Innovative Solutions Canada has officially launched. The new $100 million procurement program is setting out to foster partnerships between the Government of Canada and small business innovators.
This new program gives small businesses an opportunity to support cutting-edge research and the development of technology and products that will help solve challenges issued by the Government of Canada.
Review current challenges below and propose your solution.
PHASE 1 | If your solution is selected, you could receive up to $150,000 (up to 6 months) in funding toward developing your solutions as a proof of concept.
PHASE 2 | With a successful concept, you would then be eligible to receive up to $1 million (up to 2 years) in funding to support prototype development.
PHASE 3 | Now you have a working prototype, your small business is on the pathway to commercialization of the product and the federal government could be your first buyer.
New challenges will be posted regularly. To make sure you are advised of opportunities, subscribe to the program's mailing list.
The Property Registry formally launched Manitoba’s new electronic registration system last month, modernizing and improving the efficiency, security and quality of land titles filing in the province.
“Manitobans can expect to have shorter wait times for documents to be finalized on their behalf when they buy or sell a property,” said Elgin Farewell, President & CEO of Teranet (which owns The Property Registry and is a service provider for the Province of Manitoba overseen by the Office of the Registrar-General.)
“We are proud to be a part of the launch of this innovative method of filing electronic land title documents,” said Farewell.
eRegistration will automate the submission and registration of title-related documents. The system works with all combinations of land title registration forms, and was built to extract data from the land titles secure digital smart forms. The flexibility and accuracy of eRegistration will reduce many of the errors and omissions currently found in paper-based submissions.
Manitobans will experience a more secure and improved service that incudes shorter wait times, and significant improvements to the land titles search and registration process.
The new system will become mandatory on April 3, 2018 for all lawyers, financial institutions and any users who file more than 500 land title documents per year. Users who file more than 100 land titles documents per year will be required to use the new service as of October 1 of next year.
eRegistration has been in development since 2015, and involved consultations with stakeholders and clients to help ensure the system is user friendly, and provides a consistent experience.
For more information about eRegistration, please visit the www.eRegInfo.ca.
Every month, we ask different participants of our Leadership Winnipeg class to blog about their experience...
Leadership can be hard to define. If you ask three people what leadership means, you’re likely to get three very different answers. It has been said leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. Perhaps that’s why, according to a recent study, last year over 1,200 books were published with the word ‘leadership’ in the title.
How does one make sense of such an integral yet broad-ranging and diverging topic?
Last month the 2017-2018 Leadership Winnipeg class dove into that question, knowing the answer was probably a little bit different for everyone in the room.
The morning began with a presentation from Volunteer Manitoba. Did you know the organization originally began as a way to provide volunteer assistance for wartime community projects in the 1940s? Or that Manitoba ranks among the top provinces for volunteerism and donations per capita?
Following the presentation, the class took a condensed session that could be described as ‘everything you need to know’ about board governance. The class learned the different ways boards are structured, an individual’s role within a board and about Board Connect, presented by the Winnipeg Foundation, which aims to create a new way for boards and volunteers to connect.
The Leadership Winnipeg program does a great job covering the wide range of topics required to be an effective leader. No two days are the same, and additionally, each class is often broken up into different segments designed to deliver a well-rounded experience.
In the afternoon, the class shifted gears and divided into teams. Each group tried to lower a lightweight, skinny wooden stick about two meters long from shoulder height to the floor - using only one finger from each team member. This surprisingly difficult exercise was a lesson in teamwork and designed to illustrate how people with different personalities work in the context of a team.
Perhaps not immediately obvious to all, the program reminds you that to be an effective leader you have to know yourself. While we all intrinsically understand who we are, we don’t often spend enough time understanding why we are. Leadership Winnipeg carves out two sessions during the year to provide a better understanding on why we are the way we are. Upon understanding your own personality - including strengths, weaknesses and work style - you are better able to understand those of others. This is very important, because when it comes down to it, good leadership hinges on being able to work with others in an effective and cohesive way.
The rest of the afternoon was filled with such discussion, centered around the Informz personality profile, which helps people understand themselves and others. A recent study confirmed that 90% of top performers are highly self-aware, compared to the bottom fifth of performers, who were shown to have low self-awareness. Clearly, knowing oneself can help develop traits needed to be a great leader.
So what is Leadership Winnipeg like? In short: a journey. You could peruse those previously mentioned 1200 plus books that were published last year or you could ask those around you but perhaps one of the greatest gifts from the program so far is the surprising revelation that you shouldn’t forget to look within.
Leadership Winnipeg is grateful for the support of our Vision Partners
One of the challenges Winnipeg employers often share with The Chamber is the difficulty in finding skilled, dedicated workers to help their business grow. On January 17, we’d like to connect you with a potential hiring pool who’ve already demonstrated outstanding commitment, discipline and professionalism: reservists.
Major General P.J. Bury, OMM, Chief of Reserves and Employer Support will speak to the Reserves need for supportive employers, the value of reservists in your organization as well as our community, and the anticipated impact of the new Federal Defence Policy Strong, Secure, Engaged to the reserve force. He will also entertain questions from attendees.
We urge you to join us to discover all the supports available to employers who invite reservists onto their missions.
January 17, 2017 | 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
2nd Floor Atrium, Manitoba Hydro Place
360 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg
Cocktails and appetizers will be served
Parking available at Portage Place and the RWB Parkade
Please RSVP to SM-President@hydro.mb.ca by January 12, 2018
Earlier this month, about two dozen business people found themselves sitting beside pairs of pyjamas. The child-sized clothes were brand new, tied with bows and destined for one of the many social agencies supported by United Way of Winnipeg.
Our Member MeetUps always provide valuable networking opportunities and learning moments. This December's event at United Way's downtown offices, however, was the first time guests knew their attendance would have a larger impact in the community. The entirety of the ticket price had gone to purchase the pyjamas sitting in front of them - gifts they were about to wrap and send on their way.
"Isn't it good to know today that community will be there for you tomorrow?" Connie Walker, CEO of United Way of Winnipeg asked attendees as they penned personal notes to accompany the jammies. With a quiet sincerity and conviction, Walker shared some of the most meaningful lessons she's learned during her tenure at United Way, including the deep social isolation that often accompanies poverty and the importance of empowering Indigenous organizations in a city where Indigenous residents disproportionately struggle.
She also emphasized the value of pooling donations - a strategy the United Way of Winnipeg has used to benefit tens of thousands of Winnipeggers over their 50 years of existence.
"If you're going to give, give collectively," Walker said, noting the United Way was 84 per cent finished its annual fundraising drive to support a network that helps thousands of Winnipeggers every day. Thanks to operating support from the Province of Manitoba, Walker shared that every penny from donations helps kids learn so they can reach for their dreams, lifts people out of poverty with education, and makes sure neighbours have help when they need it most.
The Winnipeg Chamber is a proud supporter of United Way of Winnipeg and urges our business community to help them cross the finish line. It's what Winnipeggers do best.
Last week, city council approved the 2018 budget, albeit with some heated debate, including a motion to raise the municipal business tax by $10 million, or 15 per cent. While the motion was defeated, it underscores an all-too-familiar refrain from a small minority on council: small business is a cash cow that can be endlessly milked.
It takes major sacrifices to start a business. The vast majority of startup owners don’t draw a paycheque in their first few years. Over 80 per cent of startups are personally financed to get up and running. That typically involves putting not only retirement savings, but often family savings into the business. It can even include re-mortgaging the family home. In the early years, credit cards are sometimes maxed in order to meet the next payroll, or to just keep the lights on.
Once it’s started, running a business is extremely difficult. Across Canada, 30 per cent of all business owners are forced to shut their doors in their first two years of operation. In the first five years, almost half of all businesses fail. Other research has shown only a third of all businesses last a decade.
Those aren’t easy kitchen-table conversations to have. Could you ask your loved ones to put the family savings into a venture which, statistically, has an almost 50 per cent chance of failing within five years?
Despite these risks, small business owners power our economy. There are over 23,000 businesses with employees in Winnipeg; nearly 70 per cent have fewer than 10 employees, while 94 per cent of our businesses have fewer than 50. Across Manitoba, over 70 per cent of all private-sector employment comes from small business. From 2005 to 2015, small business accounted for almost 90 per cent of the 1.2 million private-sector jobs created across Canada.
Without these entrepreneurs and risk-takers, we wouldn’t have a functioning economy. We couldn’t support our communities, our families and our quality of life.
Despite this, some elected officials seem intent on exploring new ways to stymie and penalize small business. The federal government’s proposed business- tax changes are a case in point.
Business owners pay more than their fair share of municipal taxes toward roads, parks, police and fire, transit, water and waste, and more. Businesses aren’t freeloaders; on top of the jobs they create, they are often among the first to help out local charity campaigns and causes.
A recent C.D. Howe report indicates Winnipeg has the highest municipal business tax burden of any large city west of Montreal. A recent Altus Group report shows our commercial property owners pay twice as much in property taxes as residents do. The same report shows Winnipeg was the only city outside of Alberta to see commercial property taxes increase year over year.
We are the only major city in Canada with a municipal business tax, a tax that does not consider one’s ability to pay. That tax raises about $60 million a year for Winnipeg. This was the same tax four councillors were looking to increase by almost 15 per cent. Imagine if your property taxes rose 15 per cent.
Perhaps this is why more Canadians are choosing to forego starting their own businesses. In 1984, the entry rate of new firms as compared to existing firms was at 24 per cent across Canada. Since then, that rate has declined by more than half. In Manitoba alone, the number of annual business starts has declined by almost 12 per cent from 2008 to 2015. Fewer small businesses means fewer jobs, less income and a shrinking tax base to pay for the services we all enjoy.
In the words of the World Bank, "Innovation and entrepreneurship are recognized as key building blocks of competitive and dynamic economies. Countries and regions with vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems tend to witness higher productivity rates, leading to increased economic growth and more robust job creation, the main pathways through which the poor can escape poverty." As we all rush to get our holiday shopping done, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce encourages you to shop local, and to take the time to thank our local entrepreneurs. Do not, like some indifferent to the plight of small business, take it for granted that these shops will always be there. Nothing is guaranteed in their world, and they could be gone tomorrow, at the cost of our community and the prosperity of hundreds of thousands of Winnipeggers.
With increased access to tax software and information, more Canadians are opting to prepare their own or their family’s personal tax returns. If you’re one of those individuals it’s important to update your knowledge of any annual changes in order to carry out the process correctly, as well, learn what opportunities may exist with each return’s unique set of circumstances.
Here is a brief checklist of questions to ask yourself before preparing a tax return this season:
How Talbot & Associates, Chartered Professional Accountants & Consulting Services can assist
Talbot & Associates has been serving clients for over 25 years with personal and business accounting services and professional consultation.
For those who’d like to learn the ins and outs of preparing a personal tax return, T&A is hosting its annual Personal Tax Preparation Workshop this Jan/Feb (6 classes Tues/Thurs Jan 23 – Feb 8) at the T&A Training Centre at 3553 Pembina Highway.
Participants will learn many tips on tax planning and how to prepare simple tax return or more complex ones with a business, rental or farm schedule.
Learn more here
The need for strong security at Canada's airports is clear, but our country is unnecessarily falling behind the speedy benchmarks set by international hubs for getting travelers on their way.
The country's eight largest chambers wrote to the Finance Minister about the consequences of this slide and our recommendations to maintain competitiveness. The full text of the letter is below.
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Minister of Finance
The Honourable William Francis Morneau
Department of Finance Canada
90 Elgin Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G5
Dear Minister Morneau:
The Canadian Global Cities Council, a collaboration of Canada’s eight largest chambers of commerce and boards of trade, writes to ask that the Government of Canada provide additional resources to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) and to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to ensure that Canada’s airports become more competitive in their screening and border processing times.
Over the past decade, there has been tremendous growth in Canadian air traffic. It has increased 39 per cent - six per cent this year. Passengers arriving from international destinations are the fastest growing segment at many of Canada’s major airports, with international overseas traffic up 7.9 per cent last year. This year, international traffic is already up 9.5 per cent.
Trans-border traffic to the U.S. is also on the rise at many of Canada’s major airports, with traffic up 2.7 percent last year, and five per cent this year. While this increased traffic is good for trade and tourism, it is resulting in more lineups at security screening checkpoints and at our air borders.
Lineups, delays and difficulties experienced at our airports affect Canada’s competitiveness as a place to do business and invest, for it slows down the pace of commerce and travel, and risks our major centres being overlooked due to lengthy delays. Whether it is the tourism industry, financial services, natural resources or manufacturing, tourists, investors and executives will consider alternate locations for their activities if the wait times for entry in, and departure out of Canada are far longer than other international jurisdictions. This affects our economy, and the opportunities for many hard-working Canadians.
While the long-term funding of CATSA is important to address, and we appreciate that you and your colleagues at Transport have been working on structural solutions, there is an urgent concern about CATSA being adequately funded next year, with a forecast budget shortfall of $180 million. Already this year passenger traffic across the country is up 6 percent.
Over the next 10 years, traffic is projected to increase by another 50 per cent or an additional 75 million passengers.
Toronto Pearson International Airport and the Vancouver International Airport have invested an additional $14 million in airport funds this year to enable CATSA to reach its service target of 85 percent of passengers being processed in under 15 minutes, but this still leaves 10 million passengers waiting 15 minutes to an hour. This level of funding and performance is not acceptable in comparison with global hubs like London Heathrow or Hong Kong, where performance standards are set and funded at of 95 percent of passengers screened within five minutes. Canada is lagging, and losing out.
Therefore, the Canadian Global Cities Council recommends that for Budget 2018, the federal government:
1. Set a globally competitive service level standard for security screening in Canada and funding for the long-term to support any transition to a new structure;
2. Expedite deployment of the CATSA+ screening technology at additional checkpoints and airports throughout Canada; and,
3. Institute comprehensive, structural reforms to the delivery and funding of security screening of passengers, baggage, and industry workers (“non passengers”), including the establishment of service level standards at Pre Board Screening and a funding mechanism that better matches screening resources to growing demand.
With regards to CBSA, while Canada’s airports are experiencing record levels of passenger demand, long lines at the border are leaving travellers frustrated. For those who have a choice about where to travel or connect, they will choose elsewhere if Canada cannot offer a predictable, consistent, quality experience.
Innovative programs and the use of technology have helped CBSA over the past few years better facilitate the flow of air travellers. Airports have been strong partners in this effort, investing $40 million in the past six years in border automation and infrastructure changes to facilitate a smoother and more efficient processing of passengers. However, continued attention to CBSA is needed to ensure wait times do not deteriorate in the way they have at CATSA.
The Canadian Global Cities Council recommends that Budget 2018 provide additional funding for CBSA to support growing air service demands as well as continued innovation through technology.
Canada’s competitiveness as a destination, and its air service capabilities is vital to our continued growth as a prominent global economy. We are falling behind international performance standards of screening and processing for travellers in and out of the country’s largest airports.
Representing nearly 55 percent of Canada’s GDP within our eight centres, we urge the federal government to increase investment into CATSA and CBSA to ensure that our economy can remain robust, competitive and offer opportunities for the millions of Canadians whose employment is tied to our ability to connect globally.
Jan De Silva
Chair, Canadian Global Cities Council
President and CEO, Toronto Region Board of Trade
Cc: The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport
The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism
Today, Canada's Senate called on Finance Minister Bill Morneau to withdraw the government's proposed tax changes and study our entire tax ecosystem.
Because these proposed changes will have consequences. They'll hurt small businesses.
The Senate committee in particular drew attention to the feedback your Chamber provided through our Board Member Mark Jones on the consequences of changing passive investment rules:
"If the government hits investment income with a 73 percent tax, business owners will have no incentive to keep surplus assets in the business... This punitive tax would cause them to invest less, cap the size of their savings, and hold less productive assets... ultimately it will impact job creation."
We continue to work on this important issue. It's an honour to serve our members and ensure the voice of Winnipeg business is heard on Parliament Hill.