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Credit card payment for transit available at more GTA stations

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More commuters across the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area now have a simpler way to pay for their fare – with their credit card.

Beginning on Monday, riders on Durham Region Transit, York Regional Transit, Burlington Transit and Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) can tap a credit card to pay for their ride.

Travellers can pay with their credit card, or a credit card loaded on a smartphone or smartwatch, at any PRESTO machine.

Credit card tapping began with a successful Union Pearson Express pilot in 2021 that was followed by an expansion on GO Transit, Brampton Transit, MiWay and Oakville Transit in August.

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Collectively, 518,475 commuters have used their credit cards to pay for their rides across these transit systems as of Jan. 11.

“Every day, more riders are tapping their credit cards on agencies where this is already available, and we are excited to be expanding this functionality to Durham, York, Burlington and Hamilton,” Barclay Hancock, Chief Payments Officer of Metrolinx, said.

Next, the province is looking to expand the credit card payment system to the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) along with introducing a debit tapping option at all transit agencies in the GTHA.

“The Ontario government, Metrolinx and the TTC are working in partnership to deliver these new payment options as quickly as possible to riders on the TTC. To be ready for credit payment, TTC devices require upgrading,” a Metrolinx spokesperson said. In October, work began on upgrading bus and streetcar card readers.

The TTC told CTV News Toronto they are hoping to roll out the feature “soon.”

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Since GO Transit and UP Express are on distance-based fare systems, riders need to tap on and off using the same card or method of payment.

“If you forget to tap off at the end of your trip, the fare to the last stop on the train line or bus route will be deducted. This is the same whether you’ve tapped with your credit card or PRESTO card,” Kimberly Truong with the Ministry of Transportation said.

However, the newly added transit systems — Durham Region Transit, York Region Transit, Hamilton Street Railway and Burlington Transit – are all fixed fares, which means commuters only need to tap at the beginning of their journey.

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Tiny wines find home in B.C.’s market, as Canadians consider reducing consumption

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VANCOUVER — Wine lovers have growing options on the shelf to enjoy their favourite beverage as producers in B.C. offer smaller container sizes.

Multiple British Columbia wineries over the last several years have begun offering their product in smaller, single-serve cans and bottles.

Along with making wine more attractive to those looking to toss some in a backpack or sip on the golf course, the petite containers leave wineries with options for a potential shift in mindset as Canadians discuss the health benefits of reducing alcohol consumption.

Vancouver-based wine consultant Kurtis Kolt said he’s watched the segment of the wine industry offering smaller bottles and cans “explode” over the last several years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic when people were meeting outdoors in parks and beaches and looking for something more portable to take with them.

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“You’re not taking a hit on quality, you know? In fact, if someone is only going to be having a glass or two, you’re cracking a can and it’s completely fresh, guaranteed,” he said.

It’s also an advantage for people who want to drink less, he said.

“It’s much less of a commitment to crack open a can or a small bottle or a smaller vessel than it is to open a bottle,” he said.

“Then you have to decide how quickly you’re going to go through it or end up dumping some out if you don’t finish it.”

Last month, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction released a report funded by Health Canada saying no amount of alcohol is safe and those who consume up to two standard drinks per week face a low health risk.

That’s a significant change from the centre’s 2011 advice that said having 15 drinks per week for men and 10 drinks per week for women was low risk.

Health Canada has said it is reviewing the report.

Charlie Baessler, the managing partner at Corcelettes Estate Winery in the southern Interior, said his winery’s Santé en Cannette sparkling wine in a can was released in 2020 as a reduced alcohol, reduced sugar, low-calorie option.

“We’ve kind of gone above and beyond to attract a bit of a younger, millennial-type market segment with a fun design concept of the can and sparkling, low alcohol — all these things that have been recently a big item on the news,” he said.

Santé en Cannette is a nine per cent wine and reducing the alcohol was a way to reduce its calories, he said. The can also makes it attractive for events like a picnic or golf, is recyclable, and makes it easier for restaurants that might want to offer sparkling wine by the glass without opening an entire bottle.

At the same time, the lower alcohol content makes it an option for people who might want a glass of wine without feeling the same effect that comes from a higher alcohol content, he said.

“So the health is clearly one incentive, but I think more importantly, so was being able to enjoy a locally made product of B.C. from a boutique winery, dare I say, with a mimosa at 11 o’clock and not ruin your day,” he said.

Baessler said the winery has doubled production since the product was first released to about 30,000 cans a year, which they expect to match this year.

He said there’s naturally a market for the product but he doesn’t expect it to compete with the higher-alcohol wine.

“So this isn’t our Holy Grail. This is something that we do for fun and we’ll never compete, or never distract, from what is our core line of riper, higher-alcohol wine,” he said.

Jeff Guignard, executive director of B.C.’s Alliance of Beverage Licensees, which represents bars, pubs and private liquor stores, said the industry has seen a shift in consumers wanting options that are more convenient.

“It’s not a massive change in consumer behaviour but it is a definitely a noticeable one, which is why you see big companies responding to it,” he said.

Guignard said the latest CCSA report is creating an increased awareness and desire to become educated about responsible consumption choices, which is a good thing, but he adds it’s important for people to look at the relative risk of what they’re doing.

“If you’re eating fast food three meals a day, I don’t think having a beer or not is going to be the single most important determinant of your health,” he said.

“But from a consumer perspective, as consumer preferences change, of course beverage manufacturers respond with different packaging or different products, the same way you’ve seen in the last five years, a large number of low-alcohol or no-alcohol beverages being introduced to the market.”

While he won’t predict how much the market share could grow, Guignard said non-alcoholic beverages and low-alcoholic beverages will continue to be a significant piece of the market.

“I don’t know if it’s reached its peak or if it will grow. I just expect it to be part of the market for now on.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 5, 2023.

 

Ashley Joannou, The Canadian Press

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Elon Musk found not guilty of fraud over Tesla tweet – BBC News – BBC News

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  1. Elon Musk found not guilty of fraud over Tesla tweet – BBC News  BBC News
  2. Elon Musk wins lawsuit over tweet  CTV News
  3. Tesla’s Elon Musk found not liable in trial over 2018 ‘funding secured’ tweets  Arab News
  4. Tesla and Elon Musk found not liable in trial over 2018 ‘funding secured’ tweets  Driving
  5. For Elon Musk, Two Cases About His Tweets, and Two Victories  The Wall Street Journal
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

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NL Hydro Reports Record High Demand – VOCM

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  1. NL Hydro Reports Record High Demand  VOCM
  2. Electricity consumption reaches all-time peak, says N.L. Hydro  CBC.ca
  3. Hydro Close To Hitting ‘All-Time High’ On Demand Amid Arctic Blast  VOCM
  4. View Full Coverage on Google News

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