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Alberta burned for billions in energy investment gambles – Sherwood Park News



Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks at the official launch of the Canadian Energy Centre on Dec. 11, 2019. GAVIN YOUNG /Postmedia File

Like a child touching a hot stove, Alberta governments frequently feel the need to dabble with investing in the energy business, mesmerized by the heat — and the jobs — it throws off.

And, like clockwork, taxpayers are usually the ones who get burned.

“The track record is brutal,” former Alberta energy and finance minister Ted Morton said Tuesday.

“You take a lot more risk when you are gambling with other people’s money than with your own. And, let’s face it, for politicians — I don’t care what party — you are not playing with your own money.”

Two examples of this principle surfaced in the past week, and hold some lessons for the UCP government when it comes to its investment in the Keystone XL pipeline.

The latest cases are the province’s ballooning $2.1-billion loss from divesting the former government’s crude-by-rail contracts, and almost $2 billion in net losses at the Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission (APMC), largely tied to its involvement with the Sturgeon refinery.

In a dismal fiscal update, the province revealed last week Alberta will lose more money than expected by unloading the former NDP government’s crude-by-rail agreements.Those contracts were designed to move up to 120,000 barrels per day of oil out of the province, beginning last year, while the UCP campaigned during the 2019 election to cancel them.

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Kelowna investment banker fined | Business | –



A Kelowna investment portfolio manager had inadequate compliance systems, record-keeping, and financial reporting, an investigation has found.

Kilburn Ogilvie Waymann Investment Management Ltd. has paid $55,700 to the B.C. Securities Commission in a settlement agreement for not managing business-associated risks and not providing reasonable assurance that it complied with securities legislation.

“Despite the deficiencies, there is no evidence that any clients were harmed,” the BCSC stated in Monday release.

As part of the firm’s settlement agreement with the BCSC, it must retain an independent compliance consultant for two years.

During a 2019 field investigation, BCSC staff found various problems with Kilburn Ogilvie Waymann Investment Management Ltd. These included:

– making unsubstantiated marketing claims

– not maintaining records capable of generating certain account activity reports

– inaccurately calculating its excess working capital

– producing deficient audited financial statements

The company’s chief compliance officer also failed to adequately perform his duties, the BCSC says.

The company’s website shows two employees, Trevor Kilburn, based in Kelowna, and John Waymann, based in Toronto. Between them, they have more than 75 years of combined investing experience, the website says.

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Doug Ford promises ‘huge’ investment in Windsor, Ont., auto plant after shift cuts – Global News



TECUMSEH, Ont. — Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the province and federal governments will be making a “huge” investment in a Windsor, Ont., auto assembly plant to help ramp up production after the company announced a shift cut.

Stellantis, formerly known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, announced last week that it will cut its Windsor Assembly Plant down to one shift next spring in a move that will mean about 1,800 lost jobs.

The company says the move comes as the automotive industry faces significant headwinds including the semiconductor shortage and the effects of COVID-19.

Read more:
Feds fund initiative to develop electric and energy-efficient vehicles with McMaster

The cut from two shifts comes after Stellantis cut the third shift at the minivan plant in 2020 at a loss of about 1,500 jobs.

Ford, speaking near Windsor on Monday, says he wants to see three shifts again at the plant, and he will be speaking with Stellantis leadership on Tuesday.

The premier was not able to offer details on the investment, but said between both levels of government it’s “hundreds of millions” of dollars.

Stellantis has reaffirmed its commitment in a 2020 collective agreement with the local Unifor union to spend upwards of $1.5 billion at the plant.

The Windsor plant produces the Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler Voyager and Chrysler Grand Caravan.

Ford also spoke of his interest in having a battery facility in Windsor.

“We have all the natural resources, we have the lithium, we have the nickel, we have the cobalt, folks, everything is here,” he said.

“We don’t need to bring these batteries in from overseas. We have everything here. On top of that we have the best workforce anywhere in the world … Any people out there that are listening that want to expand in Ontario, especially the battery business, we’ll be at your front doorstep and we’ll be ready to make a deal with you.”

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Boris Johnson Says UK Doesn't Want to Turn Away Chinese Investment – BNN



(Bloomberg) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he is not about to “pitchfork away” offers of Chinese investment despite the concerns of some of his own lawmakers. 

Decisions to bar Chinese companies from Britain’s fifth-generation communication networks and nuclear power, and condemnation of China’s human-rights record have soured relations with Beijing over the last few years, but Johnson maintains he is pro-China. 

“I am no Sinophobe — very far from it,” Johnson said in an interview with Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait on Monday. “I’m not going to tell you that the U.K. government is going to pitchfork away every overture from China.”

Read More: Johnson Hosts Business Leaders’ Dinner Amid U.K. Investment Push

Johnson was speaking ahead of an investment conference in London on Tuesday designed to boost investment into the U.K. and just a fortnight before he hosts the Cop-26 climate summit in Scotland. With Chinese President Xi Jinping likely to be absent from the summit, concerns are growing China may refuse to set new climate change goals and deprive Johnson of a clear win on tackling global warming.

U.K. imports from China amounted to 67.6 billion pounds ($92.8 billion) in the year through June, according to U.K. statistics, a rise of nearly 40% from the previous year. That makes China the U.K.’s third largest trading partner.

“China is a gigantic part of our economic life and will be for a long time — for our lifetimes,” Johnson said. “But that does not mean that we should be naive in the way that we look at our critical national infrastructure.”

The government has said that Chinese firms are welcome to invest in non-strategic parts of the economy but Johnson refused to spell out exactly where he would draw the line. “You’d have to look at what you’re defining as strategic,” he said. 

As part of the investment conference, Huaneng will invest in a 50-megawatt battery project. 

The U.K. has already introduced legislation making it harder for foreign investors to take significant stakes in critical national infrastructure. 

Read More: China Blasts ‘Despicable’ U.K. Move to Ban Envoy From Parliament

Last month, China’s ambassador to London, Zheng Zeguang, was prevented from participating in a meeting in the U.K. Parliament in a case that crystallized the conflicting attitudes among Tory MPs. 

Zheng had been asked to attend by Conservative member Richard Graham, who chairs a group of lawmakers seeking to foster good relations with China. But the invitation drew outrage from others who have been sanctioned by Beijing for speaking out over alleged human rights abuses and the invitation was canceled by Parliamentary Speaker Lindsay Hoyle. 

Beijing has repeatedly denied any mistreatment of its Muslim Uyghur minority and insists crackdowns in Hong Kong are to prevent insurrection. 

Johnson insisted that the relationship can prosper “in spite of all the difficult conversations about the Dalai Lama or Hong Kong or the Uyghurs.”

“Actually trade with China has continued to expand for a very long time and I think probably will continue to expand for the rest of our lives,” he said. 

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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