Pressure mounts to overhaul carbon tax

As Canadians struggle with the rising cost of living, pressure is mounting on the federal government to carve up its flagship climate policy like a Thanksgiving turkey.

What happened: The premiers of Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick signed an open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau calling for the federal government to drop the federal carbon tax from all forms of home heating. 

What to do this weekend

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

Brian Kingston on Canada’s transition to EVs

Science has a fake paper problem

Back in March, the discovery of a new superconductor opened up a world of possibilities, from phone batteries that last days to hyper-efficient energy grids. Except it was all a lie. 

What happened: This week, Nature retracted a high-profile paper claiming the discovery of a superconductor that worked at room temperature. Superconductors — which can transmit electricity without energy loss — blow away standard metals, like copper and aluminum.

The government gets to cutting

We’ve all had to give up some luxuries amidst rising inflation — it’s been sooo long since we’ve bought a fancy jar of fig jam — and the government is no exception. 

Driving the news: Treasury Board President Anita Anand dropped her detailed breakdown of $500 million in spending cuts across 68 federal departments and agencies. It’s the first baby step in a broader campaign to cut spending by $15.4 billion over the next five years.

Huawei is still patenting Canadian research

Like a dinner party guest who doesn’t know when to leave, Huawei is still kicking around Canadian universities' research departments. 

Driving the news: Chinese tech firm Huawei is still seeking patents for research conducted alongside Canadian universities, over two years after the federal government moved to curb collaborations with countries that pose a risk to national security, per The Globe and Mail

Ontario’s new foreign worker rules

We’ve all come across job postings with ludicrous experience requirements (10 years for an entry-level position???), and no one knows that pain more than foreign-trained workers. 

What happened: Ontario will propose legislation that would ban employers in the province from requiring Canadian work experience in job listings. The law aims to remove barriers that foreign-trained newcomers face when entering fields that they’re qualified to work in. 

Patent pending

Kind of like how every streamer released an epic fantasy show after Game of Thrones was a massive hit, drugmakers are all angling to produce the next blockbuster weight loss drug.  

What happened: As the race to dethrone Novo Nordisk as the king of weight loss drugs heats up, pharma giant AstraZeneca has signed onto a licensing agreement with Chinese drugmaker Eccogene for a weight loss drug in the same class as Ozempic and WeGovy. 

While the U.S. economy soars, Canada lags behind

By some measures, Canada’s economy is falling behind the U.S. Here’s what that means.

Driving the news: While our American neighbours watch their economy grow, Canada is continuing to grapple with challenges in maintaining its economic stability. Consumers are pulling back on their spending, a phenomenon that has been driven by a variety of factors:

Alberta plans to upend its healthcare system

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith announced yesterday that the province is planning to radically restructure its healthcare system. 

What happened: The plan is to split Alberta Health Services (AHS), the province’s central health authority, into four bodies focused on specific areas: Acute care, continuing care, mental health and addictions services, and primary care.

Meta sets ground rules for AI in politics

Whether you’re at a family get-together or surfing online, politics can be a dicey topic to explore. 

What happened: Meta will start requiring advertisers to disclose if they’ve used AI to create or alter political, social issue, or election-related ads on Facebook and Instagram, its latest step to curb the role of AI-generated deepfakes in the spread of election misinformation.

Can airships make a comeback?

Rarely can one event kill off an entire industry, but that’s exactly what happened to airship travel when the LZ 129 Hindenburg burst into flames above New Jersey in 1937.  

Seventy-six years later, a new line of blimp-trepreneurs are hoping the stigma has worn off.   

What happened: Pathfinder 1 — a prototype electric airship from the Sergey Brin-backed startup LTA Research — began flight testing yesterday. Clocking in at 407 feet long, it’s the largest aircraft in the world and the biggest one to take to the skies since the 1930s. 

Global wine output is drying up

To any wine moms or vino snobs who may be reading, make sure you’re sitting down with a chilled pinto grigio before looking at this next story. You might find it too upsetting. 

Driving the news: Global wine production is set to fall to its lowest level in over 60 years, according to a new estimate by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). 

The CRTC takes on Canada’s telecom giants

Not all heroes wear capes: Canada’s telecom regulator is trying to make your phone bill a little less daunting. 

What happened: The CRTC is forcing Canada’s biggest telecom companies to give smaller, independent competitors in Ontario and Québec access to their fibre networks — it’s the first move in the regulator's push to increase competition in the highly concentrated sector.

WeBankrupt

Raise your on-tap kombuchas for a toast to WeWork, which burned far too bright and way too fast. 

What happened: WeWork, the co-working company that once pledged to “elevate the world’s consciousness,” filed for bankruptcy in a U.S. district court, with plans to have the bankruptcy recognized in Canada. For now, its operations will continue mostly unchanged.

Social media is ready for its own kind of retail therapy

Social media platforms are bracing for a potentially rough quarter, but they do have one hope: those “tap here to buy now” ads.

Driving the news: Pinterest said it hit its first quarterly profit of the year because its ads are more relevant than ever. That was a much more optimistic tone than its competitors.

Bumble hopes its new CEO is the perfect match

Just like you with your ex, the general public has fallen out of love with dating apps.  

What happened: Bumble co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd is stepping down as CEO of the dating app company and will be replaced by current Slack head Lidiane Jones next year. 

The lowdown Google vs. Epic Games

The maker of Fortnite is hoping to score a victory royale against one of the titans of tech. 

What happened: A long-awaited antitrust trial between Google and Epic Games kicked off yesterday. Epic argues that Google makes it too difficult for both developers and Android users to upload, download, or make purchases through anything other than its app store, allowing Google to control an illegal monopoly and enrich itself through its exorbitant fees.

Pre-tip your driver or risk slow delivery, DoorDash users warned

Want your late-night Big Mac order to arrive at least a little bit warm? Better tip your delivery driver ahead of time. 

Driving the news: DoorDash is testing a change to its service that will ask customers to add a tip at checkout and warn them that failing to do so could mean their delivery will take longer.

AI influencers are taking over

Out of all the jobs under threat from AI, we certainly didn’t have Instagram influencers at the top of our list. 

Driving the news: Major global brands, including Prada, Calvin Klein, Samsung, and BMW, are turning to AI-generated influencers to promote their products on social media, opting for a cost-effective alternative to high-profile social media personalities.