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With much of the country heading back into province-wide lockdowns and additional measures this week, the Canadian economy has had a slow start to 2022.

RBC predicts that the spread of the Omicron variant will continue to put pressure on Canada’s economic growth, with travel and hospitality sectors taking the brunt of the weight.

In the long-term, however, banks do not expect to see lasting effects from the Omicron variant, according to an RBC Economics report released on Thursday, and expect marginal rate increases from the BoC, Fed, BoE and RBA this year.

Canada’s main stock index saw minor declines this week, and as of 1:55 pm on Friday, the S&P/TSX Composite was down 0.77 per cent over the last five days. The index hit its high for the week on Tuesday (21,377.07) and a low on Friday at 11:00 am.

The Loonie was also steady this week, remaining at its pre-new-year rate of US$0.78/C$1.00.

Gold, for its part, is trading up 6.30 cents today, coming in at US$1,797.20 per ounce ($57.78 per gram).

This week’s top stories followed companies in the technology, mining, and health care sectors. Let’s take a look at the stories that caught our readers’ attention this week.

Nextech AR (CSE:NTAR) signs multiple deals for its CAD-Poly Solutions

Technology company Nextech AR Solutions made news again this week as it signed deals with Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), Jacuzzi Brands LLC, and Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F).

With this announcement, the company validated its proprietary CAD-Poly 3D modelling technology called ARitize CAD.

Nextech AR CEO Evan Gappelberg sat down with Dave Jackson to discuss the technology.

“2022 has only just begun,” said Mr. Gappelberg, “and we are already seeing a growing momentum and increased demand across industries for everything 3D, setting the stage for Nextech to have a record breaking number of 3D models in the market for 2022!”

Shares in Nextech AR Solutions are up 6.62 per cent, trading at $1.45 per share as of 2:10 pm EST.

Ucore (TSXV:UCU) provides update on RapidSX commercialization

On Thursday, Ucore Rare Metals announced that its subsidiary Innovation Metals Corp. (IMC) is ready to begin construction on a RapidSX demonstration plant in Q1 2022.

Ucore and IMC anticipate that the RapidSX technology will be ready for commercial adoption and implementation by the second quarter of 2022.

The technology will be used in Ucore’s Alaska Strategic Metals Complex (SMC) engineering development program.

Shares in Ucore Rare Metals Inc. are up 3.57 per cent, trading at $0.87 per share as of 2:15 pm EST.

Mindset Pharma (CSE:MSET) and the McQuade Center partner to develop psychedelic medicines

Caroline Egan sat down with Mindset Pharma CEO James Lanthier on Wednesday to discuss the company’s partnership with the McQuade Center (MRSD).

The McQuade Center will support the development of two families of Mindset’s novel medical psychedelic compounds through Phase 1a and Phase 1b clinical trials.

“We look forward to leveraging their extensive experience in drug development and CNS indications to accelerate and de-risk our development pathway as we prepare to launch clinical trials,” said Mr. Lanthier.

Shares in Mindset Pharma Inc. are down 1.33 per cent, trading at $0.74 per share as of 2:00 pm EST.

Vejii Holdings (CSE:VEJI) closes acquisition of VEDGEco USA Inc.

On Tuesday, Vejii Holdings announced the completion of its previously announced acquisition of VEDGEco USA Inc.

VEDGEco is a leading online business-to-business (B2B) wholesale platform for plant-based products.

Vejii has acquired 100 per cent of the issued and outstanding shares of VEDGEco for US$6,250,000 and issued an aggregate of 12,865,000 common shares with a deemed value of C$4,502,750.

Kory Zelickson, CEO of Vejii sat down with Caroline Egan to discuss the successful transaction.

Shares in Vejii Holdings are up 2.44 per cent, trading at $0.21 per share as of 1:24 pm EST.

Quipt (TSXV:QIPT) acquires Indiana-based home health company

In health care news, Quipt Home Medical announced on Tuesday that it had acquired Indianapolis-based At Home Health Equipment for $13.1 million.

At Home Health Equipment has been a leader in the respiratory home care services space for over 25 years and its insurance contracts in Indianapolis will bolster Quipt’s presence in the area.

“This is a significant acquisition as it creates the largest single market for us in a very attractive region,” said Quipt CEO Greg Crawford. “Our operating engine and proven ability to integrate acquired assets allows us to continue the strong pace of closing larger strategic acquisitions during this exciting growth period.”

Quipt expects the addition of At Home Health Equipment to increase its annual revenues by approximately $13 million and its net income by $1.6 million.

Shares in Quipt Home Medical Corp. are up 2.16 per cent, trading at $7.57 per share as of 2:16 pm EST.

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