All posts by Candice E.

Canadian Jobs: Going Green

green-jobsWhile business booms in Canada, the environment is also being given a front seat.  One example of this is BioTalent’s announcement of its wage-subsidy initiative that will offer over 100 new graduates the opportunity to take a green job.  The initiative is monetary and will be in the form of more than $1.1 million in salaries to encourage them to take work in this field.

The program – federally funded – is also intended to reduce youth unemployment.  By encouraging those looking for work to seek gainful employment in often-less explored industries, including both biotech and the environment.   This is just one of many initiatives the non-profit HR association has engaged in since 2005, having assisted more than 400 new biotech graduates find employment.

BioTalent is not alone in its efforts toward Canada’s boost in the green workforce and an overall commitment to enhancing the environment.  Just last week, Catherine McKenna, the country’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and Erik Solheim, UN Environment Chief, announced that Canada is to be hosting next year’s World Environment Day.  This environment-led global event is the largest environmental celebration that takes place in June each year and enjoys the participation of thousands of communities around the world.  However, it will be Canada that will be making use of the day to “showcase to the world the beauty of its natural environment on land and water.”  As McKenna noted: “The Canadian spirit of collaboration is only one of the reasons Canada is a natural choice to host World Environment Day. World Environment Day will be an important part of Canada 150 celebrations. On June 5, 2017, we will blend Canadians’ pride in our environment with our determination to address climate change challenges. We are looking forward to showing the world the made-in-Canada approaches that will make our country cleaner and more competitive for businesses.”

With the above initiatives as well as the first ever upcoming gathering of the UN agency in Montreal to ratify the climate deal regarding the aviation sector and the sixth consecutive year of the CN EcoConnexions – From the Ground Up program now in place, Canada is well on the way to boosting its environmental sustainability.

Canadian-Chinese Trade News

shanghaiGiven that historically there has been no free trade agreement between China and Canada, (despite Canadians’ purchasing power of Chinese products in the region) Justin Trudeau‘s statement on opening up talks between the two nations might have come as quite a surprise.  The same could be said from the Chinese point of view, who traditionally have been known to be big purchasers of Canadian materials, in particular, in the raw variety of oilseeds and wood pulp.

In other words, from both sides it is quite shocking that free trade agreements are only just beginning given the apparent ease that already exists for purchasing power.  Indeed, China is already ranked as Number 2 in trading partners for Canada.

There was the 2014 Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection Agreement (which – for at least three decades – is irrevocable).  But this is more connected to environmental regulations which reduce profitability.  Much more of this direction is necessary.

With free trade agreements, the path for China’s purchase of additional agricultural products and raw materials would be further opened.  In an ideal trading world China would have Canada construct a pipeline to ease the passage of Alberta oil into BC, from where it could travel to China.

Benefits for China

Should this go ahead, in China, profits would soar.  Should a free trade Canadian-Chinese agreement be reached, according to the Canada China Business Council, an estimated additional $7.8 billion in Canadian activity over the next decade and a half would be generated for Canada.   Furthermore, Trudeau believes that with free trade, political networks could be forged, along with cultural, travel and educational ties.  Furthermore, it is hoped that should agreements be reached, the next natural step would be for the protection of human rights for Tibetans.  According to executive director of the Canada-Tibet Committee, Carole Samdup, “Given the systemic nature of human rights violations in Tibet today, Canada has a moral responsibility to ensure that new trade rules will not entrench existing human rights violations or derail efforts to resolve them in the future.”  It was further explained that the situation of Tibetans in Canada at the present time needs major assistance.

Ultimately, these agreements seem to have been a long time coming and will ultimately be beneficial to both sides. Both regions are investing in each others lands and materials; a free trade agreement will simply facilitate an already ongoing process.

Opening of Diamond Mine

diamond-mineThe world’s largest and richest new diamond mine is set to open in Canada’s Northwest Territories.  De Beers Canada Inc. – together with Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. – joined together to construct the Gahcho Kué diamond mine earlier this month.   With mine construction starting at the end of 2013, (ore mining in March 2016; actual diamond production 2 months thereafter), to date, De Beers has invested approximately $1 billion and 530 employees in the project.

This mine holds tremendous potential for Canada’s economy.  With an anticipated 12-year life span, an anticipated $6.7 billion in revenues will be added to the region.  Further, the experts believe that the resource of 20 million carats will probably extend the life of this particular mine a further 5 years (or even more, given the Tuzo Deep drill program).  In the beginning of next year, it is likely that commercial-level production will begin.

An estimated 4.5 million carats per annum will be produced in the mine with operating costs being determined via a 2014 Feasibility Study at US $65/tonne.

Greg Krywulak

Greg Krywulak is the President and CEO of iQmetrix – a software company specializing in end-to-end retail solutions which, in 2016 was ranked the 42nd fastest growing company in British Columbia.  He also sits on the Advisory Board at the firm, helping to make major strategic decisions while guiding the firm’s overall direction. Before his current positions at iQmetrix, Krywulak held the role of Senior Vice President.  During that time, he was active in the firm’s overall advancement.

In 2013 he joined the Board of Directors at Aquatic Informatics Inc., a global leader in providing innovative software solutions for hydrologic data management and analysis.  Of this appointment, Ed Quilty, company CEO and President, said that he “brings a wealth of experience in building rapidly growing software companies.”

Lucas Skoczkowski

Lucas Skoczkowski is the founder (in 1999) of Redknee Solutions Inc. – an international provider of OSS/BSS software products, solutions and services for the telecommunications industry. Five years later, he became CEO of the firm as well.  Between 1999 and 2004 he was COO of the company’s predecessor – Redknee Inc.  In 2006 he took on the added responsibility of a Director.

Skoczkowski brings to Redknee a wealth of experience in business, product development, operations and sales, having worked with a wide range of global firms such as: Nortel Networks (USA, UK, Canada) and Clearnet Communications Inc.

Outside of Redknee, Skoczkowski is a Director the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation (CMSF), a Member of Nulogy Corporation’s Advisory Board and a Director at 20-20 Technologies Inc. In addition, he sits on the University of Waterloo (UK)’s Dean’s Development Council for the Faculty of Engineering.

In 2014 Skoczkowski was featured in the Global Telecoms Business list of top 100 most influential executives in telecoms business. In the past, he was honored with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Information Technology sector for Ontario as well as a Top 40 Under 40 Award for Canada.

Les Whiting

Les Whiting is the Vice President of Payments at Wave Accounting – a company that specializes in online small business software.  He brings to the firm over two decades of expertise in: ecommerce payments, lending, merchant acquisition, new payment technologies, retail banking and wealth management. Within his position at the firm, he is committed to setting up the simplest ways small firms can take payments.

Before joining Wave, Whiting worked as an independent payments consultant to a variety of companies in: acquisition, business, finances, processing and procurement.  He was also VP of Sales & Marketing at Beanstream Internet Commerce, Director of Corporate Sales (Canada) at First Data Corporation, and Account Manager (and then Regional Sales Manager) at TD Canada Trust.


Bobby Gocool

Bobby Gocool started his career with Primerica at the young age of 26. He graduated at the top of his class in Guyana and moved to Canada at the age of 22 to pursue a career in biotechnology and genetics. He soon decided that becoming an entrepreneur would take him farther, and he was introduced to the Primerica business opportunity. Within seven months, Bobby Gocool was a Regional Vice President and he built a business which includes more than 1700 independent representatives with 125 Regional Vice Presidents. In his spare time, Bobby Gocool likes to travel and watch cricket. He attended both the 2011 cricket World Cup in India and the 2015 cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.