Living/Working August 2, 2019

Living/Working

August 2, 2019

Class action against Tim Hortons parent accuses company of suppressing workers’ wages for years through unlawful “no-hire” agreements with franchisees

BIV's lawsuit of the week

A former baker at a Surrey Tim Hortons is suing the company’s corporate parent, claiming in a class action that The TDL Group Corp. unlawfully forces franchisees to sign so-called “no-hire” agreements to prevent employee poaching between restaurants, allegedly suppressing workers’ wages for years.

Lead plaintiff Samir Latifi filed a notice of civil claim under the Class Proceedings Act in BC Supreme Court on July 18. According to the claim, the TDL Group Corp. and its franchises employ more than 100,000 people in Canada, with approximately 3,860 locations across the country.

“In addition to being the franchisor of Tim Hortons restaurants, TDL operates Tim Hortons restaurants in the same markets as its franchisees,” the claim states. “Thus, TDL has dual roles: it is the franchisor and also a competitor of its own franchisees – TDL competes with franchisees as a vendor of food and as a purchaser of labour.”

The company’s franchise agreement contains a clause banning “franchisees from soliciting or hiring existing employees of other Tim Hortons brand restaurants.” Latifi claims the no-hire clause was a deliberate form of wage suppression to “increase profits for TDL and its franchisees at the expense of employees.

“It is in the independent interest of Tim Hortons restaurant owners to compete for the most conscientious, talented and experienced employees,” the claim states. “The No-Hire Clause artificially restricts the ability of Tim Hortons restaurant owners to compete to hire employees in a manner consistent with their individual economic interests. But by acting in concert, they protect themselves from having their own employees poached by other Tim Hortons restaurants that may place higher value on those employees for their training, experience or work ethic.”

Meanwhile, the practice has seen fast food companies ensnared in anti-trust enforcement measures taken in the United States, including Tim Hortons USA Inc., which culminated in substantially similar clauses being removed from U.S. franchise agreements.

“To date, the harm caused by No-Hire Clauses continues in Canada,” the claim states.            

Latifi seeks class certification and damages for Competition Act violations, conspiracy, and unjust enrichment. The allegations have not been tested in court and the TDL Group Corp. had not filed a response to the claim by press time.

 

 

 
Leading

Canada outflanked by strongarm superpowers

When it comes to Canada’s choices of pleasing or displeasing America or China, we are not caught between a rock and a hard place.

We are caught under two rocks.

Like the James Franco character in the movie 127 Hours, we got ourselves there with wayward adventures out of our depths. We miscalculated the circumstances.

Now, like him, wedged helplessly by boulders, we have an opportunity to reflect on our lives and decide if we will amputate a limb to get back to safety. The difference between us and the movie plot is we have two limbs from which to choose if we wish to sever.

We have time, it seems, because the Justin Trudeau government has lost its assertiveness with its two largest trading partners and most significant influences. It is, in a football sense, punting on second down rather than playing the ball and risking a fumble.

The dithering has been diminishing.

The latest pipsqueak policy approach was news last week that there will be no decision until after the October election on whether we will use 5G technology from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. The Conservatives are against doing so, and to date the Liberals have been for it. The company is working with our universities and is on a charm offensive to coax us to work together.

No one should be surprised about Trudeau’s non-move, but it is cowardly in pretending Canada does not have the data to decide and naive to think it won’t be a campaign issue. It is also harmful to the businesses whose progress depends on the technology.

Ultimately it could cost companies billions of dollars in adjusting their plans, in which case consumers will pay, or in federal restitution, in which case taxpayers will pay. Pick which pocket of ours to pick.

Most of our intelligence allies are one by one determining that Huawei – or rather, its tie to the Xi Jinping regime – is too troublesome to bear. Apart from America’s animus, which has to be discounted due to the president’s erratic pronouncements, the verdicts are in from Australia and New Zealand. The United Kingdom has taken the same kick-the-can-down-the-road approach as Canada, but it is clear that government wants Huawei to have only a minor role in the major arrival in our lives of 5G.

Canada, meanwhile, is trapped in policies it advanced in an early Xi period in which it was assumed China would be opening its markets and its democracy. Trudeau has failed to adapt to the more recent Xi posture or to engage China with something more than benign accommodation. That China can imprison innocent Canadians for months with impunity indicates our lack of spine, and that we claim without any evidence that allies have our backs in this episode indicates our lack of synapses.

We have, of course, our own Vancouver hostage in Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, at the moment wearing the only non-jewelry ankle bracelet among residents of Shaughnessy. The American government’s request to pinch her at the airport and make Canada extradite her was excessive. She could have been convicted in absentia and fined like the other purported cybercriminals the U.S. has prosecuted. But there, too, we didn’t bow up and didn’t realize this would blow up.

Instead she is an emblem of the fruitless state of our diplomacy, trade, foreign policy and place in the world. We stand to lose if the courts extradite her to the U.S. and we stand to lose if the courts deny it. One of the two boulders will exact a price.

As Donald Trump fixates on tariffs and protracts a trade war, as China retaliates and threatens nearby sovereignty, Canada finds itself in the familiar bed as the peripheral mouse, only now with two elephants who can roll over us. What did we do to deserve this? Simple: we mistakenly assumed our trading position and ambition was insurance that would supersede superpower aggression, and now we are learning that we were out of our minds to think so.

No wonder the Trudeau government has deferred a decision on Huawei. Sometimes doing nothing is way better than doing something, even if the Franco character might disagree.

 

Kirk LaPointe is editor-in-chief of Business in Vancouver and vice-president, editorial, of Glacier Media.

 

 
Spending

Secluded spa getaway in B.C. offers jaw-dropping ocean views

poets_cove/Instagram

Nestled off the Gulf of Georgia, Pender Island consists of two separate islands – North Pender and South Pender – that are divided by a narrow canal.

While it takes approximately three hours to reach them from Vancouver, the islands are well worth the journey. Not only are they beautiful, but they are blessed with a warm climate all year and plenty of things to see and do. From breathtaking beaches to lush forests, the islands are popular for cycling, fishing, hiking, boating, and much more.

For a luxurious escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, Poet’s Cove Resort and Spa offers a secluded island oasis with a number of spa amenities. What’s more, the beautiful resort offers cottage, villa, and lodge accommodations, which each offer a unique perspective on island life. The resort even has its own private marina, and a number of extremely peaceful places to watch the sun set.

There are three onsite dining options at the resort: Aurora, Moorings Café and Syrens Bistro & Lounge. Aurora offers fine-dining with stunning ocean views, and Moorings serves ice cream and coffe; Syrens Bistro & Lounge offers pub fare and live music.

Summer is relatively busy on the island, but winter is the perfect time to enjoy the island at its most serene.

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Beautiful Pender Island 😍 ⛺️

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Good morning..

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The temperature may have dipped and some facilities may have closed, but is as gorgeous as ever. Plus, this time of year, visitors simply have more if the island all to themselves. Are you ready for an escape?

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Sweet sounds of and to end the summer.

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Welcome to our cozy little slice of paradise on the shores of . It might be the off season, but our villas and cottages are still open, as well as our marina. Come and discover like a local!

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Looking for more island magic in B.C.?  Located in Courtney, Comox, the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa utilizes hydrotherapy to offer you the most revitalizing holiday experience, even in the dead of winter.

Vancouver Is Awesome

 
Spending

Here’s how to make these insanely delicious stout-infused doughnuts

Wildebeest’s executive chef Ian McHale shares his recipe that uses Twin Sails Brewing’s Con Leche Horchata Milk Stout

Ian McHale, executive chef of Wildebeest, infuses these delicious doughnuts with Twin Sails Con Leche Horchata Milk Stout for a light and fluffy texture | Photo: Dan Toulgoet

Pastry stouts are an increasingly popular beer style that combine sweet, rich malty flavours with a luxuriously full body and a high ABV. They’re basically a dessert in a can! But what about making actual pastry with them?

Chef Ian McHale of Vancouver’s acclaimed Wildebeest restaurant has done exactly that with his stout-infused doughnuts. Wildebeest is known for its locally sourced and seasonally fresh menu, and McHale, who developed his love for stouts while living in Ireland, uses Port Moody’s Twin Sails Brewing’s Con Leche Horchata Milk Stout to give the doughnut batter a unique texture. Fire up the fryer — you’re going to want to try this one for yourself!

What makes this recipe special or unique?

IM: I think this recipe is unique in the way that we use the milk stout to make the batter lighter and fluffier. It can be adapted to become a savoury doughnut, which is always different or add more sweetness to it, if you fancy the treat that way.

Why did you choose this particular beer? What sort of foods does it pair well with?

IM: I chose the Twin Sails Con Leche Horchata Milk Stout due to the sweetness and airiness it adds to the doughnut. I think this beer also goes really well with a good game dish that has a chocolate jus, proving to be a truly versatile brew when pairing with some of your favourite dishes that are rich in flavour.

What are some general tips you have for cooking with beer?

IM: I like to add beer to a recipe when I need a bit of carbonation as opposed to using say plain club soda. The flavour of beer enhances the dish and gives it another layer, which comes through really nicely with these doughnuts.

McHale

Ian McHale, executive chef of Wildebeest, infuses these delicious doughnuts with Twin Sails Con Leche Horchata Milk Stout for a light and fluffy texture. Photo Dan Toulgoet

Ingredients

5.5 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
37g baking powder
1 tsp salt
250 mL Twin Sails Con Leche Horchata Milk Stout
200 mL milk
6 eggs
3 tbsp canola oil

Doughnuts

Photo Dan Toulgoet

Directions

1. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Mix wet ingredients well in a separate bowl.
3. Mix dry and wet ingredients together with a hand mixer or a standing mixer until fully incorporated.
4. Spoon dough balls, about an ice cream scoop or one full tablespoon, into a deep fryer or pot of oil at 160 C (320 F).
5. Ensure that the doughnuts fully submerge and rotate them so they cook evenly. Cook for approximately four minutes.
6. Check doughnuts with a cake tester or toothpick to ensure they’re fully cooked.
Toss with cinnamon and sugar and enjoy!

The Growler

 
Spending

Behind-the-scenes look on the Honda Celebration of Light barge (with video)

Photo: Jennifer Gauthier

The Honda Celebration of Lights is set to kickoff the first of three, dazzling pyrotechnic displays over Vancouver’s English Bay this Saturday, July 27.

India will delight the Vancouver audience on Saturday with a show that the Mumbai-based Amir Morani Fireworks team hopes will, “win people’s hearts.” And while the group has done a number of festivals and celebrations in India, it will mark the first time that the team of five have performed at an international festival. In fact, it’ll be the first time ever that India will be represented at an international fireworks festival.

“There will be a mix of Indian songs, English songs, a little bit of Cold Play – it’s a little bit of everything,” says Amir Morani, Team Owner told Vancouver Is Awesome. “We are very excited.”

Morani adds that he’s received a great deal of support back in India, too.

“We have received a lot of messages on our FaceBook page, and on our Instagram page.”

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Photo: Jennifer Gauthier

Of course, the Mumbai-based group won’t be orchestrating the event on their own. Kelly Guillle, President, Archangel Fireworks Inc, explains that the event involves months of preparation – as well as a great deal of effort in the final days. 

“We have catering feed us here so we don’t have to leave the barge to go for lunch,” he describes.

“If every day could be eight to five that would be wonderful – but life isn’t like that during fire week.”

Guille notes that although a great deal of the products are imported, many of them simply can’t be. In these cases, Guille sources products from his facility in Winnipeg and others from Quebec. Further, he works directly with the directors of each team to ensure that the products work with their vision.

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Photo: Jennifer Gauthier

Before any of that happens, however, Guille says teams must meet a standard to simply be considered for the competition. “I need to vet the teams if I haven’t worked with them before. We don’t just bring teams to Vancouver who have a fireworks company. We need to know that they are capable of putting on a show.”

All together, Guille reports between 16 to 20 crew help assemble the show on the barge.

“Once the shells are in the gun, we put foil on them so that each one is protected from sparking,” he notes.

Have a look at how the pyrotechnicians create the dazzling effects over English Bay.

 

 

“These are what we call ‘cakes,” explains Guille as he points to some rectangular-looking boxes.

“It has one fuse and between 15 and 540 shots – it is what you’ll see kind of lower in the sky – kind of peacock tails, or the repetitive sort of break. They are scattered around the barge and if you see layers in the sky, then they are probably going off at the same time.”

He also brings out a ‘single shot,’ which he explains has no fuse involved, and goes right into the lit charge. “This is what you’re going to see when you’ve got intricate patterns that are super timed to the music.”

Finally, Guille takes us to the ‘shooting shack’ – a red shack located at the end of the barge that houses the computers that orchestrate the show.

“That’s where we fire from.”

TransLink is boosting transit service and adjusting bus routes to deal with the huge crowds for the City of Vancouver’s Celebration of Light Festival.

Music simulcast can be heard on The Breeze 104.3 FM and through the festival’s mobile app, which will be released in early summer. The winning team will be announced on Tuesday, August 6th, 2019.

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Photo: Jennifer Gauthier

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Photo: Jennifer Gauthier

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Photo: Jennifer Gauthier

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Photo: Jennifer Gauthier

Honda Celebration of Light

When: Fireworks begin at 10 pm each night.

  • July 27: Amir Morani Fireworks (India)
  • July 31: Firemaster Productions Inc. (Canada)
  • August 3: Mirnovec Fireworks (Croatia)

Where: Over English Bay.
Cost: Free

Vancouver Is Awesome

 
Exploring

What are we reading? August 1, 2019

Shutterstock

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

 

Kirk LaPointe, editor-in-chief:

Forget about being happy at work. It’s a fleeting emotion. Better if you find meaning, say the experts. - Harvard Business Review

https://hbr.org/2019/07/why-you-should-stop-trying-to-be-happy-at-work?ab=hero-subleft-3

 

It is difficult to know what to feel worse about: how Martin Luther King Jr. maintained a double life or how the FBI was determined to destroy him, even to coax him into suicide. A historian has pored through recently released records to paint a harrowing portrait of that era. - Standpoint

https://standpointmag.co.uk/issues/june-2019/the-troubling-legacy-of-martin-luther-king/

 

Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced billionaire, appears to have had a larger impact in mind over the years: He wanted to seed the human race with his DNA. - The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/31/business/jeffrey-epstein-eugenics.html


 

Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor:

Canada finds itself increasingly isolated internationally, with longtime allies the U.S. and the U.K. stumbling into xenophobia and isolationist policies, and Russia and China ramping up strongarm tactics against Ottawa. But there could be as much opportunity for Canada as there is potential conflict. - Economist

https://amp.economist.com/special-report/2019/07/25/canada-is-feeling-lonely-but-its-place-internationally-is-still-strong

 

Democratic presidential primary contender Bernie Sanders is pushing the idea of importing more Canadian pharmaceuticals to the U.S. to reduce high drug prices. Not so fast, says a coalition of Canadian medical and patient groups – there are already shortages of many prescription medicines north of the U.S. border. - CNN

https://www.wfmz.com/news/politics/canada-to-bernie-sanders-theyre-not-your-meds/1100403795


 

Glen Korstrom, reporter

Given that U.S. President Donald Trump roiled markets on Thursday with a few Twitter posts about how he would implement new 10% tariffs against $300B worth of goods from China, this tweet thread that Heidi N. Moore posted earlier in the week increased in relevance. 

I disagree with Moore’s contention that journalists should not monitor or pay attention to Twitter content, or pitch editors about what is said on Twitter. Trump proves that Twitter is a platform for world leaders to make significant and consequential statements. CEOs, such as Elon Musk, have also learned that their tweets have consequences. Here’s the part of Heidi’s long tweet-thread, which is more like an essay that she doled out in tweets, where I started reading – Twitter

https://twitter.com/moorehn/status/1154561141311528966?s=20

 

When cannabis was illegal in the 1990s, Vancouver was often dubbed Vansterdam, and cannabis use was prevalent. Many believed that the culture alive then showed a glimpse of what it would look like to have cannabis be legal. How wrong they were, writer Enzo Dimatteo argues. For him, government attempts to control the market are wrongheaded, and only acts to fuel the drive of activists to free the weed – Now Toronto

https://nowtoronto.com/news/canada-cannabis-legalization-dispensaries-canntrust/

 

Hayley Woodin, reporter:

In San Francisco, the current waitlist for a shelter bed is more than 1,000 people deep. California is looking for a way to get its homelessness crisis under control. – Vice

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/8xzwb5/california-is-desperately-trying-to-hide-homeless-people-critics-say?utm_source=vicetwitterus

 

How decades of cuts to legal aid have diminished the right to legal equality in England and Wales. (We should consider what the picture looks like in Canada, and what chronic underfunding of justice systems means for legal equality and access to justice.) – The Conversation

https://theconversation.com/legal-aid-at-70-how-decades-of-cuts-have-diminished-the-right-to-legal-equality-120905

 

BCBC calculations show B.C. businesses are paying nearly $5 billion more in taxes each year than they were in 2013 – and it’s not the result of economic growth. – BCBC

https://bcbc.com/reports-and-research/its-becoming-more-costly-and-complex-to-do-business-in-b-c