Briefings

Sidewalk Labs hires former Toronto councillor for Quayside project

Mary-Margaret McMahon, a former city councillor, has been hired by Sidewalk Labs as its new director of community, where she will be responsible for selling the vision of the Sidewalk Toronto project to citizens. As a councillor, McMahon championed bike lands, tree protections and term limits for municipal politicians. (Toronto Star)

CPPIB nets 1.1 per cent return during challenging fiscal third fiscal quarter

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) had $386.5 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2018, up $200 million from the last quarter. On Thursday, Mark Machin, CEO, described the three-month return as evidence of CPPIB’s strength amid a volatile stock market and said he expects to see a “much lower return on assets going forward than we have since the global financial crisis and the recovery.” (Financial Post, Benefits Canada)

Telus warns of ‘material’ risk if Ottawa bans Huawei

Telus said that while it has not picked an equipment vendor for its 5G wireless network, banning the Chinese firm could make its roll-out longer and more expensive. The telecommunications company posted revenues of $3.76 billion and profits of $368 million—up 6.3 per cent and four per cent respectively—for the fourth quarter of 2018, according to financial statements also filed today. (Globe and Mail)

Supreme Court finds teacher who used camera pen guilty of voyeurism

Canada’s top court unanimously found Ryan Jarvis a teacher who secretly filmed 14 to 18 year-old female students’ breasts—guilty of voyeurism. The decision overturned a 2017 acquittal from the Ontario Court of Appeal. Chief Justice Richard Wagner wrote that the case established an expectation of privacy for women in a wide range of public and partially-public settings, like schools: "The use of a cell phone to capture upskirt images of women on public transit, the use of a drone to take high-resolution photographs of unsuspecting sunbathers at a public swimming pool, and the surreptitious video recording of a woman breastfeeding in a quiet corner of a coffee shop would all raise similar privacy concerns.” (CBC)

Government announces Future Skills Centre partners and council

Employment Minister Patty Hajdu and Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivered the long-awaited news that Ryerson University—along with Blueprint and the Conference Board of Canada—was selected to run the initiative. The government has pledged $225 million for the Future Skills Centre over four years, with $75 million annually after that to carry out projects meant to close the widening skills gap. The 15-member Future Skills Council was also named today; the group will advise the centre on what projects to fund. (The Logic)

eBay restructures regional leadership, laying off a ‘percentage’ of its workforce

eBay is shifting its organization in an effort to increase its growth trajectory. The company’s geographical regions—including the Americas, Asia-Pacific, the U.K., and Central and Southern Europe—will now all report to Jay Lee, eBay’s SVP and GM for markets. TechCrunch reported that the company will be laying off a “percentage” of its global workforce, citing a tweet that put the number at 400 employees worldwide. (TechCrunch)

Travis Kalanick secretly ramps up new food-delivery venture

CloudKitchens lets delivery-only restaurants use shared kitchen spaces to prepare meals that that are then delivered through Postmates, a food delivery service based in the U.S. Kalanick took over City Storage Solutions, the parent company of CloudKitchens, last year through his investment fund. (Financial Times)

Apple is targeting April to launch its new video service

The tech giant is building an integrated service for its iOS TV app, which will include original content that device owners can watch for free, as well as subscriptions to existing streaming platforms. Shows from Starz and Showtime are expected to be available at launch, but Netflix and Hulu don’t plan to sign up, and HBO’s service is still in early-stage discussions. (CNBC)