One of Canada’s top companies will have staff work from home as much as possible — even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
The CEO of Ottawa-based e-commerce company Shopify, which became Canada’s most valuable company earlier this month, said in a tweet it’s now “digital by default.”
“We will keep our offices closed until 2021 so that we can rework them for this new reality,” said Tobi Lutke.
“And after that, most will permanently work remotely. Office centricity is over.”
Until recently, work happened in the office. We’ve always had some people remote, but they used the internet as a bridge to the office. This will reverse now. The future of the office is to act as an on-ramp to the same digital workplace that you can access from your <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/WFH?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#WFH</a> setup.
More than 5,000 people work for the firm that helps other businesses set up online stores, including at several floors of its stylish, modern headquarters in a downtown Ottawa highrise.
It just announced plans in January to open a four-floor, 6,500-square-metre office in Vancouver.
Its chief talent officer Brittany Forsyth said in a statement it’s going to keep “recruitment hubs” in those cities and others such as Toronto, Montreal and Waterloo, Ont.
“COVID is challenging us all to work together in new ways. We choose to jump in the driver’s seat, instead of being passengers to the changes ahead,” Lutke wrote.
He said many of its customers have a similar model, which will help Shopify better understand their needs.
As of late last year, Statistics Canada didn’t collect data on how many Canadians work remotely, but location of employment has begun to fade in importance as employees interact in a virtual space instead.
Twitter, for one, said last week it will let its staff work from home indefinitely.
Profit falls at TD and CIBC as loan loss provisions soar – CBC.ca
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) and TD Bank Group missed quarterly earnings expectations on Thursday, as they set aside billions to cover future loan losses due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The massive jump in provisions took the total amount set aside by Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal , Bank of Nova Scotia, National Bank of Canada , CIBC and TD Bank to $10.93 billion.
The money set aside for credit losses on both performing and impaired loans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and continued pressure on oil prices has added to pressure on Canada’s biggest lenders from decade-low interest rates.
Canadian banks have grown their oil and gas loan books faster than total lending in recent quarters, and their business loan books overall expanded during the second quarter as borrowers unable to access debt markets drew down credit lines.
CIBC posted an adjusted profit of 94 Canadian cents per share for the quarter ended April, compared with analysts’ expectations of $1.58 per share.
TD Bank, Canada’s second-biggest lender, reported an adjusted profit of 85 Canadian cents per share, missing estimates of 89 Canadian cents.
Net income was $1.5 billion at TD, down 52 per cent from last year. Net income was $392 million at CIBC, down 70 per cent from last year.
CIBC also reported lower net income across divisions and higher expenses. Controlling costs is particularly vital for CIBC, which has already said it expects expenses to grow this year at about double the rate of its rivals.
It flagged layoffs earlier this year to aid its efforts to cut costs and become more efficient.
CIBC set aside $1.41 billion in the quarter for future loan losses, compared with $255 million a year earlier, while total provisions for TD Bank jumped to $3.22 billion, compared with $633 million a year earlier.
Irving Oil Purchasing North Atlantic Refining Corp. – VOCM
A tentative deal has been struck for Irving Oil to take over North Atlantic Refining and the Come by Chance oil refinery.
Irving Oil signed the agreement with Silverpeak to acquire North Atlantic, subject to a regulatory review and the conditions of sale being met.
Silverpeak purchased the facility from the Korea National Oil Company back in 2017 amid widespread speculation that Irving was also eyeing the refinery at the time.
Operations at the refinery were idled in March due to a downturn in the industry and concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic.
The refinery shutdown came ahead of planned upgrades and expansion work that officials had indicated would extend the life of the facility.
New Brunswick-based Irving says North Atlantic Refining provides a “reliable supply of fuel products to businesses and consumers across Newfoundland.”
There’s no immediate word on Irving’s plans regarding a possible restart of operations at Come by Chance.
Irving signs purchase agreement for dormant Come by Chance oil refinery – CBC.ca
In another shakeup in the Newfoundland and Labrador oil sector, Irving Oil announced Thursday that it has reached an agreement to purchase the idled refinery at Come by Chance.
In a news release late Thursday morning, New Brunswick-based Irving confirmed it will acquire North Atlantic Refining Corp. from U.S. investment firm Silverpeak, with the deal subject to regulatory review and conditions of sale being met.
The agreement includes the refinery in Placentia Bay, which has the capacity to refine 135,000 barrels per day of oil, and North Atlantic’s network of retail sites and other marketing assets.
“As a family-owned international refining and marketing company based in Atlantic Canada, Irving Oil has proudly served the people of Newfoundland and Labrador since 1950, providing a secure supply of energy to its customers across the province,” states the news release.
The refinery stopped making fuels in March because of the pandemic, and a resulting collapse in the oil market. Hundreds of workers have been laid off.
A source tells CBC News that Irving plans to keep the refinery in “care and maintenance” mode for now.
It’s yet another chapter for a refinery that has had a checkered past since it opened in the 1970s, including five different owners, an extended closure and a political scandal at the outset.
But prior to the pandemic, the refinery was riding a wave of optimism, with performance and environmental upgrades, and plans for more.
“We are coming from what we call a basket-case refinery to become a refinery of the future,” Thomas Jenke, former CEO at North Atlantic, said prior to his departure late last year.
If approved, the deal will represent another large investment by the Irving family in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Irving Oil Limited is already a powerful player in the retail gasoline market, with a chain of gas stations and restaurants, including its iconic Big Stops. J.D. Irving Limited operates a chain of Kent home improvement stores in the province, and owns Atlantic Towing, a company that operates a fleet of supply vessels in Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil sector.
Meanwhile, North Atlantic provides fuel products to businesses and consumers across the province, and is a major contributor to the province’s economy, with some estimates putting its value to the gross domestic product at three per cent.
It has a deepwater terminal that welcomes oil tankers from around the globe, and a network of retail assets.
“Irving Oil would look forward to the opportunity to continue to provide a secure supply of energy to customers across the province,” says the press release.
Most workers at the refinery are represented by Local 9316 of the United Steelworkers. CBC has requested comment from union president Glenn Nolan.
This is not new territory for Irving. The company operates Canada’s largest oil refinery, in Saint John.
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