Students, We’ve Got Your Back.
Canadian exporters lack confidence, woes of protectionism…
By Cydney Melnyk
Last week, Canadian trade confidence fell 19% to its lowest level on record. One word – YIKES.
According to Export Development Canada’s (EDC) Trade Confidence Index, the results are a reflection of the level of confidence and trade expectations among Canadian exporters. The index compiles results from a survey, which is conducted twice a year, and includes responses from 823 Canadian exporters.
In terms of sectoral rankings, transportation came in at the bottom of the list, sitting just below extractives, which have faced financial hardship due to a global decline in oil prices.
Global economic challenges were reported to have the greatest impact on trade confidence. Canadian exporters expect a slow and choppy global economic recovery due to COVID-19. In addition, protectionism was cited to be affecting trade confidence of Canadian exporters as Canada-China trade tensions put Canadian exports to China at risk.
Wait, what’s protectionism?
Protectionism is the economic policy of restricting imports from other countries. Prior to the pandemic, global trade was decreasing. Now in the midst of COVID-19, protectionist arguments have come to the forefront as the pandemic has highlighted how global supply chains can deprive people of essential medical protection and disrupt food supplies. Overall, a shift towards protectionism and re-emergence of trade conflicts that were paused by the pandemic is worrying.
What can we expect next?
With more than 80% of Canadian exports sent to the United States, experts urge businesses to “keep their heads up and eyes open” as the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement (the new NAFTA) has just come into force last week.
StopHateforProfit (A.K.A., The Facebook Boycott…)
By Ruhee Ismail-Teja
Major brands are taking part in an advertising boycott against Facebook over racist content and hate speech, called “StopHateforProfit.”
The coronavirus pandemic and racial inequality protests have created an overwhelming (and tbh, very saddening) amount of hate speech. Facebook has done very little to stop this, claiming it’s committed to users’ free speech.
A whopping 99% of Facebook’s revenue, $70 billion over the last year, is generated through advertising. So, in an attempt to hit Facebook where it hurts, a coalition of 800 companies have boycotted advertising on Facebook until the end of July. Major brands include The North Face, Coca-Cola, Ford, Unilever, Microsoft, Arc’teryx, and Starbucks.
Facebook’s share price dropped 8.3% after the boycott was announced. But, just three days later, the stock price had fully bounced back.
And what did Facebook exec Mark Zuckberg have to say about it all? “My guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough…We’re not going to change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small percent of our revenue.” If you were hoping for a grovelling apology and promise for change, I’m sorry to disappoint.
Given Facebook’s size and companies’ reliance on Facebook for advertising, people are skeptical of whether the boycott will last long enough or cut deep enough to really affect Facebook. Some analysts predict the boycott will cost Facebook $250 million in ad sales…not much when you’re raking in $77 billion.
Fun fact: Germany’s government banned hate speech on social media platforms by holding platforms (e.g. Facebook) accountable, rather than the person who posted it. At €50 million, fines are pretty hefty, and it has significantly decreased online hate speech.
So, it’s not whether Facebook can regulate speech, it’s whether it wants to.
It’s (Less) Hard Out There for a Student…
By Claire Porter Robbins
Remember what it was like being a broke student? Now imagine throwing a global pandemic into the mix.
If you are still a student, you probably don’t need the reminder. This has been an *unprecedented* year for summer job cancellations, a stock market decline that has shook RESPs, and any number of additional financial stressors.
Looking for relief? Here’s the DL on the government’s financial support programs for students:
Canada Emergency Student Benefit: If you haven’t applied yet, get on it! This grant is for those who have been unable to find work due to COVID-19, and don’t qualify for CERB for EI.
Canada Student Service Grant: Put your skills to service for your community – and get some cash to support you along the way. The federal government will provide $1,000 for every 100 hours of volunteering, up to $5,000. Find more info and volunteer opportunities here and through the Canada Service Corps.
Canada Student Loans: Not an ideal option, but if you do need to take out a loan or take out more money from your pre-existing Canada Student Loan, know that the maximum loan limit has risen from $210 to $350.
Scholarships: We know, we know. Scholarship applications are tedious and often seek a very specific set of skills or applicant. But if you have extra time on your hands, now may be the time to try a student essay writing contest or get writing those personal statements. Check out this scholarship database, and if you’re an Indigenous student, check out this one, too.
And if you’re still looking for a summer or longer-term job, check out our Insta explainer on job hunting.