Economics & Finance & Trade

State of emergency declared in Ontario

Ontario Premier Doug Ford today invoked an immediate stage of emergency in response to truck convoy protests that have disrupted a key border crossing between Wiindsor and Detroit. “While these emergency orders will be temporary, we have every intention to bring new legislation forward that will make these measures permanent in law,” he said. In addition to all border crossings, the legislation would apply to airports, ports and railways and failure to comply could mean stiff fines or jail time. [node:read-more:link]

Michigan urged to capitalize on blockade

The trade-disrupting blockade of the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor and Detroit has prompted Elissa Slotkin, a member of the House of Representatives from Michigan, to call for less reliance on Canadian imports, particularly those within a tightly-integrated cross-border automobile industry. “When our manufacturing is outsourced too much, we end up paying the price,” she says. “It doesn’t matter if it's an adversary or an ally — we can't be this reliant on parts coming from foreign countries.” [node:read-more:link]

Canada pressed to end blockade

The Canadian government was urged by the U.S. administration today to legislate an end to the trade-disrupting blockade of the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor and Detroit by opponents of mandatory coronavirus vaccinations. Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg proposed the measure and offered unspecified help in calls to their counterparts, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and Transport Minister Omar Alghabra. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian population surge noted

Canada's population grew at a faster rate than most of its economic peers in the past five years, reaching to more than 36.99 million last May 11, census day, despite a deceleration attributed to the coronavirus pandemic. Growth since 2016 was 6.2 per cent, nearly double that of the other G-7 members and faster than during the five previous years. [node:read-more:link]

Bridge blockade hits manufacturers

The ongoing blockade of the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor and Detroit by vaccine protesters forced Ford to shut down its engine plant in Windsor and reduce operations at its assembly plant in Oakville west of Toronto. The bridge carries 25 per cent of all trade and manufacturers on both sides of the border are reporting supply-chain issues. [node:read-more:link]

PEI potato exports resume on a limited basis

Nearly three months after Canada blocked shipments of Prince Edward Island potatoes to the U.S. due to concerns about a fungus found on a couple of farms, the U.S. is permitting shipments to Puerto Rico. The territory, which has no domestic potato farming, normally gets at least 80 per cent of its potatoes from PEI which, in turn, account for about a quarter of the province’s potato exports. Since the fungus can affect yields, the rest of the U.S. market remains closed for the time being. [node:read-more:link]

Ambassador Bridge blockaded

Traffic entering and leaving Canada across the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor, Ont., and Detroit, Mich., was blocked Feb. 7 by Canadian demonstrators opposed to mandatory coronavirus vaccination. Organizers said they had no plans to leave. [node:read-more:link]

Alberta border protest drags on

Anti-vaccine mandate protesters are again preventing traffic from crossing the Alberta-Montana border in both directions. Drivers of trucks and other vehicles began their blockade Feb. 5 in solidarity with protests elsewhere. Having compromised international trade and stranding travellers, the organizers agreed to a single open lane last week only to shut it down again Feb. 7. [node:read-more:link]

GoFundMe summoned over convoy support

California-based GoFundMe has been asked to explain “as soon as possible” to a House of Commons committee how it would manage releasing more than $10 million donated to the antivaccination protest which has shut down central Ottawa for more than a week. Among other things, the committee said Feb. 3 that it wants reassurance that donations are “not being used to promote extremism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism and other forms of hate, which have been expressed among prominent organizers for the truck convoy.” [node:read-more:link]

Pump prices soar across Canada

The Canadian Automobile Association reported Jan. 28 that the two-day national average price of gasoline was $1.478 a litre as records were set in some markets. Analysts blame geopolitical tensions in key supply regions and expect the upward trend to continue. [node:read-more:link]

Bank rate holds steady – for now

The Bank of Canada opted today to hold its benchmark interest rate at 0.25 per cent, where it been since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in a bid to ensure that low-cost lending would keep the economy afloat. Now the bank, like many of its foreign counterparts, is under pressure to begin raising rates to counter rising inflation. Its next rate announcement is scheduled for March 2. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa stands firm on trucking

Reaffirming federal policy that vaccination is the “most effective tool” against the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government said today it will not yield to pressure from cross-border truckers to back down. Backed by the Canadian Trucking Alliance, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the industry has had months to comply with a vaccine mandate which is “for the protection of truck drivers but also for the protection of our supply chains and our economy.” [node:read-more:link]

Former minister challenges government

Former Conservative cabinet minister Peter Mackay says the federal government’s handling of a Chinese company’s takeover of a British-based lithium-mining company with a property in Argentina has been “absurd.” He says that in deciding the Neo Lithium takeover was not a national security issue for Canada, “we are allowing China to capture an even greater presence over resources critical to the green transition.” [node:read-more:link]

No security concerns about takeover

The Chinese takeover of a lithium-mining company raised no national security issues for the federal government, says Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne’s parliamentary secretary, Andy Fillmore. He told a parliamentary committe that an industry department review last fall concluded that Neo Lithium is a British-based company with a mining lease in Argentina and only three “paper” Canadian employees so that it could list on the Toronto Stock Exchange to get financing. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian loan to bolster Ukraine economy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has thanked Canada for a $120-million loan designed to support his country's economy as Russia continues its military buildup along its border with Ukraine. Canada has the third-largest Ukrainian population, some 1.3 million, in the world after Russia and Ukraine itself. [node:read-more:link]


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