• Mark Carney, the former Bank of Canada governor who now heads the Bank of England, shook up the financial sector earlier this week with a blunt assessment of the economic cost of climate change.

    Calling it the “tragedy on the horizon,” Carney said in a speech to the insurance market Lloyd’s of London that society faces profound environmental and social challenges due to changes in the climate.

    “The combination of the weight of scientific evidence and the dynamics of the financial system suggest that, in the fullness of time, climate change will threaten financial resilience and longer-term prosperity,” he told insurance executives.

    “While there is still time to act, the window of opportunity is finite and shrinking.”

    There are implications for insurers, financial stability and the economy, Carney said, and the insurance industry is already seeing those implications.

    Since the 1980s the number of registered weather-related loss events has tripled and the average annual losses have

    Read More »from Mark Carney’s stark climate change warning has Canadian implications
  • Leadenhall Building PHOTO COURTESY: www.theleadenhallbuilding.comLeadenhall Building PHOTO COURTESY: www.theleadenhallbuilding.com

    Canadians are taking over New York, buying a record US$3.85 billion in property on Manhattan in this year alone, according to data from Real Capital Analytics Inc.

    The company, which monitors commercial real estate transactions, said Canadians have spent more than any other foreign country in the last decade on property in New York’s most expensive borough.

    Canadian pension funds and other investors have extensive real estate holdings overseas, not just in our neighbour to the south. Here are some of the most iconic and interesting buildings in which Canadians have a stake:

    Leadenhall Building, London, U.K.

    One of London’s tallest buildings, the wedge-shaped Leadenhall Building was built by developers British Land and Toronto-based Oxford Properties. Known informally as the “cheese grater,” the tapered 46-storey building is the fourth-tallest in London and a distinctive part of the city’s skyline. 

    The building, at the heart of the City of London’s financial district, opened in July

    Read More »from Buying the world: 6 iconic properties owned by Canadians
  • Canadian-born Saad Gaya, convicted terrorist, targeted for revocation of citizenshipCanadian-born Saad Gaya, convicted terrorist, targeted for revocation of citizenship

    A dispute between a Canadian-born man convicted of terrorism and the federal government could end in a legal stalemate that keeps a member of the so-called Toronto 18 in jail on an immigration hold indefinitely.

    Saad Gaya, 28, was born in Montreal to Pakistani-born parents. At 18, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his role in the unsuccessful Toronto 18 bomb plot. In an application to the Federal Court, Gaya is fighting a government notice that his Canadian citizenship will be revoked, arguing that it would leave him stateless.

    Gaya, through his lawyers, asserts that he has only Canadian citizenship, and does not hold and has never sought Pakistani citizenship. But the government says that he retroactively became a Pakistani citizen when his parents — who originally lost their Pakistani citizenship when they became Canadian citizens  restored their Pakistani citizenship in 2014.

    It’s against Canadian law to leave a person stateless — which is what Gaya’s lawyers say would be

    Read More »from Citizenship revocation of Canadian-born terrorist could end in stalemate
  • Federal scientist under investigation for ‘Harperman’ song retires

    An Environment Canada scientist under investigation for his part in a protest song has retired from public service, according to his union.

    Tony Turner was put on administrative leave while he was investigated for writing and playing a song against Conservative Leader Stephen Harper.

    The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) said Friday that Turner chose to retire rather than wait an unknown number of days, or even weeks, to learn his fate from his employer.

    “I have always believed I acted within my rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that I was not in a conflict of interest with the department’s values and ethics code,” Turner said in the union’s news release. “I have always maintained impartiality and objectivity in the conduct of my duties.”

    Turner said he was assured a quick investigation and decision when Environment Canada suspended him earlier this summer.

    “That has not happened and I have decided it better to retire and continue to

    Read More »from Federal scientist under investigation for ‘Harperman’ song retires
  • For the second time in two years Margaret Nyajur finds herself homeless in her own homeland. South Sudan's seasonal rains have left sticky red mud on the floor of the lightweight emergency tent that she and her four daughters live in. The 18’ x 10’ x 7’ shelter is inhabitable.

    Nyajur and her family have the distinction of being the first registered members of a camp for internally displaced persons (IDP) in Twic in Warrap state in South Sudan. The camp holds approximately 500 IDPs; mostly widowed mothers with young families, and some elderly. IDPs are defined as those who have fled their homes but not crossed an international border. They become refugees once in a foreign country.

    There is an abundance of misery in the IDP camp. Barefoot children with dust-covered feet and legs walk aimlessly and play in the dirt. A few have scaly, oozing rashes. All are thin; many have rust-coloured hair, a sign of malnourishment. There are no schools, no books, no playgrounds, and no sounds of

    Read More »from South Sudan: The million-strong refugee crisis no one is talking about
  • WOW Air will start the £99 transatlantic flights in April 2015. [WOW Air]WOW Air will start the £99 transatlantic flights in April 2015. [WOW Air]

    A new discount carrier has entered the Canadian airline market, adding a low-cost option for travellers looking to get to Europe and willing to have an Icelandic stopover along the way — a move one expert says should keep fares competitive.

    Iceland-based Wow Air announced Thursday that it’ll begin running four weekly flights between Toronto or Montreal and Europe, with refuelling stopovers in Reykjavik, starting in next May.

    Wow’s fares will start at $99 one way to Reykjavik, and another $149 from Iceland to 16 other European destinations including Berlin and London. Wow is already flying out of Washington, D.C., and Boston in the United States.

    The entry of an international discount carrier into the Canadian market could be good news for consumers, Ambarish Chandra, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto who researches airline markets, tells Yahoo Canada News. 

    “I’ve long believed that there’s insufficient competition for travel both within Canada and in between Canada

    Read More »from Wow Air’s Canadian expansion could lead to lower fares
  • Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) logo. (Canada Border Services Agency)Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) logo. (Canada Border Services Agency)

    RCMP say they haven’t noticed any influx of Syrian or Iraqi refugees into Quebec, contrary to a media report that residents along the Canada-U.S. border have seen such a spike.

    Cpl. Camille Habel, spokeswoman for the Mounties in Quebec, confirms that RCMP officers were called to intercept a group of migrants Wednesday morning that had crossed from the United States in the Montérégie region.

    But Habel says migrants and refugee claimants do cross the border.

    “It’s routine,” she tells Yahoo Canada News. “It’s not daily.. It’s not weekly but it happens.”

    A report in La Presse says there has been a growing number of migrants crossing the border from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Citing local residents, the media outlet says at least 15 Syrian and Iraqi migrants have entered Canada illegally in the past month near the town of Dundee, along the border with New York state, including the six migrants that arrived Wednesday morning.

    “This is the third time in a few days,” a farmer, who wished to

    Read More »from RCMP refutes claim that more Syrians are crossing border illegally
  • A view of fishing village Quidi Vidi, N.L. PHOTO COURTESY: Terri ColesA view of fishing village Quidi Vidi, N.L. PHOTO COURTESY: Terri Coles

    The Newfoundland and Labrador government announced changes this week to provincial regulations that now allow chefs and consumers to purchase seafood directly from local fish harvesters, eliminating a decades-old prohibition and injecting new life in the fisheries.

    The changes to regulations under the Fish Inspection Act and Food Premises Act mean that seafood fishers in the province can now sell finfish, live crustaceans, squid, seal meat, and scallop meat to chefs and individuals directly from their wharves or fishing establishment. Under the new regulations, restaurants can acquire a $50 a year buyer’s licence that allows them to purchase up to 300 pounds per species each week directly from fish harvesters. There are no limits on fish sold to individuals for personal consumption.

    “We recognize that there has been an appetite for change to a decades-old policy that amounted to a blanket prohibition on the direct sale of fish throughout the province,” Vaughn Granter, the province’s

    Read More »from N.L. scratches decades-old rule preventing direct sale of local fish
  • Dr. Dimitri Nakassis, 40, a professor at the University of Toronto, is one of 24 people to receive a genius grantthis year.

    More accurately known as a fellowship of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the honour comes with a no-strings-attached stipend of $625,000 (U.S.) paid over five years. The foundation avoids the term genius, saying that their awards go to people with many impressive qualities beyond intellectual prowess.

    Each year fellowships are awarded to between 20 and 40 individuals who show extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. It claims to be one of the largest private philanthropies based in the United States.

    According to its website, the Foundation has paid out $5.5-billion U.S. since 1978 through nearly 22,000 grants and program-related investments to more than 7,900 organizations and individuals.

    Nakassis, a classicist and archaeologist, is now a MacArthur Fellow.

    What does a

    Read More »from Why did Dimitri Nakassis win the “genius grant” MacArthur Fellowship?
  • Power & Politics host was fired after the Toronto Star reported he was brokering secret art deals with people he'd dealt with as a journalistPower & Politics host was fired after the Toronto Star reported he was brokering secret art deals with people he'd dealt with as a journalist

    The fall of Evan Solomon was brief.

    On June 9, the CBC fired the pundit and host of Power & Politics and The House within an hour of the Toronto Star’s investigative report that he’d purportedly used his position to broker art deals with Jim Balsillie, co-founder of Research In Motion and Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England without disclosing he was being paid fees to make the connections.

    Within two and a half hours, Solomon had released a statement via his lawyer stating that he “did not view the art business as a conflict with my political journalism at the CBC and never intentionally used my position at the CBC to promote the business.”

    “I have the utmost respect for the CBC and what it stands for,” he wrote.  

    And just like that, the cognoscenti of all things parliament – a shoo-in for Peter Mansbridge when the aging anchor retired – went dark; a brief supernova of scandal and sorry statements sucked into the vacuum of silence.

    Well, there was a little wave at a Star

    Read More »from The fall and rise of Evan Solomon


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