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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Retailers want to replace tags with QR codes

Someone has figured out a use for QR codes that isn’t totally frustrating (looking at you, restaurants with digital-only menus). 

Per Axios, US clothing manufacturers are lobbying for permission to replace physical clothing tags—which by law, have to include things like care instructions, fibre content, and country of origin—with digital labels, likely in the form of QR codes.

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Stellantis subsidies could surpass VW’s

Stellantis looked at the subsidies Volkswagen was offered for its Ontario electric vehicle (EV)  battery plant—the total could end up hitting $13 billion—and said, “Hold my beer.” 

Stellantis and its partner-in-battery-making LG Energy Solution stand to rake in up to $19 billion in subsidies for their EV battery plant in Windsor, Ontario, according to analysis from Johns Hopkins University professor Bentley Allan.
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A small province tackles big problems

Canada’s smallest province is getting bigger. Prince Edward Island (PEI) will be home to 200,000 people by 2030, according to projections released by its provincial government. 

Why it matters: The experience of Canada’s smallest province is a perfect case study of the growing pains that come with a rapidly increasing population.
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Canada’s ketamine supplies are running low

You may know ketamine by its use as an animal sedative or status as a Schedule 1 drug, but the demand for it as a treatment for anxiety and depression is also booming. 

Driving the news: Canada is currently facing a shortage of the powerful drug, a result of sustained demand combined with a shortage of a variety of ingredients needed to make it. 

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Your Kia is (kind of) safe in Canada

A year after the “Kia challenge”—the “challenge” is to steal a Kia—emerged on TikTok, software fixes haven’t stopped thieves from continuing to make off with stolen cars. 

In Canada, Kia owners are better off—kind of. 

The surge in thefts started after videos were posted online detailing how to exploit the cars’ lack of auto-theft prevention technology. Called immobilizers, they block you from being able to start a car without a key, a basic feature you’d think all cars would have. 

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Is Gen Z’s adoption of “dumbphones” a smart financial move?

Everything old is new again, even tech for Gen Z, who are protecting their pockets and mental health by embracing bare-bones phones. 
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Quebéc gets stricter on immigration

If you don’t know your j’ai fini from your je suis finis, you might have a hard time migrating to Québec in the coming years.  

For the first time in Québec’s history, those applying to become so-called “economic immigrants”—selected for their potential to contribute to the economy—must have a working knowledge of French, the province’s official language. 
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A tale of two job markets complicates the labour story

We’ve all heard plenty about Canada’s labour shortage by now, but a new StatsCan report shows that understanding the state of the job market is way more complicated than counting the number of “help wanted” signs. 

There were 856,000 job vacancies in Canada by the end of last year and about 49,000 more people than that looking for work, according to the StatCan analysis.

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Canada’s national parks are selling out fast

Ahhh, spring. If you ask us, there’s no better time to take advantage of the great Canadian outdoors… that is, if you can snag a reservation. 

With Parks Canada’s improved reservation system, it’s technically never been easier to book camping sites at national parks across the country. In other ways, it’s harder… with sites like Alberta’s Jasper and Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula booking up fast. 

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Alberta goes to the polls

Voters in Alberta will decide on their next premier today in a close election that’s being watched around the country.

Why it matters: The outcome of the vote will set the tone for the relationship between Alberta and Ottawa—and possibly in a way that will stoke conflict.
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The last hurdle for the debt ceiling deal

Breathe a sigh of relief: We have a debt ceiling deal. But this long saga that none of us asked for isn’t quite over yet. 

What happened: President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy struck a deal to raise the debt ceiling over the weekend, but it still needs to be approved by Congress—and that’s no sure thing.
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What to do this weekend

Our recommendations for what to eat, read, watch, and listen to this weekend.

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Kent Roach on how Canadian policing works (and doesn't)

We sat down with Kent Roach on Free Lunch By The Peak to dive into how the Canadian policing system works, and his argument on why and how it should change for the better. 
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Competition watchdog says cannabis should be easier to sell

Here’s an only-in-Canada story for you: Government officials are worried that it’s too difficult to sell people weed right now.

What happened: The Competition Bureau is asking Health Canada to loosen rules that restrict how cannabis is marketed and allow people to buy stronger edibles.
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On the internet, seeing is not believing

It’s time to update the old warning, “Don’t believe everything you read,” to “Don’t believe everything you see.”

Driving the news: Image editing tools that use AI to generate convincing—but fake—visuals are going mainstream with Adobe’s announcement that it is adding a “Generative Fill” feature to its popular Photoshop software.
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The era of easy returns is over

The days of no-questioned-asked returns are numbered, as retailers crack down on one of their biggest profit suckers in a worsening economic climate. 

Across North America, merchants—especially those with online stores—are shortening their return windows (Sephora), adding return fees (Uniqlo) and, offering discounts to discourage returns (Amazon), per The Wall Street Journal.   
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Falling behind on critical minerals mining

How do you mine critical minerals in Canada? Very slowly, according to one of the largest miners in Ontario’s Ring of Fire. 

Canada’s effort to ramp up its critical mineral sector is falling behind, an Australian mining magnate has recently warned in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  
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