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✨ Good morning! Today is Thursday, May 23, 2019, and get ready to hear “Another one” at every turn.
BULLETIN: GARBAGE DEAL
• The Background
How much does it cost to avoid going to war with the Philippines? Apparently, a whopping $1.14 million (which likely pales in comparison to the cost of a military mission). Yesterday, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced that the government had signed a deal with the Canadian arm of French shipping giant Bollare Logistics to “prepare and ship” more than 2,000 tonnes of rotting garbage back to Canada. The feds didn’t have much of a choice after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to declare war if we didn’t get our trash out of their ports. (Can you blame him? Sixty-nine containers of trash have been sitting there for six years.) More recently, he told his government to “find a shipper,” and threatened to leave the containers in Canadian waters. CTV News
• What Else You Need to Know
The remaining containers of trash are currently sitting in the ports of Subic and Manila, after being mistakenly labelled as plastics for recycling way back in 2013. Once Filipino authorities realized the containers were actually filled with trash, they demanded that Canada remove them since their disposal violated the Basel Convention — but Canada did nothing. (And we thought our fights over who should take the garbage out were rough.) Over the years, the Philippines disposed of 34 containers (against their better judgment) but refused to deal with the remaining 69.
• What’s Next?
A recent inspection confirmed that all containers are fit to travel, and McKenna believes the trash will be back in Canada by the end of June. The waste will be treated to meet Canadian safety and health requirements — though Environment Canada failed to explain what those requirements are or whether the waste currently poses a hazard to the Philippines.
• Canada: The Coast With the Most
Justin Trudeau has decided it’s time to give Canada’s Coast Guard fleet a makeover. The country will invest $15.7 billion in 18 new Coast Guard ships, 16 of which will be constructed in Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards. The other two will be built at Irving Shipyards in Nova Scotia. “By renewing the Coast Guard fleet, we’re making sure our Coast Guard has the ships they need to carry out their important work for the entire country in years to come,” says the PM. And the important work he’s talking about includes icebreaking, environmental response, search and rescue, offshore patrol and a variety of other critical duties. In conjunction with this new shipbuilding plan, the feds are also coughing up an additional $351.3 million to enhance capacity of the Coast Guard and strengthen its management and oversight. CBC News
• World: Life Without Plastic
The U.K. may be in the midst of an enormous political sh*tstorm, but it’ still managing to make major moves when it comes to climate change. British Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced yesterday that the country is implementing a complete ban on plastic drinks stirrers, straws, and plastic-stemmed cotton swabs, which will take effect next April. While the ban is mostly absolute, the government is allowing exemptions for those who require the use of straws due to a disability or because of medical requirements or the use of plastic-stemmed cotton swabs for “medical and scientific purposes.” CNBC
📣 QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We repeat our warning that if the Assad regime uses chemical weapons, the United States and our allies will respond quickly and appropriately.”
– A statement from the United States State Department, sharing the news that it’s investigating a possible chemical attack on Saturday, May 19, by the Assad regime in northwest Syria. The Hill
• Hard Pass
Amazon shareholders vetoed two proposals put forth by passionate activists and employees, who requested the company be limited in its ability to sell its facial recognition technology to law enforcement and government agencies, and that it reduce its carbon output. (We can’t even imagine how bad it is.) Amazon’s facial recognition tool has been widely criticized on civil and human rights grounds, while employees also contend the e-commerce giant is doing very little to control its massive carbon footprint. The proposals demonstrated a substantial degree of opposition against the company, but unfortunately, those rallying lost during a shareholder vote. The Verge
• All You Can (Uber) Eat
Rumour has it, Uber Eats is about to up its game in the increasingly saturated world of food delivery platforms. The company is planning to launch an “Uber Eats Pass” – a US $9.99 subscription service, that allows users to place unlimited orders with no individual delivery fees. After all, paying for delivery is so old-fashioned. Frequent app users would save a solid whack of cash on the service fee, which is usually around 15% of an order (or more during surge-pricing periods). It’s a solid strategy to gain customer retention, since consumers are more inclined to return to a service they’re already paying for. But just to make one thing very clear, people: you still gotta pay for the food. Engadget
• Football: Game On
The Canadian Football League (CFL) and the CFL Players’ Association (CFLPA), kissed and made up, announcing a new three-year collective agreement yesterday that’s been ratified by both parties. The deal was finalized after a tentative agreement fell apart thanks to a discrepancy between the two sides. “Our new agreement speaks to positive growth for our league and renewed investment in our players,” says CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie, adding that there’s an “exciting future ahead” for the league and its players. CBC News
• Playoffs update 🇨🇦
↳ Get out your “We the North” gear. The Toronto Raptors take on the Milwaukee Bucks in game five of the Eastern Conference finals tonight at 8:30pm ET.
• Magical Musical
Canadian Potterheads better book themselves a trip to Toronto. Ed Mirvish just announced that the hit London play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (which has now won the most awards for a new play in history — including six Tonys) will hit the Ed Mirvish Theatre next fall. According to Mirvish, the intricate production will require six months of work on the theatre before the show can open. The announcement didn’t mention anything about the cast, but two Canadians did join the New York show last year (so take from that what you will). In addition to the first Canadian production, the show will also head to theatres in Hamburg and San Francisco. Toronto Star
📖👀🎧 THE WEEKEND PLAYLIST
Our favourite tell-it-like-it-is author, Rebecca Eckler, is back with a new novel, Blissfully Blended Bullshit (which, as you’d expect, candidly and humorously dives into the bullshit of blended family bliss).
Despite what the critics are saying about the cinematic merits of Aladdin, Disney’s first live-action release of 2019 is bound to be a fun trip down memory lane.
Treat your ears to the music of Rocketman (which includes a new original song from Elton himself) before the biopic hits theatres next week.
• Million-Dollar Malware
When most people hear the word malware, particularly in the context of their own computers, they cringe. Malware is software specifically created to control, damage or deliberately disrupt a computer without authorization (whoever created this evil technology is in our burn book). But an 11-year-old laptop, infected with six notorious strains of malware, is up for auction as an “art project.” And the highest bid for the demonic device is US $1.1 million. (Don’t worry, our jaws are on the floor, too.) The terms and conditions of purchasing the notebook say it must be used “as a piece of art or for academic reasons.” In other words, whoever is buying this bad boy can’t use it for the purpose of wreaking havoc on poor computer users. (That would be a sick joke.) BBC News
• Tortoise Shell
Today’s World Turtle Day! Support our (very) slow friends by downloading American Tortoise Rescue’s Party Pack, which includes a cover photo for Facebook, a postcard, and a turtle-loving badge.
⚡️ STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
• A new lawsuit is taking Boeing to task for the “faulty design” of its 737 Max jets, claiming the company rushed the plane into production.
• Good investment news for Canadian investment company Wealthsimple. It just raised $100 million, which will be used to fund international growth.
• Forget food waste, you can now legally compost human remains in the state of Washington.
• New York state really wants to see Trump’s tax returns. The state assembly just passed a pair of bills that will force the state’s tax commissioner to hand ’em over if Congress asks.
• Christopher Nolan’s new movie officially has a title (Tenet) and a cast (Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, John David Washington, Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki).
• Yas, Queen
Apparently her Royal Highness isn’t so different from us, after all.