Top News

THE WRAP: Smart pivots, big money for women's tech, fear and loathing in lobster land

Danielle Graham is the investment principal for Sandpiper Ventures, the Atlantic Women’s Venture Fund’s first venture capital initiative.
Danielle Graham is the investment principal for Sandpiper Ventures, the Atlantic Women’s Venture Fund’s first venture capital initiative. - SaltWire Network

Your week in business


Perspectives on Business is a weekly newsletter recapping trends and insights from our business editor. Subscribe here. 


Danielle Graham has $20 million with your name on it

Growing up in Namibia and Ethiopia beside young women who weren’t even allowed to go to school gave Sandpiper’s boss a life-changing introduction to how gender bias can close doors. Now she’s opening them with a by-women, for-women venture capital fund that’s looking to invest up to $1.5 million in as many as 20 tech enterprises on the East Coast.

Uber gets a Lyft

Taxis wait at a stand on Spring Garden Road in Halifax. - Eric Wynne
Taxis wait at a stand on Spring Garden Road in Halifax. - Eric Wynne

The Nova Scotia government switched up its requirement for drivers to retake the road test to drive for a ride-share outfit. Hey Halifax, say hello to Uber. (Upside: More choice. Downside: Your money goes to a company that pays no corporate income tax in Canada.)

Digby Pines does a 360 (plus five)

The Digby Pines, which opened 115 years ago, will undergo extensive renovations starting this fall to convert it into a year-round property. - SaltWire Network
The Digby Pines, which opened 115 years ago, will undergo extensive renovations starting this fall to convert it into a year-round property. - SaltWire Network

New owners at the once-government-owned golf and relaxation resort say they’re going to do a reno and open year-round. They’ll start by keeping the golf course open through October, then get busy with the winter makeover.

Kinduct's McDonough cashes in but not out

Travis McDonough, CEO and founder of Kinduct, a performance and health data firm, poses for a photo in his Halifax company's boardroom on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020.Ryan Taplin
Travis McDonough, CEO and founder of Kinduct, a performance and health data firm, poses for a photo in his Halifax company's boardroom on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. - Ryan Taplin

Money, an ownership stake, a seat on the buyer's board and, a couple of years out, an IPO that should make him even richer. No wonder Travis McDonough, who just sold his sports performance data company to mCube, feels like he's won the Stanley Cup. Here's the deal.

Celtic Air takes wing

Celtic Air Services is offering a diverse slate of helicopter tour packages geared toward those in the Atlantic bubble. - Contributed
Celtic Air Services is offering a diverse slate of helicopter tour packages geared toward those in the Atlantic bubble. - Contributed

When golfers and tourists from away stayed away – grounding David Morgan’s lucrative scenic helicopter tour business—he went out and bought Quebec-based Axair and its eight-seater, fixed-wing Cessna. Now he’s helping fill the void left by airlines that killed regional routes with a new charter offering.

Everybody’s PAL

A rainbow welcomed PAL Airlines' first flight from Moncton, N.B. to St. John's early Monday afternoon, with an assist from airport firefighters. - Andrew Robinson
A rainbow welcomed PAL Airlines' first flight from Moncton, N.B. to St. John's early Monday afternoon, with an assist from airport firefighters. —- Andrew Robinson

PAL Aviation Services scored two wins this week. First, the Newfoundland outfit launched a new direct route connecting St. John’s and Moncton. Then it picked up another award as top operator. Check out the mummers’ video below. 

Super Calfrac-tious

The Texas billionaire Wilks brothers have launched a hostile bid for Calfrac Well Services. Hostile to the investors and creditors group that had the inside track and includes Halifax’s George and Sime Armoyan. Maybe not so hostile to other shareholders who are being offered a bit more a share for their holdings. Here’s how that’s going down.

Royal Greenland gets the green light

Danish-owned company Royal Greenland got involved in fish processing in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2016 with the acquisition of Quin-Sea Fisheries. - Contributed
Danish-owned company Royal Greenland got involved in fish processing in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2016 with the acquisition of Quin-Sea Fisheries. - Contributed

Yes, not so fast and too late, it’s a done deal. That’s the short version of the dustup this week over a sale of three and a half Newfoundland fish plants being sold to a company owned by the Greenland government. The fish harvesters’ union is worried about ownership being concentrated and shipped offshore. The minister, not so much, and folks in St. Anthony are likely just happy that the deal clears the way for the plant to reopen next year.

A little Muskrat love?

Nalcor Energy announced Wednesday that it has achieved the first power flow from the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric development. — CONTRIBUTED - Contributed
Nalcor Energy announced Wednesday that it has achieved the first power flow from the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric development. — - Contributed

It sounds like a carnival ride but the Atlantic Loop mention in Wednesday’s Throne Speech could mean Newfoundland ratepayers catch a break as Canadian taxpayers climb aboard to help fund infrastructure to get Muskrat Falls powers to more markets and the East Coast off coal. The news came just as the first power went to the grid from the $13-billion and counting project.

Lobsters, rights and money

A fishing vessel from the Sipekne’katik First Nation sails out towards the fishing grounds after seven moderate livelihood licences and tags were given to some of its members following a ceremony at the Saulnierville wharf on Sept. 17.- Tina Comeau
A fishing vessel from the Sipekne’katik First Nation sails out towards the fishing grounds after seven moderate livelihood licences and tags were given to some of its members following a ceremony at the Saulnierville wharf on Sept. 17- Tina Comeau

They say a watched pot never boils. Well federal inattention has let the lobster dispute between native and non-native harvesters do just the opposite. So far, it’s yielded threats, hundreds of seized traps and, maybe, rubber bullets. Federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan will have her hands full with this one. She's meeting with Sipekne'katik band next week.


PERSPECTIVES
 

Hospitality’s cry for help

It’s pretty dire when you have to ask for permission to make money to pay your taxes, but that’s where the pandemic’s put us. Patrick Sullivan says much of Halifax’s hospitality sector is toast unless bars and restaurants can pack in more patrons, at least from within the COVID-free Atlantic Bubble. And he got some backing this week when regional council got an update and a warning from city staff about shuttered businesses and a carpet-bombed tax base. Bit of relief from Ottawa, too, with the extension of wage subsidies.

Facing down Facebook

Confession time. I did a little fist pump Wednesday when the feds finally said they planned to do something about Facebook making billions from other people’s content and shipping it out of the country tax-free. This will be a long fight as Facebook already threatened to block content from Australia when folks there threatened to tax and regulate. As they say Down Under, “Good on ya."

What’s your net worth?

Maybe you want to know, maybe you don’t. If so, check out The Money Lady column.


That’s The Wrap!

Have a tip or comment? Email me at biznews@saltwire.com.

Back next Friday. Until then, give a little thanks: for dodging Teddy, keeping COVID at bay and getting back to business.

~ Brian Ward

Brian Ward.
Brian Ward.

Brian Ward is SaltWire Network's managing editor for business.  


Want to get this newsletter in your email inbox every Friday? Subscribe here.

Did this story inform or enhance your perspective on this subject?
1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

Recent Stories