Cognac’s global reach keeps spreading

While making inroads in urban American culture and gaining a foothold in China, the industry is also innovating its products

Cognac’s global reach keeps spreadingPart 7 of our series The Business of Cognac According to the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC), the industry’s trade association, cognac’s three largest markets are the United States (78.7 million bottles), Singapore (23.6 million bottles) and China (22.6 million bottles). Singapore has the distinction of having the largest per capita consumption of Cognac in the…

Cognac’s rise from a regional product to a worldwide phenomenon

Export sales drove the development of the industry, a feature as true today as it was three centuries ago

Cognac’s rise from a regional product to a worldwide phenomenonPart 6 of our series The Business of Cognac From the very beginning, the cognac industry was dominated by cognac houses that acted as intermediaries between the producers of eau de vie and their overseas markets. Many of the first cognac houses were founded by English and Irish entrepreneurs: Jean Martell was from Jersey, while…

China may balk at Taiwan entry into resurrected TPP

From Canada’s viewpoint, considerations like global security, freedom, human rights and democracy support Taiwan’s case

China may balk at Taiwan entry into resurrected TPPThe next big trade hullabaloo in the topsy-turvy world of international trade is fermenting: which countries will be invited to join the second membership round of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Taiwan’s application is a potential flashpoint. The clumsily-named CPTPP rose from the ashes of the Trans-Pacific Partnership after the United States…

The plastic bag pollution paradox

At least 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighing 268,940 tons are floating in our oceans but we struggle to find packaging alternatives

The plastic bag pollution paradoxBy Sylvain Charlebois Atlantic Institute for Market Studies and Tony Walker Dalhousie University An increasing number of people are voicing concerns about our use of plastics day-to-day. Single-use plastics of any kind – such as grocery bags, cutlery, straws, polystyrene and coffee cups – are significant yet preventable sources of land and marine pollution. In…

When property prices are a crime

The B.C. government balked at applying the foreign buyer tax to pre-sale contracts, so property flipping won’t slow down and it certainly won’t stop

When property prices are a crimeEveryone knew that Vancouver housing prices were criminal, they just didn’t know by how much. By now, many citizens are aware that offshore money, mostly from China, has been laundered through casinos and invested in properties that have often been flipped through shady realtors and unlicensed brokers. The new government in British Columbia talked a…

Stretchable plastics removed from recycle program

Loraas Environmental Ltd. says the ban is the result of regulatory changes in China, which offers the only viable market for post-consumer plastics

Stretchable plastics removed from recycle programKenneth Brown of The Clarion A change is coming to the town’s recycling program as residents will no longer be able to recycle post consumer plastics such as cellophane packaging. The Town of Kindersley’s recycling program is contracted to Loraas Environmental Ltd. The company has been accepting all plastics that have recycle numbers from one…

China using its monetary policy as a weapon of war

China is conquering the world by creating money when it needs it and simply absorbing debt. Perhaps we should be copying them

China using its monetary policy as a weapon of warThe United States military believes we're losing the Third World War to China. According to U.S. Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer, not only has that war started, but it’s unlike any conflict in history. “When it comes to China, the bottom line there is the chequebook,” he says. According to military leaders, this…

Kate Harris’ Lands of Lost Borders a masterpiece

In Lands of Lost Borders, Kate Harris ruminates on 10 months aboard a bicycle along the Silk Road once conquered by Marco Polo

Kate Harris’ Lands of Lost Borders a masterpieceLands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Road By Kate Harris Knopf Canada, 2018 Kate Harris is a Canadian Rhodes Scholar who studied the history of science at Oxford, dropped out of her microbiology PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and instead has found her métier as a modern-day explorer. Channeling…

Flu pandemic of 1918 brutal, virulent killer

One hundred years ago, a flu pandemic swept across the world, killing tens of millions of people, particularly those in the prime of life

Flu pandemic of 1918 brutal, virulent killerFrom the wet and windswept northwest of Ireland to rural southwestern Ontario, the flu pandemic of 1918 to 1920 was remorseless. My mother and my wife’s father lost siblings to an illness where death might come within 24 hours of first symptoms. And sometimes it was particularly brutal. Historian John Barry has described it this…

China’s foreign garbage ban reveals recycling’s weakness

Recycling seems like a neat solution until we can't dump our garbage on another country and have to deal with it ourselves

China’s foreign garbage ban reveals recycling’s weaknessChina has decided that what goes around doesn’t have to come around – at least not around there. As 2017 came to an end, China stopped importing most recyclables, putting Canadian recyclers in a bind. The Chinese decision also revealed weaknesses in the basic premise of recycling. Many environmentalists regard recycling as imperative for the…