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