Business Continuity

Voluntary AI code of conduct

The federal government is trying to address growing concerns about generative artificial intelligence with a voluntary code of conduct for developers. Innovation, Science & Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne expects it to “build safety and trust as the technology spreads.” [node:read-more:link]

Foreign takeover plan reviewed

The sale of what used to be called the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, now known as Viterra, is to be reviewed by the federal government. It is controlled by Glencore, a Swiss multinational with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board the B.C. Investment Management Corporation as minority shareholders, but a Missouri-based Bunge Limited has agreed to buy Viterra for more than US$8 billion. [node:read-more:link]

OFSI tackling interference

Foreign interference and national-security issues in Canada’s banking and insurance sectors are in the sights of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. “Over the two years that I’ve been Superintendent, geopolitical risk and its offshoots have increased in significance,” says Peter Routledge. “There’s a possibility that that intensity metastasizes over into the financial system, and we want our institutions ready to adapt.” [node:read-more:link]

Competition bill under fire

Draft legislation the government says will improve consumer choice by limiting corporate concentration is being slammed by the president of he Business Council of Canada. “C-56 is a trojan horse,” says Goldy Hyder. “It will upend a legal regime that fostered all the globally competitive Canadian companies doing business today.” [node:read-more:link]

Bill tackles rising prices

Draft legislation introduced by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is designed to address soaring housing and grocery costs. Among other things, Bill C-56 as tabled September 21 would remove the federal portion of the Goods & Services Tax to incent construction of new rental housing and amend the Competition Act to address corporate concentration and its effect on the grocery sector. [node:read-more:link]

Supporting Romanian reactors

Canada is lending Romania up to $3 billion for completion of two Candu nuclear reactors. Announcing the funding September 20, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said the funds will be directed to Canadian companies working on the project. [node:read-more:link]

Biden supports autoworkers

U.S. President Joe Biden has intervened in a labour dispute between the the United Auto Workers and the major vehicle manufacturers, a dispute which would have repercussions for Canada if it’s prolonged. “Over the past decade, auto companies have seen record profits […] because of the extraordinary skill and sacrifices of the UAW workers,” he said. “Those record profits have not been shared fairly, in my view, with those workers.” [node:read-more:link]

Grocers face price ultimatum

Canada’s grocery chains have been told to come up with a plan to stabilize prices. Announcing the move September 15 in a clear bid for continued New Democratic Party support in Parliament, Prime Minister Trudeau said the chains’ record profits “should not be made on the backs of people who are struggling to feed their families” and he promised further action if there is no “real relief.” [node:read-more:link]

Small business loan forgiveness

Prime Minister Trudeau has announced a short extension of the deadline for small businesses to pay back Canada Emergency Business Account loans taken out during the pandemic. The latest in a series of extensions to a formerly “final” deadline now give companies until the end of 2026 to repay loans in full. [node:read-more:link]

Protestors told “hold the line”

Tamara Lich, a key organizer of the “Freedom Convoy” blockade in Ottawa in February 2022, repeatedly told protestors to “hold the line” as the federal government moved to end the occupation. Videos of her activities were shown September 12 in an Ottawa courtroom where she and fellow organizer Chris Barber are on trial for, among other things, obstructing police. [node:read-more:link]

Truly captive audience

Westjet’s CEO says the airline will reassess its policies after Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre was able to use an aircraft’s public address system to deliver a 45-second in-flight speech on the weekend. Most passengers were heading back to Calgary from a party convention in Quebec City on the scheduled service flight but the cabin staff’s union complained about “partisan” use of the aircraft. [node:read-more:link]

Pipeline route disputed

The Canada Energy Regulator has been asked by the to approve a 1.3km route deviation of the $30.9-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in a bid to void a delay of up to nine months because of extra drilling required by the current plan. However, a B.C. First Nation says the area which would be affected holds “profound spiritual and cultural significance.” [node:read-more:link]

Battery plant costs analyzed

Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux predicted today that it will take years longer than expected for the federal and Ontario governments to break even on their $28.2-billion subsidy of two electric vehicle battery plants. The PBO’s audit relied on modelling by a non-profit think tank. [node:read-more:link]

RCMP radio gear cleared

The RCMP last year suspended a contract for radio-frequency filtering technology supplied by a B.C. company owned by Chinese interests, but an internal audit, which recommending changes to the procurement process, has concluded there were no security concerns. [node:read-more:link]

“Breeding ground” for slavery?

A few weeks after Jamaican seasonal workers were sent home early after allegedly complaining about housing and working conditions, a United Nations Human Rights Council rapporteur says the federal employment programs are “a breeding ground for contemporary forms of slavery.” In his report, Tomoya Obokata of Japan urges the government to step up efforts to safeguard workers’ rights and offer a clear pathway to permanent residency. [node:read-more:link]


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