Economics & Finance & Trade

Petroleum subsidies to change?

Canada has provided billions of dollars in support of the petroleum industry for decades, but Environment & Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault’s office says a new policy to address “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” will be announced in July. Critics have repeatedly condemned them as an obvious conflict with the government’s climate change goals. [node:read-more:link]

Marine food chain in critical condition

A British journal, Nature Sustainability, reported today that more than 90% of the world’s marine food supplies are at risk from environmental changes such as rising temperatures and pollution. “Although we have made some progress with climate change, our adaptation strategies for blue food systems facing environmental change […] need urgent attention,” says one of its co-lead authors. [node:read-more:link]

Enhanced wildfire agreement with U.S.

Canada and the U.S. hope to enhance cooperation against wildfires through an arrangement announced June 23 by Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. “Today's arrangement […] will ensure effective cooperation through knowledge - and resource-sharing, advancing our joint efforts to protect livelihoods and communities.” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that “as climate change continues to threaten communities, infrastructure, forests and rangelands, finding new ways to work together is essential.” [node:read-more:link]

Canadian news content threatened anew

Even as it announced plans to cut 1,300 jobs and local broadcast news programming across its diverse network, Bell Canada Enterprises asked the federal telecom regulator to waive domestic content rules it says are based on outdated market realities. Its news media operations lost $40 million last year as Internet giants gobbled even more of the Canadian advertising market [node:read-more:link]

Emissions tax shortfall in Paris

A two-day meeting of political and financial authorities ended today in Paris without coming to an agreement to tax the international shipping industry for its carbon emissions. However, the notion of potentially generating $100 billion in annual revenues could be adopted at a July meeting of the UN International Maritime Organization. [node:read-more:link]

Online News Act passes

Bill C-18, the government’s Online News Act which will require Google and Meta to pay media outlets for shared content was approved today by the Senate and will come into force six months after royal assent. California-based Meta confirmed that it would end news availability on Facebook and Instagram for its Canadian users as previously suggested. [node:read-more:link]

Population tops 40 million

Canada’s population now is more than 40 million, according to an estimate released by Statistics Canada. “It is a strong signal that Canada remains a dynamic and welcoming country, full of potential, Chief Statistician Anil Arora said June 16. The latest annual population growth rate is 2.7%, the highest since 1957. [node:read-more:link]

Price-fixing proves costly

Toronto-based Canada Bread, which produces dozens of baked goods brands across the country, agreed today in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Docket No. CV-17-586063-00CP), to pay at least $50 million for its role in fixing bread prices for more than two decades. Formerly controlled by Maple Leaf Foods, the company has been owned by Grupo Bimbo of Mexico since 2014. [node:read-more:link]

Petroleum output projected to drop

The Canada Energy Regulator has published governmrnt-commissioned assessment of how crude oil and natural gas output could change in a “net zero” emissions world. Having modelled various scenarios for dealing with carbon emissions, it said June 20 that it determined that petroleum production could begin declining as early as 2026 because of falling oil prices and demand as the rest of the world shifts to cleaner energy sources. [node:read-more:link]

New disability program approved

A new federal income supplement for low-income disabled persons of working-age is about to go into effect. Modelled on the Guaranteed Income Supplement, the Canada Disability Benefit cleared Parliament June 20 when Bill C-22 was approved by the Senate. Employment, Workforce Development & Disability Inclusion Minister Carla Qualtrough expects hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries but the amount to be offered remains unspecified. [node:read-more:link]

First Nations compensation overhauled

Twenty-one Anishinaabe communities along the north shore of Lake Huron in Ontario are finally gain access to a fair share of resource-related revenue. An 1850 treaty promised annual payments in exchange for land-use rights given to mining, fishing and lumber companies but it was capped at $4 per person in 1874. The federal and provincial governments each agreed June 17 to pay half of a negotiated $10-billion package. [node:read-more:link]

WestJet continues consolidation

A week after announcing that it was folding its Swoop discount division into its main operations, Calgary-based WestJet plans to do likewise with its Sunwing division, which runs charters as well as also offering discount fares on some scheduled services. The transition is expected to take up to two years as WestJet streamlines its response to fierce competition. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. “suburb” wants Biden’s help

A U.S. town on a peninsula south of Vancouver wants President Joe Biden to help them hire Canadians to fill a labour shortage. The problem is that Point Roberts was effectively cut off by Homeland Security after the 2011 terrorist attacks, making it difficult for U.S. citizens to travel through Canada to access the town for work. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. buying Russian uranium

U.S. companies pay approximately $1 billion a year to Russia’s state-owned Rosatom for enriched uranium needed to fuel reactors in its expanding power grid. The U.S. used to dominate the market but that began to decline decades ago, partly due to an agreement to buy cheaper Russian uranium after the Soviet Union collapsed, the result being that Russia has cornered half the market. [node:read-more:link]

VW battery plant tax-free

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says the government plans to make the subsidies it has offered to Volkswagen for an electric vehicle battery plant in Ontario tax-free to match U.S. incentives. She announced the decision June 14 after the Parliamentary Budget Officer reported that the cost would be higher than expected because the Canadian support would be taxable. [node:read-more:link]


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