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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Remembering Lyman Henderson

       On June 22nd, the Canadian printing industry lost one of its greats, as 92-year-old Lyman Henderson passed away at his Toronto residence after a brief illness. 
       It always seemed to me that there was nothing Lyman enjoyed more than a new business challenge.  I remember that, whenever I would pose one to him, you could almost hear the gears whirring in his brain as he scanned his considerable intelligence for a solution--which he invariably provided.
       Obituaries and details on commemorations can be found at:
       Lyman's own blog, Bedtime Stories for Grown Ups, including his final entry dated two days before his passing, can be found at:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

On-site device prints Tim Hortons coffee cup sleeves with Twitter news feeds

     In an ingenious rethinking of the way people consume news with coffee, ad agency Y&R Dubai has created ‘headline news’ cup sleeves for Canadian coffee franchise Tim Hortons and Gulf News, a daily English newspaper in the United Arab Emirates. The way the new system works is:  when a customer buys a cup of coffee, the barista places the sleeve into a special printer that prints the latest headline from the Gulf News Twitter account on it, along with a short URL and QR code.  So after reading the headline of the hour on their cup sleeve, customers can scan the QR code or type the URL into their mobile devices to access the full story.
     Thanks to Deborah Corn, Chief Operations Officer at U.S.-based and founder of the 37,000+ member Print Production Professionals Group on LinkedIn, for bringing this news story to my attention via her post today.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Printing Company Fined $60,000 After Worker Injured

     You may feel compelled to double-check that your presses are equipped with adequate safety guards after the Ontario Court of Justice (St. Catharines) imposed a fine of $60,000 on Friday on American Color Graphics Inc., an American printing company carrying on business as Vertis Communications, for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
     The violation resulted in an injury to a summer student’s hand in a printing press at the company's facility in Stevensville, Ontario, in August 2010.  A subsequent investigation by the Ontario Ministry of Labour found that the area of the press where the worker's hand was drawn into the rollers was protected by a guard, but that the guard was inadequate to prevent access to the press’s pinch point.
     In addition to the $60,000 fine, the court imposed a 25-percent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bill C-311 will expand Canadian wine market--and packaging opportunities for printers--even further

Several of my recent columns for PrintAction have discussed the growing markets for wine, beer, and alcoholic spirits in Canada and the innovations in packaging that are both helping to drive them and creating new opportunities for printers. This week another development signals further commercial growth for wine:  Bill C-311--a private member's bill ending the restrictions on carrying wine across provincial borders for personal consumption--passed third reading in Canada’s House of Commons with unanimous support.  Now it heads to the Senate, where it is also expected to pass.
The bill was introduced last October by Conservative MP Dan Albas, who represents the federal riding of Okanagan-Coquihalla in the heart of British Columbia’s wine-producing territory.  "We should be trying to take down these barriers to make it as easy to sell to someone in Alberta as it is to sell to someone in China," Albas told CBC News after the bill passed Wednesday night.
Since the prohibition-era Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act, it has been illegal in Canada (with a few exceptions) to carry alcohol across provincial borders.  The new bill would allow people to do so, although only for personal use, as well as allow Canadian vineyards to ship wine by post or courier to customers in other provinces.  Small wineries have long complained that the current interprovincial barriers prevent people from legally taking home a few bottles from their favourite vineyards out of province.  
Although wine can already be shipped between provinces for commercial sale, the shipments are only permitted through the provincial regulatory and marketing bodies for alcohol, such as British Columbia’s Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB) and the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).  Thus many smaller vineyards say they are left out of the process because they don't produce enough product to interest the provincial regulators.
While passage of Bill C311 will help alleviate small wineries’ concerns, it won’t eliminate all provincial restrictions.  For example, regulators in British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and the Yukon still limit the amount of alcohol their residents can bring from other provinces for personal use to:  one case of wine, four bottles of spirits, and a combined total of six dozen beer, cider and coolers.