July 20

CBJ July 2020

Canada’s six biggest banks are the latest in a growing list of corporations that are boycotting Facebook as a means of pressuring the social media giant to take more tangible steps to block hate speech. As of now more than 400 corporate brands have pulled advertising on Facebook in response to the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign. The campaign was launched following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, CIBC and National Bank of Canada are each pausing their advertising on Facebook platforms for the month of July. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg seems to have underestimated the corporate resolve in this matter. When the first few corporations mentioned their advertising boycott, Zuckerberg seemed rather flippant to the point of being condescending and dismissive. He originally said the boycott only represented a “small per cent” of the company’s overall revenue stream and that they’d “come back soon enough.”

As a large part of the Canadian economy begins to reopen we are noticing a change in how business is being conducted. Unfortunately, the pandemic lasted too long for a number of companies that have regrettably been permanently forced to close. Retail and restaurants are just two industries that have been particularly hard hit. Dining establishments can accommodate patrons on outdoor patios – which is fine as long as it’s not raining. Temperatures of beyond 30C may be rather uncomfortable but no doubt increase beer sales. Meanwhile, the days of restaurant buffets may be a thing of the past if we are to believe that keeping germs and bacteria at bay will be a long-term effort.

Here’s something to chew on. “The meat industry will be gone in 15 years.” That’s the bold statement from the founder and CEO of Impossible Foods, Patrick Brown, a company that produces plant-based foods. For such a prognostication to come true then plant-based foods still need some major improvements. If that happens, then of course anything is possible. But unless there are such marked innovative enhancements it seems more likely that the meat products industry will still be here and the plant-based food manufacturers may be gone – and in far less than 15 years.

The NHL made the decision to have all its games played in Toronto and Edmonton, with the latter scheduled to host the playoff conference finals and the Stanley Cup finals. The decision was largely based on Canada’s better COVID-19 figures than those coming out of the U.S. With both hub cities being in Canada it will also prevent the need for 14-day quarantining going back and forth into the U.S. That, however, doesn’t seem to be an issue for the Toronto Blue Jays, who’ve received approval by all three levels of government to practice at Rogers Centre.

Angus Gillespie
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