Should Canada not ratify the agreement now and decide to try and join later, it's doubtful that any of the probably hundreds of exemptions and carve-outs that it currently has would be offered again. In other words, if you don't like this version of the TPP you'll be less happy with what we would get later.
The role of the Canadian government in both the short and long term should be to embrace and foster the growth of all parts of our diverse economy. The government should certainly not champion some sectors and demoralize others. Sadly, we have already started to see that approach by the Trudeau government.
With the December Paris climate agreement, leaders and experts from around the world showed they overwhelmingly accept that human-caused climate change is real and the need to curb emissions. In light of this, I don't get the current brouhaha over Kinder Morgan, Keystone XL, Northern Gateway or the Energy East pipelines.
The Loonie is the lowest it has been in 15 years, a barrel of gas is trading for less than $30 -- compare these factors against the rising U.S. greenback and you get one gloomy economic forecast. However, there is one section of our economy that seems to be unaffected, as real estate is showing little signs of slowing down.
Steel manufacturing in Canada is a $14-billion-per-year industry that currently supports 20,000 direct jobs, with another 100,000 indirect jobs tied to the sector. Tens of thousands of steel industry retirees rely on the continued viability of their pension plans for a dignified retirement and protection from dire poverty.
We see the preferred share shakeout as a great buying opportunity, particularly among rate-reset preferreds -- especially those that have a rate reset of at least two years into the future -- as their plunge in prices has made their yields attractive and there is significant potential for capital gains if and when Canadian interest rates do begin to rise.
Sunny ways leadership is about setting priorities and convincing citizens about the need for these priorities to ensure we have a bright future. It is about being honest with people and at times making difficult choices and explaining why you have to make them. Being all things to all people is not sunny ways leadership, nor is simply doubling or adding a zero to the investments of your predecessor. That appears to be the central hallmark of the new government. Spending is already wildly out of control.
Over the last 50 years, Bombardier has received $2.2 billion in federal government assistance -- of which Industry Canada advises only $543 million has been repaid. In short, if history is any guide, Bombardier is far more likely to be calling on taxpayers again shortly with its hands outstretched, than to actually mature into a bonafide competitive business.
The EI system is an important component of Canada's social safety net. Over the last two decades, however, a series of changes to EI as well as labour market shifts have made it more difficult for Canadian workers to access EI benefits. Thankfully, fixing the erosion of Canada's EI system was featured in this federal election.