Category Archives: canada

Baby, maybe we should stay in today

Snowflakes this morning the size of dinnerplates

A crippling Major winter storm with heavy snow and blowing snow as well as some ice pellets is moving in right on schedule this morning.

This is a warning that dangerous winter weather conditions are imminent or occurring in these regions. Monitor weather conditions..Listen for updated statements.

A massive winter storm has begun over southern Ontario and the stage is set for this dangerous storm to kick into high gear over the entire forecast district today with near record snowfall amounts.

Copious amounts of snow as well as strong winds causing blowing snow are expected. The snow will be mixed at times with ice pellets and freezing rain along and south of a line from grand through the greater Toronto area to Kingston and then along the St Lawrence river Valley to Cornwall.

Widespread snowfall accumulations of 20 to 30 cm are expected in most areas by this evening. Some local amounts of 40 to 50 cm or more are quite likely in a few areas.

This is a dangerous winter storm. This massive snow storm has the potential to cause paralyzing conditions as road travel on any unplowed streets becomes next to impossible today. All motorists who must travel are urgently advised to use extreme caution and plan for much extra time to reach their destination. -http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/warnings/report_e.html?on61

song of the day: Baby it’s cold outside – Ray Charles & Betty Carter

The sorry state of VC in Canada

Paging Mark, David and the crew at StartupNorth. I’ve been talking about this for over a week and forgeting to post it. Mark McQueen of Wellington Financial has a fantastic post about a recent Delloite report revealing the sad state of venture capital AND a detailed set of recommendations on how to fix it.

According to Ruffolo, the results of the global VC survey should trigger alarm bells throughout the industry and government. “If not fixed in the near term, the Canadian VC ecosystem – made up of successive and sequential stages of capital investment from early seed financing through initial public offerings – will collapse. We need the government’s help to pull the industry out of this crisis,” he says.

Why Mark is also so surprised that the BDC, despite perhaps even their best intentions, may have been stepping in to fill some part of this financing gap in recent years, is, a whole other debate. In the meantime though, check out what Deloitte has to say and have your eyes opened to a very real problem with venture financing in Canada.

see also, the comment thread on this startupnorth post for more context.

Last Call for Lift Early-Bird Pricing

LIFT08Reminder, Friday is the last day for early-bird pricing to Lift08. Laurent writes:

a quick email to remind you that the LIFT08 price will go up by 200CHF on Friday. If you want to participate in this year’s event for only 650CHF (390 EURO, 570$, 280£) and get your yearly dose of new trends,
innovative people and ideas, please register before midnight on Friday.

After that date attending LIFT08 will cost 850CHF (510 EURO, 750$, 365£). Register now and join the 215+ persons who already signed up.

Visit http://www.liftconference.com/lift08-registration for more information. Best regards and see you at LIFT!

Oh, and Email me if you want to be on the Lift08 Team Canada email list.

see also the Lift Group on Facebook, and the Lift08 event page.

Canadian Wireless Spectrum Announcement

The rumours are buzzing that a major announcement is due after 4pm this afternoon regarding Canada’s wireless spectrum allocation.

Watch this post for ongoing coverage. And look for full coverage at StartupNorth.ca later today -and- another highly-related announcement I can’t wait to tell you about.

more to come…


The news is out! And the media is already calling it a blockbuster announcement.

  • 40 of the 105 available megahertz will be set aside for new entrants
  • Incumbents will be required to allow roaming on their networks at reasonable rates (this is crutial as any new entrant could start regionally or take up to a few years to establish full national coverage)
  • Incumbents will be required to share towers with new entrants (significantly reducing potential costs and redundant infrastructure for new entrants)

In so doing, the government has given the would-be entrants (and pretty much everyone except for the existing telcos and their bankers) everything that they were asking for.

The game is now on for startups and new entrants in the Canadian wireless space.

link: Official Announcement

UPDATE: Read the full post on Startup north Finally, Wireless Competition Explodes in Canada And don’t forget to digg it.

Wireless Data Getting Better in Canada, but a ways to go yet.

Rogers cracks and offers (a rather unheralded) $65 1 gig wireless data plan in Canada. Here’s a link to that plan on a partner site, and apparently if you call rogers their agents will know about the $65 plan (thanks to farhan for the tip). No voice minutes included and plus system access fee, and not unlimited but this is a start.

Rogers’ new plan follows Telus’ introduction of a similar $60 1GB/ $100 unlimited plan (link) and a Bell plan for $75/ 1GB available for PC cards only.

Bell also recently added a mysterious $7/mo and “unlimited” mobile browsing while “However, a customer support representative said you can’t send big attachments with e-mails or download files from websites with the $7 plan”. A prize for anyone who can explain this to me.

And the mainstream media is starting to take notice, both the Toronto Star “Wireless data charges plummet as consumers embrace smartphones” and the Globe & Mail “Canadians pay more for wireless data” have taken note of the issue and a recent Seaboard report on Canadian Wireless.

“Our findings? Data rates in Canada have plummeted in recent months. It is now far more affordable to be a data user in Canada than it was as recently as this past June. Are there other places where you can get even better deals? Yes. The U.S. offers better plans for better rates, and some of the Euro plans, especially in the wake of repricing due to the introduction of the iPhone, are far more attractive than data options available to Canadians.”

So what other gaps remain? Widespread rollouts of highspeed networks have lagged in Canada. And handsets are an issue too. Canadian carriers, can I have my Nokia n-series please?