Shoppers pharmacists sue over shady practices

Class-action lawsuits can be a real headache, but luckily Shoppers Drug Mart executives have an unlimited supply of extra-strength Tylenol at their disposal. 

What happened: An ex-Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist has filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against his former workplace, and its parent company Loblaw, claiming that the chain breached franchising deals by coercing pharmacists into “unsafe and unethical" behaviour.

Tim Hortons has entered the pizza game

Canadians' favourite spot for a double-double and an old fashioned glazed doughnut is trying its hand at a new endeavour: pizza. 

What happened: Today, a line of flatbread pizzas — including cheese, pepperoni, "bacon everything," and chicken Parmesan varieties — is launching at Tim Hortons locations across Canada. It’s part of the brand’s bigger push to get customers into cafes after breakfast.

Taxing times call for taxing measures

With so much spending already announced, we were left wondering what the feds would actually end up unveiling at this year’s budget meeting. 

The answer? A new tax to pay for all those plans, obviously.     

What happened: The federal government unveiled its 2024-25 budget yesterday. The biggest news to come out of it was an increase in the capital gains tax inclusion rate. Starting June 25, gains over $250,000 will be taxed at a two-thirds rate, up from one-half. 

Meta bets on virtual learning

It might not be long until parents are adding virtual reality headsets to their kid's back-to-school shopping lists. 

What happened: Meta is trying to bring Grade 9 algebra lessons into the metaverse by launching a new education hub for its Quest VR headsets. 

Canada says 'bienvenue' to Francophone immigrants

Everybody knows that Canada needs more healthcare workers, more homebuilders, and… more French speakers? 

Driving the news: Since revamping the Express Entry system for skilled immigration last year, 19,700 potential immigrants have been invited to apply for permanent residency based on their French skills, more than any other selection category, per a Globe and Mail analysis.

Happy Budget Day, one and all

It’s Budget Day 2024, and the theme for this year is "generational fairness.” While that’s not as exciting a theme as “year of efficiency” or “murder mystery,” it does sound like a nice idea.

Driving the news: This year, the feds tried out a new comms strategy where they openly trumpeted many of the biggest moves in the month leading up to the budget. Over $37 billion in new initiatives for this year’s budget have already been announced.

Middle East conflict ratchets up with Iran attack

Violence in the Middle East escalated over the weekend with an Iranian attack on Israel. 

Catch up: Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles at targets in Israel on Saturday, 99% of which were intercepted in the air by Israel and its allies.

Tesla slashes prices for self-driving software

Tesla is hoping that a good old-fashioned sale will get more customers to buy into the whole self-driving car thing. 

Driving the news: Tesla is slashing the price of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software subscription from US$199 to US$99 per month in the U.S., part of a larger effort to boost customer subscriptions amid tough financial times for the EV maker. 

Best of Around the Peak

This week, we’re looking back at some of our favourite episodes of Free Lunch by The Peak.  

What to do this weekend

Saudi Arabia dials back its mega-city ambitions

Saudi officials are learning that constructing a city from scratch is turning out to be a real financial headache. 

Driving the news: Saudi Arabia is scaling back its ambitions for Neom, a trillion-dollar desert development project aimed at diversifying its oil-dependent economy.

Vietnamese court sentences tycoon to death for fraud

Sam Bankman-Fried might be having a rough go of it as he faces 25 years in the slammer,  but hey, at least he didn’t commit large-scale financial fraud in Vietnam. 

What happened: Real estate developer Truong My Lan has been sentenced to death by a Vietnamese court for orchestrating the country's largest-ever financial fraud. She embezzled over US$12 billion (or ~3% of Vietnam’s GDP) from the Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank.

Apple takes a (small) step towards right to repair

Explain It Like I'm Five: CPUs and GPUs

A central processing unit (CPU) is a chip that acts like the brain of a computer, managing all of the tasks that keep a system going, from running programs to passing instructions to hardware. A CPU does this with a handful of “cores” — parts of the chip that quickly process data and handle instructions.

Independent web browsers are so trendy in Europe

It turns out the key to breaking Big Tech’s hold on the browser market is letting people know that other options exist.

Rogers Centre gets revamped

The Jays might have a losing record right now, but their stadium is turning into a real winner.

Driving the news: Toronto Blue Jays fans got their first taste of the latest Rogers Centre renos this week. Those seated in the 100-level bowl experienced cushier, wider seats (with cupholders!) and a better view of home plate. 

The government has been using AI… a lot

New mortgage rules for first-time home buyers

Today on “keeping up with federal budget announcements coming out weeks before the actual federal budget announcement” is a policy change covering housing affordability.  

What happened: Canada is rolling out new housing affordability measures for first-time homebuyers, including extending maximum mortgage amortizations to 30 years and increasing the amount that can be withdrawn from an RRSP to buy a first home to $60,000.

Canada has an accountant crisis

As if tax season wasn’t stressful enough, Canada is also dealing with an accountant shortage.

Driving the news: Canadian finance and accounting hiring managers are feeling overtaxed this tax season, with 90% reporting that they are experiencing challenges due to a widespread accountant shortage, according to a new survey by Robert Half. 

Track and field to pay its Olympic gold medallists

New hardest way to earn 50 grand just dropped: winning the Olympic 400-metre hurdles.

What happened: This year in Paris, track and field will be the first-ever Olympic sport to pay prize money to gold medallists. World Athletics, the governing body in charge of track and field, has set aside US$2.4 million to pay $50,000 to first-place finishers across 48 events.