Economics & Finance & Trade

Student deportations on hold

The planned deportations of international students who may have been caught up in a scam in their home countries has been suspended by Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada. They had been accused of using forged documents to obtain student visas, but the government has opted to analyze individual cases before proceeding and has granted eight-week residency permits which enable the students to work. [node:read-more:link]

West Coast ports ranked poorly

The Port of Vancouver ranked second-last on a global list of 348 ports compiled by the World Bank and S&P Global Markets and based on the length of time ships have to wait for unloading last year due to inadequate infrastucture. The Port of Prince Rupert ranked seventh-last and two California terminals also finished in the bottom 14. [node:read-more:link]

NDP pushes for pharmacare

National pharmacare was a key requirement for the New Democratic Party when it agreed 15 months ago to prop up the minority Liberal government but today, fed up with the lack of progress, the NDP introduced its own draft legislation. “With this government, even if we got things in writing, it's not a guarantee,” NDP Leader NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said. “We've got to continually […] push them to deliver. [node:read-more:link]

Majority of Canadians postponing retirement

More than half of Canadians still in the workforce past the age of 60 are there by necessity, not choice, according to a Statistics Canada review of data from 2022. Essential expenses and pension ineligibility are cited as the main reasons people are continuing to work past potential retirement age. [node:read-more:link]

WestJet closing down Swoop

Five years after setting it up, WestJet Airlines announced June 9 that it will shut down its discount arm, Swoop, effective October 28, and integrate all staff into the carrier’s core operation. [node:read-more:link]

Federal budget bill closer to fruition

Bill C-47, the federal government’s draft budget legislation, was approved June 8 by the House of Commons and referred to the Senate, which had already been studying it. It passed by a 177-146 with the Conservatives, who had pressed the Liberals to essentially redraft the bill, voting against it alongside the Bloc Québécois. [node:read-more:link]

Social media giants “bullies”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said June 7 that California-based social media companies are using “bullying tactics” to block draft legislation which would require payment for news content sourced from Canadian publishers. “That these internet giants would rather cut off Canadians’ access to local news than pay their fair share is a real problem,” he said. Bill C-18, the Online News Act, ws inroduced by the government in April 2022 and is currently before the Senate, having received House of Commons approval in December. [node:read-more:link]

Net-zero emissions target shifting?

With global warming seen as a factor behind this year's wildfire season across Canada, Environment & Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault has suggested it could mean a more aggressive federal approach to achieving net-zero carbon emissions. The current target is 2050 but Guilbeault isn’t ruling out 2040. “I can't tell you now whether or not we can,” he said in a televised interview. “But what I can tell you is we will look at the possibility of doing that for sure.” [node:read-more:link]

Wildfires evolving into national threat

As of June 6, a total 424 wildfires were burning across Canada, more than 250 of which are considered out of control. This is according to a briefing by seven federal cabinet ministers who said the current fire situation, being fought by civilian and military responders, is one of the most severe on record and that the long-range forecast is for continued abnormal fire activity. [node:read-more:link]

China not wanted in trade bloc?

A government document released in response to an Access to Information Act request suggests that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants China excluded from a Pacific Rim trade bloc. China has been trying since 2019 to join and while Trade Minister Mary Ng says Canada would be receptive if China improves its labout and environmental standards, the document quotes the PM as saying last fall that high standards could be helpful if they hinder China’s chances. [node:read-more:link]

Cryptofund accused of lying

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has been accused by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission of lying to regulators and investors and transferring “billions of dollars” to a separate company controlled by its Canadian co-founder, Chinese expatriate Changpeng Zhao. “We allege that Zhao and the Binance entities not only knew the rules of the road, but they also consciously chose to evade them and put their customers and investors at risk,” the SEC’s director of enforcement said today. [node:read-more:link]

Saudis to cut oil output

In a bid to prop up global crude oil prices, Saudi Arabia announced June 4 that it will cut daily production by at least 11% to some nine million barrels in July atop a broader OPEC deal to limit supply. “This market needs stabilisation,” said its energy minister. A UN database indicates that Canada imported some US$2.77 billion worth of Saudi crude in 2022. [node:read-more:link]

Amazon fined for privacy violations

Amazon has agreed to pay a $25 million penalty to settle U.S. Federal Trade Commission allegations it violated a child privacy law and deceived parents by retaining voice and location data recorded by its Alexa voice assistant. The Seattle-based company will refund $5.8 million to customers for alleged privacy violations involving its doorbell cameras. [node:read-more:link]

Quebec company penalized for bribery

A Quebec company, Ultra Electronics Forensic Technology, has agreed to pay some $10.5 million in a case involving attempted bribery of Philippines officials as it sought police contracts. This is according to a statement of facts about a court-approved deal with prosecutors to avoid prosecution in Canada, only the second deferred prosecution deal since the Criminal Code was amended in 2018 to address corporate malfeasance. Charges against four executives have been conditionally stayed. [node:read-more:link]


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