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✨ Good morning! Today is Thursday, November 22, 2018 and who knew termites were such amazing architects?
BULLETIN: THE BOTTOM LINE
• The Background
America’s economic policy is having an effect on Canada’s bottom line — at least according to Bill Morneau. Canada’s finance minister shared the fall fiscal update yesterday, and one thing was clear: Canada’s in the red…like really, really in the red. According to Morneau, the Liberals are spending billions to help corporations in Canada compete with their American counterparts, as well as millions more to support struggling news organizations. (We’re not one of them.) While he said Canada’s doing well overall, it’s “global uncertainty, unpredictable oil prices, lingering trade disputes” and POTUS’s “deep tax cuts” that are causing problems for Canadians and Canadian business. Morneau also shared that the feds expect the national debt to rise by 96.7 billion to $765 billion by 2023-24. CBC News
• What Else You Need to Know
The government is planning to spend $17.6 billion over the next six years, and almost all of it ($16.5 billion) is going towards “building Canadian business productivity.” What does that mean exactly? It means a new tax write-off that allows manufacturers to “immediately recoup the full cost of machinery and equipment” and an additional write-off for the cost of clean energy machinery. There’s also a new allowance that allows businesses to sooner deduct the cost of investments that drive long-term growth. The other spending is to support news organizations: Think implementing tax credits for local news outlets, charitable status for non-profits and tax-deductible news subscriptions. It’s also earmarking $14.6 million for French public broadcasters to develop digital platforms over the next five years.
• What’s Next?
The Liberals promised to balance the budget by 2019 (and to never allow a deficit of more than $10 billion), which is clearly not going to happen. (Kind of like what we said about our bank account.) The deficit this year will be $19 billion, and the feds expect that to drop to $12 billion by 2022/2023.
• Close Call
Interpol has a new president — and he’s not Russian. South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang was selected as the organization’s new president yesterday, calming Western leaders’ fears that a veteran of Russia’s security services would be selected instead. Alexander Prokopchuk was close to nabbing the top job, but a joint effort by the United States and its European allies (right up until the last minute) likely helped solidify Kim’s win. The group argued that if Prokopchuk were selected, the Kremlin would have been able to further abuse Interpol’s red notice system to “go after political opponents and fugitive dissidents.” Kim will now serve as president until 2020. CP24
• Canada: Stepping In
Just 24 hours after Labour Minister Patty Hadju threatened to end the Canada Post strike, the government is taking action. Hadju announced yesterday that the Liberals had given the House of Commons the required 48 hours’ notice that they *may* force CP employees back to work. According to Hadju, the notice isn’t a guarantee that the Liberals will introduce the required legislation, but it does signify that they’re serious about getting our snail mail moving a little faster. (We didn’t know it could go slower.) Though the government thinks the situation is dire enough for federal intervention, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) says it ain’t so: they swear Canada Post is exaggerating the backlog to get the feds to make a move. Global News
• U.S.: To Serve and Protect
Washington is finally setting aside some money for a good cause: its state, local and tribal law enforcement officials. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker made the announcement yesterday, sharing that the Department of Justice was coughing up $56 million in grant funding to improve “safety and support services” for authorities across the country. The new programs will include $29 million to partly reimburse departments for the purchase of bulletproof vests, $12 million for body cameras, and $2 million for health and safety research. Whitaker said the grants were just a “small way of saying thank you to the officers who take care of us every day.” Politico
QUOTE OF THE DAY
We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.
– U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, rebuking Donald Trump’s claim that a federal judge in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is an “Obama judge.” CNN
• Extreme Makeover
Getting lost in IKEA’s giant maze of showrooms could soon become a thing of the past. (But it did certainly help our daily step count.) The Swedish retailer announced yesterday that its making way for a new strategy that includes opening smaller downtown shops to complement its larger suburban stores, with plans to “diversify its reach” by opening 30 new stores in major city centres worldwide. It’s also focusing on further developing its e-commerce platform “to better meet the needs of its customers and be more convenient and affordable to many more people.” In order to get there, the company is restructuring, meaning layoffs are coming for 7,500 of its employees worldwide — including about 150 Canadian workers — but it expects its expansion plans will result in a net gain of 4,000 jobs over the next two years. London Free Press
• Career Advancement
In an era where HR keyword searches and ZipRecruiter algorithms can determine the fate of your job search long before human eyeballs even see your application, the quality of your résumé is more important than ever. Enter CV Compiler, a new web app designed to help get that all important employment tool in tip-top shape — if you work in the tech industry, at least. Developed specifically for tech professionals, CV Compiler uses machine learning to analyze your résumé and tell you exactly what to fix and where to submit it to get your dream job. “There are lots of online resume analysis tools, but these services are too generic, meaning they can be used by multiple professionals and the results are poor and very general,” says co-founder Andrew Stetsenko. “[CV Complier’s] online review technology scans for keywords from the world of programming and how they are used in the résumé, relative to the best practices in the industry.” TechCrunch
• The Common Good
It should come as no surprise that a career as a non-professional athlete isn’t always lucrative. In fact, it can be downright expensive. Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC) is launching a fundraising drive to help cover the costs of sending a team to the Games. The organization needs to raise $800,000 every four years for our country’s athletes to participate. That money is on top of the $1 million it receives from government and sponsor contributions. For the 2018 games held in Australia in April, the CGC says 83 of 283 Canadian athletes had to “pay-to-play” out of their own pockets. It also notes that 80% of Canada’s Summer Olympic medals have been won by Commonwealth Games alumni, meaning these “next-generation athletes” are worth investing in. On Nov, 27, it’s kicking off a series of fundraising campaigns to make up the shortfall ahead of the 2022 Games in Birmingham, England, with hopes for Canada to host in 2030. CBC Sports
• Dragons Dethroned
anxiously patiently await the April 2019 debut of Game of Thrones’ final season with mixed feelings (we can’t wait to watch it, but we don’t want it to be over!), George R.R. Martin is comforting us with news of the forthcoming HBO prequel series. The creator has revealed some interesting plot details, including the fact that the prequel likely won’t include many of the elements fans are familiar with. Set 5000 years before the current series’ timeframe, Martin says the Targaryens and dragons will be out of the picture, and the land of Westeros will look quite a bit different. The prequel takes place before the Seven Kingdoms merged, when each still had their own customs and rulers — meaning there’ll be no Iron Throne to fight over either. Says Martin, “we’re dealing with a different and older world, and hopefully that will be part of the fun of the series.” BGR
THE WEEKEND PLAYLIST
Twenty-three books in, and Lee Child’s Jack Reacher is still able to fight his way to the top of the New York Times bestsellers’ list. In fact, with a TV series in the works (and more films, minus Tom Cruise), the newest novel in the series, Past Tense, is buzzier than ever.
Wreck-It Ralph broke more than the internet this week, with Ralph Breaks the Internet setting a new pre-Thanksgiving box-office record, and it’s expected to rake in an estimated $US 94 million this week. In other words? Go see it, or you’ll have no idea what everyone is talking about.
Actor-turned-crooner Jeff Goldblum has officially scored his first No. 1 album. His debut release with the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, The Capitol Studios Sessions, stands in first place on both Billboard‘s Jazz Albums and Traditional Jazz Albums charts.
• Walking Barefoot
When your brand name is Fecal Matter, it’s pretty much a given that your product lineup is going to be, shall we say,
really sh*tty interesting— but these thigh-high boots are giving us straight-up Hannibal Lector nightmares. Fashioned to look like human skin, the aptly named “skin boots” include heels that look like human flesh, horned protrusions, and human-like toes that rest on a clear, lucite platform. The boots are the brainchild of Montreal-based designers Hannah Rose Dalton and Steven Raj Bhaskaran, who created the shoe “to question what it means to be human.” If you’re brave enough to wear the bizarre boots, you better be rich enough, too: these custom shoes will cost you a jaw-dropping $10K. (Call us basic, but we’d take 10 pairs of Manolos instead.) CTV News
STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• In a shocking (read: not at all shocking) turn of events, POTUS has decided to skip the typical White House Correspondents’ Dinner roast, and hire author Ron Chernow to speak instead.
• Shopify, the Canadian darling of the e-commerce world, has acquired Tictail, a fellow e-commerce company based in Sweden.
• Just days after Instagram announced it was purging fake followers and penalizing accounts that used apps to grow their audience, it’s re-designing users’ profile pages to focus more on the user, and less on the number of followers.
• Better late than never: Catherine O’Hara has been awarded the Order of Canada.
• Forbes has revealed the highest paid woman in music, and nope, it’s not Beyoncé, Ariana or Taylor.
• Turkey Day 2.0
The fourth Thursday in November (a.k.a. today) marks Thanksgiving Day for our friends stateside. While we Canadians don’t get the four-day weekend (sorry), we do get the benefit of Black Friday shopping — and despite the name, most sales kick off today. (Shop, shop!)
• Turkey Twist
Really though, is there any food that can’t be made better by a fluorescent orange crust?