Archive for the ‘Canada’ Category

Canada’s defence industrial policy for national security

December 16, 2011

Arvin Jelliss (Ottawa) has forwarded an interesting item by Tim Page president of Canadian Association of Defence & Security Industries (CADSI).

  • Harper government has taken steps to rebuildCanada’s defence and security brand internationally e.g. Canada First Defence Strategy.
  • Government also commissioned a special report on innovation and defence procurement from an expert panel – Canada to adopt a defence industrial policy to target federal R&D, export and procurement strategies toward key domestic industrial capabilities to help level the playing field for Canadian industry (very interesting!!)
  • National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy announced – clear manifestation ofCanadaacting in its own strategic national interests.
  • December 2009 report, prepared by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries, identified key domestic industrial capability areas of national interest. e.g. where Canada has established global champions and economic value – so-called C4ISR systems (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance), geospatial and intelligence systems, sensors, sonar and mission systems, chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear detection, protection and decontamination, and personal protective clothing and equipment, along with shelters and containers, simulation and training, armoured land vehicles, military-designed aircraft, composites, avionics, aircraft engines and landing gear.
  • CADSI has also identified areas that hold strategic security and sovereign value e.g. systems integration, computer security architectures, ordinance, ammunition and small arms, maritime domain awareness, port and border security.

Vancouver – artistic hotspots

October 18, 2010

Vancouver and Vancouver Island is a hot spot for the artists, who are attracted by the region’s picturesque coasts, farm lands, and mountains.

Salt Spring Island, with a population just over 10,000 people, lies off the southeastern coast of Vancouver Island and is known as “the island of the arts.” More than a tenth of its residents are involved with the arts in some way, and, as a result, it was named one of the top ten small art towns in North America in the well-known guide book written by John Villani. Crafts are promoted with readily available catalogs and maps and high-end craft studios (

Vancouver Island also has mapped its 33 organic farmers and wineries, and the arts, crafts, music, and artisan foods are displayed at weekly open markets. Artspring offers concerts and theater in summer, and music also pervades the island’s man restaurants and pubs, with many name performers drawn to the island.

The Salt Spring Arts Council ( operates a cooperative gallery in Ganges, and for a very low membership fee ($20), it provides funding, materials and organizational support to a range of folk. Arts are strong in the elementary and secondary schools, and music, dance and art summer programs attract youth from around the world.

Granville Island has become the leading hub for the arts, and an example of how the arts can help to reshape and revitalize a deteriorated urban area. It was once a First Nations fishing village, created from a sandbar in the late 1800s to house heavy industry. After World War II, industry moved away, and the island was left polluted and an eyesore. In the 1970s, a local politician decided it could be re-invented with a low-rent cultural center where artists might live and work, with theaters to attract tourists.

Granville Island today is served by a steady stream of sea taxies bringing tourists from the mainland to visit the island’s 53 galleries and crafts coops, numerous theaters, a microbrewery, the farmers and artists market, and Vancouver’s premier art school, Emily Carr University. The island also is home to is claimed to be North America’s oldest crafts cooperative, Circle Craft. Started in 1973 by a Danish craftswoman, it has 200 members. The island retains its industrial architecture, with most of the studios still in corrugated metal or factory-like buildings, which adds to its mystique. Go to

Contributed by Stu Rosenfeld – CraftNet

Newfie in the frame

August 20, 2009

 Hi Rod,

For my sins I’m now the ANZRSAI Council member for South Australia and editor of the Newsletter.

My collaboration project is for a network of regional practitioners and researchers for ANZRSAI in SA which chews the fat 4-5 times a year and develops projects.

I’m hoping to engage EDA, local government, the RDAs, consultants and State government. We’ve just had an excellent seminar from Professor Rob Greenwood (Harris Centre at Memorial University Newfoundland who spoke to us courtesy of Professor Neil Otway at University of SA’s Centre for Regional Engagement.

 A possible project which arises from my network-building talks is a state-wide community of practice for practitioners to build local skills in regional development.  I’ve got some ideas on how this might work based on my own experience in facilitating best practice conversations across industry. Just in case my infallible instincts have for some reason failed, can you point me to examples elsewhere? (Can u help Tony?)

 Your INSEAD notes on networks are important for building and sustaining a strong and durable local constituency for regional development capable of winning battles with the powers in Canberra and other capitals. However, important to remember

1. that the opportunities which strong local networks must convert into growth flow through weak linkages to the external world, and

2. the strong local network also has the capacity to resist change and destroy local networks of change-makers. It’s all in the local governance.

 Kind regards, Tony O’Malley OAM

Outlook Management, Henley Beach, SA 5022


Collaborator Profile – Nick Keyko

June 18, 2009

Who and where are you?

 My name is Nick Keyko. I currently live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada – where I was born and raised.

 What’s your job?

 I am a Coordinator with Edmonton Economic Development Corporation. EEDC is a not-for-profit company strategically focused on Edmonton’s economic future – its purpose is to increase prosperity and the quality of life for people of the Edmonton region by promoting economic development, marketing Edmonton as a tourist destination, and by managing the Shaw Conference Centre and Edmonton Research Park.

 I work within the Economic Development department, focusing on Business and Industry Development. My group is responsible for the attraction of organizations to the Edmonton region and the retention and expansion of existing Edmonton organizations.

Currently, we are working with a variety of stakeholders to ensure the sustainable long-term growth of the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, and Health industries, as well as Advanced Technologies and Education.

 What’s exciting you at present?

 New Urbanism – a development theory that is focused on creating neighbourhoods that are diverse walkable, accessible, sustainable and architecturally significant. As the world’s urban population increases, cities will need to address their planning policies to ensure that urban communities are able to flourish.

Direct Trade a huge step beyond free trade – and even a step beyond fair trade – direct trade is a system built on principles of true collaboration, participation and justice. With an increasingly global marketplace, equitable trade practices need to be promoted to ensure that trade agreements are just and profitable for all parties involved.

Moving to Australia! – my wife, a registered nurse, and I have decided to make the move from Canada to Australia in November. We are excited to live, work and play in one of the World’s most beautiful settings. Currently, we are in the midst of Visa applications and actively looking for work.

 Your top 3 tips on how to collaborate?

 1. Come to a consensus on the desired outcomes – having a clear focus helps the group to stay on task.

2. Develop a multi-faceted matrix – ensuring that the individuals represent a variety of backgrounds creates a group that builds on the strength of its members.

3. Appoint a leader to facilitate the collaboration – a leader will facilitate collaboration between individuals to ensure the group works effectively. Don’t be afraid to consult an outside professional.

 Nick Keyko, Business Development Coordinator, Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, World Trade Centre, 9990 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, Canada +1 (780) 401-7695


Canadian Youth Business Foundation (BEST PRACTICE)

April 15, 2009


The Harper Government is investing $10 million in the Canadian Youth Business Foundation.


This is a national charity getting a lot of attention of late – it provides start-up mentoring, financing, resources to help young Canadians, aged 18-34, create their own businesses. Founded in 1996, it supports youth who would not otherwise realize their full potential and launch a business. 


Modeled after the UK’s Prince’s Trust, CYBF has been recognized as one of the most efficient organizations of its kind globally. As such, CYBF is often called upon to mentor youth entrepreneurship programs in other countries.


CYBF provides business start-ups with loans of up to $15k and on-line business resources. Loans below $7,500 are repayable over 3 years – above that level, the repayments are over 5 years. Year 1 payments are interest-only. Initial start-up fee of $50 plus $10 monthly administration fee.


The difference is the mandatory world-class mentoring program. CYBF individually qualifies, interviews and trains every volunteer mentor, hand-matching each with a CYBF entrepreneur for 2 years during the critical start-up period.


Delivery partners are located across Canada and most sectors are eligible. Last year CYBF funded 400 new start-ups – total to date of 2,800 companies. They have created $300 million in sales, $69 million in tax revenue, $33 million in exports and 15,000+ jobs.  On average, each new company creates 5 jobs.  CYBF has an impressive repayment rate of 95% – received money is reinvested in the next wave of entrepreneurs.


Contributed by Mark Marich (USA)

Hants, Canada – identical agendas

March 19, 2009

Cockatoo member Tony McLennan (GAIN – Victoria) has forwarded details on ED agendas in Hants (Canada) – 100% compatible with agendas Downunder. Members heading east of Quebec look them up!

 Hants RDA executive director Ryan MacNeil says “We’re running out of land… We need a trained professional…and we offer incomplete community information.”

 However, there are plans to create a joint business directory for the Municipality of West Hants, Hantsport and Windsor websites and to leverage provincial and federal money for investment. The Hants RDA plans a lot more regional promotion by hiring a regional promotion officer and by attending ore international shows to promote the region. Also, there are plans to implement a new workforce action plan and to start building on a new tourism strategy.

 Over the last year, the Hants RDA invested its time in implementing a Hants County Small Business Clinic, an interpretive centre plan and trial construction to help to restore the Cheverie Salt Marshes, organizing the second annual 84th Regiment of Foot Homecoming, starting up the Planters 250th anniversary project, planning a second Festival of Art and helping to find funding $675,000 for the Windsor Day Care. In 2008, the RDA helped to bring out a new Sustainable Fish Farming aquaculture facility to Centre Burlington

Mao-tai diplomacy

June 2, 2008


Australia’s minerals export boom to China did not happen overnight. In 1986, our Ambassador to China convinced Canberra to organise a series of technical missions to advise the Chinese on the best technology for their ageing lead and zinc smelters, alumina refineries, steel mills etc.


My job was to be the government person on the non-ferrous mission, along with the mining engineers and metallurgists from CRA, Western Mining, BHP, CSIRO etc. Eight of us literally bounced into Beijing, and for the next 21 days (except Sundays) the mission members gave free advice to the management of sixty plants across the length and breadth of China.


We saw unimaginable amounts of machinery, concrete, ores and metals, all the while advising on what type of minerals processing technology could deliver better productivity. Much of the plant was old Russian or local stuff, so Team Australia was merrily recommending they purchase particular equipment from Sweden, USA, Canada, Japan and Italy. Strange, I thought.


After a week, we were knackered – lack of sleep, long train trips, cat-sized rats around our feet,  copious amounts of food and Mao-tai (like metho mixed with soy sauce). After two weeks, we were fading, and one mission member was even packed off home. After three weeks, we emerged at Guangzhou in a state worse than knackered.


We recuperated in Hong Kong, and finalised our mission report for subsequent translation and dispatch to the Chinese agencies. When I got back to Canberra, my big boss called me in for a de-brief. He was less than impressed when I said not to expect a spike in exports of Australian mining equipment to China. He stared at the far wall for an eternity, and then asked why I was even on the mission (the same thought had crossed my mind somewhere around Zhuzhou).


Those were the days when the big mining companies literally told our equipment suppliers to ‘get out of the way’, and they in return lobbied government for local content arrangements. The federal agencies were similarly aligned. Indeed, Australian equipment sales counted for nought with my hard-nosed mission members. No wonder they created enormous goodwill with our Chinese hosts.


While we never sold much mining technology to the Chinese, they began to make significant investments in Australia – the Portland smelter was one of the early investments. Then the massive sales of iron ore, gas, nickel, lead, zinc, copper began to take shape.  


Lessons? – You can’t beat mutual self interest. The Chinese are patient and gracious people. Our foreign service is seriously professional, but we failed to roll our mining equipment into the equation.



Investment and innovation? See these EC and Canadian examples

November 10, 2007

From our archives, we have retrieved a very instructive note from Tijs Creutzberg, editor of the slick OREDI newsletter – part of the Program on Globalization and Regional Innovation Systems, Munk Centre for International Studies, Univ. Toronto. He gives some good examples of collaborative industry initiatives in Europe and Canada that could stir the interest of readers.  

Multimedia pole in Montbeliard in Franche-Compte (France) – Over the last decade, a territory better known for its automotive industry has developed competencies and employment in multimedia. Each year, over 150 international designers and artists are hosted in the Montbeliard area to develop their projects. The local universities support developments in the engineering of virtual applications. This is a good example of economic modernisation of existing activities by exploiting synergies.

Global Village in the Arcadian Peninsular (Canada) – the economy of the Acadian peninsula (francophone rural region) depends on seasonal activities. The population lives in small villages with very few services. An ICT-based program offers “intelligent integrated services” concerning the economy, education, governance, health services and francophone networking in Canada and beyond.

ICT for development of peripheral regions (Denmark) – the Danish Ministry for Science, Technology and Innovation launched the “North Digital Program” to develop the ICT industry – 89 projects have been selected, covering digital administration, e-learning and qualification, culture and multi-media, industrial development. The program has helped make the region a dynamic learning territory.

Naval industry, Haute-Normandie (France) – 24 vertically linked enterprises decided to join forces following the loss of their principal client company in 1999. With the support of the trade unions and public authorities, they created the Industrial and Naval Centre of Normandie. The collective structure allows them to exploit the knowhow acquired by their employees.

Biotech cluster (Germany) – in 1996, the Federal Ministry for Research launched the Bio Regio program, and the Rhine Neckar triangle (Bade Wurtemberg Länder) has benefited. On the basis of its scientific resources and of existing enterprises, this cluster has now become one of the most creative in the field of biotechnology.

Mechanical sector cluster – transnational partnership between Tunisia & Languedoc Roussillon (France) – cooperation is underway between enterprises in the Metal Alliance Club for Industrial Development (CAMDIB) of the Beziers Region and some Tunisian SMEs. Mutual advantages derive from the sharing of markets and through the development of new opportunities on emerging markets.

See Tijs’ newsletter at 

Contact us at for further information

Understanding investment incentives

October 25, 2007

The IEDC Conference in Montreal in 2003 highlighted the central role of investment incentives in economic and regional development in North America. The messages are still as relevant in 2007.

Jean Matuszewski, President of E&B Data, argued that incentives are still very important to firms like GM, Honda, AOL, IBM etc and that states like Michigan, Illinois, New York have used substantial incentives to secure major investments.

Alberta in Canada has, on the other hand, secured investments of $US23 billion over 2000-2002 with only limited incentives (presumably due to oil, gas, petrochemicals where incentives are not so critical). Mr. Matuszewski went on to explain that high profile mistakes occur in incentives packages (unfunded rises in public expenditures, firm closures without adequate clawbacks) and that it was right for criticism to come from watchdogs like the Business Incentives Reform Clearinghouse, Good Jobs First (promoting accountable development) etc. 

I visited one of the websites ( and found a useful overview of the issues, entitled ‘Bidding for Economic Development: The Role of Site Location Consultants’. A summary:
§          As the gatekeepers to new businesses and jobs, site location consultants have become very powerful players in the business of economic development, courted and wooed by ED officials. As one put it ‘Having a good relationship with one site location consultant is like having a good relationship with 50 or 100 companies.’
§          The surging demand for site selection services is due to downsizing i.e. many corporations once handled the task in-house.
§          Many companies often have a clear idea of what they want from a location, but are unsure about where they want to locate. This is especially true as companies have become more global.
§          The site selection process usually starts with the client ranking what it wants from a location – skilled labor, cheap labor, a good transportation hub, low taxes etc. Most site consultants then run those preferences against databases until the field is narrowed down to 12-15 sites. It is usually at this point that the consultant will start working his contacts in the cities that qualify as potential sites. Confidentiality is maintained, even when down to 3-4 sites.
§          The consultant then visits the final contenders and interviews local leaders to assess the business climate’, particularly the willingness of each community to pony up tax breaks for a company whose identity is still unknown.
§          As the consultant reports back to clients, some companies may press for more incentives, which is when the bidding war begins.

The Wadley-Donovan Group advises site consultants to  ‘spend the most time negotiating in the preferred location. Use offers from the alternate areas for leverage’. 

(Editor’s note: A few take-home messages:
1.       There’s a whole incentives industry out there that is ‘underground’ and unnoticed. 2.       One school sees it as a shock-horror scenario. Another school argues that bidding wars are OK. They are the means by which a market economy reconciles private and public benefits. This theory assumes all parties have perfect knowledge, and equal intelligence, in knowing exactly what they are bidding for.
3.       The sad truth is that many rural regions do not have the data or contacts to match the city regions).    

Pathways for miners and indigenous populations

October 17, 2007

A very interesting discussion paper ‘Going for Gove: investment, interdependence and integration’ was released a couple of years back, and it is more relevant now than ever. 

A joint project between Invest Australia and Alcan (the Canadian aluminium giant), it distils the short and long term issues and investment considerations for the Gove region in the Northern Territory.

The backdrop is a $1.9 billion expansion of Alcan’s alumina refinery at Nhulunbuy and the desire of Alcan to understand the perspectives of the traditional owners and Yolnu elders. The author, Rebecca Gordon, lived in the Gove region for a month in 2003 soaking up the views of stakeholders. The main findings of her report are:
§          Significant investment opportunities exist, particularly in horticulture, aquaculture, tourism, art & culture and minerals (estimated $30 billion worth of base metals and bauxite in the region).
§          However a clearly recognised, understood and accepted pathway is needed for the development of investment projects.
§          For investment to occur, both Yolnu and non-indigenous people need long-term partnerships.
§          The township of Nhulunbuy should become an important regional centre to service east Arnhem Land and to attract investment. 

Anyone with an interest in sharing ideas about remote area development, indigenous business development or the interaction between multinationals and indigenous groups should read this report. Contact: