Premier Doug Ford says that there could be an announcement next week regarding the eventual reopening of the economy.
Ford made the comment as he toured a new COVID-19 testing facility at Pearson International Airport on Wednesday afternoon.
It comes on the heels of Quebec Premier Francois Legault announcing that non-essential stores, personal care salons and museums across the province will be permitted to reopen next week.
A number of business in Alberta were also permitted to reopen last month amid declining case counts and hospitalization numbers in that province.
“We’re gonna be going to cabinet this afternoon, we’ll have a better idea after our cabinet meeting, and we’ll have an announcement, probably on Monday,” Ford said. “So our goal is to open up the economy safely and only a couple of hot zones might be a week later.”
A provincewide lockdown went into effect on Boxing Day, forcing a wide swath of businesses to close.
The Ford government then issued a second state of emergency and stay-at-home order on Jan. 12 as case counts continued to surge.
Both of those orders are set to expire next week and at this point it remains unclear whether they will be extended.
Speaking with reporters, Ford said that he wants to get the economy “opening up” especially in some “northern rural areas” where transmission has been lower.
But he said that safety remains “the number one priority.”
It should also be noted that some epidemiologists advising the province have also expressed concern about reopening the economy prematurely while a number of new COVID variants are circulating.
“It is those jurisdictions that have maintained their public health measures while they have been coping with this new variant that have actually had some success and I worry a little bit about relaxing them as the prevalence of the new variant increases. It could really lead to an almost vertical like takeoff in terms of the number of cases with doubling time really shrinking down,” Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the province’s COVID-19 science table, told reporters last week. “So I think in any place where we have a concern that cases take off you maintain the public health measures but by doing that we may be able to get kids back to school.”
A spokesperson for the premier’s office did tell CP24 following Ford’s remarks that “no announcement has been scheduled yet regarding the re-opening of the economy.”
IDB Sees Latin America's Moment to Shine: New Economy Update – BNN
(Bloomberg) — With supply chains and the war in Ukraine disrupting trade and investments globally, Latin America and the Caribbean have an opportunity to shine, the head of the Inter-American Development Bank Mauricio Claver-Carone said.
He spoke on the sidelines of Bloomberg’s inaugural New Economy Gateway Latin America event in Panama City that kicks off Wednesday with speakers discussing the post-pandemic economic growth challenge, preparing for the next public health crisis, the transition to green energy and the case for cryptocurrencies in the region, among other topics.
“I don’t want a single company to look at China before it looks at any country in Latam and the Caribbean,” Claver-Carone said.
The supply chain disruptions have cast a light on the issue of near-shoring, or placing manufacturing facilities closer to US consumers, with many Latin American countries lobbying for those investments.
You can follow the agenda here and the event will be streamed on the terminal at LIVE GO and on the web.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.
'Full-blown war' of housing NIMBYism threatens Canada's economy: CAPREIT CEO – BNN
The head of one of the nation’s largest residential landlords is warning Canada can ill afford a “full-blown war” on higher density housing projects led by single-family home owners intent on opposing those developments.
Canadian Apartment Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (CAPREIT) chief executive officer Mark Kenney said widespread pushback against higher density supply only serves to raise asset prices, and could have a dire impact on immigration levels and by extension long-term economic growth.
“Canada has had affordable housing for decades upon decades upon decades. It’s only in the last, I’ll say 10 years that affordability has started emerging as a really serious problem. But we can’t have immigration – responsible immigration – without responsible housing policy,” he said in an interview Tuesday.
“The reality is that if we want to have these ambitions, we have to have a different housing policy. It can’t be a full-blown war against housing when we really need people coming to our country to help build our economy.”
While home ownership affordability pressures have eased slightly – average prices in Toronto fell 6.4 per cent month-over-month in April to $1,202,819 – CAPREIT has seen some of the heat seep into the rental market.
In its most recent quarter, CAPREIT’s monthly rental prices rose 10.2 per cent at units where there was tenant turnover.
Kenney said his company and the REIT sector at large are ready and willing to step in to help address supply constraints, but said the industry has been stymied by zoning rules, which are under the purview of municipalities.
“We’re very much in the acquisition of new construction apartment buildings now. CAPREIT has been building up its zoning, we have over 10 thousand units of market-viable land. It takes so long to zone this land,” he said.
“The apartment REITs are a big part of the supply solution for Canada. The apartment REITs are definitely a big part of the supply solution for Canada. We’re capitalized properly, we have the experience and we have the land.”
Kenney also pointed to modular housing as a potential solution for Canada, which badly lags the United States in adoption of that form of housing.
“This is one of the most affordable forms of home ownership there is out there. The U.S. has a very large segment of manufactured homes – close to 17 per cent of people in the U.S. live in one, versus less than one per cent in Canada – so we have an affordable home ownership solution sitting right in front of us, it’s a matter of getting zoning to allow these homes to be put in,” he said.
Kenney said part of the challenge is the stigmatization of modular homes, with perceptions they’re no different from the mobile homes of years past.
“The reality is that the quality of these homes are better than homes that are built in subdivisions, because they’re built in a controlled environment,” he said, adding they have “high, high energy efficiency — they’re probably the most eco-friendly form of housing you can buy.
“Terrible stigmatization, but the reality and the opportunity out there for Canada, we’re trying our hardest to get the messaging across. It’s a big part of the answer – not for big cities, but definitely in the rural areas.”
CFL collective bargaining scuffle impacting Regina economy – Global News
As the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the CFL Player’s Association continue to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement, the start of the season hangs in the balance.
With players striking until a new deal is reached, fans and local businesses are keeping a watchful eye on the situation with games potentially getting cancelled.
“You can feel the energy in the city when the Riders are playing. It’s infectious, it’s exciting and to think that we might not get that experience in the same sense as we have in the past, it’s disappointing,” said Tyler Burton, assistant general manager at Regina’s Cathedral Social Hall.
That infectious energy on a Rider game day translates to dollars for local businesses which are now waiting in limbo on whether or not Monday’s preseason contest between Saskatchewan and Winnipeg at Mosaic Stadium will even be played.
“Rider games are often the biggest show in town. They give a much-needed boost to our tourism and hospitality sector anytime we can host a game in Regina so we are anticipating a busy weekend with the upcoming game,” said Chelsea Galloway, Chief Tourism and Visitor Growth Officer for Economic Development Regina.
“We are really excited to have that in town and our restaurants, our hotels, and airport are all ready to welcome people back.”
CFL season once again on hold as CBA looms
The potential cancellation of Monday’s pre-season game — not to mention possible further cancellations depending on how long the work stoppage lasts — affects the entire economy. This is especially critical in markets like Saskatchewan where CFL game days provide a major financial boost.
“You see it all over our city, but I think definitely in our restaurants and our hotels it’s those last minute cancellations, business that they’re anticipating. They get that schedule, they see those games, they’re trying to staff up, they’re building budgets around that so our entire hospitality sector gets impacted by things like this,” said Galloway.
“Rider events are the games that we plan forward to months in advance. We make sure the staff can’t book off the days just because we know we are going to get slammed pre-game and post-game. It’s huge for us; we look forward to it every year.
“Last year obviously was a little different with COVID but this year was supposed to be the first normal year back so it’s tough to know that we might be losing some of those games, if not all of them. The numbers don’t lie, they are some of our busiest days of the year.”
Even vendors at Mosaic Stadium like Fresh Carnival are stuck managing 40 staff members and preparing perishable food items for an event that may or may not happen this coming long weekend.
“We do plan as far ahead as possible for that so we do have all this extra product coming in which is already hard enough to find these days with all the other factors out there in the world,” said Burton.
“But for us to plan so far ahead and then to have it just not happen last minute it makes you stand back a bit and shows how volatile the industry can be and how all the little events around a city like Regina make such a big difference.”
But the biggest boost for Regina’s economy will come in November when the city hosts the Grey Cup and its accompanying festival.
“The Grey Cup is very significant. We’ve hosted it three times in Regina in the past. This time we actually have 10 more hotels, over 1,000 new rooms, so it’s big. We’re projecting a sellout at this point so it’s a massive event for our city,” said Galloway.
After two tough pandemic years, businesses are hoping for a quick solution to the latest collective bargaining situation.
“The timing couldn’t be worse, obviously, and that goes without saying. I mean, after coming out of COVID and after going through a year that’s kind of week-by-week where we don’t know what to expect, to see the finish line or whatever that may be and think, ‘Oh we have this first Rider pre-season game coming up’ and everyone is talking about it and then all of a sudden for it to be pulled out from under our feet, it’s disappointing,” said Burton.
Focus Saskatchewan: CFL Struggles
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
IDB Sees Latin America's Moment to Shine: New Economy Update – BNN
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