Ontario Officially Approves Drone Deliveries

The future is here. Drones will officially start their deliveries in Ontario starting March 1st 2019.

Small community of Moose Factory, with population ‎of 2458, has signed on with Drone Deliver Canada to help them with deliveries of food, mail and medical supplies as it is almost impossible to get them to the island by other means.

The tiny community can only be accessed via Moose River, but it is very difficult in fall and spring when boats can not pass yet ice is not strong enough to drive on. The only way residents can get stuff they want is to charter a helicopter which can take time and be very costly.

 

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This drone solution will be very cost efficient and can be used frequently to transport the needed goods. Amazing advancement first of its kind right here in Canada.

Stan Kapashesit, Moose Cree First Nation’s director of economic development said in the interview with CBC:

“It will be something to be proud of and to be used in a way that’s meaningful to our people, especially in our remote Indigenous communities. Hopefully it connects us more and creates that railroad in the sky.”

For now the load drones will carry 5 kg each run. Drone will use GPS location to go from the mainland to the island’s depot station.

 

 

China to Canada : Release Captured Huawei CFO or Else

UPDATE #1: Meng was granted $10m bail in Vancouver. Canadian Judge said he was satisfied with this arrangement and does not believe Meng will try to escape the country.

Huawei said: “We have every confidence that the Canadian and U.S. legal systems will reach a just conclusion. As we have stressed all along, Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries and regions where we operate, including export control and sanction laws of the UN, U.S., and E.U.”

United States now has 60 days to file their extradition request.


China told Canada this week to release Meng Wanzhou, Huawei CFO or else it will face severe consequences. Meng was recently captured by Canada on her flight through Vancouver from Hong Kong to Mexico and is now waiting for extradition to US hearing for fraud accusation.

US Government claims that Huawei with Meng in command tried to evade their sanctions on Iran. Meng is a daughter of a Chinese billionaire, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, who is worth more than $3 billion dollars.

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US claims that Huawei used unofficial subsidiary to do business with Iran. A big no no when it comes to US tough approach to Iran.

Texas Senator Ted Cruise twitted:

If extradited to US, Meng could be charged with up to 30 years in prison for each charge.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said:

“China strongly urges the Canadian side to immediately release the detained person, and earnestly protect their lawful, legitimate rights, otherwise Canada must accept full responsibility for the serious consequences caused.”

Meng is now before British Columbia Court to see whether she could be released on bail. Chinese government denies any wrongdoing and claims it is politically motivated.  Stay tuned.

 

 

Toronto Travel Startup SnapTravel Snaps $13.2m Additional Investment

Snaptravel , Toronto Travel startup, is super cool to use as you can just your Facebook messenger to talk to their smart AI enabled bot to secure the best deals on hotel websites around the world.

So it comes no surprise that they secured additional $13.2m on top of existing $8m to raise capital all the way $21.2m.

Even famous NBA star player Stephen Curry who plays for Golden State Warrior has decided to invest in the Toronto startup.

Snaptravel Co-founder and CEO Hussein Fazal said:

“Online hotel booking is an incredibly transactional and noisy process, where pop-ups and expiring offers inundate consumers. We are reimagining this experience – making booking hotels feel as natural and personal as talking to a friend. Beyond travel, we’re at the start of a shift in which consumers no longer shop on individual websites or apps, but entirely via conversations with brands.”

Not surprisingly customers have used their app to book over 350,000 nights at 35,000 different hotels across 5,800 cities.

Congrats Snaptravel – thanks for making Toronto great place to do business for startups. Sweet Travels.

Netflix Canada to Increase Prices a Whopping 27%

Netflix has announced that they will be increasing their prices in Canada. The new price hike will be immediate for new subscribers and existing subscribers will be notified by email.

The new Netflix prices are below with exception of Standard plan that will be $13.99 a month, a Whopping 27% increase. Basic plan was $8.99 and is now $9.99. While Premium used to be $13.99 and is now $16.99.

Also if you live in a province of Quebec, you will get hit with an additional tax rate (QST) starting January 1st 2019 on top of your Netflix subscription fee. Quebec is the only province in Canada that has decided to charge users in that province. The new law that comes in effect in Quebec basically states that any company even if it does not have physical presence in the province needs to charge QST if they sell more than $30,000 a year in that province.

This price hike is due to ongoing struggle to keep up with their competition. They have to compete with offerings from recently launched Canadian Crave subscription that includes Netflix costs $20 a month as well as soon to be launched in Canada US based subscription Hulu.

Netflix users in Canada went to Twitter to vent about their dissatisfaction with this increase.

Uber Might Fetch Your Groceries in Canada Soon

As you know Uber Eats is becoming very popular across Canada right now. In case you did not have a chance to use – uberEATS allows people across growing number of Canadian cities like Toronto, Mississauga, and Ottawa, to get the food they want, from the local restaurants they love, delivered to them at Uber speed.

It is so nice and convenient. Stay comfy in your PJs – load up your Netflix (even with new ridiculous price increase in 2019) and order up your delicious restaurant cravings from Indian to Chinese to Sushi and get it within the hour.

Some people get carried away with Uber or UberEats though by spending thousands of dollars a month on restaurant take-outs instead of cooking. This is similar to people who used to take bus or subway to places now get tired of waiting and prefer to take a quick Uber ride instead. This does some big damage on their bank account for sure.

So Uber realized your bank account might be hurting and that is why they now want to get into a business of delivering your groceries and competing with grocery delivery companies like Instacart.

How do we know? It is based on their recent tech job post in Toronto:

Basically they are looking for Head of Grocery Product, as explained on their Glassdoor job advertisement they say: Uber Eats is looking for a Head of Grocery Product. This role will define, build the organization and globally scale a brand new product offering which will fundamentally evolve how people purchase their groceries.

This is a new job for them as they do not deliver groceries yet anywhere in the world. It is pretty cool that they have decided to hire for this role right here in Toronto. They are definitely hiring anyone they deem worthy at very rapid speed – after opening an office in Toronto just few years ago – they are now employing over 200 mostly tech employees.

Nobody knows yet whether they will partner up with local supermarkets or deliver their own groceries like Amazon. We will wait and see.