Ottawa says it’s making Canada’s largest ever investment in protecting fresh water
The federal government says it’s making Canada’s largest investment ever in protecting the nation’s sources of fresh water — including the Great Lakes.
Commitments announced by the government during U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit and in the recent budget bring the federal government’s total investment to $750 million, said Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault.
“[It brings] us very close to our commitment to invest $1 billion … in this mandate. So we’re not quite there yet,” he told CBC News.
The government announced during Biden’s visit it will be spending $420 million to clean up and restore the Great Lakes. That money is part of the $750 million total.
During the 2021 election campaign, the Liberals committed to spending more than $1 billion over ten years to protect and restore freshwater bodies, including rivers, large lakes and the Great Lakes.
Last week’s budget earmarked $650 million over ten years for the Fraser River, the Mackenzie River, Lake Winnipeg, the Lake of the Woods, Lake Simcoe, the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes.
The money is intended to support monitoring, assessment and restoration work, to prevent the release of harmful chemicals and to reduce the frequency of algae blooms.
Canada’s freshwater sources face ongoing threats from plastic and toxic chemical pollution, algae blooms from excessive agricultural fertilizer runoff, and invasive species. In the Prairies, they’re threatened by shrinking glaciers and drought.
These threats affect plant and aquatic life and the communities that rely on these bodies of water for drinking water and recreation. Canada is home to 20 per cent of the planet’s supply of fresh water; Guilbeault said Canada hasn’t always lived up to the responsibility.
And he admits Canada needs to catch up to U.S. investments in freshwater source protection and restoration.
“[The Americans] have, in the past few years, made very significant investments early in the Great Lakes,” Guilbeault said. “We had made the commitment to invest more.”
Michelle Woodhouse, program manager for water at Environmental Defence, agreed Canada needs to match U.S. efforts to protect the Great Lakes.
“Very fair to say we have been lagging behind,” she said, “It has been decades of chronic underfunding.”
According to calculations by environmental groups, the United States has invested $3.8 billion US in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative since 2010. By comparison, the Canadian government has allocated $44.84 million to the Great Lakes Protection Initiative. Even on a per capita basis, Canada is trailing.
Environmental groups and U.S. mayors applauded Canada’s funding commitment, despite the gap.
“Representing an international border community on the shoreline of the Great Lakes, I am thrilled to see this kind of cooperation and coordination between the U.S. and Canadian governments to enhance the health of the Great Lakes,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in a statement from the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative.
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) manages the nine watersheds that run through the Greater Toronto Area.
In 1987, the Toronto waterfront was named as one of 42 areas of concern by the International Joint Commission. The IJC is a bi-national commission established by Canada and the U.S. to regulate cross-border projects that affect water bodies along the border. The IJC identifies “areas of concern” as locations within the Great Lakes that have experienced high levels of environmental damage.
Since then, the TRCA has been working to clean up Lake Ontario. Although it has made progress, it still has to close beaches occasionally and deal with algae blooms and concerns about wildlife habitat. The TRCA also maintains restrictions on fish consumption.
Namrata Shrestha, a senior manager at the TRCA, said investments by the federal government are welcome.
“We do have a lot of issues with our Great Lake system, especially Lake Ontario,” Shrestha said. “There a lot of issues on water quality and its implications on not just the ecosystem per se … but also the cascade effect of it, of what that means for us as a community.”
The Toronto waterfront is among 12 of 14 Canadian areas of concern that Environment and Climate Change Canada is promising to clean up by 2030. The department says that over the next decade, it will focus on the following contaminated or degraded areas:
- Thunder Bay
- Nipigon Bay
- Peninsula Harbour
- St. Mary’s River
- St. Clair River
- Detroit River
- Niagara River
- Hamilton Harbour
- Toronto and region
- Bay of Quinte
- St Lawrence River
Three Canadian areas of concern have already been restored and delisted: Collingwood Harbour, Severn Sound and Wheatley Harbour.
Governments are continuing to push investment into clean energy amid the global energy crisis – News – IEA
The amount of money allocated by governments to support clean energy investment since 2020 has risen to USD 1.34 trillion, according to the latest update of the IEA’s Government Energy Spending Tracker. Around USD 130 billion of new spending was announced in the last six months – among the slowest periods for new allocations since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This slowdown may be short-lived, however, as a number of additional policy packages are being considered in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Union and Japan. Already, government spending is playing a central role in the rapid growth of clean energy investment and expanding clean technology supply chains, and is set to drive both to set to drive both to new heights in the years ahead. Notably, direct incentives for manufacturers aimed at bolstering domestic manufacturing of clean energy technologies now total around USD 90 billion.
At the same time, governments continue to increase spending on managing the immediate energy price shocks for consumers. Since the start of the global energy crisis in early 2022, governments have allocated USD 900 billion to short-term consumer affordability measures in addition to pre-existing support programmes and subsidies. Around 30% of this affordability spending has been announced in the past six months.
These measures have had a major role in moderating price increases for end users, but the energy crisis nonetheless took a toll on many people’s budgets. According to the IEA’s latest data on end-user prices across 12 countries, which together represent nearly 60% of the global population, the average household spent a higher share of its income on energy in 2022 as energy prices outpaced nominal wage growth. On average, households in major economies spend between 3% and 7% of their incomes to heat and cool their homes, to power appliances and to cook – though shares are higher for low-income households. In most major economies, the share of income spent on energy moved up by less than 1% thanks to government interventions.
At the pump, consumers felt the impact more acutely, especially in emerging markets and developing economies, where transport fuels accounted for the joint largest increase in household spending in 2022 alongside food. Without government intervention, this would have been much higher. This was the case in Indonesia, where the average household total energy expenditure would have tripled in 2022 were it not for affordability support.
Early numbers for 2023 show that wholesale energy prices are easing. However, retail prices are unlikely to fall as quickly. High prices are already making clean energy technologies more cost competitive, notably electric vehicles and heat pumps, which saw record sales in 2022. As high prices persist, the uptake of clean energy technologies is set to accelerate further, hastening the emergence of the new energy economy.
Brexit scaremongering proven wrong as London seals major investment in Europe – GB News
The UK attracted the highest amount of inward direct investment in 2022, extending its lion’s share of the European market to more than a quarter.
Releasing figures sure to infuriate pro-EU activists, the annual Ernst & Young (EY) attractiveness survey found foreign investors flocked to the City to fund 46 financial services projects last year, up from 39 in 2021.
By comparison, second place Paris enticed foreign investment for 35 finance proposals, sliding from 38 in 2021, while Madrid secured 22 foreign investment projects compared to 29 in 2021.
Anna Anthony, UK financial services managing partner at EY, said: “Investors recognise the strength, gold-standard governance and resilience of the UK’s financial system and see it as the preferred destination for growth, innovation and access to top talent.”
The Square Mile continues to be a beacon of prosperity
Overall, the UK attracted foreign investment to 76 financial services projects in 2022, a 17 per cent rise on the 63 projects in 2021.
It puts clear blue water between the UK and France, which recorded 45 projects in total, down 15 on 2021 figures.
Andrew Griffith, economic secretary to the Treasury, told City AM: “We have a tremendous track record of attracting the brightest and best companies in the world built on the long standing competitive advantages of the UK and its attractiveness as a place to do business.”
The UK has topped EY consultancy’s finance foreign direct investment table every year since the research started, including every year since the 2016 Brexit vote.
Andrew Griffith pictured second to the right
Likewise, London has led the European city table since it was first recorded in 1986.
America was the biggest source of foreign investment in financial services in Europe last year, accounting for 21 of the UK’s 76 projects in 2022.
Financial services investment projects created 2,603 jobs in the UK last year, a rise of four per cent on 2021.
Across Europe, 10,700 new jobs were created in financial services, of which 1,700 were recorded in France.
EY’s home in Canary Wharf at 25 Churchill Place
Cushman and Wakefield
Chris Hayward, policy chairman at the City of London Corporation, said: “London continues to lead Europe in attracting foreign direct investment in financial services, and the sector is proving resilient despite the global challenges facing the UK economy.”
Hayward added: “That is good news for every household, because a strong City creates the wealth and jobs that support the economy and fund our public services.”
EY has undergone a UK leadership shake up recently following a collapse in the consultancy firm’s plan to break up its audit and consulting operations globally.
The break up blueprint, coined ‘Project Everest’, attracted fierce internal criticism and was eventually abandoned but not before it had cost the firm £480million worth of internal work.
On the back of ditching the radical overhaul, EY has shrunk the UK executive committee from 13 to eight and announced that it will cut 3,000 jobs in the US.
The big four consultancy firm reported record levels of growth for its UK business in November 2022, with UK revenues up 17.2 per cent and UK fee income increasing to £3.23billion from £2.75billion.
Investment grade will boost realty
The local property market stands to reap significant benefits, both short-term and long-term, from a likely credit rating upgrade to investment level for Greece.
Industry executives say that would be a very positive development, as, after 14 years, the Greek real estate market will return to the “elite” of investment destinations and it will become easier to attract foreign investment groups and funds.
“There is an objective problem right now regarding the implementation of investments by a number of institutional investors, as there are rules that prohibit the placement of funds in countries below investment grade. In other words, even if there was an investment opportunity and they were willing to take the risk, such an investment would be cut off by the investment committee of the respective group, because it is not allowed to invest in countries that do not have a positive credit rating,” Tassos Kotzanastassis, ULI global management committee executive and CEO of international real estate investment management company 8G Group, tells Kathimerini.
Securing investment grade means the Greek property market will get back on the “radar” of large institutional investors and state groups that have a long-term investment horizon. This is a development that contradicts speculative moves by a portion of institutions that have been placed in Greece, with a purely short-term horizon, aiming to secure a quick profit and exit from the country.
However, as Kotzanastassis warns, new investments from large foreign funds should not be expected, at least not immediately. “In this period, at the international level, there is significant uncertainty and investors appear restrained. Many are looking for investment opportunities in the form of distressed assets,” he emphasizes.
One of the market’s perennial problems is it is shallow, so it is difficult to create economies of scale that maximize the return on an investment. Another key point is that all foreign investors of this scope are looking for properties with green characteristics, in the context of the ESG policy they follow. Such properties are still rare in this market, constituting a very small minority in relation to the total stock.
Quebec Remparts dominate Seattle Thunderbirds to win 2023 Memorial Cup – Daily Faceoff
Chinese warship nearly hits U.S. destroyer in Taiwan Strait during joint Canada-U.S. mission – Global News
Award-winning Hong Kong journalist wins appeal in rare court ruling upholding media freedom – ABC News
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Search for life on Mars accelerates as new bodies of water found below planet’s surface
Science13 hours ago
Behind Galactic Bars: Webb Telescope Unlocks Secrets of Star Formation
News19 hours ago
Toronto’s Future: A Crap Shoot.
News13 hours ago
Why are mosquitoes so bad in 2023?
Tech24 hours ago
‘Diablo 4’ Patch Notes Bring Fast Barbarian, Druid, Rogue Nerfs, Necro Buffs
Tech11 hours ago
Diablo 4 Received Its First Big Patch and It’s All About Class Balance
Tech12 hours ago
Apple prepares for game-changing WWDC 2023: Mixed reality headset and new features in the spotligh
Economy24 hours ago
Canada’s largest solar farm, GDP growth and an immigrant jobs boom: Must-read business and investing stories
News16 hours ago
Quebec town devastated by fishing accident that killed local man, four children