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✨ Good morning! Today is Wednesday, December 19, 2018 and Kevin McAllister’s got nothing on this guy.
BULLETIN: TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE?
• The Background
The federal government has extended a $1.6-billion olive branch to Alberta, but it’s just a drop in their oil sands. Yesterday, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi and International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr announced their plan to support Canada’s struggling energy industry, which includes $1 billion in commercial support from Export Development Canada (the national export credit agency) and $500 million over three years from the Business Development Bank of Canada (a crown corporation). A good chunk of the remaining funds (which are earmarked for clean growth and infrastructure projects) are coming from Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program. CBC News
• What Else You Need to Know
While Sohi mentioned Alberta several times (“when Alberta hurts, so does Canada”), the province’s premier seems less than impressed with the Liberals’ plan. Rachel Notley acknowledged that the access to capital “will probably” help some small oil producers, but that Ottawa isn’t listening to what Alberta really needs: help getting its product to market (a.k.a. a pipeline or help buying rail cars to transport crude oil out of the province). Notley somewhat reserved judgment, saying that she hopes “that this is a first step and that there is more to come.” However, Alberta’s opposition leader didn’t mince words when it came to what he thought of Ottawa’s plan, calling it “too late, too late” and criticizing the NDP government for putting all their faith in the Liberals.
• What’s Next?
According to Sohi and Carr, the money will be available immediately to oil producers who want to invest in new technologies, diversity their markets, increase operational and environmental efficiency, buy new technology and equipment or expand into new markets.
• Snow Day
Winter is officially here — at least for Atlantic Canada. Yesterday, unlucky souls in New Brunwsick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island were forced to contend with winter’s wrath, which was no match for the provinces’ plows and shovels. The storm brought a (glorious) mix of rain, snow and wind, dumping between 20 and 35 centimetres of the white stuff in some areas. Winter storm warnings were issued for areas in all three provinces, and schools and colleges were closed for the day. CTV News
• Canada: Take a Sip of This
Thankfully, drunk drivers are about to have a much harder time getting around the law. Canada’s new and improved impaired driving laws kicked in yesterday, allowing police to demand breathalyzers from any driver they pull over (the days of reasonable suspicion are over); no more “bolus drinking defence” (a.k.a. the driver had just consumed alcohol and it hasn’t absorbed yet); and an increase to the maximum penalties for many alcohol-related driving offences. Fines for first offences have been increased based on blood alcohol levels (the higher the blood alcohol level, the higher the fine, up to $2500), second offence comes with a minimum of 30 days in jail, and third offence brings a minimum of 120 days in the slammer. If you’re the arse who hurts someone while driving under the influence, you’ll now be subject to a minimum of two years for less severe cases (up to 14 years), and if you by chance kill someone, you’re looking at life behind bars. (Finally the punishment matches the crime.) Global News
• U.S.: Paying the Price
In a long overdue decision, Donald Trump’s namesake charitable foundation has agreed to dissolve. According to Barbara Underwood, New York’s attorney general, the Trumps (including Don Jr., Eric and Ivanka) misused the foundation to advance POTUS’s 2016 campaign, saying it served as “little more than a cheque book to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests.” (Shocking.) Underwood also said the 21-month investigation had uncovered “extensive unlawful political coordination” and that the president had illegally given his campaign control of about $2.8 million that was donated to the foundation in a 2016 fundraiser for military veterans. The lawsuit hopes to recoup that money, and effectively bans the Trumps from holding any leadership roles in any New York charities in the future. Reuters
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Arguably, this undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably, you sold your country out.
– U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, making it clear he disagrees with Mueller’s recommendation that he go easy on former national security advisor Michael Flynn’s sentence, as thanks for cooperating with the special counsel’s investigation. The Hill
• Job Boom
Amazon may not have chosen Canada as the home of its newest headquarters, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still committed to expanding its footprint in the Great White North. Yesterday, the company announced the opening of a new 113,000-square-foot office in Toronto’s Scotia Plaza — right in the downtown core (which, in its own way, is kind of like the Amazon) — and it plans to fill that office up by hiring for 600 new tech jobs. It’s also expanding its reach on the opposite side of the country with a new distribution centre set to open in Nisku, Alberta, located just south of Edmonton. The one-million-square-foot facility will be staffed with an additional 600 full-time employees by 2020. Financial Post
• ‘Bout Time
Twitter has heard the will of the people and — unlike 99% of companies out there — it’s listening. Starting yesterday, the social media network is reintroducing a reverse chronological feed as a choice for users. Users now have the option of choosing to view their feed ordered with the most recent tweets at the top and updated in real time, or to continue to allow the site’s algorithm to order posts by what it deems more important. The so-called ranked timeline has been the default for the past four years, much to the chagrin of users nostalgic for the original live feed. To turn back the clock, users will now see a “sparkle” icon (yep, that’s its official name) in the top right corner of the app screen (currently only on iOS, but landing on other platforms “in the coming weeks”) that when tapped, opens a menu giving the option to toggle back and forth between chronological and ranked timelines. The Verge
• Basketball: Whining Not Welcome
If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Raptor Nick Nurse learned that the hard way yesterday when the league slapped him with a $15,000 fine as punishment for dissing the refs after last Sunday’s game. The Raptors lost that night to the Denver Nuggets, and Nurse used his post-game soapbox to place the blame squarely on the officiating: “They were the ones that were hitting, holding, cutting, grabbing, clutching, hitting,” Nurse said of the Denver players in a scrum with reporters after the game. He went on to imply that the refs had it out for forward Kawhi Leonard specifically, saying “It’s been going on all year. I do not understand why they are letting everyone play one of the best players in the league so physically. I do not understand it.” True or not, the NBA doesn’t respond well to public criticism, and now Nurse is paying the price. (Literally.) Sportsnet
• So Long, Laverne
Hollywood lost a treasured star this week: Penny Marshall passed away Monday night due to complications from diabetes. The 75 year old actress and director gained fame with a role in The Odd Couple and as the “Laverne” of Laverne and Shirley — a career-making character who also appeared in Happy Days and Mork & Mindy — before moving behind the camera to direct hits like A League of Their Own, Big and Riding in Cars With Boys. Marshall holds the distinguished credit of being the first woman to direct a film that grossed more than US $100 million, and the second female director to have a film nominated for best picture at the Oscars. (Thanks for making our dreams come true…) Variety
• Strange Appeal
There are a number of men we’d like to see shirtless in a 2019 calendar. Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds (actually any Ryan for that matter), the Hemsworths, Idris Elba, Henry Golding (have you seen Crazy Rich Asians? #swoon) or Noah Centineo would all be worth shelling out a pretty penny for. One famous face who’s not our list? Russian President Vladmir Putin — but the world leader is apparently doing it for women in Japan. According to a recent report, a calendar featuring the 66-year-old doing various activities in various states of shirtlessness is the top-selling calendar at Loft, a popular Japanese chain. While the Japan Times theorized that many of the purchases were a “practical joke” (they have to be, right?), other publications said Japanese women are attracted to his “rugged sex appeal” (what?) and “unashamed machismo” (huh?). The calendar is so damn popular, it’s outselling the country’s biggest movie stars and athletes. HuffPost
STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• It might just be a Christmas miracle: the UN-negotiated ceasefire in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah seems to be holding. For now.
• Canadian serial killer Dellen Millard was sentenced to his third life sentenceyesterday for murdering his father, with no chance of parole for 75 years.
• And now Target’s just turning the knife — the U.S. retailer announced that in 2019, it’s launching same-day delivery for all major product categories.
• Instagram’s question stickers have become a staple in Stories, and now users can opt to answer a question in real time by going live.
• Two Down, Two to Go
Two years ago today, Donald Trump officially became the 45th President-Elect of the United States, meaning we’re almost halfway through his presidency (unless, of course, the House Democrats manage to get their way🤞).
• Christmas Jeer
If your kids still believe in Santa, make sure they’re not following this Twitter account.