The people in charge of investing your money for the long term are in the throes of a wrenching internal conflict that is reshaping Canada and the world.While new federal incentives for low-carbon investment as part of a COVID-19 recovery play a part, those in the know say the private sector is already embroiled in its own painful energy investment transition.Part of the agony of the split in this country is that it inflames the long-term political fault line between those regions that depend on the oil and gas sector for their livelihood and those that don't.Sophisticated new analysis shows that the interests of the fossil fuel-based economy so important to places like Alberta no longer coincide with the well-being of the country's centres of finance and industry, principally — but not only — in Ontario.A changing mood in OntarioAs French energy giant Total adds its name to the list of companies expecting oil demand to peak in a decade as electricity use doubles, finance specialist Ryan Riordan sees a changing mood within the Ontario investment sector and within the Ontario government, which so recently fought an election against carbon pricing, low-carbon energy and the green transition."I think particularly the provincial government is at an inflection point," Riordan, associate professor of finance at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., and author of a new research-based report for the Institute for Sustainable Finance, said in a phone interview last week.Riordan's research shows that it's become increasingly clear that the success of Ontario's financial and industrial sectors depends on a quick move toward a low-carbon transition.What others have called "fossil-fuel entanglement" has meant the province and even Canada's respected pension and banking sectors may have been acting against their own best interests by investing in a fossil-fuel sector that could see sharp losses.Riordan said the institute's research has shown that carefully targeted, a relatively modest $13 billion a year for 10 years from Ottawa is enough to accelerate a nationwide burst of private-sector low-carbon investment that is already underway."It's just hard to ignore what's gone on in the world in the last three or four years, and I think that's also had an impact on people in Ontario," he said.While forest fires, storms and melting ice may be the apparent cause, Riordan — a longtime finance guy who began his career on the European trading desk of HSBC before getting into high-level financial modelling — observes that market trends have become increasingly obvious.The Exxon Mobil signal"The biggest one was Exxon Mobil leaving the Dow Jones index," he said, noting that the company that had been on the exclusive list of top U.S. industrial giants for close to 100 years was kicked off last month after market capitalization fell from $340 billion US five years ago to $160 billion."I think that's just the tip of the iceberg, and this is just not what's on most institutional investors' wish lists," Riordan said, contrasting the oil giant's decline with the soaring market cap of tech companies that don't depend on carbon.On Friday after our interview, the Financial Times reported that the clean energy group NextEra had become more valuable than Exxon.Now, new developments — including expectations that Ford will build electric cars in Oakville — are forcing Ontario into the realization that its future economic advantage is more closely aligned with making the shift to a low-carbon economy based on an entirely different energy source."We have 80 per cent zero-emission electricity right now in Canada," said Merran Smith, executive director of Clean Energy Canada, a research group at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C.Canadian nickel miners are already producing low-carbon nickel, a crucial step for electric automakers committed to greening the production chain.Smith points to the Borden mine near Chapleau, Ont., on its way to becoming the first all-electric underground mine in Canada. Many Ontario manufacturers can make similar boasts.But some analysts fear that another keystone of the Ontario economy, the long-term investment sector — the smart money that manages insurance and pension money 20 or 30 years into the future — is still struggling to make the transition.As former Bank of Canada and Bank of England governor Mark Carney has repeatedly warned, decarbonizing the global economy means that at some point in the coming decades, the value of fossil-fuel assets will fall toward zero.'Those assets will diminish in value'Adam Scott, director of Shift, a group that monitors the way Canadian pension funds invest their money, worries that institutional investors, including the Canada Pension Plan, have not done enough to secure their assets against a precipitous decline.In its annual report on sustainable investing, published last week, the CPP boasts that "investments in global renewable energy companies more than doubled to $6.6 billion."But Scott points out that a lot of money is being invested in fossil-fuel companies in the expectation that they will complete the energy transition, even if such energy companies simply have no credible path to accomplish the change."There is a mindset that 'we can't abandon this sector; we have to somehow protect it,'" said Scott who observes that over a long period when the oil and gas sector was the motor of the Canadian economy, many investment leaders also spent time in the energy sector.Scott said CPP and other finance giants are trying hard to find new investments to replace their enormous portfolios of oil and gas firms and are having many successes, but they are struggling to find enough of the enormous investments they need outside the traditional energy sector they know so well."We are already seeing a rapid repricing of [fossil energy] assets because of COVID, but that's just a taste of what's going to come from climate," Scott said. "It's inevitable that those assets will diminish in value."While inevitably the Alberta oil and gas economy will continue to suffer from the rush for the door, he said, the success of the Ontario-centred finance sector will depend on getting out of those positions before they lose their value.Follow Don Pittis on Twitter: @don_pittis
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has logged 82 new COVID-19 cases and one new death as the province's testing changes set in — ones designed to eat away at Ontario's significant testing backlog.Walk-in testing is being phased out in Ontario in favour of an appointment-only model, with several test sites in eastern Ontario closed today in order to switch over.The laboratories analyzing the tests are still working, and the backlog of tests waiting to be completed in Ontario sits at 68,006 as of Monday — down from a high of more than 90,000 last week.With the province focusing on clearing the backlog and doing fewer COVID-19 tests today and tomorrow, comparing this week's positive results to previous weeks could be more difficult.Monday's OPH update includes 44 more cases considered resolved and one new death, bringing the city's death toll since the start of the pandemic to 294.The number of COVID-19 patients in hospital has risen by two to 29, nearly three times as many as two weeks ago. Five people remain in intensive care.Monday's confirmed cases are roughly split between people older and younger than 40. There are no new outbreaks in schools or hospitals.The French Catholic school board in the Ottawa area, Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, says École élémentaire catholique Horizon-Jeunesse now has six known active COVID-19 cases and is closed.OPH lists seven active school outbreaks, not including that one.Ottawa's known active case count has risen by 37 to 847, the highest this count has ever been.Ontario logged 615 more COVID-19 cases Monday.Quebec added a record-high 1,191 cases, though the province has been testing more than during the first wave.
Prateek Awasthi, the executive director of the Green Party has resigned two days after CBC News reported the party was in turmoil over the handling of an internal investigation into his behaviour and harassment complaints at his past workplace.Awasthi denied the allegations, but said regardless it had become a distraction for the party."I signed up to help lead this party through its transition to a new leader," Awasthi said in a statement on Sunday evening. "That goal has been accomplished and I couldn't be happier with the work of Green Party staff and volunteers.""I recognize that allegations against me, while untrue, are a distraction to the work of the party."The Greens hired Awasthi as the executive director in May, and within months former leader Elizabeth May launched her own internal investigation into his past after learning of allegations. When the party hired Awasthi, he disclosed his version of events about what unfolded at his past workplace Engineers Without Borders (EWB). Awasthi shared he was part of EWB's efforts to "disparage and ignore claims of sexual harassment and assault," according to an internal investigation report written by May and leaked to CBC News. Awasthi claimed he learned from his experience, apologized and resigned after realizing he didn't take a survivor-centric approach, according to a letter he wrote to council in July.But Awasthi did not tell the party he'd personally faced harassment allegations, interim leader Jo-Ann Roberts said. It doesn't appear that anyone from the party verified Awasthi's version of events, according to May's report, nor did the Green Party's hiring committee share what it did know with the party's federal council. Roberts, who was on the hiring committee and recommended Awasthi for the role, told CBC News it was an oversight to not share what they knew to council. On Sunday, Roberts wished Awasthi luck on his next endeavour. "Prateek has done a great deal for the Green Party in a short period of time, building staff, putting an emphasis on diversity, ensuring we have the financial resources for the next election," said Roberts in a statement. Anik Lajoie, the deputy executive director, is now taking on Awasthi's duties on an interim basis. New leader says it's not her decisionIn August, the party's federal council had voted to accept Awasthi's resignation that he suggested in July if the party didn't think he was fit to lead. However, for months the vote was under dispute, according to several federal council members. The council was divided and internally struggling with whether Awasthi should stay or go. Party president Jean-Luc Cooke resigned, a council member resigned and other grassroots members threatened to leave the party. The federal council held an in-camera meeting on Sunday before the party announced the decision Awasthi was resigning. After new leader Annamie Paul was appointed on Saturday, she said it wasn't her decision if he stayed or departed. She said the Greens are governed by a federal council and she only has one vote."That's absolutely not my decision," Paul said. "Those kinds of decisions that we're accustomed to being jammed down the throats of membership in other parties, I don't have any authority to do that. And I'm happy that's the case."On Sunday, Paul told The National's Ian Hanomansing that she cannot comment on Awasthi's resignation. Paul said she spent her first day on the job doing media interviews and said she's been isolated from the internal party operations.Internal probe into Awasthi's pastCBC News learned a group of employees at EWB filed harassment complaints personally against Awasthi in 2019 — including claims of aggressive behaviour in meetings, talking to employees in a demeaning tone and contributing to a toxic work environment, according to two former employees with direct knowledge of the matter. An internal EWB investigation found no evidence of harassment as of June 2019 and added the organization's human resources department concluded there was a workplace conflict in Awasthi's team, according to internal emails viewed by CBC News.May had conducted her own internal investigation into the matter and said she did "believe" Awasthi "bullied junior staff in the spring of 2019, but has amended his conduct and learned from his experience," she wrote in an internal email. "We, as a party, are at a perilous moment. We are on the verge of a public lynching of an innocent human being."May told CBC News on Friday she didn't stand by those comments anymore and that the report was confidential and was never "definitive." Since then, she said the party did more investigative work and moved toward a consensus on the issue. She maintains her position has always been neutral on the issue.In a statement to CBC News, Awasthi said he's been "open" about his "brief role in the [EWB's] response to claims that it had failed to properly address a case of sexual harassment that occurred in 2011." He said that when he learned in 2019 that information he had was in dispute, he corrected the record and apologized."I have every confidence in the Green Party's internal processes," he said. "I will not comment further."EWB Canada said it had conducted a full review and two independent legal reviews confirmed its position that "EWB's duty of care was fulfilled through our mediated process."
Four Calgary police officers will face a disciplinary hearing for their role in the shooting death of Anthony Heffernan in 2015.A fifth officer, Maurice McLoughlin, resigned from the force prior to the decision by the chief of police and will avoid any hearings or penalties as a result — a move the Heffernan family called "cowardly."Alberta is one of the few, if not the only, jurisdictions in the country where police officers can resign in the face of discipline and maintain a clean record.McLoughlin fired the shots that killed Heffernan. Following an investigation, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) recommended he be charged. The Crown prosecution service did not pursue charges. 2 of 8 allegations to be heardThe hearing decision, handed down by Chief Mark Neufeld on Sept. 23, dismisses six allegations brought forward by Heffernan's family, including insubordination and willfully or negligently making false statements in relation to the incident. The two allegations that will be heard are unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority for entering the hotel room where Heffernan was shot and neglecting duties as police officers "by failing to adequately consider tactical goals and risks before entering the room."The details of the chief's decision were not previously known. The hearing follows two investigations into the incident, one by ASIRT and the other by the RCMP on behalf of the Calgary Police Service and in response to the complaints filed by Heffernan's family.Heffernan was killed after the five officers entered his Barlow Trail hotel room following a complaint from staff that Heffernan had missed his checkout time and "did not respond to demands to leave."Heffernan had relapsed and was taking drugs.After officers breached the door of his room some time later, he was shot four times. Officers said he rushed at them with a syringe in his hand.Family reactionTom Engel, the lawyer representing the Heffernan family, says his clients are happy there will be a hearing on two of the allegations, but are disappointed in the dismissals and will likely seek a review of the decision with the Law Enforcement Review Board. "They want to see the officers, all of the officers who were involved in this, held accountable," he said."The consequences were obviously as severe as they can be and they think that the punishment ought to be harsh."Engel said, however, that's not likely "given the way that punishment of police officers is meted out in this province."Still, the lawyer said it's important that the two allegations will be examined and hopefully shed light on why the officers rushed into a room on a wellness check and ended up killing Heffernan. "This is the kind of conduct that is under heavy scrutiny nowadays, about how police respond to a mental health check on the welfare calls," said Engel. "So it's extremely important. It'll be a very, very important disciplinary hearing."The Calgary Police Service sent a statement attributed to Supt. Scott Boyd reiterating the decision made by Neufeld. "Given that a public hearing will take place, and to ensure a fair process for all involved, it would be inappropriate to provide any additional information at this time," it read. There is no date set for the disciplinary hearing, but Engel said it might not be finished by the end of 2021. Any appeals, from the officers involved or from the family, could mean years of continued legal wrangling.
Russia called on Monday for an evaluation of the legal and financial repercussions of the Trump administration announcing the U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO) next July. Russia's delegation, addressing a two-day meeting of WHO's Executive Board, said: "We need to analyse legal procedures and administrative and financial procedures regarding steps taken by the United States against the WHO."
A five-centimetre needle is found in a woman's spine at least 16 years after giving birth — which hospital staff failed to report at the time. Experts say with Canada's medical malpractice system stacked against patients, it's likely no one will have to take responsibility.
The latest developments from Canada on Oct. 4, relating to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases nationwide.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has issued a lengthy list of dos and don'ts when it comes to having a safe Halloween this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said nearly a month ago that Halloween need not be cancelled this year in B.C. and that officials would guide people on how to approach the day and night, which can see thousands of people out on city streets, knocking on doors for candy and setting off fireworks at private parties.The BCCDC advises skipping indoor parties, trick or treating in small groups and planning how to hand out treats in a way that will respect physical distancing rules."Stick to the treats — not tricks," it said as part of its list of 14 general best practices. "Indoor gatherings, big or small, put people at higher risk of getting COVID-19."The centre suggests people enjoy Halloween outside as much as possible, for costumes to include a non-medical mask or face covering and have hand sanitizer at the ready. But be careful around candles and other open flames because sanitizer is flammable.How to Trick or TreatThe BCCDC recommendations for trick or treating include staying in local neighbourhoods, avoiding busy or indoor areas and staying in small groups"Leave space between you and other groups to reduce crowding on stairs and sidewalks," it said.It advises people to wash their hands before going out and before eating treats. It says you can use hand sanitizer if you want to eat treats while on the go.The centre says it's not necessary to clean treats."You should instead wash your hands after handling treats and not touch your face," it said.Handing out candyWhen it comes to handing out candy the centre says homeowners should wear a mask and use tongs, a baking sheet or even make a candy slide to create more space between people.It says to go outside to hand out individual treats instead of offering a shared bowl and to only hand out sealed, pre-packaged treats."If you're unable to sit outside to hand out treats, clean and disinfect doorbells and knobs, handrails, and any other high touch surface often during the evening," say the guidelines.Other guidelines include not sharing drinks, snacks or smoking materials such as cigarettes or vapes.For people looking to take a year off from Halloween or who are not well enough to safely participate, the BCCDC says to turn off exterior lights on homes, such as porch lights, so people know not to approach.
If Round One of the coronavirus relief effort was the economic equivalent of "shock and awe," new plans being developed by the world's biggest economies for more assistance to businesses and consumers are taking a narrower and more tactical approach. Governments around the world went in big, hard and fast in their initial efforts to blunt the economic hit from the global pandemic, drumming up roughly $10 trillion in spending plans through June, according to International Monetary Fund estimates. Central banks levered that up further with rate cuts, bond purchases and a raft of other credit programs.
As Britain's negotiations with the European Union on a post-Brexit trade deal go down to the wire, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says his country could trade with the bloc on similar terms to Australia, if no agreement is reached. Now, the bulk of Australia's 15 billion euros ($18 billion)exports to the EU are subject to tariffs and quotas set under basic World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms. "If they're emulating our current access to Europe, it is a fairly fractured and limited access, so it's an interesting one they'd like to copy," Andrew McDonald, director of NH Foods Australia, a Japanese-owned beef producer based in Sydney with three processing facilities in eastern Australia, told Reuters.
Alphabet Inc's Google has extended its deadline for Indian app developers to comply with a new billing system for commission fees by six months, it said on Monday, days after local startups voiced anger about the charges. Google will now enforce its global policy more strictly and charge a 30% commission fee for in-app purchases from Indian developers from March 31, 2022, the company said, saying it was "being mindful of local needs and concerns". The move comes after many startups in India banded together to consider ways to challenge the company by lodging complaints with the government and courts over the original deadline for compliance of Sept. 30 next year.
Raphael Lessard's phone has not cooled off since he won his first career NASCAR race Saturday afternoon. Lessard said in an interview. The 19-year old St-Joseph-de-Beauce, Que., native captured the Chevrolet Silverado 250 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Trucks Series race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.
Candidates for an open U.S. Senate seat in New Mexico are parrying a barrage of political attack ads with the first televised debate of the campaign scheduled for Monday evening. Retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Udall has endorsed as his successor allied six-term U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, while Republican former television meteorologist Mark Ronchetti is promising to chart a more conservative political course on issues from health care to economic recovery. Absentee balloting begins Tuesday across the state that currently has an all-Democratic delegation to Washington, D.C. New Mexico hasn't backed a Republican for Senate since 2002, and Trump lost New Mexico in 2016 to Hillary Clinton by 8 percentage points.
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani arrived in Qatar for a bilateral meeting with top leaders but will not hold a meeting with Taliban officials even as peace talks are under way in the country's capital Doha, officials said on Monday. Negotiations between the Afghan government and Afghan Taliban that started last month are aimed at the warring sides agreeing to a reduction of violence and a possible new power-sharing agreement in Afghanistan.
A week after the presidential election, the court will hear arguments in a bid by the Trump administration and Republican-led states to overturn the Obama-era health care law. President Donald Trump, who has promised but never delivered a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, and Democratic rival Joe Biden sparred over the case in the first presidential debate.
Armin Laschet is fast emerging as the frontrunner in the race to be the ruling Christian Democrats' (CDU) candidate for chancellor in Germany's federal election next year after Angela Merkel stands down, two dozen party sources say. Laschet, the premier of Germany's most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, who presents himself as the Merkel continuity candidate, is slowly building a majority among the CDU's 1,001 voting delegates ahead of December's vote on the party leadership, the sources say.
Newly minted Green Party Leader Annamie Paul says the party she now helms is the one Canadians need to guide them through "the challenges of this time," an ambitious pitch one observer says she will have to champion in a field of stiff political competition."I think the challenge for the party today remains: what does it stand for and how does it compete with a crowded group of parties on the centre left … who all have strong environmental platforms?" said David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data. "They really are competing against the same voters in that space."According to a national survey recently conducted by the polling firm, 66 per cent of respondents said they would not vote for the party, while 34 per cent said they would either vote for the party or would be open to the idea.The survey was conducted online from Sept. 23 to 28 with a representative sample of 2,400 Canadian adults and weighted to match Canada's population by age, gender, education, region and official language.Paul, 47, won the leadership of the federal Greens on Saturday and is now tasked with charting a new path — and capturing new voters — for a party that was led by Elizabeth May for nearly 14 years. The Toronto lawyer ran on a moderate platform that didn't diverge from the party's vision during the last federal election, though she is pushing the Greens to embrace a policy that would slap a tariff on imports from countries with lax carbon emissions standards.But Paul said that right now, her party's appeal extends far beyond its environmentally conscious reputation."The policies that have mattered the most and the policies that have been spoken about the most are not our environmental or climate policies at the moment," Paul told CBC News on Sunday. "It has been our social policies — our role in championing and leading the way on guaranteed livable income or universal pharmacare or reform to our long-term care system. People in Canada are starting to see all of the dimensions of the Green Party."WATCH | Newly elected Green leader says social policies will grow party:Attracting new supporters without alienating existing onesIn broadening the party's appeal, Paul will also need to avoid alienating more radical Green supporters.Paul was not swiftly handed a victory on Saturday in large part because of those supporters. She won the leadership contest on the eighth ballot, edging out self-described "eco-socialist" Dimitri Lascaris by just over 2,000 votes. Eco-socialism, an ideology that combines elements of ecology and socialism, underpinned Lascaris's platform and that of another candidate in the race, Meryam Haddad. "I think the proof is going to be in the pudding," Lascaris said Saturday when asked if he thought Paul would be a voice for that wing of the party. "I think Annamie's certainly expressed an intention this evening to bring all the members of the party together."Paul has not directly addressed how she plans to appeal to those supporters, instead choosing to focus on the party's progressive policies and shared values. Coletto said it may be "limiting" for the Greens to throw their support behind a socialist or eco-socialist agenda."Where I think the Green Party has had success provincially and federally is finding a way to build a coalition of voters who are looking for something different, who maybe want to do politics differently — and that might be both on the left and the centre left and the right — and come together to support a green agenda," he said.Byelection a 'tough first act'For her part, Paul is confident that the party can secure a "great deal" of seats in the next federal election —a task that starts with locking down her own.The new leader has been nominated to run in the Oct. 26 byelection in Toronto Centre, the riding previously held by former finance minister Bill Morneau. During her victory speech, Paul said she was tired of candidates "being parachuted" into the Liberal stronghold."I was born in Toronto Centre. My mother taught in the schools in Toronto Centre. My grandmother worked as a front-line service worker in the hospitals of Toronto Centre and broke her back doing it in the process," she said. "I will not abandon the residents of Toronto Centre to a Liberal Party that has neglected that constituency, that riding for the last 27 years."Coletto said the upcoming vote will be a real test to see where the Greens stand when pitted against other parties. "It is a chance for the new leader of the Greens to go out, road test her message, introduce herself to voters. But because she is now the candidate in that riding, there may be even higher expectations on how she performs," he said. "So it's a tough first act."
In Yemen's gas-rich region of Marib, fighters loyal to the Saudi-backed government recited Koranic verses before launching a hail of mortar and machine gun fire towards rocky mountains, in a desperate bid to push back Houthi forces. "We have more than 1,500 families in this camp and they already moved three times ... because the fighting keeps following them," said Mohsen Mushalla, director of al-Sowaida camp some 15 km from Marib city. Fighting has raged for months in Marib, the last stronghold of the internationally recognised government.
A mail carrier who altered a handful of affidavit ballot applications. In the run up to Election Day, President Donald Trump is seizing on small, potentially routine voting issues to suggest the election is rigged. “Mail ballots, they cheat,” Trump said last month.
The Peace Arch Park, which straddles the Washington and B.C. border has become a haven for cross-border couples who’ve been separated for months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.