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Finance minister's budget aims to attract investment, jobs – Calgary Sun



The UCP government’s second budget will stay the course in trying to attract investment and private sector jobs, says Finance Minister Travis Toews.

“There continues to be heavy lifting in front of us as a province, but I will say this: we are on track,” said Toews Wednesday, a day before tabling the provincial budget.

Wearing the same cowboy boots he donned for the previous budget four months ago, Toews said they were meant to represent entrepreneurial, hardworking Albertans.

While Alberta’s economy is growing, the province’s real GDP is not forecasted to grow as much as the government predicted it would. The average forecasted growth in GDP from CIBC, TD Bank, Royal Bank, Scotia Bank, National and BMO is almost a full percentage point behind the government’s 2020 projection in October.

“What we see today out there in the global economy represents the volatility risk that we have in Alberta, and it just further reinforces the rationale to manage and control what we can control,” said Toews.

Last October, the UCP government introduced an annual one per cent decrease to the corporate income tax rate, lowering it to eight per cent from 12 per cent by 2022.

The rate cut was meant to attract investment in jobs and is expected to give up $2.4 billion in net revenue over four years by 2022-23.

In January, Alberta’s unemployment rate was at 7.3 per cent, and Edmonton’s unemployment was the second highest rate in Canada, according to Statistics Canada.

In its 2019-20 budget, the government planned to run deficits until 2022-23, when it hopes to post a $600-million surplus. As a result, some departments’ budgets were frozen or cut, and the government said it planned to reduce the size of the public service by 7.8 per cent over three years.

Those losses will continue, mostly through attrition, in 2020, Toews said.

“We’re continuing on that plan.”

Also since October, the price of western Canadian oil has dropped — even though government spending estimates rely on the price of West Texas Intermediate to climb to US$63 per barrel by 2023.

The government will continue to fund the much-criticized $30-million Canadian Energy Centre to defend the Alberta energy industry. The so-called war room will be valuable “in the long term,” said Toews.

Opposition NDP finance critic Shannon Phillips said she expects to see significant cuts to health care to make up for decreases in government revenue. She said she’s also worried about cuts to economic diversification programs and costs being downloaded onto municipalities and ultimately taxpayers.

“While rich get richer, everyday people, working-class people are left behind. And I am deeply concerned … (about) what we will see in tomorrow’s budget,” said Phillips.

The government has said health and education funding will be maintained or increased, but the results of a sweeping health services review have yet to be implemented, and some school boards have already been forced to make cuts and spend their savings as enrolment increases.

The Alberta government has terminated its funding contract with doctors in what it called a necessary move to control ballooning health-care costs in the province.

Toews’s comments echo Tuesday’s throne speech, which said getting Alberta back to work is the government’s central priority.

“They said some words about jobs, but they didn’t say how they were going to do it,” said Phillips.

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PepsiCo Makes $550 Million Celsius Investment As Hip Hop Mogul Sues For His Shares – Forbes



has its sights on gaining a bigger share of the energy drink with a $550 million investment in Celsius Holdings. The energy drink maker is also at the center of a lawsuit between Russell Simmons and his ex-wife Kimora Lee Simmons along with her husband Tim Leissner, as he tries to retrieve his shares in Celsius back from them. Allegedly Kimora Lee and Leissner transferred and were using his shares of Celsius as collateral to pay a bond in connection with these criminal charges. Leissner already pleaded guilty, and agreed to forfeit $43.7 million for his role in the Malaysia 1MDB scandal that cost Goldman more than $3 billion. Simmons alleges that his shares of Celsius are being used as collateral to pay a bond in connection with these criminal charges.

The Breakdown You Need To Know:

Celsius recorded a first-quarter domestic revenue increase of 217% to $123.5 million and the long-term distribution deal gives Pepsi a minority stake of about 8.5%. The brand, which doesn’t use artificial preservatives or sugar, adds to PepsiCo’s energy drink portfolio, which already includes Rockstar as well as Mountain Dew drinks Amp, Game Fuel, and Kickstart. CultureBanx reported that with these types of returns it’s easy to see why Simmons wants his shares back from the couple.

Quick Recap on how these three people ended up in this situation. Goldman Sachs
last year agreed to pay the Malaysian government $3.1 billion, to settle claims in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund. One of the main people who got the bank involved in this scandal was Kimora Lee’s Simmons husband Tim Leissner.

The bank swiftly parted ways with him after his shady dealings with Jho Low came to light. In November 2018, when Leissner agreed to pay $43.7 million toward victim compensation, it was in order to avoid jail time.

In his claim, Simmons says Kimora and Leissner “knew full well that Leissner would need tens of millions of dollars to avoid jail time, stay out on bail, and forfeit monies for victim compensation.” Simmons claims they used their Celsius shares as collateral for Leissner’s bail, and he wants his shares returned.

Now Russell wants no financial part in keeping Leissner out of jail. In a letter sent to his ex-wife Kimora Lee on May 5, 2021, he was pleading with her to do the right thing and avoid a lawsuit. He wrote that “I am shocked and saddened to see how your side has behaved in response to my repeated attempts to get an agreement from you to rightfully and legally reaffirm my 50% of the Celsius shares..which have been locked up with the government after being used for your husband’s bail money.”

What’s Next:

A representative for Kimora Lee said “Kimora and her children are shocked by the extortive harassment coming from her ex-husband, Russell Simmons, who has decided to sue her for shares and dividends of Celsius stock in which Kimora and Tim Leissner invested millions of dollars.” At this point Russell is asking a judge for damages against Kimora and Leissner and believes he should be awarded restitution for interest and equal value for the wrongfully obtained shares.

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Saskatchewan Leads Provinces In Building Construction Investment | News and Media – Government of Saskatchewan



Released on August 12, 2022

Saskatchewan first among the provinces in year-over-year growth

Today, Statistics Canada released June 2022 Investment in Building Construction numbers, which showed Saskatchewan with a 63.0 per cent increase (seasonally adjusted) compared to June 2021, ranking first among the provinces in terms of percentage change.

Saskatchewan also had strong month-to-month growth for building construction investment with a 17.6 per cent increase (seasonally adjusted) between May 2022 and June 2022, second among the provinces. The value of building construction investment in June 2022 was $464 million, the highest monthly investment in the province since August 2013.

Investment in residential building construction also saw strong month-to-month growth with an increase of 24.0 per cent.

“Saskatchewan’s economy is moving full steam ahead as we advance our Government’s strategy to increase our exports and attract investment into the province,” Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “Saskatchewan is a global leader in the sustainable production of the food, fuel and fertilizer that the world needs, a reality that will lead to more jobs and opportunities in our province for years to come.”

The latest Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey showed there were 581,600 people employed in July 2022 – an increase of 24,400 jobs (+4.4 per cent) compared to July 2021, the third highest percentage increase among the provinces. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.0 per cent remained the second lowest among the provinces, a decrease from 7.1 per cent in July 2021 and well below the national average of 4.9 per cent.

Saskatchewan has ranked highly in a number of other key economic indicators in recent months, including June 2022 merchandise exports, which had the second highest year-over-year growth among the provinces at 57.3 per cent and June 2022 building permits, which had the second highest month-to-month growth among the provinces at 15.8 per cent and the third highest year-over-year growth at 27.4 per cent. June 2022 urban housing starts had the second highest year-over-year growth at 87.0 per cent, compared to the national increase of 0.2 per cent (unadjusted).


For more information, contact:

Jill Stroeder
Trade and Export Development
Phone: 306-787-6315

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Canada Pension Plan Investment Board loses 4.2% in Q1 – Investment Executive



Tax debts and the prescribed rate

Owing CRA money will soon be more expensive

Feds move ahead with CCPC measures

Draft legislation includes expanded SBD access, definition of substantive Canadian-controlled private corporation

Finance releases details on new First Home Savings Account

Proposed rules outline age limit and allow unused contribution room to be carried forward

Regulatory peril is banks’ top governance risk: Fitch

Failings that inflict broader reputational harm or signal deeper issues are most likely to impact credit ratings

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