June 20

Canadian-Business-Journal-June-2020-Cover

Long-term care homes have been the main topic in the news after a number of locations were so badly hit with sickness and death across the country, and particularly in Ontario and Quebec. A report by the Canadian military confirms just how bad daily conditions have been. There’s a widespread systemic problem that needs immediate attention. It’s estimated about 74% of all COVID-19 deaths have occurred in long-term care homes. As of publication, the Ontario government had taken over the management of seven homes. It’s expected there will be criminal charges laid in certain cases where neglect and abuse has been alleged.

The decay of the newspaper industry has been noticeable for many years so it comes as no surprise that Torstar has agreed to be sold to NordStar Capital for $52 million. Torstar owns more than 70 newspapers across the country, the most prominent being the Toronto Star. The sale means that the company will be taken private. NordStar is controlled by Jordan Bitove and Paul Rivett, the latter of whom was most recently president at Fairfax Financial Holdings, which is led by its founder, Chairman and CEO Prem Watsa. Fairfax, the largest independent shareholder in Torstar, played a pivotal role in the sale by offering its strong support for the deal.

Hertz Global Holdings has filed for bankruptcy, but just days before pulling the plug it managed to set aside $16 million in retention money for 340 executives – the very same executives who stood helpless on the sidelines as the pandemic drove the car-rental business into a deep, smoking abyss. Hertz agreed to pay a $700,000 bonus to CEO Paul Stone, who just started in the position. CFO Jamere Jackson received $600,000 and CMO Jodi Allen got $189,633, according to a regulatory filing. If that’s not akin to white-collar crime then what is?

Donald Trump says Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. Trump complained – on Twitter – to his 80 million followers that his statement on Mail-In Ballots was deemed false. Trump says it will lead to massive corruption and fraud. But his pals over at CNN and the Washington Post say that just isn’t the case. Just days later Trump signed an executive order to have social media sites regulated after he became annoyed that Twitter posted a disclaimer on one of his tweets. In response to the riots in Minneapolis part of the tweet stated: “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” in reference to the response the National Guard would take if the violence didn’t quell. The tweet wasn’t erased, so it’s doubtful anything will happen. It would have to make a long, arduous trip through Congress and that seems rather doubtful.

Did you know?… there are about 300 million monthly active users on Twitter: 66% are men; 34% are women and 80% of all users access the site via mobile devices. There’s no worry about the Twitter servers running out of room if more people and businesses would like to register. There is enough capacity to hold 18 quintillion user accounts.

Angus Gillespie
angus@cbj.ca
@CanBizJournal

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