Ontario To Up Inspections Of Big-Box Shops Amid Widespread Rule Breaking

TORONTO — An enforcement blitz that uncovered numerous violations of COVID-19 prevention protocols across big-box retailers in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas will broaden its scope to include the rest of the province in the weeks ahead, the province’s labour minister said Sunday.  Monte McNaughton said the initial wave of inspectors combing retailers for those eschewing masks and ignoring physical distancing guidelines found only 70 per cent of sites they visited were adhering to the public health measures intended to curb the spread of the virus. He called the results disappointing, pledging to expand the enforcement efforts to other parts of the province as well as additional industries at… Read More

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The Best Cities To Move To Near Toronto, For Those Thinking Of Getting Out

Thinking of leaving Toronto? You’re not alone. The city’s soaring cost of living has been pushing young people out for years, and the pandemic has accelerated the trend. According to Statistics Canada, the country’s two largest metro areas, Greater Toronto and Greater Montreal, saw a record outflow of people to nearby towns and cites between July 2019 and July 2020 ― with much of it taking place even before the pandemic shut down so much of city life at the end of last winter. More than 50,000 people left Toronto for other parts of Ontario during that 12-month period, and ― hit hard by pandemic lockdowns ― the region now… Read More

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Can Biden revive the economy?

Democrats’ unexpected gains in the Senate, thanks to two wins in Georgia, have “breathed new life into President-elect Joe Biden’s economic agenda,” said Anneken Tappe at CNN. The timing is critical. “America’s economy needs more assistance beyond the stimulus bill President Trump signed into law” at the end of last year. That became clearer following the release of the December jobs report last week, which showed that the recovery has “ground to a halt.” The economy shed 140,000 jobs last month, far more than economists had predicted, and the unemployment rate failed to improve for the first time in seven months as states are reimpose lockdown restrictions. The discouraging numbers… Read More

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The pandemic windfall

Large companies and the very rich made a killing last year, while the U.S. wealth gap became wider than ever. Here’s everything you need to know: Who has benefited? Tech giants, many major corporations, and Wall Street investors have had eye-popping gains during the pandemic, even as the COVID-19 recession has devastated major sectors of the economy. Apple’s total stock value climbed to $2.29 trillion, up 133 percent since March. Amazon’s share price increased by 70 percent. As the stock market set records — fueled by stuck-at-home Americans dependent on online shopping and aggressive Federal Reserve interventions — the fortunes of the 659 U.S. billionaires grew by more than $1… Read More

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GM To Build Electric Delivery Vans At New Ontario Plant

INGERSOLL, Ont. ― GM Canada says it has reached a tentative deal with Unifor that if ratified will see it invest $1 billion to transform its CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ont., to make commercial electric vehicles. Unifor National President Jerry Dias says along with the significant investment the agreement will mean new products, new jobs and job security for workers. Dias says in a statement that more details of the tentative deal will be presented to Unifor Local 88 members at an online ratification meeting scheduled for Sunday. He says the results of the ratification vote are scheduled to be released on Monday. Details of the agreement were not released… Read More

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Joe Biden’s coronavirus rescue plan isn’t bad. But it could be better.

President-elect Joe Biden announced Thursday night his plan to combat the coronavirus pandemic and repair the economy. The proposal would cost $1.9 trillion — a giant package, more than twice the size of President Obama’s Recovery Act. It would extend some of the relief measures introduced in the CARES Act last year, and would add a number of other badly needed support systems. In broad strokes, the plan is in the right ballpark, and many of its stipulations are excellent. However, it falls short in a couple places, most notably in the size of its direct assistance checks and its temporary boost to the Child Tax Credit. Let me start… Read More

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