Ahoy-hoy, there. It is I, Geoff Zochodne, with your daily dose of business news-mongering. To the headlines.
ASK NOT FOR WHOM THE RINGTONE TOLLS…
Down in Ottawa, the federal government has ordered the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to probe and report back on the sales practices of the country’s largest telecommunications companies. This follows a CBC investigation that raised questions about the sorts of practices at those companies, writes Emily Jackson. Maybe the telcos could call up the country’s big banks — who have been in a similar spot — and solicit some advice?
In an seeming case of actions having consequences, the chief executive of Aecon Group Inc. claims his company is passing up some big international contracts after the federal government kiboshed the sale of the construction firm to a state-owned Chinese buyer. “We know of opportunities right now that we could have been chasing with that larger balance sheet and their presence,” said CEO John Beck in an interview with FP reporter Jesse Snyder. Aecon did announce on Thursday that it had won a domestic $475-million contract with its joint venture partners for the refurbishment of the Bruce nuclear power station in Ontario.
LAYOFFS AT ROGERS MEDIA
Pour one out for some good media folks. Indeed, as Emily Jackson reports, Rogers Media Inc. announced yesterday it has cut one-third of its digital content and publishing department, laying off 75 full-time staff members from publications such as Maclean’s and Chatelaine. There are now approximately 150 people left in the department, according to a company spokesperson. Rogers says times remain tough for the publishing industry, with the latest move following its decision in 2016 to discontinue the print editions of FLARE, Sportsnet, MoneySense, and Canadian Business.
THE MONTREAL TEA PARTY
There’s been an executive shake-up at Montreal-based DAVIDsTEA Inc. According to The Canadian Press, the company’s CEO resigned Thursday after losing a battle with the company’s co-founder that saw the entire board replaced over the direction of the struggling specialty-beverage retailer. DavidsTea has been publicly traded since June 2015, when it listed on the Nasdaq as part of an expansion plan.
Just when you thought Canada’s trade troubles had quieted, along comes Italy. In case you had blinked and missed it: Italy’s current government is now very much made of populist stuff. And per CP, Italy’s agriculture minister has reportedly said his country won’t ratify the Canada-European Union free trade accord. Add this to Canada’s existing trade challenges, including the never-ending NAFTA renegotiation and the Trump administration’s decision to hit our country with steel and aluminum tariffs.