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✨ Good morning! Today is Wednesday, October 31, 2018 and we hope you’re wearing your costume to work so you can get cheap lunchtime eats.
BULLETIN: BANKING ON IT
• The Background
When it comes to best business practices, there are certain industries that seem to be exempt. Financial institutions, with their deep pockets and customers’ strong reliance on their assistance, often seem to skirt consumer protection rules. But those days are numbered for Canada’s big banks if the Liberal government has anything to say about it. On Monday, Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled an 850-page budget implementation bill (a.k.a. Bill C-86) that (if approved) would revamp the way banks treat customers in Canada. The bill was put together in response to a March report from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) that found Canada’s Big Six Banks were putting a strong focus on sales — which could “increase the risk of violating consumer-protection rules.” Financial Post
• What Else You Need to Know
If passed, the bill would change the way banks in Canada operate in some major ways. Firstly, the FCAC would be pushed to “name and shame” the institutions that are found to violate consumer-protection rules, a practice that hasn’t been encouraged over the years. It would also up the fines that the FCAC can impose on banks that break the rules, increasing the maximum to $10 million from the current $500,000. (If that’s not a deterrent…) It’ll also get a lot harder for deposit-taking bank locations in rural areas to close their doors. Under the new legislation, those branches will need to give customers and local politicians written notice at least six months’ in advance. Whistleblowers are also more securely protected under the new bill — it guarantees them anonymity and prevents their employer from firing them. And following the likes of CASL, Bill C-86 would also prevent banks from providing a person with a financial product or service without first getting their “express consent” in a manner that’s “clear, simple and not misleading.”
• What’s Next?
The bill had its first reading on Monday and will need a second reading before government officials can debate it in the House of Commons. If passed, it’ll go to a House committee for further review before another vote. If it passes that vote, it’ll go through a similar process in the Senate. (Did we mention, it’s 850 pages?? So basically, it has quite a ways to go.)
• White(y) Out
One of the world’s most notorious gangsters is no more. Yesterday morning, Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger was killed in a West Virginia prison, just one day after being transferred to the facility. (If it walks like a hit and talks like a hit…) The 89-year-old had only spent the past seven years behind bars, successfully evading authorities for more than 16 years before being arrested in 2011 and sentenced in 2013 to two life terms plus five years. He was convicted of racketeering, extortion, money laundering, drug dealing and weapons possession. A jury also found him culpable in 11 murders. CNN
• Canada: Outside the Lines
Possibly taking a cue from our southern neighbours, Canada’s border agency is upping its efforts to deport failed refugee claimants and other foreign nationals that are “not welcome in this country.” The director of the agency’s Enforcement and Intelligence Operations Division, Brad Wozny, made the announcement via email, telling staff the government’s plan is to increase removals to 10,000 people per year. According to Wozny, the 10,000 goal is an increase of 25% to 35% over the last couple of years. (The number of deportations fell between 2012 and 2017, from 18,987 to 8,472.) Canada’s current deportation list sits at approximately 18,000 with 5,300 “actionable cases” (cases that have no current impediments to deportation). CBC News
• U.S.: Breaking the Law
Speaking of migrants and refugees, POTUS is taking aim at them again. Yesterday, DT announced that he was going to revoke the 14th Amendment, a.k.a. birthright citizenship. (Yes, a part of the constitution that was added way back in 1868 — who knew they were more civilized back then?) In an interview with Axios on HBO, the president said he thinks the idea of birthright citizenship is “ridiculous,” said it “has to end,” and mistakenly insisted that the U.S. is the only country that offers such a thing. (Fact check: more than 30 countries, including Canada, have laws protecting citizens born within their borders.) He also said (since apparently he has no idea how the law in the United States actually works) that he can do it with an executive order, even though legal experts say that’s not the case. The idea of removing the 14th Amendment was met with criticism from politicians on both sides of the aisle: Sen. Jeff Flake said Trump “can’t” and “shouldn’t” do it, while Speaker Paul Ryan (who apparently finally found his voice two months before political retirement) said the president “obviously can’t do that” and that “the 14th Amendment is pretty clear.” Business Insider
QUOTE OF THE DAY
My eyes are now wide open and now realize I’ve been used to spread messages I don’t believe in.
– Kanye West
finally comes to his senses announces he’s “distancing [himself] from politics and completely focusing on being creative.” TMZ
• Joint Venture
Two of Canada’s female-led cannabis companies are being rolled into one, becoming the first business in the industry run by two women. 48North Cannabis Corp., an Ontario-based licensed producer that caters to the “female health and wellness” market, is buying Good & Green, a small cannabis grower specializing in “homogenous organic cannabis,” for $18 million. Following the acquisition, the companies will be jointly helmed by 48 North CEO Alison Gordon and Good & Green founder Jeanette VanderMarel. The merger brings together the pair’s shared values, ethics and expertise, as well as an estimated combined harvesting capacity of 46,000 kilograms of bud for 2019. Financial Post
• Ripe Fruit
Apple held its fourth keynote event of the year yesterday announcing a bushel of new goodies. The MacBook Air has gotten a revamp for the first time since it was introduced eight years ago. Among the updates are a Retina display with narrower bezels, larger trackpad, louder speakers, thinner keyboard, and built-in Siri and Touch ID. The Mac mini has been also resurrected with upgraded processing power and a plethora of ports (USB, Thunderbolt and ethernet). The iPad Pro (the newest tool to get a refresh) will now feature Face ID support in lieu of a physical home button, support for the gesture navigations introduced with the iPhone X and an A12X Bionic chip that makes it 35% faster that the previous model. The iPad Pro’s companion accessories got upgrades too, with the Apple Pencil 2 getting a new magnetic charging mechanism (did we mention the Pro can now charge your iPhone, too?) and an optional Smart Keyboard being introduced. The Verge
• Heaven Sent
Shortly before Prince’s death, he reportedly reached out to filmmaker Ava DuVernay about working together on a project. Now, that collaboration is coming to fruition (though perhaps not quite in the way he’d planned — RIP). Netflix has announced it’s producing a multi-part documentary on the Purple One, and Oscar-nominated DuVernay is on board to pull it together. The project will be executed with the full cooperation of the Prince estate, which will provide access to interviews, archival footage, photos and other materials to help bring the life and music of the late, legendary musician to the screen. “Prince was a genius and a joy and a jolt to the senses,” the director says. “The only way I know how to make this film is with love. And with great care. I’m honoured to do so and grateful for the opportunity entrusted to me by the estate.” Engadget
• The Headless Horseman
‘Tis the season for gory practical jokes and stomach-churning sidewalk displays, but sometimes things are not exactly as they seem. Residents in an Oakland, CA neighbourhood discovered what looked like a severed head in an apartment complex, but police brushed it off as a Halloween prank. It wasn’t until authorities actually saw the item in the flesh that they realized it had nothing to do with the holiday — and was part of a legitimate crime. Police are now looking into whether or not the head belongs to a recently discovered headless corpse. (On that note, Happy Halloween-ing!) CBS News
STRAIGHT TO THE POINT…
Sometimes there’s just too much news and not enough space.
• Hold onto a piece of one of the smartest men in history: Stephen Hawking’s personal auction starts today.
• The Justice Department is even busier than usual: reports are circulating that it’s investigating Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for using his office for personal gain, and whether or not women are being bribed to make false allegations of sexual misconduct against Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
• You can now have two phone lines on certain cellular devices. (Minds. Blown.)
• Hilary Duff and boyfriend Matthew Koma are the proud parents of a baby girl: Banks Violet Bair.
• Baby Boom
Along with being Halloween (duh), today marks the Day of Seven Billion in recognition of Oct. 31, 2011 — the day the global human population officially reached seven billion.
• Spooky Spoilers
Looking for something to watch tonight but want to be prepared for the jump scares? Look no further.