7 Oct
2019

Howard Staff was a loyal friend to Brock

In March 2009, Howard Staff helped the University launch its Campaign for a Bold New Brock. Many in the Brock community were shocked and saddened to learn of the death on June 27 of Howard Staff, a longtime friend of the University who was well known throughout the Niagara region as a community builder and an iconic figure in Ontario’s grape-growing industry.Staff, who was 71, was the sixth generation to operate the family farm that has been a vineyard since the 19th century, and today encompasses more than 800 acres of grapes along the escarpment bench in the Town of Lincoln.The Staff family has had a close relationship with Brock. In the 1990s, Howard joined other grape and wine industry leaders in forming the founders committee that helped create Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute. Since its launch, CCOVI has gone on to become a national centre of research that greatly supports Canada’s grape-growers and wineries.Howard’s wife, Wendy Staff, was a member of Brock’s Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2008, and for several years has been on the organizing committee of the President’s Golf Tournament, which raises thousands of dollars to support student athletes. Their daughter Sue-Ann Staff is one of Canada’s top winemakers, and is a former Winemaker of the Year in Ontario.Brock President Jack Lightstone said the University owes much to the Staff family.“Howard and Wendy’s lives have been intertwined with Brock for years,” he said. “I remember Howard’s stories about going to farm after farm as a young man, helping to raise money for Brock’s founding. He will be sorely missed by the Brock community.”Debbie Inglis, Director of CCOVI and herself a grape grower, praised Howard Staff’s commitment to his friends and to the industry that he worked tirelessly to help shape and lead for half a century.“He was an inspiration to so many, including myself,” said Inglis. “His generosity, sense of values and genuine nature will be sadly missed. I take comfort in knowing the qualities we all so admired in Howard live on through his children and grandchildren.Staff was one of the longest-serving members of the Grape Growers of Ontario, spending 38 years on its growers committee and 10 as a board member. He also sat on the Niagara Escarpment Commission, and was president of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Assn. read more

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4 Oct
2019

Financial strain can result in heavy toll on relationships poll

Financial strain can result in heavy toll on relationships: poll by Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 13, 2013 4:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – It may not be romantic, but couples who avoid talking about money problems may eventually see the financial strain effect their relationship, according to a survey released Wednesday.The study, conducted by Ipsos Reid for Calgary-based accounting firm MNP Ltd., found that 20 per cent of Canadians polled who were married or common-law say their relationship problems are due to their current debt situations. And 27 per cent say financial stress has left a negative impact on their relationships.“The critical thing is what is actually causing the riff in their relationship, and they say it is actually financial (problems),” said Grant Bazian, president and CEO of MNP.The study also found that younger married couples and those in common-law partnerships were most likely to say money was affecting their relationships (41 per cent) compared with those who were middle-aged (28 per cent) and seniors (16 per cent).Those with children were also more likely (35 per cent) than those without (23 per cent) to say their relationships were strained by finances.Twenty-two per cent also reported that they found it difficult to make the minimum payments on their debts, loans and credit cards even though the vast majority (96 per cent) say they are aware of how much money they owe.According to the last calculation from Statistics Canada, the average household owes 165 per cent more than it earns in annual disposable income — meaning an average family with $100,000 annual disposable income owes $165,000.Bazian says sharing with your spouse is key if you don’t want financial stresses to affect your relationship.“It’s all about communication,” he said. “It’s something you wouldn’t want to hide — especially if the debt is joint.”The poll also found that those who lived in Atlantic Canada were most likely (32 per cent) to say they struggled to make their minimum monthly debt repayments, followed by Ontarians (25 per cent), Albertans (22 per cent), B.C. residents (18 per cent), Quebecers (18 per cent) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents (15 per cent).“Dealing with debt can be overwhelming. And this Valentine’s Day, when you’re getting ready to purchase that gift for your loved one, you may want to think twice as to whether or not you can afford more purchases on your credit card,” said Bazian in a release.“Is the gift worth the high interest rates and will it bring more joy, or just more stress, to your relationship?”The survey results are from an Ipsos Reid online poll of 1,000 married and common-law living Canadians conducted between January 23 to 29. read more

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