Latest Blogposts

  • Giving Tuesday saw Canadians donate $1.7M to charity

    Giving Tuesday saw Canadians donate $1.7M to charity
    [Customers carry a television at Best Buy on Black Friday, in Ottawa on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)]
    While the days following American Thanksgiving are usually associated with the Turkey-fuelled shopping circuses that are Black Friday and Cyber Monday, in recent years there’s also been a growing movement to make one of the days about giving back.

    This year’s Giving Tuesday, which took place on the day after Cyber Monday, saw Canadians donate $1,707,416, representatives for charitable fundraising platform CanadaHelps told Yahoo Finance Canada in an email Friday.

    That’s a 353 per cent increase compared to 2012, the year before the event was launched.

    We are yet again thrilled with the results of Giving Tuesday this year,” Marina Glogovac, president and CEO of CanadaHelps, told Yahoo Finance Canada in an email.

    “What makes the growth of this grassroots movement so exciting is that it inspires us all to give to our full capacity, and promotes all giving forms,

    Read More »from Giving Tuesday saw Canadians donate $1.7M to charity
  • Virtual gifts that can save the world

    Virtual gifts
    [Virtual gifts that can change the world/Getty Images]

    The holidays are a time of giving but not all gifts come in the form of items you can hold in your hand. In fact, some of the best gifts you can give this season are virtual donations that will help put a smile on someone’s face, provide a cozy bed for a rescued animal, or give back to our abundant earth. Giving Tuesday may have passed but there are dozens of ways to donate to worthwhile charities across Canada – here are some to get you started. Feel free to list your favourite charity in the comments.

    Wishing Well Sanctuary

    Wishing Well Sanctuary in Bradford, Ontario is an oasis for animals. Each farmed animal that calls the sanctuary home has been rescued from death or an abusive situation.  All the animals have their own unique life story and personality. There are over 50 happy animals on the property including cows, sheep, donkeys, pigs, goats, horses, chickens, cats, rabbits, and one gorgeous and curious white llama named

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  • Here's what you need to know if you're a seasonal employee

    Mall Santa
    [Many seasonal workers don’t get their job terms in writing.]
    It looks like Fashion Santa didn’t get the call back. The Internet blew up last week after it was revealed that Yorkdale would be replacing Paul Mason, the model formerly known by mall-goers as Fashion Santa.

    “We reached out several times over the summer and we did not receive a response,” Yorkdale marketing director Lucia Connor told the Toronto Star. “We wanted to work with Paul Mason again.”

    But Mason, who worked 88 hours at the mall taking around 600 photos with fans, tells the story differently.

    “A marketer or PR person can spin it the way the want, but people that know me and the fans that know me and relationships that I’ve nurtured for the past 30 years of my career know that I’m driven, professional,” he told BlogTO. “You don’t last this long in the business and stay relevant and ignore phone calls.”

    While the announcement has shifted into more of an intellectual property fracas over the past few days a la “who owns

    Read More »from Here's what you need to know if you're a seasonal employee
  • Sorry, vegans, there's animal fat in Canada's bucks

    Canada banknote
    [One of Canada’s polymer banknotes, which contains trace amounts of rendered animal fat/The Canadian Press Images-Mario Beauregard]
    It’s official, the U.K. isn’t the only country with beef in its bucks, Canadian money also uses trace amounts of animal fat in the manufacturing of its polymer bills.

    The Bank of Canada confirmed yesterday via Innovia Security, the supplier of polymer substrate used as a base of Canadian banknotes, that our money contains additives produced from tallow – a substance made from rendered animal fat.

    “These additives help with the polymer manufacturing process, similar to many commercially available plastics materials,” Bank of Canada spokesperson Josianne Ménard told Yahoo Canada Finance. “These additives would represent substantially less than one per cent of the total weight of the substrate.”

    While the amount of tallow in the bills themselves is rather marginal, the Bank of Canada estimates that 80 per cent of the Canadian banknotes in circulation are

    Read More »from Sorry, vegans, there's animal fat in Canada's bucks
  • Has 2016 been the worst year ever? With all of the deaths of much-loved celebrities, horrible news stories and ill-predicted elections, many would say yes. The companies on this list would likely agree.

    Whether its an accidentally racist AI bot, lying about your cars’ emissions, or making light of the 9/11 attacks, the people behind these massive mistakes would prefer it if 2016 was the year the world forgot.

    So without further ado, here are the biggest business blunders of 2016:

    6. Earls’ beefgate

    Back in April, restaurant chain Earls said it would no longer be serving Alberta beef on its menus, instead opting for hormone-free meat sourced from the U.S. The backlash, as one can imagine, was swift and harsh.

    Read More »from Year in Review 2016: The biggest business blunders of the year
  • Loonie
    [2016 was the year of the loonie/Getty Images]
    We complain about high prices all the time, and wonder exactly who is ripping us off when the price of broccoli rises by a quarter. A lot of time, the answer is as simple as looking at the currency markets. The rise and fall in value of the Canadian dollar has a huge effect on costs, most obviously imported goods, but also commodities like oil and metals, which are priced in U.S. dollars, and so become more or less expensive depending on where the good ole loonie is sitting. It also impacts businesses, which means you may end up getting charged more because they’re selling to foreign markets at lower prices. Maybe the way to think about it is that when the loonie falls even a bit, pretty much everything you own just got less valuable.

    So with that in mind, here’s a look at what has driven the Canadian dollar this year… so you can spread out your blame fairly.

    THE BIG PICTURE

    Loonie
    [2016 was the year of the loonie/Getty Images]
    The Canadian dollar

    Read More »from Year in Review 2016: Aside from Trump, 2016 was the year of the loonie
  • Year in Review 2016: Biggest Canadian business deals of the year

    Biggest deals of the year
    [Not that kind of deal, Scott]
    2016 marks a banner year for mergers and acquisitions in Canada. By March 31, there had already been a record $83 billion in deals done with companies in this country.

    Some deals this year saw multiple buyers team up for jaw-dropping purchases, like Brookfield and Australian firm Qube taking over Asciano for about $9 billion.

    Other deals were so head-scratching and surprising that they made headlines before successfully closing. Amaya’s founder is attempting to take the company private once again in a $6.7 billion deal. Repeated attempts have been made to purchase U.S. Steel Canada, without success so far. CP Rail took a shot at merging with Norfolk Southern earlier this year, only to have all bids rejected.

    The list is a long one this year.

    But the deals that did go through have been massive ones, involving some of the biggest companies in Canada. Here’s a look at the top 10 biggest deals for 2016 — not necessarily the highest dollar value — but the ones

    Read More »from Year in Review 2016: Biggest Canadian business deals of the year
  • Ottawa-based Shopify is Yahoo Finance Canada’s company of the year
    Tobi Lutke, CEO of Shopify, an online store, is seen in the company’s Montreal office, Wednesday, February 18, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)

    You may not recognize its name yet, but Shopify is powering the online business platforms of hundreds of thousands of stores around the world — as well as the ventures of some of the world’s biggest stars turned entrepreneurs.

    The Ottawa-based, e-commerce software maker has leveraged its work into a fantastic year, marked by strong growth and the release of several new offerings.

    And that’s why it’s Yahoo Canada Finance’s company of the year.

    In its third-quarter data, released at the beginning of last month, Shopify reported revenues of US$99.6 million, or an 89 per cent increase from the same period last year.

    It also posted revenues of $86.6 million in Q2 and $72.7 million in Q1. Shopify is projecting it will bring in between $379 million and $381 million over the entire year.

    At the same time, the company’s stock has been tearing up

    Read More »from Year in Review 2016: Shopify is Yahoo Canada Finance's company of the year
  • 4,000 vacant lots on sale in Chicago for $1 each.
    CHICAGO, IL – MAY 31: A ‘For Sale’ sign stands in front of a vacant lot May 31, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

    Chicago is selling more than 4,000, city-owned lots for the low price of US$1 each.

    The sale will include parcels of land from across the city’s South and West sides, starting on Tuesday, according to the Chicago Tribune.

    But there’s a catch and a good cause.

    The land, which is being sold through Chicago’s Large Lots program, will only be available to eligible buyers who own property on the same block, have paid their property taxes and have no outstanding debts with the city. The aim is to get locals to make improvements to the land for the benefit of their neighbours.

    “The Large Lots Program turns vacant lots into neighbourhood assets that benefit neighbours and communities,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a press release.

    “This program’s success is driven by people who are committed to strengthening their communities block by block, and this

    Read More »from Chicago is selling vacant lots for $1 each...but there's a catch
  • Beef
    [A cow on an Alberta beef farm/CBC]
    Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall recently started a little Twitter feud with fast food chain A&W over commercials touting the company’s use of hormone and steroid-free beef.

    “There is another ad from @AWCanada promoting non-Canadian beef. Guess we can support Cdn beef restaurants like @McDonalds” wrote the politician via Twitter. But A&W responded saying they do source a good deal of their beef from Saskatchewan.

    A&W is the latest in a string of restaurant chains in Canada that are grappling with how to balance growing consumer demand for ethical and locally sourced products while Canadian ranchers push back, citing the importance of antibiotics and hormones to meet current demands for beef.

    But if ethics rule in the quick service restaurant sphere, it’s “Made in Canada” that seems to matter in the supermarket. According to a poll of 1,609 meat shoppers by Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Canadians were only willing to pay about 10 per cent more for

    Read More »from Forget buying local, Canadians should ask, 'How does it fit my values?'
  • SeaWorld evolving from circus-like marine shows, but what are Canada's aquariums doing?

    [This screenshot is from a video posted by a former Marineland trainer of Zeus, a resident walrus, looking thin. (Yahoo News)]
    [This screenshot is from a video posted by a former Marineland trainer of Zeus, a resident walrus, looking thin. (Yahoo News)]
    Talk about a turn of the tide: across the U.S. aquariums are phasing out theatrical shows featuring killer whales and California has passed laws that ban their breeding completely. Baltimore’s National Aquarium announced it will move its dolphins from exhibits to a seaside sanctuary, to be built in either in Florida or the Caribbean in the future.

    So what is happening in Canada? According to Conservative Senator Donald Plett Canada’s aquariums are “continuously evolving to meet the needs of marine mammals. We are seeing a greater focus on the rescue efforts of marine mammals that are ill, injured or stranded.”

    A visit to Marineland Niagara’s site, however, shows that during the May to October operating season Marineland continues to runs shows featuring dolphins, beluga whales, sea lions and walruses. On Friday, Marineland was charged with five counts of animal

    Read More »from SeaWorld evolving from circus-like marine shows, but what are Canada's aquariums doing?
  • Looking for a place to confess your sins? The Vatican has an app for that
    Archbishop Leo Cushley unveils “The Catholic App.” (Twitter / Leocushley)

    If you’re a practicing Catholic who is desperate to be absolved for your sins, but don’t know where the nearest church is, you might be able to avoid purgatory just yet.

    A new smartphone and tablet app christened “Sindr,” by some media and commentators, which allows users find the nearest Holy Mass, Confessional and information about local dioceses was launched at the Vatican on Tuesday, according to Time.

    “The idea was really inspired by the Holy Father himself,” Leo Cushley, the Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, in Scotland, told Vatican Radio. 

    “He said to be imaginative about what do for the Holy Year of Mercy.”

    The app, which is expected to be available in early 2017, was developed by software company Musemantik. It works off a user’s location data to track down the nearest Catholic Church.

    Cushley unveiled the app, which is officially called “The Catholic App,” at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. He said

    Read More »from Vatican launches 'Sindr,' the app that connects you with nearby confessionals
  • Domino’s plans to use reindeer to deliver pizza in Japan
    Yes, these might actually be a thing. (Domino’s Japan)

    First drones. Next … reindeer?

    Now that its trial of delivery drones in New Zealand has begun, Domino’s Pizza is reportedly in talks to begin offering another means of getting food to its customers’ doors, but this time it’s a little more festive and a lot less practical.

    The U.S.-based restaurant franchise is exploring the possibility of enlisting some of Santa’s helpers to deliver pizza in Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands.

    According to Quartz, Domino’s Pizza Japan said it in talks with reindeer breeders to offer a special “snow delivery,” as the nation is expected to experience a “particularly cold” winter, with severe snowfalls.

    And it may have already begun. On Thursday, Tokyo received its first snowfall in November in 54 years.

    The offering would help ensure that residents of Hokkaido could still get their pizza if roads are blocked because of heavy snow, which wouldn’t faze the cold-resistant animals who

    Read More »from On Donner, on Blitzen, on... pepperoni? Domino's Japan wants to deliver pizza via reindeer
  • How to avoid delivery disaster this holiday season

    In this Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 photo, FedEx Packages move on a conveyor belt at the FedEx hub at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles. Hiring usually gets a boost with the advent of holiday shopping, but online shopping has changed where people are hiring. Transportation and warehouse jobs in places like FedEX and UPS jumped 30,500 in November. That’s 50 percent greater than the November 2012 increase. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
    In this Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 photo, FedEx Packages move on a conveyor belt at the FedEx hub at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    It’s the busiest time of year for postal services and courier companies, as people around the world ship cards and gifts to their loved ones.

    It can also be a high-stress time for those who are sending and receiving packages: missed deliveries, broken presents and MIA packages can all be an added headache during an already busy time of year.

    Whether you’re ordering that must-have item on Black Friday or sending the perfect gift to your aunt in Alberta, following these tips important tips will help ensure that shipping is one last thing you have to worry about this year.

    1. Pack (and label) your shipment right

    If you’ve got something special enough to send, make sure it gets to the recipient in one piece.

    “If you’re shipping gifts to loved ones, get a good quality box and use lots of cushioning,” says James Anderson,

    Read More »from How to avoid delivery disaster this holiday season
  • Unsurprisingly, most Canadians would rather be the person on the right when shopping for Black Friday deals. (Getty)
    Unsurprisingly, most Canadians would rather be the person on the right when shopping for Black Friday deals. (Getty)

    It’s almost Black Friday, and you’ve got your eye on a new Kate Spade purse. You’ve got two choices: head out in the cold, fight for a parking spot, and then stand in line before the store opens so you can rush and snatch that bag from the surly-looking woman who was about to nab it first; or, you could stay in your pyjamas, go online when the sale starts, add the bag to your shopping cart, and know that your purchase will arrive in just a week or two.

    Unsurprisingly, most Canadians are electing for the second option.

    According to a new survey commissioned by FedEx Canada, 61 per cent of Canadians are planning to shop online for gifts this year. That’s a 16 per cent increase from last year, and includes 14 per cent of shoppers who are planning on going online to shop for the first time.

    Ecommerce has seen huge growth over the last few years: while just 6 per cent of

    Read More »from Online shopping the destination of choice for Canadians this Black Friday

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