• Business struggling? Fewer customers using your services? Looking for a solution to a society that is trending away from the niche your company offers?

    The answer is obvious: Bump prices by 37 per cent.

    This and other lessons on how to run a business brought to you by Canada Post, which enacted on Monday a massive increase in the cost of stamps.

    The price of a booklet of "permanent" stamps jumps from 63 cents per stamp to 85 cents this week, as part of a massive restructuring implemented by the mail service to combat a changing marketplace.

    "For $0.85, a customer can have a letter delivered across Canada, the world’s second-largest country, in four business days," states a Canada Post alert. "A letter can be delivered within a province in three business days and within a city in two business days. This requires a costly, complex and customer-focused operation."

    [ More canada News: Dimitri Soudas fired as Conservative Party executive director ]

    A mas dressed as a mailed envelope during a protest against planned cuts to Canada Post.And if you don't buy your stamps in bulk?

    Read More »from Canada Post bumps price of stamps; mail delivery descends further into irrelevance
  • A lot of eyes will be on Quebec as the province heads into the last full week of campaigning for the April 7 general election.

    Provincial elections in Canada generally pass unnoticed by people outside the jurisdiction where it's held. There'd be a story when the writ is dropped and another when the results are in.

    Quebec is the exception. Campaigns there are national news and a lot of Canadians collectively hold their breath as votes are tallied.

    That's because no other provincial election potentially can lead to the breakup of the country. It's been that way since the separatist Parti Quebecois first took power in 1976, resulting four years later in a referendum on sovereignty association.

    The party during another stint in government came within a hair's breadth of winning a second sovereignty referendum in 1995.

    So expect plenty of coverage as the minority PQ government tries to salvage its once promising re-election effort. In the mean time, the Liberals under new leader Phillippe

    Read More »from As Quebec election enters final week, how solid is the Liberals’ lead?
  • Most of Canada suffered through the bummer part of Daylight Saving Time earlier this month – that day when we lose an hour of sleep and everything is terrible and we’re grouchy for no reason at all.

    That's the cost of Daylight Saving Time, that annual tradition we signed on for in 1918 to save resources during the Great War. That was nearly 100 years ago and the concept of playing with our clocks has been somewhat controversial every since.

    But one British Columbia town seems to have gotten it right, however, though there is now talk of change.

    Creston, a town of 5,000 just north of the U.S. border, has never observed Daylight Saving Time (DST), setting in apart from the rest of the province, nearby Alberta and the large majority of the western world.

    According to Creston government documents, the idea of observing DST has been continually raised over the years with little movement. Now, the government is considering taking the question to a referendum during a local election later

    Read More »from Creston, B.C., may finally give in to observing Daylight Saving Time
  • A birther holds up enlarged copies of Obama's supposedly forged birth certificate.You probably don't give your birth certificate much thought.

    It's an important document, to be sure. Just ask Barack Obama, some of whose opponents still don't accept his Hawaiian birth certificate as proof he's American enough to be U.S. president.

    Most of us keep our birth certificates tucked in a drawer or filing cabinet, maybe a safe deposit box at the bank, until we need it for something like getting a passport.

    But if you have a problem with your birth certificate it can strike at the core of your identity.

    Jack MacKay knows all about that. Or should we say Jack Mac Kay, which is what his birth certificate says.

    A simple typographical error has turned MacKay's official life upside down.

    [ Related: White House releases Obama birth certificate ]

    MacKay, who was born in Manitoba but now lives in Surrey, B.C., told CTV News the trouble started when he requested a replacement birth certificate from Manitoba Vital Statistics a couple of years ago.

    When the new certificate arrived, a

    Read More »from Typo in B.C. man’s birth certificate turns into bureaucratic nightmare
  • Few things are more jealously guarded in the business world than trade secrets.

    Where would Kentucky Fried Chicken be without its 11 secret herbs and spices? And when someone tried to peddle the secret formula for Coca-Cola to Pepsi in 2006, the iconic soft drink's arch rival promptly went to the cops, resulting in three arrests.

    "Competition can sometimes be fierce, but also must be fair and legal," PepsiCo spokesman Dave DeCecco told Fox News at the time. "We're pleased the authorities and the FBI have identified the people responsible for this."

    So when a human rights case involving a Tim Hortons franchisee threatened to reveal the doughnut king's trove of baked-goods recipes, the company's legal team sprang into action.

    An exasperated B.C. Supreme Court judge urged the two sides to work things out themselves, but not before Christopher McHardy, representing Tim Hortons Inc., warned that key elements of the company's business could be compromised, the Globe and Mail reported.

    Just

    Read More »from Human rights case risks exposing secret Tim Hortons recipes, lawyers say
  • Despite an ongoing scandal involving the cancellation of two Ontario gas plants and an alleged coverup that's shaking, to say the least, the province's Liberal government, it looks like voters are no closer to holding them accountable at the polls.

    While the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario hammers its drums and calls for the end of Premier Kathleen Wynne's government, the third-placed Ontario NDP still doesn’t seem to be in a rush to force an election.

    This is in spite of recently-released court documents which suggest a former chief of staff is being investigated for an alleged breach of trust.

    New information released this week suggests David Livingston, the chief of staff for former premier Dalton McGuinty, in being investigated for allegedly attempting to cover up the ongoing gas plant scandal by allowing an outside tech expert access to 24 government computers in order to clear the hard drives ahead of a leadership transition.

    The revelation inspired fresh attacks from

    Read More »from Scandal-plagued Ontario Liberal government stuck in limbo because of the NDP
  • Police officer Michael Klarenbeek shot at Brampton, Ont. courthouse in stable condition

    Ontario's Special Invesitgations Unit has confirmed a man suspected of shooting a police officer at a Toronto-area courthouse has been shot dead, CP24 reports.

    Peel Region Police officer Const. Michael Klarenbeek was taken to Sunnybrook Hospital shortly after 11 a.m. ET after police responded to reports that a shooting had taken place at the Davis Courthouse in Brampton, Ont. The 53-year-old officer, who was providing security in the courtroom, is now reported to be in stable condition.

    Early reports from the scene were confirmed by people at the courthouse via social media.

    Several witnesses have tweeted from the Brampton, Ont., courthouse that they heard a shooting and that the building was locked down. One lawyer in the building says she was ordered to stay in her office for security reasons.

    Const. Fiona Thivierge says the shooting occurred within the courthouse, but adds that the Special Investigations Unit has been called in and police are not allowed to provide any more

    Read More »from Police officer Michael Klarenbeek shot at Brampton, Ont. courthouse in stable condition
  • Know what we haven't had in a while? A good old fashioned book banning, where we get together and decide our children shouldn't read something because it's offensive or vulgar or promotes (or simply references) activities and lifestyles of which we don't approve.

    Thankfully, society rarely has to wait long for someone to read something they don't like and call for the mob.

    A Kamloops, B.C., father announced this week that he wanted the local school board to remove The Perks of Being a Wallflower from its curriculum for vulgar content and its pornographic nature.

    "The amount of vulgarity and the amount of pornography was just overwhelming," Dean Audet told a local television station this week, adding he found 41 points of offense after reading the book.

    The issue received further attention when The Province newspaper joined the debate. The father of four, whose oldest child had been assigned the book for his Grade 10 class, told the newspaper he'd fight the school board "for another 10

    Read More »from When should books like ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ be banned?
  • University of Victoria students Isabelle Couture and James Attfield did a survey of unpaid internships with the Canadian Intern Association. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
    The Ontario government has fired a shot across the bow of the province's magazine sector over the use of unpaid internships.

    The Ministry of Labour has ordered The Walrus and Toronto Life to kill their internship programs by Friday following complaints of unfair labour practices, the Globe and Mail reports.

    A ministry inspector found the magazines' programs employing aspiring journalists, designers and others in unpaid roles contravened the Employment Standards Act, the Globe said.

    The Walrus's web page for jobs and internships carried an announcement that no four-to-six-month unpaid internships can be offered unless the interns have a formal agreement for a work experience with a vocational school.

    According to Postmedia News, Toronto Life was using interns for work that was not tied to their studies. Only people doing work for school credit can participate in unpaid internships. The law requires all others to be paid at least minimum wage, Postmedia News said.

    [ Related: Backlash

    Read More »from Ontario cracks down on unpaid internships at prominent Canadian magazines
  • Toronto politics tends to dominate the headlines, especially in southern Ontario. But beyond the circus tents at Toronto City Hall, to borrow a phrase, elections worth watching are looming in cities across the Greater Toronto Area.

    Mississauga will choose a new mayor for the first time in 36 years, following news that octogenarian Mayor Hazel McCallion is not seeking re-election.

    But Brampton, often lost in the shadows of larger GTA communities, has an election tale of its own to tell, and from recent accounts it an intriguing one.

    The Toronto Star reports that Mayor Susan Fennell is facing questions after quietly requesting her salary be lowered ahead of a provincial audit last year. The move comes after Fennell was found to be the highest-paid mayor in the country.

    The issue was to be discussed at a city council meeting on Wednesday, but Fennell was a no-show.

    In a statement released that day, Fennell said her husband was admitted to hospital to undergo heart surgery. "As a result, I

    Read More »from Where will Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell rank on next list of highest-paid mayors?

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