Jan. 5, 2018


  • The Order of Canada, Canada’s 2nd highest honor, was awarded to three Edmontonians: Eric Schloss, Paul W. Armstrong, and Janine Brodie.
    • Eric Schloss is a dermatologist and pathologist. He has been involved in humanitarian work around the world.
      • He has donated 40,000 books to the University of Alberta, and started the university literature center.
      • His wife, Elexis Schloss, was inducted into the order in 2014.
    • Paul W. Armstrong is a pioneer in acute cardiac care.
    • Janine Brodie is a distinguished University of Alberta professor of Political Science. She wrote Women and Politics in Canada, the first book studying careers of women political candidates from 1945 to 1975.


  • California legalized recreational marijuana, becoming the 6th state to do so after Colorado, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. Massachusetts and Maine are to follow later this year.
  • This Thursday U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era policy that promised the federal government would not get involved in prosecuting marijuana related crimes in states where the drug is legalized.
  • With a market cap of $6.2 bill and 2019 gross sales est. $301 mill Canopy Growth Corp. represents 0.27% of TSX weighting. Aphria Inc. market cap of $2.96 bill, 2019 gross sales est. $167 mill, and is 0.12% of TSX. They are trading over 20x 2019 gross sales estimates.


  • Iranian protests are being attributed to economic hardships suffered by youth and the working classes. They are against the powers and privileges of elites, especially supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
  • Pro-government marchers accuse U.S, Britain and Saudi Arabia of inciting protests through social media. The U.S. calls the accusations “nonsense”, as the protests are spontaneous, and without a clear leader.
  • The protests have heaped pressure on President Hassan Rouhani, who had a deal struck with world powers in 2015 to curb Iran’s disputed nuclear program in return for lifting most of the international sanctions.
  • President Trump must decide by mid-January whether to waive the U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil exports under terms of the nuclear deal he opposed. If he re-imposes sanctions, it might worsen the economic pain of Iranians.

Employment data

  • Canada added 79,000 jobs in December; 55,000 of which are part time.
    • Unemployment rate 5.7% vs 5.9% in November; December is the lowest since 1976.
    • Alberta added 26,000 jobs, 15,500 of which were full time. Unemployment rate 6.9% vs 7.3% in November.
  • US added 148,000 jobs vs 190,000 expected.
    • Unemployment rate unchanged at 4.1%.
    • Average hourly earnings up 0.3% M/M (2.5% Y/Y).


  • 24 hours after President Trump denounced the country, Pakistan’s central bank announced it will replace the USD with yuan for bilateral trade with China.
  • Beijing will build a $2.12 bill artificial intelligence development park. China is pushing to become a world leader in artificial intelligence by 2025.