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Canada's Trudeau to tap Freeland as finance minister: media reports – The Guardian

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By Steve Scherer

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday will tap Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, a former journalist and his most trusted ally, to be his new finance minister after Bill Morneau resigned, Canadian media reported.

Freeland, 52, would be the first woman to hold the role, and she will keep her post as deputy prime minister, CTV and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp (CBC) said. Trudeau’s office declined to confirm the reports, while Freeland’s did not immediately respond.

Morneau, a multi-millionaire and former business executive, held an impromptu news conference late on Monday to announce his resignation amid friction with Trudeau over spending policies, and after coming under fire for his ties to a charity tapped to run a student grant program.

Freeland, who is considered Trudeau’s most likely successor as Liberal Party leader, spearheaded the renegotiation of a new North American trade deal as Canada’s foreign minister and minister for international trade in Trudeau’s previous cabinet.

Now she will be tasked with reviving an economy crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the budget deficit this fiscal year forecast to hit C$343.2 billion ($253.4 billion), which would be the largest shortfall since World War Two.

“Freeland does not have the business background of her predecessor, but she managed the ministry of foreign affairs file remarkably well, including dealing with the difficult renegotiation of free trade with the United States,” said Craig Alexander, chief economist with Deloitte Canada.

“Markets will likely anticipate that the new minister of finance will work exceedingly well with the prime minister,” Alexander said.

The Canadian dollar notched its strongest intraday level in nearly seven months at 1.3148 per U.S. dollar, or 76.06 U.S. cents, amid broader declines for the greenback.

Freeland also holds the intergovernmental affairs portfolio, which now probably will have to be given to someone else.

Trudeau will suspend the current parliamentary session and then bring legislators back in October to outline his agenda, which is likely to include a new budget, CBC said.

Before entering politics in 2013, Freeland worked with several media companies, including the Financial Times, the Globe and Mail, and Reuters News.

(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Additional reporting by Julie Gordon, Kelsey Johnson and David Ljunggren; Editing by Alex Richardson and Paul Simao)

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California County Enlists Social Media to Thwart a Misleading Election Photo – The New York Times

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Election officials in Sonoma County, Calif., asked the broader social media community on Friday to help them rebut a false report about mail-in ballots in the county.

After receiving phone calls from constituents claiming they saw online pictures of mail-in ballots in a landfill, the county posted a message on its main Twitter account alerting residents and other Twitter users that a false report was circulating. The picture showed 2018 election materials that had been sent out for recycling, as state law permits, the county said.

County officials said they were not sure of the origin of the false report, but by Friday it had been picked up by some conservative media outlets on Twitter. Conservatives and President Trump have recently seized on news reports of issues with mail-in ballots, such as nine that were found to have been discarded in a northeastern Pennsylvania county.

Sonoma County’s post underscored the difficulties that local election officials face in combating misinformation in the final six weeks before the Nov. 3 election. With the local news media in crisis across the nation, fighting misinformation largely falls on area officials, who are already stretched thin to meet the demands of the most complex election in decades.

For officials on the front lines in Sonoma, correcting the record as quickly as possible was paramount.

“I think we wanted to be proactive and make sure that people got the information from us, because we did hear from some concerned citizens,” said Deva Marie Proto, the county registrar of voters in Sonoma County.

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What's the biggest media story of the moment? It's getting harder every day to say – Poynter

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What’s the biggest media story of the moment? It’s getting harder every day to say – Poynter


What’s the biggest media story of the moment? It’s getting harder every day to say – Poynter


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BC-born Trybe social media app's award system connects with Nickelback singer – Agassiz-Harrison Observer

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Dan Swinimer helped gather a tribe to launch a new app he hopes will disrupt the world of social media and websites where things are bought and sold.

Currently beta-tested for public launch, the Trybe platform counts Nickelback singer/guitarist Chad Kroeger among its four “founders/angels,” along with Swinimer, his father Bill and fellow Surrey-area musician/construction company boss Felipe Freig.

“We set out to try and monetize social media, while making it a safer and more positive experience,” said Swinimer, who lives in the Clayton area of Surrey. “We felt it unfair that social media users do all the work, provide all the content but make none of the profits.”

Trybe is based on an award system that sends as little as 10 cents per “like,” coupled with a built-in “win-win” for users, as Swinimer describes it.

“Every time you award someone else’s post, you get exposure for your own post which gives you a better chance of your post being seen and also making money in awards,” he told the Now-Leader.

“It’s turned into a thing, it really has,” added the Ontario-raised Swinimer. “We sold shares and raised almost $2 million, we have head offices in Toronto, a CEO (Thomas Jankowski) and staff of 10 coders. It’s turned into so much more than we originally conceived.”

In the late-2000s, Swinimer and Freig were members of the rock band Jet Black Stare when they met Kroeger, who shared a manager at the time.

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Today, Swinimer is a songwriter/producer with his own Manicdown Productions, and Frieg runs Langley-based Versa Homes.

A couple of years ago, Frieg told Swinimer about an issue involving his teen son, Jadis, who’d been posting video of his scooter-riding tricks to social media.

“You can’t even believe the tricks that this kid can do on the scooter, it’s amazing,” Swinimer said. “His son didn’t have any sponsors at that point, but he was spending hours and hours every day practicing, getting really, really good, and then he spent his own money buying all this video equipment and editing software. So he’d spend four or five hours a day practicing, learning tricks, videoing them from multiple angles, then he’d edit these videos just so that he could post them on social media. And what does he get for that? The ‘likes,’ and that’s it. He’d been doing this for awhile, and we realized that with the social media model, everyone is providing the product and getting nothing in return.”

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After Swinimer and Freig talked some more, they clicked on the idea for Trybe as a way to monetize social media.

“It’s a platform where if you post something, you have a chance to make money on that post,” Swinimer elaborated. “When people post to social media, the most important thing is content, connecting with people and receiving validation from others. So imagine if you mixed in the possibility of making money and also having complete control over how many people will see your posts.… The more people I reward, the more people will see my posts, and the more chance I have of making money on my posts. If the content is good and views-to-engagement ratio is high, it also drives exposure to the post, so that lights a little fire under the post.”

• RELATED STORY, from May 2020: Arm surgery for Nickelback’s Surrey-raised drummer Daniel Adair.

Out of the gate, Kroeger had the level of celebrity pull sought by Swinimer and Freig for Trybe.

“We discussed it with Chad and right away, he was excited about it because he could see how it could transform the music business,” Swinimer recalled. “It could completely disrupt the entire distribution chain, because it’s a pain in the ass going through iTunes, which takes a lot of the proceeds. So what about a world where you post new music on Trybe and you just say, if you give anyone who rewards this post a dollar or more, gets a download code, and now you’re keeping all the money that comes in, as opposed to just half of it.”

Right now, to get early access to the app, users join a waitlist by downloading the iOS or Android app from trybe.ly.

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On Wednesday (Sept. 23), Nickelback raved about Trybe’s launch to the band’s 738,000 followers on the rival Twitter platform: “No more giving away your creativity and time to social media giants. The new way — Social. Be yourself, be with your people, get rewards. See you on there.” A day later, Avril Lavigne posted the same message for her 21 million followers on Twitter.

Swinimer says Kroeger is “very involved” in the project, and likes to be in the meetings when and where he can, including the time when the four Trybe founders flew in Kroeger’s private jet to Silicon Valley.

“We didn’t tour with Nickelback (with Jet Black Stare) back then, but toured with a lot of their friends, like 3 Doors Down, Hinder and Staind,” Swinimer recalled. “For someone of his level of recognition, Chad is very accessible to musicians. He’s not hard to find and he’s happy to talk to people. One night he took us out to celebrate our record deal when we first signed it, so that was kind of our first foray. He took us out to the Commodore Ballroom because Kid Rock was doing a special invite-only show there. So we’re in his little VIP section, and then we went to some penthouse suite afterwards to hang out. It was weird, man, because to that point it was all independent music, never getting anywhere, and all the sudden we’re partying with Kid Rock. It was a wild ride.”

In the decade since those rock-band days, after Jet Black Stare’s record deal with Island Def Jam had collapsed, Swinimer turned his attention to country music and launching the careers of musicians including Madeline Merlo and Jojo Mason. “I’ve been living in Surrey for 20 years,” he noted. “I built my production company here and have written/produced upwards of 40 hit songs since startup.”

• RELATED STORY, from March 2020: Surrey’s JoJo Mason brings mom along for Saturday song during Diesel Bird Digital Music Festival.

As for Trybe, the app’s public release should be in a month or so, he said.

“We’re doing a system where we are making it very exclusive and making people excited about it, to get in early. We have multiple celebrities on board to get behind this new idea once we are public. It’s exciting.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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