Blogs list

Barbara Sinclair - BrazeauSellerLLP - Barbara Sinclair

City of Ottawa Infill Zoning By-law and Mature Neighbourhoods - A zoning by-law amendment addressing low-rise residential infill development in mature neighbourhoods will be considered by the City of Ottawa’s Planning Committee on April 14, 2015.  The City of Ottawa continues to encourage infill, however, there has been much discussion and interest in how infill, especially in existing and established neighbourhoods, is designed and approved.  The amendments contain revisions to By-law 2012-147 (“Infill By-law”) which was adopted by City Council on May 9, 2012 and dealt with parking, landscaping projections and grade for residential infill within central and mature neighbourhoods. The Infill By-law was appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board and the revised version of the Infill By-law to be considered by Planning Committee in April, 2015. A pre-hearing interim Order of the OMB, issued on March 8, 2013 dealt with certain zoning jurisdictional issues, and the Board confirmed that municipalities do have the authority to regulate neighbourhood character, under Section 34 of the Planning Act, R.S.O.1990. The neighbourhood character requires looking along a street, or ‘streetscape character’. The interim Order goes on to state that in addition to regulating land use, municipalities may also establish zoning regulations that pertain to the incidental uses of land that go hand in hand with the land use itself, such as accessory use of yards on a lot developed with a residential land use.    Since 2013, City planning staff has engaged community and stakeholders in further public consultations and design charrettes for the development of zoning language to implement a zoning strategy.  The OMB has granted time…

Photo : Barbara  Sinclair March 23, 2015

Mark Scott - TUC Managed IT Solutions

Benefits of Onshoring - Sponsored ArticleMany companies, when thinking of outsourcing their Service Desk, automatically assume they have to do it offshore. We naturally feel that there are a lot of benefits in any type of outsourcing, if done carefully and correctly, but here at TUC we really believe there are less risks and more economic benefits to outsourcing within North America (or “onshoring”).In North American society today there is a stigma associated with offshore Service Desks. Rightly or wrongly, even if the offshore Service Desk is performing well, it creates a negative reaction from the end-user as soon as they realize that they are talking with someone offshore. Most native English-speaking customers are more comfortable speaking with a Service Desk agent who is fluent in English and understands the culture and environment. With a North American Service Desk, language and cultural barriers are eliminated, as most North American Service Desk agents will be native English speakers and share the same culture. These interactions tend to result in greater customer satisfaction and positive impressions about the services being received.A mainland call center will also be easier to visit, making it more accessible for hands-on training and management purposes.  Here at TUC, some of our contracts require the supporting teams to frequently visit the customer sites for continuous training. This also helps the agents to learn about customer culture, environment and also meet other support groups and end-users for better understanding of processes.Some consumers who have concerns about security issues may be more willing to divulge personal data when dealing…

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Photo : Mark Scott August 18, 2014

Shareef Korah - Hire Immigrants Ottawa - Shareef Korah

Enhancing Immigrants’ Essential ‘Soft’ Skills – a win-win solution - Sponsored Article Finding and keeping workers with the knowledge and skills needed to get the job done is critical for today’s businesses. Learning more about the nine essential skills used in nearly every job can help you reap the benefits of effectively engaging immigrants at work.Many employers recognize that immigrants have the technical skills required to complete workplace tasks, but often find that they lack the equally valued “soft skills”, such as communication, problem-solving and teamwork, to excel at work.A pilot project led by Bow Valley College, Success in the Workplace: Essential Skills Training for Immigrant Professionals, found that this “disconnect” between the skills workers thought they needed (technical) and those their employers wanted (soft skills) often faded once both learned about the importance of essential skills.Essential skills offer employers a common language that can help both employers and employees identify skills gaps and support essential skills development to increase job potential. Integrating essential skills into business practices does not have to be time consuming or complicated. For example:•    The Vocabulary Building Workbook can be used with immigrant workers to boost their communication skills – both oral and written – through a variety of exercises that teach new words commonly used in the Canadian workplace. •    The Working with Others Tip Sheet is an easy-to-follow tool that offers practical tips to help improve workers’ teamwork skills.Businesses that effectively attract, retain and engage skilled immigrants benefit from increased innovation, productivity and overall competitiveness. Boost your success by tapping into this vital source of talent – and…

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Photo : Shareef Korah January 20, 2014

Jonathan Cohen - Shapiro Cohen-Jonathan Cohen

Holy .cow!! - Sponsored ArticleThe deluge of new Top Level Domains (TLDs) has begun! Top level domains are the ones after the dot. Examples:-    .com-    .org-    .travel-    .netAlmost 2000 new applications for TLDs were filed in 2012/13 with ICANN. One of ICANN’s many duties is to ensure healthy competition in the Domain Name System (DNS) for registrars and the adequate meeting of the changing/growing needs of consumers as the internet continues to expand in size and importance. Certainly the huge number of acronyms developed and used in the ICANN world is some testimony to its growth and the increasing levels of separate expertise one needs to operate effectively when advising about the DNS.After years of debate, discussion and compromise between different players in the internet space (governments; business; technical; non-commercial; registrars; registries; IP), the Board of Directors of ICANN reached a decision to open up the “root”— the actual electronic highway along which all material, data etc. travels at light speed — to an unlimited number of new TLDs including International Domain Names (IDNs) in languages that are NOT written in western (Latin) alphabets. These include Russian, Greek, Arabic, Chinese, Korean and many more around the world. It was a difficult technical challenge to make these non ASCII domain names work properly in a system designed for English speakers by English speakers but the ICANN Board understood early on that if the DNS was to really work globally and not end up ‘fracturing’, implementation of IDNs as soon as technically possible had to be a priority. That time…

Photo : Jonathan Cohen December 16, 2013

Victoria Boddy - Brazeau Seller LLP - Victoria Boddy

Getting the most for your legal dollars in small claims court - Sponsored Article The Small Claims Court process is meant to be a streamlined, easy to navigate process that is friendly to self-represented parties. Unfortunately, the process often does not live up to its mandate. Instead, actions in the Small Claims Court can be extremely time consuming and costly. While many parties choose to represent themselves, it is becoming increasingly clear that in order to be successful, you will require the help of a lawyer, thereby increasing the costs of the process dramatically. With that said, there are ways that you can reduce your costs; this article will provide some useful tips in how to get the most for your legal dollar. Firstly, do not be afraid of hiring an articling student or a junior lawyer. They are fresh out of school, with new ideas and strategies, and are hungry to work hard and prove themselves. Articling students and junior lawyers are often much more familiar with the Small Claims Court process, and, charge significantly less per hour. The best way to get the most for your legal dollar is to ensure that you provide your lawyer with all of the facts of your case up front, being as clear and as detailed as possible. This includes advising of the strengths and weaknesses, the good and the bad. If a lawyer is thrown a curveball half way through the litigation, you can expect that their costs will increase as they may have to change their entire strategy, and to some degree, their previous research and preparation…

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Photo : Victoria Boddy November 04, 2013