Producing vaccines, creating good jobs, and building an economy that works for all Canadians – Prime Minister of Canada
Amid global economic uncertainty, the Government of Canada will continue to be there for people – just like we were throughout the pandemic. By continuing to attract investment in research and development and manufacturing, we will continue to create good, middle class jobs and build an economy that works for all Canadians.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, took part in the ground-breaking of vaccine developer Moderna’s new state-of-the-art mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Laval, Quebec. When completed, this new facility will be able to produce up to 100 million made-in-Canada mRNA vaccine doses annually and will create hundreds of good jobs. The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to remind Canadians to keep up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, including getting booster shots when eligible to protect themselves and their loved ones.
The facility is expected to be completed in 2024 at the earliest. In addition to COVID-19 vaccines, it is expected to be able to produce vaccines for other respiratory diseases, such as influenza – pending their ongoing development by Moderna and approval by Health Canada.
During the pandemic, we worked hard to secure life-saving personal protective equipment, invest in our health care system, and ensure everyone eligible in Canada could get vaccinated. As we move forward, we will strengthen our biomanufacturing and life sciences sector to re-establish Canada’s domestic vaccine manufacturing capability, bring Canadian innovation to the front lines of tomorrow’s health solutions, and ensure we are better prepared for future health crises – all while growing the economy and creating good jobs.
“COVID-19 vaccines saved lives and got Canadians back to doing the things they love. Breaking ground on this vaccine manufacturing facility is an important milestone toward ensuring that Canadian workers and Canadian innovation play a key role in keeping our communities safe building an economy that works for all Canadians.”
“Today’s ground-breaking for Moderna’s facility in Laval brings us one step closer to seeing the future of vaccines being developed right here in Canada. With talented workers, researchers and students, Laval will play a key role in global health and health innovation. Moderna’s presence in Canada will strengthen our national biomanufacturing ecosystem, positioning the entire sector to continue to grow and to create even more jobs right across the country.”
“Staying up to date with vaccination continues to be one of the most effective ways to protect ourselves against serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. By bolstering Canada’s domestic manufacturing capacity, we are strengthening domestic health security and pandemic preparedness through timely access to innovative, cutting-edge vaccines that help us save lives.”
“Our government is continuing to ensure Canadians have access to the latest vaccines now and into the future. Breaking ground on this new facility is another important step in our partnership with Moderna to build a domestic biomanufacturing capacity for mRNA vaccines. Access to made-in-Canada vaccines will help ensure we are ready in the event of a future pandemic. We have, and will always work to protect the health and safety of everyone in Canada.”
“I am very pleased that we were able to attract Moderna to Laval. Its arrival strengthens Laval’s long-established biopharmaceutical sector and kicks off Phase II of Biotech City.”
“Today marks another milestone for Moderna and our long-term strategic partnership with the Government of Canada to support pandemic preparedness. We are moving quickly to ensure local supply and manufacturing capabilities of mRNA vaccines for Canadians, with the goal of completing our manufacturing facility in Quebec by the end of 2024.”
- Moderna is a pioneering biotechnology company specializing in mRNA therapeutics and vaccines. In August 2021, the Government of Canada announced a memorandum of understanding with Moderna to build a state-of-the-art mRNA vaccine production facility in Canada. In April 2022, the Prime Minister announced that plans were moving forward toward building this new facility in Quebec. Since then, a definitive agreement has been finalized between the Government of Canada and Moderna.
- Moderna is partnering with Canada’s leading research universities and institutions to help advance cutting-edge research and development here at home.
- Through the Strategic Innovation Fund, the government has supported projects from coast to coast to coast. This includes up to $415 million to support Sanofi in building an end-to-end influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in Toronto, Ontario; up to $175.6 million for AbCellera toward its antibody therapy research and the construction of an antibody production facility in British Columbia; $39.8 million for BioVectra to build a state-of-the-art facility in Prince Edward Island and reconfigure their facilities in Nova Scotia.
- The government has also invested $126 million to build a new Biologics Manufacturing Centre at the National Research Council Canada’s Royalmount site in Montréal. The facility received its drug establishment licence in August 2022 and will be capable of large-quantity, end-to-end production of vaccines ‒ approximately 24 million doses annually.
- Budget 2021 provided a total of $2.2 billion over seven years toward growing a vibrant domestic life sciences sector and securing pandemic preparedness. This funding will help build Canada’s talent pipeline and research systems, as well as foster the growth of Canadian life sciences firms.
People in China are so worried about the economy they’re asking for divine intervention
China’s post-Covid reopening was supposed to be the stimulant that the world needed. But after an early burst of activity, growth in the world’s second largest economy appears to be stalling.
Disillusioned by the deteriorating economic outlook, young people are flooding to Buddhist and Taoist temples to pray for divine intervention in securing jobs, getting into good schools or becoming rich overnight.
Data released this week showed Chinese exports fell 7.5% in May from a year ago, much more than expected, as global demand waned. Factory activity contracted again last month, and youth unemployment stands at a record high.
Economic uncertainty has driven temple visits and tourism to new heights, according to analysts and travel websites.
“No school-going, no hard-working, only incense-burning” has been a popular hashtag on social media since March, referring to a growing trend among young people in China who escape a pressure-cooker society by going to temples to pray for luck.
“Incense-burning youth” has become the number one catchphrase in China’s tourism industry this year, according to a survey jointly conducted in April by Qunar.com, a travel website, and Xiaohongshu, an Instagram-like app, which looked at the top travel trends.
The jobless rate for people between 16 and 24 years old reached a record 20.4% in April, according to official statistics.
The youth unemployment rate could get even worse as a record 11.6 million college students enter the already tough job market this summer, as the education ministry estimated earlier this year.
Different temples tend to attract different types of worshippers. The Yonghe Temple in Beijing, also known as the Lama Temple, which caters to the Tibetan Buddhism faith, is a popular site for those looking for career or financial success.
It recorded the biggest increase in visitors of any temple in the country in March and early April, up 530% from the same period last year, according to Qunar.
Lots of incense burning
China is officially an atheist nation, but it recognizes five faiths: Buddhism, Taoism, Protestantism, Catholicism and Islam. The first two religions are an essential part of Chinese culture, with tens of thousands of temples and monasteries across the country.
Temple visits have surged this year more than fourfold from a year ago, according to recent data from Qunar and Trip.com, another travel site. About half of the visitors are people in their 20s and 30s, according to the sites.
“Under pressure about school, jobs, marriage and relationships, more and more young people are turning to traditional culture, such as temple prayer and blessings, to relieve stress,” said Yang Yan, an analyst with Chinese brokerage firm Nanjing Securities.
Social media has also fueled the boom in temple tourism, as young people like to share their experiences on social networks, she added.
Emei and Jiuhua are two of China’s famous “four sacred mountains of Buddhism,” home to the country’s largest Buddhist temples and cultural heritage sites.
Emei Mountain in southwestern Sichuan province received 2.48 million visitors between January and May, up 53% from the same period in 2019, before any pandemic restrictions were imposed.
Emei Shan Tourism, which provides travel services around the mountain, has enjoyed soaring sales, posting a record $9.8 million in net profit in the first quarter, up 262% from the same period in 2019.
Its stock surged 44% over the past 10 trading sessions, becoming one of the best performers on Chinese stock markets during the period.
Anhui Jiuhuashan Tourism Development, which runs the Jiuhua Mountain scenic area in central Anhui province, also shattered quarterly sales records.
Its revenue for the January-to-March period jumped 43% from the same period in 2019 and was the highest since its 2015 listing. Its shares were up 34% over the past 10 trading sessions.
Taoist sites have also seen strong growth in worshippers.
Longhu Mountain in Jiangxi province, one of the birthplaces of Taoism, received 4.73 million visitors during the first quarter, up 47% from the same period in 2019.
Wudang, another famous Taoist site featured in the film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” recorded a 23% jump in visits for the January-to-March period compared with 2019.
Besides praying to deities for career success, supplicants are seeking luck in winning the lottery.
The Communist Party banned gambling in China when it took power in 1949. But the government runs two types of lotteries to raise money for sports events and welfare projects.
Lottery sales hit 50.33 billion yuan ($7.1 billion) in April, up 62% from a year ago, according to data released by the finance ministry in late May. That’s the highest sales for the month of April in a decade.
“It’s clearly a real-life placebo,” analysts at Hangzhou-based Caitong Securities wrote in a research report Sunday. In medical research, the placebo effect is the experience of feeling better after a dummy pill or treatment
During uncertain economic times, more people tend to seek solace in faith or other comforting activities such as buying lottery tickets, raising pets, attending concerts or spending time on hobbies such as anime or comics, the analysts said.
“The core attraction of buying lottery tickets is to bring people solace,” they added.
Are we in a recession right now? What economists have to say
Over the past year, economists have proclaimed that the U.S. is headed toward recession so relentlessly, you might think we’re already knee-deep in a slump.
But the economy has been remarkably resilient and, though wobbly at times, has repeatedly defied forecasts of a downturn. Economists, in turn, have continued to push out their estimates of when a recession will begin.
Yet forecasters still say there’s a 61% chance of a mild slide this year, according to those surveyed by Wolters Kluwer Blue Chip Economic Indicators.
All this begs the question: Are we in a recession now?
What happens in a recession?
Many Americans are familiar with the informal definition of a recession: Two straight quarters of declining gross domestic product, which is the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S.
But the real litmus test is more subtle. A recession is “a significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy that lasts more than a few months,” according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. NBER looks at a variety of indicators, particularly employment, consumer spending, retail sales and industrial production. The non-profit group often announces when a recession has begun and ended months after those milestones have occurred.
GDP fell each of the first two quarters of 2022 but much of the drop was traced to changes in trade and business inventories – two categories that don’t reflect the economy’s underlying health.
Why do economists expect recession?
Over the past 14 months, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates at the fastest pace in 40 years to bring down inflation. Typically, when the Fed hikes rates so aggressively, borrowing to buy a home, build a factory and make other purchases becomes much more expensive. Economic activity declines, the stock market tumbles and a recession results.
Was there already a recession?
No. During the pandemic, households amassed about $2.5 trillion in excess savings from hunkering down at home and trillions of dollars in federal stimulus checks aimed at keeping workers afloat through layoffs and business closures.
As a result, Americans have a big cushion of savings to help them weather high inflation and interest rates. They’ve whittled down much of those excess reserves but about $1.5 trillion still remains, according to Moody’s Analytics.
Consumers also still have lots of pent-up demand to travel, go to ballgames and dine out now that the health crisis has receded. So while consumption has flagged, rising just 1% annualized at the end of last year, it bounced back and grew 3.8% in the first quarter.
Also, both households and businesses have historically low debt levels, Moody’s says, and so they’re not burdened by high monthly debt service payments.
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Are we in a recession right now?
The vast majority of top economists say no. Housing has been in the doldrums, with home prices starting to decline, because of high mortgage rates. And manufacturing activity has contracted for seven straight months, also in part because of high rates that have dampened business capital spending.
But consumer spending, which makes up about 70% of GDP, has been surprisingly healthy, jumping 0.5% in April after adjusting for inflation.
As a result, the most critical economic indicator- employment – has stayed strong, with the public and private sector adding an average of 283,000 jobs a month from March through May. Also, longstanding labor shortages have led many businesses to hold onto workers instead of laying them off despite faltering sales.
All told the economy has lost some steam but it’s not shrinking. GDP grew at a 1.3% annual rate in the first quarter. And it’s projected to grow 1% in the current quarter, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Will there be a recession in 2023?
Most economists still expect a recession in the second half of the year. They say the Fed’s high interest rates eventually will be felt more profoundly by consumers and businesses. At the same time, banks are pulling back lending because of deposit runs that led to the collapse of several regional banks early this year.
Perhaps the most reliable indicator of a coming recession is an inverted yield curve. Normally, interest rates are higher for longer-term bonds than shorter-term ones because investors need to be rewarded for risking their money for a longer period.
But the yield on the 2-year Treasury bond has been well above the 10-year Treasury for months. That’s been a consistent signal of recession because investors move money into safer longer-term assets – pushing their prices up and their yields down – when the economic outlook grows dimmer.
US and Allies Condemn Economic Coercion With Attention on China
(Bloomberg) — The US and five major allies condemned economic coercion and non-market policies regarding trade and investment in a joint declaration that didn’t cite China by name but clearly had Beijing in mind.
The six countries expressed concern about practices that they say “undermine the functioning of and confidence in the rules-based multilateral trading system.”
The message from the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the UK carries no economic consequences and mirrors one released by Group of Seven nations after a meeting of leaders last month.
A US Trade Representative official, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity before the statement’s release, said China has been the biggest perpetrator of the behavior condemned in the declaration.
The official mentioned China’s decision to cut off trade with Lithuania in 2021 after that Baltic nation allowed Taiwan to establish a diplomatic office there as an example of the kind of economic coercion that the declaration singles out.
Read More: G-7 Eyes China With New Joint Effort Against Economic Coercion
In response to a reporter’s question, the official rejected any comparison to the US, which has become one of the most prolific purveyors of measures that could be seen as economic coercion, chiefly through financial sanctions and limits on technology exports to countries including China.
US sanctions occurred in accordance with US laws and procedures, and in light of relevant rules and norms, the official said. The declaration makes explicit that it didn’t apply to actions that have “a legitimate public policy objective.”
“These legitimate public policy measures include: health and safety regulations, environmental regulations, trade remedies, national security measures and sanctions, and measures to protect the integrity and stability of financial systems and financial institutions from abuse,” according to the declaration.
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