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Inside Ottawa’s galas, fundraisers and networking events

Grandfather’s death sparked Ottawa woman’s drive to create new tool to help caregivers look after loved ones > PAGE 4

September 25, 2017 Vol. 20, NO. 24 PAGES 12-15

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Designing woman

TRUEdotDESIGN owner Shelley True’s gutsy decision to launch her own firm has proven to be the right move for the heralded entrepreneur. > PAGE 3

Thwarting cybertheft A Kanata company’s ‘passwordless’ system of digital authentication has landed it $1 million in seed funding. > PAGES 16-17

The city’s multimillion-dollar Arts Court redevelopment is one of many projects Steve Willis believes will bring new life to Ottawa’s core. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

City Hall’s new man with a plan Development guru Steve Willis says the key to Ottawa’s growth lies in its neighbourhoods Former NCC executive tells Bruce Firestone city needs to put jobs first when it embarks on its next official plan review > PAGES 6-7

Can I even do this? How Nelligan O’Brien Payne helps surrogates and intended parents navigate Canada’s fertility laws.

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When having a baby is a team effort Rapid medical advances, legal changes means the landscape is shifting for intended parents and surrogates



surrogacy arrangement typically involves a few extra players who wouldn’t be present in a traditional pregnancy. Fertility specialists, lab technicians, sperm or egg donors and a surrogate and her loved ones come on board to assist a family in creating a new life. While it’s amazing to see how having a baby becomes a team effort, each new person who enters the equation increases the odds of a misunderstanding or miscommunication escalating into a dispute. With so much at stake at such a delicate time, a lawyer becomes a key player in guiding an individual or couple through the surrogacy process, says Erin Lepine, the head of Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP’s fertility law group. She says the first question she typically receives from clients is, “Can I even do this?” While the short answer is yes, it must be done in compliance with the law, which can be tricky to navigate at times.



What’s next The Assisted Human Reproduction Act is Canada’s leading piece of legislation in this area, though it works in tandem with provincial legislation surrounding health care, child welfare and privacy. In October 2016, Health Canada began consultations with various stakeholder groups to update the AHRA, which had several sections taken out of force in 2012. A report released in July outlines key policy proposals that are expected to bring clarity to the law. The three main areas of focus are: • The safety of donor ova and sperm; • Enforcement of the AHRA; • Best practices for reimbursement of surrogacy expenses.

Here are some of those recent developments, as well as some of the common legal issues, surrounding surrogacy in Canada.

Altruistic surrogacy One of the most significant components of Canada’s assisted reproduction law is a commitment to “altruistic” surrogacy. This means that one cannot pay an individual to act as a surrogate or donate genetic material, which sets Canada apart from major international players including the United States and India. Intended parents can only reimburse a surrogate or donor for costs incurred because of their arrangement. Examples include travel costs to go to doctor’s appointments, prenatal vitamins or maternity clothing. According to Ms. Lepine, this is one of the biggest issues she helps her clients face. She often explains it using a “but-for test.” “But for the surrogacy arrangement, would you have incurred the expense? If you would have incurred the expense anyway, then it’s not reimbursable,” says Ms. Lepine. “It puts it into perspective. You’re paying rent or a mortgage already. Most people already have a gym membership and everybody’s already feeding themselves.” In Canada, the maximum fine for failing to comply with the non-payment rule is $500,000 and can result in a maximum prison term of 10 years.

Changing parentage laws In early 2017, the provincial government enacted The All Families Are Equal Act (Bill-28), which streamlined the process for parents in Ontario to claim parentage of children born through surrogacy. In the past, intended parents had to go to court to be declared the legal parents of their children born via surrogacy. Under the new law, parents now have the option to register their child’s birth using the new streamlined process for children born via surrogacy, or request a declaration of parentage from the Court. Of course, the court process is the more costly of the two options:, but some parents may prefer it to the streamlined registration process. In order to take advantage of the new streamlined birth registration process, the surrogate will be required to sign a

“The first question I often receive is, ‘Can I even do this?’” – Erin Lepine, head of Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP’s fertility law group

document at least one week after birth relinquishing all parental rights to the child, the parties must have entered into a surrogacy agreement prior to conception, and all parties involved must have received independent legal advice prior to signing that agreement. In January 2017, when Ontario’s law came into force, British Columbia was the only other province to have enacted similar regulations around assisted reproduction and parentage.

Personal liberties The implications of carrying another person’s child inside your body are complex and relatively new in the eyes of Canada’s legal system. During a typical pregnancy, a woman makes health and lifestyle choices that are in the best interest of both herself and her baby. Not drinking alcohol, limiting one’s caffeine intake and leaving the task of cleaning the cat’s litter box to someone else are among the behaviours most pregnant women adopt for the safety of their child. But how does this change when the child they’re carrying isn’t their own? For Ms. Lepine, the most important part of her work with surrogates and intended parents is the drafting of a strong surrogacy agreement. This document outlines expectations on both sides, ensuring there are no surprises along the way. One item enshrined in any welldrafted surrogacy agreement is the waiver of doctor-patient confidentiality. This allows for the surrogate’s doctors to discuss the intimate details of her pregnancy with intended parents – an infringement that all parties agree to before conception. Ms. Lepine also encourages individuals to discuss and include in their agreement other important

issues, even if they are unlikely to be enforced by the courts. For example in some surrogacy cases, as with any pregnancy, complications can arise where it is recommended the pregnancy be terminated. Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, however, you cannot force a woman to undergo an abortion – even if it was agreed to in a surrogacy agreement.

Fertility law Given the intricacies of assisted reproduction in Canada, Ms. Lepine recommends that anyone interested in taking part in surrogacy – whether as intended parents, surrogates or donors – consult a fertility lawyer. “I really like to work to protect my clients from the potential negative outcomes that could happen with these scenarios and limit the risk of vulnerability – for women, children and those with fertility issues,” she says.

WHAT CAN NELLIGAN O’BRIEN PAYNE DO FOR YOU? At Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP, the firm has both a family and fertility law group. This unique specialization allows the team to help clients with all aspects of assisted reproduction, no matter what part they’re playing. Find a lawyer or consultant by name or contact Nelligan O’Brien Payne by email at info@nelligan. ca, or by phone at 613-238-8080 or toll-free at 1-888-565-9912 (Canada) for assistance. Visit us at

PROFILE Marketing guru stays True to her business vision Shelley True has never been afraid to take risks while building her firm into a market leader BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS


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She was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by her classmates at Algonquin College, where she earned a diploma in marketing. Only once has she turned on her automatic “out of office” email reply. It was last January. She was away on a ski holiday.


One time, being a dance-mom saved her bacon. Ms. True was the keynote speaker for a group of architects and engineers at a conference in Toronto when she learned, while setting up her presentation on stage, that she had a gaping hole in the backside of her dress. The concierge was without a sewing kit and she had only minutes to spare. Luckily, she had in her purse an extra safety pin in case her daughter, a competitive dancer, ever needed it for a costume. “I pinned up my dress and then presented in front of all those people.” Whew.

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Ms. True wears only dresses. And heels, taking her to six feet two inches tall.

She serves on the advisory board for Ottawa’s Women in Business Conference as event team lead, communications. Shelley True is the owner of Ottawa-based TRUEdotDESIGN. PHOTO BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS

It wasn’t long before the accolades started rolling in for TRUEdotDESIGN. The agency landed a record 10 SAM Awards for sales and marketing at last year’s Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association awards gala. Ms. True was also named the Distinctive Women’s 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year and was a finalist at Ottawa’s 2017 Businesswoman of the Year Gala in the emerging entrepreneur category.


behind. Don’t be in competition with one another; just be comfortable in your own skin.” Ms. True’s biggest challenge is finding enough time in her day, proving that the life of the entrepreneur is not for the slacker. “I love what I do,” she explains.

“Working a 14-hour day feels like seven to me.” Typically, Ms. True is up around 6:30 a.m. She does some work at home before dropping her 12-year-old daughter Bryn off at school. She then listens to a TED Talk during her drive in from Barrhaven – a routine that helps her transition between roles and embrace her mindset for the day ahead. At the office, she grabs some more java, answers a few emails and then spends the rest of the day – until 6 or 7 p.m. – meeting with clients to build their marketing strategies, as well as reaching out to new clients in her business development role. After she gets home, she’ll spend part of her evening preparing for her next workday. “Nothing really ruffles my feathers,” Ms. True says of her ability to appear calm, cool and collected in stressful situations. “Things just pop up and I manage it, because there’s always a solution. “I thrive on the daily challenges of being a business owner.”


NEW OFFICE SPACE TRUEdotDESIGN recently relocated to bright and airy new digs on Spruce Street in Little Italy, occupying a space with architectural interest dating back to the early 1900s that now serves as a creative hub of sorts. As the company grew, so did its team: from three to its current complement of 15. And they’re all women. That wasn’t planned, says Ms. True, who’s open to introducing some male testosterone to the place. She describes her team as cohesive, collaborative and anything but catty. “We speak about women standing beside each other, and never in front or

“Nothing really ruffles my feathers. Things just pop up and I manage it, because there’s always a solution.”


s a wise and successful entrepreneur once said, it’s better to risk than to regret. You can safely assume she wasn’t speaking in a cramped office cubicle over a crappy cup of coffee but in the boardroom of a company she singlehandedly built from scratch. “I’ve always had a vision of myself being at the helm,” says Shelley True, 44, owner of Ottawa-based TRUEdotDESIGN Strategic Marketing, Branding + Design. “Of course, the safer, less risky route would have been to work for someone else’s agency, but the opportunity for growth – or the lack of – would have held me back.” Five years ago, Ms. True left her promising career with steady income to launch her own firm, dedicated to filling the marketing void within the architectural and engineering sector. She’d already worked 15 years in the industry and thought it could use her help promoting itself. It was a gutsy move when one considers her situation: She was a divorced single mom, raising her young daughter (a competitive dancer with a rigorous schedule, to boot) on her own. She had to make a strong case to the bank when it came to securing a loan. Still, she managed to pull it off. “I’m not averse to taking risks,” says Ms. True, who supported herself while she attended college. “I’ve never been afraid of failure.” In 2015, she made another brave business move: she bought award-winning Ottawa-based marketing and advertising firm Avenue Design. The acquisition of the larger agency meant TRUEdotDESIGN would work with a higher volume of clients and a greater talent pool of staff and would offer a wider range of strategic marketing services. Her clientele remained in the construction, homebuilding, architectural, engineering and related sectors. Ms. True had no way of knowing at the time whether things would work out with her financial gamble. “It’s a bit scary when you think about it because you don’t know, because you could fail and lose your home – the home that your daughter is in.” The acquisition proved a smart move. Her company’s revenues rose by 25 per cent in the first year afterward.


LAUNCH PAD Ottawa firm hopes patient monitoring app finds healthy market fit Welbi uses wearable devices to track individuals’ vital signs, daily habits while caregivers are away BY ADAM FEIBEL





n early stage Ottawa startup is preparing to launch a remote patient monitoring app it says will help individuals in need of home care while relieving some of the mental, physical and financial stress on their loved ones. An estimated eight million people in Canada and more than 43 million in the United States provide unpaid care to a friend or family member living with chronic health conditions and disabilities while also trying to maintain the balance of their daily lives. A Statistics Canada report notes that with longer life expectancies and an aging baby-boomer generation, the role of caregivers will become increasingly important as more and more people require care and assistance as they grow older. Elizabeth Audette-Bourdeau, 24, wanted to address that growing need. She launched Welbi, a new company that uses popular wearable devices such as Fitbit, Garmin and Apple Watch products to help people keep an eye on their loved ones when they’re not around. The firm’s app uses the data collected by these and other devices to build a specialized profile of each individual’s vital signs, day-to-day routine and habits – including heart rate, sleep quality, physical activity, weight, blood pressure and more – and to notify their caregivers of any changes. The company says it is planning a second version down the road that will be designed to not only detect abnormalities, but also propose solutions. “One thing that I think is very lacking right now in our society is that we are reactive and not proactive,” says Ms. Audette-Bourdeau. “Most of the time it’s too late when we react. So that’s why we wanted Welbi to be on the preventative side. That way we can make sure actions are taken at the right time, so (a health issue) doesn’t get worse.” She and co-founder Nick Petryna started the company a year and a half ago. They now have a team of eight working out of Invest Ottawa headquarters at Bayview Yards, and the company, now in its beta phase, is set to officially launch its monthly subscription-based app this fall.

Ms. Audette-Bourdeau has a deeply personal reason for wanting her startup to succeed. When her grandfather fell ill three years ago, he needed the help of a nurse every day, but her family could only afford one once a week, she says. The rest of the time, they looked after him themselves, with her father shouldering most of the burden.

“The quicker we’re on the market, the better it will be because we can save more lives.” – WELBI FOUNDER ELIZABETH AUDETTE-BOURDEAU

“I saw how much pain it was to take care of a loved one, but at the same time how it was affecting the family,” she explains. Sadly, her grandfather died of a stroke a few months later. “We felt responsible for it. We felt like we could have provided him with better care … That’s how the idea of Welbi came up.” CROWDED FIELD Home health-care and remote patient monitoring software is an increasingly crowded field. While there are a number of companies jockeying for market share – including others in Ottawa such as Aetonix and Mobile Wellbeing – Welbi counts eCare21 and Care|Mind as two particular competitors due to their shared focus on helping caregivers using existing wearable technology. The trick will be selling Welbi as a unique solution based on its ability to establish a baseline of normal metrics and then help a patient’s caregiver intervene proactively when something looks abnormal, says Ms. Audette-Bourdeau. Welbi has been working with business mentors, health researchers and other experts around the world to consult on the development of the app. The company will also be partnering with more researchers such as data scientists to improve its algorithms. So far, Welbi has raised more than

Elizabeth Audette-Bourdeau is the founder of Ottawa startup Welbi. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

$150,000 in grants and $50,000 from a family-and-friends financing round. Starting this month, the firm will be raising more funding from a seed round. Over the next few months, the company will be working hard on forming partnerships with resellers in order to quickly broaden its user base in the hope of reaching its objective of

$50,000 in monthly recurring revenues in 2018. But first and foremost, Welbi just wants to hit the market. “We want the application out there as soon as we can,” says Ms. AudetteBourdeau. “The quicker we’re on the market, the better it will be because we can save more lives.”

CHANGE LOG PUNCHTIME SEEING FAST GROWTH THIS YEAR Cloud-based SaaS firm Punchtime says it has seen revenues grow 400 per cent in the last 12 months as it makes gains while sticking to its small startup scale. The company develops a time-tracking app that lets workers clock in and out using a smartphone. “We are a ‘steady pace wins the race’ kind of company,” says co-founder Christian Desjardins. This year, Punchtime launched a hardware device called the Punchpad and won the Ottawa Bootstrap Award for best mobile app. Still to come is the firm’s V2 software and a new funding round later in the year.

MASTERPIECEVR LAUNCHES 3D ART SOFTWARE Ottawa startup MasterpieceVR (formerly known as BrinxVR) launched its flagship product this month that’s designed to let artists and creative professionals create 3D content using virtual reality. The tool allows up to four users to work on the project by sculpting and painting in real time. The company sees value in “expanding what is possible” for people working in industries such as art, animation, gaming, media and entertainment. The application works on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and upcoming Microsoft headsets. The firm is a graduate of both the Ideaboost accelerator in Toronto and the Boost VC accelerator in San Mateo, Calif. YOU SEE CLEAR INCHES CLOSER TO LAUNCH While initially planning to launch this April, vision-care startup You See Clear has landed funding and plans to make its first market entry next May. The social enterprise co-founded by Carleton University student Babur Jahid aims to address one of Afghanistan’s biggest healthcare crises by providing more affordable

access to eye care in the country. Winning the Resolution Project’s social venture pitch competition earned the company an

undisclosed amount of financing along with a fellowship that will open lots of doors as the fledgling firm expands, says Mr. Jahid.

CALENDAR Sustainable Technologies You Can Use Now Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 7 a.m. Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards, 7 Bayview Rd. More information at Startups and Hops Thursday, Sept. 28 at 5 p.m. Big Rig Kitchen and Brewery, 2750 Iris St. More information at A TON of Demos Thursday, Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m. The Clocktower Brew Pub, 575 Bank St. More information at Pitch Party! Friday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.

Makerspace North, 250 City Centre Ave. More information at Ottawa’s Small Business eSax Networking Tradeshow Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 5 p.m. Lansdowne Park (Horticulture Building), 1525 Princess Patricia Way More information at Startup Canada Day on the Hill Thursday, Oct. 19 at 8:30 a.m. Shaw Centre, 55 Colonel By Dr. More information at Startup Canada Awards Thursday, Oct. 19 at 5:30 p.m. Shaw Centre, 55 Colonel By Dr. More information at


LiveWorkPlay connects employers to people with intellectual disabilities


them to someone that has a really great skillset and attitude for a great match.” In addition to pairing employers with qualified candidates, LiveWorkPlay assists with all aspects of the job. When they match an individual to a position, they offer them on-the-job support,

as well as sensitivity training and training for coworkers and managers so that everything runs smoothly. They also stay in touch with both parties so they can re-engage if anything comes up in future, including changes to the position or the resolution of any issues. For adults with

intellectual disabilities, a job can bring financial independence as well as a sense of belonging they might not find elsewhere. “I think employers should hire people with disabilities ... because I don’t want them to be left out,” says Ms. Pahwa. “There are always people out there that want to

learn new skills.” Over the organization’s 22 years, LiveWorkPlay has matched candidates to jobs ranging from restaurants to bigbox stores to funeral homes and beyond. LiveWorkPlay also recently helped an individual get a job at Shopify, the e-commerce giant located on Elgin Street. They partner with different sized businesses from across many sectors, though their fastest growing area is office work, which is relatively unheard of for the population they support. For Ms. Pahwa, the early mornings and long bus rides to Gatineau have paid off. In November, she’ll sign a new contract to make the move from casual worker to term employee of ISED.


individuals supported by LiveWorkPlay, the Ottawa-based charity that helps the community welcome people with intellectual disabilities to live, work, and play as valued citizens. Founded more than two decades ago, LiveWorkPlay began to partner with federal agencies in 2014. “The thing that we always hear is, ‘Wow, this was so much easier than I thought it was going to be,’” says Jen Soucy, the organization’s manager of employer partnerships. “We connect with employers and we get to learn what their needs are,” she explains. “Oftentimes, it’s either work that’s not getting done or it’s work that’s outside the scope of an existing position. We help employers maximize their time and introduce


t’s typically still dark out when Tara Pahwa leaves her Kanata home to catch the 5:30 a.m. bus to work. Twice a week, she makes the early morning trek to her job on the 10th floor of a Gatineau office building, where she works for Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). Ms. Pahwa sorts and organizes CDs by number, placing them in carefully labelled bins to be archived. On Thursdays, she prints out long pieces of tape and applies them to envelopes containing granted patents. Her shifts end around 1:30 p.m., when she makes her way back home to Kanata. Ms. Pahwa joined the ISED team in the summer of 2016, when she became one of the growing number of

COMMENTARY 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 EDITOR, ONLINE CONTENT Peter Kovessy, 238-1818 ext. 251 REPORTER Craig Lord, 238-1818 ext. 285 CAMPAIGN MANAGER Cristha Sinden, 238-1818 ext. 222 ADVERTISING SALES General Inquiries, 238-1818 ext. 286 Wendy Baily, 238-1818 ext. 244 Carlo Lombard, 238-1818 ext. 230 CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tanya Connolly-Holmes, 238-1818 ext. 253 ART DEPARTMENT Regan Van Dusen, 238-1818 ext. 254 Celine Paquette, 238-1818 ext. 252 FINANCE Jackie Whalen, 238-1818 ext. 250

Steve Willis, Ottawa’s new head of planning, says the city has to be careful about over-regulating development. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

‘We need a jobs policy’ MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2017

In part two of Bruce Firestone’s interview with Steve Willis, the new city planning boss says playing to neighbourhoods’ individual strengths is a key to growing Ottawa’s economy




he city’s new head of planning and economic development knows that a one-size-fits-all approach to planning and infrastructure makes no sense. As part of his mission to make the city more responsive to the needs of residents and businesses, Steve Willis promises that the next official plan review – slated to be completed in 2022 – will take a more nuanced, finegrained approach whereby individual neighbourhoods will be the basic planning “unit.”

“Look at Toronto,” he says. “What makes that city’s economy and brand stand out is that there is a lot of diversity in its neighbourhoods. We have to build on the strengths and differences in ours as well.” I ask him if he would ever consider a Rotterdam-type development here. Rotterdam, threatened by rising waters, was a failing port city in the Netherlands that reinvented itself as an experimental city, a testbed where residents could try far-out, sustainable architecture ideas. “It’s on my bucket list to visit,”

Mr. Willis says. “Look, if any Ottawa community comes forward, one where there is a widespread consensus that they would like to try something like that, I’d like to hear from them.” The sharing economy, and Airbnb is particular, is another key issue facing the city. I believe the fastest-growing trend in real estate over the next 25 years will be “civil disobedience,” as people simply reject burdensome and needless government regulation over what they can do with their property – including renting out rooms in their homes.

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Planning 50 years ahead is moronic anyway; even a 20-year plan is stupid. In fact, with all due respect to urban planners, any plan they create is outdated the day it’s published. They aren’t all-seeing or all-knowing, nor, for that matter, is anybody else STEVE WILLIS’S ROAD TO CITY HALL August 2016-February 2017: Senior principal, community development, Stantec May 2014-July 2016: Executive director, capital planning branch, National Capital Commission January 2014-May 2014: Ottawa regional manager; VP planning, landscape architecture and urban design, Western Canada, MMM Group August 1999-December 2013: VP planning, landscape architecture and urban design, MMM Group 1997-1999: Principal planner, City of Toronto Economic Development Corp.

Bruce M. Firestone is a founder of the Ottawa Senators, a Century 21 Explorer Realty broker, real estate investor and business coach. Follow him on Twitter @ProfBruce or email him at

Many firms will eventually outgrow their initial space and need to find a proper storefront, office or studio. Research on potential new homes for your business typically starts online. Local real estate firms maintain online databases of Ottawa vacancies, as does the Quartier Vanier Business Improvement Area at Once you get out and seeing properties in person, take notice of a building’s proximity to your competitors, bus stops and surrounding amenities. An abundance of nearby restaurants or recreational trails, for example, can help keep employees happy by providing various options for spending their lunch break. Different neighbourhoods come with their own pros and cons. Downtown Ottawa storefronts offer great visibility and pedestrian traffic, but can be difficult for potential customers to reach by car during peak traffic periods. In contrast, suburban business parks generally offer plenty of parking but typically won’t bring in many new customers who just happened to be walking by. Other neighbourhoods, such as Vanier, offer businesses the opportunity to get into an up-andcoming area on the ground floor. “There are big opportunities (in Vanier) as this part of the city continues to grow and see bigger investments from both the private and public sector,” says Ryan Goldberg, the leasing director of the Regional Group of Companies. Joe Oneid of Royal LePage echoes the perception that Vanier is undergoing a rejuvenation. “There are empty parcels of land that are prime for development,” he says.


INTERNET’S IMPACT Mr. Willis is also one of the few planners I’ve ever met who understands the impact the internet has had on virtually every facet of business. He brings up the repercussions, for example, of online spending in the retail sector. He recalls how it took four and a half years to get zoning and site plan approvals and building permits for the new Playvalue Toys facility near Hazeldean Road in Carp, a facility built at huge cost by the City of Ottawa and the province. When PVT founders Doug and Janet Jones, together with their son Reid, first approached the city about building a new headquarters for their flourishing toy biz, they explained that most of their growth was coming from online orders. They ship up to 24,000-pound loads of high-end play structures, trampolines and other large, bulky products via semi-trailer to all parts of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. As such, they needed a combination showroom, store, warehouse, shipping and receiving area, light assembly area, outdoor showroom (basically, a park to showcase their play structures) and offices, and they also wanted an accessory residential use so

that if they ever decided to live and work in the same place as many mom-and-pop proprietors do, they could. The planner they met with said no such designation exists in the city’s zoning bylaws and the rezoning couldn’t be done. He had no clue what business owners like the Joneses do to survive or what it’s like today to compete with e-commerce behemoths such as Amazon. And he was a very poor listener. He bitterly opposed the rezoning, which the agricultural and rural affairs committee and city council eventually approved. The Jones family needed 4.5 acres of land near a highway with the right zoning so they would not have to continue to be rent slaves for another generation. The city maintains that there is up to a 50-year supply of suitable lands for this kind of adventure, but there isn’t. Most of these employment lands are either owned by a handful of large developers or the NCC, which don’t like to sell their property to entrepreneurs, or they are in the wrong location. And none of them have the right zoning. Hence the call for a more neighbourhood-based approach to economic development. Planning 50 years ahead is moronic anyway; even a 20-year plan is stupid. In fact, with all due respect to urban planners, any plan they create is outdated the day it’s published. They aren’t allseeing or all-knowing, nor, for that matter, is anybody else. So Mr. Willis’s mission to introduce more flexibility and more delegated authority to the planning process is crucial to Ottawa’s future, and not just for businesses like Playvalue Toys. Technology, services, education, entertainment, shopping, leisure, transportation – every one of these industries is changing quickly, and they all need a gentle, guiding, helping hand from their city rather than rigid dictatorship. Again, it’s my view that no one single person will have more influence over the direction Ottawa takes in the next decade than Mr. Willis. No one.

Most entrepreneurs start developing business plans, prototyping a product or selling services from a home office or even a coffee shop.


People will do whatever they need to do to support themselves and their families, even to the point of disobeying municipal bylaws and ordinances. Last year, the average Canada Pension Plan payout was $550 a month and Ontario’s minimum wage was $11.40 an hour, so an extra, say, 650 bucks each month from a room rental looks decent, especially if you are a young person just starting out or an elder on a fixed income. Asked if the city plans to regulate Airbnb, Mr. Willis says it’s not his job to make that call. “It’s up to council to make that decision, so we will have to wait and see, but I can say that we have to be very careful about turning our backs on the sharing economy,” he replies. I point out that Vancouver council banned Uber but was forced to back down within months after a public backlash. “Exactly,” Mr. Willis says. “We have to be cautious about overextending our desire to regulate everything. Having said this, we don’t want situations where there is rapid turnover of bad tenants because of Airbnb.” Mr. Willis also says he disavows the idea of “industrial policy.” “We need a jobs policy instead,” he says. Unlike provincial policies that place a

high priority on “employment lands,” he believes that real, sustainable jobs growth will come from mixed-use, walkable communities. The Ontario government believes that employment lands-based jobs are qualitatively different than McJobs, even though experience proves otherwise. For example, a warehouse such as the one at the corner of Carp and Reis roads, the Lee Valley Distribution Centre, is highly automated and not a big job generator – unless you are designing floor robots in Germany to bring and take things from one part of a fulfillment centre to another. But if you are building a huge new training facility in a suburban neighbourhood, like a client of mine is doing for Tumblers Gymnastics in Orleans, the jobs created there are permanent and not easily outsourced to Asia and other overseas countries. Mr. Willis understands that. He points out that Ottawa’s official plan and even Ontario’s own provincial policies have internal inconsistencies, and it’s his goal to sort these out and set new priorities in 2022.


MENTORSHIP Fitness biz founder puts entrepreneurial muscle behind new incubator Former Free Form Fitness boss Jean-Luc Boissonneault’s newest venture, Miyagi School, is aimed at giving aspiring business owners a lift BY DAVID SALI


fter selling the chain of fitness boutiques he founded a decade ago, Jean-Luc Boissonneault spent most of this year travelling the world and trying to figure out what he’d do next. Eventually, he realized the answer was right there inside him all along. “At heart, I’m a coach,” he says. The serial entrepreneur and his wife Chelsea ultimately decided their next venture would be aimed at helping other aspiring business owners author their own success stories. Backed with the proceeds from the seven-figure sale of Free Form Fitness, the Ottawa couple has launched a

new incubator called Miyagi School, after the wise martial arts master from the Karate Kid movies. Mr. Boissonneault, 34, says he can’t put a price on the knowledge and insights he’s gained in a career that has seen him launch nine different businesses. He’s learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to starting new companies, and he’s eager to help others profit from his experiences. While he plans to take an ownership stake in Miyagi’s most promising startups at some point, he says the idea is really to help other people develop their entrepreneurial and leadership skills. “Throwing money at a problem doesn’t solve it,” says Mr. Boissonneault, who started out as a personal trainer at a local

gym before opening his own fitness facility that grew into a chain with four locations in the capital. “We want people to organically grow the business. That means there’s a lot of upfront mentorship and giving them the right tools for them to lead their own teams. As they start to gain traction for that business, then there’s going to be a need for money once you actually have something.” Although most incubators tend to focus on tech-based startups, he says he’s opening his doors to any entrepreneur who’s honest, determined and willing to learn – no matter what industry he or she is in. “For us, the most important thing is to partner with the right person,” he explains. Citing a recent Oxford University study

that suggests nearly half of all jobs in the United States are at risk of being automated in the next 25 years, Mr. Boissonneault says many workers currently toiling for a paycheque need to learn how to become more self-reliant. PROPER ENCOURAGEMENT “The way I see it is there’s going to be an influx of people losing jobs – good people that have just never been trained to be a leader,” he argues. “What happens when no one’s there to hire you? What do you do?” Mr. Boissonneault, who attended college for two years but didn’t graduate, says he believes business schools are actually a “detriment” to growing Canada’s entrepreneurship culture because they train their students to be followers rather

Soloway Wright LLP proudly celebrates Canada’s 150th birthday

Celebrating leadership

Happy Birthday Canada! Bonne fête Canada !


KPMG’s offices in Ottawa and Kanata are proud to announce the appointment of Charles-Antoine Rozon, as the local Enterprise Lead.



Charles-Antoine has over 18 years of accounting experience providing personal and corporate tax compliance and income tax planning advice to private companies and family businesses in the Ottawa area. Congratulations on this significant career milestone! Connect with him today: T: 613-212-2865 E: © 2017 KPMG LLP, a Canadian limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. 17743 | 613-236-0111

“You don’t need to be a genius. You just need to figure out the right ways of going about it, and that’s what I can teach these people.” – FREE FORM FITNESS FOUNDER JEAN-LUC BOISSONNEAULT, ON THE NEW MIYAGI SCHOOL INCUBATOR

than leaders. But he thinks that with the proper encouragement, just about anyone can learn the skills necessary to turn a promising idea into a successful business. “I think the majority of people, given the right circumstances and maybe also losing a job or something like that where they’re uncomfortable, they can do it,” he says. “I haven’t seen many incubators that are focused on those people. In fact, I haven’t seen any. You don’t need to be a genius. You just need to figure out the right ways of going about it, and that’s what I can teach these people.” The fitness guru believes many budding entrepreneurs lack the confidence to turn their plans into reality, pointing to a “Dragons’ Den-type” pitchfest he attended at Algonquin College as an example. “Most of these students have never even

taken action on what they’re (studying). They’re in business school and they haven’t tried to start a business on the side? To me, that was just mind-boggling.” He received 67 applications for the first cohort and plans to accept four companies, adding there will be no limit on how long they can stay in the program. Mr. Boissoneault says he envisions a whole “network” of enterprises eventually being mentored through the incubator. For now, he’s funding the non-profit operation himself but says he plans to bring other investors on board once member firms begin to scale up and require more capital. Local tech leader Scott Annan, the founder of, is among those in the Ottawa business community who’ve already offered to lend guidance, he adds. Meanwhile, he says he has no plans to

Jean-Luc Boissonneault and his wife Chelsea during their travels. PHOTO PROVIDED

launch another startup of his own – for the foreseeable future, anyway. “Before I did this, I thought long and hard about what I want to do for at least the next 10 years, and this is it,” he says.

“You know, I get bored. But the thing with this business is that it’s very hard to get bored. You’re creating all sorts of different companies, and that’s what I love to do. I am so ready for this. I can’t wait.”


Energy Ottawa celebrates gas-to-energy milestone at Trail Road landfill Renewable energy facility captures large volumes of methane gas – the equivalent of taking 330,000 passenger vehicles off the road


Since 2007, the trail road landfill gas-to-energy facility has converted the equivalent of 1.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into renewable energy.

million acres of forest purifying the air over the course of a year. “It’s a significant amount of reductions,” says Mr. Clarke. The Trail Road landfill gas-toenergy facility, which sits on City of Ottawa land, was developed and is owned by PowerTrail Inc., an Ontario-based partnership

At the time the Trail Road plant was established in early 2007, there were few of its kind in Canada. While landfill gas-toenergy facilities are now more common across the country, PowerTrail’s leadership in the field is allowing it to expand its operations. In 2013, a smaller plant was constructed at a landfill in Moose Creek, about an hour southeast of Ottawa. This facility produces enough electricity to power 4,000 homes each year and prevents some 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere. Back at Trail Road, a sixth engine was added to the Trail Road facility in 2012 to increase its output, and in turn its environmental impact. According to Mr. Clarke, there are plans to add a seventh in the coming years.


inception, the Trail Road landfill gas-to-energy facility has successfully converted the equivalent of 1.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into renewable energy. Mr. Clarke explains that the overall impact so far has been the same as 330,000 passenger vehicles off the road or of 1.5

between Energy Ottawa and Integrated Gas Recovery Services (IGRS) a landfill gas utilization company. All three organizations work together to ensure operations run smoothly at the busy site, which is connected to the Fallowfield Distribution Station by 3.2 kilometre of overhead pole lines and 170 metres of underground cable. “There’s a lot of cooperation back and forth,” says Mr. Clarke. PowerTrail is responsible for maintaining and operating the landfill gas collection system which ultimately leads to $250,000 in savings for the city each year. Additionally, the partnership pays a royalty fee to the city for the rights to the landfill gas. In the 10 years it’s been operational, this arrangement has earned Ottawa approximately $1.5 million.


t the Trail Road landfill in south Ottawa, one resident’s trash becomes another person’s energy. 2017 marks the 10-year anniversary of the site’s landfill gas-to-energy plant, which generates enough electricity to power 6,000 homes each year. As waste decomposes it creates methane, a greenhouse gas that is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. At many other waste facilities, this gas is flared – burned off – which releases emissions into the atmosphere. In contrast, methane is collected and converted to clean, renewable energy at Trail Road. “Why not do something productive with the gas, like generating electricity?” asks Greg Clarke, the Chief Energy Generation Officer at Energy Ottawa. In the decade since its






hat does the future of health care look like in Ottawa? It’s not just a topic for medical professionals, futurists, and tech start-ups, it’s an exciting conversation that is happening right now with ordinary citizens, all levels of government, and staff and neighbours of The Ottawa Hospital. The planning of a new campus of The Ottawa Hospital on Carling Avenue is giving Ottawans an unprecedented opportunity to engage in the design process, reimagine health care delivery, and create a new vision for Ottawa itself. In order to look at the future of health care, it’s important to take a look back. Hospitals have been around for centuries, mainly as a place to shelter and heal the most vulnerable members of our society. In the not-too-distant past, they were large institutional buildings designed almost entirely from the health provider’s perspective, not the patient’s – large wards, a factory feeling – diagnosis, treatment, and a farewell. In sharp contrast, a modern Ottawa hospital offers patients a more holistic approach to health care, a place that addresses disease prevention and health promotion in addition to being a hub for patient care, education, and research. Dr. Jack Kitts, CEO of The Ottawa Hospital describes this idea as “the continuum of care.” Hospitals were always about caring for patients, but more so than ever they’ll be part of a system that follows the entire continuum, from public health, disease prevention, healthy living, right through to primary care, acute care, and post-hospital care as well. The new Ottawa hospital will be a modern, eco-friendly, 21st century health care facility that will build on The Ottawa Hospital’s international reputation. Dr. Kitts describes the new campus as a place of bright open areas punctuated with green spaces – walking paths, bike paths, and wellness gardens – to facilitate a patient’s recovery but also make it a pleasant


place to work. It’s easy to forget that the discussion at hand isn’t just about planning a new hospital in isolation. It’s a reimagining of a significant part of Ottawa’s real estate. Guiding some of the key decisions will be a major consultation process with stakeholders and the wider community. “The major part of the public consultation where I think they’ll be most engaged is the whole design and vision for the hospital,” says Dr. Kitts. “How does it fit into the neighbourhood, how does it blend with the streetscape, how much greenspace, where would it be, all sorts of things. How high, how large? The public will be very much engaged in the design and vision for the hospital.” In time, Ottawa residents should also expect restructuring at the General and Riverside campuses. Part of the planning process will also determine which departments remain at which campus, with the intention of bringing

certain services together to gain efficiency and ultimately improve patient care. “There will be lots of planning, lots of benchmarking, looking at best practices, involving a lot of people,” says Dr. Kitts, “but knowing that the biggest thing we’ll have to plan into this new hospital is to be flexible for whatever the future might bring.” Built-in flexibility is a “green” idea that ensures the new building will operate at maximum efficiency and provide good value, not just in 10 years when it’s built, but over the next 100 years. How does flexibility come into play? Imagine new medical techniques and treatments that won’t require overnight stays and free up hospital beds and staff, space which then can be used for something else. Imagine that in 50 years it becomes common for Ottawa residents to order driverless cars to bring them to their appointments. We will need to be ready to adapt to changing times. There are a lot of things we don’t know about the future. (Dr. Kitts is still hoping for a Star Trek style diagnostic tool like the tricorder.) We don’t know what new discoveries and inventions will come along, but we can predict that 21st century health care will be fully digitized, with health information at the fingertips of health care providers as well as patients. We can also predict that medical treatments will be personalized to a greater degree. The traditional “one size fits all” approach to treatment is already disappearing in some departments. For example, not everyone who has the same type of cancer should get the exact same treatment. Personalized health care is a better fit for a patient’s needs, and often results in faster recovery and fewer side effects. The future looks bright for the citizens of Ottawa, not just in terms of health care, but the economic impact that comes with the planning and building of a new hospital. “This is a significant building project which will employ many people from across the region for a long time. The economic impact is huge,” says Dr. Kitts. “The impact of the build, which will be over three to five years, will be significant because it’s in the billions of dollars.” The Ottawa Hospital is the third-largest employer in Ottawa, with over 13,000 people working there. “That’s a huge economic engine in itself,” says Dr. Kitts. There’s no doubt the new hospital on Carling Avenue represents an exciting change for Ottawa. What won’t change, however, is The Ottawa Hospital’s core values and principals, as well as its mandate as a centre for education and innovative research. Over 1,000 doctors get their training here every year. What’s more, enticing the best and brightest researchers is part of the recipe for success. What attracts the best medical minds from around the world? Modern facilities, state-of-the-art equipment and technology. World-class care is fuelled by leading edge technology and research. “We’ve been successful in the last 15 years, The Ottawa Hospital is one of the largest hospitals in the country and the largest for volume of patients served in a given year,” says Dr. Kitts.








Stories and photos by Caroline Phillips


Lumière Gala shines spotlight on cancer foundation’s good work



John Ouellette (far left) and Linda Eagen from Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation presented recognition awards to Paul Chiarelli, president of Wesley Clover, and Nyle Kelly (far right), general manager of the Brookstreet Hotel.

From left, Jeff Johnson from sponsor Deloitte with Bruce Linton and his wife Heather.

From left, Tammy Switucha, Mitch Kitagawa (Kelly Santini LLP), Jill Payne, John Thomas (Azure Urban Developments), Carmen Sanchez and Joseph Federico (Physiotherapy on Kent).

Loyal attendees of the gala include Ottawa entrepreneur Bruce Linton, chairman and CEO of Canopy Growth Corp. “The best part (of the evening) is the networking, and meeting those people that the Brookstreet Hotel. He took over from you want to see all year long, but you get Patrice Basille, who retired from his longso busy working that you don’t get to,” he held position but continues to work for explained. Matthews. Basille missed the gala because Jeff Johnson, a partner at sponsor he was away in Orléans (as in France and Deloitte, also uses the evening to catch up not the other end of town). with clients and contacts. For many business professionals and “It’s the best couple of hours you can entrepreneurs, Lumière is a night of probably spend in a year,” he told mingling in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Still, it was worth taking a social timeIt’s not easy, however, to get everyone out to soak in the live Cuban jazz music, to quiet down. Just ask Ottawa Regional performed by jazz pianist Miguel De Armas Cancer Foundation president and CEO and his musical guests. Linda Eagen. She used a cowbell to hush Cancer survivor and local celebrity the room before making her brief remarks “Stuntman Stu” Schwartz commanded about the promising cancer-fighting clinical the stage during the live action. He sold trials happening in Ottawa. such enviable items as a 100-level suite to From left, Tracey Reid, senior interior designer at NORR Architects, with Shelley True, owner of TRUEdotDESIGN marketing agency, and her team member, Christie Shayler.

© 2017 EYGM Limited. All Rights Reserved. ED 0418.


The Lumière Gala has become one of the bright lights on Ottawa’s gala scene, and not just because it features its very own personal fireworks show. What began in 2003 as a grand opening hotel celebration has evolved into an annual gala that’s cumulatively raised more than a million dollars for local charities. A sold-out crowd of 650-plus partygoers attended this year’s $150-a-ticket gala, held Sept. 14 at the west-end Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata. “This year is going to be bloody good because it’s the biggest one we’ve ever held,” hotel owner and Ottawa-made tech titan Terry Matthews said while speaking at a VIP reception held exclusively for major sponsors. And he was right; the gala set a new fundraising record by bringing in an estimated $115,000 for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation (that doesn’t include proceeds from the Keltic Cup fundraising tournament held that day at the hotel’s golf club, The Marshes). The Brookstreet has been partnering up with the philanthropic arm of Matthews’ Wesley Clover International to host the popular evening. This year’s Canada 150 theme offered guests A Taste of Canada from every province and territory, along with an assortment of wines and beer. Bay of Fundy lobster, shrimp and scallops; Alberta beef brisket; mussels, salted cod and crab beignet; buffalo steak and kidney pie; smoked pork belly; and maple sugar pie were among the culinary choices. The Cambridge Bay Arctic char from Nunavut was the favourite of Nyle Kelly, the newly promoted general manager of

Sir Terry Matthews, speaking at a VIP reception during the 15th annual Lumière Gala held at the Brookstreet Hotel on Sept. 14.

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a Senators vs. Canadiens game, a sixcourse chef’s table for 10 at the hotel’s Perspectives Restaurant, and a one-week stay in a large luxury villa in the Grand Cayman that fetched a lofty price of $17,000 from Faces Magazine owner Justin MacKinnon. The always-popular golf break for four at Matthews’ The Celtic Manor in Wales, with limousine shuttle to and from Heathrow Airport, was back on the auction block. The trip has been bought a bunch of times in past years by Kent Browne, owner of sponsor Royal LePage Team Realty. Unfortunately, he was sick this year and couldn’t attend. Not a problem, though. His wife, Mary, and daughter, Abby, were there. Abby consulted with her father via cellphone throughout a tense bidding war and won the trip for $5,000. —


NAC GALA STARRING K.D. LANG RAISES $747K FOR YOUNG ARTISTS She may spell her name in small letters, but k.d. lang’s performance at the National Arts Centre Gala on Sept. 16 was nothing short of all-uppercase amazing. A large and enthusiastic crowd of 2,000 filled Southam Hall to hear the Canadian crooner sing material from her breakthrough album, Ingénue, which is celebrating its 25-year release anniversary. The gala’s presenting sponsor was Rogers, represented by Rogers Media president Rick Brace. The concert opened with the NAC Orchestra, led by Alexander Shelley, and a special vocal performance by youth Kalolin Johnson from the Eskasoni Mi’kmaq community of Cape Breton. It was Lang’s turn to shine during the second half of the concert. Her look was as smooth as her voice. She came out barefoot, with a black suit and a white button-down shirt, untucked and open at the collar. “You have a long night ahead of you,”

she jokingly cautioned the crowd while referring to her song list. It not only included her Ingénue album tunes but also her gorgeous covers of Joni Mitchell’s Help Me, Neil Young’s Helpless and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Lang advised the audience that she planned to lull it into a state of hypnosis with her meditative music. “This is what’s going to happen when you wake up,” she predicted in a calm voice. “You will have a renewed sense of purpose, you will have a feeling of invigoration and motivation, and you’re going to go out there and you’re going to be of service to other people. “You’re going to do it with joy and you’re going to do it with happiness and you’re going to do it with ceaseless, tireless energy because that’s what makes Canada great.” Returning as honorary chair was Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. She arrived to the

freshly renovated NAC wearing a Zarucci gown by Ottawa’s Nora Zabarah Pucci, and accompanied by her eight-yearold daughter, Ella Grace, who was seen politely shaking hands with the likes of Shelley, Mayor Jim Watson and NAC Gala committee chair Gary Zed. Grégoire Trudeau and NAC Foundation CEO Jayne Watson together announced on stage the gala’s net proceeds of $690,000. The money goes toward the NAC’s National Youth and Education Trust, which is dedicated to developing Canada’s next generation of performing artists. Later, the total rose to $747,000. The bonus funds were raised during an exclusive late-night dinner held with top corporate sponsors and individual donors on the NAC’s Southam Stage. The dinner menu featured birch-lacquered B.C. Chinook salmon, sea salt and rosemaryseared Alberta Black Angus beef fillet and a red velvet mousse in a chocolate lattice.

k.d. lang delivered a superb performance at this year’s NAC Gala held at the newly renovated National Arts Centre on Sept. 16 in support of the National Youth and Education Trust. Photo by Ernesto di Stefano

Shopify’s energetic and extroverted chief operating officer, Harley Finkelstein, teamed up with our mayor (who’s also Jayne Watson’s kid brother) to entertain the crowd and drive up bids in their roles as celebrity auctioneers. Among the winners were Zed, who bought tickets and a meet-and-greet to the NHL Winter Classic donated by Ottawa Senators defenceman Dion Phaneuf, who was at the gala and matched Zed’s bid of $5,000. —


Shenkman Arts Centre


S E R I E S Topic: Smart Development and Design

Featuring: Greg Richards Telfer School of Management

Telfer School of Management

Panelists: Andrew Reeves Linebox Studio

More to come!


Where: National Arts Centre 1 Elgin Street, Ottawa Individual Tickets: $30.00 (Ottawa Chamber Members) $40.00 (Non-members)



ALEXANDRA BADZAK Director and CEO, Ottawa Art Gallery, The Latest Artists’



Artistic Director of Indigenous Theatre, Canada’s National Arts Centre



Sponsored by:

Helping artists succeed


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Jennifer Mallard Diamond Schmitt Architects

When: Cocktail Networking Reception Thursday, November 2, 2017 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Stories and photos by Caroline Phillips

From left, Teresa Marques, director of strategic partnerships at the Rideau Hall Foundation, with Christine Hardy from the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health, and Mariette MacIsaac, manager of the Trinity Development Foundation.

From left, Liz Barrett with Janice Payne, partner at Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP, and businesswoman Marina Kun, president of Kun Shoulder Rest.

From left, Mitchell Bellman with Shirley Greenberg, Marion Balla, Dr. Zul Merali, Her Excellency Sharon Johnston and founding chair Nancy O’Dea at Rideau Hall.


Royal’s Women for Mental Health returns to Rideau Hall for last hurrah


It goes without saying how much everyone is going to miss Sharon Johnston, but what became clear at a celebration she hosted Sept. 20 at Rideau Hall is how mutual those feelings are. The afternoon event was a reception for members of the Royal’s Women for Mental Health (WFMH), an all-female philanthropic initiative. The group started in 2011 with 21 founders. They recruited more women, who recruited more women, until the group expanded to more than 400. Cumulatively, it raised $1.6 million for the Royal. It also made great strides in increasing awareness, educating others and reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness. Her Excellency took a shine to WFMH; the reception was the third time she had invited its members over to her place since her husband, outgoing Gov. Gen. David

Johnston, assumed office in 2010. His extended term ends this month. The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health, at its signature gala in March, presented Sharon Johnston with an Honorary Inspiration Award, recognizing her advocacy for those living with mental illness. “To be part of the mental health campaign over these past seven years has been immensely satisfying,” she told the room, her voice filled with heartfelt emotion. “My association with the Royal Ottawa has been very personal. I hope it will continue beyond our mandate. You have given me a public voice to express my belief that every Canadian should get to know someone with mental health challenges. This doesn’t have to be complicated.

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From left, photographer Michelle Valberg with Dr. Zul Merali and Hilary Allen from Royal LePage Performance Realty.

From left, Colleen O’Connell-Campbell, a founding member of the Royal’s Women For Mental Health initiative and a board member with the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health, with its new director of communications and donor marketing, Andrea MacLean.

“I consider everyone here today a mentor and friend. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” The gathering was held in the Tent Room, with its candy-striped walls and elegant chandeliers. Well-dressed servers passed around potato and cauliflower cakes, smoked salmon and fish cakes, along with macaroons, bite-sized servings of sugar maple pie and double-chocolate mousse. Leigh Harris Fowell, president of Halo Management Consulting and former board chair of the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health, was on hand to present Johnston with the gift of a special umbrella. Its decorative design was done by a Royal Ottawa patient. Spotted in the crowd of 100-plus women were leading philanthropists Shirley Greenberg and daughter-in-law Barbara Crook. Also seen were some of the Women for Mental Health founders, including successful real estate agent Nancy O’Dea, prominent lawyer Janice Payne, wealth adviser Colleen O’ConnellCampbell, management consultant

Lili-Ann Foster, wildlife and adventure photographer Michelle Valberg and public policy and government relations consultant Jacquie LaRocque, who was feeling the love for Johnston. “She’s done so much for mental health. It makes me teary,” LaRocque, principal at Compass Rose, told Bringing a male presence to the room were Dr. Zul Merali, president and CEO of the Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research, and Mitchell Bellman, who took over six months ago as president and CEO of the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health. Bellman thanked both Johnston and the members of WFMH for their inspirational support. The money raised through the initiative, he noted, helped the Royal buy its brain imaging machine. It’s currently the only one in Canada dedicated to mental health research. The Women for Mental Health program has been “an incredible testament to the power of women’s philanthropy,” added Bellman. —

ARTinisOBJ_Halfpage_ForSept25.pdf 1 20/09/2017 9:56:32 AM



From left, Ottawa executive chefs Joe Thottungal (Coconut Lagoon), Katie Brown Ardington (24 Sussex), Louis Charest (Rideau Hall) and Stephen La Salle (Andaz Ottawa Byward Market) participated in the inaugural Breaking Bread.

From left, Dan Hunt and his wife, Lina, along with their son, Alex, were out to support the Hopewell Eating Disorder Support Centre with Dr. Jaideep Lal and his wife, jewelry designer Tazim Lal.

From left, Karin Pagé from PerleyRobertson, Hill & McDougall with her colleagues Josh Sprague, Tim Thomas and Chris Morris.








Hopewell executive director Jody Brian told the room how “a few people gave me the raised eyebrow” upon learning that the centre was hosting a food-related event for a cause that targets eating disorders. “But I actually couldn’t think of anything more fitting, as food is the medicine that lifts so many of our clients from illness and hopelessness and into strength and recovery,” she added. Award-winning cookbook author Margaret Dickinson was joined on the judging panel by Kathy Smart from Live the Smart Way and Ottawa Citizen food editor Peter Hum, whose introduction elicited an audible gasp of surprise from the audience. Hum keeps a low public profile in order to be incognito when he’s visiting restaurants to write a review. Attendees included Karin Pagé, an associate at event sponsor PerleyRobertson, Hill & McDougall. She found all the food to be delicious and was having a hard time deciding on her favourite. “They were all very good,” said Pagé. “I’m impressed by the calibre of the chefs and the judges that we have tonight.” Pagé also sits on the board at Hopewell. The mother of two teenagers said she’s done enough coaching to see how eating disorders can affect young athletes. “I believe it’s an important cause,” she added. — K



Gold Medal Plate winner Joe Thottungal, chef and owner of the Coconut Lagoon, can now add another prestigious title to his collection: Sandwich Sovereign of Ottawa. He was carefully selected by a panel of celebrity judges at a brand new benefit, Breaking Bread, Breaking Stigma, held Sept. 19 for the Hopewell Eating Disorder Support Centre. It took place in the historic cereal barn at the Central Experimental Farm. Thottungal, whose restaurant is located on St. Laurent Boulevard, won the 2016 Gold Medal Plate title in Ottawa and went on to win silver at the national competition. However, he faced some stiff competition in the gourmet sandwichmaking contest. Talented young chef Stephen La Salle from Andaz Ottawa Byward Market participated. So did executive chef Katie Brown Ardington from 24 Sussex and Louis Charest from Rideau Hall (leaving some to wonder whether it would come down to a showdown between the chefs for the PM and GG). Charest was the People’s Choice Award winner. The evening was emceed by Majic 100 radio host Katherine Dines, who first went public last year about her past struggles with anorexia. She did so in order to raise awareness over eating disorders, which also commonly include bulimia and binge eating.


TECHNOLOGY Ottawa firm’s ‘passwordless’ system lands $1M in funding Kanata’s inBay Technologies believes it’s figured out the secret to thwarting cyber-thieves BY DAVID SALI



ith the Equifax scandal and other high-profile corporate security breaches making headlines around the world, an Ottawa firm believes its “passwordless” digital authentication technology is an idea whose time has come. Kanata’s inBay Technologies announced in late September it has landed $1 million in seed financing from Netherlands-based Ramphastos Investments and a local “super angel” represented by Ottawa’s Tongda One Partners. The 16-person firm plans to use the equity infusion to ramp up marketing for its cloud-based software that bypasses servers where large numbers of user passwords are

typically stored. Instead, inBay’s app turns a user’s smartphone into a “trusted device” that the company claims cannot be hacked. Traditional security systems compare password data entered by a user with information stored on an external server, creating a “shared secret” that is inherently at risk of being leaked, said inBay CEO Shane Young. More sophisticated “two-step authentication” systems are actually no more secure, he added, because they simply double the amount of data available for cyber-thieves to plunder. “No matter how careful you are … they’re finding ways in,” he explained. “The internet was actually created for sharing, not for security. A secret is never kept secret for very long.” By contrast, inBay’s system doesn’t

require data to be transmitted beyond users’ smartphones, leaving hackers with no way to access sensitive information. “Passwords have always been a problem,” said James Nguyen, a partner at Tongda One. “What they’ve done is they’ve eliminated the problem by eliminating passwords. There’s definitely a huge market for it.”

Co-founders Stan Xavier and Randy Kuang, both former Nortel employees, originally launched inBay in 2009. The firm went through a few pivots before hitting on its software-as-a-service model, and Mr. Young said the media attention surrounding cybersecurity crimes has put customers and investors on the hunt for better authentication technology.

“Passwords have always been a problem. What they’ve done is they’ve eliminated the problem by eliminating passwords.” – JAMES NGUYEN OF TONGDA ONE PARTNERS, ON INBAY’S DIGITAL AUTHENTICATION TECHNOLOGY




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2017-03-30 2:32 PM




“Things are picking up in the market with all the news around (cybersecurity) breaches,” said the veteran entrepreneur, who took over as inBay’s chief executive earlier this year. “All of the things that have been happening the last six months around breaches and theft of information online, to a certain extent, it made our job a little bit easier.” Mr. Young said inBay is targeting clients that deal in highly sensitive information, such as government agencies, e-health companies and fintech firms. In July, the company landed a $500,000 contract with Shared Services Canada through the federal government’s Build in Canada Innovation Program. “We actually solved a problem there that couldn’t be solved any other way,” he said. “We need to get that credibility before we go out to the broader market and look to sell to the general enterprise market.” Though the firm has only a handful of customers right now, Mr. Young said the company is “well on track” to hit its goal of $1 million in revenues by the end of the fiscal year in January. He said inBay plans to start aggressively pursuing clients south of the border. “That’s where we see the largest opportunity to capitalize on what we’re doing,” he explained. “We want to get out

Millennial Leadership in the C-Suite Millennial entrepreneurs are beginning to take charge. As they take command of the C-Suite, the question is: what style of leadership will they bring to the CEO job? Born digital and holding different values from past generations, Millennial CEOs promise to bring a unique approach to leading their business teams.

Individual Tickets: $30 + HST

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 5:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

TwentyTwo Location: The Westin Ottawa g 5:00 p.m. Registration & networkin Q&A & ssion discu l 6:00 p.m. Pane 7:00 p.m. Networking plimentary Your registration includes a com orking and cocktail, hors d’oeuvres, great netw city at The stunning panoramic views of the Westin Ottawa’s TwentyTwo.

Chris Bisson Escape Manor

(Ottawa Chamber Members)

$40 + HST inBay CEO Shane Young. PHOTO PROVIDED

there and start generating some awareness. That requires a little bit more gas in the tank.” Mr. Nguyen, who worked in the banking industry and has followed inBay’s progress for years, is a believer. “They have a product that’s going to serve a very hot market in cybersecurity. They have a technology that nobody else has.”


Presented by:


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THE LIST 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 9 11 12 12





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Company/Address Phone/Fax/Web Cowan Insurance Group 700-1420 Blair Pl. Ottawa, ON K1J 9L8 613-741-3313 / 613-842-4206 Coughlin & Associates 466 Tremblay Rd. Ottawa, ON K1G 3R1 613-231-2266 / 613-231-2345 Mercer 550-55 Metcalfe St. Ottawa, ON K1P 6L5 613-230-9348 / 613-230-9357 Morneau Shepell 601-350 Sparks St. Ottawa, ON K1R 7S8 613-238-4272 / 613-238-3714 A.J. Gallagher Benefit Services 410-11 Holland Ave. Ottawa, ON K1Y 4S1 613-670-8483 / 613-670-8480 Palladium Insurance Financial 1823 Richardson Side Rd. Kanata, ON K0A 1L0 613-824-8335 / 613-599-3512 Capcorp Financial 1050 Morrison Dr., 3rd floor Ottawa, ON K2H 8K7 613-226-1964 / 613-226-8402 Capital Benefit Financial Group* 18-1010 Polytech St. Ottawa, ON K1J 9L1 613-725-2128 / 613-725-5098 Beaudry-Deschatelets Financial Group 500-15 Gamelin St. Gatineau, QC J8Y 6N5 819-771-2196 / 819-771-2197 Leystone Insurance & Financial 1505 Laperriere Ave. Ottawa, ON K1Z 7T2 613-688-5995 / 613-482-3405 Jardine Lloyd Thompson 201-1525 Carling Ave. Ottawa, ON K1Z 8R9 613-656-1334 / 613-656-1335 Aon Hewitt 600-333 Preston St., Tower 1 Ottawa, ON K1S 5N4 613-728-5000 / 613-728-5534 Lee-Power & Associates 616 Cooper St. Ottawa, ON K1R 5J2 613-236-9007 / 613-236-0329 Crain & Schooley Financial 7-471 Hazeldean Rd. Ottawa, ON K2L 4B8 613-722-3444 / 613-722-3800 Desjardins Financial Security Investments G-1679 Carling Ave. Ottawa, ON K2A 1C4 613-729-1455 / 613-722-8992 Johnson Insurance 7-471 Hazeldean Rd. Ottawa, ON K2L 4B8 613-728-7503 / 613-728-2244 Moore Financial* 130-1101 Prince of Wales Dr. Ottawa, ON K2C 3W7 613-725-1515 / 613-725-6154


No. of local employees

Year established in Ottawa



Bob Proulx senior vice-president of benefits



Brian Bockstael president



Susannah Crabtree principal and head of office



Joe Blomeley vice-president of government relations



Dave Dickinson area president



Tim Snelling partner



Jim Hamilton president



Marc Lajoie president



Francois Beaudry president

Group benefits; group insurance; group annuity plans; insurance investments; financial planning; mortgage referrals



Darryl Phippen David McCulloch partners

Employee benefits consulting; employer GRRSP/pension plans; keyman and buy/sell funding; executive compensation plans; estate and financial planning; business loan and mortgage insurance; life, disability



Scott Hunter senior vice-president of employee benefits

Employee benefit consulting, software and services: traditional and choice-based “flex” benefits; group RRSP, pension plans; multi-employer plans; special risk insurance; key-person programs. Benefits online plan administration platform. Services: plan audit; benchmarking; third-party administration; healthcare spending accounts; EAP plans; communications development; employee on-boarding



Geneviève Lemieux associate vice-president and local practice leader



Matt Power vice-president of benefits consulting



John M. McCavour senior vice-president



Stephen Boyce vice-president of Ottawa branch

RRSPs; RRIFs; TFSAs; GICs; group benefits; financial planning; retirement planning; estate planning; education planning; life insurance



Shawn McCord senior manager of Ottawa and national groups

Employee benefit consulting; voluntary group benefits; group travel insurance; group home and auto insurance



Jeremy D. Moore president

Key local executive

Services offered Helps employers meet group benefit, health and disability management, pension and retirement requirements by providing consulting and administrative services. Also provides insurance for businesses, organizations and individuals. Full-service third party administrator; benefits and pension consulting; benefits and pension administration; claims administration, adjudication and payment services; wellness solutions; disability and leave management; individual financial planning

Offers products and solutions in areas including retirement, health and benefits, compensation, communications, performance management, wellness, investments and investment management.

Provides consulting and third-party administration services in the areas of employee and family assistance plans, pension plans, group insurance programs, employee health and wellness, workplace learning and disability management.

Employee benefit consulting; rate validation; benchmarking; wellness solutions; pension consulting; executive compensation; total rewards strategies; human resources and compensation consulting; multinational benefits

Group benefits; flex plans; buying groups for small and medium-sized businesses; life insurance; long-term disability; critical illness; legacy business owner succession and estate requirements

Employee benefits consulting; group retirement savings plans; financial planning for business owners and their businesses; life, disability and critical illness insurance; individual investment management; private health services plan

Employee benefit and retirement consulting services.

Consulting and actuarial services in health strategies; benefits administration and outsourcing; retirement strategies; investment management; HR outsourcing strategies; communication; compensation; talent strategies; retirement; financial planning

Trusteed welfare and pension plans; employee benefits plan consulting; defined contribution pension plans; group RRSPs; individual retirement plans; third-party administrative services

Employee benefits and pensions; retirement strategies; RRSP; special risk insurance; risk management consulting; group home and auto insurance

Group benefitslife and health; business planning; employee benefit plans; group RRSP and DPSP; pension plans; executive compensation; key person insurance; funding buy-and-sell agreements; investments and retirement planning

WND = Would not disclose. *Did not respond to 2017 survey – using data from previous years. Should your company be on this list? If so, please send details to This list is current as of August 8, 2017. © 2017 by Ottawa Business Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced by any method in whole or in part without written permission by Ottawa Business Journal. While every attempt is made to ensure the thoroughness and accuracy of the list, omissions and errors sometimes occur. Please send any corrections or additions by e-mail to OBJ lists are primarily compiled using information provided voluntarily by the organizations named. Some firms that may qualify for the list are not included because the company either failed to respond to requests for information by press time, because the company declined to take part in the survey or because of space constraints. Categories are drawn up in attempt to gather information of relevance to the Ottawa market. Research by Patti Moran. Please send questions and comments to

FOR THE RECORD Contracts The following contains information about recent contracts, standing offers and supply arrangements awarded to local firms. Neptec Design Group Ltd. 302 Legget Dr. Description: Dextre deployable vision system – phases B/C and D Buyer: Canadian Space Agency $13,706,170 Inter Outaouais Inc. 164 Jean-Proulx Description: Trucks, medium, heavy Buyer: PWGSC $10,800,000 Francis Canada Truck Centre Inc. 3818 Russell Rd. Description: Trucks, medium, heavy Buyer: PWGSC $7,300,000 TPG Technology Consulting Ltd. 887 Richmond Rd.

Description: Strategic support services Buyer: PWGSC $7,027,922

$2,035,347 Core Software Corp. 362 Terry Fox Dr. Description: Legacy support and transition Buyer: Industry Canada $1,695,000

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP 99 Bank St. Description: Audit services of internal controls Buyer: DND $5,227,061

Royal Canadian Mint 320 Sussex Dr. Description: Badges and insignia Buyer: Veterans Affairs Canada $1,500,000

Sierra Systems Group Inc. 220 Laurier Ave. W. Description: Professional IT services – Indian Oil & Gas CDA Buyer: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada $5,216,748

Asokan Business Interiors Inc. 25 Eddie Description: Senate commercial furniture Buyer: PWGSC $1,273,175

Inter Outaouais Inc. 164 Jean-Proulx Description: Trucks, medium, heavy Buyer: PWGSC $4,000,000

BAE Systems Projects (Canada) Ltd. 220 Laurier Ave. W. Description: Procurement of submarine spares Buyer: DND $816,028

Magal-S3 Canada Inc. 900 Greenbank Rd. Description: Motion detection system Buyer: Correctional service of Canada



Future-proof Your Business. How to spotFuture-proof the next wave ofBusiness. disruption Your Howand to spot the next wave of disruption and take advantage of it.

take advantage of it. Michael Denham Michael Denham President and CEO, BDC

President and CEO, BDC

Asokan Business Interiors Inc. 25 Eddie Description: Office furniture Buyer: PWGSC $714,271

Asokan Business Interiors Inc. 25 Eddie Description: Office furniture Buyer: PWGSC $702,905

People on the move

3V Mechanical Inc. 2285 St. Laurent Blvd. Description: Lighting and heating upgrades Buyer: PWGSC $674,900

positive impact for workers. This is the second consecutive year that MediaStyle has received this recognition, which is based on an independent, comprehensive assessment administered by B Lab.

The Ottawa International Airport announced changes to its board of directors: Dr. Chris Carruthers is the new chair of the board, replacing Susan St. Amand. Dr. Carruthers has extensive executive experience, including as the former chief of staff of The Ottawa Hospital. Michèle Lafontaine joins the board as a director. She is a notary with the firm Gagné Isabelle Patry Laflamme & Associés.

Hats off MediaStyle was recognized by B Lab as part of a worldwide competition for being a business that creates the most

Ottawa 2017, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, received eight awards from the International Festivals & Events Association. The awards recognize excellence and creativity in promotional materials produced by festivals and events around the world. Pierre Dufresne has been elected president of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association for 2017-2018. Mr. Dufresne most recently served as the association’s first vice-president, has served as a member of the executive committee since 2014, sat on the OHBA board of directors since 2013 and served on the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Urban Council over multiple terms since its inception.


Indoor and Outdoor

25 minutes South of Barrhaven just off Hwy 416 near Kemptville


725 7707 between 7am and 9pm

BDC Breakfast 7:00 am-9:00 am am BDC Breakfast 7:00 am-9:00 Event Sponsors: Event Sponsors: Small Business Week Presentations 9:15 am-10:30 Small Business Week Presentations 9:15 am-10:30 amam Shaw- Centre - 55 Colonel By Drive - Room Shaw Centre 55 Colonel By Drive - Room 214 214

Individual Tickets: Individual Tickets: $35.00 + HST (Ottawa Chamber Members) $35.00 + HST Chamber Members) $50.00(Ottawa + HST (Non-Members $50.00 + HST (Non-Members


Corporate Tables of 8 with Signage:

Corporate Tables 8 with Signage: $245.00 + HSTof (Ottawa Chamber Members)

E-mail to receive weekly updates on all our events.

TRADES PEOPLE & SMALL BUSINESS Grand opening special offer: Audio-Visual Rentals Locations audio-visuels

Audio-Visual Rentals Locations audio-visuels

130 sq.ft. mini units from just $100 per month

Private, secure and temperature controlled Drive in-drive out privileges. automatic doors. Washroom and kitchen facilities


+ HST (Non-Members) $245.00 +$350.00 HST (Ottawa Chamber Members) $350.00 + HST (Non-Members) E-mail to receive weekly updates on all our events.


call 613

Thursday, October 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017



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