Weekly Digest – 3 May 2023

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Tentative agreement reached in public sector strike

The government and the public sector union have come to a tentative agreement that would see around 120,000 public servants return to work after a strike that lasted almost two weeks. The agreement covers wage increases, remote work agreements, and protections against contracting out work. It does not include 35,000 CRA workers, who remain on strike.

WestJet buys Sunwing Vacations and Sunwing Airlines

The WestJet Group has said it has closed its deal to buy Sunwing Vacations and Sunwing Airlines. Although initially the airlines will continue to operate independently, they will shift to a more collaborative approach between the two.

Enbridge buys gas storage facility in BC for $400 million

Enbridge announced it would buy Aitken Creek natural gas storage facility in BC from FortisBC Holdings for $400 million. The facility is connected to all three major long-haul natural gas transportation lines in Western Canada.

Quebec’s minimum wage increases to $15.25 per hour

As of May 1, Quebec’s general minimum wage increases from $14.25 per hour to $15.25 per hour, a move that affects almost 300,000 workers. The minimum wage for tipped employees will increase from $11.40 to $12.20 per hour. Anti-poverty groups say the increase isn’t enough, given the high rate of inflation.

University of Victoria research initiative given $83.6 million

A research initiative from the University of Victoria has been awarded $83.6 million to enable it to study how communities can transition to net-zero carbon emissions. The project, known as Accelerating Community Energy Transformation, is led by UVic but includes partnership with around 40 partners.

Albertans head to the polls May 29

Alberta’s 31st general election will be held on May 29. Leaders of the United Conservatives and the New Democrats will both kick off their campaigns in Calgargary, although both have been unofficially campaigning for weeks in anticipation of the announcement.

Rescue airlifts from Sudan halted as fighting escalates

Canada and some allies have halted rescue flights from Sudan’s capital as fighting made the flights too dangerous. So far, around 175 Canadian citizens and permanent residents have been evacuated. Around 230 Canadians are still stranded in the country, and evacuation efforts are focused on other routes, including through Port Sudan.

Canada Revenue workers remain on strike

While Treasury Board employees and other public workers have ended their strike, talks continue for Canada Revenue Agency employees who do not yet have a deal. Although agreements have been reached regarding hours of work and information management, improved job security and telework issues remain.

Is Canada headed for a recession? Here’s what the latest data shows

Canada’s economy has continued to grow, but a slowdown may have begun in March. This means the Bank of Canada may keep interest rates higher for longer, and possibly increase them.

‘Godfather of AI’ quits Google to talk about dangers of AI

Geoffrey Hinton, the British-Canadian computer scientist whose work with two students resulted in breakthroughs in AI is leaving Google so he can talk about his concerns regarding AI and its use.

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