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  • OSEA: Carpenters Annual Apprentice Competition Comes to Toronto
    held at Roundhouse Park will run from August 21 to 23 and offers a packed schedule The practical part of the exam in which the apprentices will be evaluated on their trade skills should also be the fun part and that will be open to the public photo of a contestant participating in the 2013 Competition image courtesy of National Apprenticeship Competition Comp The competition began in the early 90s as a way of showcasing the good training that the UBC one of North America s largest building trades unions provides its apprentices while unifying their Canadian members through friendly competition The primary goal of the competition however is to expose the public to the work that their members do and to get youth interested in pursuing a trade career The UBC does this by hosting their competitions in a different province each year at a great public venue photo of a contestant participating in the 2013 Competition image courtesy of National Apprenticeship Competiti Each Canadian province and territory sends four apprentices who are typically nearing the end of their training and on their way to becoming joureypeople to represent them at the competition Each apprentice is trained in one UBC trade carpentry drywall floor covering or millwright The apprentices are tested on their knowledge of the trade by taking a written test and a Transit Level and Layout Exam These parts of the competition although important for evaluating the participants will not be open to the public The practical component of the event will be open to the public from 8 AM to 4 PM on the 22nd A group of contestants from the 2013 competion in Newfoundland image courtesy of National Apprenticeship Competition The event is judged by a variety people in the trade industry This includes business

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  • OSEA: A New Look for a Growing Power in the Energy World – Leader Resources
    Leader Resources of Kincardine Ontario is launching a new look reflecting the Ontario company s expanding portfolio and markets The new logo website and social media presence coincide with the addition of solar energy and an expansion beyond the borders of Ontario We know the future relies on clean healthy renewable energy Leader Resources has a strong foundation in energy mostly in healthy and reliable wind energy and now we are expanding into solar says Leader Resources Executive Vice President Kathryn Freimanis This growth is reflected in our new brand and logo and our new tag line Growing Power for Generations to Come The new company colours include a spring like green reflecting new growth and healthy energy while the blue combines the values of clean air and corporate responsibility The tag line Growing Power for Generation to Come tells the story of a local company focusing on its core work in green and renewable energy which are intrinsic to the future health of our planet The staff complement at Leader resources is growing and work with contractors increasing We are simultaneously growing our business and healthier sources of energy for the benefit of our communities now and in the future We wanted our name and our new look to reflect that reality that commitment adds Freimanis who spearheaded the branding effort There are many ways communities can benefit from renewable energy projects Having renewable sources of power can make communities more independent in the long run municipalities and shareholders in local cooperatives can enjoy part ownership of the projects and earn revenue and farmers become more financially viable by simultaneously raising animals growing crops and generating a healthy energy supply Farmers really can feed cities and power them at the same time by hosting renewable energy projects notes Leader

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  • OSEA: EfstonSolar is helping FIT projects secure financing – including Co-ops
    including Co ops When it comes to securing financing for FIT 1 0 or 2 0 solar projects co operatives face unique challenges that differ from other FIT contract holders such as developers and corporations with similar projects Unlike corporations community based solar co ops members of such co ops typically put up 51 of their own money towards their projects and then require financing for the remaining 49 It s this community based equity structure that often causes complications among institutional lenders because it s considered to be a risky investment since the bank typically will want the majority of the equity holding This difficulty in securing debt and construction financing led to the demise of many co op based solar projects approved under the first version of the Ontario Power Authority s OPA Feed In Tariff Program FIT 1 0 Fast forward to today the application process for FIT 2 0 has already been completed and contracts have been awarded and applications for FIT 3 0 being awarded this year Many of these contracts are for solar co ops Some private lenders have recognising this as an opportunity to service this segment of the FIT contract holders They have created unique funds to specifically address the challenges of financing a co op community based project under the current OPA rules These private funds have very competitive rates and will negotiate the terms for construction equity as well as debit loans They are willing to be flexible and take the risk that banks wouldn t even look at and not at loan shark rates How do the coops find these private lenders To apply for financing through this unique fund co ops need to be approved for a FIT contract and must have already taken the first initial steps

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  • OSEA: ETHOSOLAR COMPLETES THE FIRST OF 33 SOLAR PROJECTS WITH SIMCOE COUNTY COMMUNITY ENERGY CO-OP
    Minesing Ontario This photovoltaic PV solar system involved the installation of 100 kW AC of solar panels on two buildings through the Ontario Feed In Tariff FIT Program Farmers business owners and church groups alike are quickly realizing the benefits to participating in the Province s incentive programs An increasing number of residents throughout Simcoe County and beyond are opting to go solar The Blue Heron Stables Solar Project is part of a portfolio of 33 FIT contracts with Simcoe County Community Energy Co operative SCCEC The co op was developed with the intent to promote environmental awareness while also creating solid investment opportunities within clean energy SCCEC enables members and communities to generate revenues that are designed to remain local and improve the overall wealth of the municipality EthoSolar is working with SCCEC to complete several projects within Simcoe County and throughout other regions of Ontario We are thrilled to see this first project with Simcoe County Community Energy Co op come together quickly while serving another satisfied customer shares Jeremy DeSota CEO of EthoSolar Inc Our experience with all facets of project development design and installation has contributed to our success in bringing the Blue Heron Stables Solar Project to realization Collaborating with world class partners has enabled EthoSolar to move swiftly and provide a top quality solution for yet another FIT installation The PV system included 475 Hanwha Poly Can Am 250 watt panels totaling 119 kW DC The design utilizes Fronius IG Plus inverters and an HB Solar Canada mounting system that required no roof penetrations Engineering services were provided by Steenhof Building Services Group and C C Tatham Associates EthoSolar is currently working with businesses farms and community organizations to apply for the next round of FIT Contracts for both roof and ground mount solar

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  • OSEA: Ontario '10 years behind' in First Nations consultation process
    expresses frustration over lack of clear rules of engagement CBC News Posted Jul 30 2014 10 59 AM ET Last Updated Jul 30 2014 10 59 AM ET The Norwester Mountains in Thunder Bay Ont are the site of a proposed wind farm project by Horizon Wind Horizon Wind is taking the province to task over its framework for consultation with Aboriginal communities Horizon s vice president of development said other provinces make the consultation process easier and faster We ve done business in other provinces and Ontario in our experience is basically a decade behind in the other provinces and really needs to catch up Nhung Nguyen told CBC News As an example Nguyen said the Saskatchewan government will make a decision in 30 to 90 days on whether First Nations have been properly consulted So far it s taken Ontario three years to do the same thing she said Everybody s frustrated Nguyen noted that in Quebec the government takes the lead in consultation while in Ontario it s up to the companies What we re lacking in Ontario is a clear rules of engagement with processes timelines and expectations for all sides she said She pointed to Cliffs stopping work in the Ring of Fire as another example of the consequences of the issue Everybody s frustrated The chief of Fort William First Nation could not be reached for comment on this story The First Nation s application for an injunction against Horizon s Big Thunder Wind Farm was recently dismissed The First Nation maintained the crown and Horizon failed to adequately consult affected First Nations and didn t sufficiently respond to concerns that were raised The judge dismissed the injunction application on the basis it was premature Horizon is also dealing with news the Ontario Power

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  • OSEA: Zata Omm's vox:lumen
    scientists artists and engineers to re imagine dance for our technological age William Yong has created more than 60 dance works worldwide and has been nominated for several of Canada s top dance honours including the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Choreography the Young Centre Performing Arts Multidisciplinary Dance Artist Award and the K M Hunter Artist Award He was recently awarded as the winner of Canadian Dance Assembly s I love dance J aime la danse Award for Innovation vox lumen an original full length 60 minutes contemporary dance production which has its world premieres on March 3rd 7th 2015 at Harbourfront Centre s Enwave Theatre in Toronto is certainly ambitious The concept of vox lumen involves creating an entirely self fuelled production powering the whole performance venue including lights audio and projections with kinetic and renewable energy sources The intention is also for the show to be completely self contained and easily packed up for transport anywhere touring opportunities may take us internationally The piece is driven by the need to generate light and therefore energy in the form of electricity Our vision is for all of the energy used to be generated from a combination of the kinetic energy created through the movement of dancers and members of the audience as well as other renewable sources of energy At this stage we are facing our biggest challenge as we integrate renewable forms of energy capture We are looking for partners in renewable energy sectors to donate or provide the system components needed to convert solar wind and kinetic energy into batteries power at our solar fair outside the Enwave Theatre at the beginning at the end of February to support performances in the first week of March The batteries will be transferred to use as

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  • OSEA: Canadian Tire store in Ontario is the First to Install an Electric Vehicle Charging Station
    to electric vehicle charging at a retail store location Graham Keene s Canadian Tire has just installed the first of several charging stations at Canadian Tire stores in Niagara catering to retail auto service customers and travelers Canadian Tires stores are found within 90 of the Canadian population making for very convenient stops for people to charge up their electric vehicles while shopping or traveling the area EV charging is being offered as novel amenity for customers much like Free Wi Fi or block heater plugins more commonly seen in northern regions Charging is completely FREE for electric vehicle owners visiting our store says Graham Keene of Canadian Tire on Welland Ave St Catharines We expect most people will stay and shop a little longer while they charge up Sun Country Highway is pleased to partner with Keene s Canadian Tire store and FRESCO Ltd on the installation side for Niagara EV station installs energy efficient lighting and solar installations to support a more environmental social and economically sustainable tomorrow This initiative showcases the next step for Niagara Area Canadian Tire stores committing to our environment eco tourism and emission free travel Combined with Keene s on site solar and

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  • OSEA: Message from On Co-op on the Impacted of Proposed Changes to Ontario's Co-operative Corporations Act
    the changes on a local and regional provincial basis to MoF FSCO and assist in moving this process forward PROPOSED CHANGE 1 Changes to Audit Exemptions BACKGROUND A number of changes are being considered to increase the exemption thresholds before an external audit is conducted These will generally benefit newly formed co operatives and co ops with relatively low annualized levels of capital assets or revenue These recommendations will provide parity with other Ontario legislation such as the new Ontario Non profit Corporations Act and will take into account the eroding effects of inflation on the existing exemption limits RECOMMENDATION Recommendations for the new capital and asset exemption limits for co ops that have never issued securities and the prescribed maximums of capital assets gross revenue or sales for audit exemptions have not been yet determined by the Regulatory Affairs Committee sector input into these levels is required through this submission process INFORMATION REQUESTED MoF is looking for evidence that the current audit exemption limits are causing financial hardship to co operatives or excessively increasing the cost of bookkeeping and annual audits Please consider at a minimum the circumstances of your co operative in these areas What is your burden of complying direct audit costs bookkeeping staffing equipment tracking software etc What percentage of your annual revenue is devoted to an annual audit Does this affect your competitiveness or organizational sustainability What is the potential volume of business lost What are your recommendations for new limits and thresholds Are there other issues or external influences relating to to audit exemptions you wish to bring forward PROPOSED CHANGE 2 Removal of the 50 Provision BACKGROUND The Co operative Corporations Act CCA requires that a co operative conduct 50 percent or more of its business with the members of that co operative As determined by substantial co op sector research in 2010 the sector has determined that overall the 50 Rule is a barrier to co operative incorporation and sustainable growth especially for retail co ops or those who also transact business with non members The 50 percent provision is an arbitrary value that bears no relevance to the co op principles Ontario and Quebec are the only two provinces with this type of limit the other Canadian jurisdictions including federal co operatives generally rely on wording similar to what is already contained in the CCA regarding carrying on business in a co operative manner Compliance is cumbersome to monitor and manage and incurs additional auditing costs for both the government and co operatives RECOMMENDATION To remove this provision entirely from the Co operative Corporations Act If the proposed change was made to the CCA co operatives could then have the option to determine their own percentage of business to members from 0 100 and include that percentage in its by laws or policies INFORMATION REQUESTED MoF is looking for evidence that the 50 rule is causing financial hardship to co operatives or is having a negative impact on business growth or

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