Feb. 12, 2021

COVID-19 UPDATE

  • Manitoba is the first province to procure its own COVID-19 vaccine. They are buying 2 million doses of the new mRNA vaccine developed by Calgary’s Providence Therapeutics and hope to have emergency use approval by fall 2021.
  • Province of Ontario postponed March break to mid-April to keep students safe and limit community spread.
  • Alberta’s frontline workers (earning less than $25 per hour in private sector) will receive a one-time $1,200 payment from the government (25% from the provincial government and 75% from the federal government).
  • Starting February 15th, anyone arriving in Canada via land border will need to have a negative PCR COVID-19 test, administered in the past 72 hours…the same as air travel.
  • Canada Revenue Agency will not charge interest on overdue taxes from benefit programs for at least 1 year.
  • US Center for Disease Control (CDC) said that recently vaccinated people need not quarantine after exposure to the virus.
  • Dubai has opened a ‘robocafe’ where robots take, prepare and deliver your order to your table.

CANADA

  • Immigration to Canada dropped to the lowest level since 1998, down 46% to 184,370 new permanent residents in 2020 vs 2019.
    • Led to weaker demand for apartments and condo rentals in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal
  • Canadian Savings (Nanos Research Group for Bloomberg)
    • Canadians have accumulated $150 billion in extra savings during the pandemic
    • 70% of Canadians say they expect to maintain or increase their current savings levels
    • 27% anticipate having less in savings
    • 75% say their top financial priority is paying down debt or retaining elevated savings (separate Nanos Poll)

TIDBITS

  • Florida water treatment plant was hacked and the level of lye (a dangerous chemical) was increased 100x; the hack was caught immediately and rectified.
  • EU needs to build 1,000,000 public EV charging stations by 2024 and 3,000,000 by 2029 to give consumers the confidence to switch to the new technology.
  • Tesla’s expansion boosted employment 47% in 2020 to 70,757 employees globally.
  • Mastercard and BNY Mellon Bank are going to offer support for some cryptocurrencies on their networks this year.
  • Israeli farm cultivated a ‘lab-grown ribeye steak’ using a 3D printer.