trade Corridor Fund to support the port’s Grain Export Infrastructure Renewal and Expansion Project. Loading times for ships are expected as a result to drop to 12-15 hours from two or three days. “Our agricultural and marine industries are thriving, and the port strives to grow alongside them and to promote growth in our region,” Mayor Pat Sayeau said at the time. “Johnstown provides 1,600 farms with access to market and we have seen exports grow by more than 150 per cent since 2011.” Other investments continue to be made to upgrade the rail bridge that provides CN and CP access to the port. An agreement has also been reached with the Canadian Border Services Agency to gain access to one of its nearby roads so that oversized cargo, such as those wind turbine

parts, have a bypass around the rail bridge. Without that, the restricted height of the bridge would prevent the port from being able to receive any oversized cargo that then has to ship out by truck. Dalley is conscious of the fact that shipping companies, trucking companies and others still remember a time when the port was a tired old facility that cost them time and money to use. Every new investment in capacity and the speed and quality of service is about erasing those outdated perceptions. The Port of Johnstown has a combination of advantages over facilities in Montreal, Hamilton and Toronto – no big city traffic gridlock, quick 400-series highway access, quick rail access and the Ogdensburg– Prescott International Bridge to the U.S. next door. “We are trying to get rid of all the ‘Nos’ and not leave anyone with a reason to not do business with the Port of Johnstown,” Dalley said.

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Proud to be Me is supported by the generous patronage of Mark Motors, Bruyère Foundation, Marilyn Wilson Dream Properties, the National Arts Centre and Sparks Dental. STORIES AND PHOTOS BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS


Kaleidoscope of Hope Soirée offers fun, frivolity while shining spotlight on youth mental health wall backdrop and long wooden tables adorned with candles and fruit baskets. Guests were served by knights in shining armour and fair maidens. Food was also wheeled around in old wheelbarrows and



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guests and later made their own splashy entrance into the ballroom, waving their shields in the air. “It must be nice to have that kind of energy on a Friday night,” quipped Patricia Boal, who emceed with her CTV News Ottawa colleague, Graham Richardson. They did their usual topnotch job as hosts. They touched on the issues of smartphone addiction and the effects of heavy social media usage on teenagers’ anxiety, depression, sleep patterns, eating habits and increased suicide risk. Richard Gray, regional vice-president with Bell Media was there, as was Michael Curran, publisher of Ottawa Business Journal, which was also a sponsor. Returning guests included Cody’s well-known business partner, Bruce Linton, and his wife, Heather, as well as Gowling LLP partner Lorraine Mastersmith and her husband, Shaun McEwan. New faces included You.i TV co-founder and CEO Jason Flick and Paramount Properties vice-president Stuart Ages. It was such a happy crowd, with people dancing, eating, drinking and socializing. Yet, everyone settled down to quietly listen to the evening’s guest speakers address heavier topics relating to youth mental health.

MARCH 2020

The ninth annual Kaleidoscope of Hope Soirée may have been called A Night In Armour but it was the perfect occasion for letting your guard down as hundreds of partygoers of all ages came together to address youth mental health. The evening was not only incredibly inspiring but it also raised funds for the Youth Services Bureau, Say No For Nick and Project Step. To date, the gala has distributed more than $800,000 to its beneficiaries. The fundraiser is a labour of love for Sharon Bosley House, owner of AvantGarde Designs, and her husband, Tony House. In coming up with this year’s theme, Bosley House found her inspiration in the protective shield as a symbol for battling adversity. Organizers turned the ballroom into a medieval-style great hall. There was a fake fire-breathing dragon, castle

carts. There were a variety of games, including a Games of Thrones-inspired beanbag toss. The venue was full of jewel-toned colours that were created through a mix of ambient lighting and warm and inviting furniture from LouLou Furniture Rental. Along with positive energy and superb décor, Kaleidoscope of Hope has always been special because of the involvement of youth. Young performers from Capital City Dance captivated their audience with their wonderfully choreographed number. As well, a large number of kids volunteered throughout the night. They enthusiastically greeted is supported by the generous patronage of Mark Motors, Bruyère Foundation, Marilyn Wilson Dream Properties, the National Arts Centre and Sparks Dental. STORIES BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS



Women’s Business Network of Ottawa announces 12 award finalists And then there was 12. That’s the number of accomplished and inspiring women announced as finalists for a WBN Businesswoman of the Year Award during a well-attended reception held in mid-February. “Not only is it about creating a lot of stir and excitement but it gives women of this city another opportunity to mix and mingle with other successful women, and not

just the 12 finalists,” Deborah Bard, chair of the Businesswoman of the Year Awards Gala, told “The WBN is all about networking.” The finalists in the Emerging Entrepreneur category are: Tonya Bruin, CEO of To Do Done Services Inc., Meghan Dagenais, president of Restoration Co., and family lawyer and mediator Jennifer Reynolds, founder of Fresh Legal.

In the Established Entrepreneur category the finalists are: Roxanne Whiting, owner and director of Video Interpreting - Sign Language Interpreting Associates Ottawa Inc., Jennifer Stewart, president and CEO of Syntax Strategic, and Heather Desjardins, founder and owner of The Open Door Educational Services. The finalists in the Professional Services category are: Karen Brownrigg, founder and CEO of iHR Advisory Services, Anjali Dilawri, partner at Logan Katz Chartered Professional Accountants, and Sabrina Fitzgerald, regional managing partner of PwC and national technology leader. The finalists in the Organization category are: Jacqueline Belsito, vicepresident of philanthropy and community engagement at the CHEO Foundation, Jennifer Conley, chief advancement officer at Carleton University and president of the Carleton University Foundation, and Vanessa Kanu, chief financial officer at Mitel.



MARCH 2020



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Skifest bombs past $2M mark in total funds raised for Ronald McDonald House Ottawa If there were a few noticeably empty work desks around your office in late January, it was probably because the slopes were calling. Some 300 members of the business community loaded their cars and headed up to Mont Ste. Marie ski resort for a fun and exhilarating day outdoors at the 28th annual Skifest for Ronald McDonald

House Ottawa. The ski event is the largest single fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House, a temporary home away from home for out-of-town families of children with critical illnesses. The non-profit organization also provides respite rooms inside CHEO. Organizers of Skifest successfully

reached their fundraising goal of $130,000 at this year’s event, bringing their cumulative amount raised to more than $2 million. Scotia Wealth Management was back for its fifth and final year as presenting sponsor, with Alex Charette once again chairing the large volunteer committee that puts the fundraiser together

each year. He’s a wealth adviser at ScotiaMcLeod and a former competitive ski racer. Charette is passing his leadership role on to Ron Armstrong, portfolio manager and investment adviser with CIBC Wood Gundy Private Wealth Management, and Erin Brown, a litigation and regulatory lawyer with Norton Rose Fulbright. “It’s the most amazing experience in the world,” Charette told “When you go to the House, you see the families who are using it and what it means to them for us to come together and do this event so that they can have some sense of peace.”

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37 OBJ.CA is supported by the generous patronage of Mark Motors, Bruyère Foundation, Marilyn Wilson Dream Properties, the National Arts Centre and Sparks Dental. STORIES AND PHOTOS BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS


Ski For Kids reaches new heights with $410K raised for CHEO, Children’s Aid Foundation Well, look who’s gone and grown up – Ski For Kids. It’s been 30 years since the fundraiser for the CHEO Foundation and Children’s Aid Foundation of Ottawa first started helping children in our community. Ski For Kids is now considered one of

the premier winter events for Ottawa’s business community, attracting close to 100 business sponsors and making it the largest fundraiser organized by a third party for each of its beneficiaries. The total ended up being $410,000. It’s become tradition at Ski For Kids to host a dinner, the night before,

at the main lodge for sponsors and contributors who have given $3,000 or more for the cause. It’s a big night up at the ski hill and one that continues late into the evening, with an after-party. This year’s attendance for the preski festivities was so great, at nearly 270 guests, that organizers moved the

dinner from the restaurant/bar to the larger-capacity cafeteria area. The returning title sponsor, Sporting Life, was represented by Hank Shannon, general manager of the store’s location at Lansdowne. Jeff Parkes is not only on the organizing committee but his family’s philanthropic Taggart Parkes Foundation was a double black diamond sponsor, along with Huntington Properties and Inflector Environmental Services.

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Shopify confirms new Ottawa R&D centre S

hopify has confirmed plans to open an Ottawa-based R&D centre to trial new robotics and fulfilment technologies. Shopify chief financial officer Amy Shapero said in a call with analysts that the company is opening a research and development centre for its fulfilment network in Ottawa, an initiative first reported by OBJ late last year. The company will fund the R&D centre’s operations with a “small portion” of the $1-billion pool of cash allocated for the network, she said. “We opened an R&D centre in Ottawa to learn about fulfillment first-hand, including trialing new warehouse robotics and fulfillment technology. We will be fulfilling a limited number of orders in Canada as part of our learning, beginning later this summer,” a Shopify spokesperson told OBJ via email. The

operation will be staffed by a “minimal number of employees,” according to statements obtained by the Canadian Press. Shopify first let its plans slip in job postings in late 2019, which sought Ottawa-based roles such as warehouse site managers. Sources in Ottawa’s real estate sector confirmed to OBJ that Shopify had been looking around prospective industrial sites in recent months. Shopify has not responded to requests for comment on where the company’s R&D centre is set. The R&D centre news was released at the same time that Shopify reported that its revenues jumped 47 per cent to US$505.2 million in the three-month period that ended Dec. 31, up from approximately US$343.9 million a year earlier.

Guest Speaker: Guest Speaker: Jim EvanLittle SiddalEvan Siddal President &President CEO CEO, Ottawa Senators & CEO

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The Future is Bright Congratulations to our successful CFE Writers. A talented group of professionals on their journey to becoming Chartered Professional Accountants.

MARCH 2020

From left to right: Isra Sabunju, Belinda Wakim, Sundus Abu-Oshaibah, Fernanda Velazquez Rubello, Carissa Leblanc, Adetoro Balogun, Hoang-Nghi Dam-Le, Erin Butler, Madalina Jalbu, David Nguyen and Marina Kidisyuk. Missing: Emily Seguin


Let’s Do This



Building more trustworthy software University of Ottawa Faculty of Engineering researchers help companies and governments test their designs before going to market

Prof. Shiva Nejati and Prof. Mehrdad Sabetzadeh are the latest additions to the University of Ottawa Faculty of Engineering team who are looking to share their expertise with local industry.


MARCH 2020

rom autonomous vehicles to telecommunication satellites, understanding the potential safety, security and reliability issues and regulations surrounding rapidly emerging technologies is paramount in getting products to market quickly and efficiently. As the number of Ottawa companies working in these disruptive fields multiplies, a pair of new researchers at University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Engineering are working to bring their expertise and research to the city’s tech community.



A driverless future After working with various automotive and software companies in Europe, Prof. Shiva Nejati saw a growing opportunity to apply her research in Canada’s capital and its growing autonomous vehicle cluster. Her primary focus is on improving the reliability and dependability of automated driving systems by developing software to test for any bugs or issues – a potentially perfect fit for Ottawa’s growing L5 autonomous vehicle testing facility. “As we make software to do what humans do, the information input to this software becomes a lot larger and harder to test,” she says. “We develop software tools that help engineers detect errors or false marks in their autonomous system more effectively, which also ensures confidence in that system.” Nejati, who previously worked at the University of Luxembourg, developed her research and techniques using driver simulation technology to see how the various components of autonomous software react in different test cases. By running the driver simulation in bad weather, in traffic and with distractions, Nejati could, for example, foresee when the autonomous system would run a false positive – stopping the car without reason. This testing is imperative to the industry as autonomous technology cannot be tested on public roads – with pedestrians or

other motorists – without potential safety risks, she says. By partnering with Delphi, an automotive technology manufacturer, as well as sensor development firm IEE to test the latest AV technology, Nejati says she realized the opportunity to deepen the relationships between industry leaders and academia. “There are a lot of problems that the industry faces and it requires them to invest in research to be able to produce better systems,” she says. “The goal for us is to build the same kind of partnership programs or projects here, in particular in collaboration with Kanata North.” AI-powered compliance automation In the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, another recent hire is also keen on using his expertise in early stage software development to help ensure companies are meeting the proper requirements and standards in their projects. “Software systems are increasingly subject to laws and regulations in regard to safety, security, privacy and data protection,” says Prof. Mehrdad Sabetzadeh. One way he’s tackled this challenge while helping businesses comply with such rules is by applying artificial intelligence software to transform jargon-heavy regulatory documents into easy-to-read digital versions to enable engineers to better understand the legal issues affecting their work. Sabetzadeh spent years working with law firms and banks in Europe ensuring their IT systems were up to code. OBJ360 CONTENT STUDIO

From these partnerships, he says his team was able to develop new projects such as simulating the outcome of abolishing income-splitting tax policies in Luxembourg, which proved to be an efficient way of determining the impact of a government decision on the public. “I found this to be extremely useful and valuable, both for the industry side to see how they could benefit from all the work that researchers do and also for us to be able to ground what we do in practical needs,” he says. “Proximity to industry is key and we have a very lively ecosystem around regulations and regulatory compliance within both the public and private sectors in downtown Ottawa.”

COLLABORATION OPPORTUNITIES Have a project that could fit their expertise? Contact Prof. Shiva Nejati or Prof. Mehrdad Sabetzadeh at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Engineering.


5G test platform readies Ottawa companies for primetime Martello, SnowM among local firms leveraging next-gen networking tech developed by telecom giants BY CRAIG LORD




Ottawa startup SnowM is using the ENCQOR platform as a local proving ground for global markets. As its name might suggest, the local startup currently develops an Internet of Things-based solution for snow-clearing contractors. SnowM’s devices – small objects set up on a customer’s property – give plow drivers a more accurate indicator of which homes to clear than

traditional GPS or physical descriptions can provide. It’s a solution that SnowM could extend to other industries where precise tracking is needed along a route, such as perimeter security or property management. The company’s devices operate on traditional 4G networks, but SnowM CEO Madan Kanala sees an opportunity to provide a more granular view of Ottawa roads with 5G technology. For example, he imagines a day when his company’s devices can provide road crews with real-time updates on where snow is accumulating on local roads and plan services around those smart city insights. Beyond Ottawa, however, SnowM is using the ENCQOR platform to prepare itself for business overseas. In addition to 5G, the local testbed allows SnowM to make use of narrowband-IoT networks – a subset of 4G LTE that optimizes the battery life of IoT devices. Kanala says the company is gearing up to tackle contract opportunities in India, where narrowband IoT is already live, and has relied on ENCQOR to prove it can meet the country’s networking requirements. Continued on next page

MARCH 2020

he vast market potential offered by the next generation of networking has Ottawa tech firms taking advantage of a local testbed designed to help fine-tune their solutions to 5G frequencies. Ottawa is one of five hubs in Ontario and Quebec offering a pre-commercial 5G testbed as part of a $400-million initiative dubbed ENCQOR – a collaboration between provincial and federal levels of government and a series of multinational tech companies. Bayview Yards is home to a closed testing environment equipped with next-gen telecom equipment developed by partners such as Ericsson and Ciena. Ottawa-based companies can apply to test their solutions’ capabilities with 5G networks or develop new products to take advantage of the next phenomenon in networking.

While the fourth-generation of LTE has made smartphone connectivity the mainstream in urban environments, 5G networks are expected to dwarf the capabilities of 4G LTE. Ultra-low latency will enable applications such as self-driving vehicles and other smart city solutions and rural environments will have more reliable access to regular internet connections. “5G infrastructure is coming and it’s going to be ubiquitous,” says Doug Bellinger, CTO of Martello Technologies. The Kanata-based company is one of the local firms putting the ENCQOR testbed to use. “All kinds of mission-critical things that we don’t really do on the internet today (will be performed) on 5G networks very soon,” Bellinger tells Techopia. Martello hit a milestone late last year when it completed the first phase of testing its solution’s compatibility with 5G networks via ENCQOR. Bellinger says the company, which develops software to

troubleshoot issues on communication networks, sees an enormous market opportunity in scaling its solution to 5G networks. While the company is already able to, for example, help clients maintain the quality of video calls over the internet, the ability to troubleshoot missioncritical services – such as autonomous vehicles or remote surgery applications – represents an exciting new frontier. “Our work gets more valuable the more important services are and the more users are using those services,” Bellinger says. “It’s clearly worth orders of magnitude more to be great in 5G than it is to be great in 4G.”

“All kinds of mission-critical things that we don’t really do on the internet today (will be performed) on 5G networks very soon.” – Doug Bellinger, CTO, Martello Technologies Continued from previous page “I cannot travel to New York, I cannot travel to India just to test my platform on their network,” Kanala tells Techopia. “Right now, I just drive from Kanata to Bayview Yards and the work is done. That’s the value these guys are providing.” ENCQOR’s partners also benefit from providing their tech to burgeoning SMEs. Companies such as Ciena put out calls for projects on the platform that tech companies and academic institutions can bid on, giving smaller players the chance to collaborate on 5G initiatives with the biggest names in the industry today. Bellinger notes that companies like Martello can provide agility on specific

projects that these enterprises don’t always have internally. He considers it a decent tradeoff for access to technology that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive for the firm to access itself. “A small company like us being able to access a fully built-out 5G environment … that would be a huge expense if we had to do it ourselves.” Rogers Communications took the first step towards next-gen connectivity in early 2020, turning on its 5G networks in areas including downtown Ottawa. While other telecoms have been cagey on when their networks will begin to roll out, local companies such as Martello and SnowM are gearing up to tackle the market as soon as the switch is flicked.

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Company/Address Phone/Fax/Web

No. of Ottawa area employees


3 1 4 2 5 3 6 4 7 5 8 6 9 7 10 8 11 9 12 10 13 11 14 12 15 13 16 14 17 15

Major markets

Products and services


Communications company, providing broadband wireless, TV, internet and business communication services.

James Watt(RANKED BY NUMBER OF 2006 Y Telus, SaskTel, AT+T, China Mobile, OTTAWA-AREA EMPLOYEES) vice-president NASDAQ Vodafone Helsinki: NOKIA NYSE: NOK Year

Service providers, traditional telcos, webscale operators, over-the-top providers, large enterprises

Hardware and services for any type of network

Dino DiPerna Key local executive(s) vice-president of research and development Julie Hains director of sales, Bell business markets Jeffrey Stanier head of baseband development and James OttawaWatt site leader vice-president

Telecommunications Major clients

WND Major markets



Networking systems, services, and Products and services software company. Communications company, providing broadband wireless, TV, internet and business communication services. Provider of telecommunications equipment and services to mobile Hardware and services for any type and fixed network operators. of network


Julie Hains director of sales, Bell business markets

Nokia 600 March Rd. Ottawa, ON K2K 2E6 613-591-3600


No. of Ottawa area 1,600 employees 3,000

1,500 2,200


LARGEST TELECOM COMPANIES established 1992 in Ottawa WND

2009 2006





Dino DiPerna vice-president of research and development Rich McBee CEO Jeffrey VanessaStanier Kanu head baseband development and chief of financial officer Ottawa site leader Subir Chadha area vice-president WND


570 1,500

550 1,400

500 570

450 550

400 500

331 450

272 400

263 331

250 272


Ted Woodhead senior vice-president Rich McBee Stephen Schmidt CEO vice-president of telecom policy Vanessa Kanu Geofffinancial Beale officer chief vice-president of operations and Subir Chadha plant manager area vice-president Charles Eagan chief technology officer Ted Woodhead John Wall senior senior vice-president vice-president Stephen Schmidt Doug Alteen of telecom policy vice-president senior vice-president and general Geoff Beale manager, telecom transport vice-president of operations and business plant manager Omur Sezerman president and CEO Charles Eagan chief technology officer John Wall Michele Beck senior vice-president vice-president of North American Doug Alteen sales senior vice-president and general manager, telecom transport Sacha Gera business senior vice-president of cloud Omur Sezerman products president and CEO Petrena Ferguson senior vice-president, global HR

Y Publicly traded? NYSE: CIEN Y TSX: BCE NYSE: BCE N









1999 1972

1980 1984

2000 1999

2015 1980

1985 2000



WND Telus, SaskTel, AT+T, China Mobile, Vodafone



Service providers, traditional telcos, webscale operators, over-the-top WND providers, large enterprises







Government; small, medium and large enterprises; service providers WND






WND Government; small, medium and large enterprises; service providers

Aerospace and defence; telecommunications; WND industrial; medical; renewable energy






Telecommunications; commercial lasers, datacom, Aerospace 3D sensingand defence; telecommunications; industrial; medical; WND renewable energy


Telecommunications, military/ aerospace, oil and gas, industrial, WND medical and pharmaceutical Broadcast, telecom, corporate and government WND






Telecommunications; commercial lasers, datacom, 3D sensing Global

2010 1985


AT&T, Verizon, U.S. Federal Government, Optus, KPN, Etisalat, Telecommunications, military/ IBM aerospace, oil and gas, industrial, medical and pharmaceutical


160 263

Gopakumar Menon Michele Beck and head of services vice-president vice-president and support, of North American sales open network division

1982 1969


AT&T; Verizon Wireless; Sprint; Bell Broadcast, telecom, corporate and Mobility; Rogers; Telus government

Service providers in the WND telecommunications, media and entertainment industry.

150 250

Mike Fleming Sacha CEO Gera senior vice-president of cloud John Saull products president and COO Petrena Ferguson Brian Silverstone senior vice-president, global HR vice-president of sales Gopakumar Menon Bob Fizzard, vice-president and head of services Ottawa site leader and support, open network division Sunil Diaz Mike Fleming general manager CEO Kumanan Yagaratnam John Saull chief technology officer president and COO

1995 2010


Healthcare, government, AT&T, Verizon, Federal technology andU.S. financial Government, institutions Optus, KPN, Etisalat, IBM

National Capital Region Global

Financial services; healthcare; education; Service providers in the government (municipal, telecommunications, media provincial, federal); utilities; and entertainment industry. hospitality, public safety

120 160

80 150






AT&T; Verizon Wireless; Sprint; Bell Mobility; Rogers; Telus

1997 1995


NOS, Tele Columbus, Wide Open Healthcare, government, West, Shaw, Eastlink, Numericable, technology and financial TeleNor, Tele2, Vodafone, Sharp, institutions Toshiba, Hitachi, Panasonic

Telco operators; cable National Capital Region operators; consumer electronic manufacturers

Diversified Canadian communications and media Networking company. systems, services, and software company. Communications and collaboration solutions Provider of telecommunications equipment and services to mobile and fixed network operators. Networks, collaboration, data centre and virtualization, routers and Diversified Canadian switches, security and surveillance, communications and media home and small business services company. Communications products and services including wireless, data, Communications collaboration internet protocol,and voice, television, solutions entertainment, video and health IT. Manufactures optical and radio frequency/microwave products. Networks, collaboration, data supply centre Develops custom end-to-end and virtualization, routers and chain switches, security and surveillance, Security and services. home andsoftware small business services Communications products and services including wireless, data, internet protocol, voice, television, Manufactures optical andhealth photonic entertainment, video and IT. products for communications Manufactures optical and radio networks. frequency/microwave products. Develops custom end-to-end supply Fibre-optic components; test chain equipment; sensor systems Security software and services.

Satellite operator providing communications solutions worldwide Manufactures optical and photonicand to broadcast, telecom, corporate products for communications government customers. networks. Secure real-time communications software and public/private/ Fibre-optic components; test for hybrid cloud hosted solutions equipment; sensorService systems Communications Providers, Develops service control solutions, Satellite providing includingoperator access control and policy communications solutions management software for worldwide fixed, to broadcast, telecom, corporate mobile and converged networks. and government customers. Provides design and integration of Secure real-time IP-based securitycommunications solutions, including software and public/private/ access control, video surveillance hybrid cloud hosted solutions for and intrusion detection. Communications Service Providers, Builds open and converged solutions to enhance and simplify Develops service control solutions, communications and collaboration including access control and policy in the cloud, on-premise or a hybrid management software for fixed, of both. mobile and converged networks. Business support systems; Provides design and integration of operations support systems; mobile IP-based security solutions, including value-added services; network access control, video surveillance security (routing and control); STB and intrusion detection. client software Builds open and converged 9-1-1 call handling and management solutions solutions to enhance and simplify communications and collaboration in the cloud, on-premise or a hybrid of both.

Avaya Solacom, (Comtech Telecommunications) 425 Legget Dr. Kanata, ON K2K 80 Jean-Proulx St. Gatineau, QC3C9 J8Z 1W1 613-595-9347 819-205-8100 / 613-693-0642

120 75

Brian PierreSilverstone Plangger vice-president sales president and of CEO Bob Fizzard, Suzanne Larsen Ottawa site leader chief operating officer

2000 1998


WND Public safety / 911; emergency services IP networks

Financial WND services; healthcare; education; government (municipal, provincial, federal); utilities; hospitality, public safety

Enghouse Networks Martello Technologies 1000-200 ElginRoad, St. Ottawa, ONON K2P 1L5 110-390 March Kanata K2K 0G7 613-230-4770 613-271-5989

80 45

Sunil JohnDiaz Proctor, general manager President and CEO Kumanan Yagaratnam chief technology officer

1997 2009


NOS, Tele Columbus, Wide Open United Nations and Marriott Hotels West, Shaw, Eastlink, Numericable, TeleNor, Tele2, Vodafone, Sharp, Toshiba, Hitachi, Panasonic

Telco WND operators; cable operators; consumer electronic manufacturers

Business systems; Network support performance management operations support systems; mobile software, and IT analytics tools that value-added services; network monitor. security (routing and control); STB client software


Pierre Plangger president and CEO Suzanne Larsen chief operating officer



Public safety / 911; emergency services IP networks


9-1-1 call handling and management solutions


John Proctor,



United Nations and Marriott Hotels


Network performance management


Solacom, (Comtech Telecommunications) WND= Would not disclose 80 Jean-Proulx St. Gatineau, QC J8Z 1W1 819-205-8100 / 613-693-0642 Martello Technologies


18 20

Major clients WND

Bell Canada 160 Elgin St. Ottawa, ON K2P 2C4 613-785-0770

Company/Address Ciena Phone/Fax/Web 385 Terry Fox Dr. Ottawa, ON K2K 0L1 613-670-2000 Bell Canada 160 Elgin St. Ottawa, ON K2P 2C4 613-785-0770 Ericsson Canada 349 Terry Fox Dr. Ottawa, ON K2K 2V6 Nokia 613-963-8000 600 March Rd. Ottawa, ON K2K 2E6 613-591-3600 Rogers Communications 475 Richmond Rd. Ottawa, ON K2A 3Y8 Ciena 888-ROGERS-1 385 Terry Fox Dr. Ottawa, ON K2K 0L1 613-670-2000 Mitel 350 Legget Dr. Ottawa, ON K2K 2W7 Ericsson Canada 613-592-2122 / 613-592-4724 349 Terry Fox Dr. Ottawa, ON K2K 2V6 613-963-8000 Cisco 1700-340 Albert St. Ottawa, ON K1R 7Y6 Rogers Communications 613-788-7200 475 Richmond Rd. Ottawa, ON K2A 3Y8 888-ROGERS-1 Telus Communications 215 Slater St. Ottawa, ON K1P 0A6 Mitel 877-310-6110 350 Legget Dr. Ottawa, ON K2K 2W7 613-592-2122 / 613-592-4724 Sanmina 500 March Rd. Ottawa, ON K2K 0J9 Cisco 613-886-6000 / 613-886-6001 1700-340 Albert St. Ottawa, ON K1R 7Y6 613-788-7200 BlackBerry QNX 1001 Farrar Rd. Kanata, ON K2K 0B3 Telus Communications 613-599-7465 / 613-599-1922 215 Slater St. Ottawa, ON K1P 0A6 877-310-6110 Lumentum Operations LLC 61 Bill Leathem Dr. Ottawa, ON K2J 0P7 Sanmina 613-843-3000 / 613-843-2800 500 March Rd. Ottawa, ON K2K 0J9 613-886-6000 / 613-886-6001 OZ Optics 219 Westbrook Rd. Ottawa, ON K0A 1L0 BlackBerry 613-831-0981QNX / 613-836-5089 1001 Farrar Rd. Kanata, ON K2K 0B3 613-599-7465 / 613-599-1922 Telesat 2100-160 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 2P7 Lumentum 613-748-0123Operations LLC 61 Bill Leathem Dr. Ottawa, ON K2J 0P7 613-843-3000 / 613-843-2800 Ribbon Communications 2100-500 Palladium Dr. Kanata, ON K2V 1C2 OZ Optics 613-699-9611 219 Westbrook Rd. Ottawa, ON K0A 1L0 613-831-0981 / 613-836-5089 Amdocs Telesat 500-303 Terry Fox Dr. Ottawa, ON K2K 3J1 2100-160 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 2P7 613-595-5000 / 613-595-5556 613-748-0123 FCi (Fleming Communications Inc.) Ribbon 101-920 Communications Belfast Rd. Ottawa, ON K1G 0Z6 2100-500 Palladium Dr. Kanata, ON K2V 1C2 613-244-6770 613-699-9611 Avaya 425 Legget Dr. Kanata, ON K2K 3C9 Amdocs 613-595-9347 500-303 Terry Fox Dr. Ottawa, ON K2K 3J1 613-595-5000 / 613-595-5556 Enghouse Networks FCi (Fleming Communications Inc.) 1000-200 Elgin St. Ottawa, ON K2P 1L5 101-920 Belfast Rd. Ottawa, ON K1G 0Z6 613-230-4770 613-244-6770

Publicly traded?

MARCH 2020

18 16 17 19

Key local executive(s)

Year established in Ottawa


MARCH 2020




The Ottawa Senators’ newest senior front-office executive is no stranger to being part of rebuilding pro sports franchises. As the Montreal Expos’ director of media relations in the late 1990s, P.J. Loyello had a front-row seat to witness the team’s dramatic descent from a World Series contender in the strike-shortened season of 1994 to a cellar-dwelling club that nurtured once-in-ageneration talents such as Pedro Martinez and Larry Walker before trading them away to deeppocketed rivals. In 2002, Loyello followed the rest of the team’s front-office staff to south Florida, where former Expos owner Jeffrey Loria had purchased the Marlins. Montreal’s NL East rivals had captured the World Series in 1997 before falling on hard times. Yet just a year after Loyello joined the organization, the Marlins bounced back with another improbable championship run in 2003. Loyello spent nearly 16 years with the club now known as the Miami Marlins as its senior executive in charge of communications and broadcasting. Like the Expos in the late ’90s, the Marlins too became known for developing stars such as slugger Giancarlo Stanton, only to see them bolt for greener pastures as free agents. Indeed, few people in Ottawa have a better sense of the highs and lows of pro sports than Loyello, who was hired as the Senators’ new senior VP of communications and community relations in late January. The 51-year-old Montreal

P.J. LOYELLO/OTTAWA SENATORS native says that experience is bound to serve him well in Ottawa, where the struggling Senators are hoping to morph into a contender by stockpiling draft picks and dealing for talented young prospects. “I’ve been through this before in Miami with tearing some stuff down and bringing it back together again,” says Loyello, who has a bachelor of commerce degree in marketing from Concordia University. “It’s necessary. A lot of times in sports ​ – and I’ve experienced this –​ if you don’t make tough decisions at times you get mired in mediocrity for a very long time. I don’t think that’s what this organization wants to do. They want to make things better, and I think the approach that they’re (taking) is the right one.” Loyello will now be the person responsible for getting that message out

to the public. He believes the Sens have a great story to tell, and he wants to make sure that fans and civic leaders hear it. “There’s a lot of information that leaves this building, and I think it’s just a matter of maybe organizing it and getting it out in a strategic (manner),” he explains. His new gig is also a homecoming of sorts for Loyello, who landed his first job in pro sports as the Ottawa Lynx’s inaugural director of public relations in 1993. He spent two seasons with the Lynx, which were then the Expos’ top farm club and set a new International League attendance record in their first year. “I was definitely very proud to be a part of that,” he says. After leaving the Marlins organization in late 2017, the father of three spent the past couple of years running his own

communications firm in the Miami area. Then, in mid-January, new Senators CEO Jim Little called to see if he’d be interested in a return to pro sports in the nation’s capital. A passionate hockey fan who grew up on Montreal’s West Island during the Canadiens’ glory years of the 1960s and ’70s – “I think we had eight (Stanley Cup) parades in my first 12 years of life,” he says with a chuckle – Loyello was intrigued by the chance to join what he sees as an organization on the rise. “We just started talking about the situation here in Ottawa,” Loyello says. “There’s a lot of parallels to what I experienced in Miami. I thought it would be a good fit.” A star right-handed pitcher in his youth before an arm injury effectively ended his career as an elite athlete, Loyello understands how unforgiving top-tier sports can be. He’s also fully aware of Sens owner Eugene Melnyk’s sometimes rocky relationship with fans and the media, but he says he’s not fazed by what’s happened in the past. “I spoke to Mr. Melnyk at length (before taking the job),” he says. “I spoke to (general manager) Pierre Dorion. I spoke to Jim (about the vision) that they have for this franchise moving forward and the position this team is in right now. It’s a great opportunity. Yeah, there are some challenges, but you can turn those into opportunities to make things better.” – David Sali

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE Michael Sauv​é has been named senior account director at Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ Ottawa office. Sauv​é was most recently with Data Sciences, a data management, public relations and advertising company, where he was the program lead responsible for optimizing the social media advertising for more than 150 local election campaigns for the Liberal Party of Canada during the 2019 election. Prior

FEDERAL CONTRACTS A selection of the top federal contracts, standing offers and supply arrangements awarded over the last month to firms with a local office. EllisDon 2680 Queensview Dr. Construction of buildings Buyer: RCMP $13,477,666

to that, he spent more than five years with Mediaforce developing strategic communications plans, sales and content strategies for clients. Livia Belcea has been named press secretary to federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau. Belcea had previously served as Mayor Jim Watson’s press secretary since February 2016. Patrick Champagne, who has served as the mayor’s executive assistant since March 2017, will now serve as

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the mayor’s press secretary. James Armbruster, who has worked in the mayor’s office since August 2016, will now serve as Watson’s executive assistant and manager of intergovernmental relations. Brendan Kuffner has joined the Ottawa office of Colliers International as a sales representative. Kuffner earned his bachelor of arts degree in applied economics from Queen’s University.

HATS OFF MindBridge Ai founder Solon Angel has been recognized as one of Accounting Today’s top 100 most influential people in accounting. Angel founded the financial analytics company in 2015 and has helped build it into one of Ottawa’s leading tech firms.

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Netflix founder raises curtain on secrets behind company’s blockbuster rise GREGORY RICHARDS

MARCH 2020

Marc Randolph, That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea, Little, Brown and Company, 2019.



Netflix is now a 7,000-employee company with a market capitalization of about $160 billion. But like most companies, it started with an idea that called for perseverance and a lot of faith to bring it to reality. Marc Randolph, the co-founder and first CEO of the video-streaming giant, writes this book as a memoir covering the growth of the company from ideation through to its initial public offering. In describing the journey, he offers insights from both business and personal perspectives. Among the many business lessons he provides, a few key ones stand out. First, the ideation phase for Netflix lasted about a year as Randolph and a small team of colleagues tested ideas about how and why they would deliver movies through the mail. There were several critical things to think about, but the main task was understanding buyer behaviour. To do this, the team had to address challenges with the way people currently watched movies at home (driving to the video store, searching the shelves for movies that might not be there, returning the video, incurring late fees, etc.) and how the

new service would help solve those issues. An important point was that the VHS technology available at the time (1997) would not have allowed Netflix to launch: the tapes were too bulky to make videos by mail cost-effective. The arrival of DVDs made the difference. Randolph raises a number of key takeaways from a business perspective: • •

Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes; Whatever solution you come up with needs to be scalable and preferably provide for repeat sales; Take time to research everything properly, including technology, competitors, etc.; and Stay focused on the idea, because as new technologies emerge the idea might work much better (or worse!)

Another key lesson Randolph explains in the book is that every

company needs to maintain laser-like focus, especially in the early days. After Netflix launched in April 1998, sales of DVDs made up close to 90 per cent of the company’s revenue. Amazon at that time was already a public company, and the Netflix founders knew they could not compete with their larger rival on DVD sales. They decided to drop DVD sales to concentrate on rentals. This put a lot of pressure on the company, but it also led it to rethink how to encourage more people to rent. According to Randolph, “If you had asked me on launch day to describe what Netflix would eventually look like, I never would have come up with a monthly subscription service.” On the personal side, Randolph outlines the long hours and the emotional ups and downs involved in launching a startup. But two particularly painful events stood out. At one point, the company needed to cut close to 40 per cent of its staff, some of whom had been with the founders from the beginning. At another key juncture, Randolph needed to admit that he was not the right person for the CEO job as the company moved into a more mature organizational phase. He now recognizes that despite the pain involved, these decisions were necessary for the good of the company. Overall, the book provides an honest look at an entrepreneur’s journey that is both insightful and instructive. Gregory Richards is the director of the Executive MBA Program at the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management.

Great River Media, 250 City Centre Ave., Suite 500, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 6K7 TELEPHONE Phone: 613-238-1818 Sales Fax: 613-248-4564 News Fax: No faxes, email PUBLISHER Michael Curran, 238-1818 ext. 228 CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER Terry Tyo, 238-1818 ext. 268 EDITOR, PRINT CONTENT David Sali, 238-1818 ext. 269 WEB EDITOR Craig Lord, 238-1818 ext. 230 HEAD OF CONTENT Peter Kovessy, 238-1818 ext. 251 CONTENT CREATOR & CAMPAIGN MANAGER Lisa Thibodeau, 238-1818 ext. 280 NEWS RELEASES Please e-mail to ADVERTISING SALES General Inquiries, 238-1818 ext. 228 Wendy Baily, 238-1818 ext. 244 Eric Dupuis, 613-266-5598 Victoria Stewart, 238-1818 ext. 226 CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tanya Connolly-Holmes, 238-1818 ext. 253 GRAPHIC DESIGNER Celine Paquette, 238-1818 ext. 252 FINANCE Cheryl Schunk, 238-1818 ext. 250 PRINTED BY Transcontinental Qualimax 130 Adrien-Robert, Parc Industriel Richelieu Gatineau, QC J8Y 3S2 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR We welcome opinions about any material published in the Ottawa Business Journal or issues of interest to local businesspeople. Only letters with the writer’s full name, address and telephone number will be considered for publication. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published, but they might be used to verify authenticity. Letters can be e-mailed to

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Welch LLP Ottawa Business Growth Survey opens in March Largest and most comprehensive study of Ottawa-area businesses includes special cybersecurity focus in 2020


ttawa’s most important survey of business leaders is returning this spring with a special focus on the cybersecurity landscape facing local companies. Now in its sixth year, the Welch LLP Ottawa Business Growth Survey is an opportunity for business leaders to share their priorities and perspectives on the health of their industry with policymakers, politicians and business advocates. The anonymized results from the short 15-minute online survey – the largest and most comprehensive study of Ottawa-area businesses – are used to calculate the confidence of the local business community in Ottawa’s economy and shed light on the underlying trends that are shaping the future of the city’s corporate community. “Welch is delighted to be part of the Business Growth Survey once again,” says Welch LLP managing partner Micheal Burch. “We continue to get valuable insight from this exercise and hope that our participants feel the same way. I really look forward to this year’s format.”

CYBERSECURITY FOCUS Assisting with this year’s Welch LLP Ottawa Business Growth Survey are primary partners Ottawa Business Journal and the Ottawa Board of Trade as well as research partner Abacus Data. Ottawa-based Field Effect Software is this year’s major sponsor and will be contributing insights on the results of this year’s special cybersecurity-themed questions. With Statistics Canada reporting that more than one-fifth of the country’s businesses have been affected by a cyber security incident that affected their operations, the Welch LLP Ottawa Business Growth Survey offers a critical

opportunity to better understand one of the biggest threats facing companies in the National Capital Region. Other topics include the local jobs market, market outlook and municipal issues affecting the business climate. The 2020 Welch LLP Ottawa Business Growth Survey is also made possible through several supporting partners, including RBC and the Ottawa Senators, as well as the participation of local business organizations and business improvement areas. Local business leaders are encouraged to participate in the survey, which will officially launch in the second week of March. All individual responses are kept confidential, with the aggregate survey responses published in a special report and analyzed at a networking and educational event in June.

We continue to get valuable insight from this exercise. – MICHEAL BURCH, MANAGING PARTNER, WELCH LLP

Make your voice heard The 2020 Welch LLP Ottawa Business Growth Survey opens in the second week of March. Visit and for updates.

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MARCH 2020

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