December 12

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Technology and the masterminds behind its impressive development never cease to amaze the rest of us in terms of how far mankind has progressed in such a brief period of time. There have been more inventions in the last 100 years than there were in the previous 10,000. There’s always the push to be better. The Stone Age didn’t end because mankind ran out of stone. We’ve always managed to evolve and push deeper and deeper. Much of yesterday’s sci-fi nonsense is today’s must-have items. It gives pause for thought as to what’s in store for tomorrow.

The hi-tech sector is one of the main focuses of this issue and we spoke with a number of innovative companies, from the exceptionally large – Siemens Canada – to smaller ones such as Xtreme Labs of Toronto. The incredible aspect about technology is that, with a bit of innovative genius, a company such as Xtreme Labs could be on that top tier sooner than one might imagine.

Next month we’ll be taking a close look at what’s in store for the Canadian and global economies in 2013, but the tensions surrounding the big U.S. fiscal cliff-hanger will be closely watched as we count down to the New Year. The U.S. is lingering on the precipice of financial disaster because of partisan blockheadedness – where a number of laws which, if left unchanged, would automatically activate painful tax increases, harsh spending cuts, and a corresponding reduction in the budget deficit beginning in January. And make no mistake, if the U.S. goes into a tailspin, Canada will be in trouble as well – that’s straight from the mouths of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

It ’s an incident that happened early last month, yet still lingers in my mind, probably because such annoying public indifference is destined to be repeated in some form or another. I’m referring to the flap about Quebec Premier Pauline Marois opting to wear a Fleur de lis flag on the inner part of her poppy in the lead-up to Remembrance Day ceremonies during her first address to the Quebec Legislature. Veterans and Canadians alike were outraged by the sheer ignorance of Marois’ action. She claimed it was all just an innocent misunderstanding.

Perhaps; but regardless of the true intent, it smacked of an “in-your-face” political statement designed to inflame and it certainly wasn’t the time or place for it. The separatists have made it abundantly clear that if they leave, it will be on their terms. Keeping the Canadian currency is one of the main items on their agenda; otherwise they’d have an independent currency on the same level as the Mexican peso. What about the massive debt that would be left behind? Who would assume responsibility for that? All minor details apparently. It’s not unlike a bratty teen in the midst of a hissy-fit telling his parents he hates living with them and their house rules and desperately wants to move out on his own, but still can’t afford it yet, so he’ll stay – for now.

Oh the joy of keeping a national household together!

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