E-letter: It’s a matter of law

I imagine most of us are justified in being irked at The Law. Shakespeare was, when he famously had his character Dick the Butcher say, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” Farther back in history, Luke 11:52 says, “Woe unto you, lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. […]

E-letter: Several good-news stories

Statistics Canada yesterday reported an overall increase in building permits over September of 0.7 percent. Residential permits nation-wide edged down 0.9 percent, and total nonresidential permits increased 2.4 percent. The increase was led this time by the industrial sector, and, while our sector typically watches nonresidential commercial and nonresidential institutional, the increase in the nonresidential […]

Commentary: Give business a chance

As it turned out, 2014 was a very good year for Canada’s secondary wood-products sector. Manu­facturers are amazingly positive following the U.S. housing crash and steep financial slide of the last decade, but stock markets were up, Canadian building permits were at record levels (at least, at press time) and the U.S. housing market was […]

E-letter: Looking to differentiate?

The U.S. Senate (then) hopeful from Iowa, Joni Ernst, made marketing history last March as she broke into campaign mode with a hog-castration ad. “I’m Joni Ernst,” the ad opened. “I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so when I get to Washington, I’ll know how to cut pork.” Cheap attention getter? The […]

E-letter: Who’s the boss?

The first day of school in B.C. was greeted with an all-too-familiar threat. The children would be held hostage to the demands of a public-sector labour union. I propose it is time to take a sober look at what these unions mean, how they arrived where they are and what they hold for us in […]

A password a day keeps you away

By the time this hits print, the underwhelming Apple announcement of its new watch and Iphones may be bigger news. Today (my time) it is, curiously, not. Hidden behind the man with nothing up his sleeve was a new fact. The Iphone 6 is a digital wallet and includes near-field communications (NFC) capability and Apple […]

E-letter: Time to put it down

Statistics Canada last week came out with its reports on residential and non-residential building. Looking for a moment at Residential report and expanding StatCan’s numbers back to 2009, we can see spending on all types of new dwellings was a bit over $8 billion in the second quarter (Q2) 2009. In Q2 2014, five years […]

The Legend of Quadro Tracker

I see from the July 29, 2014 issue of Chicago-based Vance Publishing’s Woodworking Network that it is sponsoring “Canada Reception” with IWF management this year. The apparent reason for the event, according to Editor-at-Large Rich Christianson, is, “Woodworking Network reaches thousands of Canadian woodworkers and suppliers through its daily e-newsletter.” The word “reach” is a […]

Parachute vignettes

I took my grandson to the ball diamond up the hill to launch a new model rocket a while back. It was perfect. We had three engines for three flights, having assembled and painted the rocket during several days before. Following the last flight, I got overcome by nostalgia as the character of the diamond overcame […]

The meaning of meaning

According to Statistics Canada, municipalities issued building permits worth $6.9 billion in May, up 13.8 percent from April. This followed a 2.2 percent rise in March. The May increase resulted primarily from higher construction intentions for commercial buildings in Ontario and Manitoba, as well as multi-family dwellings in British Columbia. The latest news from campusreform.org […]