Google Maps adds indigenous lands in Canada after long omission

Addition follows seven-year collaboration between company and indigenous communities, following what a cartographer called an ‘insulting’ exclusion

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Google video shows the addition of indigenous lands to the company’s services.

Google Maps adds indigenous lands in Canada after long omission

Addition follows seven-year collaboration between company and indigenous communities, following what a cartographer called an ‘insulting’ exclusion

More than 3,000 parcels of land belonging to indigenous peoples in Canada have been added to Google Maps and Google Earth, in an initiative that seeks to remedy what one First Nations cartographer described as a historical exclusion.

The project – which follows similar efforts by Google in the US and Brazil – was the fruit of seven years of collaboration between the company, indigenous communities in Canada and Natural Resources Canada, said the cartographer Steven DeRoy. A member of Manitoba’s Ebb and Flow First Nation, he was among Google’s partners on the initiative.

“It’s important to me because there are so many indigenous groups across the country, and to not see them as an important fabric of a base map, just to not be recognized, it’s insulting,” DeRoy told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Given that maps are a tool of power, the longstanding omission of indigenous lands was particularly significant, said DeRoy. “It’s unfortunate that indigenous people have been excluded from the maps and it’s taken a long time just to have that recognition – just to be showing on the maps.”

The thousands of parcels of land that now show up on Google’s platforms reflect First Nations reserve lands as well as treaty settlement lands.

DeRoy saw Google’s initiative as a vital component of Canada’s efforts towards reconciliation with the more than 1.4 million people who identify as First Nations, Métis or Inuit.

“Mapping is very important to communities, to be able to demarcate their territories and identify the lands that are important to them,” DeRoy told the Financial Post. “It’s used in negotiations with government, resource companies and others.”

Google said on Wednesday that the seeds of the project were sown after it began to lead mapping workshops in 2014 with indigenous communities across Canada, The company was asked why indigenous lands didn’t appear on their maps, Tara Rush, a Google employee from Akwesasne territory, wrote in a blogpost. “So we set out to make that happen,” she wrote.

The results of their efforts to date were launched Wednesday, which was National Aboriginal Day in Canada. “This marks an essential step in accurately reflecting Canada to Canadians and to the world,” wrote Rush.

The initiative continues, with communities and individuals invited to reach out to the company with feedback on changes and additions. “The goal is to enhance cultural preservation, digital awareness and land management,” noted Rush.

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HongKong, Canadian funds bid for German metering firm Ista – sources

By Arno Schuetze and Christoph Steitz

HongKong’s CK Infrastructure (1038.HK) (CKI) is vying with Canadian investors to buy German metering and energy management group Ista, which could be worth more than 4.5 billion euros ($5 billion), sources close to the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

CKI, part of ports-to-telecoms conglomerate CK Hutchison (0001.HK) which is chaired by tycoon Li Ka-shing, put in a non-binding bid for private equity-owned Ista earlier this month, they said.

It is competing with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which already owns a minority stake in Ista and has tied up with Blackstone (BX.N) to make a bid for the full company, they added.

Altogether, a handful of bids came in – including one from Brookfield and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan – with final offers due around July 10, the sources said.

Canada’s Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and Kuwait’s Wren House Infrastructure had also expressed interest, but it remained unclear whether they placed offers.

Buyout group CVC, which bought Ista in 2013 at a valuation of 3.1 billion euros, is hoping to fetch a price tag of up to 5 billion euros or 12 times Ista’s expected earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 420 million euros, the sources said.

First-round bids came in closer to 10.5 to 11 times core earnings.

Ista, which provides energy and water metering, posted EBITDA of 370 million euros in 2016, on sales of 850 million.

CVC and the bidders declined to comment or were not immediately available for comment.

European bankers are working on debt financings in excess of 7 times Ista’s EBITDA. Some bankers are working on leverage levels as high as 8.5 times, banking sources said.

CVC’s advisor Goldman Sachs is offering a staple of around 5.8 times, significantly lower than European banks, in a bid to comply with the U.S. leveraged lending guidelines.

Hoping to attract sponsors, the staple is a hybrid and has infrastructure-style features, including full dividend capacity from closing, to enable dividend payments, the sources said.

($1 = 0.8977 euros)

(Additional reporting by Claire Rucking in London and Matt Scuffham in Toronto; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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New government set for Western Canadian province seen short-lived

By Nicole Mordant

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – A new left-leaning government has yet to take office in the Canadian province of British Columbia after a drawn-out vote recount, but speculation is mounting there may soon be a new election.

With a fragile one-seat lead, the government set to be formed by a New Democrat-Green alliance could be sunk by a single lawmaker missing a crucial confidence vote due to unforeseen events.

The political limbo has created uncertainty for business in Canada’s third-most-populous province, notably for oil and gas projects such as Kinder Morgan Inc’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, which the New Democrats (NDP) and Greens oppose.

“People are starting to clue in to the fact that this is quite likely an unworkable legislature,” said Hamish Telford, a political science professor at the University of the Fraser Valley.

The requirement for a neutral parliamentary speaker, who is likely to come from the alliance, could also endanger the fledgling government as it would reduce its seat count to a 43-43 tie with the Liberals.

Premier Christy Clark, whose Liberal Party lost its majority in a knife-edge election on May 9, has recalled the province’s legislature for this Thursday. Her government is expected to be defeated next Thursday in a no-confidence vote.

“It will be very tough to make (the government) last four years just from the serious probability of random events. All it takes is one by-election, one death in office,” said Richard Johnston, a political science professor at the University of British Columbia.

The Greens, with three seats, agreed last month to back the NDP government on all confidence measures, ousting the Liberals, who have governed British Columbia for 16 years. The provincial Liberals are unrelated to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s party of the same name.

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Bank of Canada sowed the seeds of hawkish stance ahead of shift

By Leah Schnurr

OTTAWA (Reuters) – If the Bank of Canada caught markets by surprise last week in laying the groundwork for interest rate hikes, it may have been because traders missed – or ignored – signals the central bank was already sending.

Hawkish comments from the bank’s two top policymakers last week sent the Canadian dollar up 1.7 percent over two days, its best two-day run in a year, as markets recalibrated the risk that rate increases could be coming sooner than had been expected. The Canadian dollar has since declined slightly though it is still stronger than it was before a speech by a senior Bank of Canada official last Monday.

Some analysts said the bank began moving away from its dovish stance with policy statements in April and May that forecast the closing of the output gap would happen sooner and described recent economic data as “encouraging.”

Governor Stephen Poloz in April characterized the bank’s stance as “decidedly neutral.” That represented a significant shift in tone that markets did not fully grasp, which may have frustrated the central bank, said Frances Donald, senior economist at Manulife Asset Management.

“The Bank of Canada may be trying to correct the long impression of them as ongoingly dovish as opposed to shifting to a new tone,” Donald said of policymakers’ recent remarks.

The apparent gap in understanding between the central bank and markets illustrates the balancing act policymakers face in preparing the market for eventual tightening without boxing themselves into a corner as the economy faces a number of risks that could postpone a hike, particularly uncertain U.S. trade policy.

In a speech last Monday, Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins said the bank will assess whether the rate cuts it put in place in 2015 during the oil price shock are still needed. That was followed the next day by Poloz saying those cuts have largely done their work.

A spokeswoman for the Bank of Canada said the bank could not comment further.

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WATCH: From O Canada to Oy, Canada!

Yiddish O Canada

Yiddish O Canada in celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday.
(photo credit:YOU TUBE)

Has anybody ever translated the Canadian national anthem into Yiddish? That simple question from a New York Times reporter last month led – just a few weeks later – to a gathering of 150 people in song in Toronto.

And the entire event will be aired on Canadian TV next week, in a show titled The Making of Yiddish O Canada.

Hindy Nosek-Abelson, a Yiddish translator living in Toronto, was overjoyed when the request to translate the anthem came to her simultaneously from different people. When she couldn’t find any versions online, she set out to complete the task herself.

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“‘O Canada’ was done for a different reason than any of the other translations I’ve done,” Nosek-Abelson told The Jerusalem Post in a recent phone interview. “First of all, I thought it was a nice thing to do to put Yiddish on the map,” she said. “But also, because my father would have loved to have sung it in Yiddish.”

Nosek-Abelson’s parents, both Holocaust survivors, came to Canada to rebuild their lives after the war. She herself was born in a DP camp, and considers Yiddish her mother tongue.

“My father just thought that his country was gan eden [paradise]… I kind of did it with him whispering in my ear,” she said.

And once she completed the translation of the relatively short anthem, Nosek-Abelson knew she needed to hear it performed.

“Because Yiddish is conceived of as a dead language or a dying language, I want it to be sung by a bunch of people – old and young,” she said.

Through a series of connections, they set a date to perform the song at Moses Znaimer’s ZoomerMedia TV studio.

“We basically wanted people who could carry a tune,” said Nosek-Abelson. “All kinds of people showed up; we had to close it off at 150 because there was only so much room in the studio.”

Indeed those of all ages and backgrounds turned out for the event on June 6, including some local luminaries.

Actress Marilyn Lightstone, soul singer Deniece Williams and classical guitarist Liona Boyd were some of the many who came to raise their voices in song – and Yiddish.

Of course, many – if not most – of those in attendance didn’t speak the mame loshn.

“We sent out the words in transliteration as well as a recording of me speaking the words,” said Nosek-Abelson.

“We had quite a few takes…, but I’m amazed that it worked out as well and as quickly as it did.”

The event was so unique, that Znaimer chose to turn it into a show on his VisionTV network. The special will air this Monday at 9:30 p.m.

local time, featuring not just the song but all that went into creating the event.

“I’m a little bit surprised but I’m not completely surprised by the response,” said Nosek-Abelson, of the You- Tube video that has already reached almost 30,000 views. “Because there’s such an emotional attachment to Yiddish, even by people who don’t speak it well.”

She said that the translation – and indeed all translations of the anthem, which number over a dozen – speaks to the nature and spirit of Canada.

“The unique thing is that Canada, much more so than the United States, doesn’t get the resistance to having the national anthem sung in a different language,” she said. “For them it’s a compliment, it shows respect by all these different cultures – that come here from all over the world – that they sing ‘O Canada’ in their own language.”

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Canada overhauls national security laws

Canada has introduced extensive security legislation that includes the creation of a “super” national security review body.

The Liberals says its proposed overhaul of national security laws will shed light and oversight on the activities of the country’s spy agencies.

It says the changes will balance both rights and security.

Critics say that does not go far enough in keeping people safe or protecting the privacy of Canadians.

The national security overhaul dates back to a 2015 general election promise by the Liberals.

The party committed to repealing what they called “problematic elements” of controversial sweeping anti-terrorism legislation passed by the former Conservative government.

The Conservative bill, which increased government policing, information-sharing and surveillance powers, was passed a few months after a gunman killed a Canadian soldier and stormed Parliament Hill in Ottawa before being shot and killed himself.

Many people expressed concern that those new measures could violate Canada’s rights charter.

  • Officials warn ‘hacktavists’ could target 2019 election

Mr Goodale called the new national security review body a “major innovation in our security architecture”.

The National Security and Intelligence Review Agency will keep an eye on security and intelligence activities in Canada.

The arms-length oversight body will review every department and agency within government that has a national security function.

The Liberal Bill C-59 will also create another new watchdog role.

An intelligence commissioner will be tasked with authorising certain intelligence and cyber-security activities of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) to ensure they are in line with Canadian laws.

OpenMedia, an internet advocacy group, says that while some of the proposed measures in C-59 are a step forward, the bill does not far enough in protecting the privacy of Canadians from information sharing and gathering by security and police agencies.

Conservative public safety critic Tony Clement said on Twitter the proposed bill “weakens ability of our security agencies to respond to terror threats”.

C-59 also includes tweaks to Canada’s no-fly list.

Over 60 Canadian families say their children’s names have been wrongly matched to the list, which means the families are often held up at airports for security reviews.

The issue came to light last year and parents have been pressuring to government for a better redress system.

The planned changes allow the government to inform parents if their child is not on the list and to make it easier for parents to seek recourse.

The legislation was introduced on Tuesday but will probably only be dealt with in depth by parliamentarians after the legislative summer break.

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Trudeau tweets not the answer to Canada’s refugee issues

The day after President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump boasts over victory of GOP candidate in Georgia Trump Jr. mocks Dems after Georgia special House election Speier: I absolutely believe Trump made up Comey tapes MORE issued his first travel ban order, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted a message to aliens “fleeing persecution, terror & war.” In addition to the inappropriateness of accusing the president of the United States of religious discrimination, his tweet made a promise that Canada will not be able to keep. 

His tweet was an unqualified invitation to the 65.6 million aliens worldwide who have been displaced from their countries by conflict and persecution. Canada almost certainly will have to turn away many of the aliens who accept the invitation and come to Canada relying on it.

Some will be disqualified by Canada’s Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States, which requires asylum seekers to apply for asylum in the United States if they enter that country before entering Canada, with some exceptions. 

Also, his invitation includes aliens who are fleeing terror and war, and despite their very real need for refuge, they are not likely to be able to establish eligibility for refugee status or asylum on that basis.  According to UNHCR figures, only 22.5 million of the 65.6 million displaced persons are refugees. 

Trudeau’s tweet reminds me of President Jimmy Carter’s invitation to Cuban refugees when he was asked what the government was going to do about the Mariel Boat Lift. On April 20, 1980, Cuban President Fidel Castro announced that he would permit Cubans wishing to leave Cuba to go to the United States. Two weeks later, Carter said that the United States would “welcome the Cuban refugees with open arms and open hearts.” 

But the boat lift was not limited to refugees. Castro forced the boat owners who participated in the boat lift to take approximately 8,000 criminals and hundreds of mentally-ill persons. The boat lift was a financial disaster for the ship owners. Despite Carter’s promise to welcome the Cuban refugees, his administration fined the boat owners $1,000 for each of the estimated 110,000 Mariel refugees they brought here in violation of section 273 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. 

Canada’s Refugee Program  

Notwithstanding Trudeau’s invitation, Canada has reduced the number of refugees that it is willing to accept.  In 2017, Canada will only accept 40,000 refugees. This is a substantial reduction from the 55,800 refugees it accepted the previous year. This may be due to the fact that there has been a very large increase in the number of aliens who come directly to Canada to seek refuge.    

In-Canada Asylum Program 

Canada’s asylum program provides refuge for aliens fleeing specified types of persecution who already are in Canada. The burden of proof for asylum eligibility is the same as it is for refugee eligibility — a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, political opinion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group.   

Refugees are screened and selected abroad before they go to Canada, and asylees are screened and selected in Canada. The Canadian government decides in advance how many refugees it will accept. It has no control over how many aliens come to Canada seeking asylum.

Trudeau’s tweet appears to have increased the number of aliens seeking asylum in Canada.

Chris Friesen, from the Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia claims that the Trudeau government’s announcements welcoming refugees has made Canada a “beacon of hope for desperate refugees.” When someone files an asylum claim, it is adjudicated by the Immigration and Refugee Board. According to the board, there has been a 40-percent increase in new claims. 

According to an Immigration Department memorandum which was obtained by the Canadian press under Canada’s Access to Information Act, asylum applications are expected to far exceed earlier projections. As of the end of April, there were 12,040 asylum claims, and it is likely that there will be 36,000 of them by the end of the year. If this continues, by the end of 2021, the wait time for an asylum hearing could reach 11 years.

Increase in illegal immigration

The fact that Canada’s Safe Third Country Agreement disqualifies asylum claimants who are seeking entry to Canada from the United States has had the unintended consequence of encouraging them to enter illegally at border areas between the ports of entry.   

The border between Canada and the United States is 3,987 miles long, wide open and largely undefended. It is not possible to determine how many asylum seekers are entering Canada illegally along that border. 


According to UNHCR, there are 22.5 million refugees, more than half of whom are under the age of 18. This is a crisis, and I do not have a solution to suggest, but I am sure that Trudeau’s tweet welcoming them to Canada isn’t the answer.

Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years; he subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill. 

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Global 2017 Genetic Testing Strategic Business Report – Research and Markets

Global 2017 Genetic Testing Strategic Business Report – Research and Markets

Research and Markets
Posted on: 19 Jun 17

PR Newswire

DUBLIN, June 19, 2017

DUBLIN, June 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Genetic Testing – Global Strategic Business Report” report to their offering.

The report provides separate comprehensive analytics for the US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of World. Annual estimates and forecasts are provided for the period 2016 through 2024. Also, a five-year historic analysis is provided for these markets. Market data and analytics are derived from primary and secondary research.

This report analyzes the worldwide markets for Genetic Testing in US$ Million.

The US market is further analyzed by the following Segments:

  • Prenatal & Newborn Genetic Testing
  • Pharmacogenomic Testing
  • Predictive Diagnostics.

The report profiles 88 companies including many key and niche players such as:

  • 23andMe, Inc. (USA)
  • Abbott Laboratories (USA)
  • AutoGenomics, Inc. (USA)
  • Biocartis NV (Belgium)
  • BioRad Laboratories (USA)
  • Cepheid Inc. (USA)
  • ELITech Group S.P.A. (France)
  • Illumina, Inc. (USA)
  • Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (USA)
  • Sequenom, Inc. (USA)
  • Luminex Corporation (USA)
  • Natera, Inc. (USA)
  • PerkinElmer, Inc. (USA)
  • QIAGEN N.V. (The Netherlands)
  • Quest Diagnostics, Inc. (USA)
  • Roche Diagnostics Corp. (Switzerland)
  • Roche Molecular Diagnostics, Inc. (USA)
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific (USA)
  • Transgenomic, Inc. (USA)

Key Topics Covered:

A Curtain Raiser
Top Ten Genetic Disorders Worldwide
Genetic Testing: Heralding a New Era
Genetic Testing Paves the Way for Personalized Medicine
Genetic Testing
A Critical Part of the Rapidly Developing In-Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) Market
Genetic Testing: The Rapidly Growing Segment of Molecular Diagnostics Market
An Overview of Current Technologies in Genetic Testing
Biomarker Discovery Leads to Advanced Genetic Testing
List of US-FDA Approved Biomarkers for Cancer
Ballooning Global Population Offers Increased Growth Opportunities
Aging Population Drives the Genetic Testing Market
Improving Healthcare Expenditure to Drive Demand

Prenatal Testing Market to Rise
List of Genetic Disorders by Event, Genetic Manifestation and Prevalence
Prenatal Testing
Changing the World of Pregnancy Care
Prenatal Testing
A Rudimentary Overview
List of Available Prenatal Screening and Diagnostic Tests by Indication
Conventional Invasive Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques
A Risky Affair
Other Negativities of Existing Invasive Techniques
Emergence of Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis (NIPD)
US Leads in NIPD Market
Competition Intensifies in the NIPD Market
Commercially Available NIPD (Genetic) Tests for Aneuploidy in the US
NIPD Eliminates Risks and Uncertainty of Conventional Diagnostic Procedures
Opposition to NIPD Technique
A Significant Hurdle to Adoption
Benefits Outweigh Snags in NIPD Tests
Major Factors Influencing Penetration of NIPD Tests
Diversity in NIPD Usage on the Cards
Expanded Newborn Screening
Technological Advancements Boost Prenatal Genetic Screening Market
CMA Stakes Claim as the First-Line Test in Fetal Abnormalities; Issues Hinder Growth
Strain on Resources Prevent Wide Adoption of Expanded Carrier Sequencing
Fetal Diagnostic WES
A Promising Advancement in Prenatal Screening
Predictive Diagnostics
Breast Cancer Gene Testing Market to Expand Strongly
Myriad Genetics
The Unquestioned Leader in Breast Cancer Testing
Routine Clinical Testing Vs. Predictive Genetic Testing
Increasing Incidence and Prevalence of CDDs: A Major Growth Driver
Discovery of Novel Biomarkers Crucial to Predictive Diagnostics
Unresolved Issues Hamper Widespread Implementation of Genetic Diagnosis and Testing for Monogenetic Disease
Dearth of Genetic Counselors
A Major Hurdle for the Predictive Genetic Testing
Pharmacogenomics Development Augurs Growth of Genetic Testing Market

Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing
A Key Trend in the Genetic Testing Market
Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing is Here to Stay
Creating a Platform for New Companies
Business Models for DTC Genetic Testing Firms
Growing Prominence of DTC Genetic Testing: A Boon or a Curse?
Genetic Screening of Newborns to Rise
Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
A Major Driver for the Genetic Testing Market
Whole Genome Sequencing
Boon or Bane to Genetic Testing?
Utility of Genetic Testing for Warfarin Study
As Technologies Grow, Need for Better Interpretation of Tests Increases
Selling Collected Patient Genetic Information Becomes a New Business
A Key Focus Area for Genetic Testing
Liquid Biopsy to Change the Face of Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
Genetic Testing May Aid CNS Disease Therapeutics
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Major Focus Area for Genetic Testing
Alzheimer’s Disease
Validity of Emerging Genetic Tests for Alzheimer’s
Newly Developed Test Predicts Age of Onset of Alzheimer’s
Huntington’s Disease
Genetic Testing
An Indispensable Tool for Cystic Fibrosis
Histocompatibility Testing
Next-Generation Sequencing
A Giant Leap in Genome Sequencing
Pediatric Genetic Testing for Screening Adult Onset Disorders Fast Gaining Acceptance
Better Regulatory Safeguards Required for Global Genetic Testing Industry
Challenges Faced
Controversial Applications Marr Genetic Testing Market
Genetic Counseling: Gaining Momentum
Online Approach Gains Momentum
Recommendations of ACOG and ACGM Augments Demand for Cystic Fibrosis Testing
Ethical Issues & Need for Appropriate Regulating Policies
Issues Related to Genetic Tests for Obesity
Diagnosis and Treatment during Pregnancy
An Effective Way of Alleviating Syphilis Related Deaths and Stillbirths

Global Molecular Diagnostics on a High Growth Curve
Automation Driving Global Market
Molecular Diagnostics: Marking the Convergence of Numerous Technologies
MDx Market for Infectious Diseases Zooming Ahead
Aging Population, Disease Incidence
Fundamental Drivers of Growth
Pharmaceutical Firms Carving Their Niche in Molecular Diagnostics Market
Towards Tailoring the Right Treatment for the Right Disease
Limited Reimbursements by Third Party Payers
A Stumbling Block
Disease-Specific Molecular Diagnostics to Deliver Improved Clinical Outcomes
Molecular Diagnostics and Intellectual Property
Business Opportunities in the Offing
Medical Training and Practice Challenges
Hurdles All the Way for Companies Eyeing Molecular Diagnostics
Product Marketing
Key to Commercial Success
Integration of Molecular Diagnostics into Therapeutics
Molecular Diagnostics
Moving from Centralization to Decentralization
Competitive Landscape of the Molecular Diagnostics Market
New Entrants Eye Unmet Needs

Preface to Genetic Testing
Genetic Testing and its Applications
Gene Candidate and Genome Screen
DNA Chip’ to Chip into Genetic Field
Techniques Used to Identify Changes in Genes
Types of Genetic Testing
Prenatal Diagnosis
Cancer Testing
Carrier Identification
Newborn Screening
Predictive Testing
Pre-Symptomatic Testing
Cytogenetic Tests
Steps in Genetic Testing Process
Risks and Other Limitations of Genetic Testing
Medical Institutions to Reap the Benefit of Genetic Testing
Review of Select Genetic Tests
Cystic Fibrosis
Breast and Ovarian Cancer (BRCA)
Alzheimer’s disease
Colorectal Cancer
Haemochromatosis (HH)
Cowden Syndrome
Huntington’s disease (HD)
Costs of Select Tests
Genetic Testing Techniques
Signal Amplification Technologies
New Developments
Quantitative Real-Time PCR for Molecular Diagnostics
Signal Detection and Quantification
Quantitative Real-Time RT-PCR Analysis
Applications of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Analysis
Viral Detection and Viral-Load Monitoring
Sensitive Detection of Infectious Disease Agents
Predisposition Testing
Non-PCR Methods
Other Signal Amplification Technologies
DNA Probe Based Products
Direct Detection of Specific Nucleic Acid Sequences
Nucleic Acid Amplification and Detection
DNA Sequencing and Gene Detection
Arrays of Immobilized Probes (DNA Chips) in Gene Detection
RNA Diagnostics

AutoGenomics Rolls Out INFINITI® H. pylori Assay
23andMe Obtains FDA Approval for Personal Genetic Test for Select Diseases
Invitae Adds News Tests to Proactive Genetic Testing Repertoire
Thermo Fisher Scientific Launches CarrierScan Assay
MedGenome Unveils Claria Carrier Screening Test in India
Phosphorus Rolls Out Advances Tests for Inherited Conditions
Cancer Genetics Launches Genomic Panel for HBOC
Illumina, Bio-Rad Launch Single-Cell Genomic Sequencing Solution
MyHeritage Introduces MyHeritage DNA Service
Thermo Fisher Scientific Unveils Clariom Pico Assays
IBM Watson Health, Quest Diagnostics Roll Out IBM Watson Genomics
Thermo Fisher Scientific Introduces PharmacoScan Solution
Good Start Genetics Launches EmbryVu PGS Test
Spark Therapeutics Introduces Testing for Inherited Retinal Diseases
AutoGenomics Launches INFINITI® Buccal Sample Collection Kit
FutuTest Launches FERTIFY Genetic Test
Quest Diagnostics Introduces New Cancer Test Services
Good Start Genetics Launches Next-Generation Embryo Screening Solution
Invitae Introduces Pediatric Tests for Rare Disease and Pediatric Genetics
Contextual Genomics Introduces Cancer Genome Test
Transgenomic Introduces CMT NGS Panel
Ambry Genetics Rolls Out Suite of Genetic Testing Panels for Epilepsy
Good Start Genetics Introduces EmbryVu PGS Test
23andMe Secures FDA Approval for New Trimmed Down DNA-based Health Analysis
Roche Rolls Out Oncology Assay
AutoGenomics Launches INFINITI® SMART
Transgenomic Rolls Out Transgenomic Leukodystrophy NGS Panel
Color Genomics Rolls Out New Test for Cancer-Associated Genes
PerkinElmer Launches Genetic Screening Processor® Instruments in China
Mayo Clinic Launches Eight NGS Panels for Cardiac Disorders
Sequenom Laboratories and Recombine Launch HerediT® UNIVERSAL
Multipicom NV Launches ADH MASTR v2 assay
23andMe Launches Drug Development Unit
Quest Diagnostics Launches Neurome Exome Sequencing Service
Roche Launches cobas 6800/8800 Systems
Agena Biosciences Launches MassARRAY 24-Well System
FDA Grants Marketing Approval to 23andMe’s DTC Bloom Syndrome Carrier Genetic Test
Transgenomic to Launch ICE COLD-PCR Technology
Rosetta Launches Sequencing-based Oncology Tests by Admera Health
MedGenome Labs Launches Panorama Prenatal Test
Ambry Genetics Launches CVD Genetic Testing Panels
Exceltox Launches Pharmacogenomic Testing
PerkinElmer Launches SCID Screening Test in North America
Quest Diagnostics Introduces BRCAvantage Plus
Genetic Technologies Launches BREVAGenplus Test
Sophia Genetics Receives CE-IVD Certification for Genetic Testing
Response Genetics Launches Immuno-Oncology Assay
DeNA Life Science Launches Mycode Genetic Testing Service
Pathway Genomics Launches BRCATrue Test
Courtagen Launches Genetic Sequencing Tests for Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Myriad Genetics Launches EndoPredict® Breast Cancer Test
Assurex Health Expands GeneSight® Pharmacogenomic Testing Platform
Illumina to Launch VeriSeq Embryo Screening Tool
GENEWIZ Launches PGxOne Pharmacogenomic Test
Ambry Genetics Launches ExomeNext and ExomeNext-Rapid Genetic Tests
Pathway Genomics Launches Genetic Test to Detect Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Mount Sinai Laboratory Develops Accurate Genetic Test for SMA

Agilent Inks Deal to Take Over Multiplicom
DNA Diagnostics Center Acquires IDENTIGENE
Genetic Analysis and Bio-Rad Ink Deal for Transferring Commercialization Rights to GA-map
Thermo Fisher Files for PMA Approval of its Oncomine Universal Dx Test
LabCorp Takes Over Sequenom
WuXi AppTec and AutoGenomics Team Up to Launch Advanced Molecular Diagnostic Technology In China
Danaher to Take Over Cepheid
Quest Diagnostics to Offer Genetic Testing Services for Ancestry
Transgenomic and LabCorp Sign Commercial License Agreement for TBIO’s DNA Susceptibility Testing IP
Next Biosciences Merges with Genesis Genetics
PerkinElmer Expands Services in India
PerkinElmer Takes Over Vanadis Diagnostics
AutoGenomics and McKesson to Jointly Distribute INFINITI® Molecular Diagnostic Systems and Related Products
Transgenomic Divests GAP Business
Thermo Fisher Teams Up with Novartis and Pfizer for Developing NGS Oncology Test
NeoGenomics Acquires Clarient
MedGenome to Build Data Specific to India for Testing Kits
Roche to Take Over Kapa Biosystems
Natera Selects DNAnexus Cloud Genomics Platform for its Genetic Tests
ESPERITE Acquires InKaryo
Transgenomic Signs Agreement with Exiqon A/S
Quest Diagnostics and Myriad Genetics End BRCA Gene Patent Litigation
Roche to Acquire Majority Share of Foundation Medicine
Roche Acquires Ariosa Diagnostics
GSK Collaborates with GE on Oncology Genetic Testing
Cancer Genetics to Acquire Gentris Corporation
Natera Partners with Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory
Transgenomic to Sell SURVEYOR Nuclease Technology to Integrated DNA Technologies
Transgenomic Collaborates with Raptor Pharmaceuticals for Genetic Testing Services
AutoGenomic Signs Agreement with Genomas
Cancer Genetics Acquires BioServe Biotechnologies
PerkinElmer to Close Its Signature Genomics Testing Business
LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services Buys out Centogene’s Canadian Business
CytoScan Dx Assay by Affymetrix Receives FDA Approval



Total Companies Profiled: 88 (including Divisions/Subsidiaries 97)

  • The United States (60)
  • Canada (5)
  • Japan (1)
  • Europe (23)
  • – France (2)
  • – Germany (3)
  • – The United Kingdom (2)
  • – Spain (1)
  • – Rest of Europe (15)
  • Asia-Pacific (Excluding Japan) (5)
  • Middle East (2)
  • Africa (1)

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Last updated on: 19/06/2017

OTT Pay brings Alipay Services to Canadian Merchants

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Jun 19, 2017) –

Editors note: A photo is available on the Canadian Press picture wire via Marketwired

OTT Financial, a Canadian financial services company, announced today that its payment platform, OTT Pay, has officially signed a cooperation agreement with Alipay of Ant Financial Services Group to provide Alipay services for Canadian merchants and Chinese consumers.

With this partnership, OTT Pay will enable over 450 million active Alipay users to pay for Canadian products and services in Chinese RMB, just as they are accustomed to in China. To Canadian merchants, they operate as usual, both selling and receiving payments in Canadian Dollars.

“As mobile payment acceptance continues to grow in North America, over 450 merchants across Canada are accepting Alipay now”, said Souheil Badran, President of Alipay North America, “we want to continue offering Chinese consumers visiting Canada the ability to pay as they would in China. We are glad to partner with OTT Financial as they share the same belief of bringing convenience to clients by using mobile technologies”.

“We are excited to be partnering with Alipay to connect Canadian merchants to Chinese consumers.” said Cory Taylor, Head of OTT Pay, “Adding Alipay to OTT Pay’s existing offering will enable us to provide better services to merchants and consumers. Canadian merchants will benefit through increased sales and a differentiated retail experience to Chinese consumers in this “win-win” business model. China is Canada’s third-largest overseas market for tourists, and Chinese visitors contribute over $1 billion annually to Canada’s economy. We expect our services to add more value to all users.”

The Honourable Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of International Trade expressed his congratulations to both parties. “Our Government values its mutually beneficial relationship with our second largest trading partner, China,” said Michael Chan, “Today’s signing between Ontario-based OTT Financial and Alipay builds on that strong foundation by bringing Canadian retailers and Chinese visitors to Canada closer together through technology. This agreement also positions Ontario as a premier destination for Chinese tourists, and more specifically, one that boasts greater convenience and accessibility for them.”

In May this year, OTT Pay officially launched in Canada via its WeChat Pay offering. Hundreds of Canadian merchants ranging from shopping centres, travel agencies, hotels, health services, supermarkets, international logistics, educational services, restaurants, and convenience stores are in the process of enrollment to OTT Pay. These merchants will be the first to enjoy the benefits that Alipay offers.

About OTT Financial

OTT Financial and its related companies have multiple lines of business in the Canadian financial services industry. OTT Financial Canada Inc. is an investment dealer registered with the securities regulators in Canada and a member of IIROC and CIPF. OTT Capital Corporation is an exempt market dealer as well as a portfolio manager and investment fund manager. OTT Financial Inc. provides foreign exchange services and OTT Pay is the payment platform that serves Canadian merchants and Chinese consumers. Since 2006, OTT has been dedicated to delivering values for its clients and creating positive impact for the communities served by the OTT group of companies.

About Alipay

Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay is the world’s leading mobile and online payment platform. Launched in 2004, Alipay currently has over 450 million active users and over 400 financial institution partners. Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler. Users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app. In addition to online payments, Alipay is expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside of China. Over 8 million brick-and-mortar merchants now accept Alipay across China. Alipay’s in-store payment service is covering more than 120,000 retail stores across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 24 countries and regions. Alipay works with over 200 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese travelling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites. Alipay currently supports 19 currencies.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link:

‘It sounds pretty sketchy’: Sask. business owner offered $15K in Chinese cash-for-jobs scheme

In his 30 years as an immigration expert, Richard Kurland said he’s only ever heard rumours of people paying money for job offers to foreign nationals.

“It’s almost the stuff of immigration legendary myth that there are envelopes of cash being passed around for offers of employment in Canada,” said the Vancouver-based lawyer and immigration policy analyst.

But he said a case CBC recently uncovered in Saskatchewan is “the first time on record someone was caught” — as he put it  — “green-handed.”

In an undercover investigation, CBC’s iTeam recorded an immigration consultant offering to pay a Prince Albert, Sask., business owner cash in exchange for a letter offering a Chinese national a job.

And it may, in fact, be part of a larger scam.

‘It sounds pretty sketchy and something just can’t be quite legal with the whole process.’
– Barb Reid, owner, Prince Albert Fabricland

Last month, a man named Bill Sui dropped by Fabricland in Prince Albert and told owner Barb Reid his company was looking for Canadian jobs to offer to Chinese people wanting to immigrate.

According to Reid, Sui told her his immigration consulting company, Vstar International, would pay the salary and benefits of a would-be Chinese immigrant for three months of work if she simply provided a job offer.

As an extra incentive, he offered to pay Reid $15,000 in cash. He called it a “training fee.”

‘I’m not trying to hide anything’

The offer raised Reid’s suspicion, so she contacted CBC’s iTeam, saying, “It sounds pretty sketchy and something just can’t be quite legal with the whole process.”

CBC recorded two subsequent phone calls between Reid and Sui, who was unaware the calls were being recorded.

Barb Reid on phone with Bill Sui1:28

In one of those conversations, Sui explained the details of his $15,000 offer to Reid.

“Usually we give cash, because usually our owners have a really high personal income. So, I just give them cash to save their tax and also save tax for our company,” he said.

Sui told Reid everything about this program was on the up and up.

“I’m not trying to hide anything,” Sui told Reid. “Basically, this is a government program. It’s a benefit for you to get some cheap labour and skilled worker because you pay taxes.”

He said the Chinese workers would be brought in through the skilled worker category of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program, which allows the province to recommend qualified foreign nationals for landed immigrant status.

Sui said because the skilled worker category requires a job with specialized skills, Reid would have to give the job an impressive-sounding title; the new immigrant couldn’t just be called a cashier.

Reid explained to CBC what Sui originally proposed to her: “It would have to be like a ‘buyer’ or something like that, so it looked good coming to Canada.”

In a recorded conversation, Sui assured Reid other businesses had already signed on, listing off restaurants and electronic stores as examples, though he didn’t provide names or locations.

Sui said Reid would be able to pick the worker she wanted from a stack of resumés. He assured her there would be no long-term commitment.

“We cover first three months wages just like probation period for you to try them out,” he said. “If he works well, he can stay. If you don’t like him or he doesn’t make enough profit for you, I just find another job for him.”

Even if Reid let the worker go, Sui said, “you keep the $15,000.”

Vstar denies connection

CBC’s iTeam followed up with Sui through the cellphone number he left with Reid, asking him about his offer of cash and wages in exchange for a job offer letter.

Initially, he denied having made that offer to Reid.

When CBC told Sui it had been recording his conversations with Reid, he said, “It’s illegal [to make an] audio recording without mentioning it, right? You know that.”

CBC pointed out that it was in fact legal and approved under CBC’s ethical guidelines. Sui ended the call.

CBC then approached the owner of Vstar, Nicole Sun, about Sui’s activities.

She said Sui had never worked for Vstar.

Bill Sui's business card

When Bill Sui visited Barb Reid’s fabric store last month he left his business card behind. (Barb Reid)

“We don’t have any payroll for this person,” she said. “Who is Bill Sui?”

CBC pointed out that Sui carried a Vstar business card. In addition, he had a Vstar email address. CBC also recorded Reid calling Vstar’s main number to ask for Sui. The receptionist said he wasn’t in, but offered to take a message.

A few minutes later, Sui called back.

“You’re looking for me or something?” he asked.

Barb Reid leaves message for Bill Sui with Vstar International’s receptionist0:47

Vstar charges Chinese immigrants $200K

According to immigration consultants CBC contacted, a skilled worker application typically costs between $3,000 and $8,000 — assuming the foreign national has secured their own job.

On its website, Vstar boasts that it has helped many Chinese people immigrate to Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia, but it doesn’t reveal what it charges for this service.

CBC’s iTeam wondered what Vstar charged, so Chinese-speaking CBC journalist Sharon Wu contacted the company and posed as a Canadian helping her Chinese relative and his family emigrate to this country.

CBC’s Sharon Wu makes undercover phonecall to Vstar International owner Nicole Sun4:40

The owner of Vstar, Nicole Sun, told Wu the company charged Chinese nationals $200,000 for the skilled worker application.

“This is the fee charge for the entire immigration application process,” Sun explained to Wu. “It’s the money you pay for your family to get residency status.”

Sun confirmed that Vstar has a pool of employers who are looking for Chinese immigrant workers.

“We have employers from all types of industries,” Sun said in the recorded conversation, which has been translated from Chinese. “We have big companies who have over 80 staff — most common ones have 10-ish employees.”

Sun said she would examine the resumé of Wu’s relative and find an appropriate placement.

She said the $200,000 would be paid in instalments and “we often guarantee within three months the applicant will definitely get a job offer that makes a good fit for him. If not, we will refund all we have charged.”

Vstar website

On the front page of its website, Vstar prominently promotes its ability to help Chinese people immigrate to Saskatchewan. (Vstar International’s website)

Wu asked if her relative would actually have to go to work at the job once they arrive in Canada. Sun said not necessarily.

“A lot of applicants don’t want to work here, they only want to pay some money as a simple way to get a residency status. This is also fine.”

Sun assured Wu “we have never had a single case that’s been rejected so far.”

Vstar owner changes her story

Two days after that conversation, CBC’s iTeam called Sun to ask her about what she had told CBC’s undercover journalist.

CBC asked Sun if Vstar helps Chinese nationals find jobs in Canada. Sun said absolutely not.

‘It’s fraud when a person gives money to get a job offer that opens Canada’s door to permanent residence.’
– Richard Kurland, lawyer and immigration expert

“No, we don’t help them find jobs. They find jobs by themselves,” she said. “We just, like, follow up with the immigration process once our clients, like, they find a job.”

When CBC pointed out that we had a recording of Sun offering to help Wu’s relative find a job, she seemed surprised and began to shift her story. She conceded that from time to time, her agency may help some people find an employer.

“But we don’t charge for that service. We have some connection with some employers we know they need people. But in our agreement, we never charge for that fee,” said Sun.

Sun also denied that Vstar charges $200,000 for a skilled worker application, though she refused to disclose what her company actually charges.

Sun abruptly ended the call, saying she had to go to a meeting, promising to answer additional questions later. CBC followed up with her on several occasions but she refused to continue the conversation.

‘There’s no excuse for doing nothing’

Richard Kurland said “every alarm bell goes off with this one.”

He said that if Reid had accepted Vstar’s offer, that would have qualified as a fake job.

“The deal is really quite simple. You don’t take money, let alone cash money, for a job offer made to a foreign national — a foreign national you’ve never met, interviewed, looked at their credentials. It’s not a real job offer,” said Kurland.

Richard Kurland

Lawyer and immigration policy analyst Richard Kurland says it’s fraud for an immigration consultant to offer cash to a business in exchange for a job offer letter. (Chris Corday/CBC)

“It’s fraud when a person gives money to get a job offer that opens Canada’s door to permanent residence,” said Kurland, who for almost 30 years has edited a prominent Canadian immigration publication.

“The violation of the immigration laws is crystal clear when you see cash for a job offer and advance payment of salary and deductions at source.”

Kurland said it’s not surprising that Sun would deny receiving payment from a would-be immigrant in exchange for finding a job, as that would be illegal.

However, he said the facts of this case require greater scrutiny.

“Here’s the common-sense observation,” said Kurland. “The $200,000 is coming from this applicant. So even if [a company] doesn’t directly pay for job-finding services, part of the $200,000 eventually is used for the purpose of a job-finding service.”

He said from his experience, the paper trails on immigration applications like this can be complex and involve multiple companies — a complex web created by lawyers and accountants. Kurland said it’s possible to create structures that appear on the surface to comply with the law, “but they get around the intent” of the law, which stipulates no money in exchange for a job offer.

He said the cash payment combined with the high fees should seize the attention of the authorities, in particular the Canada Border Services Agency.

‘There’s a lot on this silver platter. There’s no excuse for doing nothing.’
– Richard Kurland, lawyer and immigration expert

CBC presented the basic facts of this case to the CBSA. In an email, the organization said when there is evidence of a violation, the organization “thoroughly gathers, reviews, and assesses all the evidence before prosecuting.”

It pointed out “these investigations are complex” and often involve other government agencies. CBSA said it lays charges for a range of issues, including misrepresenting the facts and making false job-offer documents.

Kurland said that in his view, “there’s enough there to allow CBSA to seek evidence from every person connected to this transaction.”

“There’s a lot on this silver platter,” Kurland said. “There’s no excuse for doing nothing.”

Have a tip about this story? Contact the CBC iTeam’s Geoff Leo at