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Budge Wilson, acclaimed Nova Scotia writer, dies at 93 –



Acclaimed Nova Scotia writer Budge Wilson has died at the age of 93.

Wilson died Friday evening in a Halifax hospital with a friend by her side. Wilson had been dealing with complications from a fall in early March.

Best known as a children’s author, she wrote more than 30 books for all ages.

“She isn’t entirely gone,” Andrea Wilson, Budge’s daughter, said Sunday. “She’s left a legacy through her writing, and through the people she’s inspired.”

Wilson began her writing career later in life, publishing her first book in 1984 when she was 56, according to a biography from Dalhousie University, her alma mater and the home to her personal archives.

Andrea remembers how Wilson would curl up with her daughters in the evenings and tell them a story she’d made up that day. It was usually a “continuing saga,” and Wilson always left them on tenterhooks wanting to know what happened next.

“But first my sister and then me, we wanted to read our own books and read ourselves to sleep,” Andrea said.

“So she didn’t have anyone to tell stories to, but they kept on coming. So she started writing them down.”

N.S. author Budge Wilson accepts flowers at her 92nd birthday party held at Halifax’s Woozles bookstore in 2019. (Andrew B. Conrad)

Andrea remembers her mother as a “spitfire,” who stood under five feet tall and was always surrounded by many friends from different generations.

Wilson was always inspiring, real living proof that you could do whatever you wanted to, Andrea said.

She never made the switch to computers, and always wrote long-hand. Andrea said that might have been what attracted Dalhousie to compiling her many notes and drafts, since one can actually trace all the edits and changes that went into Wilson’s finished books.

Her works include The Leaving, a collection of short stories which won many awards, Lorinda’s Diary, and Thirteen Never Changes.

The Leaving is currently being recorded for Unbound, an audiobrook project with Neptune Theatre and the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

“It’s every bit as good as Alice Munro, it’s those coming of age stories that really stick with you,” said Marilyn Smulders, the executive director of the writers’ federation.

Smulders said Budge was not only a gifted storyteller, but supported many younger artists in the province.

One of her most successful recent works, Before Green Gables, is a prequel to L.M. Montgomery’s famous series of books around Anne Shirley.

At 80, Wilson spoke about her work, life and stepping into Anne’s world as part of a series with Mount Saint Vincent University.

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Wilson was born and educated in Nova Scotia, but spent many years in Ontario.

She returned home in 1989, and lived in Northwest Cove on St. Margarets Bay. In recent years, Wilson and her husband, Alan, were living in a retirement facility in Halifax.

Friends and family remember Wilson as spirited, kind, and someone who loved interacting with young people when she visited schools across the county.

A mentor to many Nova Scotia writers, and good friend of fellow Canadian literary icon Margaret Laurence, Wilson was a member of the Order of Canada and Order of Nova Scotia.

A book of poetry, Wilson’s first, about the Swissair crash of 1998 came out just five years ago.

Information Morning – NS9:28Budge Wilson: After Swissair

Jill MacLean, also a Halifax children’s author, said that collection was very important to Wilson, whose former home overlooked the waters where the plane went down. 

She’ll always picture Wilson perched up on her bed with a notepad in a corner room during a writers’ retreat, MacLean said, “writing away with a smile on her face.”

The pair also had a tradition of strolling down Spring Garden Road to have brunch at the Smitty’s, where Wilson always wanted a “warm beer in a wine glass,” MacLean laughed.

The servers got to know her after many visits and always obliged, MacLean said.

MacLean also wrote an introduction to a book compiling people’s memories of Wilson, simply titled Budge, which she shared with CBC.

“She embraces adventure and makes us feel safe,” MacLean said in the introduction. “She redefines what an elderly woman can be. And most of all, her presence clarifies our own stories.”

Halifax author Budge Wilson, centre, attends a Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia event celebrating her work in 2018. Wilson died on Friday at age 93. (Nicola Davison)

In 2003, Wilson was awarded the Municipality of Halifax Mayor’s Award for Cultural Achievement in Literature, and has earned 19 Canadian Children’s Book Centre “Our Choice” awards.

Her books have been frequently read and dramatized on CBC, American and international radio.

Wilson leaves behind her husband, two daughters and grandchildren.


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Canadian Business During the Pandemic



In 2019 the world was hit by the covid 19 pandemic and ever since then people have been suffering in different ways. Usually, economies and businesses have changed the way they work and do business. Most of which are going towards online and automation.

The people most effected by this are the laymen that used to work hard labors to make money for there families. But other then them it has been hard for most business to make such switch. Those of whom got on the online/ e commerce band wagon quickly were out of trouble and into the safe zone but not everyone is mace for the high-speed online world and are thus suffering.

More than 200,000 Canadian businesses could close permanently during the COVID-19 crisis, throwing millions of people out of work as the resurgence of the virus worsens across much of the country, according to new research. You can only imagine how many families these businesses were feeding, not to mention the impact the economy and the GDP is going to bear.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said one in six, or about 181,000, Canadian small business owners are now seriously contemplating shutting down. The latest figures, based on a survey of its members done between Jan. 12 and 16, come on top of 58,000 businesses that became inactive in 2020.

An estimate by the CFIB last summer said one in seven or 158,000 businesses were at risk of going under as a result of the pandemic. Based on the organization’s updated forecast, more than 2.4 million people could be out of work. A staggering 20 per cent of private sector jobs.

Simon Gaudreault, CFIB’s senior director of national research, said it was an alarming increase in the number of businesses that are considering closing.

We are not headed in the right direction, and each week that passes without improvement on the business front pushes more owners to make that final decision,”

He said in a statement.

The more businesses that disappear, the more jobs we will lose, and the harder it will be for the economy to recover.

In total, one in five businesses are at risk of permanent closure by the end of the pandemic, the organization said.

The new sad research shows that this year has been horrible for the Canadian businesses.


The beginning of 2021 feels more like the fifth quarter of 2020 than a new year,” said Laura Jones, executive vice-president of the CFIB, in a statement.

She called on governments to help small businesses “replace subsidies with sales” by introducing safe pathways to reopen to businesses.

There’s a lot at stake now from jobs, to tax revenue to support for local soccer teams,”

Jones said.

Let’s make 2021 the year we help small business survive and then get back to thriving.”

The whole world has suffered a lot from the pandemic and the Canadian economy has been no stranger to it. We can only pray that the world gets rid of this pandemic quickly and everything become as it used to be. Although I think it is about time, we start setting new norms.

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Shopify shares edge up after falling on executive departures



By Chavi Mehta

(Reuters) -Shopify Inc shares edged higher on Thursday, recovering partially from the previous day’s fall, with analysts saying the news of planned senior executive departures may have limited impact due to the company’s deep talent pool.

Chief Executive Officer Tobi Lutke said in a blog post on Wednesday the company’s chief talent officer, chief legal officer and chief technology officer will all leave their roles.

“We remain confident it (Shopify) can continue to execute at a high level, despite the departures,” Tom Forte, analyst at D.A. Davidson & Co said, pointing to the company’s “deep bench of talented executives.”

Shopify, which provides infrastructure for online stores, has seen its valuation soar in the past year as many businesses went virtual during the COVID-19 lockdowns, turning it into Canada‘s most valuable company.

Shopify declined to comment further on Lutke’s statement suggesting current company leaders would step in to fill the three roles. After chief product officer Craig Miller left in September, Lutke took on the role in addition to CEO.

The Ottawa-based company is Canada‘s biggest homegrown tech success story, founded in 2006 and supporting over 1 million businesses globally, according to the company.

Jonathan Kees, analyst at Summit Insights Group, called the timing of the departures “a little alarming” but said the specific roles make it less concerning, given that the executives leaving are “more back-office roles.”

Lutke said each one of them had their individual reasons to leave, without giving details.

“I am willing to give Tobi’s explanation the benefit of the doubt,” Kees added.

Toronto-listed shares of Shopify were up 3.5% at C$1526.41 on Thursday, giving it a market value of C$188 billion ($150 billion). It ended down 5.1% on Wednesday.

“While we would refer to the departure of three high-level executives as ‘significant,’ we would not refer to it as a ‘brain drain,'” Forte added.

($1 = 1.2541 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Dan Grebler)

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Almost half of Shopify’s top execs to depart company: CEO



By Moira Warburton

(Reuters) – Three of e-commerce platform Shopify’s seven top executives will be leaving the company in the coming months, chief executive officer and founder of Canada‘s most valuable company Tobi Lutke said in a blog post on Wednesday.

The company’s chief talent officer, chief legal officer and chief technology officer will all transition out of their roles, Lutke said, adding that they have been “spectacular and deserve to take a bow.”

“Each one of them has their individual reasons but what was unanimous with all three was that this was the best for them and the best for Shopify,” he said.

The trio follow the departure of Craig Miller, chief product officer, in September. Lutke took on the role in addition to CEO.

Shopify, which provides infrastructure for online stores, has seen its valuation soar in the last year as many businesses went virtual during COVID-19 lockdowns. It has a market cap valuation of C$182.7 billion ($146 billion), above Canada‘s top lender Royal Bank of Canada.

It is Canada‘s biggest homegrown tech success story, founded in 2006 and supporting over 1 million businesses globally, according to the company.

“We have a phenomenally strong bench of leaders who will now step up into larger roles,” Lutke said, but did not name replacements.

Shopify said in February revenue growth would slow this year as vaccine rollouts encourage people to return to stores and warned it does not expect 2020’s near doubling of gross merchandise volume, an industry metric to measure transaction volumes, to repeat this year.

Chief talent officer, Brittany Forsyth, was the 22nd employee hired at Shopify and has been with the company for 11 years. She said on Twitter that post-Shopify she would be focusing on Backbone Angels, an all-female collective of angel investors she co-founded in March.

Shopify shares fell 5.1% while the benchmark Canadian share index ended marginally down.

($1 = 1.2515 Canadian dollars)


(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

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