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Saturday , 22 October 2016

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Canadians looking for fairness, authenticity to overcome their cynicism toward government, business

Don’t read the comments. This advice is often aimed at both readers and writers who consume or contribute to electronic media, such as online versions of daily newspapers, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. As anyone who has ever read said comments knows, no matter how innocuous, innocent, uplifting, inspiring or just plain amusing posted stories may be, there will be trolls and haters who find in them only ugliness and bitterness and reason to rant and rave. You really have to see it to believe it. Better just to avoid the headache and don’t read the comments. The reality is, of course, that social media have made ... Read More »

BMO: Housing Prices Won’t Decline in Toronto Regardless of Monetary Policy

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Analysts at the Bank of Montreal doubt interventions by the Bank of Canada will have any impact on the ongoing surge in home sales and pricing. “None of the major drivers of Vancouver and Toronto’s housing market are pointing downward.”  —Douglas Porter, chief economist at BMO,  in a draft report. The report adds weight to a CREA report that higher prices are expected to continue through 2016. Upwards pressure on pricing will continue due to short supply, demographics, the jobs situation, urbanization, and the influx of foreign investments. This might be good news for sellers, as well as give hope to buyers that the value of their investment will continue to ... Read More »

Prosperity index of world’s countries reveals where democratic capitalism working best

An international think tank that promotes prosperity through democratic capitalism has named Canada the world’s freest country. The annual Legatum Prosperity Index, which ranks 142 of the world’s countries according to their health, wealth and overall happiness, puts Canada in sixth place for 2015, down a spot since 2014. In the category of personal freedom, however, Canada is in first place. Canada is more tolerant of immigrants than any other country, and 92 per cent of Canadians think the country is a good place for “ethnic minorities.” The vast majority, 94 per cent, believe that we have the freedom to choose how we want to live our lives. To create ... Read More »

UCLA team captures CO2 in cement production, puts it into concrete

Turning a harmful by-product of an industrial process into a harmless raw material of the end product itself is the result of some “blue sky” thinking at UCLA. Researchers there have found a way to take carbon dioxide, which is emitted in large quantities during the manufacture of Portland Cement, and use it to make concrete. The production of concrete accounts for about 5 per cent of CO2 emissions in the world, so being able to use that carbon in making concrete would be “a double whammy,” according to the UCLA team. They are calling their invention Co2ncrete. The team developed their proof of concept by combining pure CO2 with ... Read More »

NYC’s $4 billion subway station: masterpiece or boondoggle?

New York City just opened a new subway station. It cost $4 billion and took twelve years to build. Architecture critic Michael Kimmelman wrote in the New York Times that the price paid for the “dino carcass” was an unconscionable use of public funds, a boondoggle. Can anyone even imagine such a thing being approved in Toronto? Four billion dollars for one subway station? Of course it’s not just any old station. In the first place, it is the work of world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, and the main hall of the building is grandly designated the Oculus (eye). And it is described officially as the World Trade Centre Hub, though ... Read More »

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