Bee rustlers on the loose in Ontario

As bee populations across the province are decimated by parasites, pesticides, mites, viruses and changing habitats, those who raise and nurture the important pollinators are also under threat. It appears beekeepers are stealing from beekeepers….Clement Kent, a postdoctoral researcher at York University who studies honeybee genetics and behaviour, is convinced that the masterminds behind the thefts must have intimate knowledge of bees and almost certainly want the hives for themselves. “I’m saddened, not surprised,” said Kent in the Toronto Star July 13. “They’d be stealing them to make up losses in their operation I would think.” Read full story.

Leery of bond returns? You have options
These days the “sweet spot” for buying annuities is some time in your early 70s, say many experts. York University Professor Moshe Milevsky suggests starting at a similar age and doing it over three to five years….“You should slowly transition,” Milevsky advised in The Globe and Mail July 12. “You see how comfortable you are with the income you’re receiving. You get used to the idea of that income coming from one of these products. Then by the end of the five years you have completely annuitized the portion of your nest egg that you want to have in annuities.” Read full story.

Magnum raises the bar in ice cream war
The premium ice cream maker is teaming up with Toronto design team Greta Constantine to showcase its Bloor Street West store, where clients can also happen to see the latest designs of Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong, the duo behind the label….“This is from the school of don’t tell me, show me marketing, where you create events that allow people to touch and see the product and the relationship of that product to other high-end products such as fashion,” said Schulich School of Business Professor Alan Middleton in the Toronto Star July 15. Read full story.

Did Big Pharma team up to kill B.C.’s drug safety watchdog?
The Therapeutics Initiative (TI) is a small agency of university scientists who study the safety and efficiency of prescription drugs offered to B.C. residents through Pharmacare. It is one of the few independent organizations in North America that analyzes what’s in our medicine cabinets, reported the Vancouver Sun July 13….“The TI’s investigation of Vioxx, an anti-inflammatory drug that for some time gained huge success in most markets, revealed evidence of an increase in heart attacks,” three professors – Gordon Guyatt of McMaster University, Joel Lexchin of York University and UBC’s Patricia Baird – wrote in 2010. “TI warnings proved prescient, and the delay and restrictions indirectly saved an estimated 500 lives [in B.C.].” Read full story.

Industrial policy is back, except in Ontario
“The Harper government, on paper the most free market administration in living memory, is adopting a more industrial policy-friendly mindset.[…]Curiously, though, the one government in Canada that you would expect to be embracing industrial policy seems lukewarm to it,” wrote Eugene Lang, BMO visiting fellow at Glendon College’s School of Public and International Affairs, in the Toronto Star July 14. “Now is probably the time for the Ontario government to embrace the industrial policy paradigm and advance an economic agenda for the province that works in practice but maybe not so well in theory.” Read full story.

Why small manufacturers are returning to ‘Made in Canada’
The made-in-Canada business model once seemed viable for only niche, high-end brands, such as Canada Goose, that could afford higher manufacturing labour costs. But a change may be afoot….“A couple of years ago there was a big strike in the Port of Los Angeles that lasted eight weeks. To reduce the impact of such a disruption, you need to create a buffer. One way to do that is to manufacture locally,” said Schulich School of Business Professor Murat Kristal in the Financial Post July 15. “Fifteen years ago, the choice was simple for Canadian manufacturers. You did the design here and outsourced your manufacturing in Asia. Now the choice is not so clear. Manufacturing in Canada has become a serious contender.” Read full story.