Welcome to the new rewards economy

Remember the good old days of straightforward loyalty programs? It was simple—get a dozen Subway stamps and redeem them for a free six-inch Cold Cut Trio. Those flimsy paper cards made tracking your progress (and purchases) much easier than today’s programs.
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How much AI is too much AI?

While it’s pretty amazing we’ve got to the point where artificial intelligence can think critically and come up with solutions out of thin air, it can also be a pain in the behind.
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Tiff's pause is over

The Bank of Canada’s (BoC) conditional pause on interest rate hikes ended with its decision to raise its policy rate to 4.75% yesterday, the highest level in 22 years

Why it matters: The decision reinforces the BoC’s pledge to beat inflation, even if it means more pain for Canadians in the short term. 
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Car thefts in Canada are a “national crisis”

Missy Elliott once asked, “Beep beep, who got the keys to the Jeep?” These days, the answer to that question is too often, “sophisticated international crime syndicates.”
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Office vacancies are trending up

Looking for office space? Well, you’re in luck. There’s a lot of it on the market right now.
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The SEC comes for crypto’s biggest names

Like the Blue Jays in 92/93, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has gone back-to-back. Back-to-back with crypto lawsuits, that is.
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I’m an AI, and I endorse this message

Separating fact from fiction in an election campaign is difficult enough already. Now throw artificial intelligence into the mix, and it’s about to get a lot tougher.
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The UN’s plastic problem

Last year, the UN agreed on an ambitious goal to devise a treaty by 2024 aimed at ending plastic pollution. But like any group project, there are some major differences of opinion.
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Apple meets the AR moment

Apple unveiled its long-awaited augmented reality (AR) headset at its Worldwide Developer’s Conference yesterday—the Vision Pro—a sleek pair of goggles with a battery pack that looks like something a cyberpunk hacker would wear while hitting the slopes.
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Why a co-op is better than an internship

Is it better to stay in school longer and get a variety of work experiences or focus on a four-year end date? It might seem counter-intuitive, but staying in school longer leaves some Canadian students better off in the long run.
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Tech takes on wildfires

Wildfires have turned into a fact of life for millions of Canadians, and a growing cohort of entrepreneurs and investors are developing technology to limit the damage they cause. 

Why it matters: Wildfires are expected to burn 5 million hectares of forest in Canada by 2050—roughly the size of Nova Scotia. From automated sprinkler systems to firefighting robots, we’ll need every tool in the kit to better anticipate and fight a growing number of fires. 
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Big city landlords have a cash flow problem

Rents in Canada’s big cities are through the roof, and somehow many landlords are still losing money on their rental properties. It’s just another day in our wild, wild housing market. 

Driving the news: A report from CIBC and Urbanation found that most condo investors with a mortgage in the Greater Toronto Area were renting out their properties for less than they were paying to own them—in other words, they’re losing money every month. 
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This expert says basic income can’t live up to its promise

Basic income—unconditional cash transfers to people—has been pitched as the solution to so many of our problems. Eliminating poverty, sparking entrepreneurship, empowering people to pursue their passions—it could do it all, its boosters claim.

But not everyone is so optimistic about the idea. Lindsay Tedds is an associate professor at the University of Calgary’s Department of Economics, and co-authored the book Basic Income and a Just Society: Policy Choices for Canada’s Social Safety Net. This week she sat down with us to make her case. 
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Meta’s biggest attack yet on Canada’s online news act

There are few guarantees in life: Death, taxes, and your relatives angrily sharing news articles on Facebook. And even that last one might soon disappear.
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Charging station shortage poses EV roadblock

Around the world, the push is on to get people to drive electric vehicles, but one big hurdle persists even in the most EV-friendly places: There just aren’t enough charging stations. 
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Nova Scotia faces record fires

An out-of-control wildfire in Nova Scotia is now the largest in the province’s history, and is still burning out of control.

A fire in the province's southwest region started last weekend and has since covered 181 square kilometres. ~5,000 residents have evacuated, and 50 homes have been destroyed. Officials warn warm weather will make conditions more dangerous in the coming days.
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Canadian travellers enjoy their last hurrah

Canadians are booking their summer getaways in record numbers, but the good times may be coming to an end.

Per a new RBC report, dwindling savings and the rising cost of debt will force many middle-and-low-income earners to start pulling back on travel plans by next year.  
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Greeks and Albertans team up on solar power

New to the list of things Greece is famous for—after (of course) philosophy, souvlaki, and beaches—is solar power. In a new energy deal, Alberta hopes to learn a thing or two. 

Mytilineos, a top industrial and power company in Greece, is launching a $1.7 billion solar energy project in Alberta that it says will be the largest of its kind in Canada. It’s set to power over 200,000 homes and is the latest in a series of renewables contracts. 

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What portion of your student loan should you pay off first?

While many students won’t don their graduation cap and gown until the fall, debt repayment has no pomp and circumstance. Welcome to adulthood—it costs a lot. 
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Shopify faces class action suit over severance pay

Shopify employees were once known for their loyalty and reverence for the company, but that was before people started getting fired. 

Shopify is facing a class action lawsuit that alleges the company dialled back on hefty severance sums offered to laid-off employees. Shopify says the offers were miscalculated, but ex-employees are asking for a $130 million apology, per the Canadian Press.   
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