Economics & Finance & Trade

Arbitration sought over Keystone pipeline

TC Energy Inc. of Calgary has filed a formal request for arbitration under North American trade rules, NAFTA rules, seeking $15 billion from the U.S. government to recoup costs of the Keystone XL pipeline project incurred before the U.S. administration withdrew its approval last January. [node:read-more:link]

Suzuki stirs up pipeline debate

Noted environmentalist David Suzuki is standing by his weekend speculation that frustration with governments’ handling of climate change could lead to protesters “blowing up” pipelines. After he broached the possibility, there was a flurry of accusations that he was inciting violence, but he countered Nov. 22 that “we’ve come to a time where civil disobedience is what we have to do now — to put our bodies on the line.” [node:read-more:link]

COVID-19 help tops parliamentary agenda

When the first session of the new Parliament opened today, the government served notice that draft legislation to approve new support for business sectors hardest-hit by COVID-19 is a top priority. Other key issues for the government include measures to improve paid sick leave for federally-regulated workers and to make harassment of healthcare workers a criminal offence. [node:read-more:link]

P.E.I. potatoes banned from U.S.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has suspended exports of fresh potatoes from P.E.I. to the U.S. due to confirmed cases on two farms of potato wort, a fungus which poses no threat to health but which can reduce crop yields. The U.S. had given notice that it was planning to ban imports unless Canada acted immediately. Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, having spoken with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, suggested the measure would be temporary. [node:read-more:link]

China downgrades NATO member’s status

China has downgraded diplomatic relations with Lithuania after the Baltic state and NATO member allowed Taiwan to open an office, the island state’s first new “diplomatic” outpost in Europe in 18 years. Lithuania defended its right to have ties with Taiwan but said it respected the “One China” policy. [node:read-more:link]

Hefty penalty for Air Canada

Air Canada will pay the U.S. Department of Transportation a US$4.5-million fine for delays in providing refunds to thousands of consumers who had flights to or from the U.S. cancelled or significantly changed due to COVID-19. The DoT had sought $25 million after receiving more than 5,000 complaints. [node:read-more:link]

Canada counselled to block Huawei

Former Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull, whose government banned Huawei Technologies from providing equipment for his country’s 5G wireless networks, is urging Canada to follow suit on grounds of national security. “You’re not dealing with a government . . . that pays too much attention to the rule of law,” he said Nov. 21 during a visit to Halifax. The question his government faced was whether it wanted to put its interests “in the hands of a company that absolutely would have to act at the direction of the Chinese government?” [node:read-more:link]

BC flood victims offered special relief

A federal relief package for victims of B.C.’s catastrophic flooding includes expedited employment insurance applications and eased travel restrictions. Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough said Nov. 21 that residents displaced or left jobless should apply immediately for EI benefits even if they normally would be ineligible. [node:read-more:link]

New Buy America challenge for Canada

A U.S. government policy offering substantial tax credits to buyers of electric vehicles and batteries manufactured by unionized labour puts Canada in a difficult position, say environmentalists and trade experts. They point out that a subsidy for only U.S. vehicles could not only squeeze Canada out of the EV business and fracture a tightly-integrated supply chain but also undermine emissions-reduction goals. [node:read-more:link]

Chinese leader’s Cold War warning

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned today that tensions in the Asia-Pacific region could cause a relapse into a Cold War mentality. His comments on the fringes of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum came weeks after the U.S., Britain and Australia announced a new regional security alliance. [node:read-more:link]

Three Amigos meet next week

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet in Washington next week with Presidents Joe Biden of the U.S. and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico in the first gathering of the “Three Amigos” since 2016. The usually annual event was interrupted the election of Donald Trump and Trudeau’s office says COVID-19, climate change and migration are among the issues to be discussed. [node:read-more:link]

Moe moots Saskatchewan “nation”

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said Nov. 9 that his province must “make every effort to determine our own destiny” because the federal government had not consulted him adequately on its international climate change agenda. “Saskatchewan needs to be a nation within a nation,” he said. “All options most certainly will be on the table.” [node:read-more:link]

Blueprint for “rebuilding” U.S.

President Joe Biden has lauded the recent congressional approval of his administration’s $1 trillion infrastructure package as a “monumental step forward for the nation” and “a blue-collar blueprint to rebuilding America.” The politically-contentious package promises to create legions of jobs. [node:read-more:link]

Hydro line politically contentious

A majority of voters in a Maine referendum in which just over a third of eligible voters cast ballots have rejected a hydroelectric transmission line already under construction to deliver power to Massachusetts from Quebec. But Premier François Legault remains “confident” the project will be completed because the Governor of Maine supports it and Hydro-Québec is considering a legal response. [node:read-more:link]

PM promises petroleum sector emissions caps

Canada will impose a hard cap on emissions from the oil and gas sector, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today at the global climate summit in Glasgow. Emissions would decrease “at a pace and scale needed to reach net-zero by 2050,” he said, acknowledging that it would be “no small task.” [node:read-more:link]


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