Ottawa announces extensions to emergency COVID provisions
On March 3, 2021, Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland announced an extension to several emergency subsidies from March 14 to June 5, 2021. These include wage and rent subsidies for employers, as well as lockdown support, which provides eligible businesses (those hardest hit) with rent support of up to 90%. Recent analyses of job loss data have demonstrated that workers in lower wage brackets
have been most effected, and that small businesses in Canada continue to experience insecurity and challenges with digital adoption.
UK government pursuing enhanced rules around premature obsolescence in manufactured goods
The UK government is strengthening its rules
on premature obsolescence, a practice whereby manufacturers build short lifespans into products so that consumers have to replace them sooner. Newly introduced legislation will bring UK rules in line with the EU by providing consumers with the “right to repair” manufactured goods and obliging manufacturers to make spare parts readily available for their products. The government expects this to extend the lifespan of manufactured goods by up to 10 years and reduce electrical waste in the UK.
Starlink signs first Canadian customers for beta testing
US-based internet service provider Starlink has started providing broadband internet
to Canadian users under its beta testing program. Starlink was approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) last year and is expected to increase high-speed options for rural internet users. Initial feedback suggests that the service is a major improvement over spotty, unreliable internet, however, the service is expensive, costing as much as $800 for equipment alone, alongside an additional $150 monthly.
Uber Canada press release discusses self-directed benefits
In an announcement yesterday
, Uber Canada asked provinces to require its industry to provide self-directed benefits for drivers and delivery people. Self-directed benefits would be based on hours worked and benefit holder priorities (e.g., vision, dental, or RRSPs).
SAP Canada survey identifies career growth barriers for women in tech
A recent survey
of just under 600 Canadian women found that women in tech were more likely to report career growth barriers than women in non-tech industries. For example, women in tech were more likely to report feeling unmotivated in their careers or having been negatively impacted by the pandemic. In addition to this, 44% of respondents agreed that “the pandemic notwithstanding, they believe tech companies do not really want to hire women.” - Mairead Matthews