Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s business and investing news quiz. Join us each week to test your knowledge of the stories making the headlines. Our business reporters come up with the questions, and you can show us what you know.
This week: Melinda Rogers-Hixon and Martha Rogers announced they are leaving the board of Rogers Communications. Their departure from the company signalled a truce in the long-running conflict between the two sisters and their brother Edward Rogers, the company’s chairman. Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum convened its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. And two big, big projects were unveiled in Ontario and Alberta.
Also: The parent company of Tim Hortons added something new to its offerings and Sheryl Sandberg offered a status update.
1National Bank warned this week that Canada is caught in a “population trap.” What does that mean?
a. Canada is aging rapidly.
b. The Canadian population is too concentrated in Ontario.
c. Young couples aren’t having enough children.
d. Record levels of immigration are overwhelming Canada’s capacity to absorb newcomers.
d. Iimmigration levels are overwhelming Canada’s capacity to absorb newcomers. National Bank economists say “staggering” population growth of 1¼ million people over the past year is driving up home prices and straining social systems. They suggest annual population growth should be reined back to 300,000 to 500,000 people.
2An Alberta power producer announced a new partnership this week aimed at building the province’s first:
a. Industrial-scale solar farm
b. Nuclear power reactor
c. Biomass generator
d. Green hydrogen power plant
b. Nuclear power reactor. Capital Power Corp., which already generates power from natural gas, wind and solar, will team up with Ontario Power Generation to assess the potential for building small modular reactors in Alberta.
3Billionaire investor Bill Ackman has lashed out at Business Insider for an article about his wife, Neri Oxman, a former university professor. The story alleges:
a. Ms. Oxman plagiarized parts of her PhD dissertation.
b. Ms. Oxman had been critical of her husband’s campaign to oust the president of Harvard.
c. Ms. Oxman’s résumé contained inaccurate information.
d. The couple vacationed separately.
a. Ms. Oxman plagiarized parts of her PhD dissertation. Axel Springer, the German media company that owns Business Insider, said this week that it stood behind the reporting in the story. Its probe of Ms. Oxman’s alleged plagiarism came on the heels of Mr. Ackman’s campaign to unseat Claudine Gay, president of Harvard, for what he considered Ms. Gay’s weak response to antisemitism on campus. Mr. Ackman accused Ms. Gay of plagiarism, among other things, and she eventually resigned.
4Restaurant Brands International, the Toronto-based owner of Tim Hortons and other fast food chains, announced this week it will pay US$1-billion to acquire:
a. A stake in Dunkin’
b. The largest Burger King franchisee in the United States
c. Patent rights to a new fake-meat sausage
d. Rights to put Tim Hortons on U.S. military bases worldwide
b. The largest Burger King franchisee in the U.S. RBI said it had agreed to acquire Carrols Restaurant Group Inc., a publicly traded company that operates more than 1,000 Burger King locations in the United States. Some large Burger King franchisees have been struggling and three major U.S. operators filed for bankruptcy protection in the last year.
5Which major economy performed worst last year, according to recent estimates from the International Monetary Fund?
b. The United States
c. Germany was the weakest performer. Its economy shrank 0.3 per cent in 2023, according to figures published this week. In contrast, Canada’s economy grew 1.3 per cent while Japanese output expanded 2 per cent and U.S. production increased 2.1 per cent, according to recent estimates from the International Monetary Fund.
6Which iconic company has taken the unusual step of calling for a “permanent and immediate ceasefire” in Gaza?
a. Soft drink maker Coca-Cola
b. Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s
c. Oil producer Saudi Aramco
d. Toy maker Lego
b. Ben & Jerry’s. has previously clashed with its owner Unilever over the ice cream maker’s desire to stop sales of its product in the West Bank.
7Sheryl Sandberg, the former chief operating officer of Meta Platforms, announced this week that she:
a. Will step down from her position on the company’s board
b. Will return to the company in an advisory capacity
c. Is launching a new social media platform
d. Is publishing a tell-all memoir about her years building Facebook
a. Will step down from her position on the company’s board. Ms. Sandberg was once second-in-command at Meta and is credited with developing its controversial ads-based business model. She has spent 12 years on the board.
8Birkenstock, the German maker of fashionably clunky footwear, went public in October. This week, it told investors that:
a. It was lowering the prices on its sandals and clogs to boost sales
b. It was doing away with real leather in all its products as a way to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions
c. It had underestimated the impact of inflation and expected profit margins to come under pressure
d. It was introducing a line of stiletto-heeled pumps
c. Underestimated the impact of inflation. Birkenstock shares slumped this week after management issued downbeat guidance for the year ahead. The company said it planned to raise prices on its footwear, which retails for as much as $350 a pair.
9B.C. Hydro is planning an unprecedented level of construction over the next decade. One factor driving the boom is:
a. A federal requirement to shut down coal generators
b. The disappointing performance of alternative energy producers
c. A desire to sell surplus power to nearby provinces
d. A drought that has reduced the company’s ability to generate hydro power
d. A drought. The drought is in its third year and is an example of the extreme weather conditions that are plaguing power producers across the country. Meanwhile, a shift to electric vehicles and heat pumps is driving up demand for electricity.
10Who told the World Economic Forum this week that “the Western world is in danger” from “collectivism” and “radical feminism”?
a. Former U.S. president Donald Trump
b. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
c. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban
d. Argentine President Javier Milei
d. Argentine President Javier Milei. Mr. Milei, a self-described anarcho-capitalist, accused Western leaders of “abandoning the values of the West” and hailed business executives as “heroes.”
11China reported this week that its birth rate is now the lowest since the founding of Communist China in 1949. By how much did the country’s population shrink in 2023?
a. 2.08 million people
b. 5.1 million people
c. 450,000 people
d. 1.23 million people
a. 2.08 million people. It was the second year in a row that China’s population has shrunk. The demographic downturn is another challenge for a country grappling with falling home prices and high unemployment among young people.
12A Florida-based company is planning a new refinery in Hamilton that it hopes will break into Canada’s existing duopoly in:
a. Natural gas
d. Maple syrup
c. Sugar. Sucro Ltd. is spending more than $135-million on the refinery, which will go head-to-head with Canada’s two long-established producers, Lantic Sugar Inc. and Redpath Sugar.
How well did you do?
Answer all of the questions to see your result