Insight
  • Does your mood swing up and down with the TSX? Does the price of oil keep you up at night? If you’ve got your finger on the pulse of the business news scene in Canada, then this quiz on the week’s top business stories should be a breeze. Find out how savvy you are about Canadian and international financial news.

    Think you know all there is to know about the world of financial news this week? Take our quiz and find out.

  • An Air Canada jet takes off from Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Enfield, N.S. on Thursday, March 8, 2012. Air Canada reported a profit of $101 million in its latest quarter compared with a loss a year ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew VaughanAn Air Canada jet takes off from Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Enfield, N.S. on Thursday, March 8, 2012. Air Canada reported a profit of $101 million in its latest quarter compared with a loss a year ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

    Two of Canada’s biggest airlines have failed to impress passengers, compared to their North American rivals, according to a new customer satisfaction study.

    J.D. Power’s 2016 North America Airline Satisfaction Study, which was released earlier this week, gave both Air Canada and WestJet below-average grades overall in their respective classes.

    Air Canada placed fourth among traditional carriers, garnering just a single 'Average' score in the category of service experience.

    J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction 2016 rankings, Traditional Carriers (J.D. Power)J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction 2016 rankings, Traditional Carriers (J.D. Power)

    This takes into account the variety of in-flight entertainment, as well as food and beverages, and the availability and quality of in-flight services.

    The ranking marks a significant dip for the country’s flagship airline, after it received average marks in last year’s study.

    Meanwhile, WestJet, which is Canada’s second largest airline, placed third among low-cost carriers, but earned average grades for its check-in, boarding, staff, service and aircraft.

    J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction 2016 rankings, Low-Cost Carriers (J.D. Power)J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction 2016 rankings, Low-Cost Carriers (J.D. Power)

    In J.D. Power’s 2015 rankings, WestJet also fell short of

    Read More »from Air Canada, WestJet given below-average marks for customer satisfaction
  •  

    Digital rights advocacy group OpenMedia says a CRTC ruling forcing major internet service providers to sell access to their high-speed infrastructure will help Canadians get online “faster” and “cheaper.”

    On Wednesday, the Liberal government rejected an appeal from Bell Canada to overrule the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s decision from last July that required it and other telecom giants to make their advanced facilities available to independent internet service providers at wholesale prices.

    Josh Tabish, campaigns director for the Vancouver-based OpenMedia, said the decision spells good news for Canadian consumers.

    It definitely means that faster, cheaper internet services will coming to Canadians very soon,” Tabish told Yahoo Finance Canada.

    ALSO READ: Bell to abide by federal ruling on high-speed Internet infrastructure

    Tabish said that prices for fibre-optic internet in Canada are currently “extremely high.” He also pointed to 2015 data from the

    Read More »from ‘Faster, cheaper’ internet services may soon be here thanks to CRTC rule enforcement
  • [A view of the burned out Super 8 motel is shown during a media tour of the fire-damaged city of Fort McMurray, Alta. on Monday, May 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward]

    In the midst of the Fort McMurray wildfires, hotels and lodgings in neighbouring communities stepped up, slashing prices and providing refuge for the displaced.

    But as the fires work their way eastward, leaving behind charred homes and business with damages in the realm of $9 billion – making it one of the costliest natural disasters in Canada’s history – the hospitality sector faces a long battle.

    “Natural catastrophes like the tragic forest fire in and around Fort McMurray [have] an interesting effect on the lodging needs: in the short term there is a sudden increased demand for lodging in neighbouring cities as a result of the massive involuntary relocation and the closure of a town,” Dr. Gabor Forgacs, an associate professor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

    Read More »from Fort McMurray's hotel industry in limbo
  • Car insurance rates are going down, but so are the benefits you'll be getting if you're injured. (Getty Images)Car insurance rates are going down, but so are the benefits you'll be getting if you're injured. (Getty Images)

    Beginning June 1, Ontario’s car accident survivors may be forced to make a lot of tough choices when it comes to their rehabilitation and quest for independence as newly disabled people.

    This is because on that date, the no-fault benefits for catastrophic and non-catastrophic injuries on all mandatory auto-insurance policies in the province will be cut substantially. Those with non-catastrophic injuries, such as a broken leg, will receive a combined $65,000 instead of the $50,000 for care and $35,000 for treatment that they’re currently entitled to. On top of that, those with catastrophic injuries, such as a permanent disability, will go from receiving $2 million to $1 million.

    There will be no change to the benefit for those with minor injuries, like whiplash or dislocations, but Ontario’s $3,500 benefit is on record as being the lowest minor injury benefit amount in the country.

    “This change that is coming on June 1 is the single biggest cut to insurance that we’ve seen in many,

    Read More »from Cheaper auto insurance means less coverage for Ontarians
  • (Getty Images/Digital Trends)(Getty Images/Digital Trends)

    Escapism at 30,000 feet used to involve a little over-caffeinating or downing a couple mini bottles of wine, but with the proliferation of virtual reality, don’t be surprised if you see more and more passengers escaping to their own digital la-la lands.

    “It’s all a matter of cost,” says Fred Lazar, an aviation analyst and professor at the Schulich School of Business. With VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive retailing at $599 and $799 respectively, they’re still out of reach for casual users. But it’s likely to see prices slip in the coming years. After all, DVD players went for over $1,000 in 1997 but within three years were free in Sony’s $299 PlayStation 2 and many laptops.

    If (or more likely when) those prices come down, Lazar suspects airlines will take cues from the consumer market. 

    Last March, Australia’s national carrier Qantas introduced a trial run of offering VR headsets for first class passengers. WestJet and Air Canada are currently offering Wi-Fi on board and

    Read More »from Virtual reality poised to be the next great escape at 30,000 feet
  • When it comes to making the most significant purchase of your life many women are going solo and not waiting for their Prince Charming to help them secure the castle of their dreams.

    There are simply too many social and economic factors at play that allow women the option to live comfortably and well, alone, says Alim Charania, a mortgage broker with Dominion Lending Centres Regional Mortgage Group in Calgary.

    “In previous times, women waited to buy with a guy or get married first,” says Charania, who blogged about the issue in 2013. “The stereotypical trend was you graduate from school, you rent for a while, you find someone, get involved in a long-term relationship and then marry. But women are thinking let’s skip the rent part and start building my life earlier when I’m single. “

    Women seem to be particularly well suited for sole home ownership. They are keen nest builders yet practical about it, say real estate insiders. Females also tend to really do their homework before

    Read More »from More single women are buying houses on their own
  • Employees who believe their workplace treats them fairly are more likely to report being "healthy" and willing to go the extra mile for their organization, according to a new study.

    Researchers from England’s University of East Anglia and Sweden’s Stockholm University investigated whether perceptions of fairness among workers changed their self-reported health.

    The study looked at more than 5,800 workers aged 16 to 64 in Sweden between 2008 and 2014, as part of the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health.

    What they found was that when the workers’ perceptions of “procedural justice” improved – or the processes that dictated how rewards, pay, promotions and assignments were handed out – on average, they reported that they felt healthier.

    “The findings can help raise awareness among employers and authorities that fairness at work, but also health is important to consider to increase satisfaction, wellbeing and productivity in the workplace and wider society,” said Constanze

    Read More »from Employees who think their workplace is fair are reportedly healthier
  • He's smiling now, but just wait until he has to start job hunting on Monday. He's smiling now, but just wait until he has to start job hunting on Monday.

    With most job openings being posted online, recent graduates can start their searches from a local coffee shop, a library or even the comforts of their own homes (or more likely their parent’s basement, given the fact that it takes young Canadians an estimated 10 years to save up for a 20 per cent down payment).

    But it isn’t perfect, and many job seekers are frustrated with several aspects of the process, according to new findings from the market research and polling firm, Leger Marketing, which was undertaken on behalf of Monster Canada.

    The survey, which polled participants between the ages of 18 and 30, found 88 per cent of recent college and university graduates submitted a job application online immediately after they finished their degree, or plan to do so. But 81 per cent of them said they were exasperated after applying and never hearing anything back.

    This was tied with entry-level job postings that require a few years experience as the most frustrating part of the online

    Read More »from Recent grads frustrated by lack of responses to online job queries, high requirements
  • <span style=line-height: 19.2px;>A collection of selfies sent to the app Pay Your Selfie is seen here. (Pay Your Selfie)</span>

    Snapping a selfie? Why not make some money on the side at the same?

    That's what a new app is hoping its users will do: turn over pictures of them completing “tasks,” which will be used by a variety of companies for market research, in exchange for cold, hard cash. 

    Users of Pay Your Selfie can earn between 20 cents and $1 for completing an assortment of mundane activities, from going to the movies, drinking a beer, a day at the beach and even brushing their teeth.

    When users accrue $20 in their virtual piggy banks, they’re eligible to cash out.

    “We appeal to anyone who is taking pictures throughout their life,” explained Pay Your Selfie’s cofounder and CEO Michelle Smyth.

    “Capturing what they love, their favourite products, the places they hangout, them crossing a five kilometer (race) finish line that they’re very proud of, or they’re on vacation and they’re happy … and since they’re sharing them on social media you might as well get paid to share them with Pay Your Selfie.”

    Smyth

    Read More »from Pay Your Selfie: How you can make money taking photos of yourself
  • It appears as though U.S. startup MegaBots’ vision for "Pacific Rim"-style competitions is coming closer to reality.

    The Oakland, Calif., company confirmed to Yahoo Finance Canada on Tuesday that it has received $2.4 million in seed funding.

    The company hopes to bring giant, fighting machines from the big and small screens into real life by pitting them against each other in gladiator-style combat, where the last robot standing wins.

    “We're incredibly excited to now be a venture-backed company and working with a world-class team of investors and partners,” Brinkley Warren, the company’s cofounder said in an email.

    “Our investors are expecting us to build the sports league of the future, and our fans are expecting us to build the sports league of the future. So now we're going get to work making it happen.”

    MegaBots was started by Warren, Matt Oehriein and Gui Cavalcanti in 2014.

    The company had previously raised more than $500,000 on Kickstarter for upgrades to its 15-foot,

    Read More »from Company making human-piloted giant robots gets $2.4 million in funding
  • (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    Newcomers to Canada are making $17 billion less than they could be, according to a report by the Conference Board of Canada.

    The Brain Gain 2015: The State of Canada’s Learning Recognition System study found that around 844,000 Canadians are unemployed or underemployed as a result of their credentials from their home country not being recognized. According to the authors, an overhaul of Canada’s recognition system for credentials could boost the annual incomes of those affected an average of $15,000 to $20,000.

    “Canada depends on a mobile labour force whose learning credentials are often issued in a different place from where they work,” says Michael Bloom, vice president of industry and strategy for the board, in a press release supporting the data. “When people’s learning and skills are not formally recognized, they are more likely to be unemployed, work part time, or work in jobs beneath their skills set.”

    While immigrants make up the largest group of those earning less than they

    Read More »from Immigrants missing out on $17B due to lack of credit recognition
  • Follow these tips, and you won't miss your old point-and-shoot camera one bit. (HTC/supplied)Follow these tips, and you won't miss your old point-and-shoot camera one bit. (HTC/supplied)

    The best camera, as they say, is the one you have with you.

    Oh sure, your dSLR-toting friends might get their lanyard in a knot about you hoisting your iPhone or Android device while out this season, but not only is the quality getting better with each smartphone generation, they’re ideal for editing your work (and perhaps adding fun filters and other special effects), then wirelessly sharing those memories with the people who want to see them.

    To help you get more out of your spring “phoneography,” consider the following tips and tricks.

    Turn the phone sideways: Unless you’re taking a picture of a Toronto Raptors player, use the horizontal (“landscape”) orientation when taking photos as it’ll look much better on a computer or television later on (read: no vertical black bars on each side of the photo). Besides, it’s better for group shots and scenery, too, to get more in. Speaking of scenery, also play around with the panoramic mode for ultra-wide photos.

    Get up close and personal:

    Read More »from Take better photos with your smartphone
  • Roam's accommodations in Bali, Indonesia are seen here. (Roam)Roam's accommodations in Bali, Indonesia are seen here. (Roam)

    A new company is hoping to offer its users a chance to live and work in different cities around the world, by just signing a lease that offers a lot of flexibility.

    Roam, which was conceived just over a year ago, provides its customers with a private, fully-furnished bedroom and bathroom for US$500 per week or $1,800 a month.

    The startup works on a "co-living" model, which has residents share kitchen and work space facilities in the buildings owned by Roam. But this isn't some hostel you'll be staying in: the properties offer more high-end amenities like pools, libraries and a yoga studio.

    Roam currently offers accommodations at a contemporary boutique hotel in Ubud, Bali, one of the Indonesian island’s cultural hubs. This isn't designed for someone just looking to enjoy a vacation, though; Roam's model is tailored to people who want to immersive themselves in a new city for weeks or months at a time.

    A bedroom at Roam's accommodations in Bali, Indonesia is seen here. (Roam)A bedroom at Roam's accommodations in Bali, Indonesia is seen here. (Roam)

    Other options are on the way, including a restored Victorian boarding house in

    Read More »from This startup is helping renters live in different countries around the world
  • Not sure whether to tip? Our guidelines will help you know when and where you should! (Flickr/ornello_pics)Not sure whether to tip? Our guidelines will help you know when and where you should! (Flickr/ornello_pics)

    Despite a long history, dating at least as far back as Tudor England, tipping remains one of the most awkward and confusing aspects of our everyday economic exchanges. Figuring out the intricacies, though, is easier than you might expect, according to the founder of the Etiquette School of New York, Patricia Fitzpatrick. “Tipping is something we do to show our gratitude for service, especially when it’s personal, to give a little something extra. The thing of it is,” she said in an interview with Yahoo Finance Canada, “is that almost every service person gets tipped… if they spend a lot of time, and if they take a lot of extra care.”

    Movers, massage therapists, delivery drivers, door attendants and cleaning staff are all a yes for on-the-spot tips, but there are exceptions to the rule. Cultural differences are the biggest influence, so don’t assume that tipping rituals will be the same wherever you head on your next big trip. In Finland and Japan it is considered rude to tip in a

    Read More »from To tip or not to tip? How to avoid gratuity gaffes
  • Started from the bottom, now we here.Started from the bottom, now we here.

    The Canadian Dream is alive and well. 

    Nine out of 10 people in the lowest income group are moving up the pay ladder within 10 years according to a study released by the public policy think-tank the Fraser Institute.

    “I think the findings are pretty telling… after 19 years, one of every four in the low income group reach the very top income group,” Charles Lammam, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of the recently released report Measuring Income Mobility in Canada. “It’s a natural progression most Canadians experience over their lives, people can and they do make themselves better off by completing and continuing their education, acquiring job skills and gaining work and life experience.”

    While the concept of bettering oneself over the course of one’s life isn’t exactly new, Lammam points out that the data – collected via StatsCan from nearly one million Canadians based on their income in 1993 and following their progress after five, 10 and 19 years –

    Read More »from One in four Canadians move from bottom income group to top in 20 years
  • Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump on May 5, 2016 in Charleston, West Virginia. (Getty)Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump on May 5, 2016 in Charleston, West Virginia. (Getty)

    In light of Donald Trump edging out Republican leadership hopefuls Ted Cruz and John Kasich in Indiana this week, cheeky rhetoric enticing Americans to make the move north of the border has picked up once again.

    Last month, music streaming site Spotify jumped on the buzz, using the already popular #movingtoCanada hashtag and offering subscribers a tool to find the Canadian equivalent to their favourite American artists. Travel website Hotels.com built a special page inviting people to “be a tourist before becoming a resident.”

    But the reality – and perhaps more importantly – the costs associated with running from Trump by immigrating to the north isn’t as easy as switching to Bryan Adams from Bob Dylan.

    “It sounds nice in the media: ‘I’m going to leave and go to Canada’ – well… you can’t, unless you’ve got some kind of (work or family) sponsorship,” says Brian Wruk author of ‘The American in Canada’ and founder of Transition Financial Advisors Group – which helps both Americans and

    Read More »from Moving to Canada because of Trump? Good luck with that...

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