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Mayoral candidate Charlie Clark says innovation, sustainability critical to building Saskatoon economy – CBC.ca

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Saskatoon mayoral candidate Charlie Clark says a broad strategy of planning, technological advancement and sustainable energy is needed to maintain and grow grow the city’s economy.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Clark laid out his plan to keep people working through the pandemic.

His long-term strategy involves building a food processing hub in the Saskatoon region, building a centre for excellence in agriculture technology and continuing to work toward a greener Saskatoon.

“Right now, we have what the world needs. We need to make sure the rest of the world knows this,” said Clark.

Clark said he knows of several lost opportunities for food processing businesses that were considering setting up in the Saskatoon area in the past, but ultimately left for other areas.

“There wasn’t enough co-ordination between our regional partners, Corman Park and the city for infrastructure needs and the demands relative to what we were seeing in other places,” he said.

“We need to make sure that we have identified some of the obstacles to these plants opening in our region and being able to create the conditions for them to succeed here.”

He said initiatives like the Saskatoon North Partnership For Growth are critical. The master plan includes the Rural Municipality of Corman Park, Warman and Martensville, and considers a future where the region has a population of 500,000 in the next 20 years.

Clark also stressed the need to make Saskatoon’s infrastructure more environmentally friendly. He said initiatives like creating an electric charging network, more electric buses and more solar energy are critical to modernizing the city’s economy.

“When I talk to globally facing companies like Federated Co-op, Nutrien, Siemens, they’re all saying that they have an imperative right now to make sure that in addition to being in places where there’s cost competitiveness, they have a sustainability plan,” he said.

“If we can generate more renewable electricity opportunities here, that helps those companies to achieve their sustainability goals.”

Clark touted Saskatoon Light and Power’s plan to build a one megawatt solar array near the Montgomery neighbourhood as one way the city could work toward this goal.

Winter city

Clark said more winter events, in tandem with the Winter City strategy, could help businesses like restaurants and hotels get through a potentially difficult season in the short term.

“We need to find the right ways to help our businesses survive through the winter and get people out and being able to celebrate and enjoy winter as much as possible.”

“It’s a time when people can’t go to Mexico, can’t go to their hot holidays, the snowbirds aren’t able to go where they need to go. So it’s just going to take an all-hands-on-deck approach to come up with the best ways to animate our city.”

Clark also said the city needs to continue to push for flexible regulations, like sidewalk and parking patios, to help businesses.

Saskatoon’s municipal election will be held Monday, Nov. 9.

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Economy

Both Biden and Trump victories present implications for Canada's economy, shows new report from RSM Canada – Canada NewsWire

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  • Analysis of policies and data from both candidates suggests that a victory for either could pose risks for Canada’s economy
  • Canada’s increasing economic dependence on the U.S. also a large factor in any potential headwinds
  • COVID-19: Canadian economic growth expected to be gradual, with economy projected to contract 5.5 per cent in 2020, followed by a 6 per cent expansion in 2021
  • Consumer sector has been pivotal to Canada’s economic recovery process to date, while labour and manufacturing are still in shock

TORONTO, Oct. 20, 2020 /CNW/ – RSM Canada (“RSM”), the leading global provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on middle market businesses, today launched its third 2020 issue of “The Real Economy: Canada” – a quarterly report that provides Canadian businesses with economic analysis and insights into factors driving growth, or economic headwinds, in Canada’s middle market.

With the U.S. presidential election taking place in just a matter of weeks, and Canada looking to navigate a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest Real Economy: Canada report shines a light on how the election outcome, combined with Canada’s reliance on the U.S. economy, might alter Canada’s  recovery and longer-term outlook.

This report also looks at how Canadian industries have fared since the onset of the pandemic and explores measures the federal government and other authorities can take as the recovery process continues.

Key findings in this quarter’s report include:

  1. Recovery for both Canadian and U.S. economies are closely intertwined
    • Growing dependence on the U.S. due to CUSMA and deteriorating relationship with China has hampered Canada’s ability to chart its own economic course.
    • Data shows total trade between CanadaChina has trended downward since the beginning of the U.S.-China Trade War in 2018. In comparison, total trade between Canada and the United States increased during this period.
    • Current administration’s struggles to cap COVID-19 cases suggest a Trump re-election would present economic risks to Canada due to close economic ties.
  2. ‘America first’ policies likely to continue, regardless of election outcome
    • Biden’s proposed ‘Made in America’ tax incentive, which offers tax credits for companies in the U.S. that expand employment and salaries domestically, could potentially discourage future Canadian market expansion.
    • Trump’s protectionist tendencies would indicate Canada may see further headwinds with its largest trading partner if he’s re-elected.
    • Biden’s willingness to adopt Trump’s tough stance on China if elected suggests Canada will likely continue to be negatively affected by U.S.-China trade relations.
  3. U.S. election adds to the uncertainty of Canada’s oil & gas sector
    • Canadian oil pricing will be hit hard if Biden follows through on his campaign promise to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, a critical venture for Western Canada oil producers that would provide direct access to the Gulf Coast refineries and world markets.
  4. The consumer sector accounts for most of Canada’s growth during recovery process
    • Consumer confidence’s summer comeback have influenced forecasts of a V-shaped GDP recovery in the coming quarters and sustained growth into 2022.
    • However, the recent resurgence of new infections has dealt a blow to recovery and consumer expectations.
  5. Labour market turnaround will be critical to continued economic progress, while turbulent times remain ahead for manufacturing sector
    • The service sector, which now employs nearly 80 per cent of the total labour force, lost 850,000 jobs since the start of the pandemic.
    • Danger of lingering damage to labour force through loss of skills & productivity, and the ability of an idle labour force to keep up with the acceleration in technological changes.
    • New manufacturing orders 11 per cent below their pre-crisis peak and roughly 5 per cent less than last year.

“Despite a rocky relationship between Canada and the current U.S. administration in recent years, it’s clear that a victory for either Trump or Biden would pose risks to Canada’s economy,” says Alex Kotsopoulos, vice president, projects and economics with RSM Canada. “The issue is that Canada has become increasingly dependent on its neighbour south of the border, and when you combine this with the strong ‘America First’ policies of both presidential candidates, Canada will feel the brunt of those decisions. Therefore, it’ll be important for the Canadian government to proactively engage with the new administration to shore up trade and supply chains, which will be vital in the Canada’s own recovery.”

Joe Brusuelas, chief economist with RSM US LLP, added: “When looking at Canada’s economic recovery data from the pandemic so far, it’s clear that the resurgence of Canada’s consumer sector has led the charge after a lengthy shutdown. However, to achieve stronger growth the labour force and industrial sector will be critical pieces of the puzzle, and while there is no meaningful or complete recovery until there is a vaccine, further expansion of the real economy by fiscal and monetary authorities will be important to keep recovery moving in the right direction.”

For more information on RSM Canada’s ‘The Real Economy: Canada‘, or to download the report, please visit: https://rsmcanada.com/our-insights/the-real-economy/the-real-economy-canada-volume-7.html

About RSM

RSM’s purpose is to deliver the power of being understood to our clients, colleagues and communities through world-class audit, tax and consulting services focused on middle market businesses. The clients we serve are the engine of global commerce and economic growth, and we are focused on developing leading professionals and services to meet their evolving needs in today’s ever-changing business environment.

RSM Canada LLP provides public accounting services and is the Canadian member firm of RSM International, a global network of independent audit, tax and consulting firms with more than 43,000 people in 120 countries. RSM Alberta LLP is a limited liability partnership and independent legal entity that provides public accounting services. RSM Canada Consulting LP provides consulting services and is an affiliate of RSM US LLP, a member firm of RSM International. For more information visit rsmcanada.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and/or connect with us on LinkedIn.

SOURCE RSM Canada

For further information: Media contact: Ben Rose or Stephen Colle, FleishmanHillard HighRoad, 416-214-0701, [email protected]

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Economy

Letter: There is no trade-off between public health and the economy – Open Democracy

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The UK Government’s approach to suppressing COVID-19 risks becoming the worst of all possible worlds. Partial measures to half-close the hospitality and other sectors without providing sufficient financial support to the businesses in them will not suppress the rate of infection sufficiently to cut the death rate and protect the NHS, but will almost certainly lead many businesses to close and workers to lose their jobs.

As both SAGE and The Lancet have said, short but deep ‘circuit breaker’ lockdowns are the only way to rapidly reduce the R rate to a level which can then allow the economy and social life to open up again. But they must be accompanied by the generous furlough and business support schemes for which the Chancellor was rightly praised in the spring. Support to the self-employed and those on Universal Credit also needs to be increased.

Yes, this will cost the Treasury money. But, as in times of war, there is no effective economic limit on crisis spending: debt can be absorbed now by the Bank of England and paid back over 25 years or more.

Over the medium term there is no real trade-off between public health and the economy. Only by suppressing the virus will the economy be able properly to reopen. This is likely to require periodic circuit breaker lockdowns; but with sufficient Treasury support those will almost certainly cause less economic and mental hardship than permanent half-measures. Ultimately, exiting this destructive cycle requires a functioning test and trace system, with local health teams, rather than private and centralised companies, in charge.

Yours,

Professor Simon Wren-Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Oxford

Professor Jonathan Portes, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, King’s College London

Professor Daniela Gabor, Professor of Economics and Macro-Finance, UWE Bristol

Professor Michael Jacobs, Professor of Political Economy, University of Sheffield

Dr Jo Michell, Associate Professor of Economics, UWE Bristol

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Britain's economic recovery faltering, Bank of England to step up spending: Reuters poll – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Jonathan Cable

LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England is likely to supplement its quantitative easing war chest next month to offer more support to an economy still struggling amid coronavirus restrictions on activity and fears of a no-deal Brexit, a Reuters poll found.

Surging coronavirus infection numbers have pushed the government to tighten curbs across swathes of the country to try to stop the spread. More areas face tougher lockdowns in coming days.

A national lockdown earlier this year that forced businesses to close and citizens to stay home meant the UK economy contracted an historic 19.8% in the second quarter.

While the Oct. 13-19 poll predicted 16.7% growth last quarter, the outlook has darkened. The economy is expected to expand 2.6% this quarter and 1.0% next – weaker than the respective 3.4% and 1.3% median forecasts given last month.

For all of 2020, the economy will contract 10.1% but expand 6.1% next year, according to the poll of 78 economists, compared with the respective -10.0% and +6.1% forecasts given last month.

“The resurgence of COVID-19 across the UK and the resulting restrictions mean the recovery is set to stall. It now looks fairly inevitable that the Monetary Policy Committee will top-up its asset purchase programme,” said James Smith at ING.

With Bank Rate already at a record low of 0.10%, and 59 of 64 economists who responded to an extra question saying the MPC would not take it below zero, the focus will be on bond buying, or quantitative easing.

Having added 300 billion pounds to the programme earlier this year, taking its total projected spend on gilts to 725 billion pounds, the median forecast in the poll was for a 100 billion pound top-up on Nov. 5.

“That would give policymakers scope to continue making purchases until early summer next year if the pace of purchases stays broadly similar,” ING’s Smith said.

Bank Rate was not expected to move until 2023 at least and only two of the 68 economists polled expected any change next month.

KEEP TALKING?

London said on Monday the door was still open if the European Union wanted to make some small concessions to save Brexit trade talks but unless the bloc budged there would be a no-deal exit in 10 weeks.

Britain’s informal EU membership – known as the transition period – ends on Dec. 31.

“Enough progress has been made to keep the talks alive so that negotiators return to the table and a deal will eventually be done and be in place by the end of the year,” said Liz Martins at HSBC.

The latest Reuters poll gave a median 40% chance no deal is made, unchanged from last month, and as in all Reuters polls since the June 2016 decision to leave the bloc, it said the most likely outcome was still some form of free trade agreement.

“It remains in everyone’s interest to avoid a no-deal outcome,” said Peter Dixon at Commerzbank.

“The economic headwinds posed by COVID-19 will exacerbate the costs of a no-deal Brexit, and the British government would be wise to do whatever is necessary to avoid it.”

(Reporting by Jonathan Cable; polling by Sarmista Sen and Swathi Nair; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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