Dec. 18, 2020

Wishing you all the best for the holiday season and here’s to a healthy and happy 2021!

COVID-19 IMPACT

  • Canada’s population growth ground to a halt in Q3 2020 due to the pandemic; immigration was the slowest since 1946. We welcomed 40,069 immigrants in Q3 and recorded a net loss of almost 66,000 non-permanent residents.
  • Approximately 1.4 million Canadians received EI benefits for jobs lost in October, more than the 3x the February figure. 
    • After the 2008-09 recession, EI recipients peaked at 822,000
  • The covered athletic field on the University of Alberta campus known as “The Butterdome” has been converted to a contingent field hospital for up to 100 patients.
  • Canada Revenue Agency has introduced a $400 work from home tax deduction for the 2020 tax year.
  • FDA Advisory panel says that the benefits of the Moderna vaccine outweigh the risks. The next step is approval by the FDA for Emergency Use.
    • This vaccine also requires 2 doses, approximately 3 weeks apart.
  • The number of Americans taking road trips this Christmas is expected to decline 25% according to GasBuddy. Of those getting of out of the house during the holidays:
    • 27% plan to drive less than 1 hour
    • 32% will be in the car 1-3 hours 
    • 39% plan to cross state lines

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

  • Canadian Pacific Railway is developing North America’s first hydrogen-powered locomotive. The pilot project will retrofit a locomotive with hydrogen fuel cells and battery technology to power its electric traction motors.
  • Hydrogen plane startup ‘ZeroAvia’ has secured funding from Bill Gates’ Breathrough Energy Ventures to develop zero-emission commercial aircraft.
  • Germany has ordered electric air taxis to carry emergency doctors directly to patients with the first flight tests to begin in 2023.
  • California residents can now pay a little extra to get some of their natural gas by capturing biogas from landfills and cow manure lagoons, instead of having these greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.

TIDBITS

  • 53% of Canadians made contributions to their Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA’s) in 2020 vs 58% in 2019.
    • If you were 18 in 2009, the maximum contribution amount to a TFSA is $69,500 to December 31, 2020
    • 2021 contribution limit is $6,000

10 Second Headlines will return January 8, 2021!