COVID19 IN ALBERTA (as of July 22): Bar Chart

We couldn’t find a chart like this anywhere so we had to make one.

Data from Alberta government website:
https://www.alberta.ca/stats/covid-19-alberta-statistics.htm#data-export

covidchart.PNG

If you think it’s difficult to see the little red bars representing the deaths, even during the big initial spike in cases, well, you’d be right.

Perverse COVID Incentives

Article Image

The business owner was determined to remain open during the coronavirus lockdowns, even switching to a curbside model to continue serving customers. But her employees discovered that “the best possible pay of their lives they could possibly get, [is] to be unemployed” right now.

— Continue reading at DISRN

What Does This Graphic Say About Canada Today?

At least one province is optimistic.

Unrelated thought: Sometimes the people paying the bills feel less positive than the ones cashing the cheques.

Continue reading at The Canadian Joke Book, aka Macleans —

The US Is Having Some of the Same Pipeline Problems

A Pennsylvania to NY gas pipeline project has been snuffed by regulatory hazards and legal uncertainty.

Since it was proposed in 2013 at a projected cost under USD $700 million, delays and legal challenges have driven the costs up by nearly 40 per cent. After the project won Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval in 2014, New York regulators refused to issue critical water quality permits, citing concerns about danger to wetlands and stream crossings.

Sounds familiar.

Here is my favorite part:

Riverkeeper and other environmental groups have fought the project in courts.

“Constitution’s investors just confirmed what we have been saying for the past eight years — there is no need for this project,” said Anne Marie Garti, an environmental attorney and founding member of Stop the Pipeline.

Indeed, if you suffocate projects with endless legal battles and regulatory labyrinths, those projects, the viable becomes unviable.

Funny how that works.

Then you can say there is no need for the project, as if you just broke my legs and told me there was no need for me to walk.

This has been the modus operandi of radical environmentalists for many years.

— Continue reading at Global News

 

Equalization Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

This handy link shows all the major federal transfers to provinces and territories over the last 10 years, not just equalization payments.

Here’s a random example:

quebectrans

It is an interesting page with interesting figures and tables but even this leaves much unsaid.

You will see equalization payments here along with the Health and Social transfers, which are often ignored. That is important.

(Why there should be Health and Social transfers is another question. To wit, why should the provinces bother sending money to Ottawa that they would otherwise just get back from Ottawa, after Ottawa takes a fat cut? For things like “social” and “health” that the provinces are supposed to be responsible for anyway?)

However, you will note that the total for 2019-2020 is only $78.9 billion. Yet the federal government spends nearly $300 billion per year.

The difference is effectively spent in provinces even when not given to provinces. This type of spending won’t show up as a transfer. For example, building a military facility or giving a large contract to SNC Lavalin.

You can go to Stats Canada for data on “Revenue, expenditure and budgetary balance — general governments, provincial and territorial economic accounts” to start getting a bigger picture, but this tool is also limited. However, it is probably the best one available.

New Anti-TMX Strategy: Remove Pipeline Insurance Coverage

First they said all the whales were going to die because of oil tankers, but then we looked at the marine traffic data and saw the increased tanker traffic was irrelevant compared to the total traffic (from ferries and other tankers and transports). 
 
Then they tried to tell us that Alberta oil was entirely uneconomic, that Asia didn’t want it, and oil companies would wind up with all these “stranded assets” because by golly any day now the world is going to stop using oil altogether. Of course, the idea of eco-radicals providing investment advice to protect oil producers from themselves is laughable.
 
Now they’re saying the TMX is just plain uninsurable, so the insurance companies would be making a bad financial decision to insure it. These people are idiots. The insurance industry is not going to abandon a Crown corp whale of a client for the sake of these morons’ and their ignorant opinions. 
— Read more at the Calgary Herald —

Danger: Yield Curve Is Giving Us Economic Warning Signs

Canada’s yield curve is looking very scary. It has almost completely inverted and this is typically an indicator of coming recession.

An inverted yield curve occurs when short-term bond yields are higher than long-term yields.

Fear creates this situation. Lower returns are expected.

Borrowers, worried about liquidity issues, become desperate for capital in the short-term that they will pay higher rates for a 90-day loan than a 30-year loan. Lenders fear falling interest rates so they bid up the price for long-term bonds, lowering the long-term yield further.

This combination of factors inverts the yield curve, which is otherwise “normal” in the sense that longer-term rates are higher due to inflation and risk.

 

yield curve

 

This is a warning to our fellow Canadians. Consider locking in some long-term rates before they fall further and shift some more assets to cash.

 

 

The Paris Climate Agreement Is Pointless and No One Cares

About two years ago, Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Plenty of fear-mongers told us the world would fall apart and really bad things would happen.

But here’s the simple truth about the Paris Climate Agreement:

The only way to get all of the governments of the world to sign on to Paris, was for them each to realize that they weren’t actually on the hook for anything.

The result was pledges such as Pakistan’s hilariously ambitious commitment,  which was “to reduce its emissions after reaching peak levels to the extent possible.” Yeah, after something peaks it typically goes down. Every country makes the same “pledge” automatically by virtue of definition of “peak”.

The Paris agreement was and is completely meaningless — nothing more than pompous, self-congratulatory theater so that the world’s elites can feel good about themselves when they go hang out to their fancy conferences.

Paris will have the same fate as Kyoto I and II.

Continue reading at the Institute for Energy Research

Ottawa Needs Alberta More Than Alberta Needs Ottawa

Alberta keeps federal finances afloat, according to a new study:

  • In a 2017 study, we measured Alberta’s net contribution to Canada’s economy during the most recent economic boom in the province. We showed that when it comes to overall economic growth, job creation, or business investment, Alberta made a substantial contribution to the health of the Canadian economy from 2004 to 2014.

  • Since 2014, Alberta has struggled and much has changed. However, Alberta continues to punch well above its weight in at least one critically important respect—its net contribution to federal government finances.

  • Even through the recent recession and uneven recovery, Alberta has remained, by far, the largest net contributor to federal finances.

  • Alberta’s net contribution to Confederation peaked in 2014 at $27.6 billion. Since then, due to economic weakness in the province, its net contribution shrunk somewhat, but was still $20.5 billion in 2017. In total, from 2014 to 2017, Alberta’s net contribution to Confederation ex-ceeded $92 billion.

  • Alberta’s large contribution has helped stabilize federal finances and prevent the federal government from running even larger deficits. In 2017, for example, in the absence of Alberta’s net contribution and if all else had remained equal, Canada’s deficit would have been over $39 billion—more than twice the $19 billion that was in fact the case.

  • Alberta’s economic health is a matter of national importance and its struggles in recent years have implications for all Canadians. In short, Canada cannot reach its full economic and fiscal potential unless Alberta is able to do the same.

— Continue reading the full study — 

Nunuvut Has North America’s Highest Homicide Rate

Fun fact: Three of the top five murderous places in North America are in Canada!

Meanwhile, New Hampshire has very little gun control but it is safer than Canada.

You are more likely to be killed in our northern territories than you are in most of the United States.

So, does the United States have a high homicide rate? Well, some parts of the country, including Maryland, South Carolina, Louisiana and a few other states certainly report relatively high homicide rates when compared to many high- and middle-income countries. And some of those states also have lax gun laws. This should lead us to evaluate what is it that leads to these regional issues with homicide. Given that these are regional issues, and clearly not national ones, however, its difficult to see why any national mandates would be appropriate.

Additionally, If one can point to Canada or the UK or Luxembourg and immediately conclude that gun control in those jurisdictions produced their low homicide rates, why can one not also point to New Hampshire or Oregon or Utah and conclude that their lack of gun control is the reason for their low homicide rates?

uscan_homicidenorthamericacol_homicide4_blog

— Continue reading at Mises.org — 

 

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