China’s economic impact on Canada

Episode #2 of our series

When it comes to China, separating fact from friction is no easy task. But that is the task of our CHINA NOW series. Each of our four episodes features an expert exploring China today, including frank discussions about doing business there and about emerging opportunities. The series moderator is Doug Horner, former Alberta Deputy Premier…

Doing business with China – separating fact from friction

First in our webinar series "CHINA NOW"

When it comes to China, separating fact from friction is no easy task. But that is the task of our CHINA NOW series. Each of our four episodes features an expert exploring China today, including frank discussions about doing business there and about emerging opportunities. The series moderator is Doug Horner, former Alberta Deputy Premier…

Human capital is key to building a successful economy

Canada’s economy has transitioned from the resources under our feet to the resources between our ears

Human capital is key to building a successful economyThe first month of a new year is named January after the Roman god Janus, who had two faces – one looking backward and the other looking forward. Janus illustrates humanity’s ambition that the first month of the new year is a time to take stock of the past and make plans for the future.…

Trudeau needs to shelve his plan to ban unvaccinated truckers

It puts Canadians' access to food at risk

Trudeau needs to shelve his plan to ban unvaccinated truckersThe federal government apparently still wants to push ahead with its plan to require all truckers entering from the United States to show proof of vaccination starting Jan. 15. The plan creates some serious problems. Vaccines are the most effective way to reduce risks associated with COVID-19, stop the spread of the virus and save…

Expect more oil price uncertainty in 2022

No one has a real handle on the market and its future direction

Expect more oil price uncertainty in 2022Despite the growing call for a cap on their consumption, fossil fuels are going nowhere. They will continue to drive our energy-driven civilization for the foreseeable future. Global oil demand is on the verge of reaching its pre-pandemic levels. As a result, oil markets posted their biggest gains since at least 2016 as 2021 wound…

Oil investment decline is leading to an energy crisis

The current European/Asian energy crisis is a preview of what we can all expect in the years ahead

Oil investment decline is leading to an energy crisisIndustry and environmentalists are on a clash course. The 23rd World Petroleum Congress in Houston last week was enough to highlight the emerging trends, complexities and challenges faced by the oil and gas industry. The message from the industry was clear – a global oil scarcity is on the horizon. Underinvestment since oil prices began…

Canada’s economy desperately needs business investment

The trend to lower investment in the private sector began in 2015

Canada’s economy desperately needs business investmentGross domestic product (GDP) is what economists call the totality of goods and services Canada produces. It’s often referred to as the economic pie. We all want a share of the pie. Most of us think it’s only fair that all Canadians should be able to enjoy at least a basic level of income. Therefore,…

Minimum corporate tax is just price-fixing collusion by governments

Expect reduced jurisdictional choice and competition, higher tax burdens and more political patronage

Minimum corporate tax is just price-fixing collusion by governmentsRhetoric is one thing; reality is another. As is becoming increasingly clear, the proposal from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) earlier this year for a 15 per cent global minimum for corporate taxation is nothing of the sort. Although the initiative slated for 2023 won’t and can’t achieve a level playing field…

Alberta-based Quantum Silicon Inc. is ushering in the future of electronics

Manufactures atom-scale circuits that are faster and use far less energy

Alberta-based Quantum Silicon Inc. is ushering in the future of electronicsThe discovery that silicon could be used to make transistors smaller and more efficient in the late 1950s led to the invention of the integrated circuit – the basis for computers, cellphones and just about every other electrical device in use today – and signalled the dawn of the largest, most complex industry history has…

Food supply chain resilience put to the test by B.C. floods

Supply chains in Western Canada have always been vulnerable and that’s not going to change anytime soon

Food supply chain resilience put to the test by B.C. floodsImages from British Columbia over the past week have been heartbreaking: human casualties, dairy cows barely breathing above water before being pulled to safety, the loss of livestock across the Fraser Valley. Just devastating. And the flow of goods on rail and roads is severely compromised. Many now claim that flash floods and atmospheric rivers…

Immigration can help solve Canada’s economic challenges

Immigration policy must build bridges and align with economic, social, education and multicultural policy

Immigration can help solve Canada’s economic challengesI was recently invited to share my thoughts and take a futuristic peek at the role of immigration in the post-COVID-19 economic recovery. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada invited me to speak at its annual executive leadership summit that included more than 250 decision-makers in the executive branch. My presentation spanned the unresolved immigration issues…

Achieving net-zero will take decades to accomplish

The world is learning the hard way that the global economy still relies on fossil fuels

Achieving net-zero will take decades to accomplishWith the UN-sponsored Climate Change Conference (COP26) climate talks in Glasgow over, it is important to review some of the agreements and implications that have resulted from this process and assess the impact on Canada’s energy resources sector. Putting the rhetoric in context One can take seriously the undeniable threat posed by climate change while…

Let’s be smarter on carbon capture. We won’t get to net-zero without it

There is a real opportunity to reduce GHG emissions through decarbonization

Let’s be smarter on carbon capture. We won’t get to net-zero without itCOP26 in Glasgow is likely to call for even more ambitious GHG emission reduction targets than the ones that have been consistently missed by virtually all countries. Canada’s existing target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 is daunting enough as is. Strangely, much of the focus of carbon policy has been on reducing the amount…

Plant-based milk alternatives meet consumers’ demand for choice

The real threat to cow-based products might be an appetite for choice in a highly regulated market

Plant-based milk alternatives meet consumers’ demand for choiceWith the explosion of plant-based milk alternatives flooding the market, can cow milk co-exist? Canada’s dairy industry will struggle to survive the competition unless it reconnects with its consumers. Until now, milk wars have been international. Canada’s dairy market is highly regulated through its contentious supply management system. Quotas and high tariffs are used to…

Canada’s capital markets are struggling to invest in the economy

Canada's investment growth rate has dropped below that of the United States and many other developed countries

Canada’s capital markets are struggling to invest in the economyAlarm bells ought to be ringing in Canada. Business, industrial and foreign direct investment have performed pitifully over the past decade, with no reason to believe there will be a turnaround any time soon. As noted by fellow Troy Media contributor Steven Globerman of Western Washington University, “from 2010 to 2019, Canada’s investment growth rate…

How many restaurants do we really need in Canada?

The pandemic may have presented a golden opportunity for the industry to reflect on its future

How many restaurants do we really need in Canada?Did we have too many restaurants before the COVID-19 pandemic? Did the pandemic only wipe out ‘extra’ restaurants in Canada? With the labour shortage, the cost of food ingredients exploding, and the list of regulations growing almost every year, making a restaurant profitable has become difficult. Certainly, the pandemic has presented a golden opportunity for…

Solving poverty needs all hands on deck, advocates say

Creating a more inclusive economy

Solving poverty needs all hands on deck, advocates saySolving poverty in our communities goes far beyond charities and social agencies. Graduates with business, civic planning, arts and other backgrounds have just as much to contribute as social workers, according to University of Alberta poverty researcher Maria Mayan. “We have great young thinkers within our university who want to make a difference in the world…

Canada’s crippled tourism industry must be revived

Impact of COVID on tourism greater than 9/11, SARS, '08 economic crisis combined

Canada’s crippled tourism industry must be revivedThe COVID-19 crisis led to significant travel restrictions around the world. Canada has totally or partially closed its borders to tourists and non-essential travellers. Travel between provinces has also been restricted. Provinces such as New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador banned non-essential travel or all travel between provinces. And we were told not…

Finally, an LNG project that just might get built

Rationality can prevail, clean, abundant natural gas can be used for decades, energy ‘transition’ or not

Finally, an LNG project that just might get builtAn estimated $55-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project to take natural gas from northeastern British Columbia to its northwest coast at Pearse Island recently received the blessing and financial and political backing of the Nisga’a First Nation. The First Nation is on the proposed pipeline route and is the site of planned liquefaction terminal. This…

Canadian oil and gas sector has huge impact in U.S.

The reality is, Canadians have a significant stake in the United States oil and gas industry

Canadian oil and gas sector has huge impact in U.S.By Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre One critical problem for political and business leaders is getting people to think outside their local box. While many people might prefer a local restaurant or coffee shop to a national chain, international trade is the very reason a Canadian restaurant can offer inexpensive vegetables in…

Can Canada establish profitable trade links with South American bloc?

Taking a neutral position can give Canada an advantage. But government will have to be pragmatic

Can Canada establish profitable trade links with South American bloc?In November 2018, Canada and Mercosur opened free-trade negotiations. Any such deal represents great potential for Canada – but there are concerns. Mercosur – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay – is a bloc with a gross domestic product of over $3 trillion and a population of 261 million in 2019. That compares to the GDP of…

COVID-19 has driven governments into debt traps

Printing money to address short-term needs will lead to inflation and dampen any potential economic recovery

COVID-19 has driven governments into debt trapsThe financial consequences of COVID-19 and the shutdown of economies are difficult to evaluate. But some of those consequences have begun to appear and could hinder economic recovery. Inflation is one of these harmful consequences. In the United States, consumer prices jumped 4.2 per cent in the 12 months through to April, up from 2.6…

Why bailing out Air Canada is counterproductive

Rather than subsist on government aid, Air Canada should urge officials to ease travel restrictions

Why bailing out Air Canada is counterproductiveA year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic, the only thing keeping Air Canada alive is the federal government bailouts. They’re delaying the inevitable and sensible way out: cutting travel restrictions, encouraging tourism by ensuring effective containment and encouraging vaccination. In April, the government granted the firm another $5.9-billion loan to keep it afloat…

Why Canada’s latest deal with the U.S. creates trade barriers

Canada must be aware that protectionism has returned which makes international trade complicated

Why Canada’s latest deal with the U.S. creates trade barriersCanada faces new pressures on any attempts to ramp up international trade. In 1994, the United States, Mexico and Canada created a free-trade region with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Considering that the U.S. has been the largest economy in the world from 1994 to now, NAFTA was a true asset for the…

Blowing in a fierce wind: Why crude oil prices are declining

Non-fundamental factors appear to be controlling crude oil market patterns

Blowing in a fierce wind: Why crude oil prices are decliningA number of major events weighed on global oil markets throughout last week. Those factors included: Hurricane Ida; the United States Federal Reserve delaying the tapering off of its economic stimulus; the decision of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies in OPEC+ to stick to their original output increments; the rising…

Delta variant hammering crude oil prices

Asia’s market is softening

Delta variant hammering crude oil pricesThe crude oil rally is stuttering. Having ceded some 15 per cent in prices in recent months, the rally we saw earlier this year has lost steam. Despite talk of growing demand, tightening markets, galloping prices and the call by U.S. President Joe Biden to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies in…

Can we afford $10-a-day childcare?

The simple answer is no

Can we afford $10-a-day childcare?Providing quality care for preschool children is a good thing. Children learn to socialize in groups beyond their family. They acquire the skills and readiness that will allow them to succeed in elementary school and later in life. With children well looked after, all parents are free to take jobs or pursue careers contributing to…

Chinese demand drives world oil markets

Global markets’ overdependence on China backfires as COVID resurgence forces travel restrictions

Chinese demand drives world oil marketsChina has been the sole driver of the global crude oil markets for years. Its growing crude thirst has, time and again, pulled the markets up. Last year, while crude markets were touching the ebb, even going into negative territory, “Chinese buyers dragged oil prices out of the doldrums single-handedly as they stocked up on…

Markets must drive Canada’s energy conversion

Canada’s 2050 goal to achieve net-zero emissions might look good on paper, but it will harm investors, companies, employees and households

Markets must drive Canada’s energy conversionCanada’s policy to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 necessitates divesting from fossil fuels. There’s just one problem: massive outstanding loans from banks to the oil and gas industries. The oil and gas sector makes up more than 10 per cent of the Canadian economy, and abolishing it, gradually or otherwise, would take its toll. Canadian…
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