Google launches program paying for news in Canada with 11 publishers – Business News –

The Canadian Press – Oct 27, 2021 / 9:17 am | Story: 349830

The Bank of Canada is warning inflation will stay higher for longer than it previously forecast and signalled that an interest rate hike may be coming sooner than expected.

The central bank said Wednesday it now forecasts that annual inflation rates will continue their upward swing through the rest of year, averaging 4.75 per cent, and be 3.4 per cent next year, up from its previous forecast of 2.4 per cent, before coming back to its two per cent target by 2023.

Driving the rise in prices are global forces that have snarled supply chains, pushed up costs for companies and limited the supply of in-demand goods. The bank expects the worst of supply problems will hit at the end of the year.

Adding to pressures are higher prices for gasoline and natural gas, and a rebound in prices for some in-person services like hotels and flight fares.

Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem said higher prices are challenging for Canadians, making it harder for them to cover their bills.

“I want to assure you that inflation is not going to stay as high as it is today, even if it is going to take somewhat longer to come down,” he said.

“The Bank of Canada is committed to ensuring that price increases we’re experiencing today don’t become ongoing inflation. … As these forces play out, it is our job to bring inflation back to target, and I can assure you we will do that.”

The bank said the economy has rebounded far enough for it to end its government bond-purchasing program aimed at encouraging lower interest rates, but the recovery is far from complete, which why it kept its key policy rate on hold at 0.25 per cent.

The bond purchases will be rolled back to the point where the bank effectively stops adding stimulus to the economy and rather maintain what is already there.

Macklem said the new pace of bond purchases will depend on the strength of the recovery and path for inflation, adding it is “reasonable to expect” bond buying will keep up at least until the bank raises its policy rate.

In its outlook Wednesday, the bank suggests interest rate increases could start sooner than previously expected, as early as the second quarter of 2022, “although the very unusual challenges of reopening an economy make this timing more uncertain than usual.”

TD Bank senior economist Sri Thanabalasingam expects the Bank of Canada will raise rates three times next year, taking its key rate to one per cent by the end of 2022.

“Inflation is heating up, and it would be prudent to remove some monetary stimulus as the economy continues down the road to recovery,” Thanabalasingam wrote in a note.

“That being said, we must acknowledge that there is significant uncertainty around the economic outlook right now. A resurgence of the pandemic could result in greater stimulus, but if there is a faster-than-expected acceleration in household spending, the Bank could raise rates at a faster clip.”

In its monetary policy report, the Bank of Canada cut its expectations for growth in the Canadian economy this year to 5.1 per cent from its previous forecast of 6.0 per cent. Growth next year is now expected to clock in at 4.3 per cent, down from an earlier forecast for 4.6 per cent.

The central bank warned that economic growth could slow if there is a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, with the bank pointing to evidence that vaccine immunity may wane quicker than previously anticipated.

On the flip side, households may decide to start spending more of their savings sooner if they feel more comfortable carried on the back of high vaccination rates, which would raise demand and add to inflationary pressures.

Similarly, the outlook warns that temporary factors driving inflation could become even more persistent and drive wage growth that itself fuels an inflationary spiral.

Although the country has recovered the three million jobs lost during the depths of the COVID-19 downturn last year, unemployment remains above pre-pandemic levels and some employers are having a tough time hiring workers.

The bank said labour shortages could persist as more out-of-work Canadians look to re-skill and leave industries like restaurants and bars that are in need of workers.

So far, wage growth remains at or below pre-pandemic levels, but the bank is watching whether that changes as businesses try to attract talent.


The Canadian Press – Oct 27, 2021 / 9:15 am | Story: 349841

The University of Toronto says it will sell off all fossil fuel investments in its $4 billion endowment fund by the end of 2030 and target a net-zero portfolio by 2050 to help fight climate change.

The commitment includes divesting from all direct investments in fossil fuels companies within the next year, and to divest from indirect exposure to fossil fuels through things like pooled investments by 2030.

The announcement by University of Toronto President Meric Gertler comes after he rejected a call in 2016 for the university to divest, saying at the time that the university would focus on pushing for better carbon disclosure and encouraging companies to reduce emissions.

At the time, the university also committed to reducing the carbon footprint of the endowment, but Gertler says that the growing severity of the climate crisis means the university must now take additional, immediate and decisive action.

U of T becomes the latest Canadian university to commit to divesting their endowment, following on the likes of University of British Columbia, University of Guelph and Concordia University.

The divestment movement has gathered momentum globally with recent news including Harvard University committing in September to divest its US$42 billion endowment, while a coalition of groups pushing for divestment said Tuesday that there’s now some $39.2 trillion in capital committed to not invest in fossil fuels.

The Canadian Press – Oct 27, 2021 / 9:11 am | Story: 349839

As Canada doubles down on efforts to reduce harmful methane emissions, experts say one of the trickiest hurdles standing in the way is the burping cow.

Methane — a clear, odourless gas — accounts for just 13 per cent of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions, but because it is better than carbon dioxide at trapping heat it is believed to be responsible for at least one-third of global warming recorded to date.

That makes it a high priority for governments seeking to live up to their climate change commitments. Earlier this month, Canada confirmed its support for the Global Methane Pledge, which aims to reduce global emissions by 30 per cent below 2020 levels by 2030. The initiative, led by the U.S. and Europe, will be launched at the UN climate summit in Scotland in November.

Forty-three per cent of Canada’s total methane emissions come from the oil and gas industry, and the federal government has already put regulations in place to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by 40 to 45 per cent over 2012 levels by 2025. Last week, Canada said its new goal will be to align with the International Energy Agency’s recommendation that methane from the oil and gas industry must be cut 75 per cent from 2012 levels by the end of this decade.

But when it comes to agriculture, there are no regulations, or even federal targets, in place. This is in spite of the fact that the industry is responsible for 24 per cent of Canada’s total methane emissions.

Methane is a natural byproduct of cattle digestion, meaning it is emitted into the atmosphere every time a beef or dairy cow burps or passes gas. And unlike in oil and gas — where existing leak detection and repair technology can go a long way toward reducing methane emissions — there is no obvious solution for the problem yet.

“I think the biology’s a bit more complicated on the agricultural side than it is on the oil and gas side,” said Tim McAllister, a Lethbridge, Alta.-based research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. “A lot of the oil and gas issues I think can be handled by engineering solutions.”

That doesn’t mean scientists aren’t trying. Around the globe, research is being done on everything from optimization of cattle diets to the addition of feed additives — everything from nitrates to seaweed — in an effort to reduce methane emissions.

Scientists are also looking into the possibility of a vaccine that could target the methane-producing microbes in a cow’s gut. Some researchers are even experimenting with putting mask-like accessories over a cow’s mouth to trap methane burps.

Between 1981 and 2011, the beef industry was able to reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 15 per cent, said Brenna Grant, manager of Canfax Research Services, the research arm of industry group The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. Those improvements were largely due to improvements in feed quality and efficiency.

Grant said last year, the beef industry set its own target of reducing primary production greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 33 per cent over the next 10 years — a goal she acknowledged is ambitious.

“Let’s just say it’s going to be a stretch. And the thing is, we wanted to make it a stretch,” she said. “We wanted it to be something we would really have to strive and work on.”

Experts say even if a technology makes sense scientifically, it also has to make economic sense. No farmer is going to pay for a methane-reducing feed additive unless it somehow also improves his or her bottom line.

Guillaume Lhermie, director of the Simpson Centre for Agricultural Policy and Public Education at the University of Calgary, said so far, farmers have remained relatively unaffected by Canada’s current climate policies. The use of on-farm fuels, for example, remains exempt from federal carbon pricing.

But Lhermie said the beef industry should expect to come under increasing regulatory and governmental pressure in years to come. He added that in order to avoid onerous emissions-related legislation and maintain greater freedom in production decisions, the sector needs to proactively tackle the issue.

“It is almost certain that there will be increasing pressure to reduce emissions from the agricultural sector,” he said. “It could mean massive disruption for the sector.”


The Canadian Press – Oct 27, 2021 / 7:17 am | Story: 349829

Teck Resources Ltd. beat expectations as it reported a third-quarter profit of $816 million, up from $61 million in the same quarter last year, helped by strong commodity prices.

The Vancouver-based miner says the profit amounted to $1.51 per diluted share for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from 11 cents per diluted share a year ago.

Revenue totalled $3.97 billion, up from $2.29 billion.

The increase came as the company’s realized copper price rose to US$4.28 per pound compared with US$3 a year ago, while its realized zinc price climbed to US$1.36 per pound, up from US$1.05. Teck’s realized steelmaking coal price rose to US$237 per tonne compared with US$102 in the same quarter last year.

On an adjusted basis, Teck says it earned $1.88 per diluted share in its most recent quarter, up from an adjusted profit of 24 cents per diluted share in the same quarter last year.

The average analyst estimate had been for an adjusted profit of $1.50 per share, according to financial market data firm Refinitiv.

Teck CEO Don Lindsay says it was a record adjusted profit for the quarter.

“Heading into the fourth quarter, we are focused on continuing to optimize sales and production to capitalize on high commodity prices and advancing our priority QB2 copper project,” Lindsay said in a statement.

The Canadian Press – Oct 27, 2021 / 7:02 am | Story: 349826

As an executive with the City of Toronto, Lawrence Eta now makes a point of not coming into the office every day.

The chief technological officer said that’s because he wants to lead by example and show his employees that there will be no preferences between someone who is working on-site or remotely in their hybrid working model.

“I won’t be in the office five days a week, it’s done,” said Eta, who said he only comes into work one day a week at the moment, and plans to be on-site two or three days a week down the road.

“If we don’t work that way, then staff are going to feel a bit pressured.”

A survey commissioned by tech company Cisco suggests more managers need to lead by example, since nearly half of Canadian workers are worried that they would be viewed less favourably and lose out on promotion opportunities if they work remotely in a hybrid working model.

At the same time, 77 per cent of respondents said flexibility is a key factor that’ll be part of their decision to stay with or leave a company.

Shannon Leininger, president of Cisco Canada, said the results show how important it is for employers to form a workplace culture that supports both remote and in-person workers equally.

“There are things that you can do and that leaders have to take on to ease those tensions,” said Leninger, who said it’s important that managers meet with their teams and make it clear that they’re making an effort not to unconsciously favour workers on-site over remote workers.

“You really have to sit down and have a conversation about hybrid work and define what it looks like, and what are the types of work that needs to happen physically together and what you can do from home.”

Mike Shekhtman, a regional vice-president with recruitment agency Robert Half Canada, said employers need to make a point of shaking old biases, such as calling on a worker who happens to be sitting close to them in a fast-paced environment.

“You have to have a remote-focused approach, which ensures that remote workers have the same equity and opportunities as somebody sitting next to you,” said Shekhtman.

For things like team lunches, Shekhtman suggested sending out food delivery gift cards to workers off-site so they can join in virtually along with on-site staff.

“All those little things give people the confidence that, ‘hey, just because I’m not there, I’m still very much valuable as part of the team.'”

Eta, with the city of Toronto, said he has made a habit of pausing during fast-paced moments to consider if the best person for the task may actually be working remotely, rather than just the worker who is within sight.

“It’s a bit of a mental muscle training thing,” said Eta, who said on tasks that take multiple members, it’s worth the effort getting everyone into a conference room so that remote and on-site employees can work together.

“It’s a way we as managers have to check ourselves.”

Leninger also said managers need to consider what their offices will look like in a hybrid workspace, and whether desks will be replaced with larger collaboration and meeting areas.

She said companies that skew towards remote work will need to reflect that in their office design by making their workspace a collaborative area for employees to be able to work together when on-site.

“If you define work and say, ‘hey this is when we have to come together… and this is what in-person looks like,’ the office need to reflect that,” said Leninger.

The Canadian Press – | Story: 349823

Cash started flowing from Google to Canadian publishers Wednesday as the tech giant brought a program that pays media companies for news to the country.

The Google News Showcase program went live at midnight, giving 11 publishers the ability to boost the positioning and look of their articles through Google News.

Articles that publishers select to be part of the program appear in stylized boxes at the top of Google News with short summaries or related stories.

Google pays a licensing fee to be able to highlight the stories, which sometimes include paywalled pieces they allow some readers to view for free.

The Canadian launch of the Google News Showcase comes after publishers lobbied governments and major tech companies for years in hopes of receiving more financial support for journalism and stricter regulations for those profiting off news but not creating it.

Sabrina Geremia, Google Canada’s vice-president and managing director, acknowledged that past.

“We have a long history of engaging with the news industry in Canada, but we know we need to do more,” she said, in a briefing ahead of the program launch.

Google’s commitment to journalism comes after the Public Policy Forum’s 2017 Shattered Mirror report showed total print classified advertising revenue in Canadian daily newspapers shrank to $119 million in 2015 from $875 million in 2005.

A 2018 report from the Canadian Media Concentration Project also revealed Google had snagged half the country’s internet advertising market share in 2018, with Facebook trailing at 27.3 per cent and Bell, Torstar, Twitter and Postmedia sitting at under two per cent each.

That amounts to $3.8 billion in advertising revenue for Google, up from $2.8 billion in 2016.

Google has also said it made $9 million in revenue from clicks on ads through news-related queries in Canada in 2019.

Google’s path to working with the global journalism industry so far includes $1 billion in spending and plans to train journalists, help newspapers transition to digital models and help publishers grow their online businesses.

The showcase is a key part of that commitment, but Google refused to share details around the structure and value of the licensing agreements it offered to Canadian publishers.

However, Brad Bender, Google’s vice-president of product management for news, said the arrangements are meant to compensate media companies for their “editorial curation.”

Through the deals, publishers are obligated to provide a certain number of articles that will appear in the showcase, but Bender did not say how many are required.

He also said Google negotiates extended access to some articles that are paywalled, but not everyone gets to view them for free. Google only lets users beyond the paywall who it assesses as having high odds of striking a relationship with the publisher.

Black Press Media, Glacier Media, the Globe and Mail, Métro Média, SaltWire Network, Winnipeg Free Press, Village Media and Narcity were announced as participants in June.

On Wednesday, Google said Les coops de l’Information, Le Devoir and Torstar had joined too, and teased more could be on their way.

“We want this momentum to continue,” said Geremia.

“Of course, we want more eligible folks to be part of this.”

The Canadian Press – Oct 27, 2021 / 6:39 am | Story: 349819

A three-month strike at De Havilland has ended with the ratification of new collective agreements by members of two Unifor locals.

Negotiations centred on the company’s plans to leave its current production location at the Downsview plant in the north end of Toronto, ending production of the Dash 8 turboprop aircraft.

In lieu of a company commitment to resume production, the union says its members will receive compensation, including retirement incentives, restructuring packages and enhanced severance packages that are double the Employment Standards Act minimum.

The agreements include preferential hiring provisions for union members should production of the Dash 8 resume.

The agreements cover Local 112 members who work in production and Local 673 members working in office, technical and professional positions at the plant. The deal also preserves about 50 jobs at a new office location that will be located within 80 kilometres of the plant.

De Havilland told workers earlier this year that it would no longer produce new Q400 aircraft at the Downsview facility beyond currently confirmed orders, and said two years ago that work will end at the site once lease agreements for the land expire.

“We know severance doesn’t replace a good-paying job or help pass on highly valuable skills from one generation to the next. That’s why our union will continue advocating for protecting our advanced manufacturing jobs,” stated Unifor Local 112 president John Turner.

The Canadian Press – Oct 27, 2021 / 6:33 am | Story: 349817

Business and labour groups are urging the new federal cabinet to get to work on priority economic issues like the skilled labour shortage, supply chain issues, fixing employment insurance, ensuring an equitable recovery, and laying out a broad vision for growth.

The challenges will be taken on by a cabinet that includes consistency in key economic roles such as Chrystia Freeland as finance minister and François-Philippe Champagne in innovation and industry, as well as new appointments including Seamus O’Regan as minster of labour, Dominic LeBlanc taking on infrastructure, and economic development being added to Mary Ng’s portfolio.

The economy, however, didn’t seem to be front and centre as the new cabinet was rolled out Tuesday, said Robert Asselin, senior vice-president of policy at the Business Council of Canada.

“Given all the short-term challenges on the economy, rising inflation, lot of pressure points on the supply side, it didn’t come through as something that was top of mind.”

He said that labour shortages are a key area of concern for Canadian executives and that it will require co-ordination across numerous ministries to ensure there’s enough skilled people in the right industries.

“That requires a private-public partnership. You need to re-skill a lot of people, you need to upskill a lot of people, you need to transfer people from certain sectors to others very fast, otherwise it’s going to choke the growth of a lot of companies.”

Perrin Beatty, chief executive of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said it was good to see the consistency in the finance and industry roles, noting Freeland’s track record and that Champagne strong understanding of business.

He said that one of the most notable appointments was Mélanie Joly as minister of foreign affairs, which comes as Canada works through issues with the U.S. on the auto sector and pipelines and with China on issues like Huawei and trade.

“It is a very hot portfolio to be taking over at the present time, when we have difficult relationships with our two major trading partners…these are very important files with very significant economic implications, quite apart from the political relationships.”

Beatty said he hopes to see strong signals in the throne speech that the economy is a priority for the government, as strong growth will help pay for other priority areas like responding to climate change.

Bea Bruske, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, said that the government must prioritize an equitable recovery as women have been disproportionally impacted by the economic crisis that came with the pandemic.

She said the most immediate priority though is extending support for the 800,000 workers who have been relying on the COVID-19 employment insurance program that the government announced that week it isn’t extending.

“We know those workers are still struggling, because even though jobs have come back, not all the jobs have come back.”

She said many who have gone back to work face precarious and part-time work, and she looks forward to working with O’Regan as labour minister to improve conditions.

“We really have a big agenda for this new government to tackle right off the hop, and so we really want to get that work started as quickly as possible.”

Rebekah Young, director of fiscal and provincial economics at Scotiabank, said she will also be watching the EI reforms, both for how they change the situation for workers and how the government plans to pay for it.

She said it’s clear the current system is too narrow to deal with downturns, but that as the government looks to extend coverage to include the gig economy and elsewhere, it will be important to see if they expect business to cover more.

Elliot Hughes, a senior adviser at Summa Strategies, said that he will be following Minister Ng’s progress closely, since in addition to economic development she is also charged with international trade, export promotion and small business.

“That’s a really important piece to watch.”

Hughes said he’ll also be watching to see what comes from the various ministers who have had regional economic development added to their portfolio. He said it will be important for the ministers to engage at the grassroots level and become advocates for businesses on the ground.

“They’re only really good if they can be double-ended in a sense, so not just top-down but also bottom up.”

Elsewhere, Hughes said he’ll be looking for a renewed innovation strategy, as well as new overall strategy for the country’s economy.

“As we emerge from COVID, it is high time the government turn to outlining, and describing, and putting into place a pretty clear, coherent, long-term economic vision.”

The Canadian Press – Oct 26, 2021 / 6:53 pm | Story: 349811

Samsung’s de facto chief Lee Jae-yong was fined 70 million won (about $60,000) on Tuesday for illegally using the anesthetic drug propofol, about two months after he was released on parole over a separate corruption case.

The Seoul Central District Court said it convicted Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, of violating a law on drug controls. It said Lee was also ordered to forfeit about 10 million won ($8,570).

Lee, who is the third-generation heir of South Korea’s biggest company, Samsung, has been involved in a series of corruption cases lately. The company’s crown jewel, Samsung Electronics, singlehandedly represents about 20% of South Korea’s entire stock market value and one-fourth of its total exports.

Prosecutors earlier accused Lee of taking propofol at a hospital in Seoul about 40 times for non-medical purposes. Lee’s lawyers said he took propofol in line with a doctor’s prescription, according to the court.

Propofol is used for anesthesia and sedation. Its use gained notoriety in 2009 when pop star Michael Jackson died of a propofol overdose.

In August, Lee was released from prison after serving 18 months of a 30-month sentence for embezzling millions of dollars from corporate funds to bribe then-President Park Geun-hye. The bribery scheme was to ensure Geun-hye’s support for a 2015 merger between two Samsung affiliates that tightened Lee’s control over the corporate empire.

Lee is also facing a separate court trial over alleged stock price manipulation, auditing violations and other financial crimes related to the 2015 merger.

The Canadian Press – Oct 26, 2021 / 5:20 pm | Story: 349798

The boardroom drama engulfing Rogers Communications Inc. intensified Tuesday after Edward Rogers filed a petition to have his newly constituted board declared legitimate, and said his mother and sisters had previously supported his moves.

The son of late Rogers Communications Inc. founder Ted Rogers asked the B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday for a declaration confirming the validity of his board. He also asked Rogers to adjust its registry to reflect the board he created.

The board is at the heart of a dispute that has broken out between Edward Rogers and his mother Loretta Rogers, sisters Melinda Rogers-Hixon and Martha Rogers and several of their associates.

Edward Rogers named five new directors to the board on Friday, a day after his mother, sisters and other members ousted him from his role as board chair because of what media reports described as a plot to remove CEO Joe Natale and replace him with Tony Staffieri, the company’s former chief financial officer.

Natale, who was previously CEO of competitor Telus Corp., was appointed president and CEO of Rogers in April 2017, while Stafferi had been CFO for 10 years.

The other family members continue to back Natale, insist the board Edward Rogers formed is illegitimate and say the board as it existed prior to Edward Rogers’ changes is the only valid one.

However, the affidavit Edward Rogers filed when seeking affirmation of his board raises new questions about how strongly Natale is supported.

The court filings say that several board members, including Loretta Rogers, raised concerns about Natale’s performance as the firm was staging a $26-billion takeover of rival Shaw Communications Inc. and they began discussing Mr. Staffieri as a replacement.

“My mother Loretta and sister Martha in particular expressed the firm view that Mr. Natale had had more than four years to prove himself and that it was time for a change,” Edward said in his affidavit.

“They also expressed support for Mr. Staffieri as a strong candidate to replace Mr. Natale.”

Loretta Rogers disputes that characterization.

“The claims Edward makes in his affidavit are as unfortunate as they are untrue,” she said in an email.

Edward Rogers alleges in the court filings that Natale approached him and said he overheard Staffieri talking about the plan. Natale told Edward Rogers he wanted to terminate Staffieri, but Edward refused.

At a Sept. 22 board meeting a few days afterward, Edward Rogers said he presented a slide presentation laden with performance metrics to show Rogers was underperforming its competitors under Natale’s leadership.

Exhibits entered as part of Edward Rogers’ affidavit show Rogers’ share price had fallen during Natale’s tenure and it was adding fewer wireless and internet subscribers than BCE Inc. and Telus Corp.

He alleges that he talked to Loretta and Martha Rogers about the circumstances in advance and the potential for Staffieri to take over. Both supported the plan, he said, and Loretta Rogers even prepared a statement to the board.

“Tony will be a strong CEO at Rogers and I look forward to working with him in his new role,” Edward Rogers alleges Loretta Rogers said in her statement.

“He is all about results and execution and that is what we need as we have a tough five years ahead of us with integrating Shaw and achieving the objectives of that deal.”

Loretta Rogers said the statement was written for her by Edward Rogers and based on information she thought to be “full, complete and accurate” about Natale’s performance because it was provided by her son and board member Alan Horn.

She said she later developed a more complete perspective on the issue and reversed course to support Natale.

Melinda Rogers-Hixon said she too continues to back Natale.

“It is unfortunate that Edward has advanced a false narrative regarding our mother to provide cover for his misguided position to replace the independent directors of RCI by the stroke of a pen,” she said in a statement. (RCI is the company’s stock ticker.)

Edward Rogers said in court documents, the company’s board voted 10-1 in late September to accept Natale’s retirement, which was to happen on Oct. 1, but deferred resolutions related to Staffieri’s appointment a few days so his compensation package could be arranged.

John MacDonald, who was named board chair after Edward Rogers’ removal and continues to speak for Rogers, said that’s not true.

“At no time did the majority of the board vote to remove Joe Natale as CEO of Rogers Communications,” he wrote in an email. “There are several critical and material items that are categorically false in the chair of the trust’s affidavit and I plan to fully set the record straight when given the opportunity through the court process.”

Edward Rogers said in court filings, board member John MacDonald interrupted a subsequent meeting to tell him some members have a new plan to present. MacDonald, Edward Rogers alleges, gave the floor to Martha Rogers to a present a plan to fire Staffieri and rescind Natale’s retirement.

Edward said he, Horn and Melinda Rogers later visited his mother’s cottage, where she was with Martha Rogers, to try to reach a resolution and he proposed letting Natale and Staffieri work together as the Shaw transaction neared closure.

“The next day, I received a brief email from Mr. MacDonald, copying his director group and Melinda, Martha, and my mother, saying ‘Edward, we have reviewed the proposal you suggested to me yesterday and have rejected it.'” Edward Rogers wrote in his affidavit.

The Canadian Press – Oct 26, 2021 / 1:19 pm | Story: 349757

Price increases are headed to Crave for some subscribers as the Canadian streaming platform rejigs its entire service offering to introduce a new mobile-only option.

The Bell Media-operated service says it has eliminated what became known as its “basic” tier, which gave viewers a library of older HBO titles, Showtime and Crave Originals for a relatively low price of $9.99 per month.

Instead, subscribers will have two choices, both of which offer access to Crave’s entire lineup of HBO series, some HBO Max shows, Showtime and a selection of new movies.

Crave Mobile gives viewers access to the entire library of Crave through a mobile app or the Crave website, but is limited to one viewer stream at a time on a single registered mobile device, making it tough to split a subscription with another user.

It will cost $9.99 per month, effectively replacing the Crave basic tier’s price point, but won’t support downloading episodes onto phones, nor casting to televisions and isn’t accessible on TV apps, such as Roku or Apple TV.

Subscribers who already pay $19.99 per month for the full Crave package — now called Crave Total — won’t see their monthly bills affected.

The Canadian Press – Oct 26, 2021 / 12:33 pm | Story: 349747

Go out for a night on the town in some U.S. cities and you might find yourself waiting while someone at the door of the restaurant or theater closely inspects your vaccination card and checks it against your photo ID. Or, conversely, you might be waved right through just by flashing your card.

How rigorously vaccination requirements are being enforced varies from place to place, even within the same state or city.

Proof of vaccination is required in several American cities to get into restaurants and bars, enjoy a concert or a play, catch a movie or go to a ballgame.

Ticket agents dutifully ascertain the vaccination status of everyone passing through the turnstile at pro sports venues in some cities from Seattle and New York, and restaurant hosts do the same in many places. In other locations, vaccine checks are cursory at best. Sometimes it’s practically done on the honor system.

“There are some businesses that say they check for vaccination proof, but they are not even checking,” said Jay Matsler, of Palm Springs, California, who was visiting San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf with his partner Monday during a stop of their cruise along the California coast.

“We actually tell them, ‘I’m sorry, you’re not enforcing this. We’re not going to give you our business,’” Matsler said. He said they were recently in Prague and Paris and had to show their vaccination cards and IDs at every indoor space they visited.

Some places around the U.S. are afraid of losing business if they insist on proof. Some say they don’t have enough staff to conduct such checks amid a nationwide labor shortage. Some object on principle.

And some don’t want to risk ugly confrontations. At an Italian restaurant in New York City, a request that a group of customers show vaccination proof led to a brawl.

During the first month enforcement in New York, inspectors issued warnings to 6,000 businesses for not checking patrons’ status, and 15 were fined $1,000 for being repeat offenders. The indoor dining area at an In-N-Out Burger joint in San Francisco was shut down this month by health authorities for not demanding proof of vaccination.

Public health authorities see the requirements as vital tools in slowing COVID-19 at a time when 1,500 or more Americans are dying each day from the virus. Such rules face deep opposition in conservative states, meaning they are mainly in effect in Democratic-run locations.

At the Highway Inn restaurant in Honolulu on Monday, the hostess asked diners for proof of vaccination or a negative test before seating them indoors. The information on their cards must match their IDs, and they must also give contact information that the restaurant keeps on record for two weeks in case of an outbreak.

Russell Ryan, the restaurant’s co-owner, said business declined when the vaccine requirement for restaurants first went into effect in mid-September. A few unvaccinated people “stormed off in a huff,” he said, but most have complied, and business has returned as more people have gotten vaccinated.

“Generally, it has been less confrontational than we feared,” Ryan said. “We thought that we’d get some zealots who want to make a stand for whatever reason.”

In many places in the U.S., precisely how to enforce the vaccination rule is left up to businesses.

At a movie theater on a recent night in San Francisco, teenagers at the concession stand glanced at patrons’ cellphone photos of their vaccination cards before handing them their popcorn, candy and drinks.

At the city’s Opera House, however, an usher closely examines the proof of vaccination and compares it against a picture ID. Anyone who fails to show proof will be asked to leave.

San Francisco health inspectors checking on the food permits of restaurants also routinely look to see whether businesses are complying with the proof-of-vaccination rules, but the city relies largely on complaints of violations phoned in to its 311 line.

Since the city’s mandate went into effect on Aug. 20, only one restaurant has been penalized — the In-N-Out at Fisherman’s Wharf that was closed for the day on Oct. 14 after refusing to ask for proof of vaccination despite several warnings from the city. The burger place now serves only takeout. A spokesman said the company refuses to be “the vaccination police for any government.”

In Los Angeles County, health inspectors found 38 venues that needed more training on vaccine rules out of about 250 bars, lounges, nightclubs, breweries, wineries and distilleries checked between Oct. 8 and Oct. 17. When the county visited 78 bars the next week, they found about 15% of them weren’t in compliance with customer vaccine verification rules, triggering more training.

New Orleans is also among the big cities that have imposed such rules, and Los Angeles plans to roll out its own requirements next week.

In New York City, big venues, like Broadway theaters and museums, tend to enforce the rules strictly. A neighborhood cafe might not.

“The vast, vast, vast majority of restaurants and all the other businesses are saying, ‘Yes, we’re going to work with this. We’re going to make it work for our employees, for our customers, keep everyone safe,’” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Some business owners around the U.S. have opted to close their dining rooms and offer only takeout or outdoor seating.

In Honolulu, hostess Ku’uipo Lorenzo greeted customers Ashley and Martin Day as they arrived at the Highway Inn for authentic Hawaiian food. They were seated at a table after Ashley produced her vaccine card and her unvaccinated husband showed a recent negative COVID-19 test.

“We have different perspectives,” Ashley Day said. “I think we both agree that it should probably be a testing mandate rather than a vaccine mandate.”

But the Days look forward to when tests and vaccines aren’t needed to dine out.

“I think we’d like to see things open up again,” said Ashley.

More Business News


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.