As Alberta’s economy continues to take a beating because of COVID-19 shut-downs and the staggering drop in oil prices, a group working to attract more investment to the Edmonton region is calling on the Jason Kenney government to make major investments in digital infrastructure immediately.
“We do see a lot of our core sectors hardest hit,” Lynette Tremblay, vice president of strategy and innovation at Edmonton Global, said. “But we do see a path forward for them and some hope in the future.
“Not only do we need to act fast, we also need to be willing to make significant investments.”
Edmonton Global said the key to compete in the new reality is having the ability to innovate with new technology in every sector. The group pointed to oil and gas playing a major part in developing geothermal and hydrogen technology.
“There’s a lot that we have to offer and we see those as opportunities right now,” Tremblay said.
Edmonton Global said Alberta and Canada had not been focused enough on technology adoption like artificial intelligence and 5G (fifth-generation) cellular wireless communication.
“We think now is the time to change that,” Tremblay said.
“We talk to international site selectors on a regular basis and they’ve told us that it’s an expectation that metro regions are well-equipped with broadband.”
Coronavirus outbreak: What negative oil prices mean
Tremblay added, “if they’re not, then they’re not in consideration for investment.”
In a statement, the Alberta government said 5G investment falls under the federal government and said it had made a significant $54 million dollar investment in tech start-ups.
Justin Brattinga, press secretary to the minister of economic development, trade and tourism, said, as part of budget 2020, $42 million was committed to artificial intelligence and machine learning, which included supports for the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute and funding to the University of Alberta.
“We believe in supporting the tech sector,” Brattinga said.
“Our government’s upcoming investment and growth strategy will focus on attracting investment to the tech sector.”
Brattinga said $200 million committed for innovation and research would develop talent and grow sectors and attract investment.
One of the other recommendations to the province is to allocate $6.5 million to applied pharmaceutical innovation and coordinating a network of chemical labs and suppliers.
Edmonton Global said it would allow Alberta to scale up and manufacture high-priority drugs.
Home-grown companies that have had to look for support south of the border have also urged the Alberta government to chart a new economic path.
Chandra Devam, CEO of Aris MD, said Edmonton-based companies aren’t getting enough interest from government and more programs are needed to support local tech companies.
“We’re being utilized across the border,” Devam said.
“I really wanted to be a sole-based Canadian company, but the support wasn’t here for me.”
Alberta tech companies seeing ups and downs during COVID-19 pandemic
It worked out for Aris MD, which Devam said is now working with NASA, but she said local start-up companies are coming up with solutions for COVID-19 and other problems that could have made-in-Alberta solutions.
“I see tech companies being essential to building the Alberta economy after COVID-19,” Devam said. “We’re a renewable resource and one worth investing in.”
Edmonton Global said it shared its economic recovery blueprint with the province and has continued to seek out advice from its network of more than 70 partners, which include economists, academic institutions and chambers of commerce.
“We’re ready to help the government with its implementation plan.”
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust Announces Results of Voting at RioCan's Annual and Special Meeting – GlobeNewswire
TORONTO, June 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (“RioCan” or the “Trust”) (TSX: REI.UN) today announced the results of the votes held at its June 2, 2020 Annual and Special Meeting of unitholders (the “Meeting”).
The total number of units represented by unitholders present in person or by proxy at the Meeting was 186,451,592; representing 58.77% of RioCan’s outstanding units entitled to be voted.
Each of the nominee Trustees listed in the Trust’s Management Information Circular dated April 13, 2020 was elected as a Trustee. RioCan received proxies with regard to voting on the nine Trustees nominated for election, as set forth in the table below:
|Name of Nominee||Votes|
|Bonnie Brooks, C.M.||137,165,257||74.08||%||47,994,399||25.92||%|
|Paul Godfrey, C.M., O.Ont.||142,350,914||76.88||%||42,808,742||23.12||%|
|Dale H. Lastman, C.M.||172,039,862||92.91||%||13,119,794||7.09||%|
|Edward Sonshine, O.Ont., Q.C.||183,599,384||99.16||%||1,560,272||0.84||%|
|Siim A. Vanaselja||167,844,080||90.65||%||17,315,576||9.35||%|
|Charles M. Winograd||183,033,994||98.85||%||2,125,662||1.15||%|
Appointment of Auditors
Ernst & Young LLP, Chartered Accountants, was reappointed as the auditor of the Trust until the next annual meeting of unitholders by resolution passed by a majority of the unitholders. Management received proxies to vote for the appointment of the auditor (and to authorize the Trustees to fix their remuneration) as follows:
Special Business – Second Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust
The ordinary resolution authorizing and approving the Second Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust which was adopted by the Board of Trustees on April 2, 2020 to provide the Trust with the ability to hold virtual unitholder meetings and also made certain ancillary changes to modernize certain provisions of the First Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust adopted by the Board of Trustees on June 17, 2015.
Say-On-Pay Non-Binding Advisory Vote
The non-binding say-on-pay vote on the Trust’s approach to executive compensation was passed as follows:
RioCan is one of Canada’s largest real estate investment trusts. RioCan owns, manages and develops retail-focused, increasingly mixed-use properties located in prime, high-density transit-oriented areas where Canadians want to shop, live and work. As at March 31, 2020, our portfolio is comprised of 222 properties with an aggregate net leasable area of approximately 38.6 million square feet (at RioCan’s interest) including office, residential rental and 16 development properties. To learn more about us, please visit www.riocan.com.
Vice President, Investor Relations, RioCan REIT
Why sound governance key to pursuing investment returns – Wealth Professional
The report is linked to Mercer’s ongoing multi-year Transformational Investment collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF). The series explores investment and governance practices for global systemic risks.
Through this collaboration, the WEF and Mercer had provided institutional investors with a six-step governance and decision-making framework to pursue attractive risk-adjusted returns. The principles were:
- Understanding the overall impact on the funding entity, objectives, and beneficiaries;
- Collaborating with similarly situated organizations who are concerned about the same risks and opportunities;
- Designing governance, policies, delegation, and accountabilities for material systemic risks;
- Investing to manage the portfolio’s exposure to the global systemic risk;
- Transforming through driving investment strategy that aims to deliver change; and
- Monitoring and revisiting – applying learnings to improve policies and processes.
Given this framework, Mercer’s paper rolled out two objectives for institutional investors:
- Evaluating governance strategies developed to address systemic risks, in terms of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic-driven market crisis; and
- Considering practical investment actions by long-term investors that support economic recovery and generating attractive risk-adjusted returns. Investments that support economic recovery and resurgence are considered “transformational.”
“As illustrated by the COVID-19 pandemic, our economy, society, and planet face numerous long-term, global systemic risks, which need to be mitigated,” said Rich Nuzum, global president of Mercer’s Investments and Retirement business. “Institutional investors have the ability to respond to these challenges and continue to seek positive investment outcomes, while mitigating the effect of these systemic risks. This is especially true when it comes to governance, as sound and robust investment practices can benefit the economy and broader society through periods of market volatility and economic uncertainty.”
Volkswagen closes $2.6 billion investment in self-driving startup Argo AI – Yahoo Canada Finance
(Reuters) – German automaker Volkswagen AG <VOWG_p.DE> has closed its $2.6 billion investment in Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based self-driving startup disclosed in a blog post on Tuesday.
Argo, founded in 2016 by Bryan Salesky and Peter Rander, is now jointly controlled by VW and Ford Motor Co, which made an initial investment in Argo shortly after it was founded.
Details of the VW investment, which does not include an agreement to purchase $500 million worth of Argo stock from Ford, was announced last July.
VW’s agreement includes the transfer to Argo of its Munich-based Autonomous Intelligent Driving unit, which boosts Argo’s employment to more than 1,000, according to Salesky.
Last week, VW disclosed that its supervisory board had approved several projects in a multibillion-dollar alliance with Ford that also was announced last July.
Ford created Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC in 2018, pledging to invest $4 billion until 2023 and had sought outside investors to help share the spiraling cost of developing autonomous vehicles.
(Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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