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Richardson celebrates with cash

WINNIPEG-based Richardson Pioneer will contribute $100,000 this year to a major community project in each of the three Prairie provinces to commemorate its 100th year in business.

The money will be awarded through the grain company's newly created Richardson Pioneer Century Gifts Program.

Communities are invited to submit a proposal for an infrastructure project or initiative that promotes and supports recreational pursuits and will benefit the community at large. Preference will be given to projects with funding support from local residents and businesses.

"We are very proud of our long history of investing in and supporting the communities in which our customers and employees live and work," Hartley Richardson, chairman of Richardson International and president and chief executive officer of James Richardson & Sons, Ltd., said in a statement.

"Establishing this special gifts program to mark Richardson Pioneer's 100th anniversary will enable us to make a significant contribution to three initiatives that will create a lasting impact for so many."

Proposals, along with a completed application form, must be received by June 30. Applications forms are available online at www.richardson.ca/community. Recipients will be announced in the fall.

Business officials off to China

ECONOMIC-development officials from Winnipeg and nine other Canadian cities will be embarking on a six-day, three-city investment mission to China next week to promote more investment and trade with Canada.

Economic Development Winnipeg's senior vice-president, Greg Dandewich, will be joining about 30 other senior executives for meetings with pre-qualified Chinese companies and government organizations in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Beijing.

The participating cities are members of the Consider Canada City Alliance association, which was formed in 2007 to promote Canada as an ideal destination for global trade and investment. The nine other cities are Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Quebec City, Waterloo Region and Saskatoon.

The alliance noted China's economy is expected to overtake that of the United States, which is currently Canada's largest trading partner, as soon as 2016.

It said the meetings/seminars are being facilitated by federal government representatives from Invest in Canada and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

Wireless firms reject association

THREE of Canada's new wireless carriers say they will better serve their customers outside the industry's lobby group, which they accuse of favouring Rogers, Bell and Telus.

Wind Mobile, Public Mobile and Mobilicity say three-year contracts, roaming rates and tower sharing were among irritants that made them leave the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association.

The three small carriers accused the association of taking positions on these issues that favoured Canada's big three carriers.

Public Mobile, Wind Mobile and Mobilicity don't ask their customers to sign contracts for mobile phones and have brought more competition to the market since they launched about three years ago. The three companies are expected to have just over six per cent of the market at the end of this year, up from just under five per cent at the end of 2012, the Convergence Consulting Group has estimated.

Rogers, Bell and Telus have nearly all the rest -- more than 24 million wireless subscribers combined. Wind Mobile's Simon Lockie said the CWTA's position backing three-year contracts favours Rogers, Bell and Telus, which subsidize expensive smartphones over the life of the contract.

-- staff / The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 11, 2013 B6

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