Liberal Budget Bill Includes Change To Stem Flow Of Irregular Asylum Seekers

OTTAWA — The Liberal government is taking steps to stem the tide of asylum seekers who’ve been crossing into Canada from the U.S. at unofficial border crossings.

Tucked into this year’s 392-page omnibus budget bill, which arrived in the House of Commons Monday evening, is a provision that would prevent anyone who has made a refugee claim in certain other countries from making another claim in Canada. The provision applies to claims made in countries with which Canada has information-sharing agreements.

Only a handful of countries qualify. The United States, through which all of the irregular border crossers pass, is one of them.

Mathieu Genest, a spokesman for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, said the change’s primary effect is expected to be on people whose refugee claims have been rejected in the United States and who then try again in Canada.

The language says that just having made a claim is enough to be rendered ineligible, however.

The provision is based on the belief that Canada’s refugee system is similar enough to that of the U.S. that anyone rejected there is likely to be rejected here as well, Genest said.

People deemed ineligible to make a claim in Canada will not necessarily be deported to their homelands. Genest said they will still undergo a pre-removal risk assessment to determine if it is safe to send them back to their countries of origin.

Canada has a “Safe Third Country Agreement” with the U.S. that treats it as a place that’s equivalent to Canada for asylum claimants. If a would-be refugee arrives at a land-border crossing from the United States saying he or she wants to make a claim, border officers turn the person back. But the agreement has a loophole — it doesn’t apply to people who are already on Canadian soil when they make their claims.

That has prompted thousands of people who fear deportation from the United States to cross the Canadian border through fields and forests.

Many of them are from countries such as Haiti, whose citizens have had “temporary protected status” in the U.S. That status prevents them from being deported to dangerous places even if their individual claims aren’t accepted. Other countries on that list include Syria, Nepal, Somalia and Yemen.

Under President Donald Trump, the United States has been trying to shorten the list.

It first cut Haiti, Sudan, Nicaragua and El Salvador. The move has been halted by a court order, but it put tens of thousands of people on notice that they could be expelled from the U.S. and has helped touch off the northward flow of people.

Although the government’s budget bill is mostly about tax and spending measures, it includes numerous other provisions on everything from immigration to airport security, formally creating new departments for Indigenous affairs and changing the borders of national parks.

A similar omnibus bill last year included a measure letting prosecutors negotiate “deferred prosecution agreements” for corporations accused of certain crimes, setting the stage for the SNC-Lavalin affair that has beleaguered the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government for months.

Loblaw Co. Gets $12-Million Carbon Reduction Subsidy From Ottawa, Sparking Online Outrage

The federal Liberal government is taking criticism online after announcing it’s giving retailer Loblaw Co. $12 million under a clean energy program.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna announced on Monday that Loblaw would receive the money on top of its own $36-million contribution to upgrade the refrigeration units at 370 Loblaw-owned stores across the country.

The government estimates the changes will reduce carbon emissions from those stores by 23 per cent.

“By investing in these projects, from coast to coast to coast, the Government of Canada is making sure we are positioned to succeed in the $26-trillion global market for clean solutions and to create good middle class jobs today and for the future,” McKenna said in a statement.

But many critics online questioned why Loblaw Co., which turned a profit of $754 million in the 2018 fiscal year, would need federal help to pay for equipment upgrades. The controversy spurred a hashtag, #LoblawsGiveItBack.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh pointed out in a tweet that Loblaw Co. shareholders recently rejected a proposal to pay workers a living wage, after company executives campaigned against the proposal. The company has also vocally opposed minimum wage hikes.

The company revealed in 2017 that it was part of a multi-year conspiracy to fix the price of bread along with numerous other food retailers in Canada.

Though Loblaw was lauded in some circles for confessing publicly to the misdeed, others criticized the retailer for attempting to turn the issue into a marketing opportunity. The company offered shoppers $25 gift cards by way of apology.

The funding for Loblaws’ retrofit comes from the $450-million federal Low Carbon Economy Challenge, a program that offers provinces, cities, Indigenous groups, businesses and non-profits co-financing for “innovative” projects that reduce carbon emissions.

CORRECTION:An earlier version of this story implied that the total cost of the project would be $36 million. In fact, this is the amount of Loblaw Co.’s contribution.

Maple Leaf Foods To Open Plant-Based Protein Facility In Indiana, After Announcing Canadian Job Cuts

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Maple Leaf Foods Inc. has announced plans to build a US$310-million plant-based protein food processing facility in the United States.

The company says the new plant will be in Shelbyville, Ind., as it works to expand its plant-based protein business.

It will also invest approximately US$26 million to keep pace with growth in demand at its existing facilities.

Watch: The health benefits of eating a plant-based diet. Story continues below.

The announcement comes several months after Maple Leaf announced an overhaul of its Ontario operations that will reduce employment in the province by about 300 people.

The company plans to spend $660 million on a new facility in London, Ont, that will replace three aging plants.

Company CEO Michael McCain said last month he sees a bright future for Maple Leaf in plant-based proteins.

The company launched Greenleaf Foods SPC in October, a subsidiary headquartered in Chicago that will add to Maple Leaf’s plant-based food offerings.

In January, the company launched a new pea-protein Lightlife burger, first with American food service companies. U.S. grocery stores will start to stock the product in late March, while the Canadian launch won’t take place until April.

“We are really, really jazzed up about this,” said McCain, saying the company seized on the rising demand of alternative proteins that look and taste like meat.

The new Indiana facility will double the company’s current production capacity and produce tempeh, franks, sausages and raw foods, the company said.

Construction is expected to start in late spring this year, with production start-up expected in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Maple Leaf says it expects to employ approximately 460 people once start-up is completed.

— With earlier reporting from The Canadian Press

Banning Bully Offers Won't Make Ontario Real Estate Any More Fair

By Penelope Graham, Zoocasa

It’s no secret that Ontario’s real-estate market has transformed dramatically since the rules that govern it — the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA) — were first established in 2002. Not only has the technology behind transactions changed from fax machines to online contracts, but unprecedented price growth and supply issues in the real-estate markets in Toronto and the surrounding GTA have bred unscrupulous and anti-competitive practices.

For example, the double-ending of transactions, where an agent represents both the buyer and seller, and collects a commission on both deals, has come under particular fire for taking advantage of clients in a hot market. So has the method of pricing listings artificially low to spur interest and incite bidding wars.

The industry and the Province of Ontario have been working to address these issues in the modernization of REBBA 2002. The first phase cracked down on double-ended deals, and proposed to strengthen the Real Estate Council of Ontario’s (RECO) disciplinary powers and increase maximum fines for unethical agents. This is all a step in the right direction to better protect buyers and sellers.

However, other proposals for REBBA’s revamping unfortunately miss the mark — namely a recent call from the Ontario Real Estate Association to ban “bully,” or pre-emptive, offers. While the proposal has the noblest of intentions in “levelling the playing field” for home buyers, such a measure would only restrict choice and agency for home sellers, while overlooking a key compliance gap that has remained prevalent in the market.

Accepting a bully offer is up to the seller

A bully offer is a bid to purchase a property before the designated offer date indicated on the listing. These offers are typically aggressive, coming in at asking price or higher, without conditions, and usually with a short expiry window. While the size of an average bully can range depending on market factors and home type, they’re meant to be large enough to sway the seller to forgo their offer night, hedging on the chance they won’t receive one or more additional offers that are more attractive. A successful bully buyer is then saved the trouble of having to potentially compete in a stressful bidding war, and the seller spared the hassle of keeping the home on the market longer than they have to.

Making, or accepting, a bully offer isn’t without its controversies. Anecdotal experience from Zoocasa real-estate agents suggests sellers in hot markets who eschew bullies and hold out for offer night are more likely to benefit from a bidding war, netting a higher selling price. As per OREA’s argument, they’re also a point of frustration for buyers, who may feel they’ve been shut out of the competition before it even started.

Therein lies the rub — this shouldn’t be the case if listing agents are doing their jobs.

Listing agents have a job to do

The existing REBBA 2002 makes it crystal clear the steps listing agents must make when receiving pre-emptive offers: should they receive a bully offer their clients are willing to work with, they must notify in writing anyone else who had expressed any interest in the property.

In a bulletin issued on Feb. 21, 2017, RECO spells out:

As they are ethically bound to always act in their client’s best interest, listing agents are obliged to ensure their sellers have every opportunity to consider all possible offers available to them — and you should expect any agent worth their salt to frantically hit the phones once a bully comes in. Unfortunately, not all agents will do this due diligence, either because they have their own vested interest in the outcome of the transaction, or they simply don’t wish to do the legwork.

This became especially prevalent during the market’s peak in early 2017, when some agents went as far as to explicitly state in listings they would reserve the right to accept bully offers without providing notice. This is in breach of REBBA 2002, and prompted a requisite warning from RECO.

This lies bare the true issue of compliance in the real-estate industry, and the need to give RECO the teeth and resources it needs to actually enforce the issue. While incorrect offer handling makes up the bulk of RECO’s complaint list, it can take months — or even years — under the current system to achieve any recourse. It is here that efforts to improve the system should be focused, rather than removing sellers’ autonomy to work with any offer they choose, regardless of when they receive it.

Penelope Graham is the managing editor of, a real-estate website that combines online search tools and a full-service brokerage to let Canadians purchase or sell their homes faster, easier and more successfully. Home buyers and sellers can browse listings across the nation, including the Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto real estate markets on the site, or with Zoocasa’s free iOs app.

Canada's Legal Cannabis 57% More Expensive Than The Illicit Kind: StatCan

TORONTO — Statistics Canada says the average cost of a gram of dried cannabis has gone up by more than 17 per cent since legalization, with consumers in New Brunswick and Manitoba seeing the biggest sticker shock.

The government agency says the average price per gram post-legalization was $8.04, approximately 17.3 per cent higher than the pre-legalization price of $6.85.

Watch: What to know about cannabis and credit cards. Story continues below.

“The purchase price from legal sources was, on average, 56.8 per cent higher than the purchase price from illegal sources,” Statistics Canada said in a report.

“Consumers purchasing from an in-store government-licenced retailer paid $10.73 per gram, making this source of purchase the most expensive.”

Statistics Canada based these conclusions on price quotes gathered using the StatsCannabis crowdsourcing application between Oct. 17, 2018 and March 31. The agency urged caution when interpreting the self-submitted data.

New Brunswick’s pre-legalization cannabis prices were among the lowest in Canada, but the province has seen the biggest post-legalization price surge with an increase of 30.5 per cent, to an average of $8.27 per gram.

Manitoba saw the second-largest post-legalization price hike with an increase of 27.7 per cent to an average of $9.14 per gram.

Statistics Canada says the highest average post-legalization price per gram was in the Northwest Territories at roughly $14.45 per gram compared with the lowest price of $6.75 per gram in Quebec.

— The Canadian Press, with a file from HuffPost Canada

Facebook Bans Faith Goldy, Canadian White Nationalists In Policy Turnaround

Facebook announced Monday that it was banning prominent Canadian white nationalist Faith Goldy from its platform, a week after the company told HuffPost that her racist videos didn’t violate its new rules barring white nationalist content.

Alongside Goldy, Facebook said it was banning other white nationalists and groups, like Soldiers of Odin, the Canadian Nationalist Front, the Aryan Strikeforce and neo-Nazi Kevin Goudreau, Buzzfeed first reported. The ban will also extend to Instagram, which Facebook owns.

Watch: Why white nationalist content is so easy to find online. Story continues below.

“Individuals and organizations who spread hate, attack, or call for the exclusion of others on the basis of who they are have no place on our services,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

Just last week, the same spokesperson told HuffPost that an explicitly white nationalist video, published to its platform by Goldy, didn’t violate the company’s rules banning the promotion or praise of white nationalist and separatist content. The spokesperson instead characterized the video ― in which Goldy calls on people of European descent to fight back against “white replacement” and describes Jews and people of color as “invaders” ― as a discussion about immigration and population statistics.

It’s not entirely clear what led to the about-face. Previously, Facebook repeatedly declined to comment on Goldy’s content, which appeared to violate its rules barring white supremacist content, even before those rules were extended to include praise of white nationalism. The company’s reaction to her video last week appeared to be its final word on the matter, and to set some kind of precedent for other extremist profiles.

Asked what changed this week, a Facebook spokesperson declined to address the change directly, saying that the company didn’t want to divulge information about its banning procedures that might help bad actors like Goldy dance around its policies. The spokesperson noted that the company continuously reviews extremist accounts, but didn’t say whether it was HuffPost’s report or another factor that led to the Goldy ban.

The spokesperson noted that hate groups can and will be banned regardless of the content they publish. All of the above groups and profiles will be erased from Instagram and Facebook, along with any affiliated posts or pages, for violating its “organized hate” policy.

“The individuals and organizations we have banned today violate this policy, and they will no longer be allowed a presence on our services,” the spokesperson said in a press release. “Our work against organized hate is on-going and we will continue to review individuals, pages, groups and content against our community standards.”

This has been updated to include additional comments from Facebook.

Australia May Jail Social Media Execs For Streaming Violence

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s Parliament passed legislation on Thursday that could imprison social media executives if their platforms stream real violence such as the New Zealand mosque shootings.

Critics warn that some of the most restrictive laws about online communication in the democratic world could have unforeseen consequences, including media censorship and reduced investment in Australia.

The conservative government introduced the bills in response to the March 15 attacks in Christchurch in which an Australian white supremacist apparently used a helmet-mounted camera to broadcast live on Facebook as he shot worshippers in the two mosques.

Australia’s government rushed the legislation through the last two days that Parliament sits before elections are expected in May, dispensing with the usual procedure of a committee scrutinizing its content first.

“Together we must act to ensure that perpetrators and their accomplices cannot leverage online platforms for the purpose of spreading their violent and extreme propaganda — these platforms should not be weaponized for evil,” Attorney General Christian Porter told Parliament while introducing the bill.

The opposition’s spokesman on the attorney general portfolio, Mark Dreyfus, committed his centre-left Labor Party to support the bill despite misgivings. If the Labor wins the election, the law would be reviewed by a parliamentary committee.

The law has made it a crime for social media platforms not to remove “abhorrent violent material” quickly. The crime would be punishable by three years in prison and a fine of 10.5 million Australian dollars (C$9.9 million), or 10 per cent of the platform’s annual turnover, whichever is larger.

Abhorrent violent material is defined as acts of terrorism, murder, attempted murder, torture, rape and kidnapping. The material must be recorded by the perpetrator or an accomplice for the law to apply.

Platforms anywhere in the world would face fines of up to A$840,000 (C$797,000) if they fail to notify Australian Federal Police if they are aware their service was streaming “abhorrent violent conduct” occurring in Australia.

Dreyfus described the bill as “clumsy and flawed,” and the timetable to pass it as “ridiculous.” Labor first saw the legislation late Monday.

May violate other countries’ laws

The bill could potentially undermine Australia’s security co-operation with the United States by requiring U.S. internet providers to share content data with Australian Federal Police in breach of U.S. law, Dreyfus said.

The Digital Industry Group Inc. — an association representing the digital industry in Australia including Facebook, Google and Twitter — said taking down abhorrent content was a “highly complex problem” that required consultation with a range of experts which the government had not done.

“This law, which was conceived and passed in five days without any meaningful consultation, does nothing to address hate speech, which was the fundamental motivation for the tragic Christchurch terrorist attacks,” the group’s managing director Sunita Bose said in a statement.

“This creates a strict internet intermediary liability regime that is out of step with the notice-and-takedown regimes in Europe and the United States, and is therefore bad for internet users as it encourages companies to proactively surveil the vast volumes of user-generated content being uploaded at any given minute,” Bose added.

Encourages censorship?

Arthur Moses, president of the Australian Law Council, the nation’s top lawyers group, said the law could lead to media censorship and prevent whistleblowers from using social media to shine a light on atrocities because of social media companies’ fear of prosecution.

“Media freedom and whistleblowing of atrocities here and overseas have been put at risk by the ill-informed livestream laws passed by the Federal Parliament,” Moses said.

The penalties would be “bad for certainty and bad for business,” which could scare off online business investment in Australia, Moses said.

Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox, a leading business advocate, said more time was required to ensure the law did not unnecessarily impinge on existing fundamental media rights and freedoms.

Scott Farquhar, co-founder of the Sydney-based software company Atlassian, predicted job losses in the technology industry.

“As of today, any person working at any company (globally) that allows users to upload videos or images could go to jail,” Farquhar tweeted. “Guilty until proven innocent.”

Fergus Hanson, head of the International Cyber Policy Center at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, saw problems in the legislation’s definitions, including how long a company had to “expeditiously” remove offence material.

Watch: Zuckerberg says Facebook won’t delay livestreams after New Zealand massacre. Story continues below.

Facebook livestreamed the Christchurch massacre for 17 minutes without interruption before reacting. Facebook said it removed 1.5 million videos of the shootings during the first 24 hours afterward.

It was filmed by Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, whose video and writings included anti-Muslim views and detailed how he planned the attack. Tarrant is scheduled to appear in court Friday and will face 50 murder and 38 attempted murder charges, according to New Zealand police.

Executives of Facebook, Google, Twitter, internet service providers and Australian phone companies met Prime Minister Scott Morrison and three ministers last week to discuss social media regulation. Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said Facebook “did not present any immediate solutions to the issues arising out of the horror that occurred in Christchurch.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday. CEO Mark Zuckerberg used an op-ed in The Washington Post last week to invite a more active role by governments and regulators to deal the harmful online content.

“The rules governing the internet allowed a generation of entrepreneurs to build services that changed the world and created a lot of value in people’s lives,” Zuckerberg wrote. “It’s time to update these rules to define clear responsibilities for people, companies and governments going forward.”

Morrison wants to take the Australian law to a Group of 20 countries forum as a model for holding social media companies to account.

New Zealand’s Justice Minister Andrew Little said his government had also made a commitment to review the role of social media and the obligations of the companies that provide the platforms. He said he had asked officials to look at the effectiveness of current hate speech laws and whether there were gaps that need to be filled.

Little said he didn’t see any irony in that people were watching hearings into a bill that would place new restrictions on guns in real time on Facebook, the same platform the shooter used to broadcast the massacre.

“There’s a world of difference, I think, between the exercise of a democratic function and a democratic institution like a national parliament, and some of the more toxic stuff that you see put out by individuals,” he said.

Associated Press writer Nick Perry in Wellington, New Zealand, contributed to this report.

Tested: Canyon’s New Women’s Bikes

The German direct-to-consumer brand’s first women-specific rigs target the pains of smaller riders, with a redesigned frame and 650B wheel options. Our writer spent a weekend testing them and came away very impressed.

Canyon Bikes are a rare sight stateside, but perhaps not for long. The German bike maker, which outfits leading World Tour teams such as Movistar, Katusha, and Canyon-SRAM, is opening up direct-to-consumer sales in the U.S. later this summer. Along with that, the brand is launching another exciting milestone: its first women’s specific road bikes—the Canyon Ultimate WMN and Endurace WMN—which I recently spent a weekend test riding.
With a goal to democratize performance, Canyon studied men’s and women’s physiology to see if there really was anything different needed in a women-specific bike. It found that, compared to men, female riders are typically shorter and lighter (that one’s a duh), have shorter arms compared to torso length (by about two centimeters), narrower shoulders, and greater pelvic flexibility. Canyon also observed that current road bike frame sizes and geometries don’t necessarily suit smaller women seeking a high performance ride. Instead, they force women to sit in a more upright, less aerodynamic, less aggressive position. Canyon used this data, along with direct input from racers on the Canyon-SRAM pro women’s team, to develop a road bike with agile handling specifically with small women in mind. 
The result are the Canyon Ultimate WMN CF SLX Disc and the Endurace WMN CF SL Disc. Compared to its unisex models, the WMN’s bikes have a shorter reach, taller headtube, and (in some cases) smaller wheels with the idea being that women of any size can ride in the same low, aero position that men are accustomed to. Both bikes are expertly crafted, with stunning attention to detail, and have nimble yet predictable handling. 

Before I get into the features, I want to mention the price: while exact pricing is TBD, we can guesstimate based on the European list prices that the Ultimate could start around $3,361, while the Endurace would start at $2,240. That's a tremendous bargain—as is the sub-$7,000 price tag for the fully tricked out models I tested. Additionally, there’s an aluminum version of the Endurace (not tested) that starts at $1,680. Canyon’s WMN bikes will be available for U.S. buyers in August.  

(Courtesy of Canyon)

The Ultimate is Canyon’s more aggressive race rig, while the Endurace is built for all day comfort. Don’t mistake “comfort” for “casual,” though. My position on an XS Endurace WMN CF SL Disc 9.0 was only marginally more relaxed than on an XS Canyon Ultimate WMN CF SLX Disc 9.0, especially in the drops. The Endurace’s comfort primarily comes from a slight kink near the base of the seat tube designed to absorb shock during long days in the saddle. (In a direct comparison against the Ultimate, it definitely smoothed out one particularly bumpy road.) It also has slightly larger tire clearance—up to 33-millimeter tires—for adventuring off-road. 
Both carbon fiber rigs are exceedingly light. Due to a slimmer, angular toptube and downtube, the Ultimate’s frame, weighing in at 765 grams (or about 1.7 pounds) for the XS, is 6.5 percent lighter than its unisex counterpart, while maintaining the same stiffness to weight ratio. The complete bike weighs 15.4 pounds. Between its narrower tube shapes and its ergonomic cockpit (a unified bar and stem combination optimized for women’s smaller hands), these WMN bikes are also more aerodynamic than Canyon’s unisex models. 
These features harmonize once you start pedaling. At a county line dash, the Ultimate felt solid and responsive as I sprinted out of the saddle. And as I navigated a pitchy climb, there was no feeling of having to lug it uphill. On descents, Canyon’s bikes sliced through switchbacks with gusto. While it lends itself towards agile handling, that ergo cockpit put more weight on the bike’s front end than I was accustomed to. However, by day two I was ripping through turns with a huge grin on my face, the Reynolds Assault wheels of my Endurace WMN carving a tight line, tires firmly gripping the pavement underneath. When a squirrel made a kamikaze dash across the road, its powerful hydraulic disc brakes quickly dashed my hopes of a downhill PR, but more importantly, kept the road free of skin—or fur. Electronic SRAM Red eTap shifters ensured I snapped back into a comfortable climbing gear once the road turned uphill again. 

Canyon’s WMN bikes are easily some of the best women's specific whips I’ve ridden. The Endurace, while similar in function to a Specialized Roubaix, feels sportier and more modern. And the Ultimate certainly rivals other top-of-the-line race bikes, such as the Liv Envie Advanced Pro or a Specialized Amira Expert, in terms of handling, responsiveness, and aerodynamics. 

Canyon centered its women’s sizing around an XS, so its frame sizes range from 3XS at the small end to medium at the largest. The smallest two sizes—the 2XS and 3XS—are unique in today’s landscape in that they’re built around 650B wheelsets, which have a 584-millimeter diameter compared to the 622-millimeter diameter of a 700C wheel. This means that women 5’5 and under, such as Canyon-SRAM’s Trixi Worrack, can be lower and more aggressive on the bike. Canyon made a couple other customizations so that these smaller bikes look and feel the same as their larger counterparts, including smaller disc rotors, sub-compact 52/36 chainrings (instead of a compact on sizes XS+), and smaller-sized cockpits. 
A smaller wheel size does come with a tradeoff though: limited wheel options. KT Swiss and SRAM plan to offer 650B wheels, Canyon representatives said, while Schwalbe is currently the only tire maker for this size on the road. 

Need Bike Clothes? Go Grocery Shopping.

Lidl, a German grocer and Pro Tour sponsor that recently opened in the U.S., is launching a line of bike apparel and equipment that could save you hundreds over the competition

If you’ve ever complained that cycling equipment is too costly, take note: at supermarket chain Lidl, you can buy an entire kit—jersey, shorts, and cleats—for under $75.

The German grocery giant has carved out its niche across the globe by offering a tightly curated range of goods, many private labeled, at exceptionally low prices. Part of the company’s model is to supplement its perishable stocks with weekly promotions of non-food items, from power tools to kitchen appliances, which are available at outstanding costs as long as stock lasts. The cycling gear, which launched as part of the company’s third cycle of such specials, is part of Lidl’s (pronounced lee-duhl) Crivit sportswear line. “To inspire our communities to live a healthy lifestyle, we like to offer this fitness collection at affordable prices,” says Jessica Haggard, a spokeswoman for the company. 

The cycling line consists of just 10 items to start, including a quick-drying jersey for men and women for just $14 and padded shorts and bibs for $20. Gloves will go for $7, socks for $4, and cycling shoes for $40. Other items in the line include a mini-pump for $7, bike lock for $5, and photochromic glasses for $40. Those prices may make you question the quality, though judging by the shoes—which appear to be a Boa-dial and Velcro strap model with mounts for three-bolt and SPD-style cleats—the gear looks credible. 

Lidl is no stranger to the cycling market. The company has sponsored Pro Tour cycling team Etixx-Quickstep for the past two seasons, which includes high-profile racers including Mark Cavendish, Tony Martin, Tom Boonen, and World Champ Michael Kwiatowski. The team annulled its contract with its previous grocery supplier to bring on Lidl, which team manager Patrick Lefevre heralded as a step forward for the cycling industry, calling the German grocer, “perhaps the largest private company that is stepping into cycling.” Meanwhile, Lidl touts its experience with Etixx-Quickstep as informing its Crivit cycling gear.

Lidl, which has 10,000 stores in 28 countries, opened its first U.S. operations on June 15, with 10 stores across North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The company, which has also confirmed locations in Georgia, Ohio, and Texas, is opening four more locations on July 13 and plans to have over 100 stores across the east coast by the end of Summer 2018.

While the new cycling apparel line, which went on sale on June 29, will only last until stock is out, Lidl says that consumers can expect to see more of the gear in the future. “I can't speak to exactly how many times it will be in store per year, but at least several times a year,” says Haggard. “We definitely see demand. There are local cycling groups in almost every market we are currently in.”

The 10 Movies at Telluride Mountainfilm That We’re Most Excited About

The iconic film festival has quite the spread this year, from a Nepalese man who gathers poisonous honey on high cliffs to a couple of pro climbers tandem-riding a scooter in an ode to ‘Dumb and Dumber’

Telluride Mountainfilm is one of our favorite film festivals because it offers such a great overall experience. Are you a film buff? Of course you’ll like it. Do you want to have meaningful conversations about conservation and the refugee crisis? This is your place. Do you just wear a lot of puffy jackets? Get in your Toyota Tacoma and see what you’re missing.

Whether or not you can make it out this weekend to the 2017 festival, you can watch some great featured films, many of which will premiere there. We’re anticipating these most.

‘The Last Honey Hunter’

In Nepal, Mauli Dhan Rai climbs rope ladders up cliffs to collect poisonous honey from the world’s largest honeybee. Who doesn’t want to watch that? Plus, it’s directed by Ben Knight, who you probably know from Denali, DamNation, and a great many fish-related films. 

‘Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey’

If you know climbing, you know Fred Beckey, the now nonagenarian legend who’s both a controversial figure and veritable encyclopedia of the sport. Director Dave O’Leske spent ten years making the film—watching the trailer, you may gather that it has something to do with Beck’s independent and ornery nature. (Expect many variations of, “I don’t care.”) 

‘Lunag Ri’

“Fewer people have been up Lunag Ri than have been on the moon,” says Conrad Anker in the most romantic description of a first ascent we’ve heard in a while. In this documentary, the 54-year-old mountaineer and 26-year-old Austrian sport climber David Lama attempt the 22,661-foot peak together. You may remember the emergency that befell their trip, but you’ll also see Lama’s return to his fatherland (his Nepalese father trained as a trekking guide here) and Anker’s signature mentorship storyline, which never really gets old. 

‘Freedom of the Wheels: For Matt and Will Every Adventure Is a No Brainer’

Pro climbers Matt Segal and Will Stanhope have created another labor-intensive buddy comedy to follow Boys in the Bugs, which made the rounds in festivals earlier this year. This one’s brand new and it takes place on a scooter. Specifically, Segal and Stanhope riding tandem on a scooter for 200 miles to Aspen, Colorado, as an homage to Dumb and Dumber. Our expert analysis predicts that the goofiness of Boys in the Bugs will pale in comparison to this. 


You might know Midway Island as the remote piece of land in the North Pacific Ocean that’s become an accidental garbage dump. And you might know Chris Jordan as the creator of a disturbing series of photos showing dead seabirds on the island, their stomachs cut open to reveal a tangle of plastic items. Together, they make for a unique take on the nature documentary. Jordan spent several years traveling to the island to film the tens of thousands of albatross that have died on the island. 

‘Safety Third’

Director Cedar Wright spends a lot of time with Alex Honnold, as many will remember from his Sufferfest series. In Safety Third he spends some time with another astonishingly talented free soloist, Brad Gobright—who has, in fact, been compared to Honnold. The 30-minute edit draws attention to an underrecognized climbing star (with accompanying dirtbag lifestyle quirks, like a diet of sprinkled donuts and scraps from work) and should be crammed with as much humor as any of Cedar Wright’s film. 

‘A Field Guide to Losing Your Friends’

This documentary has a devastating start: Tyler Dunning loses his best friend to terror-related bombings in Uganda in 2010. But things take a hopeful turn when Dunning sets out to visit all 59 U.S. national parks, hoping to find a way to cope. The mission isn’t entirely original, but the parks really do provide touching backdrops for a tough narrative on dealing with grief. 

‘Chocolate Spokes’

Gregory Crichlow is a striking character, not only for the fact that he’s always seen wearing a bow tie but also for his commitment to the bikers of Denver, Colorado's Five Points neighborhood—a historically black and Hispanic neighborhood in the midst of gentrification. Chocolate Spokes is a look at Crichlow’s bike shop of the same name. It is both character study and meditation on the role one custom bike store can play in a community. The director, multihyphenate Brendan Leonard, continues his record of bringing endearing amounts of enthusiasm to any subject he tackles.

‘No Man’s Land’

No Man’s Land takes on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation just a year after the fact, which could explain why director David Byars makes a point of keeping things “rigorously nonjudgmental.” We’re eager to see how the Mountainfilm grant-winner tackles the much-discussed events. 

‘HAFE: The Story Behind’

The syndrome known as HAFE is an anomaly in the field of emergency medicine—a high-altitude stomach problem with symptoms that sound so tongue-in-cheek, it’s surprising that the Western Journal of Medicine published a serious study about it in 1981. Similarly, HAFE: The Story Behind is a bit of a wildcard at Telluride—six minutes of strange, silly fun. All you need to know of the plot: two medical school grads take a trip into Colorado’s San Juan Mountains and make a very unexpected discovery that we won't spoil here.