June 8, 2018

Ontario elections

  • Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative party won a majority in the Ontario election, ending 15 years of Liberal Party rule.
  • Ford ran on the platform of tax cuts for businesses and the middle class, along with lower prices for gasoline and electricity.
  • The Conservatives are promising to balance the budget over a “responsible time-frame”. Debt under the Liberal Party soared to 37% of GDP vs 27% when they took power in 2003.
  • Liberals won only 7 seats, short of 8 needed to maintain official party status.

Canadian jobs

  • Canada lost 7,500 jobs in May vs expected increase of 23,000. Unemployment rate remains steady at 5.8%
    • Alberta added net 2,900 jobs: 3,100 full-time and lost 200 part-time
    • Alberta’s unemployment rate 6.2% vs 6.7% M/M.

Coffee and politics?

  • Starbucks’s Howard Schultz will leave the coffee chain this month opening doors to a variety of options for his future, such as philanthropy or public service.
  • During his 40 years at Starbucks, the company grew from 11 stores to more than 28,000 in 77 countries, rivaling McDonalds.
  • He will become chairman emeritus on June 26.
  • The Times reported in March 2017 that Schultz “came close” to getting into 2016 presidential race, but backed off after concluding that Hillary Clinton would win the election.

Refugees

  • Refugees now constitute 1% of the global population, highest in modern history.
  • More than 55% come from Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan.
  • Economic impact of global civil unrest was estimated at $14.8 trillion in 2017, up 2% from 2016 and equal to 12.4% of global output or about $2,000 a person.

Tidbits

  • Canadian entrepreneurs are developing a wide range of new ways to use recreational marijuana in socially acceptable ways like cocktails, beer, coffee and tea, along with specially designed vape devices.
  • Iran’s top leader ordered preparations to increase uranium enrichment capacity if a nuclear deal with world powers falls apart.
  • First-time US homebuyers with a median age of 32 account for 46% of new mortgages.
  • Mercedes-Benz is starting a car-subscription pilot in two US cities. Subscribers can swap cars as often as they like in 3 pricing tiers ranging from $1,095 to $2,995 a month.
  • DNA firm MyHeritage said that email addresses and password information linked to more than 92 million user accounts was hacked.
  • Saudi Arabia issued first driver’s licences to 10 women.