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MBI Business Brief – May 27, 2022

Demand for commercial properties up

The RE/MAX Canada 2022 Commercial Real Estate Report released on May 26 found that demand for industrial real estate remains extremely tight across the country.

Sixty-seven markets surveyed, including Winnipeg, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton-Burlington-Niagara and London, found that there are challenges when leasing industrial real estate space.

“The overall strength of the Canadian economy continues to propel massive expansion in commercial markets across the country in 2022,” said Christopher Alexander, president at RE/MAX Canada. “What began as heightened demand for industrial space to accommodate a growing ecommerce platform during the pandemic has blossomed into a full-blown distribution and logistics network that encompasses millions of square feet in markets across the country. Recent volatility in the stock markets has also prompted a shift to greater investment in the commercial segment as investors look to real estate as a hedge against inflation.”

As well, the report found that Winnipeg’s suburban office space and development lands remain in demand, as well as retail space within neighbourhood microcosms.

The report also noted the demand for land in many centres, including Winnipeg, are leading to creative ways to manage the challenge.

“Land development is pushing city boundaries in major centres and municipalities are scrambling to accommodate residential and industrial intensification,” saidAlexander. “At present the process is painfully slow in most centres, even where land is already serviced. Given the on-going likelihood of demand, policy that helps availability or fast-tracking of approvals would certainly be a boon to the market.”

Kane Biotech announces Q1 2022 results

Winnipeg-based Kane Biotech Inc. announced its Q1 2022 results on May 26. Total revenue for the quarter was $565,433, up 50 per cent from the same time last year, with gross profit hitting $183,621 – up 11 per cent from Q1 2021. The company reported a loss for the first quarter of 2021 at $1,152,164, an increase of 14 per cent compared to ($1,010,892) Q1 2021.

“In our first quarter, we made great progress across our commercialization pillars. We have experienced strong year-over-year sales growth in animal health, and anticipate this to continue, particularly with STEM Animal Health receiving the seal of acceptance by the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council),” said Marc Edwards, Kane Biotech’s CEO. “We saw very compelling results in our DispersinB® Hydrogel pre-clinical trials, in advance of the clinical trial set to commence this summer. Kane is collaborating with the FDA on our coactiv+™ 510(k) application for which a positive pre-submission meeting was recently held and a clear path forward was established. We continue to see robust growth in the sales of our DermaKB™ line of scalp care products, due largely to increased product sales on Amazon. Finally, our recent appointment of Dr. Gregory Schultz, as Chief Scientific Officer, further established Kane as THE Biofilm company.”

NFI releases 2021 ESG report

NFI Group Inc. released its Environmental, Social and Governance Report for 2021 on May 25. The report includes key performance indicators and highlights for 2021, and goals for 2022.

Among the highlights:

  • NFI now has zero-emission buses and coaches operating or on order in more than 80 cities and expanded its zero-emissions presence in Ireland, Britain, New Zealand, and Australia.
  • Each NFI bus is designed and built for either zero-emissions or fuel efficiency.
  • The company conducted a third party survey to conduct a diversity, equity, and inclusion survey and formalized a human rights statement.
  • NFI assessed living wages at its main transit bus production facilities and found 99.78 per cent of employees were at or above the living wage standard in their region.
  • The NFI board is now 40 per cent female and 80 per cent independent, and the company’s executive leadership team is 21 per cent female.

“As leaders in transportation solutions, NFI plays a critical role in driving tangible environmental and social impact. Our products and services lower emissions, create economic opportunities, and build healthier communities. NFI’s fourth annual ESG Report demonstrates our impact and the significant growth and maturity in our Company-wide ESG practices,” said Janice Harper, executive vice president, people and culture, at NFI.

1911 Gold Corp. updates on Rice Lake and Snow Lake

Toronto-based mining firm 1911 Gold Corp. provided an update on its Rice Lake and Apex (Snow Lake) Gold Properties in Manitoba on May 24. The company completed its first phase of exploration drilling for 2022, and will commence filed exploration in the coming weeks.

“The Company is pleased to have drill-tested all but one of its planned targets in Q1-Q2 2022, and is strongly encouraged by the structures, alteration and quartz vein systems observed in drillcore. With all samples now at the assay laboratory, we look forward to releasing new drilling data as final results are received for each project, while also commencing our 2022 field exploration program intended to advance existing projects and to initiate fieldwork at several new projects with excellent potential for large-scale gold systems,” said Scott Anderson, vice president, exploration at 1911 Gold Corp.

The Rice Lake Gold Property is located on the Rice Lake greenstone belt near Ontario’s Red Lake Belt. The Apex Gold (Snow Lake) property is Flin Flon–Snow Lake greenstone belt, which is one of the most prolific mineral belts in the world. 1911 Gold also owns the True North mine and mill complex at Bissett, Man.

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