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Markets, which are a bit like voting with your money, demonstrate that a lot of people agree with Musk that asset prices, whether stocks or Canadian real estate, have more room to rise. Also, markets were never supposed to tell you what is happening now. These days, Canada's economy is weak and recently gave up more than , jobs. Instead, the theory is that high stock prices now tell you about what markets expect in the future.
As the Journal's Mackintosh implies, asset prices may be in a bit of a sweet spot. The Conference Board of Canada and Tiff Macklem at Canada's central bank expect the economy to grow strongly this year and next.
That means the economy can continue to grow without triggering inflation or an interest rate hike. In the U. Some economists worry a rise in rates would make heavy borrowing commitments for such things as mortgages and business loans unaffordable, putting a sudden break on rising asset prices, such as those for houses and stocks. The debate, and where many economic thinkers diverge from Musk, is where markets are heading in the longer term.
Can they keep rising like a SpaceX rocket ship? Can they settle gently to Earth? Or must they return in a ball of flames? In examining the Canadian housing market, another asset driven repeatedly to new highs by rock bottom interest rates, Canadian real estate economist John Pasalis expects home prices will continue to surge this year. And while governments and central banks must realize what they are doing — stimulating the real estate economy and making Canadian homeowners feel rich — there must eventually be a reckoning, he said.
Following Monday's new market records and Musk's investment in bitcoin, a similar view has been widely expressed by many other market analysts. The Chicago Board of Options Exchange started trading a bitcoin derivative contract on Sunday evening. A futures contract is an agreement to buy and sell something at a certain price, on a certain date. If the price of the futures contract is higher than the current price, that implies the buyer thinks the price in the real world will be higher by then, too, to justify the purchase.
If it's lower, that implies the buyer thinks the real price will be lower by then too. The contract to deliver a bitcoin on Jan.
And better yet, for free. The four-week challenge runs until the end of February and every week participants have a chance to win a prize from a local business sponsor by engaging online. To help show participants how to do the various exercises, King saw an opportunity to spotlight Black fitness leaders from Parkdale. She connected with Black people in the industry from several backgrounds — yoga instructor, baseball coach, track athlete and boxing coach to name a few.
On the Parkdale FitPlay Instagram account, these instructors take turns demonstrating how to do exercises with proper form. Emile Reed of the Boxing Loft shows everyone how to throw a jab punch, while Oneil Barnes, a baseball coach, demonstrates a side shuffle. One of the collaborators, Stella Isaac, fell into fitness leadership during the pandemic. It started with her family and maybe one neighbour, and pretty soon the crowd grew every week — a passerby even dropped her groceries on the curb to join, Isaac recalls.
Create circles and bonds with the people in your community. Have somebody who can encourage you and hold you accountable. Angelyn Francis is a Toronto-based reporter for the Star covering equity and inequality. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email: afrancis thestar. Michael Berchie was killed in a drive-by shooting in Toronto Monday evening.
Catherine McDonald speaks with his father, who describes his son as a "very nice, calm guy" who was looking toward his future career. Most of the 30 new cases are in the metro area of St. John's, where officials were quick to implement gathering restrictions effective midnight in an effort to stop the spread.
The province's chief medical officer of health said the outbreak in Newfoundland — where there are now 57 active cases — serves as a reminder of how easily COVID can spread. Robert Strang. Atlantic bubble update P. Heather Morrison said government officials will have to negotiate any resumption of the bubble, which would let residents travel among the four provinces without having to isolate.
Strang said he and his counterparts in the region discussed the issue Monday. April 1 is about six weeks away — it's still possible but we'll have to get there step by step. One person is in hospital in ICU. The new case announced Tuesday is in the central health zone and is related to travel outside the region. The person is self-isolating as required by public health guidelines Provincial health authority labs conducted 1, tests on Monday.
Vaccines for people over 80 The province is also preparing to vaccinate residents over 80 beginning in late February. Strang said 1, doses of the vaccine have been set aside for the first clinic, meaning people will be immunized. The clinic will be invitation-only, and those eligible will be identified through MSI and contacted by mail to schedule an appointment. People will start receiving letters with details this week. It cannot be transferred or extended to another individual.
It is based on age and health-card number," Strang said. He added that people who receive the letter must book appointments for their first and second dose, which will be administered 21 days later. Individuals who are allergic to any of the vaccine's ingredients or who have an autoimmune issue are advised to consult with a doctor before booking an appointment.
People who are selected for a vaccine can be accompanied by one support person who will not receive the shot. Other prototype clinics are being planned for pharmacies and Mi'kmaw communities. All vaccinations to ramp up next week Strang said Nova Scotia is expecting 1, doses of the Pfizer vaccine to arrive this week, with more anticipated next week.
Since Dec. Strang said the province is aiming to administer 12, doses a day by mid- to late-April, once supply is guaranteed. The slogan — which refers to the town being one of the highest settled areas above sea level in southern Ontario at 1, feet — was previously removed from the town welcome sign after it was replaced in September of last year.
This generated some pushback from residents who started a petition to bring the slogan back but this was closed after the new sign was vandalized. Council fully supported this motion and many said they too had received many emails from residents who wanted to preserve the slogan. A downtown Jasper store is offering more than what is listed on its menu.
Wafflato owner Suhas Sawant and his wife Pravila opened the shop in mid-May In the summer, he approached local photographer Matt Quiring about displaying some of his work at the restaurant and Quiring said yes. Sawant wanted to expand the selection of artwork and approached the Jasper Art Gallery JAG , with the intention of showcasing more local artists.
Over time, Sawant and JAG made a connection. It also gives the cafe itself the local touch. With the more visible location along Connaught Drive, tourists can stop in for a bite and take a piece of local artwork with them too. The location is to be determined. Patrick Deane annouced today that plans for Homecoming have changed. The University annouced late January that Homecoming would proceed with in-person events, divided over two weekends to reduce crowding.
All activities would be subject to evolving public health guidelines and considerations, they said. COVID has affected us all and it is clear we will be dealing with the impact of the virus for some time. After nearly two months of lockdown, the region's top public health doctor says Windsor-Essex meets the criteria for the less stringent red zone of restrictions, a change that could come as early as next week.
But Dr. Wajid Ahmed stressed that even though the COVID situation is improving, there is still a global pandemic and the threat hasn't gone away. So there is this potential, and we have seen that, that things can change very quickly," Ahmed said at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit's daily briefing on Tuesday. Any decision about whether restrictions can be relaxed will take effect after that date. He said there was "no right answer.
There hasn't been word on when that announcement is expected but, as Ahmed noted, the province typically has announced such changes on Fridays. Windsor-Essex has been under a lockdown since mid-December. But currently, with new cases arising at a rate of approximately 40 to 50 per ,, the region meets the criteria for the red "control" zone, Ahmed said. Red is the second-strictest set of rules in the province's five-colour public health restrictions framework.
It would see capacity increased to 75 per cent at supermarkets and other stores that sell essentials, and 50 per cent for other retail. It would also mean that indoor dining can resume at limited capacity and many personal care services can be offered. Five of the new cases are close contacts of previously confirmed cases, two cases are outbreak related and four were community acquired.
The remaining seven are under investigation. Throughout the region there are known cases of the virus that are currently active. The number of outbreaks, which has declined considerably in recent days, stands at 24 as of Tuesday. There is one community outbreak, at Kensington Court Retirement Residence. Outbreaks are active at nine workplaces: Three in Leamington's agricultural sector. One in Kingsville's agricultural sector. One in Tecumseh's health care and social assistance sector.
Two in Windsor's manufacturing sector. One in Tecumseh's manufacturing sector. One in Windsor's public administration sector. There are 10 active outbreaks at long-term care and retirement facilities: Franklin Gardens in Leamington, with 34 resident cases and 14 staff cases. Heron Terrace in Windsor, with two resident cases and two staff cases. Regency Park in Windsor, with 22 resident cases and 15 staff cases. Devonshire Retirement Residence in Windsor, with 48 resident cases and nine staff cases.
Rosewood Erie Glen in Leamington, with 42 resident cases and 10 staff cases. Augustine Villas in Kingsville, with 66 resident cases and 20 staff cases. Sunrise Assisted Living of Windsor, with 15 resident cases and nine staff cases.
Huron Lodge in Windsor, with 48 resident cases and 26 staff cases. Berkshire Care Centre in Windsor, with 99 resident cases and 62 staff cases. The Village at St. Clair in Windsor, with resident cases and staff cases. Flipping through a field guide on wildflowers of the Maritimes, nature enthusiast Laura O'Connor noticed what she believed was a mistake.
One of the flowers, the yellow trout lily Erythronium americanum , was listed as not being found on Prince Edward Island. This surprised her, as she had childhood memories of the small yellow flower with distinct leaves. But how she knew the official name — and how to identify it — was thanks to a Grade 6 class science project at Rollo Bay Consolidated School.
Her teacher at the time, Kevin MacAdam, had put a check mark beside the flower, indicating that young Laura had identified the plant correctly. Easy to miss John Klymko, a zoologist with the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre, checked the records and some scientific literature. These factors may have led to it being missed by previous botanists. It's very important to have the assistance of amateur naturalists in the Maritimes, Klymko said; some of them have professional-level expertise.
He mentions web applications like iNaturalist, which let people upload photos and information about plants, animals and creatures in the wild. That information can then be shared with the scientific community. Klymko said the older version of that, the school plant collection projects, could still hold other findings.
For example, MacAdam had students searching the woods for many years as part of that science project. Rollo Bay Consolidated School closed in and the former teacher died in at the age of MacAdam didn't seem surprised that Laura found trout lily so he probably knew of other locations for the plant. The yellow trout lily has now been added by the centre as a rare, potentially imperilled, species on P. Some yellow trout lily was intentionally introduced at the Macphail Woods area previously so that population had not been added to the provincial plant list before.
Part of science O'Connor said MacAdam helped inspire a love of nature in the students he had taught. Now, part of that class project will end up helping amend the provincial plant database. It makes you feel like you are part of science," O'Connor said.
You'd never guess it was planned in five days. Or that there's a global pandemic raging. Or that Gallant has only a very short time to live. Like many couples, Gallant and Pilote postponed their wedding because of the pandemic. Gallant's health had improved after a cancer diagnosis in , so they felt time was on their side. But last month, the couple discovered her cancer had spread.
Last week, doctors told her she didn't have much time left. That's when their friends stepped up, offering to organize a ceremony for the following weekend, Feb. And with the pandemic, it wasn't possible," said Myriam Normand, who's known the bride for 20 years. Normand told CBC's Breakaway that they wanted to create a magical moment for Gallant, and give her something to look forward to. The two women knew they couldn't put on the event alone, so they asked for help via social media.
Within 72 hours, strangers had offered the limousine, the dress, the horse-drawn carriage, and much more. She was picked up in a limousine and taken home to Saint-Gilles, Que. The small group of guests watched the wedding from outside, socially distanced and wearing masks. Even the family's dogs were dressed up for the occasion, wearing custom canine tuxedos.
This was an especially important moment for Gallant. She hadn't seen her dogs in weeks and wanted a chance to say goodbye to them. Normand said everyone was deeply moved by the wedding, including the driver of the carriage. For the organizers, it was a chance to bring joy to the couple and remind them that their community is behind them.
When the ceremony was over, Gallant had to return to the hospital for the night. But Normand and Gallichand had arranged one more special surprise for the couple. She even called the nurse in charge of Gallant's ward to make sure Pilote didn't have to sleep in a chair by his new wife's bedside. Staff had set up flowers, lights and two beds side by side in Gallant's room.
Normand said while it's upsetting to see Gallant's health deteriorate, she's happy she could help create a special moment for her. Pilote called it a "dream wedding," saying he was so grateful to everyone involved. Listen to Myriam Normand explain how they pulled the wedding together in five days:. Gunn was part of a youth outreach team that gathered stories for the magazine between May and December of The resulting publication features stories, art and poems by unhoused youth, many of whom were displaced from their homes when the Wesley Street tent community was dismantled on Dec.
After a fire broke out on Wesley Street on Dec. I did not choose my trauma. Some folks with lived experiences contributed to the magazine anonymously, for safety reasons, explains Gunn. My mother was born and raised here. I am not going away. On June 3, Savage did tweet about the coal policy being rescinded.
Campbell, with the Coal Association of Canada, also did not respond to an interview request for this article, but did speak with CBC News shortly after the policy change was announced. At that time, he celebrated the government's new direction, which he said would clear the way for more coal projects in areas where it was previously difficult to mine. And it allows them to start building an operation, which is going to create jobs. While it was possible in the past for companies to apply for an exemption to the coal policy's restrictions, Campbell said it was cumbersome and rescinding the policy outright would remove a major barrier to investment.
He said "at least a half a dozen" companies are currently looking at developing mines on lands where it would have been previously prohibited and "there will be more. Small rock outcroppings start to dot the rolling hills, hinting at the larger mountains in the distance.
Along the barbed wire fences that flank the road, numbered bird houses have been installed at regular intervals, part of a successful effort to coax bluebirds back to the region after a long absence. Behind the fences, the ranchlands are filled with more than cattle. A mother moose and her two calves glance back at the highway before cresting a hilltop. Around the hillside, cows roam with calves of their own. But the balance is delicate. Van Tighem is a former Banff National Park superintendent who now splits his time between Canmore and a home in this part of southwestern Alberta.
He finds himself spending more and more time out here. Van Tighem speaks for residents and business owners in the area who have banded together to form the Livingstone Landowners Group, a grassroots organization advocating for a nuanced approach to local development.
Van Tighem admits his own politics tend to veer further left than most of his neighbours, but says protecting this land is an issue that cuts across ideological lines. He says ranchers who have been making a living from this land for generations want that to continue for generations to come. They consider themselves stewards. In the past, the Livingstone Landowners have advocated against what they saw as reckless use of all-terrain vehicles in the area.
And recently, they have partnered with environmental non-profits Yellowstone to Yukon and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society to oppose what all three groups see as one of the biggest threats to the harmony of this land: new coal mines. She says the plan has its flaws but gets a lot right, too — high praise for a policy conceived by a previous, PC government. For nearly four decades, the coal industry in Crowsnest Pass has been relegated to museum exhibits and abandoned mine shaft tours.
Once the largest coal-producing region in the province, the highway now runs along a flat, sparsely treed plain between mountains where small towns like Bellevue, Blairmore and Coleman are separated by long stretches of land dotted here and there with rusting remnants of the former glory days. Off the main road and up into the mountains, you can find the rubble of abandoned coal towns like Lille, wiped from the map except for the ruins of an old hotel and some crumbling coke ovens.
A number of Australian companies are betting on it, led by Riversdale Resources. Its proposed Grassy Mountain project would pick up where an abandoned coal mine left off decades ago on a 1,hectare site just north of Blairmore. This is a small and rare section of Category 4 land right in the heart of the Rockies, so the project was subject to fewer restrictions under the coal policy. The company has been seeking federal and provincial approval since for the project, which it estimates could dig up four-million tonnes of steelmaking coal annually over the year lifespan of the open-pit mine, creating nearly full-time jobs at peak production.
As of June, it had eight active job postings, including for an HR administrator, a project engineer, a senior mining engineer, and a head of marketing and sales. Other Australian coal companies have been watching closely, as they ramp up exploration and draw up plans for mines of their own. Companies like Atrum Coal.
And now, Atrum is even more interested. The company is hoping to build two mines in the Livingstone Range, just north of Grassy Mountain. Its lease agreements in this area cover an area roughly twice the size of the City of Vancouver. In central Alberta, meanwhile, Australian-backed Ram River Coal Corporation is considering the feasibility of a mine in the heart of Bighorn Country, with the company completing a technical review of the project in Its leases, too, are on former Category 2 lands.
But those projects aren't as far along as Grassy Mountain, which just completed the required environmental impact assessment and is set to go to a public hearing later this year. This is the mine on most people's minds in Crowsnest Pass. He wants to see that balance shift and believes the best chance is a return to the coal-mining roots that created the community more than a century ago.
However, secondary incomes are hard to find in this area. Most jobs are at minimum wage and are few and far between. One longtime employer is the Bellevue Underground Mine, a historic coal operation that closed in and later turned into a tourist attraction. Now, interpretive guides take visitors underground, teaching them about the miners who started digging the sprawling network of tunnels back in The tour just scratches the surface of that network.
Unmaintained tunnels stretch for more than kilometres, in total, beneath Bellevue and the neighbouring community of Frank. There were actually 16 operational mines at the time, when ours was in existence. Tourism helps, as do the mining jobs a short commute away in B. Riversdale, the company behind the Grassy Mountain project, didn't reply to a request for comment. But Gregory says it has been a positive presence in Crowsnest Pass already.
A half dozen residents who preferred not to attach their names to their comments said the community is far from unanimous in support of active coal mining returning to the area. The main concerns are environmental: the potential impact on tourism, water and the landscape.
Coal mining has brought prosperity to this community of roughly 4, people in the Elk Valley. Teck Resources is the major player in the valley, employing thousands of people at its five mines dotting the Elk and Fording rivers. For years, the mines have been leaching selenium into those rivers, setting off disputes with U. Despite pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into water treatment efforts, the problem continues to dog the mining company.
In March, Teck agreed to purchase a new drinking water well for Sparwood when selenium concentrations in one of its three existing wells started to exceed provincial guidelines. The grizzly bear population also declined by 40 per cent over an eight-year stretch in the Elk Valley, which researchers suggest is in part due to increased human-wildlife interaction around the mining towns.
And the concerns extend beyond southern Alberta. The headwaters of the North and South Saskatchewan rivers, which provide water for much of the Prairies, pass through land claimed by coal companies. And things have occurred. Things like the Obed Mountain mine spill. On Oct. It poured into two nearby creeks, then the Athabasca River, carrying high levels of mercury, lead and cancer-linked hydrocarbons along with it. The plume of contaminants was tracked for weeks as it travelled more than 1, kilometres, eventually reaching Lake Athabasca.
Years later, scientists were still trying to determine the full extent of the environmental damage. Back in Crowsnest Pass, the proposed coal projects have also raised alarm among the local tourism industry, which has experienced its own resurgence since the s. Shane Olson, owner of a local fly fishing shop, sees his own work as diametrically opposed to mining. The two cannot successfully coexist, he said in a letter to the joint provincial-federal panel overseeing the Grassy Mountain project.
In the wake of the coal policy being rescinded, environmental groups and outdoor recreationalists began inspecting other recent policy decisions under a new light. When you plot those sites on a map, about a third of them lie in swaths of land previously protected by the coal policy. Atrum Coal has the rights to a nearly contiguous kilometre stretch of leases in the Livingstone Range. Those leases completely encircle two provincial recreation areas set to be removed from the parks system — the Oldman River North and Racehorse Creek sites — and encroach within metres of a third: Honeymoon Creek.
When it announced the coal policy rescission in May, the government said it would leave it up to the Alberta Energy Regulator to approve new coal projects on a case-by-case basis. Then in June, the government introduced new legislation that would allow the provincial cabinet to impose deadlines on the AER, with the goal of speeding up decisions. This comes on the heels of major budget cuts to the regulator, which has been forced to lay off hundreds hundreds of employees as a result.
Katie Morrison, with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Association, worries about the cumulative effects of asking the regulator to take on more responsibility with fewer resources and tighter timelines. Since the coal policy was rescinded, the AER has received new applications for coal exploration programs and exploratory drilling permits , some seeking to drill as deep as metres , on dozens of sections of former Category 2 lands just north of Crowsnest Pass.
The nearby Piikani First Nation has officially supported the Grassy Mountain project, but other Indigenous groups have expressed concern about the lack of consultation before the coal policy was rescinded. And governments have a duty to consult with First Nations and, in this case, it wasn't carried out adequately.
The approach to killing the coal policy stands in contrast to how it was created. Prior to even announcing the plan, the provincial government had commissioned a study about how new mines might affect tourism in southwestern Alberta. In this interview, Alberta premier Peter Lougheed defends his Coal Development Policy from critics who accused his government of suppressing the coal industry.
A year after the coal policy was introduced, Lougheed defended it from critics, some of whom even accused the Alberta government of deliberately suppressing coal production in order to boost demand for oil. Lougheed rejected that assertion and said the issue, for him, was that "coal has much more serious environmental problems" than oil, particularly when it comes to scarring the landscapes Albertans hold dear. Around this same time, kilometres to the north, the pros and cons of having a coal mine in your backyard were playing out in a different way.
Grande Cache was one of the later entries in the long list of company towns that sprang up near coal mines in 20th-century Alberta. Construction of the town started in earnest in , in order to house workers with the McIntyre Porcupine mine, which dug up steel-making coal. The sudden appearance of a vibrant community in a remote area north of Jasper National Park caught the attention of the New York Times.
But that prediction never came to pass. The company ended up cancelling a year contract with its existing Japanese buyers in , in order to negotiate a more limited agreement , and laid off people — nearly half its workforce at the time. The town suddenly found itself overbuilt and its viability was thrown into question.
The government made that formal — in the coal policy. The penultimate boom came in the early s. Coal prices crashed almost immediately. By , the new owners were riddled with debt. The mine closed in , throwing hundreds out of work. The spinoff effects led businesses of all kinds to close up shop overnight.
Homeowners walked away from their houses. The town was in crisis, again. New owners took over the mine in and re-started operations amid a new rally in coal prices. In total, 1, people cast ballots in favour of dissolution versus 32 against.
There was little room to argue with the per-cent mandate. Duane Didow now represents Grande Cache as a councillor for the M. While the re-opening of the mine brought jobs back to the community, he believes a long-term solution is needed, and thinks increased tourism will help. To understand the markets for coal, you have to separate the two types: the lower-quality thermal coal used to produce electricity and the higher-quality metallurgical coal used to make steel.
Like Alberta, many places are moving away from coal-fired power plants. Whenever large countries are building modern economies or embarking on a stimulus-spending infrastructure spree, they need lots of steel, and the price for metallurgical coal swings up.
When the building stops, the price drops. Some price swings are also supply related. Mining projects are meant to operate for decades but, as Grande Cache knows, continued operation requires prices to stay high enough to turn a profit. Companies will produce coal at a loss for a short while, Kuykendall says, because it costs more to shut down and restart an operation. But eventually, they will cut their losses, along with the mining jobs. Short-term fluctuations aside, there may be longer-term clouds brewing on the horizon for metallurgical coal.
Earlier this year, a pilot project in Sweden was successful in producing commercial-grade steel using hydrogen as a fuel source. It marked the first such use of hydrogen with existing steel-production equipment. The technology is very new and far from being disruptive on a wide scale. Prices for hydrogen are generally coming down, he notes, while prices on carbon emissions are generally increasing.
And creating steel from coal is a major source of greenhouse gas. But if reasonably priced hydrogen, produced with low or zero emissions, could be used instead, it could lead to a tipping point that spells the end for many coal mines. So, if Alberta allows new coal projects in the Rockies, he wonders how long those future mines will be able to operate at a profit.
Drive east from Crowsnest Pass and the grey peaks fall away. You soon find yourself in the rolling green ridgelines near Pincher Creek. And Alberta is capitalizing on that potential. Hundreds of turbines now stand like sentinels along the rolling hills, creating electricity for the grid and high-paying jobs for the people who maintain them.