TORONTO — Edward Rogers’ roles as chair of the Toronto Blue Jays and control person with Major League Baseball are unaffected by this week’s manoeuvrings that led to his removal as board chair of parent company Rogers Communications Inc., according to two industry sources.
Whether fallout from the power struggle atop the telecom giant, which also owns Sportsnet, might eventually reach the club is unclear. Last week, Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro said the team was “about a month away” from presenting its off-season plan during a final payroll meeting with ownership, and expressed confidence that its long-term strategic objectives would remain on track.
“Every indication I’ve received and every indication that we’ve been shown … leads me to believe that we will stay on plan and the payroll will continue to rise despite the fact that we’re still lagging behind a little bit in revenues due to (the pandemic),” Shapiro said.
Those comments came before news broke that John MacDonald, a member of the Rogers Board of Directors since 2012, had assumed the chairman role in place of Edward Rogers, who according to media reports had sought to oust company CEO Joe Natale.
Edward Rogers is now seeking to replace five board members.
At this point, the sources said the developments aren’t expected to impact a winter of opportunity for the Blue Jays, who are seeking to augment a club that missed the post-season by one game and are about to see top performers Marcus Semien, Robbie Ray and Steven Matz hit free agency.
Shapiro is close with Edward Rogers, who as chair is the top officer of the club. He is also the control person, a role each of the 30 MLB teams assigns to represent the interests of that ownership.
Google real estate executive says 5% more workers coming in to office each week
Alphabet Inc’s Google has seen an increasing number of employees coming in to its offices each week, particularly younger workers, the company’s real estate chief said during an interview at the Reuters Next conference on Friday.
On Thursday, Google indefinitely pushed back the mandated return date for employees due to concerns about the Omicron variant. The company had previously said its 150,000 global employees could be required to come in to the office as soon as Jan. 10.
Nevertheless, David Radcliffe, Google’s vice president for real estate and workplace services, said many Googlers are returning of their own volition. About 40% of its U.S. employees on average came in to the office daily in recent weeks, up from 20-25% three months ago, he said. Globally, 5% more employees are returning to offices week after week, he added.
“People are actually showing voluntarily that they want to be back in the office,” Radcliffe said. “We’re moving in the right direction.”
Younger employees and those who joined Google more recently have been coming in at higher rates, seeking opportunities to learn from colleagues, Radcliffe added.
Google expects workers in the office at least three days a week once it mandates a new return date.
Based on feedback from those already back, it is redesigning floor plans to increase private, quiet spaces for distraction-free individual work and adding conferencing and other collaboration areas in open spaces both indoors and outdoors.
Real estate and human resources experts have considered Google a trailblazer for the past 20 years in sustainable office design and variety of workplace perks, including free meals, massages and gyms.
To extend those sustainability and wellness benefits to remote work, Google has encouraged employees to buy carbon offsets and non-toxic furniture for their home offices. It also has provided free cooking classes and discounts to fitness studios near workers’ homes.
“It was amazing how many employees had really never cooked themselves,” Radcliffe said.
(Reporting by Paresh Dave in Oakland, Calif., and Julia Love in San Francisco; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Matthew Lewis)
S&P/TSX composite down nearly 200 points, U.S. stock markets also lower – Business News – Castanet.net
Canada’s main stock index was down nearly 200 points in late-morning trading, led lower by losses in the technology, base metal and industrial sectors, while U.S. stock markets also fell.
The S&P/TSX composite index was down 176.86 points at 20,585.17.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 160.83 points at 34,478.96. The S&P 500 index was down 48.14 points at 4,528.96, while the Nasdaq composite was down 341.27 points at 15,040.05.
The Canadian dollar traded for 78.05 cents US compared with 78.03 cents US on Thursday.
The January crude oil contract was up US$1.54 at US$68.04 per barrel and the January natural gas contract was up eight cents at US$4.14 per mmBTU.
The February gold contract was up US$14.90 at US$1,777.60 an ounce and the March copper contract was down two cents at US$4.28 a pound.
Canada secures orders of Merck, Pfizer COVID-19 antiviral pills – Globalnews.ca
The federal government has signed purchase agreements with two pharmaceutical companies for their oral COVID-19 treatments.
Filomena Tassi, Canada’s minister of public services and procurement, told reporters on Friday the government has signed agreements with Pfizer and Merck to buy up to 1.5 million courses of their antiviral treatment, PF-07321332 and Molnupiravir.
Both treatments are under Health Canada review, Tassi added.
“We also know that access to effective, easy-to-use treatments is critical to reducing the severity of COVID infections and will help save lives,” she said.
“As soon as these drugs are authorized for use, the government will work on getting them to provinces and territories as quickly as possible so that health-care providers can help Canadians who need them most.”
As part of its initial order, the government has reached an agreement with Pfizer for one million courses of its treatment, pending Health Canada approval.
The government’s deal with Merck is for up to 500,000 courses of its treatment, with an option to add 500,000 more pending approval, Tassi added.
Pfizer, Merck press ahead with pills to treat COVID-19
On Wednesday, Pfizer started a rolling submission with Health Canada for its pill, which it said is designed to block a key enzyme needed for the COVID-19 virus to multiply.
Pfizer also said its treatment can cut the chance of hospitalization or death for adults at risk of severe disease by 89 per cent.
Meanwhile, Merck’s pill is still under review by Health Canada as the company continues its rolling submission.
Last week, Merck shared data suggesting its drug was significantly less effective than previously thought, reducing hospitalizations and deaths in high-risk individuals by around 30 per cent.
The treatment has received approval in the United Kingdom.
— with files from The Canadian Press and Reuters
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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