Chinese money lures miner out of Canada

In response to a crackdown on Chinese investment in Canada’s critical mineral industry, major miners are deciding to drop the “Canada” part of their business.  

What happened: According to The Globe and Mail, Canadian miner SRG Mining plans to relocate to the United Arab Emirates, a move the company said will stop a national security review that could have put the brakes on its financing deal with a Chinese energy firm.

Germany legalizes recreational cannabis

This year’s Oktoberfest celebrations could have a much chiller vibe, and it’s all thanks to some weed-loving lawmakers in Germany.

Driving the news: Germany is the latest country to legalize cannabis for recreational use, a move that lays the groundwork for commercial legalization by 2030 and opens the door for Canadian producers looking to cash in on weed sales within the EU’s biggest economy. 

Another budget airline bites the dust

In what’s probably the most rational decision the company’s made since changing its name from Jet Naked, Lynx Air has decided it’s time to throw in the towel. 

What happened: Budget airline Lynx Air officially stopped flying last night, winding down operations after just two years in the skies. It's the latest discount airline to fall flat in an increasingly difficult Canadian aviation market. 

Google’s new AI model has an image problem

Google’s newest AI model may be the company’s “most capable” yet, but it might need to re-take some history classes. 

What happened: Google has paused its Gemini AI model from generating images of people after it produced inaccurate gender and racial depictions of historical figures — a flaw the company says was an unintended consequence of prioritizing diversity in the model’s training. 

Uber launches delivery robots in Japan

A new army of robots is coming… but don’t worry, they’re not trying to take over the world. They’re just here to deliver your McDonald’s. 

What happened: Starting next month, some Tokyo residents will have their Uber Eats orders delivered by an adorable autonomous robot. Japan is already known as the home to many restaurant robot servers, but it’s the first international market to adopt robot delivery on Uber. 

Alberta tourism gets new immigration stream

As people keep flocking to Alberta’s picturesque mountains, the province is struggling to find enough workers to keep the tourism industry afloat. 

What happened: Alberta is opening up a new path to permanent residency specifically for temporary foreign workers in the province’s tourism industry. Chefs, travel guides, and hotel receptionists are among the roles that will be eligible for the program starting in March.

Reddit cuts mystery AI licensing deal

It turns out Reddit threads aren’t just a valuable way to crowdsource advice from strangers, they’re also worth tens of millions of dollars to at least one AI company.

What happened: Reddit has cut a ~US$60 million licensing deal to sell access to the user-generated content from its platform to an unnamed AI company, per Bloomberg

Another blow for driverless cars

You think you had a rough week? Waymo had one of its cars literally set on fire in the middle of San Francisco — and that’s not even their biggest problem. 

Driving the news: Alphabet’s self-driving vehicle unit Waymo yesterday recalled 444 of its autonomous vehicles after a software issue caused cars to wrongly predict the movements of towing vehicles. In some cases, the errors led to collisions, including two in Arizona.

Lululemon the latest to face greenwashing complaint

Everyone’s favourite yoga pant maker is in some hot water over its ‘green’ claims.

Driving the news: Lululemon is facing a complaint from a climate-focused non-profit alleging the athleisure company is misleading customers about its environmental impact, joining the growing list of companies facing investigations over so-called “greenwashing.” 

Honey, I’m home… in Alberta

Like when Jerry Seinfeld’s beloved Bee Movie character Barry B. Benson finally settled down with a nice florist, Canadian honeybees have found themselves a loving home.

Driving the news: Alberta may be known more for raising cattle and pumping out barrels of oil, but it’s also the province that produced nearly $105.6 million worth of honey last year — good for setting a new Canadian record, according to the CBC

Feds ordered to address Canada’s judge shortage

Housing isn’t the only shortage facing the federal government these days: It turns out there are about as many judges in Canada as there are apartments for under $1,500. 

What happened: Ottawa has been ordered to start appointing judges across the country more quickly, according to the Toronto Star. The ruling found that vacant judicial slots have backlogged the legal system, in some cases leading to criminal cases being tossed out. 

Sony buys MJ rights as music catalogues become chart-topping investments

The competition might’ve been tough for the King of Pop’s music library, but Sony and its big chequebook told the other investors to beat it

What happened: Sony is acquiring half of Michael Jackson’s music catalogue for around US$600 million, a deal that will make it the most valuable catalogue ever sold, per Axios.

Bud Light goes back to its sporty roots

Months after a consumer boycott that lost Bud Light the status as America’s top-selling beer to Modelo, the beer brand has chosen the Super Bowl as the next stop of its comeback tour

Driving the news: Per The Wall Street Journal, Bud Light is banking on a 60-second Super Bowl ad slot to get back in with the guys. The brand is attempting to recover from backlash for its campaign with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, which led to a slump in sales. 

Google drops a new chatbot

Now that Google and the federal government have squashed their beef over paying news publishers, the search giant is giving Canadians access to its shiny new chatbot. 

What happened: After snubbing Canada on the initial rollout of its first chatbot, Bard, Google will offer its improved and renamed AI chatbot, Gemini, to Canada.

Canadian miners look to Ottawa for help

Like anyone under the age of 40 trying to buy a house, Canadian miners will need a little bit of financial help if they want to set themselves up for the future.

What happened: As prices for critical minerals like lithium and nickel plummet, miners are warning that if the federal government doesn’t step up to help fund new projects, Canada could fall behind in production to rivals like China for good, per The Globe and Mail. 

Meta tackles AI-generated content

With AI deepfakes becoming more common on Facebook than old high school classmates promoting their multi-level marketing schemes, Meta has decided it’s time to step in. 

Driving the news: As deepfakes impersonating the likes of U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Canadian treasure Michael Bublé, and pop star Taylor Swift come into the mainstream, Meta will roll out AI detection and labelling features across its platforms.

Canada tops global rankings for EV battery outlook

After a big year of spending, Canada’s no longer the underdog in the EV battery space.

What happened: Canada has surpassed China as the world’s most promising country for lithium-ion battery production, according to a new global ranking — a sign that its efforts to become an EV manufacturing hub are starting to pay off, per The Globe and Mail. 

Spotify shakes up podcasting world with new deal

Done with the days of throwing millions at anyone with a microphone and a few Instagram followers, Spotify is taking a new approach to its podcast business. 

Driving the news: Joe Rogan has reached a new multi-year deal with Spotify that will distribute The Joe Rogan Experience — the world’s most popular podcast — across all major audio platforms, the latest move in the company’s shift away from keeping its shows off of rival platforms.