Nov. 29, 2019

CANADA

  • 6 Opportunities to give Canada an edge in the coming year:
    1. Stephen Poloz Governor Bank of Canada: Reduce interprovincial trade barriers, the lack of free trade among Canada’s provinces is “absurd”
    2. Arlene Dickenson CEO Venture Communications: Focus our commercialization on all the research and innovation being done in Canada
    3. Michael Litt CEO Vidyard: Think about high-tech farming combining internet of things and machine learning to drive outsized efficiency in things like the supply chain
    4. Mallorie Brodie CEO Bridget: Prioritize a global growth strategy, step outside your comfort zone.
    5. Bharat Masrani CEO TD Bank Group: Educate your workforce, help them to transition through change to acquire new skills and continue to participate in a digital environment.
    6. Joshua Landy, co-founder and chief medical officer at Figure 1: Mix medicine and machine learning, doctors win with reduced workload and patients win with more face time.
  • Total Alberta farm cash receipts were up 9.1% in the 9 months of 2019 vs 2018
    • If cannabis is excluded crop revenue was down 4.1% (canola down 10.4% and wheat down 2.9%)
  • Edmonton and Calgary get top scores for financial health in a report assessing average income, debt and asset levels as well as poverty levels while Quebec’s Saguenay, Sherbrook and Trois Rivières were at the bottom. (Proper Canada and Canadian Council on Social Development).
  • Toronto new home sales increased 178% in October Y/Y.

CN RAIL STRIKE – IMPACTS

  • The strike lasted 8 days over demands for improved working conditions and rest breaks.
  • CN Sr VP and chief legal officer, Sean Finn said “Hopefully sometime before Christmas we’ll be back where we should be” but customers won’t see a difference immediately.
    • Each day of the strike caused several backlogs
    • Crews returned to work on Tuesday night
    • CN is focused on catching up on grain as quickly as possible and merchandise customers are also receiving immediate attention

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

  • Air Liquide SA, Royal Dutch Shell and ThyssenKrupp are experimenting with technology to produce ‘Green Hydrogen’ which could make ‘Green Steel’. Currently heat used by industry is responsible for 10% of global CO2 emissions, more than the fuel burned by all the world’s cars and aircrafts combined.
  • Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere hit a new record in 2018, exceeding the average yearly increase of the last decade, reinforcing increasing damaging weather patterns. (World Meteorological Organization).
  • ECB is under pressure by academics and civil society groups to remove bonds of global climate producers from their balance sheet.
  • Carbon tax must hit $210 per tonne by 2030 to meet Paris targets. The tax remains the most cost-effective tool for fighting climate change (Ecofiscal Commission)
  • Alberta is opening a trade office in Houston in 2020 in the hopes to help reverse a flow of capital, investment and people to the US.
  • China’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia rose 76.3% in October.
  • 8 electric pick-up truck manufacturers will be in the US market by 2021, including Tesla and GM.
  • Transpod is proposing a privately funded magnetic tube link that could zip passengers from Edmonton to Calgary in 30 minutes.
  • A WWII bunker under the streets of London, England is now a hydroponic vegetable farm.
  • Vancouver is banning single-use straws starting April 2020 and plastic bags starting January 2021.