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April 18

CBJ April 2018

Surveys and polls oftentimes aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on, but you’d have to have been living under a rock if you haven’t noticed Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party are going through some rather difficult times at the moment. Finance Minister Bill Morneau has had his share of troubles and more recently the PM was mocked for his rather questionable choice of attire while visiting India. Sure he meant well, but wound up looking foolish in doing so before an international audience. With the Liberals trailing in the polls it begs the question as to whether or not the Conservatives can regain control of the government in next year’s election. Certainly a lot change between now and then, both positively or negatively, so it’s really anyone’s guess at this point. However, if the winds of change are in the offing, the next Prime Minister of Canada could well be Andrew Scheer, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. We had a chance to see what he’s all about during one of his trips to Toronto earlier this year. It’s our cover story this month.

Ontario’s budget was tabled recently and one can’t help but feel as if it was nothing more than a hollow bag of goodies aimed at appeasing any of those wayward souls out there who may still believe that Kathleen Wynne’s government actually understands fiscal management. The treats are small but it all adds to an already colossal deficit that will likely come in at around $4 billion in 2017-18. The Toronto Region Board of trade rated the budget a C-. The Liberals should take that and run, because other than staunch party supporters they’re unlikely to get a better grade anywhere else. By the way, I give it a solid D. That’s a capital D for Deficit.

Shareholders of electric car and solar panel maker Tesla Inc. have approved an enormous $50 billion pay package for CEO Elon Musk. The deal would be contingent on his achieving a number of extremely lofty milestones over the next decade, but ones that certainly seem to be within his reach, albeit with a Herculean effort and some good luck that would be out of his control. Cashing in on that deal would make Musk one of the richest people in the world. By the way, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos is currently the richest of all, with a personal fortune estimated to be worth $124 billion U.S., which marks a $12 billion increase since the beginning of 2018.

Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg is on the defensive after it was announced his social media company and political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica were being sued for obtaining information belonging to 50 million of the social media company’s users without their consent. He said he was sorry for the egregious breach of trust but millions of users have said they plan to delete their accounts and move on to another site. It just can’t be Instagram – Facebook owns that too.

Angus Gillespie
@CanBizJournal

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