What if?

What if I never make anything important?

All the people I love believed in me but did it mean anything?

Is beauty enough?

Does laughter matter?

What if we’re living for the freedom and happiness of our ancestors?

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Asking the CRTC to consider human health in regulations

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission held hearings as part of a comprehensive review of mobile wireless services this week.

I was there to testify on behalf of SafeEMF, also known as EMF Off!

It did not go well.

Commissioners didn’t seem to understand why we want them to consider Canadian health as they regulate the operations of every telecommunications operator in the country. They seemed to think that someone else has that job.

I hope that they were just tired and hungry and that the final report will include measures to protect Canadian health after-all.

You can the entire hearing, including our submission, on CPAC.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised at their disinterest.

Chairperson Ian Scott set up expectations at the beginning of deliberations. In part, he said:

Our objective is to ensure that the regulatory framework enables sustainable competition that provides better prices and innovative services for Canadians, as well as continued investments in high-quality networks across Canada.

The current framework for wholesale mobile wireless services was established in 2015. It requires Bell Mobility, Rogers and Telus to provide wholesale roaming services to competitors at rates set by the CRTC. This regime was to remain in place for a minimum of five years to allow for competition to develop sustainably.

Since then, the CRTC has updated the Wireless Code, taken steps to make lower-cost data only plans widely available to Canadians and finalized wholesale roaming rates – all in an effort to empower consumers and ensure the marketplace continues to meet their needs. We also made access to mobile wireless voice and Internet services part of the universal service objective.

We want Canadians to have access to world-class mobile wireless services, in terms of coverage, quality and price.

Between 2016 and 2018, wireless service providers have invested more than $7 billion in their networks to expand their reach and improve the quality of their service. According to our latest data, 99% of the population has access to LTE coverage, and 95% has access to LTE-A technology. We want to ensure that network investment continues so that the quality and speeds of Canada’s wireless networks are among the best in the world.

In terms of price, there has been progress. Mobile wireless rates decreased by an average of 28% between 2016 and 2018. We remain concerned, however, that these price decreases may not be keeping pace with what is transpiring in other jurisdictions, and we want to see a broader range of affordable options for consumers.

Unfortunately, commissioners didn’t seem to understand why they should care about human health in their efforts to “regulate and supervise broadcasting and telecommunications in the public interest” as they say on their website.

Ian Scott made it clear that they want to approve the 5G roll out as quickly as possible, when he said:

Our goal is to ensure that Canadians have access to a world-class communications system.

After watching submissions and seeing the questions commissioners asked throughout the week, I got the impression that the CRTC cares too much about innovation and has the rest of the possible elements of public interest.

Commissioners seem to be looking for a way to drop prices without regulating, although one commissioner definitely seemed to care a lot about access as well.

Those of us concerned about access, health and privacy were definitely in the minority during this hearing.

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Living Bodaciously with Jannette Anderson

Recently, I spoke to Jannette Anderson, the founder of Bodacity.ca.

Jannette calls herself “The Expansionist” because she helps people and businesses grow.

She is a business development expert with over 35 years of strategic planning, sales and marketing expertise.

After working in universities, colleges and within large companies throughout North America, she now teaches entrepreneurs how to grow their businesses. She focuses on practicality, speed and implementation in a way that authentically works for her clients.

Jannette is a passionate, intuitive, and entertaining coach who transforms clients around the world.

We spoke about her nomad lifestyle, her calling to create a movement of women leaders and her reasons for calling herself Canadian.

Are you a Female Entrepreneur committed to making 2020 your best year ever? Join Us Here! https://www.facebook.com/groups/BodacitysActionHeroes/

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Business Profile Tips

A group of students are just getting underway in my Profile Your Business course right now, so I’ve been looking for examples of business profiles that captivate readers.

In that process, I found this blog post that I wrote in 2014. All the links still work, and I still love the business stories featured, so I thought I’d post it again so you could enjoy some great nonfiction business writing. Some of the information in these stories might be dated, but they are still well-worth reading. Enjoy!

What do the former Canadian Wheat Board, twist ties and the International Monetary Fund have in common?

They’re all topics in three of my favourite business stories by excellent writers. Jake MacDonald’s “Why so many farmers miss the Wheat Board,” Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s “International Monetary Fund Overview,” and Paul Lukas’ “Twist-Ties vs. Plastic Clips: Tiny Titans Battle for the Bakery Aisle” find entertaining ways to present company facts while asking important questions about a particular company, industry and economy.

Despite using completely different structures, the following three business stories are similar in that all of them make readers understand complicated insider business issues that normally seem opaque.

Business Profile featuring the Wheat Board

Jake MacDonald’s narrative feature outlining the demise of Canada’s wheat board begins in 1996 and continues until the summer of 2014. The freelancer’s opus appeared on November 27, 2014 in the Globe and Mail.

Slow-moving, yet compelling, the story’s narrative style makes it difficult to find a crucial section, but here are two paragraphs, just to give you a sense of how it reads.

The old multigenerational family farm is gradually being replaced by the vast acreage managed by the partnership, the corporation or the absentee owner. Harvesting machinery keeps getting bigger, more efficient and more expensive. Basic equipment for a small farm—trucks, tractor, swather, combine and so on—might cost well over $1 million. A couple of generations ago, a good-sized farm was a square mile (640 acres). Now, 2,000 acres is considered small. Rising costs keep pushing in from one end of the bench and farmers keep dropping off at the other. Is that such a bad thing? Farming, after all, has been in a state of constant revolution since the first nomadic hunter poked holes in the ground with a stick and scattered seeds of einkorn grass. What’s wrong with corporations taking over?”

Well, for one thing, they’re not as good at it,” says Byskal. “The small family farmer is often the best farmer. He’s been on the same land all his life, and he’s got a feel for the soil. He lets the land tell him what crops to grow, and the crops change from year to year. The corporate guy doesn’t have that same rapport with nature. He’s got a very businesslike approach. And that’s not always the best for the land, in the long run.”

Read the entire story for yourself.

International Monetary Fund Profile

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s summary of a paper published by the International Monetary Fund in The Telegraph on January 2, 2014 is a great example of a journalist’s capacity to make difficult economic thought clear for anyone.

Written with a traditional news style structure, the initial paragraph says everything detailed in the rest of the piece:

Much of the Western world will require defaults, a savings tax and higher inflation to clear the way for recovery as debt levels reach a 200-year high, according to a new report by the International Monetary Fund.

Read the rest of this non-fiction story for yourself.

Read more stories from the same author.

Kwik Lok vs Burford Business Profile

It’s well-worth reading Paul Lukas’ “Twist-Ties vs. Plastic Clips: Tiny Titans Battle for the Bakery Aisle,” which was published in Bloomberg Business Week on March 13, 2013.

This story highlights the battle for market share between Kwik Lok and Burford for the type of fastener used on bread, bagels and other consumer goods. Its genius is an easy-reading style that communicates industry information without making it seem boring.

The author uses the feature structure. His nutgraph is:

This was the latest move in a business war that’s been under way for more than half a century now. It’s a battle fought by the makers of inconspicuous little products that cost a fraction of a penny to produce—the ones that everyone knows and nobody thinks about, but which represent more than an estimated $10 million in annual sales. Insiders describe the turf as the bakery bag closure and reclosure market; this is the battle of the plastic clip vs. the twist-tie.

Read this non-fiction brilliance for yourself.

Read more about the author on his website, which is itself one of my favourite-ever profiles.

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