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✨ Good morning! Today is Friday, November 2, 2018, and Starbucks is making your Friday extra festive with this freebie.
BULLETIN: HARD WORK PAYS OFF
• The Background
The federal government is trying its best to protect workers where other governments have failed. (Ahem, Ontario.) Patty Hajdu, the federal employment minister, announced yesterday that the Liberals have introduced new legislation to protect “vulnerable workers” with five days of personal leave (three of which will be paid), the right to refuse last-minute shifts, equal pay for temporary and casual workers and laws to prevent contract flipping. (The practice of subcontracting services and then continually swapping service providers.) Though the rules can’t come into play for everyone, they’ll apply to around 900,000 workers who are employed in federally regulated sectors like airlines, telecommunications, trucking and banking. The Star
• What Else You Need to Know
Hajdu took the announcement as an opportunity to blast certain provincial governments for their approach to employment rights (she called Doug Ford’s changes the “politics of cruelty” and said it was “devastating to watch really fundamental protections be rolled back”), since most workers rely on provincial laws for their rights on the job.
• What’s Next?
Ottawa’s also put together a task force to examine the idea of establishing a federally regulated minimum wage for federally regulated industries. (Currently, workers are subject to the minimum wages set by their provincial government.)
• West Coast Crackdown
Criminals on the west coast of Canada just took a major hit. Yesterday, Winnipeg Police Service announced that it had completed Project Riverbank on Oct. 18, a 10-month joint operation between WPS and the RCMP. On Wednesday, Oct. 18, officials executed 16 search warrants, arresting 10 individuals and seizing $2.7-million worth of cash, drugs and vehicles (think motorcycles and luxury cars). The individuals — six of whom were arrested in Winnipeg, one in Edmonton and three in Vancouver — now face 156 charges, including for drug trafficking and conspiracy to firearms offences. Global News
• World: Swaying the Vote
The politic and economic mess that is Brexit just keeps getting worse. Yesterday, a criminal investigation was brought against Arron Banks — the billionaire backer of a pro-Brexit campaign that urged citizens to vote to leave the E.U. — under suspicion that the funds he put forth for the campaign came from a foreign source. The probe by Britain’s National Crime Agency, which investigates serious and organized crime, will seek to determine the “true source” of a U.S. $10.3-million loan made by Banks’ Leave.EU campaign to another companion effort, Better for the Country. Britain’s Electoral Commission alleges the loan was in fact bankrolled by a company in the Isle of Man. If it’s determined foreign funds were used to urge British citizens to vote to leave the European Union, that would (obviously) be a massive breach of electoral spending regulations and throw the results of the whole referendum into question. Banks (of course) denies any wrongdoing and says he’s confident the “ludicrous allegations” will be dropped. (We wouldn’t Banks on it.) Time
• World: Frozen Solid
Relations between Russia and the Ukraine took another tension-filled turn yesterday, when Moscow announced economic sanctions against a long list of Kiev’s most prominent businesses and citizens. In all, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev froze the assets of 68 businesses and 322 individuals, in an effort to “counter Ukraine’s unfriendly activities toward Russian citizens and entities.” Notable names on the list include son of chocolate tycoon Petro O. Poroshenko, Olexiy; interior minister, Arsen Avakov; chief of security services, Vasyl Hrytsak; presidential candidate and former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko; and the oligarch Viktor Pinchuk. The sanctions are believed to be a “power move” to show Kiev who’s boss. (It’s been trying to establish its own Orthodox Church, separate from the Russian Orthodox Church.) New York Times
QUOTE OF THE DAY
I’m not trying to test any waters. I don’t want to go in those waters.
– Oprah Winfrey, trying to confirm once and for all that she isn’t considering a presidential run in 2020. CNN
• Walk the Walk
Google employees are showing they’re serious in demanding the company address their concerns about its handling of workplace misconduct and inequality. Hundreds of engineers and other workers walked off the job yesterday, kicking off a series of rolling strikes (taking a page from Canada Post’s book, perhaps?), across different time zones around the globe (including workers in Toronto and Montreal). Protesters are demanding five things: 1) An end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination; 2) a commitment to end pay and opportunity inequality; 3) a transparent and publicly disclosed sexual harassment report; 4) a uniform process for reporting cases of sexual misconduct safely and anonymously; and 5) for the chief diversity officer to be elevated to report directly to the CEO, along with appointing an employee rep to the board. (What, no requests for more ping pong tables or chef-cooked lunches?) CBC News
• Dude, Where’s My Car?
Forget the days of drivers having to go get the car to pick up passengers in bad weather — the car can now come get the driver (if they drive a Tesla, that is). Chief executive Elon Musk announced yesterday that the innovative car company has made some upgrades to its Summon feature, which will now really live up to its name. According to Musk, drivers will soon (like six weeks’ soon) be able to use Summon remotely (essentially turning their vehicle into a remote-controlled car) to instruct the car to find a parking spot, read parking signs, and drive around parking lots (eradicating parking tickets forever 🙏🏼). Summon can also instruct your car to drive to your phone location and then, according to Musk, your car can “follow you like a pet” if you hold down the Summon button on the Tesla app. Engadget
• Voice of an Angel
The 2018 Victoria’s Secret runway show is shaping up to be more of a music festival that a fashion showcase. The lingerie brand announced the details of its upcoming holiday special (airing Dec. 2 on ABC at 10pm/9pm CT) and along with some famous faces (think Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel, Stella Maxwell, Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Behati Prinsloo, back from a three-year hiatus), the show’s landed quite a list of headliners. Bebe Rexha, the Chainsmokers, Halsey, Kelsea Ballerini, Rita Ora, The Struts and Canadian cutie Shawn Mendes are all set to take the stage. Harper’s Bazaar
• Helping Hands
Moving is the pits — there are boxes to pack, crevices to clean and heavy items that nearly break your back. Luckily, for one bookstore owner in Southampton, England, his move involved not one box…just a whole lot of helpers. After posting a plea for helpers, more than 200 volunteers formed a human chain to move every title on October Books’ bookshelves from its 15-year-old home (which it was forced to leave because of rising rents) to its new location 150 metres away. In the end, the volunteers passed more than 2,000 books along the chain, which are now safely stowed away in the bookstore’s new location. CBC News
• Indecent Exposure
One thing everyone wants to do after a few too many cocktails is take a nap — but what happens when you’re on the job? For most, it means sneaking a cat nap in the car or under a desk (hey, we’ve all done it) but for one baggage handler at Kansas City airport, it meant hitching a ride to Chicago. According to police, a handler working on American Airlines flight 363 was drunk (smart) and decided to catch a little shut-eye in the cargo hold of the plane (even smarter) when pilots locked things up and went on their way. Luckily, he picked his slumber spot smartly, and chose the heated and pressurized area of the hold. The handler was discovered when the flight landed at O’Hare airport, where he admitted to authorities that he was intoxicated and had fallen asleep. (Guess he was too drunk to think up a better story?) CP24
STRAIGHT TO THE POINT…
Sometimes there’s just too much news and not enough space.
• A violent storm (which has killed 10 people since Sunday) has flooded three quarters of Venice, Italy.
• The situation at the U.S.-Mexico border is getting even more intense. Civilian militias are threatening to take up arms to protect the border, while POTUS is threatening to send 15K troops.
• Facebook and Instagram just kicked the far-right group Proud Boys (and its Canadian founder Gavin McInnes) off their sites.
• Bell Media is investing in Canada’s cord-cutters: the media company just announced a new over-the-top service called Crave, that combines HBO, Showtime and Crave TV programming.
• Clorox Canada is doing its part for the environment. The company just earned the Zero Waste to Landfill designation, diverting 90% of its waste away from landfills with a 72% recycling and composting rate.
• Netflix is taking on the box office. The streaming giant announced plans to open three of its award contenders in select theatres.
• Freedom of the Press
November 2 is recognized annually as the UN’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. It’s a mouthful, but today’s observance strikes a more sombre tone than usual in the darkness of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.
• Transition Season
Halloween is over, and you know what that means… (you do know, don’t you?)