Economics & Finance & Trade

Emissions curbs falling short

The independent Canadian Climate Institute estimates that national carbon emissions rose slightly in 2022 from 2021, leaving the country well short of its goal of a 40-45% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030. Petroleum production and buildings remain the key underlying factors, part of a long-term trend the CCI expects to offset progress elsewhere and underscoring “the pressing need to speed up policy action at all levels of government.” [node:read-more:link]

Canadian population surging

Mainly due to an immigration surge, Canada has become one of the fastest-growing countries, according to data published September 27. They show that between July 2022 and July 2023, the population rose 2.9% to 40.1 million and Statistics Canada said 98% of the growth was from net international migration. [node:read-more:link]

Foreign takeover plan reviewed

The sale of what used to be called the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, now known as Viterra, is to be reviewed by the federal government. It is controlled by Glencore, a Swiss multinational with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board the B.C. Investment Management Corporation as minority shareholders, but a Missouri-based Bunge Limited has agreed to buy Viterra for more than US$8 billion. [node:read-more:link]

OFSI tackling interference

Foreign interference and national-security issues in Canada’s banking and insurance sectors are in the sights of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. “Over the two years that I’ve been Superintendent, geopolitical risk and its offshoots have increased in significance,” says Peter Routledge. “There’s a possibility that that intensity metastasizes over into the financial system, and we want our institutions ready to adapt.” [node:read-more:link]

Competition bill under fire

Draft legislation the government says will improve consumer choice by limiting corporate concentration is being slammed by the president of he Business Council of Canada. “C-56 is a trojan horse,” says Goldy Hyder. “It will upend a legal regime that fostered all the globally competitive Canadian companies doing business today.” [node:read-more:link]

More funds for housing

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced today that the federal government is increasing the Canada Mortgage Bonds program by 50% to $60 billion to boost low-cost financing for the construction of rental housing. The expectation is that it will add 30,000 units annually. [node:read-more:link]

Russians feeling war’s impact

The Open Mind Insititute, a research group which tackles disinformation and propaganda, says the results of a recent poll highlight the fact that economically-pinched Russians foresee an even gloomier future due to fallout from the Ukraine invasion. However, the polling data also indicate that some elements of the population are resolutely supportive of their government. [node:read-more:link]

More support for Ukraine

The federal government has topped up assistance for Ukraine with a $650-million deal to supply 50 armoured vehicles over three years. The announcement coincided with a commitment to send personnel to train Ukrainian fighter pilots, an updated trade deal, more funding for Ukrainian mental health programs, and extended Russian sanctions. [node:read-more:link]

Bill tackles rising prices

Draft legislation introduced by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is designed to address soaring housing and grocery costs. Among other things, Bill C-56 as tabled September 21 would remove the federal portion of the Goods & Services Tax to incent construction of new rental housing and amend the Competition Act to address corporate concentration and its effect on the grocery sector. [node:read-more:link]

Alberta premier wants out of CPP

A long-awaited report on the prospect of an Alberta pension plan says the province is entitled to have $334 billion in assets transferred from the Canada Pension Plan in 2027. The report released by Premier Danielle Smith states that the province’s contributions to CPP are disproportionately high compared with what Albertans’ benefits but that has been challenged. [node:read-more:link]

India suspends visa processing

Canada’s diplomatic rift with India widened today when India suspended visa processing services at offices in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto and Ottawa. “Operational reasons” were cited by the agency which handles applications. [node:read-more:link]

Supporting Romanian reactors

Canada is lending Romania up to $3 billion for completion of two Candu nuclear reactors. Announcing the funding September 20, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said the funds will be directed to Canadian companies working on the project. [node:read-more:link]

Inflation rate’s persistent challenge

Canada’s annualized inflation rate accelerated in August for a second consecutive month, to 4% from 3.3%, increasing pressure on the Bank of Canada to resume interest rate hikes. Statistics Canada reported today that higher gasoline prices and housing and grocery costs were behind the latest surge in its Consumer Price Index. [node:read-more:link]

Trudeau says India killed activist

Prime Minister Trudeau today publicly accused “agents of the Indian” government of killing a Sikh community leader in B.C. last June. He also said that intelligence reports prompted him to raise the issue “in no uncertain terms” with Indian PM Narendra Modi during the G20 Summit in New Delhi. [node:read-more:link]

Biden supports autoworkers

U.S. President Joe Biden has intervened in a labour dispute between the the United Auto Workers and the major vehicle manufacturers, a dispute which would have repercussions for Canada if it’s prolonged. “Over the past decade, auto companies have seen record profits […] because of the extraordinary skill and sacrifices of the UAW workers,” he said. “Those record profits have not been shared fairly, in my view, with those workers.” [node:read-more:link]


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