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Can Twitter go it Alone?



Left at the altar after seeking buyout offers from potential suitors including Google and, Twitter Inc. remains an independent company by default.

As such, CEO Jack Dorsey has little choice but to rally his troops in hopes of hastening improvements that would broaden the microblogging and video platform’s appeal — and keep predatory buyers at bay.

“The people who use Twitter every day deserve our best,” Dorsey said in a memo to staff obtained by Bloomberg on Monday.

He cited Twitter’s live video strategy, calling the company the “people’s news network. The fastest place to get information — now it needs to be the first place people check to see what’s happening.”

The 410-word memo did not mention the possibility of a sale, Twitter’s stagnating user growth, tumbling share price, or the fact that much larger rival Facebook is social media’s de facto first choice for news and information.

Along with growth worries and Twitter’s struggle to wring profits from its 313 million active monthly users, a 25 per cent drop in the company’s market value this year has ratcheted up pressure for a sale.

Some have even called for an activist investor like Carl Icahn to take control of Twitter to pare costs, retool strategy and replace senior management.

The loss of advertisers to Google and Facebook, along with disappointing engagement in the U.S., reportedly led Twitter to seek expressions of interest from potential acquirers with the process to be concluded by Oct. 27 when Twitter is slated to report third quarter earnings.

But website Recode last week said rumoured buyers Disney, Google and Apple were all unlikely to enter the race to acquire money-losing Twitter, while cloud computing company Salesforce has taken itself out of the bidding, although it along with Google are still seen as among the most likely buyers.

The indications of cold-footed suitors pushed shares down 10 per cent this week, helping to reduce Twitter’s market cap from more than $17 billion (U.S.) to $12.64 billion.

That makes Twitter more affordable, but its market valuation remains high and future profitability is very much in doubt, according to Hedge fund manager John Hempton, who in a blog post, said the answer is big cuts in spending and staff to make the company more palatable to strategic buyers.

Some analysts, however, believe the stock has farther to fall before any offer emerges from a strategic buyer or a private equity player who could shake out costs and replace Dorsey as CEO.

A possibility is that Twitter will remain independent at least in the near term, allowing Dorsey more time to hone a strategy that relies on live streaming of sports, embraces longer tweets and encourages image and video sharing interactivity.

Observers said premium subscription pricing could be applied to specialized content as a way to monetize segments of its users on an Internet network where too few brands have been willing to commit.

“It a wonderful platform . . . that would be a tasty bit for Google to snap up,” said Barry Schwartz, chief investment officer at Baskin Wealth Management in Toronto.

But he said investors are clearly disappointed with the progress Twitter has made under co-founder Dorsey on the road to monetization and profitability. Dorsey replaced Dick Costolo as CEO in the summer of 2015, although Dorsey has held onto his other job as chief executive of e-commerce company Square.

Dorsey introduced several changes in an attempt to spur user growth and engage advertisers on Twitter, including a feature that highlights the best of the San Francisco-based company’s platform at any given moment.

The company has also entered into a series of new sports-streaming deals and on Thursday announced that its live-video service Periscope will now let media companies and other users channel live video feeds directly, without the need for a smartphone to record the images.

But industry data suggest the changes have so far failed to increase daily time spent on the platform and Twitter in its most recent earnings report showed just 1 per cent sequential user growth.

It posted revenue below analysts’ estimates, with sales expanding year over year at the slowest pace since its IPO. Twitter also reported a smaller $86.4 million loss and positive free cash flow.

And despite intense volatility around Twitter shares amid buyout speculation, Deutsche Bank analyst Ross Sandler in a report said market checks point to a third quarter revenue in the high end of forecasts, along with a slight improvement in monthly active users. “We think 4Q guidance could meet/exceed consensus.”

David Trainer of research firm New Constructs, meanwhile, argues that Twitter’s live video streaming strategy holds promise, saying companies including Time Warner and Ford have signed deals with Twitter that guarantee ads on selected videos in Twitter accounts.

“Despite its growth problems, Twitter is a unique platform, not only for live videos, but also for getting fast news from a wide variety of sources,” he said.

“If the company can make it more convenient for people to use the service, and it keeps on working to improve user engagement, Twitter has a lot of room to grow.”

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Beauty Week is back at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto and it’s time to get glam



Beauty enthusiasts rejoice! Beauty Week at Hudson’s Bay is back in Toronto for another year. It’s time to stock up on all of your fall essentials and, maybe discover some new ones. 

From Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 27, you can expect a truly elevated beauty experience in-store with incredible special offers, limited-time gifts, and exciting activations. 

If you’re a diehard beauty lover, you’ll already know that Hudson’s Bay is the place to shop thanks to its extensive range of over 195 skin and makeup brands from both luxury labels and masstige brands — including Tata Harper, Estée Lauder, YSL, Nars Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, and so much more.

Throughout The Bay’s Beauty Week, visitors can take in some at-counter activations and interactive expert-led tutorials, where there will be chances to get makeup touch-ups from top-tier brands, try a spritz of the most alluring fragrances, and sample tons of new products.

This year’s Beauty Week highlight is the ‘Best in Beauty’ tote, a meticulously-curated selection of 30 deluxe samples from an array of top-tier brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and Shiseido spanning skincare, fragrance, and makeup — all in a super sleek bag.

The tote, which is valued at over $300, is retailing for just $39 and is a fantastic way to explore new products (without breaking the bank). However, there is a limited quantity, so if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll need to be fast.

Wondering exactly what Beauty Week’s free gifts with purchases entail? If you spend over $95 at Lancôme, you will receive a six-piece set valued at $130. Or, you can get an Estée Lauder gift valued at $170 with purchases over $80. (And that’s just to name a few.)

If you’re a Hudson’s Bay Rewards member, you’ll also get $20 in Hudson’s Bay rewards when you spend over $100 on beauty.

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The Canadian Armed Forces are hiring for several non-combat military jobs



The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have several non-combat jobs, some of which do not require a college degree or past work experience.

Life in the forces has several benefits, such as paid education plans (college, university and graduate-level programs), 20 paid vacation days, health and dental coverage for you and your family, maternity and paternal leave, and pension plans. You can learn more about the benefits in detail here.

And to make it easier to gauge if you qualify, the listings also include related civilian jobs to see if it’s your ideal role.

Financial services administrator

Related civilian jobs: Financial records entry clerk, financial manager, accounting technician, bookkeeper, budget officer, cashier clerk, business planner technician, and verification manager.

Description: You’ll help budget resources for all military activities besides providing financial assistance.

Education: You need to have completed Grade 10.

Duties: As a financial services administrator, you’ll be responsible for bookkeeping and managing budgets. You’ll also provide support in accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Work environment: Those in this role work at CAF bases, on ships or overseas. You might also be expected to help special operation units, recruiting offices, schools, and medical organizations.

Postal clerk

Related civilian jobs: Mail clerk, mail sorter.

Description: You’ll provide postal services to members and their families at bases and establishments.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: As the postal clerk, you’ll handle mail duties.

Work environment: Besides a postal office, you may work on a ship or a mobile postal van. You might be expected to serve with Royal Canadian Navy, the Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada and abroad.

Dental technician

Related civilian jobs: Dental assistant, dental hygienist.

Description: You’ll be helping dental officers provide dental services to CAF members, their families, and dependents.

Education: Level II dental assisting diploma from an accredited college or a National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) certificate.

Duties: Those in this role will be responsible for various responsibilities, including disinfection and sterilization of dental equipment, applying rubber dams, placing cavity liners, and controlling bleeding. In addition, you’ll assist in laboratory procedures like creating casts, custom trays, and mouthguards.

Work environment: This role will require you to work in a military dental clinic, a Mobile Dental Clinic, an Air Transportable Dental System, or onboard a ship. You might be expected to work on a base in Canada or other operations in other parts of the world.

Human resources administrator

Related civilian jobs: Records administrator, data entry supervisor, receptionist, office manager, executive assistant, payroll clerk, and information management technician.

Description: Provide administrative and general human resources support.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: In addition to human resources administration and services, you’ll be handling pay and allowances, managing automated pay systems, and maintaining personnel records.

Work environment: HR administrators work at all CAF bases in Canada. They also work on ships and overseas to support the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.

Medical assistant

Related civilian jobs: Emergency medical responder, ambulance and first aid attendant, registered nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and hospital orderly.

Description: Successful candidates will help treat the sick and injured in CAF units. You’ll be assisting and supporting nursing and medical officers.

Education: Minimum of Grade 11 biology, Grade 10 physics or chemistry, and Grade 10 math.

Duties: You’ll provide initial care and essential life support treatments in trauma cases. You’ll help with health assessments (hearing and vision tests, perform basic lab procedures, etc.) and initiate and manage medical records and reports. You’ll also be expected to provide support and first aid during training exercises.

Work environment: Medical assistants may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force or the Canadian Army as part of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. Those in this role are exposed to the same risks as the forces they support.

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Porter’s new loyalty program promises to match Air Canada’s Aeroplan status



Porter Airlines is once again stirring the pot among Canadian airline rivals, now going after Air Canada’s Aeroplan members by offering to match their loyalty status to an equivalent of their own.

The beloved airline, which recently ranked as having the best cabin service in North America, challenged the competition for the second time this year, after previously deploying a similar tactic against WestJet in the spring. 

Earlier in April, Porter presented customers with a limited-time offer to match the loyalty status of WestJet’s patrons with VIPorter levels.

Now, they’re offering Aeroplan members to seamlessly transition to an equivalent VIPorter Avid Traveller status based on their existing membership tier.

Members can then take advantage of an array of travel perks that come with flying Porter, including seat selection, baggage, and flight changes.

For those currently holding an Aeroplan membership, there are two ways to acquire the Avid Traveller status for the rest of 2023:

Status-Based Match:
  • Aeroplan 25K members = VIPorter Venture
  • Aeroplan 35K members = VIPorter Ascent
  • Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite = VIPorter First
Flight Segments-Based Match:
  • 5 flight segments = VIPorter Passport
  • 8 segments = VIPorter Venture
  • 17 segments = VIPorter Ascent
  • 28 or more segments = VIPorter First

Members will have to first submit their applications on Porter’s website. Registration will remain open until September 6, 2023.

In order to maintain their membership level through 2024, customers will have until the end of 2023 to reach the following reduced qualifying spend (QS) targets:

  • Passport = $500 in QS
  • Venture = $750 in QS
  • Ascent = $1500 in QS
  • First = $2500 in QS

Over the past year, Porter has launched an aggressive expansion strategy, including everything from introducing longer flights on newly-purchased jet planes flying out of Toronto Pearson, free WiFi, and a new all-inclusive economy experience.

With Canadians losing both Swoop and Sunwing as WestJet incorporates both into their mainline business, Porter’s direct competition is welcome to keep prices competitive.

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