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✨ Good morning! Today is Monday, April 8, 2019 and this is karma at its finest.
BULLETIN: DON’T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB
• The Background
Well, it was good while it lasted. Canada’s job boom came to a crashing end in March, with a net job loss of 7,200 positions last month. Full-time positions in the service sector were the hardest hit, particularly in healthcare and accommodation industries. Overall, the number of positions in the private sector dropped by 17,300, balanced by an increase of 4,000 public sector roles and another 6,000 workers moving into self-employed occupations. Financial Post
• What Else You Need to Know
The news from Statistics Canada, revealed on Friday, came as a shock to economists, who’d predicted a gain of 6,000 jobs in the same period. (Not even close, guys.) This marks the employment market’s first drop in seven months. (In the period from August 2018 to February 2019, Canada’s economy added 290,000 jobs — the largest six-month increase since 2002.) Still, it’s not all bad: Most workers are making more money, with average hourly wage growth up 2.4%. The national unemployment rate remains unchanged at 5.8%.
• What’s Next?
Economists — and the Bank of Canada — will have to readjust their outlooks with these new developments in mind.
• Not All Heroes Wear Capes
In a daring rescue mission, more than 40 animals were evacuated from a run-down zoo in Gaza. The heroes: vets and volunteers from a Vienna-based animal welfare group, Four Paws International. In the largest rescue mission of its kind in the blockaded Palestinian enclave, dozens of neglected animals were freed from years of living in horrifying conditions at the Rafah zoo. “The zoo had been in a bad situation in recent years due to economic and political turmoil,” said Amir Khalil, a veterinarian from Four Paws International. The newly-liberated group, including lions, foxes, monkeys, pelicans, ostriches and wolves, will be relocated to animal sanctuaries in Jordan and South Africa, where they’re sure to get some much-needed TLC. Associated Press
• Canada: Win-Win
The federal government is in dire need of some really good press, so it’s doing a really good deed — and Toronto’s most vulnerable citizens stand to reap the benefits. Ottawa has promised $1.3 billion in funding for much-needed repairs to Toronto Community Housing (TCH) buildings. The money will come out of Ottawa’s National Housing Co-Investment Fund, established last May, and will allow TCH to renovate some 58,000 units in 1,500 buildings across the city. The funding was jointly announced by PM Justin Trudeau and Toronto Mayor John Tory on Friday, with Trudeau rightly acknowledging that “having a roof over your head doesn’t cut it if the windows won’t close or the plumbing is dodgy.” Construction will start this spring to bring the city-owned homes into a state of good repair and to make upgrades to accessibility and energy efficiency within the buildings. CBC News
• U.S.: Behind Barrs
Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures” featured a big announcement from Rep. Devin Nunes — the former chair of the House Intelligence Committee. He’s planning to send eight criminal referrals (basically a request for a criminal investigation) to Attorney General William Barr as soon as this week. Here’s the background: before the Democrats took over in January, Nunes and the Republicans were investigating whether there was anti-Trump bias in the Russia investigation by the FBI and DOJ. Since Nunes no longer holds the gavel, he’s passing over his findings to Barr, who will be briefed about all eight referrals. “Those crimes are: lying to Congress, misleading Congress, leaking classified information, among other accusations, three of which are more complicated. Nunes didn’t name names but he did suggest the suspects would be familiar faces in this seemingly never-ending saga (otherwise known as the Russia Investigation). CNN
• U.S.: Another One Bites the Dust
Another member of the Trump administration has resigned. Yesterday, Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen stepped down. Nielson was incredibly complimentary of her time working with the White House, saying it was “an honour of a lifetime” to work in the department and calling out her colleagues’ “service, dedication, and commitment.” Trump thanked her for her service before announcing that Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner would be taking over as acting secretary. Nielson gave no reason for her resignation. BBC News
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“If Trudeau intends to sue me, if he believes he has a case against me, he should get on with it.”
– Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer calls the prime minister’s bluff with regards to a threatened libel suit against him. The prime minister’s lawyers sent Scheer a letter this weekend threatening to sue him over his assertion that the PM interfered in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, a claim the PMO calls “completely false” and “defamatory.” CTV News
• Let the Games Begin
As if you needed another thing to distract you from being a productive person, Snapchat just launched Snap Games, the first multiplayer game platform for Snapchat users. You can now play five different real-time, multiplayer social games, while talking and texting with friends. Snap Games is based off Snap’s 2017 acquisition of an Australian game studio called PrettyGreat. The goal is to attract new users to Snapchat, while encouraging existing Snapchatters to spend even more time on the app. It will also help monetize the platform, with six-second unstoppable ads that reward users with in-game currency. And the games are sure to be addicting. Genius, right? TechCrunch
• Hockey: Puck Yeah!
Attention hockey fanatics (a.k.a. Canadians): the Stanley Cup playoffs start this Wednesday night. We’ll be watching our two Canadian contenders closely: the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Calgary Flames. The Leafs and the Boston Bruins will meet in the first round again this year, after Boston battered the Leafs in a seven-game victory in 2018. The big question mark for the Calgary Flames is which goalie will hit the ice. David Rittich and Mike Smith both had hot and cold streaks this season, so only time will tell who will lead the way in the playoffs. For all postseason matchups, check out the full run-down here.
• Curling: Second Best
Last night Canada faced off against Sweden in the World Curling Championship final for the third year in a row — and for the second time, they left with a silver medal. The gold medal game was basically a highlight reel, with Canada’s Kevin Koe managing several triple takeouts and the ever-elusive quadruple takeout. The tournament proved to be a tough road for the Canadians, who barely made it to the final, winning two must-win matches by just one point. Switzerland also snagged a medal yesterday, beating Japan 8-4 to take home the bronze. TSN
• Trophy Time
Last night, country music’s biggest and brightest gathered in Las Vegas to celebrate another year of chart-topping twang at the American Country Music Awards. Keith Urban took home the big award of the night, winning entertainer of the year, while Thomas Rhett and Kasey Musgraves won male and female artist of the year. (Musgraves also won album of the year for Golden Hour.) Duo of the year went to Dan + Shay (their single “Tequila” won single of the year and song of the year) and Old Dominion won for group of the year. As for the newbies, Ashley McBryde was named best new female artist and Luke Combs was named best new male. You can see the rest of the night’s winners (and losers) here.
• Get a Life
Twitter is a gold mine for all kinds of outrageous drama. You can witness a virtual catfight between two complete strangers, unfolding in real time. Example A: Amy Brown commented on one user’s patronizing tweet that said: “Shaking hands with a woman is like shaking hands with a child.” Her response: “cool I’ll just slap you in the face when I see you then.” Amy’s comment prompted a brief back-and-forth between her and a Twitter troll named Alex Miller, in which Amy joked about being 7.5 feet tall without heels, so she could beat up the guy who thought up the ridiculous post. Thinking she was being serious, Alex took it upon himself to dig deep into Amy’s photos to provide evidence that she is not, in fact, 7.5 feet tall. He even wrote out the “math” in bold red pen to make his point. Joke’s on you, Alex. Someone should probably send this dude some help. Distractify
• The Original Ingenue
Actress Mary Pickford was born on April 8, 1892 in Toronto. Throughout the 1910s and ’20s, she became one of the first Hollywood stars, earning the nicknames “Queen of the Movies” and (ironically) “America’s Sweetheart,” and later becoming one of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• New parents, take note: International regulators have warned against using Fisher Price’s Rock ‘N Play sleeper after 10 infants died.
• A longtime Coachella employee died over the weekend after falling setting up one of the stages for the world-famous music festival.
• Mark your calendar: There’s a Beyonce special coming to Netflix on April 17.
• Stupidity Standoff
If watching someone struggle with a tight parallel park is your idea of a good time, this drama for the ages will be right up your alley.