Thursday, March 27, 2014

New Juno Beach Centre Installation Represents 359 Canadians Killed on D-Day

Campaign Challenges Canadians to Honour D-Day Fallen from Their Community
NATIONAL, March 27, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - In honour of the 70th anniversary of D-Day in 2014, the Juno Beach Centre launched Canada's D-Day Tribute: a sprawling installation made up of 359 maple tribute markers (one for every fallen Canadian killed in action on June 6, 1944) mounted on France's Juno Beach from June to November. The campaign challenges Canadians to honour soldiers from their community by sponsoring a tribute marker in their name. This moving visual representation of one of the most pivotal offensives of the war will help a new generation understandCanada's sacrifice at Juno Beach.
"The Juno Beach Centre helps us remember and appreciate not just the incredible valour of June 6, 1944, but that of all Canadians on land, in the air, and at sea during World War II," said General (Ret'd) Rick Hillier, Patron, Juno Beach Centre Association. "Canada's D-Day Tribute is an opportunity for Canadians from coast-to-coast to honour the sacrifices made 70 years ago and pay tribute to the men who made them. D-Day was a pivotal moment in Canadian history and we commemorate the Canadians who were part of that extraordinary achievement."
The Juno Beach Centre is Canada's only museum on the D-Day Landing Beaches in Normandy, founded by Second World War veterans and volunteers in 2003 as a lasting testament to the Canadian contribution on D-Day and the Normandy Invasion. The funds raised through this initiative will support future commemoration and educational programming.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Many Executives Unconcerned About Near-Term Baby Boomer Retirements

Survey Finds Chief Financial Officers Who Are Worried Fear Losing Leadership, Legacy Knowledge
TORONTO, Ontario March 20, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - More than one-fifth of the Canadian workforce has passed or is nearing retirement age, according to Statistics Canada, yet research suggests many executives aren't too concerned with losing baby boomer employees to retirement in the next couple of years. Only 26 per cent of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed for a recent Robert Half survey said they were worried about this possibility. Sixty-four per centof financial executives reported being unconcerned.
Among CFOs who are worried about losing baby boomers to retirement, executives most commonly cited legacy knowledge (29 per cent), functional skills (18 per cent) and leadership (16 per cent) as the greatest potential losses to their organization.
The survey was developed by Robert Half, the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm, and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on interviews with more than 270 CFOs from a random sample of Canadian companies.
CFOs were asked, "How concerned are you about losing employees from the baby boomer generation to retirement in the next two years?" Their responses:
Not at all concerned47%
Somewhat unconcerned 17%
Somewhat concerned9%
Very concerned17%
Don't know/no answer10%
CFOs concerned about those retirements also were asked, "What is the greatest potential loss to your business due to the retirement of baby boomer employees?" Their responses:
Legacy knowledge29%
Functional skills18%
Nontechnical attributes (e.g., soft skills)14%
Contacts outside the organization1%
Don't know/no answer22%
Total     100%
"As a best practice, all organizations should prepare their operations for the departure of experienced professionals, be it to retirement or otherwise," said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations. "Properly-developed succession plans can ensure that legacy knowledge, functional skillsets and leadership will stay with the firm."
Scileppi added that implementing programs that allow professionals to transition into retirement can be a win-win situation for the employee and the employer. "Despite approaching retirement, many dedicated employees want to continue contributing to their teams with the expertise they've gained over the years," he added. "Businesses can benefit from this as well by working with these employees on a consulting basis to train staff members on technical and non-technical skills, keeping the knowledge within the company while supporting employees through a smooth transition."
About Robert Half
Robert Half is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm, with more than 345 staffing locations worldwide, and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at Follow Robert Half on Twitter at, and gain insights on the latest financial hiring and salary trends at

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

National Volunteer Week is April 6 to 12, 2014 - Volunteer Canada and Investors Group roll out national campaign to thank our country's 13.3 million volunteers from coast to coast

OTTAWA, Ontario March 19, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - During National Volunteer Week 2014, Volunteer Canada and Investors Group are encouraging Canadians to thank volunteers for their efforts, by participating in a unique countrywide conversation about volunteer recognition.
The Volunt-Hear Hotline, a toll-free number that Canadians can call to leave a brief impact statement and thank a volunteer, will be live from March 23 until April 12. Messages will be collected and organized into playlists online. Listeners will be able to download the audio files from, share them through social media and hear first-hand how volunteer work changes lives and shapes communities.
"National Volunteer Week is significant because it recognizes the importance of volunteers by celebrating them and appreciating all of their remarkable work," says Steve Tipman, President and CEO of Volunteer Canada. "It would be pretty difficult to find a Canadian whose life has not been touched by a volunteer in some way."
"Investors Group believes in the value and importance of volunteering. We are proud to sponsor a campaign that encourages people to actively participate in recognizing volunteers," says Murray Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Investors Group. "Saying thank you is simple, but it is also a strong way to recognize volunteers for the enormous impact they make in our communities and lives."
This is the 11th consecutive year that Volunteer Canada delivers a National Volunteer Week campaign in partnership with Investors Group. In addition to the Volunt-Hear Hotline, people can thank a volunteer on Twitter. Thank you Tweets with the #NVW2014 hashtag will be featured on through a live feed.
The NVW 2014 campaign was inspired by new findings released in a research study on volunteer recognition and motivation. In 2013, Volunteer Canada and Investors Group delivered a study that revealed the following: both volunteers and non-profit organizations would like to move away from yearly recognition events, and towards a year-round approach that acknowledges volunteers for their contributions. 70% of volunteers surveyed said they would like to be recognized by being thanked on an ongoing, informal basis.
The Volunt-Hear Hotline responds to these findings and creates an opportunity to celebrate and thank volunteers during National Volunteer Week. In addition, the playlists generated from hotline messages will enable people to hear and share thank you statements, on an ongoing basis. Playlists will be available year-round on

 For further information:
National Volunteer Week is April 6-12, 2014
Call the Volunt-Hear Hotline at: 1-855-372-5077 from March 23 - April 12

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Demographic Shift: New survey shows 59 per cent of Ontario homeowners 50-plus are looking to downsize within 5 years

TORONTO, Ontario March 11, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - With the kids out of the nest and retirement approaching, Ontario Baby Boomers surveyed are looking to simplify their lives and save costs by downsizing their homes, shows new market research from Harmony Village.

The poll, which interviewed Ontario homeowners 50 years and older, found that 6 in 10 of those surveyed, expect to sell their existing homes and buy or rent smaller living spaces over the next five years. Top reasons for moving from their existing home are reducing maintenance work (81 per cent), lowering the cost of living (80 per cent), moving to a smaller home (62 per cent) and increasing their ability to travel more (60 per cent). Slightly more than half, 54 per cent, plan to use the surplus cash from downsizing to help finance their retirement.

"This approaching wave of downsizing will further boost the condo market, especially for facilities that are offering the upscale comforts and lifestyle communities that Boomers will be demanding," explains Jack Pong, CEO of City Core Developments, the developer behind Harmony Village. "This current survey confirms that this demographic places the highest importance on maintaining an independent lifestyle in an urban setting."

Eighty-eight per cent of the homeowners surveyed own a detached home, 6 per cent a semi-detached, 3 per cent a condo unit and 2 per cent a row or townhouse. Of the 6 in 10 homeowners looking to downsize, 78 per cent say this would be their final home. Half (47 per cent) would consider a condo or apartment unit.
Harmony Village offers a new approach to condo living, one that creates a holistic lifestyle community for residents looking to downsize their real estate needs yet enjoy all the amenities and services needed to fully enjoy life. The "age-in-place" concept provides all the services people need as they move toward retirement, including on-site home healthcare and full meal plans. The first Harmony Village is launching in Toronto on Sheppard Ave, at Warden Ave.

The online survey, conducted from Feb. 21 to Feb. 24, polled 508 randomly selected Ontario adults aged 50 and older who currently own their home, are considering purchasing or renting real estate, and who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 4.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to age, gender and region. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

More than a condo residence: Harmony Village lifestyle communities are tailored to - and designed for - your time of life. A visionary, amenity-rich place, Harmony Village is where fitness and leisure, recreation, health and wellness, green living, and a modern attitude towards aging fuse seamlessly, in a progressively-minded community. For more information, visit

About City Core Developments:

City Core Developments Inc. and City Core Management Inc. have been in the development and property management business since 1976, with millions of Square Feet of residential and commercial projects developed or under-development ranging from - Single Family Housing, Multi-Family Condominiums, Retail Plazas, Office Complexes, Industrial Parks and Seniors Communities.

Ontario Should Consider the Merits of the "Middle-Way" to Pension Reform - C.D. Howe Institute


TORONTO, Ontario March 11, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - As Ontario pushes ahead with pension reform to improve retirement security for its citizens, it should consider a "middle-way" solution between current competing visions for reform, according to a report released today by the C.D. Howe institute.  In "Helping Ontarians Save for Retirement: How the Province Could Adapt the Canada Supplementary Pension Plan," author Keith Ambachtsheer recommends an approach that avoids the potential pitfalls of two existing options: an expanded Canada Pension Plan (CPP) on one hand, or reliance on Pooled Registered Pensions Plans (PRPPs), on the other.

General agreement has emerged that Canada has a pension coverage problem, notes the author. Many middle-income workers without a workplace pension plan are likely to face sharp reductions in their standard of living when they retire. Faced by a lack of federal-provincial consensus on how to solve the problem, the Ontario government has announced its intention to develop a made-in-Ontario solution to enhance the retirement income security of its citizens. Other provinces, including PEI and Manitoba, have expressed willingness to take part in the discussions.

After discussing the shortcomings of the two existing solutions to the problem - which the author calls the dueling "Big CPP" and "Little PRPP" options - the report recommends Ontario take a middle way: the Ontario Supplementary Pension Plan (OSPP), based on the author's 2008 proposal for a Canada Supplementary Pension Plan.

Ambachtsheer's proposed OSSP would combine the best elements of traditional defined-contribution and defined-benefit plans; for example,  a target pension, clear property rights, no intergenerational wealth shifting, lifetime income, and an opt-out option.  The author cites the UK's National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) as a successful model of the "middle way."

For Ontario to adopt this model, several challenges to design and implementation would lie ahead, he says:
  • Is the province prepared to require employers not already offering a qualifying pension arrangement to enroll their employees in a qualifying arrangement, as Quebec has already done?

  • Is the province prepared to appoint an expert task force charged with designing and creating a new arms-length pension agency that would finalize the design of, and administer an OSPP?

  • Will it find an acceptable way for commercial vendors to participate in this newly created market for pension services?
If the answer to these questions is "yes," says Ambachtsheer, there are three keys to success the province should keep in mind: first, a viable, explainable vision to address the pension coverage problem; second, the political will to see it through; and third, a properly resourced, effectively led effort to implement it.

The C. D. Howe Institute is an independent not-for-profit research institute whose mission is to raise living standards by fostering economically sound public policies. It is Canada's trusted source of essential policy intelligence, distinguished by research that is nonpartisan, evidence-based and subject to definitive expert review. It is considered by many to be Canada's most influential think tank.
For the report go to:

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Profs Launch Website Aimed at Preventing Domestic Homicide

GUELPH, Ontario  February 28, 2014 - University of Guelph News Release - A new website launched by researchers at the University of Guelph and Western University is intended to prevent domestic homicide through increased awareness and education.
It’s an important step in developing a national prevention strategy, says U of G sociology professor Myrna Dawson, who is heading the initiative with Western professor Peter Jaffe.
“Similar to the rise of domestic violence death reviews, the launch of this website is a clear indicator that these crimes can no longer be explained away as spontaneous crimes of passion but are now more accurately recognized as acts that can often be prevented,” said Dawson, director of Guelph’s Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Public Policy in Criminal Justice.
“It’s the collaborative efforts by multiple groups evident on this website that will continue to improve our prevention initiatives.”
Intimate partner homicide continues to make up the majority of family-related homicides (43 per cent), and women are consistently at greater risk than men of any age group. The crime is often premeditated and usually follows a history of assault and violence, Dawson says.
The Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative website was designed for researchers, community organizations and government policy makers. It features research reports, educational materials, learning and training opportunities, annual reports from domestic violence death review committees across Canada and internationally, and other resources associated with domestic homicide prevention.
Dawson and Jaffe belong to the first-ever Canadian domestic violence death review committee, created by the Province of Ontario in 2002. The group has reviewed 164 homicides in the last decade. Similar committees and review processes have been established by New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia and Alberta.
The Ontario committee’s annual report, released earlier this month, reviewed 20 domestic homicides and found an average of 10 identifiable risk factors in these cases.
“The vast majority of these homicides are predictable and preventable based on the number of risk factors known to professionals, friends, family and co-workers in many of these tragedies,” said Dr. William Lucas, deputy chief coroner and committee chair.
Jaffe, an education professor and director of Western’s Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children, said the new website will help create a national dialogue and foster more information-sharing and collaboration.
“It will not only enhance research efforts but also will help make better-informed policy and service delivery decisions to help prevent domestic homicides.”
The initiative was funded by the Canadian Women’s Foundation. “We are thrilled to support this important work of bringing together key research and data into one central location to ensure that the best resources are available to those working on the issues of violence against women,” said Anu Dugal, the foundation’s director of violence prevention.
“This important tool will help in the ongoing work of preventing domestic homicide, one of the most predictable and preventable types of homicide. We are saving lives with this work.”