Vol 2, #19, May 11, 2010
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May 11, 2010


Scotiabank, Rogers launch winning website
amAze GPS offers location sharing on Facebook
Life's brighter under the sun for Capital C
Web camera captures osprey action
A digital economy strategy for Canada
Agfa HealthCare, Open Text drive eHealth forward
DigitalJournal.com partners with Suite 66
Premium features for TweepML and Qwitter
VIZIO introduces new Canadian website

Scotiabank, Rogers launch winning website

Scotiabank has teamed up with Rogers Canada to launch Home Experts, a dynamic online consumer resource linking Canadians to some of the country's leading authorities in household design, renovations and financing. The website launch includes a contest with four $5,000 prizes to help Canadians pay down their mortgage faster, add to their down payment, or finance home renovations.

"Scotiabank is excited to partner with Rogers Canada to complement Canadians' pursuit of their dream homes with a social media solution that provides expert opinion on anything to do with homes," said Robin Hibberd, Executive Vice-President, Retail Products and Services, Canadian Banking, Scotiabank. "With Home Experts, current and future homeowners, investors and renovators, will get the information and insight they need to protect and grow their most important assets."

Visitors to the Home Experts website - at www.scotiabank.com/homeexperts - can view videos on various topics from a panel of experts, including home renovations expert Jim Caruk, decor expert Karen Sealy and home financing expert Deren Hasip. Mr. Caruk is a judge on Mike Holmes' HGTV show the Handyman Superstar Challenge and host of HGTVs Real Renos. Ms. Sealy is a regular decor expert on CityTV's national CityLine show. Mr. Hasip is a District Sales Manager, at Scotiabank.

Through a series of bi-weekly podcasts, the experts will share insights on topics such as: how to stage your home for a faster sale; how to find the right contractor to renovate your home; how to find the right real estate agent; how to get the right mortgage; what to look for in investment properties; and environmentally friendly building techniques.

"At Scotiabank, our commitment is to provide our customers with the products and services they need to meet their individual financial needs," said John Webster, Head, Real Estate Secured Lending and Scotia Mortgage Authority, Scotiabank. "Our first objective is to provide our customers with the best value for the financial services we provide."

The Home Experts website also includes a Scotiabank Total Equity Plan calculator, as well as affordability and mortgage payment calculators, plus a variety of self-help articles aimed at boosting customers' confidence in their financing and saving strategies.

"Canadians are looking for ways to cut costs and put more money back into their pockets and Scotiabank can help Canadians save hundreds, even thousands of dollars a year," added Mr. Webster. "Scotiabank is making it easier for customers to become homeowners and meet their ongoing mortgage needs by offering a full package of innovative homeownership solutions."

The Home Experts website will also feature articles about real estate trends, issues and helpful tips provided in conjunction with Rogers Internet properties such as CanadianBusiness.com, Macleans.ca, TodaysParent.com, Chatelaine.com, CityLine.com and CityNews.com.

"For many people, buying a home will be the single largest purchase they will make," said Deren Hasip, District Sales Manager, Scotiabank. "There are many mortgage options available and it's important that people choose the right one to best suit their needs and unique financial situation."

The Home Experts Contest runs until July 15, 2010. For details, visit the Bank's website at www.scotiabank.com/homeexperts. Top of Page

amAze GPS offers location sharing on Facebook

LocatioNet Systems Ltd., the developer and provider of the amAze GPS worldwide mapping and navigation service, released today a new version 5.2 of amAze GPS that includes location sharing with Facebook friends.

amAze GPS is one of the world's most popular off-board mobile phone navigation services with over 500 supported mobile phone models and millions of downloads from all over the world.

In addition to the existing rich features including worldwide navigation, mapping, speed camera alerts, rich POI, weather and more, the new version 5.2 also offers users the option to share their location with a selected list of their Facebook friends via amAze GPS. A new Facebook interface was added to the mobile application to allow amAze users to view the last known address or map location of their friends.

Users can get walking or driving directions to their friends' location with one click of a button.

Important privacy protection mechanisms allow users to select which one of their friends will see their location. In addition the users have the option at any time to disable their location sharing.

"This is an exciting addition to amAze GPS" said Ofer Tziperman, President of LocatioNet. "Location sharing is a real need for many users today. It is a natural extension for amAze, that allows users to interact with their friends and family based on their current location and to share some more relevant data that is available with today's GPS phones. We are sure that it will get a warm welcome amongst our loyal users. All privacy aspects were addressed".

Users can download amAze for free via the amAze GPS web site at: http://www.amazegps.com or via most of the main app stores. The Facebook interface can be found on http://apps.facebook.com/amazegps. The basic version of amAze GPS that includes the Facebook location interface is free of charge. Users that wish to add the navigation feature can get an affordable annual license. Top of Page

Life's brighter under the sun for Capital C

After an extensive agency search Sun Life Financial has chosen Capital C as its Agency of Record in Canada. In its new role, Capital C will be handling all mass, new media, digital and branding initiatives for Sun Life's national campaigns.

“The entire agency contributed to winning this business,” says Tony Chapman, CEO of Capital C. “We were up against some of the best in Canada and the United States, but Capital C was cautiously optimistic that the insights we uncovered, and the strategy and creative we developed would carry the day.”

Mary De Paoli, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Sun Life Financial, was impressed by Capital C’s non-conventional approach to solving business problems, as well as its in-depth understanding of consumer behaviour.

“Capital C impressed us with their people, their understanding of our business, and their creativity,” says De Paoli. “We believe Capital C has the ability to help us deliver on our brand promise and create an experience for Canadian consumers that is memorable and useful. We couldn’t be more delighted or confident in our decision.”

Capital C will begin its first assignment immediately. Top of Page

Web camera captures osprey action

Starting today, the public will again have access to a bird's eye view of an osprey nest via a high-resolution webcam thanks to an arrangement between the Calgary Zoo and ENMAX Corporation.

For over 15 years, a pair of nesting osprey has built their summer home on a platform constructed by the Calgary Zoo atop a pole erected by ENMAX Power Corporation. The platform is located at the extreme east end of St. George's Island. ENMAX is pleased to provide nature enthusiasts with the unique opportunity to intimately view the ospreys' seasonal activities for a third year.

The live streaming camera captures in full cycle the birds' dramatic seasonal milestones, from nest building and mating rituals, to egg laying, incubation, hatching, feeding and fledging, a period of intense activity that is all centred at the nest. Last year, more than 50,000 hits were recorded as people watched the exciting events of the ospreys unfold between April and September.

For more information on this osprey camera and to watch the ospreys live, 24 hours a day, visit the ENMAX osprey pages at www.enmax.com/osprey. A link and further information about ospreys is also available on the Calgary Zoo website at www.calgaryzoo.org/osprey. Top of Page

A digital economy strategy for Canada

In the March 3, 2010 Speech from the Throne, the Federal Government committed to "launch a digital economy strategy to drive the adoption of new technology across the economy." ITAC, the Information and Technology Association of Canada, has actively advocated the formulation of a digital economy for many years. ITAC believes that Canada needs a digital economy strategy. In June of 2009, ITAC published its recommendations about what a Canadian digital economy strategy should strive to achieve.

The Federal Government is expected to initiate a consultation process for the formulation of a digital economy strategy soon. The information and communications technology industry eagerly awaits this important initiative in the ongoing work to build a robust knowledge-based economy in Canada. To give a sense of what such a strategy should cover, here are suggestions we have worked on during the past year. It is important to note that digital economy issues cut across our different levels of government.


  • Develop a national ICT skills strategy for Canada.
  • Coalesce the efforts of the private, public and NGO sectors to promote STEM literacy through a national campaign. Aim to improve Canada's performance in producing science and engineering graduates moving from 20th to 5th by 2015.
  • Industry and government should invest in programs that foster increased enrollments in next generation ICT careers (business/ICT professionals and specialized/multi-disciplinary technologists). It should support national collaborations among post-secondary institutions, employers and career transition organizations that improve pathways to these next generation careers.
  • The ICT sector should collaborate more closely with the academic sector to strengthen existing cross-disciplinary programs and encourage the creation of more.

21st Century Infrastructure

  • Assess our current situation and public and private investment plans and devise a "Made in Canada" solution to get Canada into a position of leadership in next-generation broadband by 2017.
  • Complete and implement a comprehensive cyber security strategy for Canada.
  • Complete the task of building an integrated Canadian Electronic Health infrastructure by 2017. This work should include creating the tools to digitize records, to access the records, to provide patients access to their records and equip them to more actively participate in their own care and to improve opportunities for collaboration among practitioners. Achieving this goal will improve processes and reduce wait times.
  • The Federal Government should proceed with the Canada Online project working closely with other levels of government and the private sector to build a foundation for a strong digital content industry through this process.

Innovation and Technology Adoption

  • Canada needs continued, clear and persistent communication from Government and industry leaders that business needs to step up its investments in technology. To resolve our productivity shortfall, which is costing us so much in terms of prosperity and competitiveness, we need to review our performance and the measures we have taken such as capital cost allowance incentives and determine whether further measures are needed. Our objective should be to close the Canada-U.S. gap in ICT investment per worker, which is currently at 37.4 percent to 13 percent by 2015, and entirely by 2020.
  • Governments should adopt a policy to be the best in the world in the use of technology in order to eliminate deficits, address the challenges of an aging workforce and improve 21st century services to citizens.
  • Governments should adopt the objective of leading in world rankings in electronic government.
  • Governments should continue to streamline cumbersome procurement processes and contractual terms that impede the ability of technology firms to compete for government business.
  • Governments should be knowledgeable buyers, buying solutions rather than inputs.

NOTE: ITAC recommended in June that governments play the role of lead user in new innovations through programs outside the procurement process. In its decision in the March 2010 Budget to establish the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Innovation Commercialization Program, the Federal Government has made an important advance toward this objective.

  • Increase the amount of operational healthcare funding dedicated to ICT to at least four percent, to match the ICT investment in healthcare of the world's leaders in healthcare technology and services.
  • Industry and government should work together to further investigate both the potential environmental benefits of the application of ICT to the various industrial sectors, and to identify the most effective means by which investment in ICT can be encouraged across the Canadian economy. Canada's environmental and greenhouse gas action plan should include an explicit component of performance improvement to be achieved through increased use of information and communications technology as well as ICT-related process improvements such as tele-working.

Tax Regime and Promoting Business R&D

The Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credit program plays a sustaining role in the life of knowledge-based companies. Broadening SR&ED's refundability will have an immediate impact on key jobs and projects. We recommend addressing the shortcomings of SR&ED to ensure all R&D investors can benefit from the program.

It may be necessary to consider other policy instruments to address the needs of firms who currently derive no benefit from SR&ED. ITAC looks forward to the Federal Government's comprehensive review of all Federal support for R&D announced in the Budget. We must make Canada a leader in business R&D.

Access to Capital

Our Federal and Provincial governments have taken strong measures over the past two years to improve access to capital for technology firms. At this point, we need to identify what is needed to tackle the remaining gaps and continue to fund the various programs such as IRAP, BDC and EDC.

The Regulatory Regime

  • Develop a comprehensive approach to a legal and regulatory regime that will foster leading investment, development and use of technology in the digital economy.
  • Review the need for new legislation or amendments to existing legislation to help secure confidence in the digital economy and implement the appropriate legislative changes in areas such as privacy, spam, spyware, identity theft and pretexting.
  • Implement a 21st century copyright act that will be a world leader in balancing the interests of creators, consumers and intermediaries in a digital economy.
  • Develop a comprehensive strategy for leadership in the digital content industry and adjust our laws accordingly. Top of Page
Agfa HealthCare, Open Text drive eHealth forward

Driving the discussion around health information and communications technologies (ICT) will be the main focus for the Revolutionizing Stream at the upcoming Canada 3.0 2010 forum.  The session, scheduled for May 10-11, will take a closer look at the role that healthcare technology plays in transforming Canada’s digital economy.  Co-chairs, Jeff Nesbitt of Agfa HealthCare and Dan Larocque of Open Text are bringing together key players from industry, government and academia for a candid conversation around healthcare innovation in Canada.

“We recognize the critical importance of healthcare innovation in Canada and are excited to be part of the Canada 3.0 event, as it aligns with our  goals - through initiatives such as the  Agfa HealthCare Institute -  to leverage  strategic partnerships with world-class vendors, academic institutions, government and healthcare providers to help drive forward  innovation in healthcare technology,” said Jeff Nesbitt, Vice President, Government Relations & Strategic Programs & Executive Chair, Agfa HealthCare Waterloo. “It is an honor for Agfa to be asked to co-chair an event like this because we know that the key to making eHealth a reality in Canada is through collaboration.  With the strengths of our community and digital partners, we are opening up new doors in healthcare that we never thought possible.”

Alongside the “moonshot” target for Canada’s digital media industry – of making it possible for “anyone to do anything online in Canada – by 2017”, leaders in the healthcare space are also driven by Canada Health Infoway’s national eHealth initiative. The panel speakers will address the importance of an electronic health record (EHR) infrastructure to help drive the advancement of healthcare IT in Canada. 

“Transitioning from traditional paper copy patient records to secure, digital medical files is a critical initiative throughout the health care industry,” said Dan Larocque, Vice-president Canadian Public Sector at Open Text Corporation. “Because our Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software is highly secure, privacy issues are not a deterrent to digitizing content, enabling medical records to be retrieved by health care practitioners from anywhere at anytime. Access to patient information is more efficient overall and in extreme circumstances, can help contribute to saving lives.”  

Taking place at the Rotary Complex in Stratford, the forum features a select group of speakers in the Revolutionizing session with opportunity for attendee discussion and input in a broader range of breakout sessions and workshops. Topics include:

  • Knowing is Better: Completing the Electronic Health Record Infrastructure
  • Democratization of Healthcare : Empowering Patients and their Providers
  • Bringing Mobility to Medical Devices
  • Making it Usable: Adoption of Digital Technologies in the Healthcare Space
  • Gaining National Health Information Technology Competitiveness

For full details on the forum, log into www.canada30.ca  or follow developments on Twitter using #can30. Top of Page

DigitalJournal.com partners with Suite 66

Canada ’s most prominent user-generated news network, DigitalJournal.com, announced that Suite 66 has been renewed as its online sales agency.

“In the rapidly changing world of media, DigitalJournal.com looked for a strong advertising partner who knows how to deliver results,” says Chris Hogg, CEO of DigitalJournal.com. “ Suite 66 has proven it can generate sales and connect advertisers with our audience in Canada.”

DigitalJournal.com and Suite 66 are working together to provide innovative ad campaigns for advertisers who want to reach a growing audience that is going online in search of breaking news.

“DigitalJournal is a unique site in Canadian journalism,” says Steve Macfarlane, Vice President at Suite 66. “It’s at the forefront of citizen journalism and maintains high-quality standards for its contributors. Advertisers are reaching a well-informed audience who are often influencers and early adaptors. These readers are engaged with their news and are loyal to the site because of its status in this new frontier of digital media.” Top of Page

Premium features for TweepML and Qwitter

With the ever-growing popularity of Twitter, Houston-based business group Agora Technology, Inc. has purchased two web sites that will greatly increase the ease-of-use for Twitter end-users. Agora Technology will re-launch the websites, TweepML (www.TweepML.org) and Qwitter (www.UseQwitter.com), with a host of features heretofore unavailable on the popular social networking site Twitter.

The first site, TweepML, is an extensible, open standard format that allows users to easily manage, share and follow groups of Twitter users ("Tweeps"). TweepML enables users to easily follow a number of interesting Twitter users at once from a host of popular lists including ‘Inspiration’ to ‘Conservative Tweeps’ and 'Digital Media News Sources’ in categories ranging from ‘Advertising’ and ‘Art’ to ‘Celebrities,’ ”Sports and Technology’ TweepML is available as an add-on to existing websites enabling users to follow an entire list with just a single click.  In the coming weeks Agora Technology will be redesigning the site and adding more functionality to enhance the user experience and also give members more opportunities to expand their social media reach.

The second site, Qwitter was created to catch “Twitter quitters”; members who choose to stop following a designated Twitter account. It’s as simple as entering your Twitter name and corresponding e-mail address and users will be alerted when someone quits following them on Twitter.

As part of the site’s re-launch, Agora Technology will be offering a number of premium services on the Qwitter site including faster email notifications, without ads, and the ability to share messages with thousands of users per day by being a featured user.

“These options are great for users who want to generate that extra exposure and businesses that rely on quick notifications to adjust marketing approaches,” said Brad Harris, President of Agora Technology, Inc. 

“Both sites in fact are catching on quickly because they offer key features that Twitter does not,” added Harris. “We immediately saw a way to fill a great void in the Twitter marketplace with these two sites and the response from the social networking community has been nothing short of phenomenal.”

“We see enormous growth potential for TweepML and Qwitter in the near future,” said Kuba Szczypiorski, Marketing Vice President with Agora Technology, Inc. “We are extremely excited about the great potential for both sites and the myriad of benefits they will offer our loyal users.”

TweepML and UseQwitter are not affiliated with Twitter. Top of Page

VIZIO introduces new Canadian website

VIZIO, North America's HDTV and Consumer Electronics Company, announced today its launch of a new website specifically dedicated to the Canadian market. Themed with VIZIO's Where Vision Meets Value message, the site went live on May 4, 2010. The Canadian English language http://ca.vizio.com/en and French language websites http://ca.vizio.com/fr/ become part of VIZIO's initiative to increase its presence in the Canadian marketplace, by creating a local online presence with unique content that demonstrates VIZIO's expanded commitment to the market.

"As our North American neighbor, we recognize Canada is an extremely important market for VIZIO. Our goal is to bring our high-value high-performance proposition to Canadian consumers, and to become a key provider of HDTVs and electronics throughout the country," said Steven Joe, VIZIO VP International. "To properly focus on this market, we are making a deep commitment of resources, including a website that has a unique Canadian focus and provides information reflecting our local distribution structure and product offerings. Our message is intended to show new customers how VIZIO's deep understanding of the consumer electronics market means products created to meet their needs, particularly through our ability to deliver the best of new technologies at a price that everyone can afford. This is an excellent opportunity to further strengthen our network of successful global partnerships."

Reflecting Canada's two official languages, the new website will be available in both English and French. It provides product information on a level comparable to the existing VIZIO.com site, including detailed information on HDTVs and accessories, access to product support, and an online ability for visitors to purchase select products.

Concurrent with the launch of the new website, VIZIO is expanding its distribution in Canada, with the goal of making product available through a wider range of Canadian retailers. VIZIO products are now available in Canada at Costco, Costco.ca, Walmart, and Dell.ca. Top of Page