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Archive for the ‘Advocacy’ Category

Tallying the Score – Impact of Canada’s New Vaping Regulations, Part 1


Tallying the Score – Impact of Canada’s New Vaping Regulations, Part 2


John Turner proposed the formation of the Arctic Youth Corps

I really became a Canadian when I got to know Canada north of the 60th parallel… I have never felt more Canadian than when alone with my thoughts in the remote northern vastness.’ — Former Prime Minister John Turner

Roderick Benns from Ottawa Life Magazine writes:

Former Prime Minister John Turner has canoed every river in Canada that empties into the Arctic Ocean. As a young parliamentary secretary to Arthur Laing, the minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources under Lester Pearson, he came to know the northern reaches of the country intimately.

While it is the current prime minister, Stephen Harper, who now garners arctic headlines, perhaps the Liberal Party should be reviving a policy idea Turner brought forward to the Pearson government in the 1960s.

Turner accompanied Laing on a trip to the Arctic during two consecutive summers, in 1963-64, and he was deeply affected by what he saw. From Cape Dorset to Port Burwell and many other Arctic communities, Turner saw the Inuit people in a realistic—although precarious—light. They were leaving their old ways behind, but yet not sure how to embrace the opportunities of capitalism that southern Canadians simply took for granted. As his biographer, Paul Litt, has pointed out, Turner wanted the Inuit to develop their own commercial enterprises, so they could run self-sustaining businesses. He believed in encouraging southern Canadian investment in the north.

Part of what Turner saw as a disconnect between the Inuit way of life and southern Canada was the lack of opportunity for the two to ever meet. It was this lack of connection—and the fact that there was no capacity to make it happen—that weighed heavily on him when he sat down to come up with policy options for the Pearson government.

One of his most inspired ideas has been lost in history’s pages – although it was both exciting enough and practical enough for the Pearson government of the day to include it in the 1965 Speech from the Throne. Turner proposed the formation of the Arctic Youth Corps, modelled after the United States’ Peace Corps.

In the US version, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to work at the grassroots level, in an effort to create sustainable change in communities. Turner’s vision was to see the potential for young people from southern Canada to get to know the northern realities of their country. He knew that it was sustainability that was needed in the arctic and that such a program might go a long way in building economic and social bridges between north and south.

He also knew that young Canadians who served in the Arctic Youth Corps would carry this knowledge into subsequent generations. It would be a legacy of real value passed on from one generation to the next.

In a recent interview with Turner, it was clear he believed the Arctic Youth Corps remains a viable idea, declaring that it would “open up the eyes of our young people to our great north.”

While he gives Prime Minister Harper credit for “taking a great interest” in Canada’s arctic, he also notes that “we haven’t done as much as we should.”

Turner says transportation development, education, and a broad range of business opportunities needs to be encouraged in the far north so it can attain its potential. Showcasing what the Inuit people can do with a hand up in infrastructure matters will be important. The Arctic Youth Corps could be a crucial, bridge-building link that is also relatively cost effective, compared to many other arctic initiatives.

Like many who have visited the Canadian arctic, Turner was never able to free himself from its pull. His personal interest remained, even when he moved into other political portfolios. Given Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s teaching background and his interest in Canadian youth, he could do worse than to revive a celebrated – albeit forgotten—policy idea from the most senior Liberal statesman in Canada.

Click here for the original article.

- Marc Kealey

Canada India Foundation Meetings

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 @ 05:05 PM

Canada India Foundation meeting with Justin Trudeau

In my role as a Board member of the Canada India Foundation, we’re meeting with several prominent MPs in government and Opposition. One of our first private meetings was with Justin Trudeau MP and Leader of the Liberal Party to discuss our aspirations for Indo Canadian collaboration.

We were pleased with our meeting with Hon Joe Oliver at the gala and with members of the House of Commons.

- Marc Kealey


Bedasse will be first Jamaican in Pro Mazda

Sunday, March 23, 2014 @ 06:03 PM

Jason BedasseThe national motto of Jason Bedasse’s native Jamaica — “Out of many, one people” — speaks of the diversity of the population of that Caribbean nation. Bedasse has a twist to that phrase as his personal motto: “Out of many, one driver.”

Bedasse, who has joined M1 Racing for selected events in the 2014 Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires, will be the first driver from Jamaica to compete in that Mazda Road to Indy series.

Click here to read the full story.


2014 Federal Budget: Economic Action Plan

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 @ 01:02 PM

“Implementing policies focused on raising Canada’s economic potential and creating stable, well-paying jobs continues to be the Government’s top priority. Economic Action Plan 2014 takes additional steps to achieve these objectives, especially returning to budget balance in 2015. Maintaining focus on these priorities is the best way to ensure that Canada is prepared to weather any future economic storm that may arrive from outside our borders. It is also the best way to ensure that Canada’s future is a prosperous one, with a healthy, competitive economy fuelled by low taxes, and government services that are sustainable for generations to come.”

Click here for the 2014 Federal Budget


Jr Economic Club Summit in Toronto

Friday, September 27, 2013 @ 07:09 PM

Last month, Kealey & Associates was a sponsor of the annual Jr Economic Club Summit in Toronto.

The Jr Economic Club’s mandate is to promote financial literacy among Canadian youth by teaching them about money management, saving and investing.

This year was the first year for the Jr Economic Club Boot Camp where teams of students pitched their business ideas to a panel of leading business people. The ideas ranged from apps to help kids eat right to microchips for golf balls.

The top 3 winning teams won education sponsorships.

K&A is proud to support the Jr Economic Club of Canada to help today’s youth on the path to financial literacy and independence.

Click to view CP24/CTV News at Six video clip.

- Marc Kealey

PURA Trust Awards

Friday, March 8, 2013 @ 05:03 PM

An evening in honour of Dr. Lucky Lakshmanan for his outstanding contribution to the PURA Mission.

Taken at The Westin Bristol Place Toronto Airport

The Story of PURA

PURA (“Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas”) is an initiative founded in 2004 by His Excellency, Dr. Abdul Kalam, former President of India. More than half of all communities in India are rural or remote. As India rapidly moves to first world status, the goal of making basic amenities like good roads, drinking water and healthcare available and accessible is what PURA aspires to provide.

In establishing the PURA Trust, Dr. Kalam believes that a fully developed India can be realized by empowering rural communities and the people who live there. He believes that the establishment and development of physical, electronic and knowledge connections will lead to economic connections among rural villages thereby accelerating rural development.

The PURA Trust In Canada

Dr. Kalam shares a special relationship with Canada borne from the support of governments, academic institutions, business relationships and individuals throughout Canada all of whom recognize that improving the social and economic standing of people in both countries serves to bolster the future development of both.

Canada is well known for expertise in the management of its natural resources and its unique healthcare system. India recognizes the value of this expertise and initiatives like the PURA Trust lean on Canada for its expertise in designing processes and systems to better the economic aspirations and healthcare for developing areas throughout India. The mobile hospital design for PURA is being developed from Canada. The PURA Trust in Canada strives to raise funds and awareness of this initiative.

The PURA Trust Award

Founded in 2012 by Daniela and Marc Kealey, and inspired by the vision of Dr. Kalam transcending boundaries from India to Canada, the PURA Trust Award recognizes the achievements of individuals who have inspired the establishment of physical, electronic or knowledge connections between Canada and India. The Award is granted on an annual basis.

Canada and India share a unique relationship. Both were founded on the principle that hard work and success should be shared. Canada and India have given much of each other to the world. The PURA Trust Award recognizes the achievements of Canadians who have given their talents, energy and resources to further those links between these two great nations and, more importantly, to ensure the sustainability of rural development in India.

- Marc Kealey

CFIB’s Communities in Boom

Monday, October 15, 2012 @ 11:10 AM

Reading with interest and starting to boil inside about the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) report posted in the Financial Post “Communities in Boom”. The report purports to rank cities in Canada (from 1 to 103) based on entrepreneurial activity.

The report gives the top 15 ranking, in large measure, to cities located in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Not bad, given that both provinces are experiencing incredible economic booms.

I must take exception, however, to some of the rankings and the manner in which their relative strengths are ascribed.

Let me begin with St. Catharines-Niagara.

I believe the CFIB makes a glaring mistake linking economic activity and stature to St. Catharines and Niagara. What does it mean to describe St. Catharines and Niagara?

There is a fundamental difference between St. Catharines and Niagara. Niagara is a Region; St. Catharines is a City.

The Region of Niagara is comprised of several cities, many of which I believe are overlooked because of the moniker “Niagara”. It is a “region”.

The City of Niagara Falls, home to one of the most recognizable addresses in the world and to many entrepreneurs who make a very substantial contribution to the economy, get no mention.

The City of Port Colborne, which has re-developed its entire waterfront and downtown and includes some of the best restaurants in the “region”, gets no mention.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, a municipal jurisdiction with Canada’s only remaining “Lord Mayor” as head of its council and home to some of Canada’s best wineries, gets no mention.

The CFIB loses credibility on this front.

Then there is Kitchener. The city is hub to one of the fastest growing small business incubators without it referring to such. It is home to extraordinary development – it is entrepreneurship that has re-shaped the entire downtown core. The Council in Kitchener ought to be given kudos for shaping a political environment that encourages entrepreneurship.

The CFIB report barely gives its strengths on that front.

If an organization as august as the CFIB releases a report and does this with the blessing of the Financial Post, it should not just follow the money. It’s easy to give pats on the back to Alberta and Saskatchewan because the “history of those provinces is based on entrepreneurs…” who settled there. It should not however overlook historical business prowess in Canada’s largest province even during an economic melt down and most assuredly not lump a region into a city.

- Marc Kealey

In the wake of pharmacy reform and massive rebates still flowing to retail chains and independent pharmacy buying groups, the one time darling of the pharmacy world SDM’s future as a investor bet is being openly challenged.

The one time SDM “cheerleader”, analyst Perry Caico of CIBC World Markets, who had been referred to by politicians as THE unbridled stock promoter for SDM, has said he is “concerned” for the once great stock investment.

He claims pharmacy reform and government strong-arming has and will compromise the viability of SDM as the perfect investment.

As the former CEO of the largest professional association of pharmacists in Canada and, immodestly, as a go-to resource for government and private sector organizations on drug plan reform and augmentation, I submit that the issue is not government – it’s a flawed business model in pharmacy.

There is a disconnect between what the public wants and what traditional retail pharmacy in Canada is begging to keep.

In fact, the pall on traditional pharmacy in Canada is not the fault of government. Governments across the country have been and remain concerned that rebates to pharmacy from generic manufacturers artificially keep prices for generic medicines the highest in the world. Pharmacy has been slow to react to government reform from the outset, catering to the notion of staying “whole” rather than adjusting their business models.

I make speeches across North America on drug reform. Audiences tell me they become enraged at what they hear about the massive profits being made by pharmacy when costs continue to rise year over year on private sector plans. It doesn’t make sense in my opinion. With demographic increases in numbers of prescriptions being dispensed, the patent cliff making generic drugs more prolific, one would assume prices and costs would decrease. So how does it work that costs are increasing?

In the work we do, we can confirm that the public and government are ahead of the curve on pharmacy reform and will talk and walk with their feet when confronted with high prices for drugs, variable fee structures from one pharmacy organization to the other and an increasing understanding of how this drug system has set pharmacy up as the biggest beneficiary.

The US, UK, Italy, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and even Ireland have undergone real drug reform. One that doesn’t hide the fact that designing a system means realizing lower costs and prices.

With governments leading the charge on making real change in prescription drug plan reviews and retail pharmacy still playing the game of introducing schemes and ‘blueprints’ to maintain their position – little wonder analysts are turning on the once and mighty chains!!

The beneficiaries are undoubtedly the public and plan members who may see new models considered and introduced.

M. Kealey - Economic Club of Canada

Economic Club of Canada

- Marc Kealey