Pinterest may not claim Facebook-levels of users, but a few visionary retailers are using the hot social networking site to connect with their customers in a way that Facebook could only dream of. From Aritzia to eBay, Pinterest is offering the digital equivalent of window shopping for people around the world.
The headquarters of The International Civil Aviation Organization ("ICAO") has been located in Montreal since 1946. Now, the upstart oil-rich kingdom of Qatar wants to move the ICAO head office to its own country. These oil sheiks have a lot of chutzpah. But respect for civil and workers' rights? Not so much.
The recent RBC outsourcing fiasco was so unusual, revealing and, for many Canadians, infuriating. Corporate Canada was watching as RBC flailed around amidst the firestorm of its own creation. You have to know everyone was taking notes. Publicly traded companies will be far more careful on farming out jobs.
In 2010, we learned of an egregious practice of many restaurant owners, both chains and sole-proprietorships, where employees are forced to hand their tips over to management, prompting me to introduce a Private Members' Bill to address the problem. We are determined to see that workers are protected.
Online shopping and the eCommerce industry has been growing in popularity over the past few years. For those who have converted to online shopping, their number one reason for buying online will be convenience followed by product variety and availability. It makes me wonder; what about the offline shoppers?
This week, we learned that about one in five Canadian television subscribers has said goodbye to cable or satellite contracts and opted to get his TV fix from streaming and over-the-air sources instead. This makes me wonder about the future of Canadian content rules. Mandating the percentage of CanCon that gets aired works in the cable monopoly model, but it's a tough feat when consumers are selecting and purchasing what they will watch on an individual show-by-show basis. Government's attempts at force-feeding viewers particular categories of pedigreed entertainment are going to become a losing proposition.
It is tempting to think of trade negotiations as technical exercises best left to departmental officials. But the reality is that these agreements can affect regions in profound ways. If Canadians are to be well-served by these negotiations they deserve to have their parliamentarians actively involved in exercising oversight.
This week, Canada learned that it has dropped out of the top ten and into 11th place in the United Nations' annual Human Development Index (HDI). The change has raised calls for the government to focus on education and income inequality in its upcoming budget, rather than concentrating on deficit reduction. The HDI is useful when looked at as a broad-strokes measure of where countries on stand health, education and income. But given the limitations of the metrics, sweating the smaller differences in rankings is pretty silly. For the sake of Canada's economy, I'm hoping Jim Flaherty thinks so too.
In a country that prides itself on its social safety net, one could argue that the current personal debt story is really a story of an endangered future for the things we hold dear as a society. Will debt-ridden Canadians be supportive at election time of paying more in taxes to maintain universal health care?
The Conservatives have lobbied vigorously in support of Calgary-based TransCanada's plan to build a $7-billion pipeline to take up to 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast. As a result, environmentalists have used social media and traditional protests to heap scorn on Canada.
This week I spoke to Andrea Lown of SmartBride about her entrepreneurial journey. It was Andrea Lown's own experience planning her wedding which led her to start a business helping brides lessen the burden. Andrea's enterprising idea caught on, and now SmartBride successfully matches up buyers and sellers every day to help their big day make good financial sense.
The Canadian Internet community has been buzzing for the past week over reports that a Montreal-based company has captured data on one million Canadians who it says have engaged in unauthorized file sharing. While that represents a relatively small percentage of Internet users in Canada, the possibility of hundreds of thousands of lawsuits over alleged copyright infringement would be unprecedented and raise a host of legal and policy issues.