Crosscountry: Canada at a glance – December 2016

Lululemon says it will move its Vancouver headquarters overseas if it does not receive an exemption from the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and Netflix Canada reportedly offers higher quality films than its US counterpart.

GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS

Help wanted

Vancouver-based apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc. warns that it will be forced to move its 1,200-employee head office overseas if it is not given an exemption from the federal government’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), reports the Vancouver Sun. The company employs 10,000 workers worldwide, including 3,400 in Canada.

The TFWP requires companies to advertise job openings to Canadians for a lengthy period before hiring workers from foreign countries. But that hampers Lululemon’s ability to recruit senior managers and design specialists from international apparel hubs such as London and New York. The company is asking for the same exemptions that Ottawa gives to Microsoft, the film industry and universities.

ENTERTAINMENT

Netflix naysayers

Divines on Netflix

Netflix subscribers in Canada often complain that the company’s movie library here is weaker than in the US. In terms of sheer numbers, that is true. But the quality is higher, reports The Huffington Post. A common reference in the movie world is the Internet Movie Database’s (IMDb) Top 250 list, a ranking of movies by the site’s users.

In the US, only 33 of the top 250 movies are offered, while Netflix Canada has 49, or about 20% of the list. And while only one of the top-10 titles (Pulp Fiction) is available in the US, we have five in Canada. That said, Netflix Canada’s offerings look far less stellar when compared with those in France (55 top-250 titles), Sweden (70) and Brazil (85).

FOOD INDUSTRY

Cows in Beijing

Some success stories defy the odds. Who could have predicted that an ice-cream parlour in Cavendish, PEI, called Cows would become a chain with two shops in China? At the end of October, Cows Inc. was listed as one of the 10 finalists for the national 2016 Private Business Growth Award, The Chronicle Herald reports.

Founded in 1983, Cows was truly a plain vanilla parlour — Vanilla was the only flavour you could get. But one day, a customer asked for a Cows T-shirt. That was the start of an adventure that took the company into 10 other locations across Canada, as well as two in Beijing.

BIOMONITORING

Space suits

Marc Garneau

Health monitoring has been given a huge boost into outer space with Astroskin, an advanced biomonitoring garment made by Montreal-based Carré Technologies that will be used aboard the International Space Station.

Astroskin consists of a “smart shirt” with integrated sensors and health monitoring so ware that reads blood pressure and oxygen levels, skin temperature, heart rate and electrical activity, among other functions.

Carré Technologies was awarded a contract with the Canadian Space Agency to continue developing the garment. The announcement was made by Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport and the first Canadian in space, and astronaut David Saint-Jacques. 

About the Author

Yan Barcelo


Yan Barcelo is a journalist in Montreal.

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