Nov. 15, 2019

ALBERTA GOVERNMENT

  • Premier Jason Kenney is addressing western alienation by looking at ways to increase autonomy including opening offices in other provinces and creating a ‘Fair Deal Panel’.
  • The ‘Fair Deal Panel’ has a $650,000 budget (click here to read more) and will look at establishing, among other things:
    • An Alberta Constitution
    • Withdrawing from CPP to establish an Alberta Pension Plan similar to Quebec’s CPP
    • Establishing a Provincial Police Force
  • Premier Kenney is also seeking $1.7 billion from the federal government’s Fiscal Stabilization Program which was implemented to help provinces that have faced unusually large revenue collapses.

CANADA

  • CRA shared financial records from 900,000 Canadians with the IRS in 2019 up 33% Y/Y.
    • 2.6 million records have been shipped
    • The information transfer is the result of an information-sharing agreement between Canada and the US, negotiated as part of FATCA
    • Canadian residents cannot open accounts with Canadian banks or financial institutions unless they sign the FATCA agreement
    • The US levies income taxed based on citizenship rather than residency; Canadians who were born in the US or have an American parent may be subject to US income tax
    • Court challenges to bank-record sharing, like FATCA, have been launched in the UK and EU
  • Canadian consumer insolvencies were up 2,000 Y/Y to 12,000 in September 2019.
    • Over the 12 month period ending September, insolvencies were 133,000 up 8.5% from the previous year.
  • Only 37% of small businesses currently operate on e-commerce platforms and nearly 50% face challenges navigating export and import processes.
  • After adjusting for inflation, the Canadian Senate costs taxpayers $114 million in the current fiscal year, up 33.4% (from $90 million) over the past 5 years.

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

  • Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors says the industry is at a critical turning point and if we do not become internationally competitive, we will not have an industry left in Canada.
  • Global oil demand is expected to plateau around 2030 (IEA).
  • US Energy Information Agency (EIA) expects 2020 crude oil output to increase to 1 million barrels a day in 2020 from 900,000 barrels a day in October 2019.
  • International Energy Agency (IEA) says offshore wind turbines grew 30% from 2010 to 2018 and by 2040 are expected to provide more than 50% of world’s total electricity.
  • Iran discovered an oil field containing 53 billion barrels. Iran ranks 4th in reserves worldwide behind Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Canada.
  • Concordia University joined Laval and University of Quebec announcing that they will divest from oil, gas, coal investments by 2025.

TIDBITS

  • Netherlands cut speed limits on highways to curb pollution.
  • Facebook removed 3.2 billion fake accounts between April and September 2019, as well 11.6 million pieces of content depicting child nudity and sexual exploitation.