Martin Cash

  • Tim Hortons the conquering hero this time

    If Tim Hortons Inc. is a Canadian national institution, then the merger (or sale) with Burger King ought to get patriot endorsement because it's designed to facilitate the export of the Timbit and the Double-Double, helping Canadian culture conquer foreign lands. The $12.5-billion deal is not the largest or most surprising commercial transaction, but it is freighted with assumed national values both companies carry, Tim Hortons to a greater extent in Canada than Burger King in the U.S.
  • Challenges, experience, growth

    Countdown! A 100-day countdown! That's right, it's 100 days until the launch of the annual 10-day conference of the International Association of Women Police to be held in Winnipeg. The conference is the culmination of four years of planning challenges and meeting after meeting after meeting. To celebrate this 100-day milestone, the conference committee held a volunteer pep rally at RCMP headquarters June 20.
  • Rancour over grain bottleneck only growing

    The finger-pointing and war of words between the railways and the grain shippers are not letting up. This week, the venue moved to Ottawa for hearings in front of the House of Commons standing committee on agriculture regarding Bill C-30 that attempts to address the current serious rail-capacity issues.
  • Collegial air aids manufacturing industry

    For many manufacturing businesses in Manitoba, the biggest issue of concern for the past few years has been the availability of skilled workers. That's saying something considering the myriad pressure points the manufacturing sector has to deal with in the age of technology, sophisticated cost containment and productivity demands, the global trade environment and volatile foreign-currency markets.
  • Advisers lift small firms

    Jean-René Halde has long been an advocate of the benefits of advisory boards for small businesses. As the CEO of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Halde is all about figuring out ways to help small business succeed.
  • Face time

    When one of the founders of Advolve saw a crude attempt to use a mirror surface to conceal a television monitor, he got the idea to turn that around -- making a mirror that could display digital advertising.

    The Business

  • Customers win as grocers battle each other

    It may take some local know-how to properly negotiate the parking at DeLuca's Specialty Foods on Portage Avenue but it's not keeping shoppers away. The West End grocery/delicatessen/restaurant/cooking school/wine store recently invested in renovations at its cramped, non-traditional location and has done nothing but grow every year for the last decade.
  • Manitoba tech start-ups starving for money

    Last Friday evening, more than 50 people met in a Smartpark building to hear technology pitches from seven University of Manitoba researchers. The idea was to try to connect these early-stage technologies -- including a colour-correction technology for heads-up displays, concrete corrosion sensors, probiotics for animal feed and a microfluidics technology -- with entrepreneurs who might be interested in advancing them to a stage where they might be ready for licensing or sold for commercial use.
  • Fascinating stories lie behind the big picture

    No matter what angle you take or how hard you look -- and believe us, we've been looking hard -- the economic performance of Manitoba in 2013 looked generally the same as it does most years. A survey of the bank and institutional forecasters has tagged Manitoba's GDP growth rate at 2.6 per cent for 2012, 1.9 per cent for 2013 and 2.2 per cent in 2014, effectively mirroring the Canadian national experience.
  • Cangene takeover might not be a bad thing

    One of the facts of life in the global economy is commercial ownership of assets is going to be bought and sold throughout that global marketplace. Winnipeggers might be a little more sensitive than other cities, whose head-office rosters are a little deeper than ours.
  • Exports to foreign, U.S. markets top of mind for many

    Manitoba's exports topped $11 billion last year, which sounds like a lot but definitely could be better. In fact, the total fell last year by close to five per cent compared with 2011, but through the first eight months of this year the total value of exports is up 8.3 per cent.
  • Oil, gas Manitoba economic gushers

    Every year, the Manitoba Association of Business Economists (MABE) gets together to chew over the provincial economic numbers. Not surprisingly, the general message and tone does not change much from year to year -- slow and steady growth driven by the classic diversified economy.
  • He's got the power

    Over the years, J.D. Power and Associates has had a lot of influence in the automobile industry. But the founder of the company that virtually invented the "consumer satisfaction" ratings in the auto industry, J.D. (Dave) Power, has never been a car nut.
  • Call it WE Day for business leaders

    It was fitting, though likely not planned, that Wednesday afternoon Paul Soubry and Mark Chipman were talking about leadership principles at the Metropolitan Conference Centre while across Donald Street 16,000 young people were getting inspired at We Day. If they wanted to, Soubry and Chipman could probably get on the card at the next We Day.
  • Eviction notice adds to gloom in mining sector

    These are not the best days to be in the mineral-exploration business in Manitoba. Metal prices are low -- gold prices are at their lowest level in 36 months; nickel, lowest in 48 months; copper, lowest in 30 months; and zinc, lowest in 18 months -- investors' appetite for risky (albeit tax-deductible) exploration plays is just about non-existent and starting this week in Manitoba, there is an additional one percentage point of sales tax on expensive equipment.
  • The down-payment plan

    Corbin and Shirley have a simple plan. They want to save enough for a down payment on a home in the next few years.
  • Beyond the Rack's Shtern delivers inspirational tale

    Last week, several hundred Winnipeggers heard a charming presentation from Chip Wilson, founder of Lululemon, at a gala dinner sponsored by the Associates of the Asper School of Business. On Wednesday morning, fewer than 50 people had the good fortune to hear Yona Shtern, the co-founder and CEO of Beyond the Rack, the members-only women's and men's fashion flash-sale e-commerce site based in Montreal.
  • Where is easy street? Survey of city's richest routes may surprise

    Here's a fun parlour game to play. Guess which are the wealthiest streets in Winnipeg.
  • Water tends to foster growth

    Most greenfield developments that need multiple third-party participants start out life looking like a white elephant waiting to happen. The larger the project, the bigger the potential disaster.
  • Whispers of MTS sale grow louder

    MTS has always been the poor cousin of the Canadian telco sector and its share valuation has reflected that. Its day in the sun looks to be arriving because -- more than ever -- it's now seen as a takeover target.
  • Late deal in workplace sex-harassment case

    A Manitoba Human Rights Commission workplace sexual-harassment case that had worked its way through the commission's vetting and investigation process was settled on Wednesday after a public hearing on the matter had already begun. The settlement was agreed to by the complainant Wendy Kilbride and the respondent, A+ Financial and its owner Wayne McConnell.
  • Older and jobless? Resource on hand

    When Dorothy Thach decided she really wanted a change and quit the sales position she'd held for 24 years last year, she had another job lined up. But in short order that position fell through and she found herself in a scary situation -- 55 years old and looking for a job.
  • Deciphering the budget from a business perspective

    Once again this provincial government made it clear to the business community in this week's budget that it's on its own. Not that that's a bad thing.
  • City firm's tumour device gets thumbs-up

    On Wednesday, Monteris Medical received regulatory clearance to sell its MRI-guided device for treating deep-seated brain tumours in Canada. The company was started in Winnipeg in 1999, originating from technology developed at the St. Boniface General Hospital Research Centre.
  • Sorting through consumer-confidence polls

    It may be difficult to elicit sympathy in some regions of the country for the oil and gas sector when the price of oil falls a little below $100. But in the increasingly overheated debate about construction of new pipelines, Alberta politicians are talking out loud about how the price gap between Alberta bitumen and West Texas Intermediate is falling and may take some time to get right again if no new pipeline capacity is produced.

About Martin Cash

Martin Cash joined the Free Press in 1987 as the paper’s business columnist.

He has spent two decades chronicling the city’s business affairs.

Martin won a citation of merit from the National Newspaper Awards in 2001 for his coverage of the strike and subsequent multi-million-dollar union settlement at the Versatile tractor plant. He has also received honours and awards for his work on agriculture and technology development in Manitoba.

Martin has written a coffee-table book about the commercial and industrial make-up of the city, called Winnipeg: A Prairie Portrait.

Martin Cash on Twitter: @martycash

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

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