Category Archives: News

Canadian Jobs: Going Green

green-jobsWhile business booms in Canada, the environment is also being given a front seat.  One example of this is BioTalent’s announcement of its wage-subsidy initiative that will offer over 100 new graduates the opportunity to take a green job.  The initiative is monetary and will be in the form of more than $1.1 million in salaries to encourage them to take work in this field.

The program – federally funded – is also intended to reduce youth unemployment.  By encouraging those looking for work to seek gainful employment in often-less explored industries, including both biotech and the environment.   This is just one of many initiatives the non-profit HR association has engaged in since 2005, having assisted more than 400 new biotech graduates find employment.

BioTalent is not alone in its efforts toward Canada’s boost in the green workforce and an overall commitment to enhancing the environment.  Just last week, Catherine McKenna, the country’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and Erik Solheim, UN Environment Chief, announced that Canada is to be hosting next year’s World Environment Day.  This environment-led global event is the largest environmental celebration that takes place in June each year and enjoys the participation of thousands of communities around the world.  However, it will be Canada that will be making use of the day to “showcase to the world the beauty of its natural environment on land and water.”  As McKenna noted: “The Canadian spirit of collaboration is only one of the reasons Canada is a natural choice to host World Environment Day. World Environment Day will be an important part of Canada 150 celebrations. On June 5, 2017, we will blend Canadians’ pride in our environment with our determination to address climate change challenges. We are looking forward to showing the world the made-in-Canada approaches that will make our country cleaner and more competitive for businesses.”

With the above initiatives as well as the first ever upcoming gathering of the UN agency in Montreal to ratify the climate deal regarding the aviation sector and the sixth consecutive year of the CN EcoConnexions – From the Ground Up program now in place, Canada is well on the way to boosting its environmental sustainability.

Canadian-Chinese Trade News

shanghaiGiven that historically there has been no free trade agreement between China and Canada, (despite Canadians’ purchasing power of Chinese products in the region) Justin Trudeau‘s statement on opening up talks between the two nations might have come as quite a surprise.  The same could be said from the Chinese point of view, who traditionally have been known to be big purchasers of Canadian materials, in particular, in the raw variety of oilseeds and wood pulp.

In other words, from both sides it is quite shocking that free trade agreements are only just beginning given the apparent ease that already exists for purchasing power.  Indeed, China is already ranked as Number 2 in trading partners for Canada.

There was the 2014 Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection Agreement (which – for at least three decades – is irrevocable).  But this is more connected to environmental regulations which reduce profitability.  Much more of this direction is necessary.

With free trade agreements, the path for China’s purchase of additional agricultural products and raw materials would be further opened.  In an ideal trading world China would have Canada construct a pipeline to ease the passage of Alberta oil into BC, from where it could travel to China.

Benefits for China

Should this go ahead, in China, profits would soar.  Should a free trade Canadian-Chinese agreement be reached, according to the Canada China Business Council, an estimated additional $7.8 billion in Canadian activity over the next decade and a half would be generated for Canada.   Furthermore, Trudeau believes that with free trade, political networks could be forged, along with cultural, travel and educational ties.  Furthermore, it is hoped that should agreements be reached, the next natural step would be for the protection of human rights for Tibetans.  According to executive director of the Canada-Tibet Committee, Carole Samdup, “Given the systemic nature of human rights violations in Tibet today, Canada has a moral responsibility to ensure that new trade rules will not entrench existing human rights violations or derail efforts to resolve them in the future.”  It was further explained that the situation of Tibetans in Canada at the present time needs major assistance.

Ultimately, these agreements seem to have been a long time coming and will ultimately be beneficial to both sides. Both regions are investing in each others lands and materials; a free trade agreement will simply facilitate an already ongoing process.

Opening of Diamond Mine

diamond-mineThe world’s largest and richest new diamond mine is set to open in Canada’s Northwest Territories.  De Beers Canada Inc. – together with Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. – joined together to construct the Gahcho Kué diamond mine earlier this month.   With mine construction starting at the end of 2013, (ore mining in March 2016; actual diamond production 2 months thereafter), to date, De Beers has invested approximately $1 billion and 530 employees in the project.

This mine holds tremendous potential for Canada’s economy.  With an anticipated 12-year life span, an anticipated $6.7 billion in revenues will be added to the region.  Further, the experts believe that the resource of 20 million carats will probably extend the life of this particular mine a further 5 years (or even more, given the Tuzo Deep drill program).  In the beginning of next year, it is likely that commercial-level production will begin.

An estimated 4.5 million carats per annum will be produced in the mine with operating costs being determined via a 2014 Feasibility Study at US $65/tonne.