Another big tech office opening in Toronto, to hire 800

Toronto tech scene just keeps on growing. The new company among many other companies like Microsoft, Pinterest and others, is Accenture – a leading global professional services company.

Accenture announced that they will be building a Technology Innovation Hub in the City of Toronto and will bring 800 jobs with it by 2020 (about 500 in Toronto, others spread out across Canada). This will help them compete and transform in the digital economy.

The jobs they will be hiring for will be mainly data scientists, designers, engineers, and roles in analytics.

Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Todd Smith, front left, and Toronto Mayor John Tory hold Accenture’s industrial asset inspection drone as (L-R) Accenture’s Canada President Bill Morris, incoming President Jeffrey Russell, and CMHC CEO Evan Siddall look on at the launch of Accenture’s Canada Innovation Hub in Toronto, Ont. on Tuesday, November 27, 2018.
The Canadian Press Images PHOTO/Accenture

Julie Sweet, Accenture’s chief executive officer — North America said:

“Our experience working with global clients across more than 40 industries has shown that continuous innovation is an imperative to succeed in the fast-changing digital economy.

With our network of innovation hubs, we are bringing innovation to our clients’ doorsteps, enabling them to harness the power of emerging technologies to transform their businesses.”

This is a great addition to an already amazing city and will bring the best of innovation talent together to be the city of disrupters.

Google’s Cell Phone Plan Now Works on iPhone and in Canada

UPDATE #1: Some of our readers on social media in Canada were  astonished with this phone plan and asked us to clarify – Does it kick you off if you aren’t in the US? like after 6 months if you live in Canada and want to use it?

We have reached out to Google and they replied back : Correct it will not kick you off and yes the plan will still be the same. However if something were to happen and the service is giving you troubles, you would need to be in the US so that we can fully troubleshoot whatever problem it is.


In case you did not know Google’s been testing its super cheap and reliable phone service plan that is now supported in over 170+ countries and now supports both Apple and Android phones.

The main appeal of Google Fi is that it is month to month plan starts at $20 USD for unlimited calls and texts within the US, and $10 per GB (you will get refund for data you don’t use, and data over 6 GB is free). They also provide free international SMS.

Even though you can not sign up for the service in Canada, you can sign up when you are down in the US, and take your cell phone with you to Canada or any other of the 170 countries on the list and can keep that cheap data plan as well as unlimited SMS. If you do not use all the data, you will get a refund.

Compare this for example to Fido’s plan where they charge you $7.99/50MB when you go down to the US.

Basically you can use 20GB in Canada every month for just $80 USD. Did we mention that there is no roaming and will work in Canada the US and 170 other countries and you can use it once month or pause it the next?

Even though Google Fi existed for few years not many users knew about it because it only supported limited number of phones. This all changed this week as they now support most iPhones and Android phones.

Please note that iPhone support is still in beta as per their website:

Fi for iOS is in beta for iPhone 5S and up. You’ll have a great Fi experience with most of the Google Fi features you know and love. Your phone isn’t built with Fi’s technology to seamlessly switch between networks, but of course, you’ll have reliable coverage. Finally, bringing your iPhone requires some extra upkeep from time to time (it’s in beta, after all), but we’ll be with you every step of the way.

Ready to sign up and save money on Canadian expensive cell phone providers? You can head over to the Google Fi site here and get their Free SIM (limited time offer) shipped to any address in the US.

Canadian Official Wants to Break Up Facebook

Facebook ruled out advice about anti-trust regulations from nine governments at meeting in the UK. Mark Zuckerberg declined to attend a meeting instead sending Facebook’s VP.

Charlie Angus, member of Canadian House of Commons, exchanged a fierce debate with Facebook’s VP, Richard Allan, saying among other things:

“The problem is Facebook. The days of the Wild West of Facebook are numbered. What we’re regulating … are the symptoms.

Perhaps the best regulation would be antitrust.”

Angus blamed Facebook for its dominance saying that if someone wants to use another social media they have to use Facebook’s owned Instagram or Whatsapp. He said because Facebook does not have any real competitors they can ignore regulations.

Allan replied:

“Unless you’re going to turn off the internet, I’m not confident that people, the people we serve, you serve, would be better off, in a world where Facebook is not able, however imperfectly, to offer services where we spend 15 years learning how to do it.”

Angus said that he considers Facebook to be a fraud on a massive scale as they stood idle and did nothing.

You can see Angus’s further comments in the video below

BC might finally get Uber

British Columbia has finally introduced legislation where you can drive for Uber legally in that province. This will officially kick in around mid of 2019.

You would need to get a Class 4 (or more known as commercial license) instead of normal Class 5 license and undergo criminal check to drive for the ride sharing company.

Transportation Minister , Claire Trevena , said it is a matter of safety:

“It’s got stricter limits on it and I think that anybody who’s getting in as a passenger wants to know the driver is as safe as possible.”

Here is what the difference is:

Class 4 (unrestricted)

School bus

What you can use it for:

  • To drive buses with a maximum seating capacity of 25 persons (including the driver), including school buses, special activity buses and special vehicles used to transport people with disabilities
  • To drive taxis and limousines
  • To drive ambulances
  • To drive any vehicle in Class 5

Class 5 or 7 driver’s licence

Car

What you can use it for:

  • To drive cars, vans, trucks, construction, utility vehicles (2 axles maximum) and motorhomes (may exceed 2 axles)
  • To tow trailers or vehicles up to 4,600kg
  • To ride a limited speed motorcycle or an all-terrain vehicle (ATV)
  • To ride 3-wheeled vehicles but does not include 3-wheeled motorcycles (trikes) or motorcycle/sidecar combinations

Uber’s Dissapointment

Uber Manager Michael van Hemme said he was disappointed by the BC’s decision as Class 4 license is more difficult to get:

“Drivers, experienced safe drivers have a hard time understanding why they would need to get a special driver’s licence to drive the same vehicle that they’re already driving, so it definitely becomes a barrier to a lot of people to participate.”

“I hope that the government is willing to continue to engage until the entire framework is finalized and we will continue to work with the NDP government and all parties to ensure true best practices from other jurisdictions are adopted here in B.C. and lay out the benefits of doing so,” van Hemmen said.

MichaelGaida / Pixabay

Bad Decision?

Helen del Val from North Vancouver wrote in to The Vancouver Sun questioning the British Columbia’s NDP government’s decision:

“I take early and late flights on a regular basis for work so I take taxis. On the last trip, I waited 45 minutes for a cab home.

When I read Tuesday’s article about some of the rules and regulations being put in place to bring Uber in, I pre-booked YVR parking for a trip and I will pre-book it for next week’s trip and so on. I’m driving. Every other city has figured out ride-hailing so why can’t we?

The provincial government’s action in putting up all the hurdles to block/delay Uber is akin to a judge setting bail at an amount he or she knows the accused cannot raise. Our government has no will and courage to bring in Uber and lacks the integrity to admit it.”