March 14 Editorial

OUR COVER STORY this edition is an exclusive interview I held with Ford Canada President & CEO Dianne Craig as she was preparing to headline her company’s new product line at the Canadian International Auto Show in downtown Toronto. Hers is a story of determination and passion, which ultimately has led her to the very top in the automotive world here in Canada. It is Craig’s belief that auto manufacturing can – and will – continue to be the economic backbone of the country in spite of increased international competition.

CANADIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Chief Economist Tina Kremmidas provides her expertise on why the national economy sputtered in 2013 and what’s likely to be in store for us in 2014.

ROGERS, TELUS AND BELL being awarded the lion’s share of 700MHz licences at the federal government’s spectrum auction was about as predictable as the International Skating Union not giving gold to the figure skater most deserving. Just had to get in that little Olympic judging jab. As for the Rogers, it paid a steep price – about $3.2 billion. Telus shelled out $1.1 billion while Bell turned over $585 million to the federal coffers. In total, eight companies won at least some of the valuable frequency. The biggest winner: the feds, who pull in $5.3 billion.

FEBRUARY IS WELL KNOWN as being the month when even the heartiest of Canadians have grown weary of a long, dark winter, still scrambling for the winter boots and snow shovel. But it’s also the time to check the piggybank for any extra money for 11th-hour contributions to a registered retirement savings plan. Did you contribute? According to our month-long CBJ poll, we found that just 14% of respondents would be contributing the maximum amount allowable; 25% said they put in an acceptable amount; 40% said they put in some funds, but not as much as they’d like; while 21% contributed zilch.

WHATSAPP YOU SAY? Well for starters, Facebook is buying the rapidly-growing mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock in a massive agreement that moves the world’s largest social network closer to the core of mobile communications, which is likely to attract an even greater number of younger users. Nice move Mr. Zuckerberg.

AS ALWAYS, we highlight this country’s most successful and innovative enterprises with our corporate business profiles. It’s those small, medium and large, that give Canada such an excellent reputation domestically and internationally.

INTERESTING STAT: almost 3 million Canadians list themselves as being self-employed.

Angus Gillespie