Economics & Finance & Trade

Climate report warrants “hard long look”

Environment & Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault said March 20 that the government will take a “hard long look” at the latest UN climate change panel’s latest warning about carbon emissions. “It's one thing to simply say, ‘well, you know, we want to reach this goal’ but we have to give ourselves the means to get there,” he said. “We do that now in Canada for 2050. We will obviously need to take a second hard long look at what the IPCC is proposing for 2040.” [node:read-more:link]

Nexus ramping back up

The federal government said March 20 that it expects that the Nexus trusted-traveller program with the U.S. to be back in full operation in about a month. Registration for the program has been on hold for nearly a year, partly because of bureaucratic and legal issues, resulting in backlogged applications. Enrolment centres will reopen at the Halifax and Winnipeg airports on March 27, followed by Vancouver April 3, Calgary and Edmonton April 12, Montreal April 17 and Toronto and Ottawa April 24. [node:read-more:link]

Inflation cooled in February

Statistics Canada reported today that the annualized inflation rate in February was 5.2 per cent compared with the previous month’s 5.9 per cent and it was the largest deceleration since April 2020. Despite the overall cooling, grocery prices remained elevated, up 10.6 per cent from a year ago because of supply constraints and bad weather in some food growing regions. [node:read-more:link]

New LNG terminal for B.C.

A $3.2-billion liquefied natural gas export terminal near the northern coastal city of Kitimat has received environmental approval from the B.C. government. The floating Cedar LNG project is majority-owned by the local Haisla Nation in partnership with the Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline Corp. [node:read-more:link]

Exploitive employers “scumbags”

Draft changes to Ontario labour law would leave employers who withhold foreign workers’ passports or work permits facing stiffer penalties. “One group of workers who are often forgotten are migrant workers,” Labour Minister Monte McNaughton said March 20. during a press conference on Monday. “My message to those scumbags out there abusing migrant workers is this: you can run, but you can’t hide. We will find you, fine you, and put you behind bars.” [node:read-more:link]

Beleaguered Macron survives votes

French President Emmanuel Macron’s government survived a pair of votes on motions of no confidence in the National Assembly today after pushing through pensions overhaul which has seen ongoing protests across the country in recent weeks. The opposition is now looking to appeal to France’s constitutional council in a bid to block part or all of the pension reforms. [node:read-more:link]

Canada moves to ease banking fears

The Bank of Canada was among the ranks of the world’s largest central banks which came together on the weekend to stop a banking crisis from spreading as Swiss authorities persuaded UBS Group to buy rival Credit Suisse Group for the equivalent of C$4.4 billion while assuming C$7.4 billion in losses. [node:read-more:link]

Poilievre prescribes licensing remedy

A national standard test he says would help to address the national shortage of physicians and nurses has been proposed by Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre. It would fast-track licensing of professionals who trained abroad or are landed immigrants. “If we had all the doctors that are here today […] working in our health-care system, we could reduce our doctor shortage by half,” he said March 19. [node:read-more:link]

Climate closer to tipping point

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned today that the planet is likely to cross a critical threshold for global warming within the next decade. It says in a new report that there must be an immediate and drastic shift away from fossil fuels to prevent the planet from overheating further. [node:read-more:link]

Ballooning backlog of passenger complaints

The federal government is giving the Canadian Transport Agency an additional $75.9 million over three years to help deal with an avalanche of airline passenger complaints. “Travellers have rights, and these rights must be respected,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said March 14. CGA officials said late last year that more than 30,000 complaints were still unresolved and Alghabra said the latest count is some 42,000. [node:read-more:link]

Air carrier consolidation okayed

The federal government today approved Calgary-based WestJet’s takeover of Montreal-based charter operator Sunwing. Transport Minister Omar said the approval is “subject to strict terms and conditions” designed to promote competition despite Competition Bureau concerns. [node:read-more:link]

Registry consultations begin

Several months after indicating late last year that the federal government wanted to address concerns about foreign influence in Canadian politics, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino jump-started the process today. “There are few greater challenges that we face than foreign interference,” he said, announcing plans to consult hrough to May 9 about a proposed registry of foreign agents. [node:read-more:link]

Private health costing provinces

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos has warned that provinces and territories which permit private clinics to charge patients directly for virtual health care could see their future federal funding clawed back. He said in a March 9 letter to his counterparts that “there should be no fees for medically necessary health-care services, wherever people may live.” [node:read-more:link]

Biden set to visit Ottawa

NORAD, Russia, bilateral trade, industrial supply chains, climate change, clean energy and cross-border travel concerns are expected to feature prominently in U.S. President Joe Biden’s March 23-24 visit to Ottawa. Confirmed today, it will be Biden’s first visit as president since he assumed office in January 2021. [node:read-more:link]


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