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Volume 11, Issue 12, March 24, 2011

Association News

2011 Spring Conference & AGM: "Boom, Bust & Bounce Back"
This year's CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM is less than two weeks away. The value-packed one day conference for CHHMA members offers a great line-up of speakers and topics that address current issues and will provide you with helpful information to succeed in the new economy.

Keynote Addresses:

- An economic update on the Canadian, U.S. and World economies and the key aspects going forward.
- How to adapt, grow and capitalize for greater success in the new economic reality.
- How to use social media to market your company and products (with actual CHHMA company case studies).
- How to grow, not just sustain profitability during economic downturns and upswings.

Breakout Sessions:

- How to do more with less in the new economy (Tips on how to reduce stress, get more done and boost profitability).
- The pros and cons of using a currency hedging program in your pricing strategy.
- The latest trends in home improvement and design.
- How to develop a peak performing team.
- How to read a balance sheet, understand cash flow, operating statements and other financial management basics.
- The requirements, regulations and costs involved in importing and exporting and options for improving the process.

Also join us for the Industry Hall of Fame inductions of Annette Verschuren, former president of The Home Depot Canada and Joseph Kuchar, founder of Recochem Inc., which will take palce during the luncheon portion of the conference.

The Conference & AGM is taking place on Tuesday, April 5th at the International Centre Conference Facility, 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, Ontario.

Corporate packages are available for $1,000 + HST and include tickets for four attendees plus any additional tickets for a reduced price of $250 + HST.

Individual conference tickets are available for $350 + HST.
For further information or to register for the Spring Conference & AGM, click here.

Member News

International Association Honours Scott Macdonald of Envirogard Products, Limited

The Water Quality Association (WQA) presented Scott Macdonald of Envirogard Products, Limited, the Award of Merit for commitment to quality water treatment at its annual convention and trade show in San Antonio last month.

In presenting the award, WQA stated: "Scott has given his time and expertise to the Canadian Water Quality Association and to WQA. As a pioneering president of the Canadian association in the early nineties, Scott developed the organization's first education and certification program. He is an active member of advisory boards that help provincial governments and the national government in Canada draft regulatory and technical matters. Employing his technical expertise, Scott helped develop the first Canadian Drinking Water Treatment Unit standard, which will be included in the Canadian National Plumbing Code in 2014."

The Water Quality Association is a not-for-profit international trade organization representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. Its membership consists of both manufacturers as well as dealers/distributors of equipment.

Industry News

Canadian Tire Launches New Marketing Campaign 

Last Saturday, Canadian Tire launched a new multi million dollar marketing campaign with the slogan "Bring it on". 

Recent research found that Canadian Tire's three year old marketing campaign (with its tag line "For days like today") has had a good run but is increasingly mistaken by ads from rivals and vice-versa, said Rob Shields, the new senior vice-president of marketing at Canadian Tire. "It just started to get lost in the shuffle," Mr. Shields said. "The insights we have [now] into the Canadian consciousness are much different, we think, from any of our competitors - present or future."

Their research found that consumers in small communities were particularly attached to Canadian Tire, partly because it's often the only major retailer in those locations. "We are in communities that our competitors will not go into because the economics don't work."   The new campaign tries to play on that strength by connecting Canadian Tire to the needs and demands of the small-town consumer, focusing on the changing seasons.

One of the new commercials, showing seasonal images such as a boy on a bike, starts with a voiceover "There's a reason we Canadians are the way we are ..."

"We like to hold hockey practices at 6 a.m., barbeque when we want to barbeque and load up minivans to drive forever to remote cottages and campsites."

"Who else would rake up a six-foot pile of leaves just so the kids can jump in it? Or shovel a backyard full of snow just so the family can skate in it?"

The message: Canadians love a challenge and Canadian Tire can help them get the chores done. As the ad says: "Bring it on." 

Stewardship News

Annual Blue Box & MMSM Reports Due by March 31, 2011   

This is another reminder that 2010 reports for the Ontario Blue Box and the Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba (MMSM) programs are due by March 31, 2011. Online portals for reporting are available at and First payments are due by April 30, 2011.

If you require any assistance with your reporting or have any questions regarding these programs, feel free to contact our CHHMA stewardship consultants: Al Marks at (416-282-0022 ext.24) or Duncan Deans at (416-282-0022 ext.22).

2009 Schedule Of Contributions Approved by RECYC-QUEBEC's Board of Directors 

The 2009 Schedule of Contributions continues its progress towards publication in the Gazette officielle du Quebec.  RECYC-QUEBEC submitted a favourable analysis to its Board of Directors, who approved the document on March 10, 2011. The 2009 Schedule of Contributions was sent on to the Government of Quebec, which will also have it studied by relevant government officials. Three to four months are usually required for this process before the document is published in the Gazette officielle du Quebec and becomes effective. The 2009 filing period is therefore not expected to begin until early summer 2011. We will keep you informed as the issue progresses.

Eco Entreprises Quebec (EEQ) suggests stewards begin compiling their data on materials generated between January 1 and December 31, 2009. Moreover, if you generate printed matter with recycled content, be sure to check the Schedule of Contributions for thresholds that could earn you a 20% credit. Ask your suppliers for supporting documentation - this information is required to take advantage of the credit.

EEQ's Annual General Assembly (AGA) will be held on April 27, 2011, at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. EEQ members have already received the list of nominees to fill the six vacant seats on the Board of Directors, and all information relating to registration and meeting details will be provided at the beginning of April.

If you are a member of EEQ but did not receive the notice, please contact Member Services to have them check your contact information. The AGA is a particularly good opportunity to meet the Board of Directors and hear about the organization's 2010 activities as well as directions and projects planned for 2011. Please note that the AGA is open to companies and organizations who were members of EEQ on March 3, 2011. For further information, go to

Economic News

Retail Sales Fall in January  

Statistics Canada reported on Tuesday that retail sales dropped by 0.3% in January from December to a seasonally adjusted $37.1 billion. The decline was led by automobiles and fuel and a drop in purchases in Quebec as that province raised its sales tax 1%. Sales in volume terms fell 0.6%. 

Sales were down in 7 of 11 subsectors, representing 55% of total retail sales, and fell in four major provinces, which account for 85% of total retail sales.

Consumer spending growth will slow this year and record debt loads mean housing will be a drag on expansion, the Bank of Canada said in January. The federal government also tightened consumer lending rules in January to prevent excessive borrowing.

Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers fell 1.5% and sales at gasoline stations dropped 1.4%, the first decline since June. Food and beverage store sales rose 0.7% while furniture and home furnishing store sales fell 2.3%. Sales at general merchandise stores, which include department stores, increased 1.2%, the fourth increase in five months. For a third time in four months, higher sales were reported at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (+1.0%). Sales at sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores rose 0.9% in January.

Composite Leading Indicator Rises in February 

On Tuesday, Statistics Canada said that Canada's composite leading indicator rose 0.8% in February from January, in part due to a new found strength in the manufacturing sector.

The better than expected leading indicator was double the gains of the previous three months and the largest single increase since last May. The increase was broadly-based with 9 of the 10 components posting gains in February.

In manufacturing, new orders for durable goods increased by 1% in February after three straight declines. Statscan linked this to a marked improvement in exports. Manufacturers appeared optimistic that the improvement in demand was sustainable, as they extended the length of the work week and substantially boosted employment levels over the past three months.

Stock market prices, boosted by the energy sectors, rose 2.7% for their sixth straight monthly advance. The housing index rose by 1.8% on higher existing home sales - its fourth consecutive monthly gain. The improvement in housing was reflected in furniture and appliance sales, up 0.9% for their first gain in eight months. Spending on other durable goods rose 0.6%.   

Inflation Dips to 2.2% in February  

Statistics Canada reported last Friday that Canada's overall consumer price index rose 2.2% in February, down from 2.3% in January. Meanwhile, the core inflation index, which excludes volatile items like gasoline, slowed in February to a record low of 0.9%.

Prices were higher in February in six of eight major components. Energy prices (+10.6%), particularly the cost of gasoline (+15.7%), contributed to keeping inflation above the Bank of Canada's target rate of 2%. The largest increase occurred in the transportation component, where prices rose 5.1% in the 12 months to February. Consumers also paid 4.0% more in passenger vehicle insurance premiums. Shelter costs rose 2.2% in February, matching the increase in January. Homeowners' replacement costs increased 3.5% while consumers paid more for electricity as well as for fuels. However, the mortgage interest cost index continued to decrease. The price for natural gas also fell. Prices for household operations, furnishings and equipment increased 1.7% year-over-year.

"While the rest of the world seems to be grappling with rising inflation pressures, Canada is going in the opposite direction - both headline and core inflation have eased since the start of the year," BMO Nesbitt Burns deputy chief economist Douglas Porter wrote in a note to investors.

"This is set to reverse next month, as Canada gets with the global program, but the low starting point is very favourable. Suffice it to say that this keeps the pressure well off the Bank of Canada to get back in tightening mode any time soon." 
U.S. New Home Sales Plunge to Record Low in February  

The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that U.S. new home sales fell 16.9% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 250,000 homes, an all-time low. It was the third straight monthly decline and far below the 700,000 a year pace in a healthy economy.

The median price of a new home dropped nearly 14% to $202,100, the lowest since December 2003.

Homebuilders are struggling to compete with the large number of foreclosures that have lowered the price of previously owned homes (new home prices are now 30% higher than of those being re-sold). High unemployment, tight credit and uncertainty over prices have also kept potential buyers from making purchases.

With 3 million foreclosures forecast this year nationally, a turnaround in home sales isn't expected for at least three years.
U.S. Home Resales Fall 9.6% in February

The National Association of Realtors said on Monday that sales of previously owned homes fell in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million. That's down 9.6% from 5.4 million in January, reversing three straight months of gains. The weak rate of sales pushed home prices down 5.2% to $156,100, the lowest level since April 2002. Nearly 40% of the sales last month were either foreclosures or short sales, when the seller accepts less than they owe on the mortgage.

The number of unsold homes on the market rose to 3.49 million units in February or an inventory level of 8.6 months, up from 7.5 in January. Six months is a healthier supply.

Analysts said the situation is much worse when the "shadow inventory" of homes is taken into account. These are homes that are in the early stages of the foreclosure process but have not been put on the market yet for resale.

"If the price declines persist, even with the job market recovery, that could hamper recovery in the housing market," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

 CHHMA Events For 2011

Spring Conference & Annual General Meeting
Tuesday, April 5
International Centre, Mississauga, Ontario

Maple Leaf Night
Tuesday, May 10
The Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Quebec Golf Tournament
Tuesday, May 17
Le Fontainebleau Golf Club, Blainville, Quebec

Ontario Golf Tournament
Wednesday, May 25
Angus Glen Golf Club, Markham, Ontario

Night at the Races
Wednesday, June 15
Woodbine Racetrack, Toronto, Ontario

Industry Memorial Golf Classic
Tuesday, September 27
Blue Springs Golf Club, Acton, Ontario

To register for all events visit our website at or call Pam Winter at (416) 282-0022 ext.21.


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"Eye On Our Industry" is published by the CHHMA as an information resource for our members. Member input regarding content and format is welcomed. Please contact Michael Jorgenson by email:, or call at (416) 282-0022, ext. 34. CHHMA is located at 1335 Morningside Ave., Suite 101, Scarborough, ON, M1B 5M4

Canadian Hardware & Housewares Manufacturers Association | 1335 Morningside Ave., Suite 101, Scarborough, ON M1B 5M4
Telephone: (416) 282-0022   Email: