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Canada dropping COVID testing requirements for air travellers from China, Hong Kong and Macao

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The Canadian government is dropping its COVID-19 testing requirements for air travellers coming to the country from China, Hong Kong or Macao.

The change will be in effect as of 12:01 a.m. EDT on March 17.

“Canada’s COVID-19 border measures continue to be informed by available data, scientific evidence and monitoring of the epidemiological situation and response capacity domestically and internationally,” Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos said in a news release Thursday. “While this is good news, we need to remain vigilant. We should all complete our COVID-19 vaccine series and additional recommended doses, and continue to do all that we can to protect ourselves and those around us.”

The government first put the testing requirements into place Jan. 5, 2023, in response to a surge in COVID infections in China “to protect the health and safety of Canadians” and “given the limited data available at that time on those cases.”

The government says since then, no new COVID-19 variants were detected based on data from China and the rest of the world, as well as from wastewater sampling data in Canada.

“While we are encouraged that the epidemiological situation has improved in both China and Canada, and that temporary test requirements for air travellers put in place in early 2023 can now be lifted, we know we must remain vigilant in the fight against COVID-19 and its variants,” Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said in the release. “We will continue to make decisions based on the best public health advice and will adjust our measures accordingly to keep travellers, transportation workers and our transportation system safe and secure.”

There is currently a Level 2 travel health notice for COVID-19 related travel to all countries.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says anyone travelling by plane is encouraged to wear a mask and anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home.

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'The lack of affordability is pinching:' Bank of Canada expected to cut Wednesday amid signs of softening economy – Financial Post

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‘The lack of affordability is pinching:’ Bank of Canada expected to cut Wednesday amid signs of softening economy  Financial Post

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LCBO has bright future, Premier Ford says as two-week-long strike comes to an end

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TORONTO – Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he believes the province’s main liquor retailer has a bright future as thousands of workers returned to work Monday after a two-week strike.

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario says stores will be open for business on Tuesday.

Ford says he has great confidence in the LCBO’s future, despite concerns raised by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union during the strike.

The union representing the LCBO workers had said it believed Ford’s plan to expand alcohol sales to convenience and grocery stores would threaten union jobs and the public revenue the LCBO provides to the province.

Ford sped up those plans after the strike began on July 5, allowing grocery stores already licensed to sell beer and wine to also sell ready-to-drink cocktail beverages as of Thursday last week.

The union ratified the proposed deal over the weekend.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2024.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.



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Tesla Increases Model S and Model X Prices Amid Slumping Sales

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Luxury goods tax on super-rich could hit green cars: experts

PALO ALTO, California — In a surprising move, Tesla has increased the prices of its Model S and Model X vehicles by $2,000, despite a significant decline in sales.

The price hike comes at a time when Tesla’s Model S and Model X sales are estimated to have dropped by 31-37% year-over-year. The electric car manufacturer does not disclose individual sales figures for its models, instead bundling all Model S, Model X, Cybertruck, and Tesla Semi deliveries together, making it challenging to assess the performance of each model. Based on delivery estimates for the Cybertruck and Tesla Semi, analysts place the sales of the Model S and Model X at around 12,000-13,000 units for the last quarter.

New Pricing Structure

The updated prices for Tesla’s premium electric vehicles are as follows:

  • Model S Long Range: $74,990
  • Model S Plaid: $89,990
  • Model X Long Range: $79,990
  • Model X Plaid: $94,990

Despite the overall price increase, Tesla has strategically kept the Model X Long Range price under the $80,000 threshold, ensuring it remains eligible for the federal tax credit. This move appears aimed at maintaining the model’s competitiveness by leveraging the federal incentive.

The price increase could be interpreted as a response to rising production costs or an attempt to maintain premium brand positioning amidst declining sales figures. However, this strategy carries risks, particularly if potential buyers are sensitive to price changes.

Industry observers are divided on the potential impact of this pricing strategy. Some believe the increase could alienate price-sensitive customers, further exacerbating the sales decline. Others argue that the price adjustment might be offset by improvements in production efficiency or upcoming enhancements to the models.

Tesla’s decision not to break down sales by individual models has drawn criticism, as it obscures the performance of each vehicle line. This lack of transparency makes it difficult for investors and industry analysts to gauge the health of Tesla’s product lineup accurately.

As Tesla navigates these turbulent times, the recent price increase of its Model S and Model X vehicles raises questions about the company’s broader strategy and market positioning. While the long-term effects of this decision remain to be seen, it is clear that Tesla is taking bold steps in response to the evolving automotive market landscape.

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