June 14 Editorial

Talk about strange bedfellows. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more federalist Canadian than former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who is now onboard as the new Chairman at Quebecor. The largest shareholder of the Montreal-based communications giant is former President and CEO Pierre-Karl Peladeau – who may in fact wind up as leader as the separatist Parti Quebecois. So how did this seemingly unholy alliance about? Company strategists, realizing a potential for massive negative fallout with Ottawa regarding Peladeau’s political views, are banking on Mulroney being able to calm the waters when it comes to intense negotiations on the future rules and regulations of the cellphone industry, which of course is regulated by the CRTC and by extension Industry Canada. The cellular division is by far the most lucrative for Quebecor, and can ill afford to have it be financially jeopardized. So while Peladeau maintains his separatist ideals, the hope is that the company his late father founded will move ahead unscathed from any possible government and/or business repercussions with Mulroney serving as the main contact in the nation’s capital. A crafty move to be sure.

Based on the extremely
heavy volume of traffic and the need for police to escort drivers in an orderly fashion as they made their way to the brand new Outlet Collection at Niagara during its grand opening week, is a sure sign that consumers are out and willing to spend money. However, there are already skeptics who wonder how sustainable this new type of mega mall model will be, and especially for those built close to the U.S. border, which has its own share of these types of malls, and at lower prices. We examine the mega mall explosion in Ontario and how it’s changing the landscape of the way people in the province do their shopping.

Another scorching topic these days is the amount of wasted time employees are indulging in, when they should be hunkering down with work projects. Social media is far and away the major culprit that allows employees to goof while on the company clock. But now there are companies coming up with ways to fight back supported by technology, albeit with a Big Brother overtone, as some would surmise. You can read more about that in this issue as well.

Economics expert
Tina Kremmidas provides insight on the economics of elections – which is quite timely, given the big June vote in Ontario. Financial planner Tina Tehranchian offers excellent advice on the use of multiple wills to lower probate taxes. We also hear from our regular columnists Mark Borkowski, Joe Connelly and Melonie Dodaro.

Did you know? Annual retail sales generated in Ontario equals that of B.C., Alberta,Saskatchewan and Manitoba combined.

Angus Gillespie