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Trudeau, EU leader talk vaccines but no assurance Canada exempt from export controls – Global News



Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reaffirmed their cooperation in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to both Canada and Europe during a call Wednesday.

The call between the two leaders comes as Canada’s reliance on Europe for vaccines is under renewed threat, with the European Union earlier Wednesday unveiling plans to limit exports of the shots being manufactured within the continent.

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EU export controls on vaccines won’t affect Canada’s shipments, officials say

According to a readout of the call provided by the prime minister’s office, Trudeau and von der Leyen “agreed on the importance of rolling out safe and effective vaccines as quickly as possible, including with respect to continued close Canada-EU cooperation.”

On Twitter, von der Leyen said she had a “good discussion” with Trudeau about their combined efforts to combat the pandemic. A readout of the call was not immediately available from the European Commission.

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Neither the readout from Trudeau’s office nor von der Leyen’s tweet explicitly mentioned the new EU export controls, or if Canada will be exempt from them.

The EU unveiled legislation Wednesday that includes new rules that will make it harder for pharmaceutical companies producing COVID-19 vaccines in the 27-nation bloc to export them.

The rules will give the EU broad powers to curb those exports for the next six weeks. It’s seen as the latest move by the EU to ramp up its sluggish — and highly criticized — vaccination effort. The EU’s slow pace is quickly coming up against a third wave of the virus, which is already putting pressure on France and other parts of Europe.

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Trudeau said during question period Wednesday that the government was “concerned” about the EU legislation, and said cabinet members — including himself — would be in contact with their European counterparts.

Click to play video: 'EU sharpens COVID-19 vaccine export rules as 3rd wave of infections rises'

EU sharpens COVID-19 vaccine export rules as 3rd wave of infections rises

EU sharpens COVID-19 vaccine export rules as 3rd wave of infections rises

Pfizer and Moderna operations in Europe are supplying Canada with the bulk of its vaccines. Shipments from both companies are beginning to grow significantly after sluggish starts earlier this year, when production delays in Europe hampered Canada’s rollout.

Nearly 1.2 million doses of Pfizer’s shot are expected this week, alongside two separate shipments by Moderna for a total of 846,000 doses. The first of the two shipments from Moderna arrived Wednesday in Toronto.

Roughly a million doses from Pfizer are expected to arrive in Canada every week between now and mid-May.

Read more:
EU plans stricter controls for exports of COVID-19 vaccines

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None of those shipments are expected to be impacted by the new EU measures, according to a spokesperson for International Trade Minister Mary Ng, who told Global News that counterparts in Europe have provided assurances.

“Our government has been in constant contact with our counterparts in the EU and its member states, at all levels of government,” spokesperson Youmy Han said in an email.

“We will continue to work with the EU and its member states, as we have done throughout the pandemic, to ensure that our essential health and medical supply chains remain open and resilient.”

The EU also pointed out that the legislation does not amount to an explicit “export ban,” but rather to ensure its member nations have enough vaccine supply.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: WHO chief calls inequitable distribution of vaccines a ‘moral outrage’'

COVID-19: WHO chief calls inequitable distribution of vaccines a ‘moral outrage’

COVID-19: WHO chief calls inequitable distribution of vaccines a ‘moral outrage’

EU Commission sources tell Global News that vaccine exports from the EU to Canada will still be subject to an authorization request — a measure that was implemented back in January.

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At the time, those controls raised concerns that Canada’s advance purchase agreements may not be honoured, which could threaten its vaccine supply. Canada is not on a list of countries exempted from those authorization controls.

Under the strengthened rules, introduced today, those authorizations will only be granted “where they do not pose a threat to the security of supply of vaccines and their components in the Union, while also considering reciprocity and proportionality,” EU Commission sources said.

— With files from Global’s Rachael D’Amore

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Canadian Business During the Pandemic



In 2019 the world was hit by the covid 19 pandemic and ever since then people have been suffering in different ways. Usually, economies and businesses have changed the way they work and do business. Most of which are going towards online and automation.

The people most effected by this are the laymen that used to work hard labors to make money for there families. But other then them it has been hard for most business to make such switch. Those of whom got on the online/ e commerce band wagon quickly were out of trouble and into the safe zone but not everyone is mace for the high-speed online world and are thus suffering.

More than 200,000 Canadian businesses could close permanently during the COVID-19 crisis, throwing millions of people out of work as the resurgence of the virus worsens across much of the country, according to new research. You can only imagine how many families these businesses were feeding, not to mention the impact the economy and the GDP is going to bear.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said one in six, or about 181,000, Canadian small business owners are now seriously contemplating shutting down. The latest figures, based on a survey of its members done between Jan. 12 and 16, come on top of 58,000 businesses that became inactive in 2020.

An estimate by the CFIB last summer said one in seven or 158,000 businesses were at risk of going under as a result of the pandemic. Based on the organization’s updated forecast, more than 2.4 million people could be out of work. A staggering 20 per cent of private sector jobs.

Simon Gaudreault, CFIB’s senior director of national research, said it was an alarming increase in the number of businesses that are considering closing.

We are not headed in the right direction, and each week that passes without improvement on the business front pushes more owners to make that final decision,”

He said in a statement.

The more businesses that disappear, the more jobs we will lose, and the harder it will be for the economy to recover.

In total, one in five businesses are at risk of permanent closure by the end of the pandemic, the organization said.

The new sad research shows that this year has been horrible for the Canadian businesses.


The beginning of 2021 feels more like the fifth quarter of 2020 than a new year,” said Laura Jones, executive vice-president of the CFIB, in a statement.

She called on governments to help small businesses “replace subsidies with sales” by introducing safe pathways to reopen to businesses.

There’s a lot at stake now from jobs, to tax revenue to support for local soccer teams,”

Jones said.

Let’s make 2021 the year we help small business survive and then get back to thriving.”

The whole world has suffered a lot from the pandemic and the Canadian economy has been no stranger to it. We can only pray that the world gets rid of this pandemic quickly and everything become as it used to be. Although I think it is about time, we start setting new norms.

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Shopify shares edge up after falling on executive departures



By Chavi Mehta

(Reuters) -Shopify Inc shares edged higher on Thursday, recovering partially from the previous day’s fall, with analysts saying the news of planned senior executive departures may have limited impact due to the company’s deep talent pool.

Chief Executive Officer Tobi Lutke said in a blog post on Wednesday the company’s chief talent officer, chief legal officer and chief technology officer will all leave their roles.

“We remain confident it (Shopify) can continue to execute at a high level, despite the departures,” Tom Forte, analyst at D.A. Davidson & Co said, pointing to the company’s “deep bench of talented executives.”

Shopify, which provides infrastructure for online stores, has seen its valuation soar in the past year as many businesses went virtual during the COVID-19 lockdowns, turning it into Canada‘s most valuable company.

Shopify declined to comment further on Lutke’s statement suggesting current company leaders would step in to fill the three roles. After chief product officer Craig Miller left in September, Lutke took on the role in addition to CEO.

The Ottawa-based company is Canada‘s biggest homegrown tech success story, founded in 2006 and supporting over 1 million businesses globally, according to the company.

Jonathan Kees, analyst at Summit Insights Group, called the timing of the departures “a little alarming” but said the specific roles make it less concerning, given that the executives leaving are “more back-office roles.”

Lutke said each one of them had their individual reasons to leave, without giving details.

“I am willing to give Tobi’s explanation the benefit of the doubt,” Kees added.

Toronto-listed shares of Shopify were up 3.5% at C$1526.41 on Thursday, giving it a market value of C$188 billion ($150 billion). It ended down 5.1% on Wednesday.

“While we would refer to the departure of three high-level executives as ‘significant,’ we would not refer to it as a ‘brain drain,'” Forte added.

($1 = 1.2541 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Dan Grebler)

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Almost half of Shopify’s top execs to depart company: CEO



By Moira Warburton

(Reuters) – Three of e-commerce platform Shopify’s seven top executives will be leaving the company in the coming months, chief executive officer and founder of Canada‘s most valuable company Tobi Lutke said in a blog post on Wednesday.

The company’s chief talent officer, chief legal officer and chief technology officer will all transition out of their roles, Lutke said, adding that they have been “spectacular and deserve to take a bow.”

“Each one of them has their individual reasons but what was unanimous with all three was that this was the best for them and the best for Shopify,” he said.

The trio follow the departure of Craig Miller, chief product officer, in September. Lutke took on the role in addition to CEO.

Shopify, which provides infrastructure for online stores, has seen its valuation soar in the last year as many businesses went virtual during COVID-19 lockdowns. It has a market cap valuation of C$182.7 billion ($146 billion), above Canada‘s top lender Royal Bank of Canada.

It is Canada‘s biggest homegrown tech success story, founded in 2006 and supporting over 1 million businesses globally, according to the company.

“We have a phenomenally strong bench of leaders who will now step up into larger roles,” Lutke said, but did not name replacements.

Shopify said in February revenue growth would slow this year as vaccine rollouts encourage people to return to stores and warned it does not expect 2020’s near doubling of gross merchandise volume, an industry metric to measure transaction volumes, to repeat this year.

Chief talent officer, Brittany Forsyth, was the 22nd employee hired at Shopify and has been with the company for 11 years. She said on Twitter that post-Shopify she would be focusing on Backbone Angels, an all-female collective of angel investors she co-founded in March.

Shopify shares fell 5.1% while the benchmark Canadian share index ended marginally down.

($1 = 1.2515 Canadian dollars)


(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

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