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Changes to wage subsidy catch struggling restaurateurs off guard, advocates say


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The end of the grace period, she added, will lead to more Canadians being laid off, effectively moving them from one government program to another.

“Restaurants and other businesses that have been really hard hit are now saying, ‘I can’t afford to pay $4,000 out of pocket when I’m down 80 per cent in revenues and I don’t see a path in the next six months where that’s going to change,’” Drigola said. “This is something that was definitely not communicated well.”

Katherine Cuplinskas, a spokesperson for Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, on Monday directed the Financial Post to a July 17 briefing document on the ministry’s website that notes the safe harbour provision would be in effect “through August 29.”

In a statement, Cuplinskas said “government’s top priority is supporting Canadians and businesses as we weather the COVID-19 pandemic.”

She also pointed to a slate of new supports announced earlier this month for hard-hit businesses, which included extending the CEWS program.

A senior official in the Ontario government, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the province has reached out to Ottawa for clarity on the safe harbour issue.

Bonacini Restaurants President and CEO Andrew Oliver at the company’s restaurant Canoe in Toronto. Photo by Peter J Thompson/National Post

Andrew Oliver, chief executive of Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality Inc. — the restaurant network that includes Canoe in Toronto and Alchemy in Edmonton — said the safe harbour matter “defies common sense.”

Oliver said he recognized that the government signalled in July that the safe harbour provision would expire on Aug. 29, but he also noted the outlook for restaurants and other struggling sectors has dramatically changed since the summer, with parts of the country reverting to earlier restrictions on dining to tamp down a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

“In what world does it make sense that the support and programs have been made more complicated and that our support has been effectively cut in half at a time when it’s four degrees and patios are closed for the most part?” said Oliver, who also co-founded the Save Hospitality advocacy group at the beginning of the pandemic.

Oliver said he was hopeful the government would blink and extend the safe harbour provision, but warned that with each passing day, the industry will see more and more layoffs.

“The longer they wait, the worse it’s going to be,” he said.



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Germany, France to spend €200 million on next-gen main battle tank


Germany and France plan to spend hundreds of millions of euros on the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) program in 2021 to develop a new generation of combat vehicles.

The Forces Operations Blog has reported that France and Germany are looking to spend €200 million for the benefit of the MGCS program in 2021. These funds will allow the three prime contractors, Nexter on the French side and KMW and Rheinmetall on the German side, to start the phase of the building demonstrators of future combat vehicles.

Between 2021 and 2025, the first Main Technological Demonstrators (MTD) will translate into technological solutions the combined functions in the multiplatform system. The design of a prototype by 2028 will follow and, assuming the schedule does not slip in the meantime, the first deliveries around 2035.

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MGCS is first and foremost a team of vehicles similar to the Russian Armata family of combat vehicles. This team may involve manned and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) as well as unmanned air vehicles (UAVs).

As part of MGCS will develop the next-generation main battle tank to replace Leopard-2 and Leclerc in near future.

German Leopard-2 and French Leclerc MBTs were designed and developed in the 1970s and 80s and have been significantly upgraded since then. In 2012, France and Germany decided to launch a joint initiative that may lead to a joint program for designing and developing a new Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) in order to replace their tanks.

The general program of European next-generation combat vehicle is estimated at €1.5 billion.



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B.C. Election 2020: Leaders square off in high-stakes debate


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Furstenau, who has only led the Greens for a month, was fighting to introduce herself to British Columbians and not let the two more-established politicians dominate the stage. She succeeded as a confident, well-informed, well-spoken debater on the stage.

During a testy exchange over health care, Horgan held Wilkinson accountable for a decision made by the former Liberal government to cut care aid jobs.

“You fired 10,000 people, largely women, to give a tax break to wealthy people in B.C.,” Horgan said.

Wilkinson fired back: “Calling names and talking about things that happened 17 years ago will not help us in the future.” He said the Liberals built hospitals during their time in power, and accused the NDP of failing to build one.

“You sold the land, man,” an outraged Horgan responded, in reference to a Liberal program that sold government land, including a plot that was meant for a Surrey hospital.

Wilkinson also accused Horgan of not acting quickly enough to help struggling businesses, such as tourism operators, facing bankruptcies during the pandemic, and of having an affordable housing plan that is “a complete fiasco.”

“That’s not leadership, John,” he said.

Wilkinson was asked by moderator Shachi Kurl about the controversy over one of his incumbent MLA candidates making sexist remarks towards a NDP MLA, and the leader repeated again that the incident should not have happened. The other two leaders didn’t make hay of the scandal, but Horgan referenced it after Wilkinson accused the NDP leader of dividing people, rather than pulling them together.



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For years, oil ensured Canada’s healthy trade balance. Now that’s changing — with major consequences


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“We were already on a slippery slope coming into COVID,” he said in a recent interview with National Post.

Ahead of the 2008 financial crisis, Canada’s exports exceeded imports by a “healthy” margin of three to five per cent, Dodge said in the PPF report. That has since been flipped over for an annual average deficit of negative two to three per cent.

And while annual current account deficits don’t spell trouble for a country, a chronic shortfall can spell trouble as governments continue to draw from the public purse to pay for costly social programs like childcare, expanded unemployment insurance, and healthcare for a rapidly aging population.

“This is not a very sustainable situation,” Dodge said. “You can sustain it for a while, but we know that over time the situation deteriorates as service costs on foreign debts build over time.”

The problem isn’t specific to making up for natural resources outputs, which still contributed a staggering $76.6 billion to the current account in 2019 — about 80 per cent of which came from crude oil and bitumen production. Exports in the automotive and aerospace sectors have continued to decline over the years, while consumption for autos or travel services have increased.

President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau put pens to the revamped free-trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada in 2018. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

From the beginning of the financial recession until the end of 2019, Canadian investments in assets abroad outweighed foreign direct investments by $804 billion, Dodge said in the report.

Observers are divided over how to address the continued shortfall. Many say the next generation of export-based industries will be in leading-edge products like artificial intelligence, financial tech or electric vehicles, to name a few.



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Madrid court annuls central government’s COVID curbs on city | Spain


Regional government chief Isabel Diaz Ayuso opposed the restrictions, saying they would ravage the region’s economy.

A Madrid court has struck down a government order imposing a partial coronavirus lockdown on the Spanish capital, ruling in favour of the Madrid region in a standoff with national authorities just before a long holiday weekend.

Under the health ministry’s order, Madrid regional authorities on Friday barred residents from leaving the area, including nine satellite towns, without a valid reason, and imposed other measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in one of Europe’s worst virus hotspots.

Regional government chief Isabel Diaz Ayuso had opposed the order, saying it would ravage the region’s economy, also arguing the ministry had no power to impose such curbs on a region.

The Madrid regional court sided with her on Thursday in its ruling, calling the restrictions “interference by public authorities in citizens’ fundamental rights without the legal mandate to support it”.

The restrictions imposed in Madrid, with its usually bustling restaurants and bars, had not yet been fully enforced as no fines could be levied on people violating the restrictions until the court had issued its decision. The government can appeal.

Welcoming the court’s decision, Ayuso nevertheless urged Madrilenos to stay home over the upcoming Hispanic Day weekend that usually sparks mass holiday travel across Spain.

She promised to release a set of “sensible, fair and balanced” rules on Friday, meaning capital residents may still face more restrictions in a country where the government forecasts gross domestic product (GDP) will fall 11.2 percent in 2020.

“Madrid’s businesses can’t carry on like this … Nobody understands the rules, nobody knows what is going on,” she said during a televised address.

Under the law, the Spanish government can limit fundamental rights by imposing a state of emergency, as it did nationwide for three months starting in March, but it is up to the regions, which control health policy, to request such measures on a more local scale outside of an emergency.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who described the situation in Madrid as “concerning”, told reporters in Algeria his government would study the court ruling and decide how to proceed after a meeting with the Madrid authorities.

The region had 741 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the two weeks to October 7, according to the World Health Organization, making it Europe’s second densest COVID-19 cluster after Andorra.





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The Poppy Appeal needs you more than ever this year


THE annual Poppy Appeal needs The Sun’s army of big-hearted readers more than ever this year.

Fears over Covid will dramatically reduce the number of street vendors.

Roy Miller, 97, was a Navy gunner in World War Two

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Roy Miller, 97, was a Navy gunner in World War Two

But forces veterans and their families who rely on the British Legion still desperately need our support.

That’s why The Sun, backed by celebs from David Beckham to Captain Tom Moore, is campaigning so hard for the Appeal.



Miller appears in this year’s TV ad for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal

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Miller appears in this year’s TV ad for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal

And we will be putting the poppy on our front page every day from now until Remembrance Day on November 11.

Join in the campaign today.

Display our brilliant poster you’ll find inside today’s newspaper, buy a poppy and give whatever you can.

David Beckham is among the famous faces who have backed The Sun's Poppy Appeal

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David Beckham is among the famous faces who have backed The Sun’s Poppy AppealCredit: Alpha Press
Captain Tom Moore holds two poppies showing his support for the British Legion

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Captain Tom Moore holds two poppies showing his support for the British LegionCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
Covid-19 will dramatically reduce the number of street vendors

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Covid-19 will dramatically reduce the number of street vendorsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Veterans and their families still desperately need our support

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Veterans and their families still desperately need our supportCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Sun launches Poppy Appeal campaign asking readers to ride to the rescue of the Royal British Legion 

GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]





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Suncor Energy to lay off up to 2,000 people


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“Suncor shares have underperformed peers and crude oil prices in 2020 following the 55 per cent cut to its dividend and third quarter operating challenges in its oilsands business,” BMO Capital Markets analyst Randy Ollenberger said in an Oct. 1 research note.

Ollenberger said he believed the shares offer “under appreciated value” and could recover as the company’s refining business improves.

The company has integrated operations with refineries in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Colorado.

Refineries have been hit hard during the coronavirus outbreak as commuters have stayed home and air travel has been severely curtailed since March.

In addition, Suncor is one of the higher cost oilsands mining companies and the cuts announced Friday should help bring the company’s operating costs per barrel into line, said New York-based Eight Capital analyst Phil Skolnick.

“How permanent are those cuts? If oil were to come back to $55 or $50, and we’re out of the pandemic, then how much of those come back?” Skolnick said, adding that the market and investors are looking for permanent cost reductions.

He said it’s not clear yet how a 15 per cent staff reduction would drive down break-even operating costs.

The Suncor Energy Centre building in downtown Calgary.
The Suncor Energy Centre building in downtown Calgary. Photo by Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia

RBC Capital Market analysts expectSuncor to re-establish momentum onseveral fronts in the quarters ahead, and maintained its outperformrecommendation on the company stock with a one-year price target of $25 pershare.

“Suncor has no plans to leap into renewables on a grandscale,’ RBC analyst Greg Pardy said in a note, after hosting a virtual roadshow with Suncor CEO Little for European investors. “Rather, the company is likely to emerge as a niche player, targeting ESG (environmental, social and governance) investments, which generate at least mid-teen returns. These are likelyto include biofuels, hydrogen, C02sequestration, and select wind projects.”



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Arsene Wenger opens up on recent friendship with Man Utd rival Sir Alex Ferguson


Legendary Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that one of the only people he still keeps in touch with from football is former rival Sir Alex Ferguson.

Wenger enjoyed many heated clashes with Ferguson’s Manchester United over the years as they shared a domination of the Premier League.

There pair shared a number of fiery moments on the touchline throughout their respective tenures before retiring, including one memorable food fight in 2004.

But Wenger, who has since taken a up a role with Fifa as their chief of global football development, insists those disagreements are firmly in the past now.


He told The Times: “These people are all very busy. I’m not close enough to them… except [pause] Ferguson, yes.”

“I have Ferguson’s number, yes.

“We have a lot of respect for each other now. We had a period when it was very tough, very hot.

“After you’re not competing any more, everyone becomes a bit more objective.

“He knows better wine than I do. Ah, we had some good battles. He’s an intelligent man. You don’t make a career like this guy if you’re stupid.”

Former United boss Ferguson had some famous clashes with Wenger

Wenger also made a startling revelation about Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, who he admits he is not in touch with at the moment.

“When Guardiola was still a player he came to my home to ask to play for Arsenal,” the 70-year-old revealed.

At the time I had Vieira. I had Gilberto Silva. I couldn’t take him.”

Wenger also revealed that he has been offered the main job at United in the past, which he obviously declined.

When asked when, he replied: “I don’t tell you that.

“But I can tell you Man Utd offered me the job but I don’t tell you when.”





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Coronavirus live updates: Quebec reports 933 new cases, 16 deaths and 13 hospitalizations


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11:10 a.m.

Quebec reports 933 new cases, 16 deaths and 13 hospitalizations

Quebec has recorded 933 new cases of COVID-19, the provincial government announced this morning.

That’s the biggest one-day caseload increase since early May.

Montreal reported the most cases: 319.

The province has now passed the 75,000 mark, with a total of 75,221 cases confirmed since the beginning of the pandemic.

Sixteen new deaths were reported – two over the past 24 hours, 12 between Sept. 24 and 29, and two more before Sept. 24

That’s the highest number of deaths reported in one day since July 3.

The number of hospitalizations increased by 13 to reach 275.

Among those in hospital, 46 are in intensive care, an increase of three.

“Community transmission has an impact on people of all backgrounds, ages and regions,” Health Minister Christian Dubé said via Twitter. “We must stay at home to protect the most vulnerable.”





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Giant nuclear explosion scale model erected in Russia


A giant nuclear explosion scale model has spotted during a recent Russian large-scale military exercise called Kavkaz-2020 (Caucasus 2020). 

This exercise took place predominantly in Russia’s Southern Military District, a region that stretches from Russian-occupied Crimea in the west, to the Caspian Sea in the east, and the volatile North Caucasus in the middle.

The image circulated for days in various formats on social media, causing considerable debate within the open-source intelligence community about what exactly was spotted during exercises.

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The social media posts also indicated that this scale model wad erected by Russian engineers for CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) troops training.

Military analyst Dmitry Stefanovich and Evgeniy Maksimov use OSINT found out that scale model located at Prudboy range in the Southern Military District.

“It was constructed not later than 2013, might be used for CBRN troops training,” tweeted Dmitry Stefanovich.





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