August 13, 2021

What's wrong with Canadian students?

Ask a first-year college or university student to name the Prime Minister of Canada or to identify the Atlantic Ocean on a map.

You might be surprised by the answers.

"Geo-illiterate students", as the Royal Canadian Geographical Society call them, may be more common than you think.

Sociology students at Memorial University in St. John's Newfoundland made headlines this past January when their professor revealed that many of them could not identify world continents -- let alone the body of water that surrounds their province.

Now other university professors have come forward admitting that this isn't an isolated case.

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July 23, 2021

What skills are Canadian employers seeking today?

As Bob Dylan once sang, The times they are a-changin'.

And so are the skill sets that Canadian employers are seeking to fill positions within their companies.

The Conference Board of Canada identified that Ontario alone is losing out on as much as $24.3 billion in economic activity annually because employers can't find suitable candidates with the skills they require to innovate and grow in today's economy.

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June 20, 2021

Obesity on the menu for children

Fast food giants are wowing kids with their enticing marketing tactics including  talking dogs, kooky clowns, and colourful cartoon and crowned characters.

And don't forget, each kids' meal comes with the latest and greatest toy.

The list goes on. And so does the obesity.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), childhood obesity is not improving.

The organization points the finger at advertising as the main culprit specifically targeting children via television, social media and smart phones.

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June 19, 2021

Smoking ban at work might help employees butt out

Employees need to quit -- smoking that is.

According to a new Conference Board of Canada report, smoking bans on all company property should be part of a comprehensive non-smoking policy in Canadian workplaces.

The report revealed, as well as prohibiting smoking both indoors and outdoors on company property, that additional measures such as smoking cessation programs would also encourage employees to quit smoking.

Statistics Canada 2012 figures show that 20.3 per cent of Canadians still smoke despite warning labels on cigarette packages, hidden packages behind the counter in stores and even clever advertising by the Ontario Ministry of Health aimed at preventing people from smoking.

The Quit the Denial campaign claims social smoking is as ridiculous as social farting, social nibbling and social earwax picking.

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May 28, 2021

Save now for your child's education

1395713_25902915The road to education is an expensive one.

And that's why it is important to make sure you have a roadmap in place for funding your child's education.

If you're worried about how you will fund your child's post-secondary schooling, you're not alone.

According to a new report by BMO Bank of Montreal, two-thirds of Canadians share that same concern.

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May 24, 2021

Employers look for personality, skill set when hiring students

298822_6140Students are now winding up their high school and post-secondary education and getting ready to hit the pavement looking for job opportunities.

With almost half of Canadians employers (51 per cent) anticipating on hiring students or recent grads this year, it's good to know just what they are looking for in a candidate.

According to a survey by BMO Bank of Montreal, the candidate's personality trait came out on top with 30 per cent of business owners ranking this characteristic as the one of the most important qualities when selecting a new employee.

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...