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Wet’suwet’en protests: CN Rail to lay off around 450 workers amid rail blockades – Global News

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CN Rail is laying off about 450 workers in its operations in Eastern Canada after cancelling more than 400 trains in the past week over a rail blockade protesting an LNG pipeline in British Columbia.

The layoffs will affect operational staff, including employees working at Autoport in Eastern Passage, Moncton, Charny and Montreal.


READ MORE:
Via Rail to resume partial service as pressure to end blockades mounts

The Montreal-based railway says the situation is “regrettable” because the impact on the economy and its employees from the protests is unrelated to CN’s activities and beyond its control.






3:54
Scheer slams Trudeau on rail crisis: All talk and no action


Scheer slams Trudeau on rail crisis: All talk and no action

CN said the shutdown is “progressive and methodical” to ensure it can be restarted when the blockades end completely.






2:08
Rail blockades cause emergency debate in the House of Commons


Rail blockades cause emergency debate in the House of Commons

Coastal GasLink signed agreements with 20 elected band councils along the pipeline route, including the Wet’suwet’en First Nation’s council.

Story continues below advertisement

But Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs are opposed to the project and say the council does not have authority over the relevant land.






2:34
What will it take to end Ontario rail blockades?


What will it take to end Ontario rail blockades?

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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The Lotto Max Jackpot Just Hit $70 Million For The Second Time In History – Narcity

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Most of us are out there every day, on our hustle, getting that bread. Of course, we wouldn’t have to be if we won the lottery. With the Lotto Max Jackpot now sitting at $70 million for only the second time ever you might want to buy a ticket. 

The prize amount previously hit the $70 million mark in January. It was claimed by Adlin Lewis, a 49-year-old credit risk manager from Brampton. At the time, it was the largest lottery prize in Canadian history.

Now that amount has been matched again, and is up for grabs in the February 25 draw. With that much money, you could almost buy a house in Vancouver or Toronto (just kidding. Maybe like 20 houses).

To go along with this massive jackpot, there are also 20 Maxmillions prizes of $1 million each for the taking. 

This big number means no one took home the biggest amount of cash in last night’s draw. However, there were some otherwise impressive wins across Ontario.

Four winning tickets worth a million bucks each were sold in Burlington, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, and Toronto.

Two tickets worth slightly less at $500,000 each were picked up by some lucky people in St. Catharines and Haliburton County/Muskoka District.

A couple of second-place tickets, each paying out at the not-insignificant amount of $114,829.50 were sold in Brampton and Newmarket.

Finally, a couple of $100,000 Encore wins were sold both on the OLG website and in Toronto.

If you live in these cities and have bought a Lotto Max ticket recently, make sure to get it checked.

It could be a major winner, and you might be richer than you were yesterday.

Since September 2009, Lotto Max winners have racked up an impressive $5.2 billion worth of prizes, distributed over 68 jackpot and 590 Maxmillions wins.

To get in on the next draw, buy a ticket before 10:30 PM on February 25.

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Retirees: 1 Trick to Max Out Your CPP Pension – The Motley Fool Canada

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When it comes to retirement, you want your money to work for you. Canada has a couple of pension schemes that will provide retirees with a monthly payout but that’s barely sufficient to meet overall expenses.

The standard of living and related costs have increased considerably over the last few years, especially in large Canadian cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Ottawa. The average CPP payout for a new recipient starting pension at the age of 65 is $672.87 in 2020, while the maximum amount is $1,175.83.

If you delay CPP payouts to the age of 70, it will increase by an annual rate of 8.4%, while the average CPP payout for a new 70-year old recipient will be over $950 per month.

But most people would not want to work till the age of 70 and instead enjoy their retirement life without banking on just the CPP and other such benefits.

So, investors with age on their side need to create substantial wealth by investing in blue-chip, dividend-paying stocks. It’s absolutely essential to take a long-term view of stocks because you can’t afford to discount the power of compounding.

Here we look at one such high-quality stock that can be part of your retirement portfolio.

Royal Bank of Canada

Shares of Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY)(NYSE:RY) have risen by 620% in the last 20 years. This means that if you’d invested $50,000 in the stock in February 2000, it would now be worth well over $300,000 — and this is excluding the company’s dividend payouts.

If you invest $50,000 in the Royal Bank of Canada right now, it can grow to about $110,000 in the next 20 years considering only its forward dividend yield of 3.9%.

If RBC can mimic its historical stock returns, your investment of $50,000 can grow to about $375,000 (including dividend payouts) in the next 20 years.

RBC is Canada’s largest bank in terms of market cap. It’s valued at $154.54 billion and the stock is trading at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 11.

Despite its massive size, RBC is expected to increase earnings by 5.1% over the next five years. Analysts also forecast its sales to grow by 2.4% in 2020 and by 4.6% in 2021.

RBC is a domestic giant trading at an attractive valuation and is a solid long-term pick. The company’s dividend payout ratio stands at 46.5%, giving it enough room to increase dividends over the next few years.

However, it’s advisable to have such a huge exposure to a single company. Rather, you can diversify your portfolio by adding stocks with strong fundamentals, robust cash flows and a low beta guaranteed to increase shareholder wealth.

The verdict

Saving for retirement needs to be a top priority for most individuals, especially if you want to have a stress-free life. You can live off the dividends from these stocks after creating a massive wealth pool and look to withdraw your CPP at the age of 70.

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Fool contributor Aditya Raghunath has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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Rail blockades causing containers to pile up at Canadian ports – CBC.ca

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A rail blockade in eastern Ontario has led to backlogs at Canada’s three biggest ports, prompting some shippers to take their business elsewhere as cargo piles up and dockworkers’ paycheques shrink.

The protest along Canadian National Railway tracks east of Belleville, Ont., has halted CN’s eastern network — about one-quarter of its operations — and choked shipments from coast to coast.

Atlantic Container Line (ACL), a major U.S. shipping line, is diverting from the Port of Halifax in favour of U.S. harbours. The company, which typically berths two ships a week, is now docking in New York and Baltimore to run cargo inland on American railroads, chief executive Andrew Abbott said.

“It’s our gateway port for North America. So if you take out the rail, it knocks out 90 per cent of the cargo that we were putting on the ship,” said Abbott, whose company has been calling on the Halifax port for more than 50 years.

ACL typically handles the equivalent of about 2,000 20-foot containers a week in Halifax that carry everything from Ontario auto parts to French cheese.

“It’s commercial damage to Canadian manufacturers. It’s financial damage to the guys who are bringing in French wine or Walkers butter cookies, because they’re not going on the shelves,” Abbott said. “Everybody’s paying a piece.”

WATCH | Businesses try to wait it out:

Businesses have a backlog of products, but are holding off passing on the cost to consumers — for now. 1:57

Halifax longshoremen are also working — and earning — less, as more than 60 per cent of freight that passes through the port is bound for trains that can no longer be loaded, port authority spokesman Lane Farguson said.

The blockade disrupts business for everyone from stevedores to truckers, packers, importers, exporters and the ports and railways themselves.

“It is certainly a challenging situation for everyone involved.”

In Montreal, some 4,000 containers sit immobilized on the docks and Prairie bulk products like grain can no longer reach the port.

“We are obviously concerned about this situation, which has significant impacts on the economy and the transport logistics chain serving the port,” spokeswoman Melanie Nadeau said in an email.

Meanwhile, the number of ships waiting at anchor to enter Vancouver-area terminals has more than doubled to 50 due to the clogged transportation system, though no vessels are opting for U.S. ports as a result, said Vancouver Fraser Port Authority spokeswoman Melanie Nadeau.

Nearly two weeks ago, protesters barred road access to Canada’s biggest freight hub for several days, one of many pop-up blockades at ports, rail lines and roads across the country.

CN closed its critical eastern network eight days ago after protesters set up a blockade in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory on Feb. 6 in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose a natural gas pipeline slated to pass through their traditional lands in British Columbia.

The rail shutdown is rippling out to other sectors. Superior Propane, Canada’s largest supplier of the fuel, said the situation is getting dire as it begins to ration distribution in Atlantic Canada over concerns that hospitals, nursing homes and households could run out.

“This is a crisis that is unfolding. Unfortunately if it goes on many more days it will be very difficult for the propane industry to recover quickly enough to keep people in supply,” chief executive Greg McCamus said in a phone interview.

Propane companies generally have one to two weeks’ supply on hand, relying on a network of trains and trucks to convey it from rail terminals to local storage facilities, he said. A frozen railroad squeezes that supply chain, triggering truck lineups as long as 10 hours for propane in Sarnia, Ont., according to Canadian Propane Association CEO Nathalie St-Pierre.

Rail cars are piling up as CN and now CP rail lines have been blockaded by various protest groups. (Cole Burston/Bloomberg)

The blockades hinder west-to-east flow of household items from produce to plywood, Band-Aids and canola oil, and raise the cost of others, said Retail Council of Canada spokesman Karl Littler.

“In terms of the mass carried, rail is far more efficient. So you’ve got potential price impacts if everything that was formerly moved by rail is moved by truck” — a sector already facing a severe shortage of drivers.

The effects are likely to be felt more keenly in smaller cities and towns, particularly in Eastern Canada, he said.

“We’re not talking about some Soviet store where you’ve got two cans of gherkin,” he said. “But a lot of items are stuck 6,000 kilometres away in Vancouver.”

The broader impact on the economy may only amount to a hit of 0.2 percentage points to quarterly GDP growth, said RBC economist Nathan Janzen — likely in the tens of millions of dollars. But the ripple effects are being felt “acutely” by some in the rail and manufacturing sectors.

On Wednesday, Via Rail announced temporary layoffs for 1,000 employees as its Montreal-Toronto, Ottawa-Toronto and Montreal-Quebec City routes remain suspended.

Earlier this week, CN temporarily laid off about 450 workers from its operations in Eastern Canada after cancelling more than 400 trains since protests arose.

Major carriers are monitoring the blockades closely. German shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd continues to call on the Halifax port, but is reviewing the situation “with a view to potentially omitting or rerouting vessels,” said spokesman Tim Seifert.

The crisis is stranding an estimated $425 million in goods every day, according to the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters trade group.

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