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The Gates Way to a Better Future: Olive



“[The] hybrid engine of self-interest and concern for others can serve a much wider circle of people than can be reach by self-interest or caring alone.” — Bill Gates

Bill Gates is not the antidote to what could be a new era of self-obsession ushered in by the rise of Trumpism. But the humanitarianism of Gates, who has been engaged in philanthropy full-time for the better part of two decades, reminds us that normality still consists in helping others.

Gates, 61, co-founder of Microsoft Corp., and his wife, Melinda, are the co-chairs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates’ have saved millions of lives in their campaigns against diseases to which children are acutely vulnerable, and have saved lives among adults by providing prevention and treatment programs for HIV/AIDS and other deadly diseases.

By 2007, the latest year for which calculations are available, the Gates philanthropies had already helped save close to six million lives.

That number has since expanded, due to the ripple effect of the continuing Gates cash infusions. Other donors have been drawn into both the Gates’ causes and unrelated ones, inspired by the Gates’ high rate of success — in, for instance, eradicating polio in all but two countries in Africa.

There are several Gates foundations, many of them partnerships with the U.N., UNICEF, the World Bank, regional and national governments, NGOs, and prominent leaders in business and other fields.

The foundations are focused on carefully selected causes where they can act forcefully and show significant, measurable results. The Gates’ do not sponsor “safe” causes — the ballet, the opera, the Boy Scouts. Gates causes include anti-poverty programs, advances in education, better crop yields for subsistence farmers, microfinance and other gateways to economic opportunity in low-income regions, and enhancement of the lives of girls and women.

“We have to look specifically at women and girls issues,” Melinda Gates recently told The Wall Street Journal, describing the admirably holistic approach of the Gates’ philanthropy, “or we are not going to get the GDP rise that we want — if you don’t start them on the right path of great health, education and decision-making, and then economic opportunity.”

The Gates’ philanthropy was most recently in the news with this month’s announcement of a $1 billion (U.S.) Gates-led fund that will invest in advanced alternative-energy technologies.

A relatively modest initiative by Gates standards, the Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund (BEV) otherwise takes the Gates model. It is an international joint venture whose 20 partners hail from three continents and several countries, including China and Saudi Arabia.

The BEV partners, many recruited from Silicon Valley and other world tech centres, are well accustomed to failure. They are unusually patient and have a high tolerance for risk. Calling it a “20-year fund,” the BEV investors are willing to wait two decades for a breakthrough to prove itself.

And the BEV is focused rather than scattershot. Its investments are limited to just five of the biggest sources of CO2 emissions — electric power generation, buildings, manufacturing, transportation, and agriculture. (Primitive cultivation methods largely account for the world’s worsening shortage of fresh water supplies.)

“We need affordable and reliable energy that doesn’t emit greenhouse gas to power the future,” Gates said in unveiling the BEV. “And to get it, we need a different model for investing in good ideas and moving them from the lab to the market.”

Over the next four years in the U.S., it’s a sound bet that federal government money for alternative-energy research and other aspects of fighting climate change will be frozen or actually reduced. The incoming U.S. presidential administration is a cheerleader for the coal and oil production that is most heavily complicit in global warming. And Trump has picked a long-time climate-change denier to head his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

America’s looming four lost years is not unlike the anti-science ethos of former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper. But a note to the fearful: That too shall pass. The current Trudeau government has two cabinet posts devoted to scientific advancement, and climate change has been elevated to cabinet-level status.

In these darkening days of philistinism spreading across Europe and in the U.S., it is heartening to see that the humanitarian instinct still thrives, even if for the moment it does not command the headlines.

The Gates’ have already donated more than half of their wealth, an amount exceeding $30 billion, toward their goal of donating all of their fortunes. Warren Buffett, the world’s second-richest person, has committed 99 per cent of his fortune to the Gates’ principal foundation.

The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the world’s biggest conglomerate, decided that the Gates were more effective philanthropists than he could hope to be. Buffett has already given more than $30 billion (U.S.) to Gates’ initiatives.

The Gates phenomenon has its antecedents in the philanthropic careers of Canada’s Kenneth and David Thomson and the Weston family, and John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie in the U.S. The latter’s “Gospel of Wealth” held that the man who dies rich dies disgraced.

One doesn’t look to Rockefeller and Carnegie, ruthless operators in their business pursuits, for purity of character. For that matter, Gates’ other giant work, Microsoft, was convicted as a monopolist enterprise. These men achieved a certain nobility only in turning to philanthropy. Their legacy is the antithesis of the Wall Street motto “He who dies with the most toys wins.”

Donating money intelligently is no easy thing. Through careful planning, the philanthropists of renown provided exactly the long-term good they intended. Most of the public libraries Carnegie built in Toronto are still in use a century or so after they were built. And a generation of Canadians in the Far North got their first experience with a personal computer from the PCs donated to them by Gates in one of his earliest philanthropic endeavours.

Bill Gates continues to recruit fellow billionaires to commit at least half of their accumulated wealth to charity. By now, this growing group of donors ranges from veteran tycoons such as Ted Turner to new kids on the block like Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook Inc.

It would be delusional to imagine that one couple, or even an arena packed with billionaires, can rival the immense resources of government in eradicating poverty, spurring grass-roots entrepreneurialism in the developing world, or saving our species from extinction by global warming.

But it would also be wrong to think that humanitarian progress has been arrested. The Gates’ remarkably persistent quest to marshal resources to improve quality of life is oblivious to election cycles.

The Gates’ and their kindred spirits, poised to grow in number as income inequality worsens and the sobering early effects of global warming become more pronounced, won’t take their eyes off the prize. To the contrary, the Gates continue to press the wealthiest to exchange their fortunes for something far more valuable — the chance to improve quality of life for countless others.

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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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