Why cities can’t have nice things anymore

We regret to inform you that city budgets across the country have gotten so tight (relatable) that they’re starting to take away the fun stuff.  

Toronto city officials spent much of yesterday debating whether they could afford to pony up for Canada Day celebrations at city hall—in the end, they chose to move ahead

AI comes for the podcasters

There are a lot of podcasts. About 4 million, to be exact. From old roommates to distant relatives to yours truly, starting a podcast has become a right of passage into adulthood. 

And now, the generative AI boom is set to contribute even more audio content to an already endless library of podcast options. Per Wired, AI-generated podcasts have officially arrived, whether—you know—anyone actually wants them or not. 

We’re number one (in debt)

Sometimes, being number one isn’t anything to brag about—take Canada’s household debt situation, for example.

Canada tops the G7 when it comes to household debt as a share of GDP, according to a recently released report by the Canada Mortgage Housing Corp.

No public inquiry needed, Johnston finds

After taking a look into allegations of China’s interference in Canadian politics, former governor general (and current “special rapporteur”) David Johnston decided the situation represents an “increasing threat to our democratic system” but has not called for a public inquiry into the matter. 

Welcome to your (sort-of) post-plastic future

By the end of this year, plastic straws are set to officially become a relic of the past. 

A national rollout of eco-friendly stir sticks, cutlery, takeout containers, plastic grocery bags, and straws is well underway, but the transition has been rocky… 

Ontario clears path for foreign-trained engineers

Becoming an engineer in Ontario just got easier (you know, aside from all the math). 

Engineers trained abroad will no longer need Canadian experience to get their engineering licence in Ontario. It’s part of a broader push in the country’s largest province to make it easier for skilled immigrants to work in their respective fields. 

What province has the best EV rebates

Planning for your next car to be electric? The final price you end up paying will depend on which province you’re in.

Sunny with a chance of rate hikes

It was fun while it lasted, but Bank of Canada (BoC) Governor Tiff Macklem may end his “conditional pause” era sooner than we all expected.

Driving the news: Several big-name economists at Scotiabank, Capital Economics, and CitiGroup predict that the BoC will hike interest rates by a quarter-point at its June 7 meeting—breaking with a consensus view that a pause would be maintained at 4.5%.

America inches closer to default

While much of Canada spent Victoria Day playing spike ball in the park or drinking White Claws on the dock, America spent another 24 hours on the verge of a default. 

Driving the news: With as few as ten days left to prevent a US debt default, talks between President Joe Biden and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy failed to produce a solution to the looming debt ceiling breach (the limit on what the US can borrow to pay its bills). 

Cineplex sued for “junk fees”

*If you’ve bought a movie ticket in the last year, you may be entitled to compensation*

That's because Canada’s Competition Bureau is suing Cineplex, the country’s largest movie theatre chain, for advertising tickets at a lower price than what customers actually pay. The issue lies in an online booking fee of $1.50 that Cineplex has been adding to its checkout since June 2022.

What to do this weekend

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

Everybody wants to be Toronto’s new mayor

In what could very possibly be the premise of a new reality show, Toronto’s mayoral race has attracted a record-setting total of 102 candidates, or enough to fit two standard TTC busses. 

What on Earth is Worldcoin?

Would you let a company scan your eyeball in exchange for some digital tokens? OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is betting that your answer will be: “Yes, absolutely, where do I sign?!”

WestJet lands a deal

WestJet and the union representing its pilots struck a last-minute deal to avert a strike (and rescue many people's weekend travel plans).

What happened: The Air Line Pilots Association, which represents around 1,800 pilots at WestJet and its subsidiary Swoop, announced it had a deal with the airline early this morning.

ESPN cuts the cord

Cable TV isn’t dead yet, but ESPN’s departure might be the last nail in the coffin. 

What happened: Disney-owned ESPN plans to start offering its channel as a subscription streaming service, giving people access to the biggest live sports channel without needing to pay for a cable bundle, per The Wall Street Journal.

Montana bans TikTok

No such thing as a free TV

A startup called Telly dominated the news headlines this week after offering 500,000 people a smart TV with a market value of $1,000 for free. The catch? The screen includes a small display in the bottom corner that will run ads as you watch.

Who’s paying for the EV transition?

Everyone wants to be the next big EV player… as long as someone else pays for it.

Canadian trucking has a tax dodging problem

A group representing Canadian truckers is sounding the alarm about a scam it thinks has reached a “crisis level.” And unlike a novelty mudflap, it’s no laughing matter.

Finding a spot at kids’ summer camp is getting competitive

Camps can be a saving grace for working parents during those eight weeks of summer break—but if you were hoping to get a “hello muddah, hello fadduh” type letter from your kids at Camp Grenada this summer, you better get a head start on registration and budget a few more bucks.