The Short Report, December 4, 2019: The next wave in nuclear innovation; more (worse) jobs with tech; richer than the Canadian government

Mark Mann
December 4, 2019

The premiers of Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see their provinces collaborate on the research, development and building of small modular reactors (SMRs), in order to help them meet their emission-reduction targets and move away from coal. Ottawa has called SMRs the "next wave of innovation" in nuclear energy technology, but the technology isn't actually ready for operation. About a dozen companies are currently in pre-licensing with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. - CBC

A new paper has found that the growth of high-tech industries does in fact have a positive jobs multiplier, creating six low-skilled service jobs for every 10 new high-tech jobs. These low-skilled jobs are often poorly paid, however, especially relative to housing costs. Mid-skilled workers don't see higher employment rates, but they benefit from higher wages. - ScienceDirect

In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said that the company's centre for research and development will be relocated to Canada from the U.S. Huawei has added 300 employees in Canada this year, for a total of 1,200. Ren opined that Canada could make AI development its national strategy and strive to become a global testing ground for autonomous agriculture and remote Arctic mining. Don't worry about the cost of competing for talent, he said. "“If they need more money, I can give them money. I’m richer than the Canadian government.” - The Globe and Mail

CBRE released its latest Scoring Canadian Tech Talent Report, which ranks Canadian markets for tech talent. Toronto topped the list, for having added 80,100 tech jobs between 2013 and 2018. Smaller cities showed the most promise and improvement: Victoria (7th) and Oshawa (12th) saw the largest year-over-year improvements, Hamilton (9th) and Guelph (13th) recorded the fastest tech job growth among mid-sized and small tech talent markets, and Edmonton moved into the Top 10, thanks to 26% increase in tech jobs in the past five years. - CBRE

Lehigh Cement and the International CCS Knowledge Centre announced a feasibility study of a commercial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, targeting the carbon dioxide from the flue gas of Lehigh’s Edmonton, Alberta cement plant. This feasibility study represents a North American first in the cement industry for CCS as a definitive solution to cut GHG emissions. - Newswire

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) received $30 million — the largest gift in its history — from Calgary philanthropist David Bissett, in order to establish a new school at SAIT that will provide digital education for students. The school will set a new course for the future positioning of SAIT as a leader in digital transformation and education. - SAIT

Inter Pipeline is investing $10 million over 10 years in The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) to look at opportunities to reuse and recycle plastic in Canada. The partnership will draw on NAIT's applied research expertise in the area of process engineering, process automation and environmental sustainability. “Today in Canada, nearly 80 per cent of all post-consumer plastics end up in landfills. Inter Pipeline believes that innovative thinking is critical to addressing this complex societal issue and is very pleased to do its part through this long-term funding commitment,” CEO Christian Bayle said in a statement. - JWN


Bank of England governor Mark Carney  has been appointed United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, a pro bono position last held by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Carney, who headed the Bank of Canada from 2008 to 2013, will be tasked with mobilising private finance to take climate action and help transition to a net-zero carbon economy. He said that "the disclosures of climate risk must become comprehensive, climate risk management must be transformed, and investing for a net-zero world must go mainstream." - BBC

Finalists were announced in the 16th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business. Refined Manufacturing Acceleration Process (ReMAP) received two awards: president & CEO Irene Sterian won silver in the Manufacturing category, and ReMAP's all-women executive won bronze in the Government or Non-Profit (10 or less employee) category. - ReMAP Network

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