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Wanda is the founder and CEO of Colorado dispensary Simply Pure.

The Ontario Changing Workplaces Review has spurred much concern from businesses worried that the province will add regulations that will harm their companies in a bid to protect vulnerable workers. But for the province's franchisors and franchisees, the idea that they might be deemed "joint employers" has sparked the greatest outrage.

Labour groups contend that the joint employer clause would prevent large organizations from using intermediaries such as franchises, temporary worker agencies and contractors to shed responsibility for their work force.

The "arm's-length" relationship that has traditionally been used to protect franchisors in the case of labour law infractions by their franchisees is questionable, says Deena Ladd, co-ordinator of the Workers' Action Centre, a Toronto-based labour rights group. She says both should be considered joint employers of a franchisees' work force. Full story.

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Canada's top entrepreneurs to gather at the 2017 Globe and Mail Small Business Summit

Many of the top entrepreneurs in the country will gather at The 2017 Globe and Mail Small Business Summit on May 9th in Toronto. The annual event brings together hundreds of entrepreneurs to talk about growing their businesses. The keynote speakers are Michael Serbinis, founder of book technology company Kobo and benefits platform League, and Matthew Corrin, founder of the healthy restaurant chain Freshii. Other high profile entrepreneurs featured include Allen Lau from story platform Wattpad, designer and TV star Sarah Richardson, Steve Beauschene of Beau's All Natural Brewing Company and Mohamad Fakih, founder of Paramount Fine Foods. Full story.

Startups aid charities by committing now, paying later

A growing number of Canadian startups are pledging to turn some of their future equity into charity as a way to give back to society without giving away the early-stage profits needed to expand. The pledge is being made to The Upside Foundation, a Toronto-based national charity that enables startups to donate a small portion of their equity, usually through stock options. The foundation holds the options until when (and if) the company is acquired or goes public. At that time, the foundation cashes out the options and gives the proceeds to the company's chosen charity. Full story.

Should you ditch your job to launch a marijuana business?

It's rare for a new sector of commerce to open up, as it will when recreational marijuana becomes legal in Canada. Experienced entrepreneurs are already jumping into the sector, while others are opening their first small businesses with the hopes of tapping into the marijuana gold rush. Thinking of ditching your day job to join them? To get a peek at what you might be in for, Tracey Lindeman spoke with five American entrepreneurs capitalizing on the cannabis boom. Full story.

Private-sector program Adrenalys hopes to help small firms take big steps

A private-sector program aimed at helping small businesses grow into medium-sized companies is expanding to Ontario. Dominic Deneault, the founder of Adrenalys, says when it comes to small-business business support programs, there's a gap in the market. Now Adrenalys, first launched in Quebec two years ago, is expanding into Ontario and started accepting applications on April 11 from companies based in the province. Full story.

'Stacked industrial' development offers affordable work space in pricey Vancouver

Farmboy Fine Arts had outgrown its leased office space, and owning in pricey Vancouver didn't seem to be an option. But along came Ironworks, a new type of project that offers strata title ownership of office and industrial space. It's marketed as "stacked industrial," a vertical, midrise take on industrial spaces that includes one-third office flex space. Full story.

More small business news from around the web

Small business hiring on the rise in Canada, says CIBC

Businesses with less than 100 employees created 42 per cent of new jobs in Canada between 2010 and 2016, according to the latest CIBC Capital Markets report. That figure was up from 30 per cent of new jobs created in the period between 2000 and 2010. Full story.

A smash hit: Entrepreneurs tap into urban angst with Rage Cage

How do you spell relief from potholes, orange cones, urban rodeos, incessant rains, traffic gridlock, taxes, out-of-control cable bills and kids and parents, city doggie wars and bizarro birthday parties, racial intolerance, the threat of thermonuclear war and the Donald? How about 15 minutes of smashing discarded dishes and bottles with a baseball bat and malfunctioning computers and sound systems with a crowbar? And, best part of all, you don't have to clean up the ensuing mess. Full story.

79 per cent of Saskatchewan small business owners have negative view of budget: survey

Seventy-nine per cent of Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) members in Saskatchewan say the recent provincial budget will hurt their competitiveness. "It has just made it tougher for businesses to grow in Saskatchewan. It is going to have a ripple effect," CFIB Prairie and agri-business vice president Marilyn Braun-Pollon said. Full story.

Toronto-Waterloo tech corridor could see 18-minute flights this June

People who travel along the Kitchener-Waterloo-Toronto corridor may soon see an alternative to the often-chaotic commute on the highway. Greater Toronto Airways, which initiated air service between downtown Toronto and Niagara-on-the-Lake last September with flights that take roughly 12 minutes — about the same amount of time it takes to transfer from the TTC to a GO train at Union Station — plans to launch a new route that will connect the two ends of Canada's largest tech corridor. Full story.

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