New mortgages down in Canada: CMHC

New mortgages down in Canada: CMHCMortgage loans in Canada declined in 2018 due to new mortgage regulations, rising rates and softening housing markets, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.’s  first Residential Mortgage Industry Report.  “Over the last year, activity in the Canadian mortgage landscape slowed after many years of strong increases, which had been driven by rising housing prices…

Child benefit program pays dividends but presents hurdles

Governments need to be careful that benefits don’t discourage social institutions that strengthen families and communities

Child benefit program pays dividends but presents hurdlesParents will receive an increase in the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) this month. The program has been widely credited with reducing child poverty, yet the benefit is not without challenges. The cost-of-living adjustment boosts the maximum compensation for a child under age six to $6,639 annually and maximum compensation for children between the ages of…

Artificial intelligence will kill jobs – and create them

Automation increases labour productivity and so raises the income levels of workers, who in turn acquire new skills to use and advance automation

Artificial intelligence will kill jobs – and create themEver since the Industrial Revolution, the automation of tasks once done by humans has raised fears about machines putting humans out of work and creating mass poverty. Happily, history has repeatedly proven the doomsayers wrong. While automation has certainly led to declines in entire industries (and employment in those industries), the relationship between automation and…

Canadian economy gets $6.1-billion boost from investments

Canadian economy gets $6.1-billion boost from investmentsInternational transactions in securities generated a net inflow of funds of $6.1 billion in the Canadian economy in May to total $34.2 billion in the first five months of 2019, reported Statistics Canada on Tuesday. The federal agency said foreign investors acquired $10.2 billion of Canadian securities in May, following two months of divestment. At…

Cenovus reaches one billion barrels of oil sands production

Company says its two facilities have created thousands of jobs and contributed over $25 billion in capital spending to the Canadian economy

Cenovus reaches one billion barrels of oil sands productionCalgary-based Cenovus says it has reached a significant milestone with one billion barrels of cumulative production from its Foster Creek and Christina Lake oil sands facilities in northern Alberta. It said it’s the first company to produce one billion barrels of oil using steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) technology. “This incredible achievement for Cenovus represents over…

Dramatic drop in capital expenditures threatens Canada’s prosperity

Capital investment, particularly in machinery and equipment and intellectual property assets, is the major source of productivity growth and higher standards of living in developed countries.

Dramatic drop in capital expenditures threatens Canada’s prosperityThe federal government’s recent approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is a welcome sign. It shows that the Liberal government recognizes Canada’s deteriorating investment environment, particularly in the upstream oil and gas sector (essentially, exploration and production). Unfortunately, the government has provided less evidence that it acknowledges the competitiveness problem plaguing a much broader…

How Canada can tax carbon efficiently

Carbon tax should replace other, less efficient policies with the same objective and be offset by cuts in other taxes

How Canada can tax carbon efficientlyEconomists generally agree that imposing a price on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is the most efficient way to reduce them while minimizing the drawbacks associated with intervention. The devil, however, is in the details. And when you look at the details, the carbon pricing systems the federal and provincial governments of Canada have put in…

Attempts to discredit LNG miss the mark

Attempts to discredit LNG miss the markTwo articles published in the Globe and Mail recently might make supporters of Canadian LNG pause and wonder whether they’re backing the right horse. Marc Lee, a senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), wrote an opinion column entitled “LNG’s big lie,” and a couple of days later, the Globe published a…

Economic optimism rises for Canadian business leaders

CPA Canada survey says protectionism and uncertainty about U.S. economy remain concerns

Economic optimism rises for Canadian business leadersCanadian business leaders are more optimistic about the prospects of the Canadian economy heading into the summer, according to a new survey conducted for Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada). The CPA Canada Business Monitor found that optimism about the economy over the next 12 months is up sharply among professional accountants in leadership…

Canadian trade balance reaches surplus again

In volume terms, exports increased 4% and imports were up 1.2%, said StatsCan

Canadian trade balance reaches surplus againCanada's merchandise trade balance with the world was in a surplus position in May for the second time since December 2016, says Statistics Canada. The federal agency reported on Wednesday that the $762-million surplus in May followed a $1.1-billion deficit in April as exports rose 4.6 per cent in May, in part due to an…

Canadian business investment still sluggish: Fraser Institute

Drop in business investment from 2014 to 2017 is the most severe in at least 30 years

Canadian business investment still sluggish: Fraser InstituteA study released on Wednesday by the Fraser Institute says business investment has declined in two-thirds of the non-government sectors that comprise the Canadian economy in recent years. The Private Sector Capital Expenditures in Canada: An Industry-Level Analysis report said the drop in business investment from 2014 to 2017 is the most severe in at…

China clearly has Canada’s number when it comes to food safety

China has played Canada in impressive fashion over the last six months and the meat ban is a masterful stroke

China clearly has Canada’s number when it comes to food safetyCanada is losing the food safety optics game against China. While Canada has demonstrated many times that its food safety record is outstanding – in fact, one of the best in the world – none of it matters now. Since Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, was arrested in Vancouver in December 2018 on…

Bill C-69 is a loose, vague obstacle to development

The law is so full of giant holes that it could make things much worse for anyone planning a large project to improve our economy

Bill C-69 is a loose, vague obstacle to developmentCanada is no longer a low-risk, high-return venue for investment. The federal government has boxed itself into a corner in its attempts to square the process for reviewing and approving large mining, pipeline or other projects. It has run counter to the private sector’s desire for any such process to be clear, simple, relatively quick,…

Single-use plastic ban won’t solve waste problem

Economic reasoning and basic statistics show that such bans are largely symbolic gestures that come with real downsides

Single-use plastic ban won’t solve waste problemPrime Minister Justin Trudeau recently proposed a federal ban on certain single-use plastics, in an effort to protect marine life and the beauty of Canadian shores. But the proposal fails to get to the root of the problem. Trudeau justified the proposal by saying, “We have a responsibility to work with our partners to reduce…

Canadian economy gets a boost from Alberta energy sector

StatsCan said oil sands extraction increased 11% to take advantage of the easing of production restrictions

Canadian economy gets a boost from Alberta energy sectorCanada’s real gross domestic product was up 0.3 per cent in April, following a 0.5 per cent increase in March, according to Statistics Canada. And that was helped by a boost from the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector. The federal agency reported on Friday that goods-producing industries rose 0.4 per cent, while…
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