ATB Financials new economic outlook to show continued decline

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email ATB Financial’s new economic outlook to show continued decline Stock photo. by Jonathan Muma Posted Jul 7, 2015 7:07 am MDT The good news is Alberta isn’t technically heading into a recession, but the bad news is the economy is still sliding in the wrong direction.ATB Financial released its economic outlook Tuesday morning.The report says Alberta’s GDP will be flat, maybe 0.4 per cent this year and a big part of that is because of struggles in the energy sector.ATB Financial Chief Economist Todd Hirsch says while this downturn isn’t as deep as what we’ve seen in 2009, it may linger around longer.“The second half of the year, things have kind of stabilized a little bit at a low level, but there’s still a lot of volatility in these oil prices and that will remain a challenge for Alberta in the second half of 2015,” he said.It’s not all doom and gloom: he says other sectors like forestry, tourism and agriculture are doing very well; in fact, cattle prices are at record highs.Hirsch says he understands the challenges of people losing good paying jobs in oil and gas, but he says the province still added 38,000 new jobs over the last year.Still, the unemployment rate is expected to rise as high as 5.8 per cent next year before coming back down in 2017. read more

Calgary recruitment agency gives two cents on Albertas unemployment rate

by Chris Bowen Posted Aug 21, 2015 7:00 am MDT Last Updated Aug 21, 2015 at 7:01 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FreeImages.com/Paul Pasieczny Calgary recruitment agency gives two cents on Alberta’s unemployment rate A Calgary recruitment agency is optimistic, despite Alberta’s higher rates of unemployment and people claiming employment insurance.Aditya Manchiraju, with Manpower, said although they’re seeing a significant slow down in oil and gas, some big projects are expected to begin in the coming months.“The winter projects that are going to come in the next little while is going to be very key for us, and most of our clients in the oil and gas are saying that the winter projects are still going to be strong,” Manchiraju said.Manchiraju added many applicants in the city are still picky about what they want to do, and what salary they should get, even though the number of Albertans on Employment Insurance was up 74 per cent in June compared to 2014. read more

ETFs offer great exposure but be careful and understand what you are

by Craig Wong, The Canadian Press Posted May 12, 2016 6:16 am MDT Last Updated May 12, 2016 at 7:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email OTTAWA – With the widespread use of exchange-traded funds, investment experts say you need to understand what you are buying and how an ETF works within your portfolio.ETFs have grown in popularity with the promise of low-fees compared with mutual funds. But not all ETFs are the same. Even if they are trying to track the same index, they can differ in how they do that.An ETF can hold the stocks or bonds that make up the index that it is supposed to track, or it can be what is referred to as a synthetic ETF that uses a contract with a counterparty, usually a bank, which promises to pay the return of the index.“You just have to be careful with them and use them as a tool, rather than an investment on its own,” says CIBC Wood Gundy portfolio manager Daniel Girard.“You use them as a piece of a total portfolio and just use them in a way that gives you the best risk-return profile with the lowest cost,” says Girard, who is based in Waterloo, Ont.Girard says he looks for simplicity, low-cost and ability to trade when it comes to ETFs.“Sometimes you’ll identify an ETF that looks great for a number of reasons, but it doesn’t trade,” he said.You also need to watch for tracking error when the returns of the ETF are different from the index it is supposed to track. The difference can arise because of ETF fees and also because the ETF’s holdings may not exactly match the index.In recent years, the industry has moved to offer investors more than just a replication of a given index.Traditional ETFs that track the S&P/TSX composite index, for instance, have a heavy weighting toward three sectors — financials, mining and energy. So an ETF that tracks that index may not provide the diversification that an investor wants.So-called smart beta, or factor investing, offers a twist on traditional ETFs by weighting sectors differently than the index does.BlackRock Canada’s Pat Chiefalo says an investment manager can set different goals — for example, reduced volatility.“Maybe I want to assemble those stocks in a way to maximize my dividends,” says Chiefalo, head of iShares Product at BlackRock Canada.Alfred Lee, a portfolio manager with BMO ETFs, says outcomes of smart beta funds can vary because each is constructed differently.“If you’re looking for low volatility, there’s no rhyme or reason why you need the same sector exposures as the TSX,” he said. ETFs offer great exposure, but be careful and understand what you are buying read more

Vancouver expo shows breadth growth of Canadian marijuana industry

FILE – Canadian cannabis producers say they are ramping up their operations to keep up with growing demand for medical marijuana and in anticipation of legislation that would allow for recreational use of the drug. Cannabis plants intended for the medical marijuana market grow at OrganiGram in Moncton, N.B., in an April 14, 2016, file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ron Ward, File Vancouver expo shows breadth, growth of Canadian marijuana industry VANCOUVER – A two-day marijuana exhibition in Vancouver is giving people an idea of just how large and varied Canada’s cannabis industry has become.Natasha Raey is the spokeswoman for Lift Cannabis Co., which put on the event.She says the show helps to break down stereotypes and prove there is a credible side of the industry.More than 100 exhibitors are showcased their wares this weekend, including businesses selling seeds and growing equipment, producers licensed by Health Canada to grow and sell marijuana, and a firm that provides financing marijuana-related businesses.The show also hosted a variety of panels, including how to speak to your doctor about marijuana and parents talking about treating their children with cannabis.Raey says there has been an up swell of interest in the industry in recent years, particularly in the corporate side as the country moves toward creating legislation for the legalization. by The Canadian Press Posted Sep 18, 2016 3:14 pm MDT Last Updated Sep 18, 2016 at 4:39 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Reducing Greenbelt area not an option as Ontario tackles housing shortage Wynne

TORONTO – Reducing the Greenbelt lands is not one of the options Ontario’s Liberal government is considering as it tackles housing shortage in the province, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Wednesday.The government, she said, is actually committed to expanding the Greenbelt, which is about 800,000 hectares of protected land that borders the Greater Golden Horseshoe area surrounding Lake Ontario.“The Greenbelt is a hugely important swath of land that is like the lungs of this highly populated part of the province, so that’s not something that we’re looking at,” said Wynne. “But we recognize that housing affordability is a huge, huge issue.”Finance Minister Charles Sousa has said he plans to include measures in the spring budget to address the red-hot housing market in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, while taking into account different circumstances in the rest of the province.The average price of a detached home in Toronto broke the $1.5-million mark for the first time last month.The province already doubled the rebate on its land transfer tax for first-time homebuyers to $4,000 and raised the same tax on homes that sell for more than $2 million. But Wynne said her government is looking at more ways to make it more affordable for people to get into the housing market.Sousa unsuccessfully urged Finance Minister Bill Morneau to include in his budget changes to the taxation of capital gains on the sale of homes that are not classified as a primary residence, as a way to address speculative investors flipping homes.Speculative investing in the real estate market — buying a home in the hope of turning a profit rather than to live in — is believed to be one of the culprits behind the soaring house prices.Ontario’s budget is expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks.The provincial government has proposed to add approximately 9,000 hectares to the Greenbelt, giving four parcels of land identified by Hamilton and Niagara Region “protected countryside” designation and 21 major river valleys and seven associated coastal wetlands “urban river valley” designation.The proposal also includes establishing Greenbelt-level protections for wetlands, woodlands and rivers beyond the Greenbelt. Reducing Greenbelt area not an option as Ontario tackles housing shortage: Wynne by Allison Jones, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 29, 2017 9:20 am MDT Last Updated Mar 30, 2017 at 3:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more