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Chris Schafer, head of Lime’s Canadian operations, said no employees in the country are losing their jobs, and the firm’s plans to launch in more Canadian cities remain unaffected. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The e-scooter startup’s layoffs, first reported by Axios, will affect about 14 per cent of its workforce and are part of an attempt to become profitable. Lime is facing significant pressure from Bird, which recently raised US$275 million and is looking to expand to at least 11 Canadian cities. The Ontario government recently announced cities could permit e-scooters on their roads, and Lime and Bird are jockeying with firms like Uber subsidiary Jump for access to the lucrative Toronto market. Other major Canadian cities, including Ottawa, Waterloo, Victoria and Windsor, have also signalled interest in expanded e-scooter access. Lime is looking to hit profitability this year; its eliminated markets all had weaker pickup. It’s not the only e-scooter firm hit by layoffs recently, but its cuts are the deepest. Lyft’s e-scooter unit laid off 20 in November 2019, and Bird eliminated less than two dozen in December.

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The extension follows a call from several groups, including the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance (AODA Alliance). The group is concerned that the government’s proposed five-year pilot project, which would allow e-scooters on roads in the same places as bicycles, poses dangers for people with disabilities. The group wants the government to agree to study the safety impacts of e-scooters before going forward with the pilot. Comments on the proposed regulation can be submitted until September 12. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Ontario is facing pressure from some of the world’s largest e-scooter companies—including Lime, Bird and Uber—to catch up to regulation in other provinces and allow e-scooters on the roads. B.C., Alberta and Quebec have all granted exemptions so e-scooters can go on roads in Kelowna; Calgary and Edmonton; and Montreal, respectively. In Ontario, the City of Waterloo cited laws limiting e-scooter use on public roads for the termination of its pilot with Lime. The pushback over accessibility concerns is a growing challenge to the e-scooter companies’ desire for quick regulatory changes, as the AODA Alliance is one of several groups with major concerns. Balance for Blind Adults and the CNIB (formerly known as the Canadian National Institute for the Blind) have also sounded alarms about the potential dangers of e-scooters to disabled Canadians. The advocacy groups are concerned that because e-scooters are dockless, they can be placed anywhere—including a crowded sidewalk—when a user is done with them. They argue this can significantly hamper freedom of movement for wheelchair users and visually impaired individuals.

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The electric scooters will be available for a two-week trial period. Bird already operates in Edmonton and Calgary, but this will be its first city in Ontario. It’s a toehold in a market that its largest rivals, including Lime and Uber, have been lobbying for access to for well over a year. Widespread scooter adoption in Toronto is contingent on provincial law being re-written so electric scooters can be allowed on public streets. (CBC)

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Talking point: The Distillery District pilot will exclusively be on private property. Waterloo ended its pilot with Lime earlier in August, citing an easier regulatory environment for the company in Montreal and Calgary, where it also operates. The uncertainty around provincial regulations has put several municipalities—including Ottawa and Windsor, which have taken steps to welcome e-scooters on their streets—in a tricky position. Ontario’s lack of change contrasts three other provincial governments that have worked with cities that want scooters: B.C. paved the way for Kelowna, Alberta for Calgary and Quebec for Montreal.

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The Toronto-based food-delivery company has launched door-to-door alcohol delivery in downtown Ottawa. The pilot follows its alcohol-delivery launch in Vancouver in 2018. “At this time, we’re gauging the appetite for this partnership in the Ottawa market, with the potential to add on more cities in Ontario,” Foodora spokesperson Sadie Weinstein told The Logic. (MobileSyrup)

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Talking point: The move places Foodora ahead of rival Uber Eats in alcohol delivery in the capital, though not because Uber hasn’t been focused on the space. The ride-hailing company started delivering wine and beer in and around Vancouver in August 2018. My colleague Zane reported in early January that Uber was lobbying the Quebec government to offer the service in the province. And, later that month, Dan Park, head of Uber Eats, told reporters that the company is looking to deliver alcohol in Ontario, too. This is the latest Canadian challenge for Uber, following the launch of ride-hailing company Eva in Montreal on Monday. It’s not all bad news for the firm, though. Uber is set to launch in Regina on Wednesday, beating rival Lyft to the city.