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Northwest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust Releases Defensive Second Quarter 2020 Results and Announces Progress on Strategic Priorities along with Board and Management Appointments – Canada NewsWire



TORONTO, Aug. 24, 2020 /CNW/ – NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (the “REIT”) (TSX: NWH.UN), Canada’s leading global diversified healthcare real estate investment trust, today announced its results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2020.

Commenting on the REIT’s second quarter, Paul Dalla Lana, Chairman and CEO of the REIT, said:

“While COVID-19 has created much uncertainty, NorthWest has remained focused on supporting its global operating partners in providing essential healthcare services.  The REIT’s properties have remained open during this challenging operating environment although some tenants have had to adapt their businesses to align with local government and healthcare guidelines.  Despite this, operating performance during the quarter remained defensive with 97.6% of proportionate rent being collected or subject to formal deferral arrangements.”

Mr. Dalla Lana went on to say:

“In addition to strong operating performance, the REIT has also been able to advance all of its strategic priorities during the quarter and finds itself well positioned to continue to its partnership with leading global investors and healthcare operators going forward.”

2020 Second Quarter Financial and Operational Highlights:

For the three months ended June 20, 2020, the REIT delivered another quarter of robust financial and operating results, highlighting the defensiveness of its healthcare real estate portfolio which is focused on hospital, outpatient and medical office segments of healthcare:

  • Net operating income remained stable at $69.9 million;
  • AFFO per unit of $0.20 in Q2 2020 ($0.92 per unit on an annualized normalized basis);
  • AFFO payout ratio of 100% (87% normalized) based on the REIT’s $0.80 per unit annual distribution;
  • Constant currency cash recurring SPNOI growth of 2.9% in Q2 2020 as compared to Q2 2019, driven primarily by annual rent indexation;
  • Portfolio occupancy holding stable at 97.3%, with the international portfolio holding stable at 98.8%;
  • Weighted average lease expiry of 14.5 years increased by 0.5 years, underpinned by the international portfolio’s hospital and healthcare facilities weighted average lease expiry of 20.5 years;
  • Total fee bearing assets under management increased to $8.4 billion;
  • Net asset value per unit of $12.37; and,
  • Consolidated leverage of 49.6% (including convertible debentures)

Impact of COVID-19:

The defensive nature of the REIT’s healthcare real estate portfolio that is 97.3% occupied with more than 80% of the revenues provided directly or indirectly by public healthcare funding, has resulted in the REIT’s operating results and portfolio valuations not being significantly impacted by COVID-19. During Q2 2020, 97.6% of the REIT’s revenues, on a proportionate ownership basis, were either collected or subject to formal deferral arrangements. In July 2020, the REIT’s collections are broadly consistent with 97.2% of rents collected or formally deferred. The REIT’s deferral arrangements span 379 tenants representing approximately 4.0% of annual gross rent with the majority of the arrangements in the REIT’s Canadian and Australasian portfolios. During the quarter, the REIT did not recognize any significant provisions for uncollected rent as it expects outstanding rent to be fully collectible. The REIT has excellent working relationships with all of its tenants and is confident that the vast majority of deferred rent will be recovered.  

The impact of COVID-19 continues to affect countries unevenly with some countries progressing through phased re-openings while others struggle to control the wave of the pandemic. Nonetheless, signs of a return to normalcy are beginning to emerge, despite setbacks particularly in the Australian State of Victoria, as evidenced by the re-start of elective surgeries in most of the REIT’s global markets.

Select Financial Information:

($000’s, except unit and per unit amounts)

Three months ended
June 30, 2020

Three months ended
March 31, 2020

Number of properties



Gross leasable area (sf)

15 million

15 million




Weighted Average Lease Expiry (Years)



Net Operating Income



Net Income (Loss) attributable to unitholders



Funds from Operations (“FFO”)



Adjusted Funds from Operations (“AFFO”)



Debt to Gross Book Value



As a result of the underlying defensiveness of the portfolio, the REIT continued to execute on its key strategic priorities during second quarter and subsequent to quarter end. Significant achievements included:

Management and Board Appointments: 

The REIT is pleased to announce the appointment of Craig Mitchell, currently its CEO, Australasia to the role of President.  He will replace Bernard Crotty who is retiring from the REIT after 15 years of leadership, most recently through its Vital Healthcare Trust subsidiary where he will continue as a NorthWest representative on its board.

Additionally, to support its accelerating growth in Europe, the REIT has added Tim Blackwell as EVP, Funds Management and Marco Mosselman as VP & Country Head, Netherlands, both new positions within the REIT’s management team. 

Finally, the REIT announces the appointment of Ms. Stephani Kingsmill to its board of trustees effective September 8, 2020.  Ms. Kingsmill is an experienced executive who served in a wide range of roles in the insurance, asset management and real estate businesses of Manulife Financial Corporation between 1988 and 2019. Amongst her roles at Manulife, she was EVP, Human Resources for the company’s global workforce, additional experience that is valuable to NWH at this time of ongoing international expansion. Ms. Kingsmill was named one of the 100 most influential women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network in 2008, 2009 and 2014.  She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University and has her ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. 

Ms. Kingsmill will replace Dr. David Naylor who will resign concurrently from the board to focus on a number of urgent public health initiatives related to the COVID-19 pandemic after almost 7 years of service to NorthWest and its predecessor entities. 

Commenting on the Management and Board appointments, Paul Dalla Lana further noted:

“On behalf of NorthWest, we welcome Ms. Kingsmill to our board and wish Dr. Naylor and Mr. Crotty success in their new endeavours noting their many contributions to the growth and success of the REIT over the past years.” 

Q2 2020 Conference Call:

The REIT invites you to participate in its conference call with senior management to discuss our second quarter 2020 results on Monday, August 24, 2020 at 10:00 AM (Eastern).

The conference call can be accessed by dialing 416-764-8609 or 1 (888) 390-0605. The conference ID is 25119140#. Audio replay will be available by dialing 416-764-8677 or 1 (888) 390-0541. The reservation number is 119140#.

In conjunction with the release of the REIT’s second quarter 2020 financial results, the REIT will post a current investor update presentation to its website where additional information on the REIT’s investments and operating performance may be found. Please visit the REIT’s website at

Vital Healthcare Property Trust

On August 10, 2020, Vital Trust also announced its financial results for the year ended June 30, 2020 and confirmed its distribution guidance for NZ$0.0875 per unit for the financial year. Details on Vital Trust’s financial results are available on Vital Trust’s website at

About NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust

NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX: NWH.UN) (NorthWest) is an unincorporated, open-ended real estate investment trust established under the laws of the Province of Ontario. As at June 30, 2020, the REIT provides investors with access to a portfolio of high quality international healthcare real estate infrastructure comprised of interests in a diversified portfolio of 189 income-producing properties and 15.3 million square feet of gross leasable area located throughout major markets in Canada, Brazil, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The REIT’s portfolio of medical office buildings, clinics, and hospitals is characterized by long term indexed leases and stable occupancies. With a fully integrated and aligned senior management team, the REIT leverages 230 professionals across nine offices in five countries to serve as a long-term real estate partner to leading healthcare operators.

Non-IFRS Measures

Some financial measures used in this press release, such as Operating Income, adjusted same-property NOI, FFO, AFFO, Normalized AFFO, Net Asset Value per Unit, portfolio occupancy and weighted average lease expiry, are used by the real estate industry to measure and compare the operating performance of real estate companies, but they do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS. As such, they are unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other real estate companies. These non-IFRS measures are more fully defined and discussed in the REIT’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) for the second quarter ending June 30, 2019, which is available on the SEDAR website at Also on SEDAR are the condensed consolidated unaudited interim financial statements of the REIT for the three months ended December 31, 2019.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements with respect to the REIT, its operations, strategy, financial performance and condition. These statements generally can be identified by use of forward-looking words such as “may”, “will”, “expect”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “intends”, “believe”, “normalized”, “contracted”, “stabilized” or “continue” or the negative thereof or similar variations. The REIT’s actual results and performance discussed herein could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Such statements are qualified in their entirety by the inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations, including that the transactions contemplated herein are completed. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include, among other things, general economic and market factors, competition, changes in government regulations and the factors described under “Risks and Uncertainties” in the REIT’s Annual Information Form and the risks and uncertainties set out in the MD&A which are available on These cautionary statements qualify all forward-looking statements attributable to the REIT and persons acting on its behalf. Unless otherwise stated, all forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and, except as expressly required by applicable law, the REIT assumes no obligation to update such statements.

SOURCE NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust

For further information: please contact Paul Dalla Lana, CEO at (416) 366-8300 x 1001.

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The sale of MEC to a foreign investment firm feels like a betrayal – The Globe and Mail



A MEC store is seen in Vancouver, B.C. on Sept. 15, 2020.


Charlotte Gill is the author of Eating Dirt, a book about trees and tree-planting.

When I walked into Mountain Equipment Co-op for the first time, I’d just been hired as a tree-planter. I was still a teenager and owned little in the way of camping gear. The store was like a small island nation of outdoor enthusiasm. Crossing the threshold was, and still is, like entering a gearhead’s paradise in which every kayak paddle, stove part or topo map known to humanity was within reach. Its sales model was encyclopedic. They sold flashy new lines but also vintage fan favourites, plus all the parts required to repair those items. Each aisle represented an epic adventure waiting to unfold.

Ever since then, I’ve been a heavy MEC user and have amassed a basement full of outdoor equipment, much of it acquired there, some of it still going strong after 30 years of abuse. I’m one of the many customers who still has a square of laminated cardboard, a first membership at “The Co-op,” as it’s still often called, no further modifiers necessary. That membership kept me company through many years of planting trees and through all my travels around the world. The Vancouver store has provisioned me with trail running shoes, ski gloves, sleeping bags, hydration bladders, energy gels, bike pedals, sporks, carry-on bags and multiday backpacks. It’s kept me covered through tears and sweat and shivers, through half a dozen sporting pursuits I never thought I’d even try let alone fall in love with. To me, and to legions of devoted fans, the sale of MEC to an American investment company isn’t just another sign of the retail apocalypse. It’s something like a betrayal.

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MEC was originally the brainchild of six Vancouver mountaineers who started in the 1970s making small, cross-border runs to outdoor equipment retailer REI, whose co-operative structure MEC shares. Gear was bought and sold out of the back of a powder-blue VW van, a replica of which is housed inside the new flagship megastore in Vancouver’s Olympic Village. The first catalogue was a one-page list taped to the door of the Student Union Building at the University of British Columbia, and through its early iterations, the store was run by volunteers.

By the time I discovered MEC 20 years later, it had built a solid trade catering to dirtbag climbers but also to birdwatchers and first-time hikers as well as professional bike couriers and tree-planters like me, all of whom shared an urgent need for comfortable, tough, relatively well-priced equipment. Sales staff knew every product’s precise location, constituent materials and field performance because they’d used it all themselves, often thrashing it to tatters, just as their customers did with repeated use.

The resulting community was a multigenerational, interdisciplinary and remarkably tolerant mixture of experts and beginners, old-school hippies, mountaineers, families and urban weekend warriors. The co-op understood its own history and mandate because its shareholders were also its customers. MEC cared about the environment, and conducted its business accordingly, because its members cared.

Over the years, MEC has donated $44-million to community and conservation groups. Through its endowment fund it has supported the acquisition and preservation of many parks and protected areas. MEC is a founding partner or member of organizations such as Leave No Trace Canada and 1% for the Planet. The co-op has hosted countless races, rides, clinics, meet-ups, gear swaps and outdoor learning programs. Even its warrantied product returns are given to charity.

But MEC seemed to drift from this grassroots ethic over time, a development not lost on its loyal clientele. The co-op faced new competition from online retailers and knock-off brands, some of whom opened their doors just a short jog away. A long reach into streetwear and athleisure markets accompanied several bricks-and-mortar expansions. Enter a new chief executive with big-box credentials.

All of this felt like bloat if not a straying from core values, which also faced scrutiny for their seemingly myopic focus on a white, cis-gendered, thin and able-bodied membership, an oversight that management only began to address very recently. A final irony, the pandemic that brought record numbers of Canadians into the great outdoors this summer was also the force that hastened the demise of the co-op that had equipped them in the first place.

When the sale was announced on Monday, the outcry was swift and passionate. MEC’s five million-plus members were never consulted about the takeover or granted a chance to vote or otherwise rescue their beloved co-operative from $74-million in liabilities. No one agreed to donate their $5 membership shares, nor to give away their consumer data to a foreign-owned private equity firm. At the time of this writing, a petition to block the privatization had reached more than 73,600 signatures.

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Short of a miracle or a successful class action, Kingswood Capital Management will soon own the MEC brand, with “Co-op” removed from its name. This may not be the last stand for the iconic green logo, but it still feels like the beginning of the end for a community institution, a heartbreaking close for the people’s outdoor store.

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Alberta outlines government-wide strategy for attracting new investment to province – Shoreline Beacon



The program is not just aimed at Alberta’s traditional sectors such as agriculture and energy, but also technology, aviation and other sectors

‘Investment and Growth Strategy’ is a $75-million program aimed at bringing investment and creating jobs.


EDMONTON — Alberta is promising a government-wide strategy to attract investment to the province, and sector-specific investments to help the economy recover as Canada emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have to be able to keep up with a very fast economy that is ever-changing,” said Doug Schweitzer, the minister of jobs, economy and innovation, in an interview with the National Post on Thursday. “We have to make sure that we’re there to complement and keep up with the speed of the private sector.”

On Thursday, Schweitzer announced the “Investment and Growth Strategy,” a $75-million program aimed at bringing new investment, creating a diversified economy and stimulating jobs. The program is not just aimed at Alberta’s traditional sectors such as agriculture and energy, but also technology, aviation, financial services and other fast-growing sectors.

“This is the beginning of a whole bunch of other announcements,” said Schweitzer.

Alberta, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, was floundering under the pressures of decreasing oil prices and challenges transporting the province’s main export because of the lack of pipeline capacity. Billions of dollars in investment have left the province in recent years, and Jason Kenney’s United Conservatives were elected on promises to turn the economy around.

Since the pandemic started, things have gotten worse.

Alberta sits at 12 per cent unemployment, and there have been staggering drops in economic activity that are putting pressure on government budgets. Last month’s fiscal update showed an $11.5 billion decrease in revenue flowing into government coffers, attributable mainly to the effects of the pandemic.

The investment strategy aims to sell Alberta abroad, pitching it as an attractive jurisdiction for companies, with low taxes and spending on infrastructure.

“We are showing the world that Alberta’s entrepreneurial spirit will endure with determination and confidence,” says a document outlining the strategy.

Rachel Notley, the leader of the Alberta New Democrats, asked about the investment plan at an unrelated press conference, said the government should restore diversification programs brought in under the NDP.

“The plan they talk about is really, it’s a plan to make a plan, to someday have a plan to incent diversification,” she said. “We do not need to be wasting time with these non-announcements.”

The strategy encompasses many of the things the government has already done during its time in its time in power, including dropping the corporate tax to eight per cent on July 1 — a year and a half ahead of schedule — and creating a new investment corporation to seek out money abroad.

A pumpjack near Acme, northeast of Calgary.

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It also highlights Alberta’s workforce, one of the youngest in the country, with a median age of 36.9 years, and with 71 per cent of those over the age of 25 having some form of post-secondary education.

“Coming into this pandemic, it’s forced us in Alberta to rethink how we move forward,” said Schweitzer.

In July, the United Conservative government outlined a new Crown corporation to attract investment, citing aggressive competition for new investment as justification for the organization. The $6 million annually for Invest Alberta is part of the $75 million for the innovation plan.

“We did launch that earlier on as a concept,” Schweitzer said. “Now it’s being refined and turned into action on our end.”

The province has promised several measures, such as aligning the investment strategies of Alberta’s international offices, more proactively going after potential investors, and offering “concierge” service for those who decide to spend in Alberta.

Schweitzer said there will be sector-specific announcements in the coming weeks covering multiple sectors of the economy.

This includes reform of intellectual property laws, a key portion of Thursday’s announcement, so that ideas and research can be turned into businesses and jobs. Reform will include consultation with the technology sector.

“We’re not going to have all the answers today … but we’re going to set and put a marker in the ground that we’re going to do this faster than all the other jurisdictions in Canada right now that are looking at the exact same issue,” said Schweitzer. “Game on, we’re making sure Alberta’s here to play.”

Trevor Tombe, a University of Calgary economist, said “the devil is always in the details when a government says it is pursuing ‘diversification’ strategies.”

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Kitchener start-up draws $70M in new round of investment –



Kitchener-based ApplyBoard says it has raised another $70 million in a new round of investment.

The new money brings the balooning tech start-up to $170 million raised in its Series C investment, saying this new funding is part of a Series C extension.

ApplyBoard offers a school-application platform geared toward international students.

The company employes a team of more than 500 across 20 countries.

In a release, ApplyBoard says the new funding will be spent “developing its school and student services, expanding its destination markets, and serving a broder diversity of students and recruitment partners globally.”

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