There’s so much going on in the world and it can be difficult to understand it all at times — by reading this newsletter, you’re getting a digest of the biggest news this week, what it means and why it matters. If you like what you see, send it to a friend or ask them to sign up here.
Doug Ford doesn’t want a carbon tax scheme — so Justin Trudeau is going to force one upon him
It’s well known that Ontario Premier Doug Ford is against a carbon tax scheme in the province, calling it “the worst tax ever” and ending the cap-and-trade program when he first got into office, leaving more than $1 billion unable to use since legally, it can only be used to help the environment.
The program funded things like rebates for electric vehicle purchases, discounts on energy efficient smart home products via the GreenON program and TTC/GO Transit co-fares in the GTA region, among other things.
However — and it’s important to understand — unlike what Doug Ford has previously said, Ontario never had a carbon tax. Carbon tax and a cap-and-trade program are two very different things, of which we had the latter. The difference is simple: a carbon tax is applied to everybody who creates pollution, incentivizing them to invest in cleaner technologies and adopting greener practices, while a cap-and-trade program is applied to only businesses in an attempt to force them to pollute less.
In a MIT study it was found that putting a price on carbon by taxing businesses that use fossil fuels and returning the revenue generated to the public is an effective way at curbing greenhouse emissions. Depending on the way this is implemented it doesn’t have to impact low-income households that are already struggling to get by.
Since good ol’ Doug failed to enact a form of carbon tax, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will force one upon him, promising to return 90 percent of the tax it collects to Canadians to the plan from being unaffordable. Trudeau has explained that a family of four will receive $307 in rebates, which will double by 2022. Residents will receive rebates on their next tax return to offset the extra costs spent on gasoline, groceries, heating and electricity.
The federal government is making this move because some provinces, including Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick have failed to comply with a requirement of putting a minimum price of $20 per tonne of pollution by 1 January.
More than 400 million people view Instagram Stories everyday and Unfold, an app made specifically to design and brainstorm ideas to post, is cashing in on that. Instagram is limited to how creative people can be with their posts — something that the founders saw as a major drawback — and built the app initially for designers to create portfolios, before realizing that people were using it for different purposes. The company now sees thousands of daily downloads and is the biggest player in enabling users to design their content before they post it — Fast Company has the complete story on Unfold’s rise to fame and why it became so successful.
Our current obsession is the #FutureofMobility and how the ways we get around now — driving, taking the subway, electric scooters and more — are changing. With Uber debuting its scooter-share service on the sunshine coast, Waymo using Phoenix, AZ as a testbed for autonomous vehicles and SpaceX booking its first passenger ride to the moon, the mobility industry is changing everyday.
In Case You Missed It
🛴 In a Recode interview, Elon Musk said that though suggested by employees that Tesla make an electric scooter, he won’t because “it lacks dignity”.
📦 Companies usually go on hiring sprees around the holiday season but Amazon is hiring only 100,000 people — 20,000 less than 2016 and 2017 — a sign that it is successfully automating its warehouses. Robotics company Kiva Systems was purchased by the company in 2012 for $775 million and the tech was quickly added to warehouses, but a spokesperson claims that they are also focusing on adding “more ongoing full-time” positions in fulfillment centres.
👎🏻 Facebook lets companies target job ads to only certain genders and, if you don’t think that major multinational corporations are using this to their advantage, you’d be wrong.
💵 Universal basic income — a heavily debated solution to poverty — costs less than you think. Though it is often assumed that the cost is simply calculated by multiplying the amount received each month by the number of people, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
🏛 The EU forced Apple to pay back Ireland $15.4 billion in avoided taxes, which saw the company paying as little as a 0.05 percent tax rate (!) in an agreement with the government.
Our best wishes for a productive and calm day. Feel free to direct any stray Amazon robots, less confusing Instagram Stories design apps and corporate tax evasion tips to our email.
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