A white Christmas might be a slim possibility for much of the country this year, but at least one other ho-ho-holiday tradition is sure to be widespread.
Christmas trees are everywhere during the holiday season, as the nordic tradition has taken root and spread across all parts of the globe. But Canada‘s winter makes the country a natural home for the seasonal favourite, whether it’s real or artificial.
The number crunchers at Statistics Canada have come up with some fun facts about one of Canada’s favourite holiday traditions.
1,738,212 — Total number of fresh-cut Christmas trees that Canada exported last year. Almost half of those came from Quebec. By way of contrast, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador did not export a single Christmas tree.
$51.3 million — The total value of all fresh-cut Christmas trees sold in Canada last year. Sales were down in every province except British Columbia. Sales were down nine per cent last year and have declined by 22 per cent since 2006.
$47 million — Value of artificial Christmas trees imported into Canada. More than $46 million of that came from China, with the rest coming from Thailand, the United States, Mexico or Vietnam.
It’s entitled “The NHL Destroyed My Business.”
“I’ve run my business for more than 20 years,” he posted. “I’ve been paying royalties. And what do you guys do for the second time in eight years?”
The 2004 season was canceled entirely over league and union disputes.
Toronto‘s Bay Street will soon be overrun by more bulls than usual — and not just the financial variety.
At least, that’s what the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair hopes will happen, as the festival plans to kick off its 90th year with a launch unlike anything tried before.
On Tuesday, Oct. 30, the group plans to release six 900-kilogram bulls at the intersection of Bay Street and Wellington in Toronto’s financial centre. The plan is to coax the animals north toward King Street before being corralled.
“While spectators will be able to marvel at these magnificent animals, the streets will be closed to pedestrian and vehicle traffic during the running of the bulls,” the fair’s organizers said in a press release announcing the stunt.
Shoppers anxious to get inside a Target store when it opens its doors in Canada will find Canadian content inside, under a federal ruling announced Friday that paves the way for the American retailer to take over Zellers stores across the country.
The deal isn’t the first time the federal government has required a foreign company to sell Canadian cultural goods in exchange for entering the market.
However, it left one cultural industry group wondering why Target, a discount retailer, had to go through the federal review when other companies, such as Walmart, had not.
One business expert was shaking his head at what he called protectionism by another name.
A spokeswoman for Target wouldn’t say how the changes will affect what shoppers see.
“We will be sharing details around our merchandising strategy at a later date. We have had ongoing conversations with our suppliers, including domestic suppliers, for some time now,” Target Canada spokeswoman Lisa Gibson said in an email.
The first Target stores will open in Canada by April 2013, Gibson said.
The cabinet decision says Target must invest $3.5-billion in its Canadian stores, which includes hiring up to 25,000 people by 2015, or about 100 to 200 employees at each store. Target will also have to sell “uniquely Canadian cultural products.”
The approval comes more than three months after Heritage Minister James Moore recommended that the federal government review Target’s takeover plan.
“When you start to force Target to accept a level of Canadian content, you are affecting the nature of the store,” said Ken Wong, a business and marketing expert from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. “That’s inappropriate. It’s protectionist under any other name.”
The Minnesota-based retail giant, which has more than 1,700 stores across the United States, has been eyeing the Canadian market for more than a decade.
Target announced in January 2011 a $1.83-billion deal to acquire the leases on up to 220 Zellers stores from Hudson’s Bay Co. Target plans to open 125 to 135 stores in Canada and sell off leases for the stores it doesn’t need.
Many Zellers stores slated to become Target outlets are be closed for six to nine months for remodelling, with about $10-million to $11-million spent to upgrade each location.
Strange Random Canada Quote:
- Target can replace Zellers, but needs Canadian content, feds rule (theprovince.com)
- Target expansion gets Ottawa’s OK (lfpress.com)
- Target gets nod from Feds for full Zellers takeover – with conditions (vancouversun.com)
- Terence Corcoran: Target deal not about CanCon – it’s about easing rules on foreign ownership (opinion.financialpost.com)
- Target wins approval to come to Canada (cbc.ca)
- Canadian government gives OK to Target expansion (bizjournals.com)
- Ottawa approves Target entry into Canada (theglobeandmail.com)
Portable buildings put communities on the move… Literally | Smart Shift | Executive | Financial Post
Issue: Energy and mining companies often create homes and infrastructure in previously uninhabited areas only to leave them abandoned once operations cease.
Shift: New processes let companies quickly set up, tear down and move buildings whenever they need to, creating a more sustainable and cost-effective approach to infrastructure.
If you build it, they might come. But what happens when they leave? That’s the dilemma facing many thriving oil and gas, energy and mining operations that have set their sights on development in remote communities throughout northern Canada.
With the rebound in the resource industries, the sectors are surging ahead with projects that will instantly grow existing communities or instantly create new ones. But past booms and busts have shown that building a community infrastructure isn’t that simple — especially when the production life cycle will peter out within 20 to 25 years.
The questions being asked around the planning table are different from days gone by: How do we get it up and running as quickly as possible? How can we do it in an environmentally sustainable way? And what do we do with it all once the boom is over?
There is a lot of overseas mining activity in the Yukon, for example, that will demand infrastructure building in what were once virgin territories, notes John Berg, architect and senior associate for engineering firm Stantec in Whitehorse, Yukon. “The biggest obstacle for these people coming in is dealing with the environmental impact and delivering an infrastructure that they have to have up and running in a matter of months.
“That includes electrical, mechanical, structural and architectural planning.”
Infrastructure and life cycle planners need only look at the fallout of aggressive post-war development to know what not to do. When the market faltered, many communities were virtually abandoned after operations closed.
But as Scott Weston, mining sector leader for Hemmera in Vancouver, which specializes in environmental management and infrastructure design, notes, today’s planning exercises are far more future-focused.
“You need to build in a way that the smallest footprint of land is disturbed. You have to design taking into account the potential impact on human health, socio-economic and socio-community factors. And you have to consider the entire life cycle of a community and plan for closure in 10 or 20 years’ time. What’s the cost of clean-up when you’re done?”
Strange Random Building Quote:
“In Los Angeles, by the time you’re 35, you’re older than most of the buildings.” – Delia Ephron
- Yukon rejects oil exploration in Whitehorse Trough (cbc.ca)
- National agencies tackle unsustainable water infrastructure (quenchonline.com)
- Feds pledge $350K for Yukon airports (cbc.ca)
- Regulated cost of capital for airports (citizeneconomists.com)
- Stantec-designed terminal opens at Edmonton International Airport (seattlepi.com)