Montreal is slowly catching up to Toronto. Lyft has mentioned that they are looking to add Montreal to their list of Canadian locations where they operate. They have been operating in The Greater Toronto area since the end of 2018. They also have recently launched their service in Ottawa.
Lyft mentioned that they potentially will be launching in the summer of 2019 in Montreal. Lyft thinks that the new Bill 21 in Quebec will be good for their business, even though hundreds of taxi drivers there protested against it, and some even did self imposed harm, like cutting their wrists on live TV, to get media attention.
Update: CRTC said that during disputes – it is illegal for channel owners to just switch off their signal and owners should be penalized. Quebecor, Pierre Karl Péladeau, said that he does not recognize CRTC authority. Bell said that Quebecor license should be suspended immediately and for duration of hockey playoffs. CRTC said that it will announce its ruling soon.
Quebecor, communications company based in Montreal, founded by pro Quebec separatist Pierre Péladeau, has run afoul of CRTC, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, regulations.
Quebecor blocked TVA Sports signal to Bell TV subscribers. TVA Sports is what a lot of French speaking subscribers use to watch their sports in French. Bell as well as CRTC called this action as illegal.
The Quebecor started blocking the channel on the night when hockey playoffs have begun and irritated a lot of Bell users who watch TVA Sports.
Quebecor said that the reason for cutting the channel is because it does not believe Bell is paying it enough for their specialty channels and wants more money from Bell.
Bell said that customers affected by the blockage can watch “Sportsnet, Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 360 at no extra cost.”
CRTC threaten Quebecor saying it is “ready to use the means at its disposal to enforce its regulation” and wants Quebecor to resume TVA Sports to Bell subscribers as per contract immediately. Patricia Valladao, CRTC spokesperson, “We take this issue very seriously and are taking steps to protect Canadians,”
Quebecor in its defense said in a press release:
“Quebecor regrets having to take this action, but given the current obsolete regulatory framework, the survival of specialty channels is at stake.
We’re talking about a commercial business dispute. It’s unfortunate that fans are caught in the middle.”
The Hyperloop is a new intercity transportation concept. Promoters are engineering the design to provide travellers with a travel mode featuring very high speeds, fixed guideways above and below ground, and capsule like vehicles called pods propelled within a network of looped sealed partial-vacuum tubes.
Government agency said that they are looking to hire subject matter experts to analyze the project and see if it feasible to execute.
According to the government’s RFP document, Transport Canada requires “services of a transportation engineering consulting firm so that the Department can be better informed on the technical, operational, economic, safety, and regulatory aspects of the Hyperloop and understand its construction requirements and commercial feasibility.”
Elon Mask has originally introduced the technology to the market in 2016. Companies like Transpod, Canadian company manufacturing ultra-high-speed transportation, as well as Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop One have popped up claiming that their hyperloop trains can reach speeds of up to 1,000 km/hour.
Many so called experts debate the pros and cons of the hyperloop system. Some key points are below (as taken from FutureforAll.org website).
Pros of Hyperloop Train
Fast, efficient and cheap to operate
Average speeds of around 600 mph (970 km/h), with a top speed of 760 mph (1,200 km/h)
Low power consumption
Uses Solar Energy for power
Open-sourced, encouraging others to take the ideas and further develop them.
Hyperloops tubes are protected from the weather, birds, objects on railroad tracks.
In the event of equipment or electrical failure, the system comes to a stop (does not fall from the sky).
Automation reduces the risk of human error
Promotes economic growth around the Hyperloop route
Reduced freight costs and times
Cons of Hyperloop Train
High cost of development and construction
Susceptible to disruption from earthquakes, power outages or terror attacks
No sharp curves or abrupt height changes in the route
Potential for rapid decompression of the tube or passenger space
Vibration and jostling caused by high speeds
People will not be able to move freely during travel (no bathroom?)
While we wait for the study to be completed, Transpod claims that they will sell tickets for as low as $80 one way trip between Toronto and Montreal and get you there in just 45 minutes. Wish we could get there as fast when travel from Mississauga to Toronto downtown on a busy morning commute.
UPDATE: The bill has now passed and is officially a law in the province of Quebec. Quebec’s bill 21 is the only jurisdiction in North America with a religion-based dress code, meaning you can fired for religious attire you wear to work. Quebec has also included a clause where so called “securalism police” will check in on work place to make sure no religious attire is worn, and “the targeted employee could be subject to disciplinary measures for failing to comply.” Hélène David, the Liberal critic that was against the horrendous bill in Quebec, said “It’s a sad day.”
Quebec government has announced that they have tabled the secularism legislation bill soon to come into full force in Quebec.
Francois Legault’s Coalition Avenir Quebec government has declared that they will ban the wearing of religious symbols by public sector employees in position of authority, such as teachers, prosecutors, judges, and police officers.
Position of authority is defined as the power to tell the other person what to do.
That means when the bill becomes a law, and you decide to apply to work for the Quebec government in the position of authority, such as teachers, prosecutors, judges, or police officers – you will need to take off that kippa, turban, cross or hijab when showing up for work or risk losing a job.
Quebec Public Security Minister, Genevieve Guilbault, has announced that repercussions can be severe if you refuse to take off your religious garb. She said that:
“People can advise police services, like they do to have any other law applied. The law is the law.”
List of Quebec Public Sector Departments
Executive Council of Quebec
Secrétariat du Conseil du trésor
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Ministry of Culture and Communications
Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade
Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sports
Ministry of Employment and Social Solidarity
Ministry of Families, Seniors and the Status of Women
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Government Services
Ministry of Health and Social Services
Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion
Ministry of International Relations
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Labour
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Regions
Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife
Ministry of Public Security
Ministry of Revenue
Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks
Ministry of Tourism
Ministry of Transport
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, was taken aback by this populist decision by Quebec’s government saying:
It is unthinkable to me that in a free society, we would legitimize discrimination against citizens based on their religion.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer usually never sides with liberals but on this Bill 21 he openly disagreed with Quebec government:
“Our party will always defend individual freedoms. I think a liberal, a society based on fundamental freedoms and openness, must always protect fundamental individual rights and should not in any way impede people from expressing themselves and in any way by infringing on those fundamental rights.”
In response to criticism, Quebec’s Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness Minister Jolin-Barrette said.
“Quebec is a nation. No one contests this reality and our fundamental right to decide our own future and the orientations of our society.”
Bloc Quebecois, political party in Canada devoted to Quebec sovereignty, has also decided to send a message to people in Canada to mind their own business by renting out the following bill board and putting it in Ottawa, not too far from the Canadian parliament.
Quebec government announced that there is nothing to worry about and they will work with everyone involved to make sure everyone is satisfied. The bill also includes so called “grandfather clause,” which means that if you were an employee before May 28, 2019 this law does not apply to you.
So if you are starting a new job on May 29, 2019 or after in the public sector in Quebec and do not want to part with your religious garments you might be fired because of your religion.
Harvey Levine, executive director at Quebec Jewish association, said that the new bill is “an assault on the fundamental rights and freedoms of Quebecers.“
So now you need to decide whether to keep wearing that kippa or support your family financially. Decisions, decisions…
As discussed now, government will subsidy electric cars over the next 3 years at a cost to them of approximately $300m.
IF you are looking to get the newly launched Tesla, unfortunately you will be out of luck. The new Tesla Model 3 are priced at $47,000 ($2,000 more than allowed) and the Canadian government will not subsidize it. However you will be able to get cars like Nissan Leaf, Chevy Bolt EV and Hyundai Ioniq Electric.
The government also talks about their “investment in Canada’s domestic auto industry so that it can become a global leader in zero-emission transportation manufacturing.” Government is also providing subsidies to businesses that want to create businesses related to electric vehicles.
The government will also be investing around $130m to put more electric charging stations across Canada.
We are delighted to say that we have teamed up with founders of Confoo conference to do a raffle for readers of Planetweb for one free ticket to their upcoming conference. Their ticket is valued at over $1k, so we are very grateful at them giving us this opportunity. Scroll to the bottom of this page to enter. Please note, we will be accepting entries until March 8th 12pm EST.
If you do not get lucky, and can not win the ticket, you can still buy tickets as they have only about 5 tickets left by visiting the following link to Confoo Montreal developer conference to buy tickets. Please note conference is about to start on March 13 – 15, 2019.
You never heard of Confoo? You must have been living under a rock. They have been hosting developer conference for over 10 years with two events in Canada: Vancouver and Montreal. They have over 150 presentations by popular international speakers and are focused on pragmatic solutions for web developers. Definitely some great content and amazing experience.
Without further ado, the raffle form is below – please make sure to answer skill testing question correctly to qualify. Good luck. 1 winner will be announced on Friday March 8th, 2019.
Quebec’s government has decided to start collecting taxes on digital sales, such as Netflix subscription, this year even though company that sells the services or goods does not have physical presence in Canada or Quebec.
Update: Saskatchewan has also recently followed Quebec by collecting taxes on “transmission, broadcast or distribution of data, programming or entertainment” on companies selling into Saskatchewan with no physical presence there.
This new tax has been called “Netflix tax” due to large number of users in Quebec that watch Netflix and now will need to pay this tax in Quebec.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opposed Quebec’s tax enforcement of out of country digital sales saying that Canadians already “pay enough for the internet”.
The Canada Revenue Agency says that only companies with physical presence in Canada are required to register to collect taxes. Many out of Canada tech companies have decided not to collect sales tax from Canadians.
Quebec said it does not need Canada to join in, and it can go it alone by enforcing digital tax collection by itself. It said it plans to collect $30m in additional taxes. It is interesting to see why they are so excited to collect only $30m while their overall tax collection is around $17 billion. Some say this will alienate businesses to do business in the province or sell to users there. Some others say that Netflix , Amazon , etc. users might use addresses in other provinces to save hundreds of dollars a year.
Quebec now needs to account for thousands of companies selling digital goods and services to consumers in Quebec.
Quebec proudly proclaimed on January 9th, 2019 that 75 international companies have registered in Quebec to collect taxes including Google, Amazon, Spotify and Netflix. Facebook told Quebec to wait few more weeks before they can get around to it.
Quebec cautions businesses with no physical presence in the province but selling to consumers there that “the penalties provided for in the existing tax legislation will be imposed on non-resident suppliers that have not complied with the new obligations.”
Quebec’s imposed threshold for sales tax is very low at $30,000 in sales when compared to other jurisdiction. For example Japan requires $120,000+ and over while Switzerland requires $135,000+ to start collecting and ignore everyone else.
Some say that just remitting sales tax on those $30k will be a big headache for businesses everywhere as the accounting services will probably costs more than about $2.9k (0.09975% in Quebec provincial taxes) you will need to collect and remit.
Quebec might need to wait for some international standards to be set or Canada as whole to join in.
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