Posts

New US ambassador to Canada believes in "both sides of science" on climate change

Image
Kelly Craft, the new U.S. ambassador to Canada, said that when it comes to climate change she believes in "both sides of the science"
Craft told Rosemary Barton of the CBC that she appreciates all of the scientific evidence on climate change saying to Barton: "I think that both sides have their own results, from their studies, and I appreciate and I respect both sides of the science." Craft said that although the position of President Trump on climate change is different from that of the Canadian government that the two countries shared the same goal to "better our environment and to maintain the environment."" She also claimed that the U.S. could still fight climate change though it is leaving the Paris climate change accord. Craft said that the US pulling out of the agreement should not impact America's broader relationships with its allies. Craft's husband, billionaire coal-mining magnate Joe Craft, was critical of former president Obama&#…

Canada will be better off if Trump dumps NAFTA

Image
Many commentators appear worried that US President Trump will end up sabotaging any new NAFTA deal by insisting on new provisions that Mexico and Canada cannot accept.
An article byThomas Walkomsuggests what Canada can do if Trump kills NAFTA. If U.S. President Donald Trump rejects the North American Free Trade Agreement, there are essentially three things that Canada can do. One reaction would be to try and keep what remains of NAFTA with Mexico and hope that Trump's presidency wont last too long. Negotiations could resume with a new US president more amenable to a free trade deal that all three nations could accept. However, there may be a deep-seated negative attitude towards globalism in the US that could continue even if Trump's presidency ends. A second reaction would be to try to negotiate a bilateral deal with the US. That is not likely to be successful as Trump will insist on terms unacceptable to Canada. If NAFTA is ended then the 1989 US-Canada Free Trade Agreement …

Canadian households reach record debt to income level

The ratio of debt to incomerose to 167.8 percent from 166.6 in the first quarter, according to Statistics Canada. This means that for every dollar of income, Canadian households had $1.68 of debt. The Bank of Canada increased interest rates both in July and September. The early September hike was from 0.75 percent to 1 percent.Many economists predict more increases in the future. The debt ratio has been high for some time. In the third quarter of 2016 a record was also reached at 166.9 so the present debt level is not a huge increase.
Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) said: "Certainly it's confirming that debt levels remain high and (are) creeping up a little bit higher. That's been an ongoing vulnerability for the Canadian economy." Ferley thought that the higher interest rates might dampen consumer demand but he thought that most households would be able to cope. However, Scott Hannah of the Credit Counselling Society warned: &…

Vanocouver tech firms offer benefits to attract tech workers

As Vancouver tries to be a base for new tech start-ups it has found that it needs to offer bonuses of various types to attract workers to the city where living costs are high. While Vancouver has already established itself as the cheapest place among fifty markets in North America to establish a new tech start-up, companies in Vancouver realize that to be successful they must attract top tech talent.

The growth of the tech sector in Vancouver is being helped by the fact that large multinationals such as Amazon and Microsoft have recently opened offices in Vancouver. At the same time, Canadian startups such as Hootsuite have begun to obtain international status. Vancouver's high cost of living and the low value of the Canadian loonie relative to the US dollar are two drawbacks that Vancouver has to counter. However, the situation is even worse in some prime high-tech areas such as Silicon Valley in the United States which is notorious for the high cost of living in the Bay area.…

Study shows that tech students may be going to US rather than staying in Canada

Image
A study by two students at the University of Waterloo shows that in the fast growing tech market many tech graduates are deciding to go to the US rather than stay in Canada.
Atef Chaudary and Joey Loi are graduates of the Systems Design Engineering(SYDE) program at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. The small study of 82 graduating students to which 77 replied showed that many in the program went straight to the US rather than stay in Canada. This appears to show a brain drain from Canada at least in the tech area. However, the two who did the study warned against its being extrapolated. Yet the study does give at least some evidence for a potential brain drain in the restricted area of technology graduates. The tech area is the fastest growing market in North America and so there is fierce competition for graduates. Each student in the SYDE program had to take six co-ops in which they were required to work for companies to obtain experience. These co-op experiences are what drov…

Vancouver a great city to set up a tech company

Image
A report by Commercial Real Estate Research(CBRE) found that of 50 US and Canadian markets, Vancouver was the cheapest city to start up a new tech company.
CBRE has afull time staff of about 30 researchers spread across Canada. A typical tech company setting up in Vancouver would cost about $24 million a year US to cover both employee salaries and rent in Vancouver. In contrast the same company in the San Francisco Bay area, the most expensive area, would cost $67 million more than twice as much. CBRE, Research Director, Colin Yasukochi said that the lower start up costs in Vancouver are due in part to the lower-priced Canadian dollar, but also more favourable immigration policies, and lower rental rates than many major US tech centers play a significant role. Yasukochi said: "I think there's a better supply demand balance in Canada with regard to the account workforce and the demand for it." The average salary of a tech worker in Vancouver is $79,402 a year which is $34…

Canadian company Bombardier considering options for its train business

Image
The Quebec-based Canadian company Bombardier says that it is considering `multiple options` for its train business as the unit continues to provide strong profits and sales, enabling the company to break even in its latest quarterly results.
Overall, the Montreal-based company that makes mainly planes and trains used up $570 million US in the quarter that ended June 30. While the company lost $296 million or 13 cents per share this was an improvement over the same period last year when they lost $24 million or 24 cents a share. However, revenue fell 5 percent to $4.09 billion. However if special charges such as employee severance, and also benefits from a tax adjustment are considered, analysts had expected the company to post a one cent loss per share. Instead the company broke even. Investors were actually buoyed by the results with shares up 5.4 percent on Friday AM to $2.54. This is a rise of 63 percent from its low of $1.56 last September. Alain Bellemare the CEO said of the trai…