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CN Rail laying off about 450 workers after shutting down Eastern Canada network – CTV News

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MONTREAL —
CN Rail is laying off about 450 workers in its operations in Eastern Canada after cancelling more than 400 trains in the past week over a rail blockade protesting an LNG pipeline in British Columbia.

The layoffs will affect operational staff, including employees working at Autoport in Eastern Passage, Moncton, Charny and Montreal.

The Montreal-based railway says the situation is “regrettable” because the impact on the economy and its employees from the protests is unrelated to CN’s activities and beyond its control.

CN said the shutdown is “progressive and methodical” to ensure it can be restarted when the blockades end completely.

Coastal GasLink signed agreements with 20 elected band councils along the pipeline route, including the Wet’suwet’en First Nation’s council.

But some of Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs are opposed to the project and say the council does not have authority over the relevant land.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 18, 2020.

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Superior takes measures to move propane by truck, U.S. trains amid rail blockades – The Globe and Mail

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Cargo containers sit on idle train cars at port in Vancouver, on Feb. 21, 2020. Superior has brought in trucks from Western Canada and moved propane to Atlantic Canada by train from the United States.

DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

Fears of a looming propane crisis caused by rail blockades have been partly alleviated by U.S. supplies, unseasonably warm weather and selective deliveries, says the head of Superior Propane.

But unless freight-train service resumes in Eastern Canada, rationing and shortages of the home-heating fuel are likely, said Greg McCamus, president of Superior Propane, whose main Ontario depot in Sarnia is supplied by trains and a pipeline.

Superior has brought in trucks from Western Canada and moved propane to Atlantic Canada by train from the United States, Mr. McCamus said. Customers that operate barbecue refilling stations are getting limited deliveries, in order to allow Superior to prioritize residents, hospitals and nursing homes.

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“We’ve also been a bit fortunate that the weather in Ontario has been a bit warmer than normal for this time of year. So that’s all helping us to keep the supply moving.”

Mr. McCamus said the measures have helped ensure Superior can maintain a supply that would last about a week to 10 days. Normally, there is about two weeks’ supply. He said it is hard to pin down a date by which the supplies will run out, given the new steps the company has taken, and the variables of weather and demand.

“We hope that if the rail lines start running again, we can move through it without that kind of a crisis happening. But there is no question it’s an issue for the industry. And if we don’t get a resolution, it’s going to get [worse],” he said by phone.

The blockades are in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, who oppose the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline on their traditional territory in northern British Columbia. The $6-billion project by Calgary-based TC Energy Corp. would pipe natural gas from northeastern B.C. to Kitimat on the coast for export.

The protests have raised concerns about shortages of critical supplies of everything from propane to water-treatment chemicals, and put pressure on the federal government to find a solution to limit economic damage.

Canadian National Railway Co., whose line east of Toronto has been blocked for two weeks, has halted freight service on its eastern Canadian network. Passenger rail company Via Rail, which leases track space from CN, has suspended most of its trains.

The blockades have also stopped or slowed rail service at Canada’s four main ports, Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal and Halifax, forcing ships to idle at anchor or divert to U.S. destinations.

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In Halifax and Montreal, off-loaded containers of consumer goods and industrial components are stacked on the docks, with no CN trains to take them away to markets outside the province. “The CN network blockade greatly complicates the logistics of transporting goods or completely blocks the movement of goods for CN users,” said Mélanie Nadeau, a spokeswoman for the Port of Montreal.

An executive with German container ship owner Hapag-Lloyd AG said the company is considering skipping calls at Halifax, but has been less affected at Vancouver and Montreal, where it uses Canadian Pacific Railway trains.

In an open letter to Mr. Trudeau, CP chief executive officer Keith Creel called on the Prime Minister to hold talks with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs. Mr. Creel said the railway is “severely impacted” by the disputes, including a Thursday protest on a CP line near Chase, B.C., that stopped trains headed to the Port of Vancouver and a 12-day blockade south of Montreal that has cut off U.S. access.

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No winning ticket for Friday night's $65 million Lotto Max jackpot – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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TORONTO – No winning ticket was sold for the $65 million jackpot in Friday night’s Lotto Max draw.

However, six of the Maxmillion prizes of $1 million each were won.

They will be shared by eight ticket holders.

The jackpot for the next Lotto Max draw on Feb. 25 will now grow to an eye-popping $70 million, and there will be 20 Maxmillion prizes up for grabs.

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TFSA Investors: If You Could Only Buy One Stock, This Should Be It – The Motley Fool Canada

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TFSA investors are a smart bunch. Permanently protecting your capital from taxes is an opportunity that no one should pass up.

While millions of Canadians invest through a TFSA, millions still do not. If you don’t have a TFSA, open one today.

If you already have a TFSA, then congratulations. Yet the battle is far from over. Now, you have to figure out how to invest your tax-protected savings.

Decades of research continually suggests that long-term investing is your best bet to build massive wealth. It can be tempting to constantly try to find the next big thing, but a buy-and-hold strategy has proven more successful.

Just take a look at Berkshire Hathaway, which has generated annual returns of 20% for more than three decades. That’s double the rate of the stock market overall in the same period. That doesn’t mean that a 30-year Berkshire Hathaway investor’s final sum would be twice as much. Due to compound interest, their nest egg would be considerably larger.

If you invest $10,000 and earn 10% annual returns for 30 years, you will end up with $175,000. Not bad. But what if you earned 20% annual returns? Keeping everything else constant, your $10,000 would become $2.4 million!

Long-term compounders are the secret to amassing wealth. Fortunately, there’s one Canadian stock that has all the characteristics of the next Berkshire Hathaway. In fact, this stock runs the same strategy as Berkshire, yet is less than 5% of the size, meaning it has decades of growth ahead of it.

Trust the process

Warren Buffett mastered the art of making money at Berkshire Hathaway. The holding company consists of several insurance businesses that throw off regular cash generated from policy premiums. That cash needs investing, which Warren Buffett happily does, buying huge chunks of both private and public entities.

Because insurance premiums are paid during both bull and bear markets, Buffett has the enviable advantage of fresh cash during every part of the economic cycle. When capital is scarce, Buffett can swoop in and secure once-in-a-decade deals, as he did during the 2008 financial crisis.

Prem Watsa, founder and CEO of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (TSX:FFH), figured he shouldn’t fix what isn’t broken, opting to emulate Buffett’s strategy completely. Fairfax owns a number of insurance businesses, and Watsa invests the resulting cash.

Buffett has proven a masterful investor, but how about Watsa?

Since 1985, Fairfax stock has generated annual returns of 17%. That’s a bit below Berkshire’s performance, but it still makes Fairfax one of the best long-term compounders of capital in recent memory. Plus, there’s reason to believe Fairfax will outperform Berkshire in the decades to come.

The first problem with Berkshire is that Buffett, a major force behind its historical success, is now a stately 89 years old. Watsa, on the other hand, is only 69 years old.

Additionally, Berkshire Hathaway is now worth more than $600 billion. The law of large numbers suggests that it will be difficult for the company to grow at a market-beating rate into perpetuity. Another doubling in price would make Berkshire one of the largest companies on the planet. Another doubling after that would make it the largest corporation in history, by a long shot.

Fairfax, meanwhile, is worth just $17 billion. Even if it were to double in price twice, it would still be 10% the size of Berkshire. It’s not hard to deduce that Fairfax has many more years of growth ahead of it when compared to Berkshire.

The trick to long-term investing is to buy proven business models that have decades of runway to go. Fairfax checks all of these boxes. If you could only own one stock, this should be it.

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The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool recommends FAIRFAX FINANCIAL HOLDINGS LTD and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2021 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and short March 2020 $225 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares).

Fool contributor Ryan Vanzo has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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