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Vancouver's Glacier Media posts $12.2-million quarterly loss, largely due to "impairment expense" related to COVID-19 – Straight.com

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B.C.’s largest publicly traded media company says its just-released interim financial results may need to be adjusted in the future, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its management discussion and analysis, Glacier Media said this is because new information “may emerge concerning its severity, its duration and actions by government authorities to contain the outbreak or manage its impact”.

“As a result, it is possible that circumstances may arise which cause actual results to differ from the estimates applied in these interim consolidated financial statements and such differences affecting Glacier’s future financial position and results cannot be determined at this time.”

On Friday (May 15), the corporation included a $10.9-million “impairment expense” in its first-quarter operating statement.

Its net loss for the period ending March 31 was $12.2 million.

That was significantly higher than the $1.3-million net loss in the first quarter of 2019.

In a footnote, Glacier stated that the impairment expense was heavily linked to the pandemic’s impact on its cash-generating units.

The most sensitive to COVID-19, according to Glacier, are its B.C. Community Media Group and its Commodity Information Group.

On March 11, the World Health Organization described COVID-19 as a pandemic. That was followed by a severe economic contraction in Canada, throwing three million people out of work in March and April.

On April 2, Glacier shut down the Vancouver Courier community newspaper and launched a print edition of Vancouver Is Awesome as an alternative means to distribute advertising flyers.

Glacier’s first-quarter revenue of $43.3 million was slightly down from the $44.3 million recorded in the same quarter of 2019.

First-quarter advertising revenue of $29.27 million was nearly $1.4 million below the figure achieved in the first three months of 2019. Commercial printing fell by 20 percent to $1.7 million.

However, its subscription, data, and services revenue increased by seven percent in the first quarter over January to March of 2019 to reach $12.3 million.

Glacier’s long-term debt rose from $18.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 to $23 million in the first quarter.

In addition to its more than 60 online and print media outlets, the company owns the Glacier Resource Innovation Group, Glacier Farm Media, Castanet, REW, STP ComplianceEHS and ERIS (Environmental Risk Information Services).

Glacier shares closed at 30 cents on Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Its market capitalization is $37.7 million.

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5 Takeaways From Capitals' Post-Season Media Availability – The Hockey Writers

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For the Washington Capitals, 2021-22 is over and the post-mortem has already begun. The club from D.C. crashed out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last week, falling in Game 6 to the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Florida Panthers.

However, the season, which hinged on the team’s shaky goaltending, perhaps shouldn’t have ended in the first round. Washington blew leads in each of the final three contests of the series, leaving a dark cloud of “what if?” hanging over the squad this offseason.

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While there’s no shame in losing to Andrew Brunette’s electric Panthers, defeat in Round 1 reopens a nasty can of worms: has the window to win shut on the Capitals – and, if so, what should happen next?

On Sunday (May 15), general manager (GM) Brian MacLellan, head coach Peter Laviolette, and a string of key players sat down with reporters to discuss exactly that. Here are five takeaways from the Capitals’ post-season media availability:

MacLellan: Capitals Will ‘Explore Changes’ to Roster

Following the Capitals’ latest playoff exit, plenty of unresolved questions about MacLellan’s roster hang in the air at Capital One Arena. His stars aren’t getting any younger, there are issues to address in the crease, and the club’s progression has stalled since hoisting Lord Stanley back in 2018.

“We’ve lost in the first round [for] the last four years: we’re going to explore changes,” MacLellan told reporters. “I don’t think anything is off the table. We’re going to talk to different teams and monitor the trade market. We have to identify free agents.”

Handily, MacLellan has cap space to weaponize this offseason. The 63-year-old will have at least $6.5 million to play with once Justin Shultz and Michal Kempny shuffle towards unrestricted free agency.

Also of note: Washington’s GM was relatively wishy-washy when it came to discussing the future of Laviolette, whose three-year contract expires next summer.

“I think we’re going to keep that between management and the coaching staff,” MacLellan said coyly. “I thought [Laviolette] did a good job, he managed a difficult situation with the number of injuries we had to our forwards.”

In the immediate future, though, MacLellan’s biggest headscratcher occupies the blue paint, not the bench.

Washington’s Goaltending Options: Stick or Twist?

By now, you probably don’t need me to recount the story of Washington’s flimsy netminding double-act: it was a major source of contention throughout the regular season and bubbled over in the playoffs.

“We’ve got to make a decision on what to do and [how to] fit it under the cap,” MacLellan said of his situation in goal.

Quizzed on whether he’d like to acquire an experienced netminder to replace Vitek Vanecek and/or Ilya Samsonov, both restricted free agents this summer, he added: “We’re going to explore it. I don’t know if it’s a deep market, we’ll talk to other teams and evaluate.”

Ultimately, MacLellan has three debates to settle ahead of the draft:

  • Should he extend Vanecek, who is slightly more consistent, or Samsonov, who is younger and has a higher ceiling?
  • Assuming he’ll trade the surplus netminder, what assets will he seek in return?
  • Will he complete his tandem (probably with an out-and-out starter) via trade or free agency?

Settling the Capitals’ goalie controversy is priority No. 1 for MacLellan this offseason. He can’t afford another “pretty good but not great” campaign from his puck-stoppers. Change is coming.

Tom Wilson’s ‘Significant’ Knee Injury

If not for Tom Wilson’s injury in Game 1, would the Capitals have seen off the Panthers in the first round? We’ll never know, but it’s one of the “what ifs?” that will sting supporters of the D.C. franchise until the puck drops for 2022-23.

Despite suffering a concussion earlier in the campaign, the Canadian enjoyed a career year in 2021-22. He registered 52 points (24 goals, 28 assists) in 78 regular-season appearances, and later added a playoff goal to his tally as well.

“I was trying to get back and trying everything I could,” Wilson said of his injury. “Every person you walk by was like, ‘When are you back? We need you back.’ That was tough: I wanted to be out there. So, you feel like you let people down and that sucks.”

Tom Wilson Washington Capitals
Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The 28-year-old, who opted not to disclose specific details about his “significant” knee injury, added: “It’s going to be a grind for me [because] I’ve got to start my recovery. It’s always nice to have goals and a clear mindset of what you need to do as an athlete. We’re getting with the doctors and we’ll go from there.”

There is, however, some positive news for Capitals fans: Wilson’s injury shouldn’t keep him out next season, per MacLellan.

Nicklas Backstrom’s Long-Term Fitness

As reported by THW’s Ted Starkey, Nicklas Backstrom’s health is a major source of concern for the Capitals this offseason. The 34-year-old told reporters that his hip will “never be 100 percent again,” adding that he has decisions to make regarding his future.

Related: Capitals’ Offseason May Be Altered by Backstrom’s Decision on Future

“Obviously we’ll see what’s going to happen,” Backstrom said. “We have some decisions to make. Those decisions aren’t finalized yet, so we’ll take it day by day.

“The best thing I want to do is play hockey, and that’s my life Obviously, I want to be back. I want to be back to normal, not worrying about this. We’ll see what’s going to happen. Nothing is finalized yet.”

When asked if the Swede could be facing a career-ending injury, MacLellan kept his cards close to his chest.

Nicklas Backstrom Washington Capitals
Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

“I think he’s going to explore all options here,” he explained. “He wants it to be better. He wants to be more physically comfortable when he plays, so he’s going to explore it.”

Backstrom registered 31 points (six goals, 25 assists) in 47 regular-season outings in 2021-22, taking maintenance days throughout the year to rest the hip he underwent surgery on in 2015.

Alex Ovechkin offered the most optimism about Backstrom’s future of those speaking at Washington’s post-season media availability: “He’s a tough man, I’m pretty sure he’s going to be better next year. He’s a leader and I hope he’s going to be better.”

Ovechkin’s comments aside, the situation is relatively bleak. Backstrom has three years left on his $9.2 million contract: it isn’t unreasonable to be concerned about how his health will impact Washington moving forward.

Carl Hagelin’s Eyesight Update

Since taking a stick blade to the eye in practice on March 1, Carl Hagelin has stayed away from reporters. He broke his silence on Sunday, acknowledging that his future was unclear.

“It’s not going to be 100 percent,” the 33-year-old said of his eyesight. “We’ll see where it ends up, but the rupture of the choroid is the main issue.”

Hagelin has returned to the ice since undergoing two operations on his eye and has relied on former teammate Marc Staal, who suffered a similar injury in 2013, for inspiration.

Washington Capitals Carl Hagelin
Carl Hagelin, Washington Capitals (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

“Every time, after I talk to him, it’s been great for the mental aspect of it,” he explained. “It’s always put me in a good mood; it’s always been positive. He said it, ‘it’s all about patience.’ It takes time, and at the end of the day you’ve got that one good eye that’s going to carry you.”

While there isn’t a firm timeline for Hagelin’s return, he plans on playing next season. For now, though, it’s a waiting game to scrutinize as his recovery unfolds.

Capitals Approach Offseason of Major Significance

In the aftermath of a bumpy season, Washington’s head office will now turn its attention to the future. This year’s NHL Entry Draft is important for the Capitals: they must find value in the later rounds while hitting on their early picks to bolster their prospect pool.

MacLellan also has a narrow needle to thread in free agency. Sourcing adequate support for his ageing core will shape the Capitals’ fortunes in 2021-22: he can’t afford to overpay for fringe talent.

Ultimately, though, Washington is another year closer to the end of the Ovechkin Era – which creates new pressure and anxiety for the organization to shoulder. Is the Cup window shutting or is it already closed? We’ll find out next season.

Image: Luke James

Luke is an award-winning sports journalist from London, England. In addition to his work on the Washington Capitals beat for THW, he covers the Elite Ice Hockey League for British Ice Hockey and world soccer for numerous publications, including on Substack. To stay up to date with his content, follow @LukeJames_32 on Twitter.

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Media Advisory – Arthritis Society raising money and awareness at Diamonds & Denim event – GlobeNewswire

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Toronto, ON, May 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Philanthropists and party- enthusiasts are invited to don their best “comfort meets luxury” attire for the Arthritis Society’s Diamonds & Denim cocktail party.

The event will feature live music, dancing, delicious food from The Food Dudes, creative cocktails, and the chance to raise awareness about Canada’s most common chronic condition. Six million Canadians live with the fire of arthritis – that’s 1 in 5.

There will be many opportunities for creative social content including the chance to see what wearing more than $50,000 in diamond feels like.

Date: Friday, May 27, 2022

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Location: Steam Whistle Brewing, 255 Bremner Blvd., Toronto

Tickets are $250 and available at arthritis.ca/diamondsanddenim.

 

Media Information:

Danielle Milley
dmilley@arthritis.ca
Cell: 416.206.3638

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Student wins national competition for social media tool aimed at reducing misinformation – IT World Canada

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Arvin Jagayat, a psychology student at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University), has received an award for his efforts to reduce the spread of misinformation online.

Jagayat is one of five winners of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) national 2022 Storytellers Challenge, and received a C$4000 cash prize.

The competition challenges Canadian post secondary students to tell the story of how social sciences and humanities research is impacting our lives, our world, and our future for the better.

The five winners were announced during the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences (Congress 2022), Canada’s largest academic gathering, taking place virtually this year from May 12 to 20.

How it works

Arvin Jagayat

Jagayat, a fifth year PhD student in Toronto Met’s psychology program, created an open-source Mock Social Media Website Tool that can generate simulated social media websites and collect detailed behavioural data on how participants interact with them.

In numerous experiments, his tool was used to examine what motivates people to maintain positive social identities and withhold spreading or interacting with misinformation.

“It’s really hard to measure social media behaviour in a controlled manner,” he said. 

Jagayat said that studies which collect tweets online and run analyses on tweets, which have been done before, don’t really have an idea of the context behind an individual’s decision to engage with something on social media. 

“So what this website allows researchers to do, is to take complete control over the social media environment. Which platform do you want to simulate? What posts do you want? What attachment do you want on those posts?” he explained. “When you actually go to interact with it, not only do you have incredibly detailed behavioural data on what they like, which links did they click and so on, but you can be very certain, because you created this controlled environment, that it’s only because you presented them with this set of posts that they interact in that manner.”

The mock social tool shows a user a series of posts, like news articles, photos, and videos. Users can react by liking or responding with emojis as well as commenting. At the end of the demonstration, it will reveal the list of misinformation they reacted to, if any.

Jagayat said that by being able to control what type of information that he and the rest of his team presents to people, they can look at these different types of misinformation individually and experimentally. He added that in some studies the team did, they were able to compare the same piece of misinformation across different languages and how it’s presented

“We have an idea on the sort of broad scale that maybe some content induces strong negative emotions in people, like fear or anger. But what are the specifics of that content? Those are the questions that we can answer using the tool that are not as easily done with other existing methods, or come with different caveats that make it hard to generalize some cases,” he said.

Creating the tool

Jagayat said he got interested in finding a way to help solve misinformation issues in 2016, just after the U.S. presidential election, where a lot of discourse on social media emerged. 

He started to look into designs of different social media platforms to see if there is any correlation between how a platform looks physically and how misinformation spreads. 

For example, he wanted to look into why misinformation spreads so fast in certain formats, such as on the messaging app WhatsApp. 

“I thought if we had some sort of open source tool that in the future many different people could contribute to… It could help facilitate so much research, not just on misinformation, but stuff like hate speech, racism, or even positive psychology; different things make people happy. It’s not necessarily negative behaviour or misinformation that the tool is designed to assess, it’s any social media content. So at that point, I was like, it can be something powerful. I know it didn’t exist because I’ve tried to look for it,” he said. 

Jagayat said he is constantly working on ways to update the tool. He said he often receives requests from different researchers asking him to add features. 

Right now the group is working to make the platform simulate Facebook and has plans to add a Twitter simulation as well. For the future the goal is to also be able to make the platform look like Instagram, Reddit and TikTok.

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