What are we reading? February 18, 2021

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Each week, BIV staff will share with you some of the interesting stories we have found from around the web.


Kirk LaPointe, publisher and editor-in-chief:

We will be needing face masks for some time and the two best models are N95 and KN95. But buyer beware. There are very convincing-looking knockoffs that fool even Amazon into selling them. This piece, American in focus, is still useful for the local buyer. The New York Times



Former Montreal Canadiens goaltender Ken Dryden, one of the early versions of the tall netminder, writes that something has to change in the game now that netminders and their gear are taking such space. (As a beer-league goalie, I strongly disagree with the former Liberal cabinet minister.) – The Atlantic 



Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor:

Canada should follow the lead of the U.S. and the U.K. by deploying military personnel to help speed up COVID-19 vaccine distribution across the country, says federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. – Global News



Aggressive action by the Biden administration in the U.S. on climate change, clean energy and environmental justice puts the spotlight on how Canada will – or won’t – keep pace in the near future.

“This is our race to lose, we are well positioned, but we need to take action,” says Merran Smith, executive director of B.C.-based Clean Energy Canada. – The Narwhal



Hayley Woodin, reporter:

Let the litigation begin. A New York restaurant fired a waitress who said she wanted to research the effects of the COVID-19 vaccine on fertility before taking it. – The New York Times



Australia’s prime minister says he will “not be intimidated” by Facebook, after the social media giant shut off Australians’ access to news on its platform. – BBC



Nelson Bennett, reporter:

The Trudeau government plans to spend $70 billion to $100 billion that it doesn’t have between now and 2024. So what happens if Canada’s economy faces another economic shock a few years down the road? How will it afford to spend its way out of the next recession? The C.D. Howe says in a new report that the $250 billion already spent or allocated in federal support programs provides liquidity that will act “like pre-loaded stimulus, which will be spent and invested when the pandemic abates.” Additional stimulus may therefore not be necessary. -- C.D. Howe



Texas not only has more natural gas than any other state in the U.S., it also is the country’s largest producer of wind power. And yet Texans have been freezing in the dark, thanks to a polar vortex cold spell that froze both wind turbines and natural gas plants, and drove natural gas prices into the stratosphere. In answer to the question “what went wrong?” Business Insider answers that basically everything went wrong all at once. The fact Texas has a comparatively isolated grid meant it had limited ability to import power from other jurisdictions. -- Business Insider



Timothy Renshaw, managing editor:

Which country is winning the race to electrify light-duty vehicles? – The International Council on Clean Transportation



More insights into the future of work. Or what remains of it. – McKinsey & Co.