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Sunday , 26 March 2017

Monthly Archives: October 2015

Construction industry buoyed by promised infrastructure spending

Whenever there’s a change of government, it’s customary for various business and industry groups to offer congratulations, heartfelt or not, to the victors. They usually contain words like, “We, the such-and-such industry of Canada, look forward to working with ­so-and-so in a friendly and cooperative manner to build on Canada’s success together . . .” The automotive suppliers industry, for one, followed convention and issued a short statement of congratulation to Justin Trudeau, at the same time reminding him of its own importance to the economy, being an employer of 80,000 workers and contributing $24 billion to GDP. The energy sector is understandably a little wary of a prime minister with the ... Read More »

Consumer confidence, high home prices, prompt economy concerns

Even before the election results were in yesterday, Canadians were feeling quite optimistic about the economy and their own prospects, according to the latest Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Consumer Confidence Index. Consumer confidence rose to its highest level in more than a year, as more Canadians expressed confidence that the economy would strengthen in the next six months, and fewer said the opposite. The economy did in fact move from what some were calling a “technical recession” in the first six months of the year back into growth in June and July. Gross domestic product expanded by 3.5 per cent, and 12,100 jobs were added in September. It isn’t clear whether ... Read More »

Slow broadband access bad for business; Canada lags other countries

Governments everywhere like to boast that under their leadership their country has become a “global leader” in one thing or another. The now defunct Conservative government of Canada made the boast often, including with reference to Canada’s broadband internet access. In its last policy statement on broadband, in the 2014 budget, the government promised to extend access to high-speed broadband, defined as a speed of 5 megabits per second (Mbps), to an additional 280,000 Canadian households. By 2019, Industry Canada says, more than 98 per cent of the population will have access to this “high-speed” broadband. If that sounds like global leadership, consider that in 2010 the government of Finland ... Read More »

Homeless in Hawaii and Toronto: Housing First can help

Speaking about homelessness in Toronto earlier this year, Mayor Tory said he was embarrassed by the sight of people sleeping on the streets and concerned on a moral level that we as a city can do better for these people. The mayor has said that the issue of homelessness is too big for the city to deal with on its own, given that many of the homeless have mental illness, which falls under provincial jurisdiction. Tory said that he was trying to do something about the homelessness problem but that he did not have “a magic wand” that he could wave and make it go away. Magic wands are scarce ... Read More »

Condo sales, rentals up sharply in third quarter

Toronto Real Estate Board numbers for condo sales in the GTA show that sales were up by close to 11 per cent in the third quarter compared to one year ago. The strong year-over-year growth resulted in 6,586 condo sales in the quarter, with an increase in new listings as well. Sales have outpaced new listings in all three quarters of 2015 so far, suggesting pent-up demand for condominiums and indicating very fast absorption rates, according to TREB. The president of TREB, Mark McLean, said that we could see a new record for condo transactions by the end of the year. The accelerating absorption rate has led to a tighter ... Read More »

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