One neat trick to build more apartments

Alongside milk, bread, and prescription drugs, new apartment buildings are now GST-free. 

What happened: The federal government announced an immediate removal of the federal GST on the construction of new rental apartments—a move Ottawa urged provinces to follow.

The Peak at TIFF 2023

Last week, we gave you our most anticipated movies for TIFF 2023. After gorging ourselves on cinema, here are our five favourites that we watched at the fest. 

Why Ontario is at the centre of a nuclear renaissance

After years of flatlined growth in nuclear power, there’s growing interest and investment around the world in building new nuclear reactors. And as it turns out, Ontario is at the centre of that nuclear renaissance. 

The Peak team recently had the chance to see firsthand what that means through a tour of Ontario Power Generation’s nuclear facility in Pickering. Afterward, we sat down with Riley Found, a Senior Manager for New Nuclear Growth at OPG, to talk about why Ontario is at the forefront of building new nuclear.

How did a Vietnamese EV company get so big while selling so few cars?

You’d think that to be one of the world’s most valuable car companies, you’d need to move a lot of hot rods.  Well… you’d be wrong.

Driving the news: Buzzy Vietnamese electric vehicle (EV) maker VinFast disclosed in recent regulatory filings that nearly two-thirds of the vehicles it sold in the first half of the year were purchased by a taxi company owned by its parent company, Vingroup.  

Luxury hotels are booming

London (England, not Ontario) is set to welcome at least 13 new high-end hotels, some of which claim to offer seven-star accommodation—a number of stars we didn’t even know was possible. 

Driving the news: The fun began earlier this week with the launch of the £1,300-a-night Peninsula London. Located near Hyde Park, the £1.1 billion resort offers a spa, 24-hour concierge service, and fleet of luxury cars available to guests, including a 1935 Rolls-Royce.

TIFF’s sponsorship tiff

Usually, when we talk about Tiff’s troubles, it’s about Tiff Macklem’s ongoing battle with Canadian inflation. Today, however, we’re looking at a different TIFF: The Toronto International Film Festival. 

What happened: Over 200 actors, directors, and other entertainment industry professionals signed an open letter to TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey asking for the festival to drop RBC as a sponsor due to what they claim is the bank’s “colossal” funding of the oil and gas industry. 

Tesla makes manufacturing breakthrough

Its CEO may be busy challenging Mark Zuckerberg to cage matches, but Tesla has still managed to come up with a new way to make cars that’s expected to be faster and cheaper

Driving the news: Using 3D printers, Tesla has created a new “gigacasting” process, in which many small parts of a vehicle are made from a single mould.

Don’t pick up the phone

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Your phone rings, you pick it up, and within 0.01 seconds, you realize it’s a scammer. You hang up and swear off answering calls for good. 

Turns out the same thing is happening to most of us.

Driving the news: Nearly half of Canadians have been targeted by a scam attempt recently, per a new TransUnion report, and the most commonly reported type of scam was “vishing,” which you might know better as “those scam phone calls I get at every waking hour.” 

White House asks Big Tech for AI answers

Washington rolled out the red carpet for big tech’s A-listers yesterday, but instead of asking them who they’re wearing, the Silicon Valley equivalent of the Avengers were quizzed about AI.  

Driving the news: A who’s who of Big Tech met in Washington yesterday to discuss safeguards for AI, with industry leaders and lawmakers acknowledging that AI regulation will be challenging but necessary. 

Common cold drugs not only taste bad, they don't work

Ever feel like your cold medication isn’t really doing the job? That may be because it’s literally not doing the job—or any job, for that matter.

What happened: An FDA advisory panel found that an active ingredient commonly found in cold medicine is no more effective than a placebo for treating congestion. 

Amazon goes green(ish)

In an effort to offset the environmental impact of its business (and its founder’s 417-foot, US$500 million superyacht), Amazon is getting into the carbon capture game. 

Driving the news: Amazon has made its first investment in direct air capture technology (DAC), purchasing 250,000 tons of carbon removal credits over 10 years from 1PointFive, a DAC plant in Texas. 

Ottawa ponders international student puzzle

The federal government is rolling up the welcome mat for international students (and maybe sticking it in storage for a while).

Driving the news: Several federal cabinet ministers have floated options to reduce the number of international students at Canada’s universities and colleges, part of an effort to do something about out-of-control housing costs. 

New iPhone, new problems

Apple held its latest product event yesterday, dubbed “Wonderlust,” to pitch shiny new toys they hope will help them navigate unusually choppy waters. 

What happened: The marquee release of the event was undoubtedly the iPhone 15. The two top-of-the-line versions of Apple’s latest phone, the Pro and Pro Max, have cutting-edge features that Apple hopes will make them must-haves even as smartphone sales slump

Cigarettes and junk food have something in common

You all already know that tobacco companies were responsible for one major global health crisis, but what if we told you they were actually responsible for two of them? 

Driving the news: A new study published in the journal Addictions blames the rise of junk food in North America on brands that were once owned by tobacco companies. 

Google faces its biggest antitrust threat yet

Like any of us in hour four of a Monopoly game, the US government wants to put an end to it all. 

Driving the news: Google heads to court today, kicking off the biggest US antitrust case in the modern internet era.

Just plane embarrassing

Canada’s delegation to the G20 Summit is finally on its way back home after proving that in this country, no one is safe from flight delays. 

Driving the news: Prime Minister Trudeau and his squad spent two extra nights in New Delhi after a technical issue left the 36-year-old government-issued plane grounded, necessitating a rescue plane to be sent. Jeez, didn’t Joe Biden have some spare room on Air Force One to help them out? 

Lithium deposit found in US may be world’s largest

Heading west for a gold rush? So 19th century. It’s 2023: Miners these days want to hear about lithium “in dem thar hills.

Driving the news: New analysis found that a volcanic crater in Nevada could hold the largest deposit of lithium in the world. 

US, India score G20 wins at China’s expense

China and Russia’s leaders may have decided to skip this year’s G20 gathering in New Delhi, but everyone else managed to get along just fine without them.

Why it matters: India and the US emerged as the winners from this year’s summit, with both countries advancing some of their own priorities while holding the American-led bloc together on some contentious issues. 

The Peak at TIFF 2023

The 48th Toronto International Film Festival—Canada’s largest film fest—is underway. Armed with a press pass, The Peak is on the ground and will watch some exciting flicks before they make their way to the general public. Here are the five we’re most excited for:

Why is violence breaking out at Eritrean festivals across Canada?

Throughout the summer, violence has erupted at Eritrean cultural events across Canada and the world between protestors and attendees. The explanation for why is complicated.  

Driving the news: The most recent clash in Calgary over the Labour Day long weekend involved as many as 150 people and sent a dozen to the hospital.  One Calgary police chief called it the “largest violent event to happen in our city in recent memory.”