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Bank of Canada says economy won’t be fully back til 2023

These losses remain concentrated among the most vulnerable, low-wage workers who are disproportionately women and youth.

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Tiff Macklem, Governor of the Bank of Canada, says it won’t be until 2023 that the country’s economy is back on track.

Macklem spoke to the economic realities faced by businesses in Calgary and across the country, which led to an economic downturn “unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

“The pandemic is first and foremost a human tragedy. It’s taken the lives of over 20,000 Canadians, and it’s not over,” said Macklem.

“We’ve already climbed a long way back from the bottomless economic hole we were in last spring, a burden felt especially hard in facing the double blow of lockdowns and low oil prices.

“At the start of 2020, the unemployment rate had fallen to near 40-year lows, and participation rates increased for all age groups. Wage growth rose, and the quality of jobs was improving. But in just two months, March and April, roughly 3 million jobs disappeared.”

The Bank of Canada’s latest forecast doesn’t anticipate economic slack to be fully absorbed until well into 2023, as COVID-19 hammered much of the service sectors.

Macklem argues once Canada achieves widespread vaccinations, high contact service industries should resume close to entire operations, which means strong job growth, especially for hard-hit demographics like working mothers.

“Alberta, like much of the rest of Canada, emerged from the latest round of containment measures where we can expect a solid rebound in the immediate months ahead,” he said.

“However, the degree to which the economy can reopen depends on the path of the virus, including new variants. But with vaccinations expected to ramp up, we can be more confident in sustained strong growth through the second half of this year and into next year.”

He warned Canada would not return to the same economy before the pandemic because it adapts to “structural changes”, including resource-related jobs phased out by technological advancement.

“Today, a healthy labour market remains a long way off, as the economy is down more than 850,000 jobs from before the pandemic,” said Macklem.

“These losses remain concentrated among the most vulnerable, low-wage workers who are disproportionately women and youth.”

The Alberta government announced in late-2019, $10 million in funding over the next four years to boost women’s skilled trades in partnership with local non-profit Women Building Futures (WBF).

The province also pledged to increase investments in 2019 to the CAREERS: The Next Generation program to connect students with employers through paid internships and apprenticeship programs in the skilled trades.

Premier Jason Kenney said his government plans to triple program funding to $6 million a year by 2022/2023.

“A young, well-trained and mobile workforce will be key to our future success,” Kenney said, with nearly 45,000 skilled trade workers expected to retire in the next ten years.

The investment will double the number of schools involved with CAREERS and help provide 6,000 students access to paid internships and training each year, helping 27,000 youth receive trades-related employment since 1997.

Macklem said some workers would need to shift to jobs in faster-growing sectors of the economy with the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s growing advancement.

“Companies will find ways to become more efficient and create new types of jobs using innovative technologies. We’ve seen this process play out repeatedly, driving progress here in Canada and around the world,” he said.

“The restructuring caused by digitalization and automation was already well underway before the pandemic, and COVID accelerated the process. Like earlier technological advances, digitalization and automation will bring substantial economic benefits, including higher productivity and eventually higher-wage jobs.

He also cautioned the importance of universities and colleges in building digital skills across all disciplines.

“Primary and secondary schools also need greater emphasis on digital literacy,” said Macklem.

“This isn’t about training children for particular jobs. It’s about preparing children for a digital future, where they are giving them the skills the digital skills they’ll need to master in whatever career they choose.”

The Alberta Jobs Now program provides grants to eligible employers to upskill or reskill workers for emerging sectors, including technology-related fields. Underrepresented groups and workers likely get priority access to the reskilling services.

Though crucial details like eligibility and launch date have yet to be determined, Alberta Jobs Now — funded partially by the federal government — will receive $136 million over the next three years.

Budget 2021 stipulates the program costs are subject to federal approval, with the province awaiting permission to funnel money not spent the last fiscal into the coming year.

Dhaliwal is the Western Standard’s Edmonton reporter.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Left Coast

    March 11, 2021 at 9:35 am

    Canada’s Economy collapse in 2019 . . . long before the Wuhan Flu . . .

    Even $75 Oil does nothing for Canada !

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UPDATED: Omicron found in Alberta, BC

On Monday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced 156 Albertans self-quarantining after returning from travel in a country that had been hit with Omicron.

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The tentacles of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have reached Alberta and BC.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said an Albertan returning home from Nigeria, via the Netherlands, has tested positive for Omicron.

Hinshaw said they tested positive a week ago and the person, who traveled alone, is now self-quarantining.

She said medical officials are trying to “delay” the spread of the variant until more research is done.

But Hinshaw refused to say where the traveller lives over fear it would identify them.

Hinshaw also urged people not to take out their frustrations against the family of the infected person nor the countries that are under an Omicron watch.

And she said people shouldn’t “think of this as a reset to Ground Zero.”

In her daily update, Hinshaw said in the last 24 hours, health officials have found 238 new cases of coronavirus. There are 434 people in the hospital with 81 in ICU. Another six people are reported to have succumbed to the virus.

In BC, Der, Bonnie Henry said another traveller coming home from Nigeria had tested positive for Omicron.

That person lives in the Fraser Health region and is isolating. 

On Monday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced 156 Albertans self-quarantining after returning from travel in a country that had been hit with Omicron.

Six confirmed cases of the variant of concern have now been confirmed in Canada so far.

Earlier in the day, Canada added Nigeria, Malawi and Egypt to its Omicron travel ban.

On Friday, the government put restrictions on travellers from South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.

“Obviously we’re watching very, very closely the situation with Omicron,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on his way into the cabinet meeting.

“There may be more we need to do and we’ll be looking at it very carefully.”

More to come…

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Unvaxxed grounded in Canada

As of November 30, travellers will no longer be allowed to submit a negative test result in place of proof of vaccination to board a plane or train in Canada.

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As of Tuesday, Canadian travellers over the age of 12 will no longer be able to fly or travel by train in Canada without proof of vaccination.

The policy was originally set to come into effect on October 30, however, the federal government announced it would grant a grace period to unvaccinated travellers allowing for a negative COVID-19 test to be provided within 72 hours of the trip.

As of November 30, travellers will no longer be allowed to submit a negative test result in place of proof of vaccination to board a plane or train in Canada.

The new travel restrictions for the unvaccinated come on the heels of the emergence of a new variant of concern (VOC) dubbed Omicron by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Cases involving the new variant, originally detected in South Africa, have been found in other countries including five cases within Canada.

Although there is not much known about the new variant at this time, the WHO confirmed scientists around the world are working to determine how the highly-mutated variant will affect transmissibility and severity of illness in the population.

Canada, along with other nations, closed its boards and expanded its screening protocols to travellers arriving from affected areas in southern Africa.

The Canadian airline industry welcomed the vaccine mandates when they were announced in October. Air Canada and West Jet have both confirmed they will be asking all travellers to produce proof of vaccination before boarding their carriers as of Tuesday.

While health measures such as masking and screening will still be required, no measures for quarantining individual travellers have been put in place with the exception of those who have travelled through or arrived from southern Africa.

“If you indicate to your airline or railway company that you’re eligible to board, but fail to provide proof of vaccination or valid COVID-19 test result, you won’t be allowed to travel and could face penalties or fines,” the government indicated in a statement.

The Canadian government is also warning permanent residents abroad to expect to provide vaccine passports to return home.

The rules don’t apply to commuter trains.

The Government of Canada has created a “reliable way to show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination history when travelling internationally and within Canada,” states the government’s website. The document is verified once uploaded to ArriveCAN upon returning to the country.

The website warns travellers are not guaranteed entry to another country with the documents and suggests checking the rules of your destination country and the countries you travel through.

“Today, Canada passed a sad milestone in its history,” said Matt Slatter, a pilot with a major Canadian airline and a founder of Free 2 Fly, a hub that has “Canadian aviation professionals standing with passengers in defence of freedom.”

“No longer can it hold itself as a beacon of freedom and liberal values.”

The Free 2 Fly website encourages passengers and airline workers who “feel strongly that the ability to travel should not be linked to vaccination status,” to sign up and join their movement.

“With the advent of mandates requiring all aviation and rail passengers to be vaccinated, Canada is now effectively a two-tier society,” said Slatter.

“On one tier, compliant citizens are afforded many of the rights they once enjoyed in a free society. While the other tier is essentially relegated to their own localities, with limited exception.

“History suggests this style of governance will only lead to more tragedy and heartbreak. The cure is inevitably worse than the disease. Will Canada learn from the mistakes of the past?”

Currently, there are just under 38,000 signed up on the Free 2 Fly site. One of the goals of the group is to “wage a legal campaign to block, and/or overturn, all vaccination mandates.”

Melanie Risdon is a reporter for the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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CRTC trying to hang up on spoof calls

Caller ID spoofing occurs when callers hide or misrepresent their identity by displaying fictitious or altered phone numbers when making calls.

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All those calls from the taxman and Canadian Border Services officials threatening to arrest you could soon be coming to an end thanks to new regulations from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

“Many Canadians are now able to determine which calls can be trusted thanks to a new technology aimed at combating spoofed calls named STIR/SHAKEN. Caller ID spoofing is frequently used in nuisance and fraudulent calls to mask the identity of the caller,” said the CRTC in a release.

“As of today, telecommunications service providers will certify whether a caller’s identity can be trusted by verifying the caller ID information for Internet Protocol-based voice calls. This new technology will help reduce the frequency and impact of caller ID spoofing. As service providers continue to upgrade their IP networks and offer compatible phones to their customers, more and more Canadians will be able to see the effects of STIR/SHAKEN.”

It’s believed up to 25% of all calls in Canada are scams.

The CRTC said Caller ID spoofing occurs when callers hide or misrepresent their identity by displaying fictitious or altered phone numbers when making calls.

“This new caller ID technology will empower Canadians to determine which calls are legitimate and worth answering, and which need to be treated with caution. As more providers upgrade their networks, STIR/SHAKEN will undoubtedly reduce spoofing and help Canadians regain peace of mind when answering phone calls,” said Ian Scott, CRTC CEO.

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