At a time when anxieties were expected to run high for everyone, the Calgary Counselling Centre saw something surprising during the pandemic lockdown period: distress levels in their low-income clients dropped.
CEO Robbie Babins-Wagner says the centre, which employs about 80 counsellors, psychologists and social workers, kept careful data to map out how the pandemic affected different types of people. Before each session, clients are asked to fill out a distress self-assessment test, and they’re assigned a score out of 180 based on their answers.
For the first two months that the $2,000-a-month Canada Emergency Response Benefit was available, clients who had been earning $20,000 or less each year reported a 5-point drop in distress levels, on average. Babins-Wagner said that figure is “significant:” No other income bracket reported a drop in distress.
Babins-Wagner thinks one likely explanation is that these clients found a bit of peace being on the CERB and were no longer trying to eke out a living with low-wage jobs or income support.
“I think it really speaks to the need for consideration of a minimum income or some kind of financial mechanism to provide for people who need support, to get them out of poverty,” she said in a recent interview.
Anti-poverty advocates across the country agree, and some say the CERB has given provincial governments a windfall that should be used toward that goal. As the benefit hit bank accounts in April, many provinces saw their income support caseloads drop dramatically over the next months, as people migrated to the more lucrative, federally funded benefit.
Advocates are calling on provincial governments to invest those savings back into social assistance programs to lift people out of poverty.
Lee Stevens, policy and research specialist with Vibrant Communities Calgary, is one of them. According to the Maytree Foundation, a Toronto-based anti-poverty organization, a single person on income support in Alberta in 2018 made just over $8,100 — one of the lowest rates in the country, Stevens notes.
This is our opportunity to write some of those wrongs, to fill some of those holes in our social safety net.– Lee Stevens, Vibrant Communities Calgary
Alberta saw a 28 per cent drop in income support cases from April to August, or nearly 15,000 files, according to government data. Stevens said the province should be investing that savings back into its social assistance programs, and she points to Babins-Wagner’s data for justification.
To Stevens, the data shows bringing people up to the poverty line not only improves their well-being, it could save the provincial government money in areas like health care.
“We don’t want to go back to normal. Normal is what got us here,” she said.
“COVID laid bare so many inequalities, and this is our opportunity to right some of those wrongs, to fill some of those holes in our social safety net.”
Income support cases drop in N.L.
Newfoundland and Labrador offers some of the highest income support rates in the country, according to the Maytree Foundation report, but at just over $11,300 for a single person in 2018, it’s not nearly enough to live on, said Doug Pawson, director of End Homelessness St. John’s.
The province’s income support cases have dropped by just over eight per cent from April to September.
Like Stevens, Pawson says it’s very likely because people are switching to the CERB — at 14.8 and 11.7 per cent, the unemployment rates in Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta are the two highest among Canadian provinces, and it’s unlikely people are suddenly finding jobs.
“We heard a lot of different folks in the community talk about using the money to buy furniture, to get caught up on debts,” he said, noting both are normally impossible on income support.
People who are on income supports are not drains on our system.– Doug Pawson, End Homelessness St. John’s
A spokesman for the Newfoundland and Labrador government said it’s too early to determine whether the province will see a windfall in income support savings. But through his own calculations, Pawson estimates the government saved over $2 million in that time period alone. He hopes it will be reinvested somehow to help bring people out of poverty.
“The take-away is people don’t have enough to live, whether they’re low-wage earners or whether they’re income support recipients,” he said. “We just need some political will and courage to recognize that people who are low-wage earners and people who are on income supports are not drains on our system.”
If people ultimately wind up having to switch back to below-poverty levels of income support, “it’s a failure for sure,” he said.
CERB created 2-tier system
In Ontario, where caseloads dropped by 10 per cent from April to August — nearly 46,000 cases — Hannah Aldrige says the massive migration from social assistance to the CERB has eliminated any room for provincial governments to say they cannot afford to increase social assistance rates.
Aldridge is a data and policy analyst for the Maytree Foundation, and she says the CERB created a two-tier system of support, where some are worthy of help and an acceptable standard of living while others are not.
She said she feels bad for anyone who may have to plummet back to income support levels after the CERB, but she feels worse for those who never left.
“They’ve been completely forgotten about in this pandemic,” she said.
Sandpiper Increases Investment in Artis REIT to 10% – Canada NewsWire
VANCOUVER, BC, Dec. 2, 2020 /CNW/ – Sandpiper Group (“Sandpiper”) announced today that on December 2, 2020, it acquired, through Sandpiper Real Estate Fund 4 Limited Partnership (the “Fund“), an aggregate of 100,000 units (“Units”) of Artis Real Estate Investment Trust (“Artis” or the “REIT”) (TSX: AX.UN) in the open market through the facilities of the Toronto Stock Exchange at an average price of $11.10 per Unit or $1,110,000 in the aggregate (the “Acquisition”).
As a result of the Acquisition, Sandpiper owns and exercises control and direction over an aggregate of 13,612,584 Units, representing approximately 10.07% of the 135,221,252 Units issued and outstanding as reported in Artis’ Monthly Cash Distribution Announcement dated November 16, 2020. Prior to the Acquisition, Sandpiper owned and exercised control and direction over 13,512,584 Units, representing approximately 9.99% of the issued and outstanding Units.
The Units were acquired for investment purposes. Sandpiper believes that the Units of Artis are undervalued and represent an attractive investment opportunity.
“Our increase in our ownership in Artis further confirms our long term commitment in this investment,” said Samir Manji, CEO of Sandpiper. “We believe Artis has significant near term and longer term potential with an attractive, undervalued asset base. We look forward to working with the trustees and management at Artis to identify avenues and opportunities that will maximize value for all unitholders.”
Sandpiper and its affiliates may, from time to time, depending on market and other conditions, increase or decrease its beneficial ownership, control or direction over the securities of Artis through market transactions, private agreements, or otherwise.
Artis’s head office is located at Suite 600 – 220 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 0A5
Sandpiper’s head office is located at Suite 1670, 200 Burrard Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 3L6.
An early warning report will be filed by Sandpiper in accordance with applicable securities laws. For further information and to obtain a copy of the early warning report filed by Sandpiper, please contact Alyssa Barry, Vice President, Capital Markets and Communications, Sandpiper at (604) 558-4885.
ABOUT SANDPIPER GROUP
Sandpiper is a Vancouver-based private equity firm focused on investing in real estate through direct property investments and public securities. For more information about Sandpiper, visit www.sandpipergroup.ca.
SOURCE Sandpiper Group
For further information: Alyssa Barry, Vice President, Capital Markets and Communications, Sandpiper Group, Phone: 604-558-4885, Email: [email protected]
"Tectonic forces" could cause economic upheaval: Poloz – Investment Executive
This could lead to many different inflationary scenarios from a return to the 2% inflation target to an inflation outbreak, or to stagflation or deflation.
“Personally, I would not weight them equally, but I would attach a meaningful weight to each of them and suggest that [investors] think about ways to preserve [their] capital should any of them arise,” said Poloz who is a special advisor with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.
“We should not fall in love with the high probability scenario where inflation just returns to 2% and remains there.”
One driver of high interest rates in recent decades was the population surge of the post-war baby boom. As this generation now moves into retirement, Poloz believes that the high real interest rates of the past “were an aberration” and should not be expected to return.
While there is an expectation for interest rates to normalize along with inflation targets, Poloz notes there is growing concern that inflation could get out of control as governments borrow a “staggering amount of money.”
The former central banker said that today’s central banks are well-equipped to keep inflation in check via monetary policy.
However, three of the tectonic shifts mentioned could disrupt central banks in their policy goals: growing indebtedness, technological progress and rising inequality.
Global indebtedness was on the rise long before Covid-19 hit, said Poloz.
As a result of monetary and fiscal policies that have prevented recessions, individuals and companies are not retrenching and rebalancing their finances as they might have done in the past. From an investor point of view, this leads to the danger of “zombie firms” that are not “washed out of the system” as they might have been.
In the case of technology, progress generally means more efficiency and lower costs for companies over the long-term, said Poloz. But, that same progress can have serious economic consequences in the short term in the form of economic depressions and disruption.
The world is currently experiencing a fourth industrial revolution as the economy becomes digitized through artificial intelligence — which is leading to fears within workforces that a few large firms will scoop up all the economic benefits, leading to growing income inequality.
“People believe and expect that economic growth is like yeast, it spreads everywhere, so everybody benefits,” said Poloz. “But the reality is more like mushrooms that pop up here and there and single firms can reap most of the benefits.”
Climate change is also having a seismic effect on the economy as more companies try to shift their businesses to environmentally-friendly processes. The problem, noted Poloz, is “markets are really bad at distinguishing between shades of green. They’re essentially only able to tell the difference between green and not-green.”
Firms will have to move towards “full carbon transparency,” which will require significant investments in analytics or consultancy work. And, “firms who invest in this early deserve your attention,” said Poloz.
With these forces in play, “volatility beyond the norm is now a given,” said Poloz. A firm’s risk management for these factors will be key to creating shareholder value and will likely be “the next channel of intangible investment.”
Canadian General Investments: Investment Update – Unaudited Toronto Stock Exchange:CGI – GlobeNewswire
TORONTO, Canada, Dec. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Canadian General Investments, Limited (TSX: CGI, CGI.PR.D) (LSE: CGI) reports on an unaudited basis that its net asset value per share (NAV) at November 30, 2020 was $47.40, resulting in year-to-date and 12-month NAV returns, with dividends reinvested, of 30.9% and 33.8%, respectively. These compare with the 3.8% and 4.3% returns of the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index on a total return basis for the same periods.
The Company employs a leveraging strategy, by way of preference shares and bank borrowing, in an effort to enhance returns to common shareholders. As at November 30, 2020, the combined leverage afforded by both forms of leverage represented 17.7% of CGI’s net assets, down from 22.7% at the end of 2019 and 23.2% at November 30, 2019.
The worldwide spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on such factors as business operations, supply chains, travel, commodity prices and consumer confidence, and the associated impact on domestic and international equity markets and fixed income yields, is expected to continue to have a significant influence on the equity markets and could significantly impact the value of investments held by CGI. Morgan Meighen & Associates Limited, the manager of the Company, will maintain its consistent, steady, long-term approach of holding diversified, appropriate investments, while pursuing selective new opportunities.
The closing price for CGI’s common shares at November 30, 2020 was $32.20, resulting in year-to-date and 12-month share price returns, with dividends reinvested, of 26.8% and 36.7%, respectively.
The sector weightings of CGI’s investment portfolio at market as of November 30, 2020 were as follows:
|Cash & Cash Equivalents||0.7%|
The top ten investments which comprised 37.2% of the investment portfolio at market as of November 30, 2020 were as follows:
|Canadian Pacific Railway Limited||4.1%|
|First Quantum Minerals Ltd.||2.8%|
|Lightspeed POS Inc.||2.7%|
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Canadian General Investments, Limited
Jonathan A. Morgan
President and CEO
Phone: (416) 366-2931
Fax: (416) 366-2729
Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai denied bail on fraud charge – OrilliaMatters
Rockets deal Westbrook to Wizards for Wall, 1st-round pick – theScore
All the confirmed Snapdragon 888 phones and brands so far – Android Authority
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Galaxy M31 July 2020 security update brings Glance, a content-driven lockscreen wallpaper service
Tech20 hours ago
Amazon customers with missing consoles offered new PS5 stock – Eurogamer.net
Tech24 hours ago
Sony takes drastic action: Why thousands of PS5 owners are banned – haveeruonline
Sports14 hours ago
Pascal Siakam and Paul Watson Jr.'s L.A. offseason sessions – The Athletic
Tech16 hours ago
The One Thing About PS5 That Is Worse Than PS4 – Forbes
Health14 hours ago
How to Find Personalized Addiction Treatment in Canada
Sports21 hours ago
NFL Odds & Picks for Ravens vs. Steelers: Sharps Finding Betting Value in Wednesday Afternoon’s Spread – The Action Network
Art16 hours ago
Stephenville’s Jesse Renouf finds a story behind the art
Politics8 hours ago
Politics Briefing: Liberals acknowledge missed target on clean water for First Nations – The Globe and Mail