Money Monitor: How much pricier are organic groceries? Some items nearly on par

Subaru is recalling about 640,000 vehicles worldwide to fix two problems that can cause them to stall.

The first recall covers about 229,000 Outback and Legacy vehicles in the U.S. from the 2018 model year. Government documents say a software problem can stop the low-fuel warning light from illuminating and make the miles-to-empty display inaccurate. The problem can cause drivers to run out of fuel and stall, increasing the risk of a crash.

Already the pot tech industry has seen the debut of Toronto startup Strainprint Technologies Inc., which makes it easy to track and manage the dosage and effects of pot, and California-founded Weedmaps, which helps users find locations throughout Canada where they can buy the substance. Also cashing in on the pot tech rush are Ottawa-based Shopify, which powers provincial and private marijuana e-commerce offerings, and cannabis companies such as Lift & Co., which runs a reviews app.

The other recall covers Subaru Imprezas from 2012 to 2014 and the 2013 BRZ, XV Crosstrek and Toyota Scion FR-S.

The question intrigued Mr. Lem so much that he eventually applied Spartans technology to a new Toronto-based venture called Lobo Genetics. Through Lobo, he created a genetic-testing device that fits in the palm of a hand and uses cells obtained through a cheek swab to measure a persons ability to metabolize THC – the main psychoactive component in cannabis – and determine someones predisposition to short- and long-term side effects.

The engine valve springs in about 411,000 vehicles worldwide can fracture, causing the engines to malfunction or stall.

The Florida-based venture, which helps users find buds to, well, smoke buds with, said it has seen a 300-per-cent increase in sign-ups since legalization and plenty of those new users are based in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

In both recalls, owners will be notified starting in December, Subaru said. In the fuel indicator recall, dealers will reprogram the software. If reprogramming tools aren't ready, owners will be notified by letter again when they are. In the valve springs recall, if parts aren't ready, owners will be notified a second time of when they should take vehicles in for repairs.

Ford Motor Co. has bought an electric scooter sharing company, expanding its presence in alternative modes of transportation.

There has been no shortage of entrepreneurs getting out there, said Dan Skilleter, Lobos director of policy and communications. The last year has been so busy for cannabis and certainly Lobo saw the opportunity.

The century-old automobile company announced its acquisition of Spin, a San Francisco-based dockless scooter sharing company, on Wednesday.

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Spin operates in 13 cities and campuses and allows riders to borrow a scooter for $1 and an additional 15 cents per minute.

Ford says the number of mobility options available to people has risen dramatically in recent years, and in some situations people use multiple forms of transportation during a single trip.

Its chief executive officer Chanel Graham said it has yet to launch because of weed shortages and required changes to legislation, but legalization has already brought a spike in interest.

"Today is a momentous day in our history as it the first of our multiple new trans-border services," said executive chairman David Tait.

Lobo believes it could be a hit with health-care practitioners and medical-marijuana users, but has also recently experienced a flurry of interest from the recreational industry.

The airline says about 30 delegates from Nevada will be on board the return flight. Those delegates are scheduled to attend an Alberta-Nevada B2B matchmaking event.

High Liner Foods Inc. says it has let go 14 per cent of its salaried employees as part of cost-cutting measures following a disappointing third quarter.

We thought the med pool was going to be first in terms of adoption, but dramatically on the rec side, there are a lot of potential opportunities, Mr. Lem said.

The frozen seafood processor says it is executing against five critical initiatives, including the organizational restructuring, that will achieve more than US$10 million net annualized run rate cost savings within the next 12 to 15 months.

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A one time charge of US$4.5 million, including US$3.3 million in the fourth quarter, will be associated with the latest restructuring.

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The company is also taking steps to simplify its business, implement one integrated supply chain, fully extract value and synergies from its Rubicon acquisition, and invest in product innovation and other things to return to profitable organic growth by 2020.

High Liner, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, reported a $44 million gross profit for the third quarter ending September 29, down $4.3 million from $48.3 million in the same quarter the previous year.

It says its net income fell $1.5 million to $4.5 million or 13 cents per share, down from $6 million or 18 cents per share in the last financial year's third quarter.

Sales in the quarter dropped by $41.5 million to $241.2 million. That's down from $282.7 million in the same quarter the previous year.

Over at Strainprint, CEO Andrew Muroff said users in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto have flocked to its product the most.

CEO Rod Hepponstal says in a statement the disappointing results reflect challenges in the external operating environment and the company's internal operations.

He says the company has moved quickly to realign the business and drive cost efficiencies, and thanked departing employees for their contributions.

Already the pot tech industry has seen the debut of Toronto start-up Strainprint Technologies Inc., which makes it easy to track and manage the dosage and effects of pot, and California-founded Weedmaps, which helps users find locations throughout Canada where they can buy the substance. Also cashing in on the pot tech rush are Ottawa-based Shopify, which powers provincial and private marijuana e-commerce offerings, and cannabis companies like Lift & Co., which runs a reviews app.

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is one of the most commonly targeted brands used by cyberthieves in phishing attacks across North America, with a more than 600 per cent surge in fake email attempts in the third quarter, according to analysis by an email security firm.

The question intrigued Lem so much that he eventually applied Spartans technology to a new Toronto-based venture called Lobo Genetics. Through Lobo, he created a genetic testing device that fits in the palm of a hand and uses cells obtained through a cheek swab to measure a persons ability to metabolize THC — the main psychoactive component in cannabis — and determine someones predisposition to short- and long-term side effects.

Vade Secure's research shows that during that period CIBC was the lone Canadian company among the top 25 brands used by cybercriminals trying to trick people into handing over their credentials and confidential data, according to the France-based company's engine.

TORONTO — One of John Lems first hints that the technology behind his DNA testing company Spartan Bioscience could be a hit with cannabis users came years ago when an executive asked him if genetics could have caused a bad reaction to pot.

The Toronto-based bank was ranked 25th and used in an average of 5.3 new phishing links per day during the third quarter, an increase of more than 622 per cent from the previous quarter, the analysis showed.

The Florida-based venture, which helps users find buds to, well, smoke buds with, said it has seen a 300 per cent increase in sign-ups since legalization and plenty of those new users are based in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

The email security firm's chief executive Adrien Gendre said each of these links, which typically mimic official webpages, can be sent to thousands of users.

It's unclear what is behind the surge in phishing activity, but one factor could be CIBC's launch of its Simplii Financial direct banking brand last year, Gendre said. When users are less familiar with what interactions to expect, they are easier to deceive with a fake email, he said.

"Every new service, it's a good target for phishing… People will click more on it," Gendre said.

Its chief executive officer Chanel Graham said it has yet to launch because of weed shortages and required changes to legislation, but legalization has already brought a spike in interest.

Vade Secure, based in Lille, France, protects more than 500 million inboxes and its conclusions were based on the phishing attacks detected by its artificial-intelligence powered platform.

Lobo believes it could be a hit with health-care practitioners and medical marijuana users, but has also recently experienced a flurry of interest from the recreational industry.

"We have multiple layers of security in place and continuously invest to safeguard our clients," spokesman Tom Wallis wrote in an emailed statement.

The email security firm's analysis comes as Canadian banks continue ramp up their spending on technology, including cybersecurity defences, and months after BMO and Simplii said that thousands of customers may have had personal and financial data compromised.

Over at Strainprint, chief executive officer Andrew Muroff said users in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto have flocked to the app it launched in 2016 the most.

In May, BMO said hackers contacted the bank claiming to be in possession of the personal data of fewer than 50,000 customers, and that the attack originated outside of Canada. At the same time, Simplii also warned that "fraudsters" may have accessed certain personal and account information for about 40,000 clients.

A leak of user data is often followed by a wave of phishing attacks or a malware attack months later, Gendre said.

Those high hopes have spread to Winnipeg, where Save the Drive is readying a platform that allows people to hire a personal shopper to buy and deliver weed.

A few years ago, grammatical errors or language mistakes would easily signal that it was fraudulent, but now these fake webpages are often indistinguishable from the real thing, Gendre added.

The three top targets in North American phishing attacks during the third quarter were Microsoft, PayPal and Netflix, but other large Canadian banks were also among the 86 brands tracked by Vade Secure.

However, with its launch and legalization lining up, Muroff said, “We did see a lift, but it is hard for me to know if it came from legalization.”

Bank of Montreal was in 33rd place with phishing activity up 317.5 per cent from the previous quarter, followed by Scotiabank in 47th place with activity up 53.1 per cent. Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank saw a drop in phishing activity, down 91 per cent and 57.6 per cent from the previous quarter, respectively, to put them in the 49h and 62nd spots.

9h ago Canadian tech firms look to cash in on cannabis with innovations and apps Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press

However, during the second quarter, RBC was in the 21st spot with an 767.3 per cent increase in phishing links, according to Vade Secure.

Bombardier Inc. announced Thursday it will cut about 5,000 jobs across the organization over the next 12 to 18 months as part of a new restructuring plan.

Bombardier has struck a deal to sell its Q Series aircraft program and de Havilland trademark to a subsidiary of Longview Aviation Capital Corp. for about US$300 million.

It also announced the sale of its aircraft's flight and technical training business to CAE, and the monetization of royalties for about US$800 million.

"With our heavy investment cycle now completed, we continue to make solid progress executing our turnaround plan," Bombardier chief executive Alain Bellemare said in a statement.

"With today's announcements we have set in motion the next round of actions necessary to unleash the full potential of the Bombardier portfolio."

The changes came as Bombardier reported a profit of US$149 million or four cents per share in its latest quarter, compared with a loss of US$100 million or four cents per share in the same quarter last year.

Revenue in what was the company's third quarter totalled $3.64 billion, down from $3.84 billion a year ago.

On an adjusted basis, Bombardier said it earned four cents per share in the quarter compared with a break-even result in the third quarter of 2017.

Longview Aviation, the parent company to Viking Air Ltd., said once it completes its deal with Bombardier it will become North America's largest commercial turbo-prop aircraft manufacturer.

The agreement includes the entire Dash 8 program, including the 100, 200 and 300 series and the in-production Q400 program.

"The Dash 8 turbo-prop is the perfect complement to our existing portfolio of specialized aircraft including the Twin Otter and the Canadair CL 215 and 415 series of water bombers," Longview Aviation chief executive David Curtis said in a statement.

"Price factors into it now that I’m a homeowner. Beforehand I didn't really care," said the 29-year-old urban planner, reaching hesitantly for a package of pesticide-free mixed greens.

Baratta tries to eat and drink with an environmental conscience. "But there’s other things that I’d rather spend my money on than organic fruits and vegetables."

Experts peg the price premium for organic food products at between 20 and 60 per cent. All but one item — spinach — out of 17 were at least 20 per cent more expensive in the organic section, according to a 2016 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Eggs and milk tended to be among the costliest.

But fret not, frugal fruit finder. Seasonal fluctuations and a longer shelf life for some products, on top of the time-tested tactics of buying in bulk and hewing toward house brands, mean organic consumption doesn't have to suck your savings dry.

Several organic and conventionally grown items consistently boast comparable prices — "The Big Five," as dubbed by Pat Pessotto, vice-president of merchandising and procurement at Longo's, a southern Ontario grocery chain.

Apples, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and pre-packed salads make up the bunch. They're often locally grown — meaning lower transport costs — and have longer storage times, making them less susceptible to price fluctuation.

"Follow the season and follow what Mother Nature is offering up for that time of year," Pessotto said. "Personally, I like snacking on organic carrots."

At a Provigo grocery in Montreal, a 900-gram bag of organic baby carrots cost $5.99, 20 per cent more than the $4.99 non-organic package.

Meanwhile, organic bell peppers and bananas cost $3 each and $1.29 per pound, respectively, versus $1.67 each and 79 cents per pound for their conventionally grown brethren — a top-up of 80 per cent and 63 per cent.

When produce is in season, the price difference drops due to greater supply, noted Andrew Telfer, vice-president of health and wellness a the Retail Council of Canada.

The price premium derives partly from higher costs for farmers who swear off products such as synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge and genetic engineering as well as growth hormones and antibiotics. But it also comes from processors and retailers who must ensure organic products don't rub leaf by jowl with non-organic items during storage or transportation — all necessary to earn organic certification from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

One of John Lem's first hints that the technology behind his DNA testing company Spartan Bioscience could be a hit with cannabis users came years ago when an executive asked him if genetics could have caused a bad reaction to pot.

The question intrigued Lem so much that he eventually applied Spartan's technology to a new Toronto-based venture called Lobo Genetics. Through Lobo, he created a genetic testing device that fits in the palm of a hand and uses cells obtained through a cheek swab to measure a person's ability to metabolize THC — the main psychoactive component in cannabis — and determine someone's predisposition to short- and long-term side effects.

Lobo believes it could be a hit with health-care practitioners and medical marijuana users, but has also recently experienced a flurry of interest from the recreational industry.

"We thought the med pool was going to be first in terms of adoption, but dramatically on the rec side, there are a lot of potential opportunities," Lem said.

The boom Lem is seeing puts Lobo Genetics among a wave of tech companies benefiting from the Oct. 17 legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada.

Already the pot tech industry has seen the debut of Toronto start-up Strainprint Technologies Inc., which makes it easy to track and manage the dosage and effects of pot, and California-founded Weedmaps, which helps users find locations throughout Canada where they can buy the substance. Also cashing in on the pot tech rush are Ottawa-based Shopify, which powers provincial and private marijuana e-commerce offerings, and cannabis companies like Lift & Co., which runs a reviews app.

"There has been no shortage of entrepreneurs getting out there," said Dan Skilleter, Lobo's director of policy and communications. "The last year has been so busy for cannabis and certainly Lobo saw the opportunity."

Those high hopes have spread to Winnipeg, where Save the Drive is readying a platform that allows people to hire a personal shopper to buy and deliver weed.

Its chief executive officer Chanel Graham said it has yet to launch because of weed shortages and required changes to legislation, but legalization has already brought a spike in interest.

"I am surprised how many people reached out right on Oct. 17, hoping that we were in operation," said Graham. "We have had quite a few customers contacting us."

The Florida-based venture, which helps users find buds to, well, smoke buds with, said it has seen a 300 per cent increase in sign-ups since legalization and plenty of those new users are based in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

Telus Corp. reported a third-quarter profit of $447 million — up from $406 million a year ago — and raised its dividend.

The company says it will now make a quarterly payment to shareholders of 54.5 cents per share, up from 52.5 cents.

The profit amounted to 74 cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from 68 cents per share a year ago.

On an adjusted basis, Telus says it earned 74 cents per share for the quarter, up from 70 cents a year ago.

Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. raised its dividend as the retailer reported its third-quarter profit and sales grew compared with a year ago.

The company says it's increasing its quarterly dividend to $1.0375 per share compared with its earlier quarterly payment to shareholders of 90 cents.

The improvement came as Canadian Tire says it earned $231.3 million or $3.15 per diluted share for the quarter ended Sept. 29, compared with a profit of $198.5 million or $2.59 per diluted share a year ago.

On a normalized basis, Canadian Tire says it earned an adjusted profit of $3.47 per diluted share for the quarter, up from $2.59 per diluted share a year ago.

Thomson Reuters Eikon says analysts on average had expected a profit of $2.85 per share for the quarter.

His company Facebook Inc. will aim to make its social media platform's users more than just friends with a new dating feature that will mark its North American launch in Canada on Thursday.

Facebook Dating, which was previously piloted in Colombia, operates with users creating profiles that are separate from their Facebook ones and kept out of sight of friends.

The company will recommend matches that users aren't already friends with, but who share dating preferences, interests and if they'd like, mutual friends or groups and events.

The offering will support text-only conversations between matches in an effort to minimize "casual encounters" by building long-term relationships instead and will attempt to reduce catfishing —using a fake online identity to trick prospective love interests — by importing ages and locations from a user's traditional Facebook profile.

"We were really thinking about how inauthentic experiences are making online dating really difficult… and preventing people from trusting online dating and forming a meaningful connection," said Charmaine Hung, Facebook Dating's technical program manager. "We wanted to make sure you could build that trust with someone."

Facebook Dating's Canadian roll-out comes as the technology giant is embroiled in privacy concerns following a series of data breaches. The most high-profile came last winter, when the company admitted the data of up to 50 million Facebook users was misused by analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. User privacy was at risk again this September when the company reported a major security breach in which 50 million accounts may have been accessed by unknown attackers.

Some experts said the dating offering will raise privacy concerns of its own and is unlikely to assuage worries about the platform — even if Zuckerberg previously claimed "we have designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning."

Tesla's board has named one of its own as chairman to replace Elon Musk, complying with terms of a fraud settlement with U.S. securities regulators.

The electric car and solar panel company's board on Thursday named Australian telecommunications executive Robyn Denholm as chairman, effective immediately.

Denholm will step down as chief financial officer and strategy head at Australia's Telstra after a six-month notice period to work full-time at Tesla, where she has served on the board since 2014.

Musk will remain as Tesla's chief executive as part of the settlement deal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The U.S. agency filed a lawsuit alleging that Musk duped investors in August with misleading statements on Twitter about securing the funding to take Tesla private.

"I believe in this company. I believe in its mission and I look forward to helping Elon and the Tesla team achieve sustainable profitability and drive long-term shareholder value," Denholm said in a statement.

Under the settlement, Tesla also is required to appoint two new independent directors, and it must review the sometimes-erratic Musk's posts about the company on Twitter. Musk and Tesla each had to pay a $20 million penalty under the September deal with the SEC, and he cannot return as chairman for three years.

Denholm has auto sector and Silicon Valley experience. She was chief financial and operations officer at Juniper Networks for nine years, and worked at Sun Microsystems. She also has held financial management posts at Toyota Motor Corp. in Australia. Telstra is the largest telecommunications company in Australia.

Musk cited Denholm's long experience in the tech and auto industries as strong advantages and said in a prepared statement that he looked forward to working with her. "She has made significant contributions as a Tesla board member over the past four years in helping us become a profitable company," Musk said.

Tesla earned a $311.5 million net profit during the third-quarter, delivering on a promise from Musk to post sustainable profits. It was only the third time that Tesla has posted a quarterly profit in its eight-year history as a public company and the first time in two years.

A big jump in Tesla's output of its mass-market Model 3 car powered the breakthrough. The manufacturing increase and moneymaking quarter are two things that Musk promised would happen.