Economics & Finance & Trade

Ottawa urged to cancel carbon tax credits

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is being urged by more than 400 climate scientists and other academics to abandon a planned tax credit for companies which build carbon capture and storage facilities. The idea was broached in last year’s federal budget and design consultations were completed last month. In a letter to Freeland, the scientists decry it as a huge subsidy to the petroleum industry and contradictory to the government’s climate change commitments. [node:read-more:link]

Global employment stalled by pandemic

The International Labour Organization, a UN agency headquartered in Geneva, said today that global employment cannot recover to pre-pandemic levels until at least next year. In its latest annual outlook, it expects a shortfall of full-time equivalent jobs at some 52 million and that hours worked would be two per cent below pre-pandemic levels. [node:read-more:link]

Economic system “deeply flawed”

The global British-based charity Oxfam reported today that the coronavirus pandemic has made the world's wealthiest far richer while landing more people living in poverty and contributing to the death of 21,000 people daily. “What's happening is off the scale,” said Oxfam GB chief executive Danny Sriskandarajah. “Something is deeply flawed with our economic system.” [node:read-more:link]

Nova Scotia minimum wage to rise

The minimum hourly wage in Nova Scotia will rise by 40 cents to $13.35 in April and Premier Tim Houston said Jan. 13 that further increases recommended by a review committee would be discussed. If implemented, those would see increases to $13.60 in October and to $15 by April 2024. A Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives said that while the increase this spring is based on the Consumer Price Index, it is below a “living wage” and should be more than $22 an hour. [node:read-more:link]

Government overrules CBSA on truckers

Contrary to a CBSA spokesperson’s statement the previous day, the government said Jan. 13 that all truckers entering Canada from the U.S. must be fully vaccinated against coronavirus as of Jan. 15. “The information shared yesterday was provided in error,” the health, transport and public ministers said. “Our teams have been in touch with industry representatives to ensure they have the correct information.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. said violating trade agreement

Canada is signing on with Mexico's official request for arbitration to resolve a claim that the U.S. is violating the trilateral 2019 trade agreement by insisting on “all American” electric vehicles. with its stance on automobile parts. “A dispute settlement panel will help ensure a timely resolution,” International Trade and Export Promotion Minister Mary Ng said today. [node:read-more:link]

Canada’s clean energy capacity inadequate

The International Energy Agency said today that Canada needs more electrical generating capacity to meet the government’s stated emissions reduction and climate change targets. “Canada's wealth of clean electricity and its innovative spirit can help drive a secure and affordable transformation of its energy system and help realize its ambitious goals,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said. However, even with 83 per cent of its power coming from non-emitting power, more was needed. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa easing off on truckers

Just days before coronavirus vaccination was scheduled to become mandatory for all truckers entering from the U.S., the federal government is backing away from the plan. A CBSA spokesperson said Jan. 12 that unvaccinated Canadian truckers will remain exempt from testing and quarantine requirements but those will remain in effort for unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated foreign nationals [node:read-more:link]

“Grim outlook” for global economy

The World Bank’s latest forecast is for global growth to slow to 4.1 per cent this year from 5.5 in 2021 due to ongoing coronavirus threats, unwinding government support programs and fading demand. Bank President David Malpass said Jan. 11 that as the coronavirus pandemic continues to weigh on growth, especially in poor countries, the outlook is “grim.” [node:read-more:link]

Global economy under seige

The World Economic Forum said today that cybersecurity and space are emerging risks to the global economy, adding to existing challenges posed by climate change and the coronavirus pandemic. In its latest Global Risks Report, usually released ahead of the annual Davos gathering of corporate and political leaders, the WEC predicts that the global economy will continue to shrink with richer nations faring better than poorer ones. [node:read-more:link]

Oilsands product getting to market

Canadian oilsands producers are managing to export record volumes of heavy crude despite constrained pipeline capacity. This is due to the recent reversal of a Marathon Pipe Line link to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. India reportedly is the leading buyer followed by China and South Korea. “With Venezuelan crude exports having tanked in recent years, and now with the prospect of Mexican crude being taken off the market, Canadian crude appears to be one of the leading beneficiaries of these changing dynamics,” one analyst says [node:read-more:link]

Higher residential property taxes mooted

A University of B.C. think-tank which receives some federal funding is proposing a progressive property tax on homes sold for more than $1 million as part of a plan to subsidize “affordable” housing. Average prices across the country in November were at a record $720,000 but even so, sales also continued at record levels. [node:read-more:link]

Truckers face mandatory vaccination

The federal government is pushing ahead with a vaccine mandate for international truckers despite arguments that it would exacerbate driver shortages and drive up the price of imports from the U.S. Beginning Jan. 15, arriving truckers must show proof of vaccination against COVID-19, a requirement the Canadian Trucking Alliance says block access by 16,000 or 10 per cent. [node:read-more:link]


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