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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.

What to do this weekend

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

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. 

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.

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.

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.   

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.  

Canadian banks hurt by weak earnings

Our high-level bank earnings summary: “Not great, but things could be worse.” 

Four of Canada’s Big Five banks—TD, RBC, BMO, and Scotiabank—missed estimates this week as tough economic conditions force lenders to put aside more money to prepare for borrowers falling behind on their repayments. 

Is a gap year the best financial choice for high school grads?

No more school, no more books, no more teachers telling you to put that phone away during class! But is going to university straight out of high school the best move for students in this economy?

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…