Alberta’s provincial budget, due to be made public on April 14 by finance minister Joe Ceci, will be a telling one. Firstly, it will provide direct insight as to what Rachel Notley’s NDP government plans to do in the face on an ongoing economic crisis, and secondly it will reveal if the plan is actually sustainable. It’s expected Ceci will announce a massive deficit of at least $10.4 billion. If you still believe in the credo ‘go west young man’ – best head all the way out to B.C., at least until this international oil battle gets sorted out.
Print publications across North America have been cutting staff and titles at a record pace over the past two years and the bloodletting continues. Newspapers and magazines are desperately trying to find a business model that will allow them to continue to be relevant in this new digital age. The major problem of course is lost advertising revenue due to drastically declining circulation bases as more people get their instant news updates via desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones – i.e. anything connected to the Internet.
So the FBI managed to hack into Apple’s iPhone in the case of an alleged terrorist in California. It was well documented by Apple CEO Tim Cook that the company would not comply with authorities and provide them with a software crack to bypass security, even although it was declared a matter of national security. Whether Cook’s decision was right or wrong, if nothing else the successful hack takes a gigantic bite out of Apple’s arrogance of invincibility.
I had the opportunity to meet former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford face-to-face on a several occasions at events in Toronto over the past few years. Equipped with a charismatic, animated persona and most often a wide smile, he definitely had a way of capturing the attention of a room, a city, a nation – and at times the world. Ford implemented numerous municipal cutbacks on lavish expenditures during his time as mayor at Toronto City Hall, which quite frankly had been long overdue. Truth is he had a lot of great ideas but was his own worst public relations nightmare. If you could see past the outer raw crudeness and ridiculous public shenanigans – which was admittedly hard if not impossible for many – he was an intelligent man who loved his family and his city. It’s awfully hard to fault somebody for that. We’ll never see another like him. As his young daughter Stephanie said “he’s now the mayor in heaven.”