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The Government of Canada makes historic investment to strengthen Canada's biomanufacturing sector – Canada NewsWire

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Investment demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to grow domestic biomanufacturing  apacity and to build preparedness for future pandemics 

TORONTO, March 31, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, together with the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced an investment of up to $415 million to support Sanofi Pasteur Limited (Sanofi) in building an end-to-end influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in Toronto, Ontario. This new facility will ensure drug product formulation, fill-and-finish and inspection. As part of this project, Sanofi will invest more than $455 million as well as create and maintain 1,225 highly skilled jobs in Canada. The Government of Ontario will also invest $55 million, making this a $925-million project. In addition, the company will also invest at least $79 million a year to fund Canadian research and development

After a global search, Sanofi has chosen Canada as the home of its international production and distribution centre for their high-dose seasonal influenza vaccine, FLUZONE® High Dose Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine (FLUZONE® HD QIV). In addition to creating jobs and funding Canadian research, this facility means better pandemic preparedness for all Canadians. In the event of a future flu outbreak, Sanofi will be able to manufacture pandemic influenza vaccine at population scale at its new Toronto facility. It will have the capacity to produce enough vaccine doses to support the entire Canadian population within approximately six months of the World Health Organization (WHO) identifying a pandemic influenza strain.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for a strong domestic biomanufacturing sector. Today’s announcement will not only reinforce Canada’s biomanufacturing capacity but also strengthen our country’s pandemic preparedness.

Over the last 12 months, the government has made investments of more than $1 billion to advance industrial research and development in vaccines and pharmaceuticals as well as expand biomanufacturing capacity. It will continue enhancing pandemic preparedness today and in the future by making Canada more self-sufficient while reducing exposure to possible future economic impacts and supply chain challenges.

Quotes

“Today’s announcement demonstrates Canada’s ability to attract foreign investments and to develop facilities with made-in-Canada solutions. This once-in-a-generation investment shows our government’s commitment to rebuilding Canada’s domestic biomanufacturing sector, focusing on both short-term strategic solutions and a long–term vision. By investing in this project, our government is helping to keep expertise in Canada, creating and maintaining highly skilled jobs, and securing the health and safety of Canadians. By fostering an environment where companies can invest and grow, leading life sciences firms like Sanofi are increasingly looking to Canada to establish their manufacturing facilities.”   
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“This major new investment in biomanufacturing is an important step forward for Canada. Building on our domestic capacity to produce pandemic influenza vaccine is all part of our commitment to protect the health and safety of all Canadians now and in the years to come.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health

“This is a critical investment as it will create 300 high quality jobs and push Ontario toward becoming less reliant on others for the production of flu and potentially other vaccines. By supporting companies like Sanofi we will continue to strengthen our excellent pharmaceutical sector and ensure we are prepared for future public health events with Made in Ontario products.”
– The Honourable Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario

“It has never been more critical that we build up our domestic production capacity to supply Ontario and all of Canada with flu vaccines. Ontario is the economic engine of Canada, and we can make anything here with our skilled workforce, life sciences sector and strong supply chains. This partnership will build on Ontario’s bio-manufacturing capacity, save lives, create new jobs, and, help prepare us for any future pandemic emergency.”
– The Honourable Victor Fedeli, Ontario Minister of Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

“The expansion of Sanofi’s Toronto Site is a true testament to the strength of Toronto’s medical and healthcare sector. This new vaccine manufacturing facility in Toronto will not only give confidence to Canadians that work is underway to address the ongoing need for vaccines now and in the future but that Toronto is a city in which businesses can grow and thrive. I want to thank everyone involved including my colleague Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson for playing a role in bringing this partnership to fruition and helping us improve our ability to create vaccines domestically which will ensure that we are prepared in the future.”
– His Worship John Tory, Mayor of Toronto

“As a leading vaccines company, we continuously look ahead to address the fast-growing demand for those influenza vaccines that have demonstrated clinical superiority against standard-dose vaccines. This new investment to produce FLUZONE® High-Dose Quadrivalent will help ensure more seniors around the world are better protected against influenza. In addition, it will be a key resource to assist against future pandemics. We welcome the ongoing partnership with the Canadian authorities, who supported us to make today’s great news a reality. This will make the country, which has a strong legacy in vaccines research and development, one of our key hubs in our effort to protect and improve human health across the globe.”
– Paul Hudson, Chief Executive Officer, Sanofi

Quick facts

  • Sanofi is a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer and a global leader in the development of drugs and vaccines.
  • Sanofi has been present in Canada since 1917, with the majority of their Canadian operations located in Laval and Toronto. Sanofi has a long history at the Toronto site, where many advances in vaccines have been made in the past century.
  • Sanofi already makes nine products in Toronto and is investing an additional $500 million in the construction of a separate diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine facility.
  • In addition to the 1,225 highly skilled jobs created and maintained in Canada, another 200 co-op positions will be created through this project.
  • The Government of Canada’s funding announced today comes from the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF).
  • Thus far, the Government of Canada has invested in ten firms through SIF that accelerate vaccine, therapy and biomanufacturing capacity in Canada.
  • Today’s contribution and other actions the government has taken are informed by the recommendations of the Joint Biomanufacturing Subcommittee of the COVID-19 Vaccine and Therapeutic task forces.
  • Sanofi Canada has signed on to the Government of Canada’s 50 – 30 Challenge, pledging to increase the representation and inclusion of diverse groups within their workplace by attaining gender parity and significant representation of under-represented groups within their senior leadership.

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SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

For further information: Contacts: John Power, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, [email protected] ; Media Relations, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, [email protected]

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British Columbia tackles innovation investment gap – The Globe and Mail

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Lt.- Gov. Janet Austin delivers the Throne Speech at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., April 12, 2021.

CHAD HIPOLITO/The Canadian Press

The B.C. government will create its own investment fund to help promising B.C. companies scale up and keep jobs here at home, as part of its post-pandemic recovery plan.

The InBC strategic investment fund, announced in Monday’s Throne Speech, will be administered by a new Crown corporation. The initiative is designed to respond to concerns that the province’s world-leading innovations in sectors such as life sciences are consistently flowing to other jurisdictions with better investment climates.

The Throne Speech, read by Lieutenant-Governor Janet Austin, offers a self-congratulatory account of the government’s response to the health and economic challenges brought by COVID-19 over the past year, and acknowledges that the province is still in the grips of the pandemic. But it also focuses on plans to rebuild the economy.

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“We open this sitting of the legislature at a turning point in our fight to end the pandemic,” she read. “The threat of new variants means we cannot relax, even as your government accelerates the largest mass-immunization program in B.C.’s history.”

Ms. Austin cited the province’s contributions to the global effort to fight COVID-19, noting that its life-sciences companies have helped develop a vaccine and a treatment for the virus, as well as the development of an ICU ventilator for use in Canadian hospitals.

“Their work will not only help bring us out of the pandemic, it will position our province for success in the years ahead,” she said.

The speech predicts the province will find continued growth in trade. “Global markets are changing in ways that offer significant opportunities for B.C.’s goods and services. Prices are expected to continue to reflect environmental, social and governance aspects of production,” it states. “British Columbia firms will be able to take advantage of a premium paid for inclusive and sustainable products.”

But leaders in health sciences and the high-tech sectors have noted that B.C., while it excels in research and development, fails to foster a business environment where those innovations can stay and grow.

Quebec and Ontario have helped secure life sciences investments by partnering with Ottawa to offer incentives. Most recently, the global pharmaceutical giant Sanofi unveiled its plans to build an influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in Toronto, after the federal government and the province of Ontario committed to invest close to half a billion dollars in the project.

The B.C. government provided no detail on the new investment fund on Monday, and it is unclear how the new agency will assist. “This new strategic fund will help promising B.C. companies scale up, anchor talent – keeping jobs and investment at home in British Columbia,” it reads.

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It also promises additional funding to address the challenges that COVID-19 has exposed for the homeless, for health care and for seniors in long-term care. “In the year ahead, your government will continue to improve care for seniors by hiring thousands of new workers for long-term care and fixing the cracks COVID-19 has exposed.”

The Throne Speech also promises initiatives to assist British Columbians who struggle with the cost of living. The budget, which will be introduced on April 20, will include funds to help get thousands of rental homes built throughout the province, and will expand access to the province’s $10-a-day daycare spaces.

The government is also promising changes to its vehicle insurance rates through the Insurance Corporation of B.C. ICBC will deliver a 20-per-cent cut to car insurance rates, in addition to the COVID-19 rebate that was issued earlier this year.

We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our B.C. and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive package of the news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today.

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eBay Is Helping Gen-Y and Gen-Z Get Their Investment Kicks – Forbes

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At a time when Sotheby’s is auctioning off rare sneakers, you know the nature of investing has changed. Those changes are coming as Generations Y and Z are looking to invest in what they love, while changing the nature of what investment-grade goods look like.

eBay, for one has been leading the charge and looks to remain the go-to agent for its monetization. And, to combat counterfeiting while supporting the segment’s growth, the online marketplace is innovating. eBay has begun a series of pop-up authentication events, intended to give their collectors and sellers a new source to both authenticate and value their rare kicks, as well as high-end watches, and collector cards.

Sneakers and watches are two of eBays most popular luxury categories. There are more than a half-million sneaker listings on eBay, and over 165,00 luxury watches listed on any given day. And over the past year the marketplace saw a 10 percent increase for high-end time pieces like Rolex, whose sales have jumped 60 percent since 2019.

Authentication Station

The on-site authentication events are an extension of the recently expanded “Authentication Guarantee” services that eBay offers, utilizing an independent team of industry experts. It’s the same group that authenticated a $1 million pair of 1985 Air Jordon 1’s, signed by non-other than the “Air-apparent” himself.  

The program first launched in LA’s Koreatown, back in November 2020 in a vintage, fifties-looking converted gas station. Participants handed the goods off to an attendant, who brought the items in to the inspection teams. The process was in full view via large outside screens, and successful assessments earned an eBay Authentication Guarantee. Participants were able to receive “on the spot” offers or elected to list the items themselves.

The East-Hollywood, LA experiment was successful enough to replicate. And pop-up authentication events took place this past Friday and Saturday in Atlanta. They are expected to again be replicated in Las Vegas, Seattle, Nashville, and Austin in coming weeks. Admissions to the events are free, without an appointment.

Playing A New Card

In a parallel effort, by late April eBay will add an imaging listing tool to its mobile app, designed to facilitate more efficient listings of trading cards. This is another category that has evolved from mere collecting to high-buck investing.

Beginning in late April 2021, eBay plans to launch an image listing tool in its mobile app to initially support Magic the Gathering cards and ultimately Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! as well.  Users will point their camera at the card and hold to scan. A list of possible matches will pop-up, along with details on game name, title, card set, number and rarity. After tapping the closest match, the user can add their details and pricing to post. eBay plans to add other collectable and trading cards to the offering later in 2021.

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Joe Biden tax plan affect US investment in Ireland?

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Wander around Dublin’s Grand Canal Quay and you get a sense of how successful the Republic of Ireland has been in attracting US technology companies.

Google has its international headquarters across a campus of offices and will soon have more space nearby at the Boland’s Mill development.

Just across the canal, Facebook has its international HQ with Tripadvisor and AirBnB close by.

Stripe, the United States-based payments firm, could soon be in the area.

Last month its Irish founders said they’re planning about 1,000 new jobs in Ireland.

The head of the country’s inward investment agency, Martin Shanahan, described the Stripe investment as a “phenomenal signal from Ireland and about Ireland”.

But there’s now a risk that the pipeline of investment from the US could dry up if President Joe Biden can lead a major change to global tax rules.

Irish tax advantage under threat

In among those tech company HQs in Dublin’s docklands, you will also find the offices of the lawyers and accountants who help US firms use Ireland’s tax system to reduce their global tax bills.

For the last 20 years Ireland has had a simple message: invest here and you will pay just 12.5% tax on your Irish profits.

That compares favourably to headline corporation tax rates of 19% in the UK, 30% in Germany and 26.5% in Canada.

It is an article of faith in Irish politics that the 12.5% rate has been vital to attracting US investment.

But that tax advantage could be seriously undermined if President Biden gets his way.

 

Google head office Dublin

 

The most striking of his proposals – and the one of most consequence for Ireland – is for a global minimum corporate tax rate.

The US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has suggested a 21% minimum rate.

“We are working with G20 nations to agree to a global minimum corporate tax rate that can stop the race to the bottom,” she said in a speech last week.

“Together we can use a global minimum tax to make sure the global economy thrives based on a more level playing field in the taxation of multinational corporations.”

What would it mean for Ireland’s economy?

Essentially that would mean if a company paid tax at the lower Irish rate, then the US (or other countries) could top up that company’s tax in their jurisdiction to get it to the global minimum.

So if a US company had a presence in Ireland primarily for the tax advantage, that advantage would disappear.

This is a matter of urgency for the Biden administration because it is planning to raise corporate taxes at home and would prefer not to see more tax revenues leaking to other countries.

Peter Vale, tax partner with accounting firm Grant Thornton in Dublin, thinks a global minimum rate is now an inevitability.

“If you’d asked me six months ago I’d have been quite sceptical, there was a lot of opposition,” he said.

“But it’s now moving by the day and, with the US behind it with its plans, I think we’re going to arrive at some sort of global consensus.”

He said the key issue for Ireland becomes the level at which the rate is set.

“I don’t think 21% is where it will land, I suspect it will be somewhere in the teens.”

 

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Other details will be important too: “Exactly how will you work out what the rate is a company is paying in Ireland and what does that mean in terms of any top up? The detail becomes pretty critical.”

The Biden proposals have reinvigorated work which is being led by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), an intergovernmental economic organisation.

It began a project known as Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) in 2013, which aims to mitigate tax loopholes which currently allow companies to shift profits from higher tax countries to lower tax countries like Ireland.

‘Intention to target Ireland’

Perhaps ironically Ireland appears to have been a major beneficiary of some of the early outcomes of the BEPS project.

The country’s corporation tax receipts have soared from about €4bn (£3.5bn) in 2013 to around €12bn (£10.5bn) in 2020.

That is the principle that companies should declare their profits in the location where they have real operations or activities.

“Countries like Ireland have been a huge winner from BEPS mark one,” he said.

“The objective was to align profit with substance and we actually are one of the countries where these companies have substance, whether it be pharmaceuticals, computer chips, medical devices and the ICT companies.

“I think when countries in the G7 looked at this they thought ‘that’s not quite what we wanted’ – maybe the intention was to target countries like Ireland, not benefit them.”

When could we see an impact?

In the next round of BEPS, with the US on board, those other rich countries are more likely to get what they want at Ireland’s expense.

But even if President Biden can agree the reforms at home and abroad, how quickly would that have an impact in Ireland?

Mr Coffey thinks any negative effects would not be instant because tax is not everything.

“Are the ICT companies likely to head off around the world, scattering their headquarters to various different cities?” he said.

“There are benefits to being co-located. At least in the medium term we are not likely to see a huge shock.”

That is echoed by the IDA (Industrial Development Authority), the inward investment agency, which points to Ireland’s workforce and significant clusters of specialisation in areas like medical technology and pharmaceuticals.

The IDA also sees the Brexit angle, pointing out that Ireland, unlike its UK neighbour, is part of the EU’s single market.

In a statement, it said: “Ireland is at the heart of Europe. Ireland’s continued commitment to the EU is a core part of Ireland’s value proposition to foreign investors, offering a base to access the European Single Market and to grow their business.

“Ireland also benefits from free movement of people within the EU, giving businesses located in Ireland access to a European labour market.”

The Irish government has been engaged in the BEPS process, though in a speech last year the Finance Minister, Pascal Donohoe, said he remained to be convinced of the need for minimum taxation, beyond the specific challenges relating to the digital economy.

This week a government spokesman said: “Ireland is aware of the US proposals.

“We are constructively engaging in these discussions, and will consider any proposals carefully noting that political level discussions on these issues have not yet taken place with the 139 countries involved in this process.”

Source: – BBC News

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