Economics & Finance & Trade

Unemployment rose in June

Statistics Canada reported today that as the economy added 60,000 mainly fulltime jobs in June, the unemployment rate rose to 5.4 per cent, its highest in more than a year. Job gains were concentrated in wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, health care and social assistance, and transportation and warehousing. [node:read-more:link]

Battery plant gets more funding

A 10-year plan for $15 billion in federal and Ontario tax breaks, announced July 5, enables Stellantis and LG Energy Solutions to resume construction of their NextStar electric vehicle battery plant in Windsor. The future of the plant had been in doubt when Stellantis learned two months ago that Volkswagen had secured more support for a new battery plant in St. Thomas. [node:read-more:link]

Ontario wants more nuclear

Facing surging electricity demands, the Ontario government announced July 6 that it wants to add a third nuclear generating station at its station on the shore of Lake Huron on the Bruce Peninsula. Bruce Power has two stations with eight reactors and Energy Minister Todd Smith said the goal is an addition 4.8 gigawatts of generating capacity, which would nearly double current output as the province moves away from fossil-fuel options. [node:read-more:link]

Free trade pact up for review

International Trade Minister Mary Ng is in Cancun for talks with her Mexican and U.S. counterparts about the future of their 2020 trilateral trade agreement which requires a review after six years. Calling the pact “the most successful in the world,” Ng said July 5 that she hopes all signatories would seize the opportunity to ensure it endures well into the future. [node:read-more:link]

China tightening metals export rules

The vice chairman of a Chinese think-tank, Wei Jianguo, who also is a former commerce vice-minister, said today that tighter control of metals used in semiconductors are “just the start” of a response to western actions against China’s high-tech sector. “If restrictions […] continue then countermeasures will escalate,” he said. [node:read-more:link]

Largest national park at risk

Wood Buffalo National Park on the Alberta-NWT border, the country’s largest national park and a UN World Heritage Site, remains at risk due not only to climate change but also hydroelectric and petroleum development, according to a UN agency. “Expansion of existing oilsands projects has continued without full consideration of the potential impacts,” it says. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. ports strike at an impasse

Talks to end a strike at more than 30 west coast ports are stalled with each side accusing the other of being unreasonable. The B.C. Maritime Employers Association said July 3 that it had gone as far as possible on core issues while the International Longshore & Warehouse Union Canada, telling the federal government not to become involved, said the employers had “sabotaged the progress.” [node:read-more:link]

CRA expects more firings

Twenty Canada Revenue Agency employees have been fired for inappropriately receiving pandemic benefit payments. The CRA also is investigating a “limited number” of others, about 600, and other dismissals are “likely.” [node:read-more:link]

West Coast cargo chaos looms

More than 30 west coast ports are at risk of being shut down on Canada Day due to a strike approved by some 7,400 members of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union over increased automation, contracting out and wages. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce wants the federal government to intervene because of the expected impact on the national economy. [node:read-more:link]

Deforestation remains a global challenge

New data from the Washington-based World Resources Institute indicate that the political will to end deforestation continues to fade. The latest agreement, at the 2021 climate summit in Glasgow, was supposed to improve things from a pledge seven years earlier, but the world in 2022 was more than a million hectares short of being able to achieve net zero deforestation by the stated goal of 2030. [node:read-more:link]

Grocery competition lagging

The Competition Bureau said today that Canada’s grocery sector needs more competition to help keep food prices down, give shoppers more choice and encourage new entrants. It pointed out that concentration in the industry has increased in recent years and that the major chains have posted higher profits. [node:read-more:link]

May inflation at two-year low

Canada's annualized inflation rate fell to 3.4% in May, its lowest since June 2021. -- the lowest it's been since June 2021. Statistics Canada said today that the deceleration from April’s 4.4% was due mainly to gasoline prices being lower than a year-earlier but grocery prices continued to rise. [node:read-more:link]

National climate change accord

Environment & Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault and a raft of other federal ministers and senior officials were in Vancouver today to confirm that their national climate change adaptation plan has the support of all provinces and territories. The plan comes with $1.6 billion for implementation over five years. [node:read-more:link]

Cross-border pipeline back in court

Calgary-based Enbridge has asked a U.S. judge for “clarification” about the legal status of a cross-border crude oil pipeline opposed by a Wisconsin indigenous community. District Court Judge William Conley had ordered the line removed within three years but the company is seeking reassurance that it can continue operations until it is rerouted. [node:read-more:link]

East Coast going green

Revenues from the Newfoundland & Labrador offshore petroleum industry will be used to build a fund to underwrite initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emissions. An initial $6 million in seed funding is provided for through a revised royalty scheme designed to reboot the moribund West White Rose field. [node:read-more:link]


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