Canadian innovation funding hits another snag

Canada is a land of innovation. Look no further than the pizza dip roller or ketchup chips! Unfortunately, innovation funding continues to be a serious challenge.  

What happened: The Canada Innovation Corp. (CIC) — a new innovation funding body that was supposed to launch this year and receive $2.6 billion over four years to invest in businesses looking to innovate — will now be delayed by as much as three years.

Canada taps into geothermal power

A northern Alberta town with a population of 577 people could be the site of a renewable energy breakthrough.

What happened: The town of Rainbow Lake will kick off a pilot project that could power the entire area with geothermal energy — where energy is created by turbines that are spun by heat extracted from underground water — by 2028, the first town in Canada to do so.

Canada spends big on surveillance drones

Better late than never: Canada is starting to pour more cash into its defence strategy.

What happened: Canada will invest nearly $2.5 billion to acquire 11 remotely piloted MQ-9B SkyGuardian drones for the Royal Canadian Air Force. The move will beef up capabilities for domestic military missions, as well as missions with its closest allies, including the U.S. 

Getting antibody cells to make life-saving enzymes instead

The problem: Inherited metabolic disorders happen when a defective gene creates an enzyme deficiency in the body. There are a lot of them, and some can be treated by managing diet, but others require regular enzyme infusions for a patient’s entire life.

Is it time to start caring about the fediverse?

A silly name isn’t keeping the fediverse from picking up momentum.

What happened: Flipboard, a news and magazine story aggregator app, is integrating with ActivityPub, a protocol being used to enable “the fediverse” — a decentralized network of interoperable online services.

Feds delay new innovation funding agency

It may now be several years before a new Crown corporation starts its work funding innovation in Canada, which could put its fate in the hands of a new government eager to cut costs.

What happened: The federal government pushed the launch for the Canada Innovation Corp. (CIC) to “no later than 2026-27.” 

Annual reviews are having performance problems

Is your looming annual performance review getting you down? You aren’t the only one.

Driving the news: Nobody likes performance reviews. Not only do they stress out employees, but more and more companies are starting to think they do a crummy job of actually evaluating job performance. 

Imagine, faster Canadian trains

A new bill is trying to move “fast trains” from a European ideal into a Canadian reality. 

Driving the news: Canada’s passenger train network is notoriously plagued with delays. But a proposed law would force railway owners and operators to prioritize passenger-filled trains over freight trains in any scheduling conflict — or pay a $250,000 fine for every infraction. 

Temporary residents drive population boom

Better start baking those welcome cookies now, because you’ve got a million new neighbours to welcome.

What happened: Canada’s population grew by more than 1 million over the first nine months of the year, according to newly released Statistics Canada data.

Is the office holiday party going extinct?

Forget champagne fountains or a private DJ set from David Guetta. Your office holiday party this year is more likely to be a not-so-boozy potluck, a pickleball match, or some virtual trivia.

Driving the news: Corporate party planners have noticed a shift this year in holiday parties. Out are the bashes where the entire office and their significant others rage into the night. In are quieter events, with only team members, featuring group activities like guac making

Zoom gets booted from the Nasdaq

Like each and every one of us who got used to working in our pyjamas, Zoom has had a rude post-COVID awakening.

What happened: Zoom has been dropped from the Nasdaq after failing to meet the technology-focused index’s listing criteria, as return-to-office mandates and increased competition quell the company’s growth prospects, according to Bloomberg.

It’s a bad time to be a cargo ship

In recent days, the Red Sea has become like the mall during the holidays: a place better kept at a safe distance.

What happened: British oil and gas giant BP has paused all of its shipments through the Red Sea as Yemen’s Houthi rebels continue to attack cargo ships. The move comes after 5 of the 6 world’s largest shipping companies have stopped sailing in the Red Sea altogether.

H&M experiments with high fashion

Like us trying to figure out what to wear to the company holiday party, H&M is having a bit of a fashion identity crisis.

Driving the news: With their budget garments undercut by China-based fast-fashion sellers like Shein and Temu, H&M is making a push into the higher-end retail tier with new collections of pricier apparel, per Reuters.

Feds to require all new cars to be zero-emission by 2035

The end of the road for gas-powered vehicles in Canada is fast approaching.

What happened: The Canadian government will require that all new cars sold are zero-emission vehicles by 2035, according to a report from The Toronto Star.

How to sell a province with Vic Fideli

Ontario's Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade, Vic Fedeli sits down with us to chat industrial policy, EV battery plants, and how to attract business development. 

What to do this weekend

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

Ukraine’s war future is uncertain

Since January 2022, Ukraine has been able to keep the fight against Russia going thanks to nearly US$350 billion in aid that’s been sent over mostly by Western nations. But as money runs out, securing the next $115 billion has become complicated.

What happened: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban blocked a European Union aid package for Ukraine worth $54 billion, a situation that underscores how new, complex political dynamics are casting uncertainty around the funding of Ukraine’s war efforts. 

There’s panic in the Red Sea

The conflict between Israel and Hamas is spreading to other parts of the Middle East. In Yemen, that could start to muck up global trade routes.  

Driving the news: Yemen’s Houthi rebels — an Iran-backed insurgent group that aims to govern Yemen and supports any actions against Israel, its sworn enemy — have intensified attacks on cargo ships passing through the Red Sea in an act of support for Hamas. 

Explain It Like I'm Five: Push notification surveillance

What are push notifications?

Unlike regular notifications that pop up when an app is open, push notifications are only sent when an app is closed. When an “event” — something the app wants to tell you about — happens, it sends data to Google and Apple’s servers, which then sends it to your phone to wake the app up.

Why are they a security issue?

It’s up to developers whether or not they encrypt push notification data, which is left behind on Google and Apple servers. Last week, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden said he got a tip that foreign governments had been pushing the companies to share that data, suggesting it was for surveillance purposes.

So is Threads going to be a thing?

Threads might not be the first app you open in the morning, but Meta is still plugging away at its attempt at a Twitter replacement.

What happened: Threads had a busy week, which started by debuting its version of hashtags and kept rolling from there: