Canada holds interest rates steady

Let your friends with variable-rate mortgages know you’re thinking of them this week.

What happened: As expected, the Bank of Canada held the policy rate steady at 5% for the sixth consecutive meeting, noting that "inflation is still too high and risks remain" in the form of a resilient growth forecast, even though both inflation and the labour market are cooling.

What Google announced at Cloud Next

No better place than Las Vegas for Google to put a big bet on growing its cloud business.

Getting more cancer tests with faster scans

Prostate cancer is among the most common forms of the disease, with an estimated 25,900 new cases in Canada last year. It is highly treatable if caught early, but a diagnosis requires a three-stage MRI, with the last stage involving an injection of contrast dye to make the scan easier to read.

Digitizing an entire country

It’s important for you to digitally back up your photos and documents, a lesson some countries are putting into practice.

Canada leads the world in fossil fuel funding

Some of us are addicted to spending money on things like shoes or total solar eclipse memorabilia. Canada is addicted to spending money on oil and gas developments. 

Driving the news: A new study found that between 2020 and 2022, Canada led all G20 nations in foreign fossil fuel investments

Your bank is all in on AI

Artificial intelligence is coming to your mobile banking apps in a big way (unless you bank with Laurentian, or something). 

What happened: Three of Canada’s Big Five banks were ranked within the top 10 globally for AI innovation by Evident Insights, which crunched the numbers on AI-related research papers and patent filings as well as investments in AI startups over the last five months.  

It’s a good day to be a crab

Crab fishers in Newfoundland and Labrador are sick and tired of being pinched — not by crabs, but by what they feel are unfair industry pricing practices. 

What happened: Crab fishing season officially began in Newfoundland last weekend, but fishers who are members of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW) are staying on dry land, protesting a crab pricing system they feel makes it impossible to earn a living.

The struggle to fix Canada’s refugee system

From Afghanistan to Haiti, a rash of global turmoil has led the number of asylum seekers to balloon, with Canada feeling the effects of an overburdened system.

Driving the news: Following a rise in asylum seekers who are ending up on the streets of major Canadian cities, the advocacy group Canadian Council for Refugees is calling on the feds to revamp Canada’s refugee system as it struggles with a historic influx of claimants. 

RBC fires CFO over personal relationship

While RBC has been focused on formalizing its new relationship with HSBC, a secret relationship among the bank’s highest ranks has shaken up the executive team.

What happened: Nadine Ahn, the now former CFO of Canada’s biggest bank, was fired after an investigation revealed that she had an undisclosed relationship with another high-ranking employee. The relationship reportedly led to special treatment, like raises and promotions.

Canada goes on the offensive with new defence funding

After catching flack for not spending enough on defence, the feds fished around their proverbial couch cushions and came up with a hefty chunk of change. 

What happened: As part of Canada's first major defence policy update since 2017, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will receive an additional $8.1 billion in federal funding over the next five years.

Canada almost as unequal as U.S. when it comes to wealth

When it comes to inequality, Canada may not be so different from our southern neighbours after all.

Driving the news: The wealthiest 0.1% of Canadians own 12.4% of total wealth in the country, according to a new study by Social Capital Partners, a Toronto-based think tank.

Feds pledge billions for AI

The federal government sees your $20 per month ChatGPT subscription and raises it by a couple billion dollars.

What happened: The feds will spend $2.4 billion on AI investments in their upcoming budget, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced yesterday.

Michael Metzger on the future of batteries

 On this week’s episode of Free Lunch by The Peak, we sat down with Dr. Michael Metzger, an assistant professor and the Herzberg-Dahn Chair for Advanced Battery Research at Dalhousie University, to discuss the battery supply chain and Canada’s role in the sector’s ecosystem.   

What to do this weekend

Keeping up with the royals

The Japanese royal family wants you to know that it’s not outdated and it’s actually really cool — and it has 80+ new Instagram photos to prove it.

What happened: This week, the famously private imperial family chose to start sharing their lavish life on social media for the first time by launching an Instagram account

Montréal has a plan to relieve its airport woes

Toronto Pearson gets all the bad press, but flying through Montréal’s international airport is no picnic, either. Case in point: It’s spending billions of dollars just to prevent traffic jams. 

What happened: Montréal-Trudeau International Airport will undergo a ~$4 billion plan to enhance capacity amid an influx of travellers. Developments will include new pickup and drop-off areas, a connection to the city’s REM rail network, and a new terminal.

AI class is in session

Students who are sick of not being allowed to use AI to finish their work might want to transfer to a business school.

Explain It Like I'm Five: Made-for-advertising websites

Made-for-advertising (MFA) sites are crammed with as many ads as possible, drawing in visitors with spammy clickbait, fake news, and conspiracy content.

Quantum computers are getting better at their jobs

There’s been a big leap forward in making a potentially revolutionary technology less accident-prone.

The construction sector is building itself up

With Canada rushing to build housing, it should be no surprise that some entrepreneurial minds feel like it’s a business worth getting into. 

Driving the news: The federal government made a wave of announcements this week for housing initiatives that will feature in the 2024-25 budget. They include a $6 billion pledge for housing construction and infrastructure, and a $1.5 billion fund to protect existing rental units.