Climate & Environment
Prime Minister of Canada announces ban of single-use plastic by 2021
Prime Minister of Canada announces ban of single-use plastic by 2021
Credit: / Jasmin Sessler

The Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau has announced that Canada will ban single-use plastic "such as plastic bags, straws, cutlery, plates, and stir sticks" in 2021 "and take other steps to reduce pollution from plastic products and packaging".

In a press release, the Government states that less than 10 percent of the plastic in Canada gets recycled and that by reducing plastic waste a reduction of "1.8 million tonnes of carbon pollution" could be achieved, as well as the creation of assumed 42,000 jobs and "billions of dollars in revenue" as a result of investments in new and innovative technologies.

Technology • Games
Three executives step down amid Ubisoft sexual harassment investigation
Serge Hascoet
Serge Hascoet Credit: Ecole polytechnique (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Ubisoft announced Sunday significant personnel changes related to the sexual harassment investigation the company is conducting. The CCO Serge Hascoet, Canada's managing director Yannis Mallat are leaving the company. The global head of HR Cécile Cornet would step down from her position.

On a press release, Yves Guillemot, CEO and Co-Founder of Ubisoft, said: "Ubisoft has fallen short in its obligation to guarantee a safe and inclusive workplace environment for its employees. This is unacceptable, as toxic behaviours are in direct contrast to values on which I have never compromised —and never will. I am committed to implementing profound changes across the Company to improve and strengthen our workplace culture,"

Politics • American
Members of Congress write open letter to Canada calling for re-opening of border
Members of Congress write open letter to Canada calling for re-opening of border
Credit: Twitter via Brian Higgins

The Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair has been addressed by 29 bipartisan members of the United States Congress in a call to plan the re-opening of the US-Canadian border.

In the letter, the members of Congress ask "that the United States and Canada immediately craft a comprehensive framework for phased reopening of the border based on objective metrics and accounting for the varied circumstances across border regions" stating that they "understand the importance of prioritizing the safety of our communities as we all navigate the complex calculation of minimizing public health risks and resuming economic activity. However, the social and economic partnership between our two nations necessitates a clear pathway forward".

Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has responded with a statement that the "absolute priority" is the health and safety of Canadians adding that "Decisions about Canada's border are made by Canadians, for Canadians".

The current closure and measures are set to expire on July 21st.

Technology • Internet & Web
UK and Australian to investigate facial recognition company Clearview AI
Clearview AI’s founder Hoan Ton-That
Clearview AI’s founder Hoan Ton-That Credit: CNN (YouTube Reproduction)

The UK Information Commissioner's Office and Office of the Australian Information Commissioner said on Thursday they have opened a joint investigation into the personal information handling practices of facial recognition technology company Clearview AI.

The investigation will focus on the company’s use of “scraped” data and biometrics of individuals, that contained 3 billion photos.

Clearview is also under investigation by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Politics • Oceanian
Australia suspends Hong Kong extradition treaty
Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Prime Minister Scott Morrison Credit: G20 Argentina (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In response to the new security law imposed by China Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia will halt its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and visas will be extended by five years for Hong Kongers already in Australia.

This announcement comes right after Canada's suspension of their treaty with Hong Kong and Britain considering a similar move.

Technology • Internet & Web
Uber launches grocery delivery in Latin America and Canada
Uber Eats
Uber Eats Credit: Uber

Uber announced on Tuesday the launch of an app-based grocery service in 19 cities in Latin American and Canadian cities. The initiative is a partnership with Cornershop, a Chilean online grocery provider that Uber has held a majority stake in since October 2019.

Customers in eleven Brazilian cities, including Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, four Chilean cities, Colombia’s Bogota, Peru’s Lima and Canada’s Montreal and Toronto will be able to order groceries through the Uber Eats app. And starting later this month, grocery delivery will be available in Miami, FL and Dallas, TX.

Politics • American • Canada
Trudeau turns down White House invitation to celebrate USMCA deal
Justin Trudeau in May 2020
Justin Trudeau in May 2020 Credit: Justin Trudeau – Prime Minister of Canada (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has turned down an invitation of the White House to celebrate the USMCA deal signed by the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) is replacing NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement).

"We wish the United States and Mexico well at Wednesday’s meeting. While there were recent discussions about the possible participation of Canada, the prime minister will be in Ottawa this week for scheduled cabinet meetings and the long-planned sitting of parliament," so Trudeau's office.

Politics • Asian
Canada suspends extraditions to Hong Kong
Canada suspends extraditions to Hong Kong
Credit: / Hermes Rivera

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the suspension of the Extradition Treaty between Hong Kong and Canada. This follows after China imposed the new security legislation onto Hong Kong. He stated that "we are also looking at additional measures, including around immigration". Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne has also criticized Chinas as according to him the new security law "is a significant step back in terms of freedom and liberty".

Politics • American • South America
Uruguay is the only Latin American country in EU's Covid-19 'safe list'
Munich International Airport passport control
Munich International Airport passport control Credit: Vasyatka1 (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The European Union has named 14 countries whose citizens are deemed "safe" to be let in from July 1, and the only Latin American country is Uruguay.

As infection rates in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia are still high, their nationals will face travel restrictions.

The current list is formed by Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

Business • Economy
Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy
Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy
Credit: Elemaki / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Cirque du Soleil has filed for creditor protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act in Quebec, Canada on Monday. The Montreal-based company stated that the Covid-19 pandemic had caused "immense disruption and forced show closures," including six shows in Las Vegas and 10 shows on tour worldwide.

"For the past 36 years, Cirque du Soleil has been a highly successful and profitable organization. However, with zero revenues since the forced closure of all of our shows due to COVID-19, management had to act decisively to protect the company's future," so president and CEO Daniel Lamarre said in a statement.

Cirque du Soleil has received $300 million in funding from Quebec's major institutional investors and multinational private equity firms to "support a successful restart, provide relief for Cirque du Soleil's affected employees and partners, and assume certain of the company's outstanding liabilities."

The company also announced the termination of approximately 3,480 employees previously furloughed in March.

Daily New Coronavirus Cases are Going Down in Quebec and Ontario
Social distancing at a crossroad
Social distancing at a crossroad Credit: Trifo

In Canada’s two largest provinces by population, the number of new cases has been decreasing. Even in Quebec, where the number of coronavirus cases has exceeded the rest of the country combined, had only 120 new cases on Thursday, significantly below the average of 500-600 prior. There is no clear reason for this decrease.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Ford recalls 2.1 million cars: Doors can open while the vehicles are moving
Ford recalls 2.1 million cars: Doors can open while the vehicles are moving
Credit: Jeremy Chen

For the third time, Ford will recall cars, SUVs and vans to fix a defect with their doors, that could open while the vehicle is moving. The recall will cover 2.1 million vehicles in the US and Canada.

The company said Wednesday the previous door latch recalls were done because of defective pawl spring tabs that could crack and fail in high temperatures. The previously recalled vehicles may not have had the latches replaced, or repairs may not have been done correctly, the company said in a statement.

Business • Media & Advertising
Google to ban targeting housing ads based on gender, age
Google stall at an event in Cologne, Germany
Google stall at an event in Cologne, Germany Credit: Rajeshwar Bachu

Google announced it would stop allowing housing, employment and credit ads to be targeted to users based on their postal code, gender, age, parental status or marital status, aiming to protect users from unlawful discrimination.

The new rules will build on top of a policy that already prohibits advertisers from targeting users on sensitive areas, categories related to identity, beliefs, sexuality or attributes such as race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

The new policy will go into effect by the end of the year in the US and Canada.

Politics • American • Canada
Canadian pilot 'drew' raised BLM fist in the sky in dedication to George Floyd
Screenshot of Neonakis' flight path
Screenshot of Neonakis' flight path Credit:

Canadian pilot Dimitri Neonakis took a different approach to show his support for the BLM movement: he designed a flight path that 'drew' the outline of the raised BLM fist. In a post to Facebook, the pilot shared a screenshot of his path alongside a photograph of George Floyd and adding "For George". FlightAware also shared the route timelapse on Twitter.

Politics • Asian • China
Japan declined to condemn China for Hong Kong law
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping Credit: 内閣官房内閣広報室 (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Japan has declined to join Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States in issuing a statement condemned China for imposing a new security law on Hong Kong.

The statement condemned China on May 28 for pushing a law that would threaten freedom and breach a 1984 Sino-British agreement on the autonomy of the former colony.

Politics • American • US
Justin Trudeau: Canadians watching U.S. in 'horror and consternation,'
Justin Trudeau during press conference
Justin Trudeau during press conference Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was speechless when asked to respond to the use of force and tear gas against peaceful protesters outside the White House.

After a 21 second pause, Trudeau said: "We all watch in horror and consternation what's going on in the United States,".

Science • Nature
Asian giant hornets surfaces in British Columbia, Canada

The Asian giant hornet, colloquially known as the murder hornet, has been spotted in Lower Mainland, British Columbia, miles away from Washington State where it was spotted first. Provincial Apiculturist Paul Van Westendorp confirmed the identity of the specimen, who will perform both an autopsy and a DNA sequencing to determine its origin.

Huawei's executive Meng Wanzhou loses fight against extradition to the US

British Columbia's Supreme Court in Vancouver allowed the process for extraditing Meng Wanzhou to the US to continue. The US wants Meng, Huawei's CFO, to stand trial on charges linked to the alleged violation of US sanctions against Iran.

Although Canada and the US have an extradition treaty, Canadian laws only allow extradition if the charges against the person in question would also qualify as a crime on Canadian soil.

Following the ruling, a Chinese embassy spokesperson in Canada told CBC News: "The purpose of the United States is to bring down Huawei and other Chinese high-tech companies, and Canada has been acting in the process as an accomplice of the United States. The whole case is entirely a grave political incident."

Education • University Education
Major Canadian Universities are Likely to Start Fall Semesters Online

Many Canadian universities, including the University of British Columbia and McGill University and Montreal, have announced that they will start offering courses online. However, it has also been said that labs and other activities requiring in-person attendance will be held in smaller groups.

Business • Economy
Uber to require all drivers and passengers to wear masks during rides
Uber app on a mobile phone
Uber app on a mobile phone Credit: Charles Deluvio

Beginning next Monday in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, Uber will require drivers and riders to wear masks through the end of June.

Drivers will also be required to verify that they’re wearing face masks by taking a selfie before accepting a booking. Riders will also be required to sit in the back seat.