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BreakingBreadNow.com expands to Alberta to save us from our own cooking

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Friends have been breaking bread for millennia, it turns out that competitors in tough times can as well.

Due to a massive flood of support and requests BreakingBreadNow.com has expanded into Alberta and across Canada in just a few short days since its conception.

On March 13th, thanks to Shelley McArthur Everett, representatives from twenty-three independent and locally owned Vancouver restaurants sat down and broke bread as it were. McArthur Everett explains, “In unity there’s strength, and at now more than ever we need to rally around each other to support the hospitality community as well as all of those people in the supply chain who depend on them for their livelihoods in whatever ways we can,” continuing, “With Breaking Bread Now, we’ve created an easy to use online hub for guests to support local, independent restaurants and ensure that they not only weather this storm but come out the other side stronger for it.”

Exploding in popularity from day one in Vancouver, then within days quickly catching fire in nearby communities and now the website has been opened to other local, independent restaurants in Canada. “The response has been overwhelming – not just from restaurants themselves but from the community at large,” she says “People are stepping up and pitching in to show their support for front-line workers in the hospitality community during this unprecedented time, it’s so rewarding to see people rally together for the greater good by supporting local small and independent businesses.”

Stepping up to get this idea going was an “easy decision” for McArthur Everett, she has been involved in a variety of roles in the hospitality industry in her career and is now the Principal from SMC Communications, a Vancouver communications company that caters to this community. With many jurisdictions across the country banning sit-down service, this idea  came just in time, “Breaking Bread Now is all about keeping the passion alive through a very difficult time, showing customers how they can help support small, independent restaurants at a time when they need it the most.” She said with pride.

Just add alcohol

Breaking Bread Now is easy to use, just click on the city you live in, pick a restaurant that interests you, look at their curbside-side pick-up, meal prep and delivery options. Their phone number, website link with menus options are there. Just that easy, your dinner’s is getting made!

If you are an owner of a local and independent restaurant, Breaking Bread is easy to sign up and get involved.

Website with worldwide ‘live’ Coronavirus stats

 

Business

Home Depot gave personal data to Meta without valid customer consent: watchdog

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Ottawa – Retailer Home Depot shared details from electronic receipts with Meta, which owns the social media platform Facebook, without the knowledge or consent of customers, the federal privacy watchdog has found.

In a report released Thursday, privacy commissioner Philippe Dufresne said the data included encoded email addresses and in-store purchase information.

The commissioner’s investigation discovered that the information sent to Meta was used to see whether a customer had a Facebook account.

If they did have an account, Meta compared what the customer bought at Home Depot to advertisements sent over the platform to measure and report on the effectiveness of the ads.

Meta was also able to use the customer information for its own business purposes, including user profiling and targeted advertising unrelated to Home Depot, the commissioner found.

It is unlikely that Home Depot customers would have expected their personal information to be shared with a social media platform simply because they opted for an electronic receipt, Dufresne said in a statement.

He reminded companies that they must obtain valid consent at the point of sale to engage in this type of activity.

“As businesses increasingly look to deliver services electronically, they must carefully consider any consequential uses of personal information, which may require additional consent.”

Details of a person’s in-store purchases might not have been sensitive in the context of the home-improvement retailer, but they could be in other cases, revealing information about an individual’s health or sexuality, he added.

At a news conference, Dufresne suggested the Home Depot matter was not an isolated case.

“Our investigation focused on one organization, one situation, but our sense is that these tools are widely used. And this is why the message today is that all organizations should review their practices.”

Home Depot told the privacy commissioner it relied on implied consent and that its privacy statement, available through its website and in print upon request at retail outlets, adequately explained the company’s use of information. The retailer also cited Facebook’s privacy statement.

The commissioner rejected Home Depot’s argument, saying the privacy statements were not readily available to customers at the checkout counter and shoppers would have no reason to seek them out.

“The explanations provided in its policies were ultimately insufficient to support meaningful consent,” Dufresne’s statement said.

He recommended that Home Depot stop disclosing the personal information of customers who request an electronic receipt to Meta until it is able to put in place measures to ensure valid consent.

Home Depot fully co-operated with the investigation, agreed to implement the recommendations and stopped sharing customer information with Meta in October, the commissioner said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2023.

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Meta funds a limited number of fellowships that support emerging journalists at The Canadian Press.

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Alberta

Alberta halts rate hikes on auto insurance for private passenger vehicles for 2023

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Edmonton – The Alberta government says it will not approve any more rate hikes for auto insurance on private passenger vehicles until the end of the year.

The government says in a news release that it shares concerns from the public and is imposing the cap while it works to find long-term solutions.

The move comes more than three years after the United Conservative Party government lifted a cap on hikes imposed by its NDP predecessors.

Finance Minister Travis Toews had previously resisted calls to reinstitute the cap, calling it an ineffective stopgap solution while pointing to reforms his government made in 2020 to stabilize rates over the long haul.

The government now says factors like inflation and supply chain issues for auto parts are affecting rates in the short term and must be addressed.

Premier Danielle Smith had called for her government to take action on insurance late last year, after a report commissioned by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia found Albertans are paying among the highest rates  in Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2023.

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