Indigenous communities have been left out of the Canadian cannabis economy, and a group of Indigenous chiefs are out to change that for the good of their communities.
Chief Robert Gladstone of Shxwha:y First Nation says a consortium they’re calling “All Nations Chiefs” has worked for months to negotiate an agreement for on-reserve cannabis distribution directly with the province – but to no avail.
“It’s been two years since the rollout where they did not consult adequately with First Nations,” said Gladstone. “We are trying to find a way to participate in this new economy.”
To get there, they’ve organized an online forum with All Nations Chiefs from the communities of Shxwha:y, Cheam, Soowahlie and Sq’ewlets for the morning of Dec. 2. Organizers have invited Premier John Horgan, stakeholders, and the public to join them in the virtual dialogue on the cannabis question.
Gladstone described the recalcitrance from provincial counterparts as “another pathway out of poverty blocked” for First Nations communities across Canada, noting that only four per cent of Canadian cannabis licences are Indigenous-affiliated.
“That four per cent should be disturbing to everyone,” he said.
The group has also launched a petition that had almost 1,500 signatures by Nov. 27.
“We are asking Honourable Premier Horgan to take real action towards reconciliation and honour his government’s platform commitment to the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights (UNDRIP) by allowing First Nations to participate in B.C.’s cannabis industry,” according to the petition preamble.
Since legalization, local First Nations leaders have been trying to control their own their destinies by finding a way to participate in the emerging economy “on a nation-to-nation basis,” the chief said.
Shxwha:y officials decided to go the route of applying for a Section 119 licence agreement under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Agreement Act, Chief Gladstone explained.
A Section 119 licence is required to legally distribute cannabis from retail stores on reserve land, and involve the province entering into agreements with individual First Nations, which supersede the Act. Only one community has signed such an agreement to date, the Williams Lake Indian Band. The Shxwha:y application used the Williams Lake vision as their model.
Some of the on-reserve cannabis stores in the area without provincial licensing have been operating in what government officials would describe as a grey area legally, while leaders are trying to negotiate a better way, with formal applications pending.
They started on-reserve stores under the inherent laws of their nation rather than under provincial licensing, some by enacting cannabis laws through land codes.
Those models differ from the route chosen by the owners of the first fully licensed cannabis store on reserve, which is The Kure on the Skwah reserve.
“The ultimate goal is to codify and harmonize the laws and regulations among all three levels of government,” Gladstone underlined.
But months later they are stymied, with no timeline, feedback or any response from the provincial government on their application. So they’re stepping up the pressure.
“We are reaching out. If they don’t answer, it’s a direct way of saying they are not interested in working toward a government-to-government relationship. There’s just no other way to interpret this.”
The online forum next Wednesday will focus on solutions to bring inclusivity and diversity to the nascent cannabis sector with First Nations involvement.
They feel they’ve put in the work to give the province a workable model.
“Now all we ask is recognition for our inherent right to trade and barter,” Gladstone said.
Chief Gladstone tells a story of how cannabis has changed everything in his village and beyond.
In total more than 100 people are working in the on-reserve stores around the Chilliwack area.
“These workers are not on CERB or social assistance,” Gladstone said.
As of a couple of years ago there were only four people working in Shxwha:y village. Now there are 13 jobs being held down currently at the store, and another 30 at the cultivation facility, where All Nations Cannabis Corp. is a Health Canada licensed cultivator and licensed producer applicant.
“It’s changed the standard of living for many in our village, going from abject poverty to a tier closer to the middle class,” Gladstone said. “So this is a success story.
“What we’re saying to the province is: ‘Don’t destroy this miracle of economic revival.’
“We’re just asking for co-operation.”
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Economy Spiraling, Vexed Central Banks, Rich Get Richer: Eco Day – Bloomberg
Welcome to Monday, Asia. Here’s the latest news and analysis from Bloomberg Economics to help you start the week.
- A top economic adviser to President-elect Joe Biden warned the U.S. economy is “spiraling downward” and called for a swift response
- Resurgent coronavirus outbreaks will vex central bankers on five continents this week as they weigh the threat of more damage to growth against a hope that mass vaccinations will reopen economies
- Some Americans have become, by some measures, richer during the pandemic than ever before
- Joe Biden ascends to the presidency on Wednesday with an inaugural speech outlining how he’ll tackle the health and economic crises he inherits while attempting to knit the country back together after riots. Here’s why Biden’s stimulus hopes might actually depend on ‘reconciliation.’ Meantime, U.S economist Nouriel Roubini fears Biden’s presidency will be marked by unrest and cyber attacks
- Goldman Sachs economists raised their growth forecasts for the U.S. this year and beyond after Biden unveiled a sweeping revival plan
- Hong Kong’s unemployment rate for the three months through December is likely to exceed the highest level in 16 years
- Robert Hormats, ex-vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International and adviser to five U.S. administrations, predicted tariffs on China will remain under Biden during the “What Goes Up” podcast
- A surge in coronavirus cases in Japan has dealt a blow to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s once strong public support, raising the risk he gets replaced ahead of an election due by October
- Germany’s dominant party voted for continuity by electing Armin Laschet as leader, opting for the candidate who most resembles outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel in policy and style
- The EU has set out plans to strengthen the international role of the euro, as its seeks to erode the dominance on the dollar and lessen risks like U.S. sanctions. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is calling for a moratorium on tariffs between the EU and the U.S. to allow time for the “poisonous” issue to be resolved
- Italy expects debt to rise more than expected this year, as it gets ready to boost fiscal stimulus to support a battered economy
- The Dawei Special Economic Zone, Myanmar’s largest industrial project backed by Thailand, is headed for further delay and possible litigation following sudden termination of development contracts
- The world’s biggest shipping company demanded a more effective military response to surging pirate attacks off West Africa’s coast
- More than three months a hundred Thai resorts reopened to extended-stay travelers in an attempt to revive a battered economy, foreign arrivals have failed to meet even rock-bottom expectations
Israel economy likely to grow 4.6% in 2021, says finance ministry – The Journal Pioneer
By Steven Scheer
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s economy is likely to grow by 4.6% this year, the Finance Ministry said on Sunday in a forecast reliant on continuation of rapid COVID-19 inoculations and a drop in the infection rate.
In a lower probability scenario in which the health environment deteriorates because of new virus mutations or vaccinations taking longer than expected, forcing further lockdowns, the economy would grow by only 1.9%, the ministry said, adding that its projection for 2020 is a 3.3% contraction.
Israel has been a world leader in vaccinating its population against the coronavirus.
“The economy will recover at the rate that had characterized the sub-prime (2008 financial) crisis,” the ministry said of its main scenario, assuming “vaccination of the population in the first half of 2021 when, in this period, there are still limited health restrictions”.
The Bank of Israel has estimated a contraction of 3.7% for 2020 and growth of 6.3% in 2021 if the rapid vaccination pace is maintained. That would fall to 3.5% growth in a slow-inoculation scenario.
According to the ministry, Israel’s economy fared relatively well in 2020 and outperformed an OECD average of a 5.5% contraction. It cited minor damage to exports thanks to high-tech exports.
It noted, however, that unemployment remained high at 15.4% in 2020 and is expected to fall to 8.6% in 2021 in its base scenario and to 11.6% in a more pessimistic projection, with a decline in the average wage in either case.
Separately, in a third estimate, the Central Bureau of Statistics said the economy surged 39.7% in the third quarter of 2020 on an annual basis compared with the second quarter, reflecting an economy that was mostly open during the summer between lockdowns. The economy had contracted by 29.9% in the second quarter.
Another slight contraction is expected in the fourth quarter owing to lockdowns, while exporters have said they are also suffering because of an appreciation of the shekel. The currency last week reached 3.11 against the dollar, its strongest in 24 years.
The Bank of Israel, which has been reluctant to lower short-term interest rates beyond its current 0.1% rate on a view that rapid vaccinations will boost the economy, responded on Thursday with a pledge to buy $30 billion of foreign currency in 2021, up from $21 billion in 2020.
The shekel has since weakened to 3.27 against the dollar.
Growth in the July-September period was driven by sharp gains in exports (59.7%), private spending (42.3%) and investment in fixed assets (17.2%).
(Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by David Goodman)
Economy Spiraling With Urgent Need for Action, Biden Aide Warns – Bloomberg
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- Economy Spiraling With Urgent Need for Action, Biden Aide Warns Bloomberg
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