Wednesday, June 19, 2019 View this email in your browser

Sound bites: Facebook is getting ready to launch a cryptocurrency • the Trans Mountain has been approved (again) • Canada declared climate change a national emergency • bomb threats at 4 schools in Toronto forced multiple evacuations.



No, not the astrological sign. Libra is the name of Facebook’s new cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that exist exclusively online without the limits and boundaries of a centralized banking system, i.e. the Bank of Canada. Facebook said, “Libra’s mission is to be a simple, global currency” that will give people access to a stable currency no matter where they live. The company also built Calibra, a digital wallet for the cryptocurrency – it will be available on WhatsApp (owned by Facebook), Messenger, and as its own app, which means you won’t need a Facebook account to use Libra.
But is it safe?
That’s the million dollar Libra question. Right out of the gate, Facebook said it has been working with financial regulators and reassured users that their financial data will not be shared with the social network. Along with Libra and Calibra, Facebook also announced the creation of the Libra Association – a non-profit that will help fund, build, and govern Libra. There are currently 28 founder partners, including Facebook, MasterCard, and Uber, and Facebook said it will only have one equal vote. Still, many people are skeptical because of this and this. Libra is slated to launch in 2020.

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Despite the House of Commons declaring a national climate change emergency this week, PM Trudeau approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project (again). The expansion will triple the capacity of the existing pipeline, shipping 890,000 barrels of oil between Alberta and B.C., then out to Asia. It’s also the project that stirred up drama between the Alberta and B.C. governments. Alberta argued the pipeline boosts the economy, while B.C. fought to protect the environment.
Wait, so this again?
Yep. It was over two years ago that the controversial project was first approved. The Federal Court of Appeal later ruled to halt the project due to insufficient consultations with Indigenous communities and an incomplete environmental review. After completing more consultations, strengthening marine and emergency response plans, and adding new “accommodation measures” for specific Indigenous concerns, Trudeau’s Liberal government pressed restart on the project. Well, for now. While construction of the $7.4-billion pipeline is set to start sometime this year, its route still needs to be finalized – also, the pipeline could still face lawsuits from First Nations and environmentalists. Trudeau is hoping his promise to hand over all the profits of the pipeline to clean energy projects will make a difference.


Canada’s House of Commons declared climate change a national emergency, effectively recognizing it as an urgent crisis driven by and affecting the health and security of people around the world. The motion was first put forward by Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna and passed with flying colours, 186-63 votes. But while the statement is symbolic and acknowledges the climate crisis, it doesn’t do much else. Motions aren’t obligatory, but this declaration at least confirms that Canada is working on it. The country will remain committed to meeting the Paris Agreement targets - a global goal to reduce emissions. The timing of the announcement is interesting, released just a day before Trudeau’s government announced the continuation of the Trans Mountain Pipeline (see story above).


Bomb threats at four post-secondary schools in Toronto yesterday forced multiple campuses to evacuate. Police said OCAD University, George Brown College, Ryerson University, and Humber College all received similar threats. The schools were given the all-clear later in the day and no one was injured. Meanwhile, police identified three men involved in Monday’s shooting near the Raptors Championship parade. Police are still looking for one suspect.


Pampers just announced they’re teaming up with Koala Kare (you know, the company with the cute Koala bear sticker on changing stations in public bathrooms) to install 5,000 changing tables in men’s washrooms across Canada and the U.S. by 2021. The news came after Pampers spokesperson and celeb dad John Legend posted a video of how he and other dads are forced to get crafty when changing a diaper in public. The movement originally started in 2018 with #SquatForChange, but many men’s washrooms still haven’t caught up. If Pampers is trying to change that, we’re here for it!


• Ed Sheeran released the tracklist for his upcoming album No. 6 Collaborations Project. The album, out July 12th, will feature Camila Cabello, 50 Cent, H.E.R, and Justin Bieber.

• P!nk released an emotional new music video for 90 Days, a song from her latest album.

• Sabrina Claudio teamed up with Wale on All My Love.

• Get a glimpse of XXXTentacion‘s life in a trailer for his upcoming documentary.

• Curious about abortion rights in Canada? We made you a cheat sheet.

• Big news! We’re putting on our first IRL event! Get on the waitlist so you’re the first to know when tickets go on sale.

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