Nicholson honoured for innovation in philanthropy

The Foundation (WCPD) had the distinct honour of serving as co-presenter at a recent event at the Chabad Westmount in Montreal, which brought together more than 250 guests to discuss the future of philanthropy.

Hosted by Rabbi Yossi Shanowitz and Rabbi Ariel Stern, the event, entitled “Celebrating and Advancing Impactful Giving”, featured a panel discussion with well-known community leaders, including Patricia Saputo, CFO of Placement Italcan Inc., Aldo Bensadoun, Founder and Executive Chairman of the ALDO Group, and Robert Kleinman, Executive VP of the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal.

The panel discussion was moderated by Caroline Montminy, VP of Burgundy Asset Management.

The guest of honour was Alexander Friedman, Chief Engineer of Israel’s Beresheet SpaceIL Systems Lunar Project.

“At Chabad of Westmount, we are dedicated to educating the next generation to be proactive in kindness and giving.  Our youth programs facilitate and encourage young people to engage in volunteer work and acts of kindness,” said Rabbi Ariel Stern at Chabad Westmount.

“WCPD is part of that circle of kindness and giving and we are so pleased to have partnered with them for this fabulous evening. It truly raised awareness on advancing and celebrating philanthropy and innovation”.

As part of the evening, Peter Nicholson, the President and Founder of WCPD Inc., was presented with a very special award for his contributions to innovation and philanthropy.

“I thank the Chabad Westmount for this distinct honour,” said Nicholson.

“Our firm is passionate about helping philanthropists give more to charities of their choice. Rabbi Yossi and Rabbi Ariel have shown incredible leadership in this regard and I am humbled to accept this award.”

Also receiving a Philanthropy Appreciation Award was Robert Wares, on behalf of Osisko Mining Inc., who serves as the Executive Vice President of Exploration and Resource Development.

Other sponsors for the evening included Burgundy Asset Management, Engel Volkers and RBC.






INFOGRAPHIC: Metals and minerals used in renewable power generation

The world is rapidly transitioning to low-carbon technologies to combat climate change.

However, these technologies require large amounts of minerals.

To meet this demand, more mining and mineral recycling will be needed.

Why will a low-carbon future be more mineral intensive?

You can learn more about it here.



The Foundation (WCPD) enters promotional partnership with golfer Myles Creighton

Ottawa – The Foundation (WCPD) is proud to announce that they have entered into a promotional partnership with Digby, Nova Scotia native Myles Creighton.

As part of the new partnership, Myles will proudly wear The Foundation (WCPD) logo on his apparel while competing on the PGA Tour China and PGA Tour Canada during the 2019 season.

“We are pleased to announce our new association with Myles Creighton,” said Peter Nicholson, Founder and President,The Foundation (WCPD).  “Myles embodies qualities we value at our organization, from his competitive drive to his commitment to professional success. We are extremely proud to have Myles represent our organization.”

Adds Creighton, “I am thrilled to wearThe Foundation (WCPD) logo and am proud to associate with an organization that gives so much back and truly cares. This is a very exciting time, the beginning of my professional golf career, and I look forward to a great partnership.”

After turning professional in September of 2018, the 22-year-old Creighton has earned conditional status on the PGA Tour China – the only Canadian in his qualifying field to do so – and has four top 3 finishes on the Florida Minor League Golf Tour against fields consisting of players from the Tour.

Prior to his professional career, Creighton was Nova Scotia’s Men’s Amateur Champion and four-time Nova Scotia Junior Golfer of the Year. As a member of the Division 1 Radford University Golf Team, Creighton holds the school’s all-time scoring average record, led the Big South Conference in scoring average in 2016/2017, was named twice to the Big South All Conference Team, and was named a GCAA Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-American in 2017.

2018 Canadian Impact Investment Trends Report

The 2018 Canadian Impact Investment Trends Report reveals that impact investment continues to grow rapidly in Canada. This is the Responsible Investment Association’s third biennial impact investment survey, representing data as of December 31, 2017.

The Report is based on self-reported data collected from 59 organizations by the Responsible Investment Association (RIA) and Rally Assets. We supplemented the survey data with publicly-available information on an additional 14 organizations.

All figures are stated in Canadian dollars as at December 31st, 2017.

You can read the full report here:


Canada must encourage business to break its low-innovation streak

Canada has been an economic success story for as long as the country has existed. In fact, the growth rate of Canada’s GDP per capita – the basic measure of raw economic performance – has matched that of the United States on average for the past 150 years. Herein lies a deep paradox. Innovation is what ultimately drives economic performance, yet Canadian businesses are innovation laggards among advanced countries. So what gives?

The answer is that Canada has always had the good fortune of a uniquely close relationship with the world’s two innovation leaders – first Britain, and then the United States. Canada has been able to exploit its comparative advantage in natural resources to, in effect, trade commodities for technologies. We have been good at employing those technologies – for example, our highly productive auto and aerospace industries – but much less good at creating technologies or innovative business models. That’s because we really haven’t had to.

This explains why Canada ranks so low on innovation metrics such as business R&D and knowledge-intensive exports. And the low-innovation approach has persisted because it has worked extremely well for Canadian business and for Canadians generally. The perennial hand-wringing over Canada’s innovation weakness elicits mostly a yawn in the corridors of political and business power because our economy continues to deliver, and business continues to ring up healthy profits overall despite subpar innovation by international standards. Bottom line: Unless the model that has worked so well for Canada ceases to do so, nothing will really change.

Darkening this complacent picture are two big clouds that will require a major reorientation of business strategy and of government innovation policy. The first is that Canada’s productivity growth has been very weak since the mid-1980s, especially relative to the United States. We have only been able to keep pace in per-capita GDP growth as a result of our stronger job creation relative to population. But demographic aging implies that employment is going to fall as a per cent of population. This means that the future growth of per-capita GDP – and thus the growth of average living standards and of the tax base to support social policies – will depend entirely on productivity growth. And productivity growth depends ultimately on innovation, because innovation is the source of improvement in equipment, including software, and of new and better ways to combine talent, capital and resources to generate increasing economic value.

The second cloud concerns fundamental challenges to the longer-term profitability of Canadian business. The trajectory of the global economy is being set by four megatrends related to: (1) globalization – particularly the shift of growth to Asia; (2) technology – especially information technology, which is disrupting businesses everywhere; (3) sustainability – reflecting both a cultural and economic imperative to reduce environmental impact; and (4) demographic aging, which can only increase the importance of productivity growth. Prevailing Canadian business models are particularly vulnerable to these megatrends given our concentration in the U.S. market; lagging IT investment per worker; and the resource intensity of our economy. The only way to turn these challenges into opportunities will be through business strategies powerfully focused on innovation.

So the ball is in business’s court and market realities will provide the greatest motivation to embrace the innovation imperative. Public policy also has an essential role to play by creating conditions that give Canadian companies, large and small, the best chance to succeed.

Traditionally, government’s encouragement of business innovation has operated mostly on the “supply side” – helping to build capacity to innovate through development of highly trained people; subsidies for R&D; public infrastructure, and so forth. These measures continue to be necessary but clearly have not been sufficient. Needed now is more potent encouragement for Canadian business to break its low-innovation habit. Most effective will be policy measures that directly affect the bottom line – such as greater public procurement of innovative products from Canadian suppliers; regulatory approaches that encourage rather than inhibit innovation; trade and competition policies that create powerful incentives for Canadian companies to innovate to survive and grow.

Such “demand-side” approaches represent a new take on innovation policy, but they require a shift of mindset inside government to embrace a much broader conception of innovation and of how it can be supported. A whole-of-government responsibility for innovation will be resisted given the siloed organization of the public sector. That is why the change needs powerfully committed leadership from the very top. What justifies such a priority? It is simply that innovation is what will determine the future prosperity of Canadians.

Peter Nicholson is the founding president of the Council of Canadian Academies, a former policy adviser to the Prime Minister’s Office and former business executive. He is the author of Facing the Facts: Reconsidering Business Innovation Policy in Canada, published by the Institute for Research on Public Policy.