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'Numb and very lost': Meat plant reopens as union rallies, memorial held for Cargill worker – Calgary Herald

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HIGH RIVER, Alta. — The husband of a meat-packing worker who died last month remembered her as “a wonderful wife” who indulged him as he expressed his grief at a memorial Monday, the same day the plant in southern Alberta reopened after a two-week shutdown forced by a COVID-19 outbreak.

Hiep Bui, who was 67, worked at the Cargill slaughterhouse for 23 years and was responsible for picking out beef bones from hamburger meat. She became ill on her shift on a Friday, was hospitalized the next day and died on the Sunday.

“Initially she thought maybe it was a flu or a cold of some sort, (but) it was announced she truly had COVID-19. That was a very, very sad moment,” her husband, Nga Nguyen, said through an interpreter at the memorial in Calgary, 15 days after Bui died.

“I hope that Cargill will be able to control the safety at the Cargill plant so that there will not be any more victims like my wife.”

The beef-packing plant near High River, south of Calgary, closed temporarily on April 20 as cases of the illness spiked. More than 900 of 2,000 workers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

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BC Ferries will be eligible for federal bail-out funds – CBC.ca

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Officials say BC Ferries will be eligible to receive federal financial assistance from Ottawa, adding it to the list of other struggling transit agencies eligible for millions in bail-out funds.

The money comes from the $1 billion already set aside for transportation by both the federal and provincial governments under Ottawa’s Safe Restart Agreement. TransLink and B.C. Transit, facing staggering financial losses, are set to receive a portion of that funding.

“We are working … to make sure they are able to provide service as they rebuild,” said B.C. Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena.

The federal government announced last month it would be providing $19 billion to the provinces and territories to help fund a “safe restart” of the Canadian economy. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the agreement is meant to help governments pay for a variety of needs, including transit, paying for child care, bailing out financially strapped cities, and increasing contact tracing.

A total of about $2.2 billion in federal transfers will go to B.C., meant to keep people afloat as the economy reopens and to bolster provincial support programs.

How much each transit authority receives is yet to be decided.

A statement said the province is working with the agencies “to fully understand the operational and financial challenges resulting from the pandemic before determining what level of relief may be considered.”

BC Ferries will be required to bring forward a comprehensive relief proposal to the province to ask for the funding, with “all necessary information made available to support the government’s decision.”

Trevena said restoring ferry service to pre-pandemic levels and “keeping fares reasonable” will be priorities.

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Canada Goose speeds up e-commerce spending, restricts manufacturing of new clothing as pandemic impact continues – The Globe and Mail

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Canada Goose jackets are stacked up at a factory in Toronto, on April 2, 2015.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Canada Goose Holdings Inc. is speeding up its investments in e-commerce, restricting its manufacturing of new clothing, and cutting back on new store openings, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to affect its business.

The company reported on Tuesday that its first-quarter revenue plunged 63 per cent compared to the same period last year, to $26.1-million. In June, Canada Goose projected that sales this quarter would be “negligible” as it was forced to shut down its own stores, and wholesale shipments of its products to other retailers were frozen in the midst of widespread business closures.

Canada Goose’s net loss widened in the quarter ended June 28, to $50.1-million or 46 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $29.4-million or 27 cents a share in the same period last year.

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While 21 of Canada Goose’s 22 own stores have now reopened and performance is improving, the Toronto-based outerwear brand said on Tuesday that it also expects a “significant” decline in revenue in the second quarter. The company cut $90-million in costs in the first quarter.

As Canada Goose prepares for its busiest fall-winter selling season, it is speeding up investments in e-commerce improvements, including a “cross-border solution” to reach international customers in more countries.

“The online world is becoming increasingly important,” chief executive officer Dani Reiss said on a conference call to discuss the results on Tuesday.

Canada Goose is shifting its investments in new retail store openings to focus mostly on China, where the economy opened up earlier than in other parts of the world and shopping traffic has begun to recover. With more people around the world staying home rather than traveling this year, the company is hoping to serve Chinese shoppers closer to home rather than counting on its usual sales to Chinese tourists at its stores abroad. Canada Goose will double its store count in China this year with four new stores, and will open three in other markets in North America and Europe.

While Canada Goose has begun manufacturing jackets again, it plans to produce just one-third of the fall-winter goods it made in the same season last year, and is aiming to “significantly” cut back on its inventory by the end of this fiscal year.

The company is continuing to take a “brand-first” approach to its inventory, focusing on its direct-to-consumer sales through its website and its own stores, and expecting lower wholesale revenue this year. However, Mr. Reiss said on the call that the company has “enough inventory to chase orders as needed,” and that its wholesale business continues to be important. 

While many apparel companies cleared out inventory through online promotions over the spring and summer, Mr. Reiss said on the call that the danger of this strategy is that it could “dilute the value” of some products.

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“We’re a full-price brand,” he said. “Many brands became more promotional, and we did not.” 

Manufacturing products in Canada gives the company more flexibility to manage its inventory compared to other relying on offshore suppliers, chief executive officer Dani Reiss said in an interview with the Globe and Mail last month.

“We can react faster. If there’s a shift in demand, we’re able to make smaller runs of styles, closer to the season,” Mr. Reiss said. “We’re self-reliant, that’s the biggest thing. We’re not reliant on a third party to bring us goods.”

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Air Canada to launch revamped Aeroplan program in November – CBC.ca

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Air Canada is revamping its Aeroplan loyalty program in an effort to make it easier to use.

The airline says it will be an simple transition for Aeroplan members who will maintain the same account number, but go from earning miles to earning points in the new plan starting Nov. 8.

All Aeroplan miles will automatically be honoured under the new program on a one-to-one basis.

Among the other changes, additional airline surcharges, including fuel surcharges, on all flight rewards with Air Canada will be eliminated.

The airline says plan members will also be able to combine Aeroplan points with others in their household, for free.

Air Canada spun off Aeroplan as part of a restructuring of the airline, but then reacquired the loyalty program in 2019.

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