National Newswatch

The new reality of 6.7% inflation is that Canadians will be forced to spend less

Apr 21 2022 — Don Pittis — Did your boss give you at least a 6.7 per cent raise this year? Can you think of any friends whose bosses did? As inflation jumped by a whole percentage point last month — up from 5.7 in February to 6.7 per cent in March — Canadians are increasingly being squeezed between the rising cost of necessities and a sharp plunge in their spending power. Bound by contracts that […]

Russian people face ‘catastrophe’ as ruble crashes and sanctions bite

Mar 1 2022 — Don Pittis — Everyone expected the Russian attack would be devastating for Ukrainian lives and businesses, but Canadians who study Russia and its economy say they have been startled by the invasion’s catastrophic impact on Russians thanks to sanctions imposed by Western nations. A plunging currency, a doubling of interest rates, empty shelves, a closed stock market, lineups […]

Higher interest rates are coming. Omicron is unlikely to change that

Dec 16 2021 — Don Pittis — As Canada’s federal government prepares for another encounter with COVID-19, Canadian borrowers must face a second hazard: the prospect of a sharp rise in interest rates in 2022. While the world’s most powerful central banker, Jerome Powell, warned on Wednesday that a new variant capable of smashing through vaccine defences could check the U.S. Federal […]

Economic showdown this week will set the tone for 2022

Dec 14 2021 — Don Pittis — For the many Canadians who watch the economy the way some people watched the battle that led to Sunday’s Grey Cup, this is an exciting week. In a rush to get business completed before the year ends, Canada’s finance minister, Chrystia Freeland, kicks off an economic blitz. On Monday, she outlined the federal government’s new […]

Questions on inflation, jobs and housing reveal U.S. concerns on Canadian recovery

Oct 8 2021 — Don Pittis — Tiff Macklem faced some tough questioning yesterday, as members of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations grilled the Bank of Canada governor on whether their northern neighbour would have a trouble-free exit from the downturn of the COVID-19 pandemic. Led by financier and former Democratic politician Roger Altman, members of the U.S. think-tank asked probing […]

Airline deal means taxpayers once again take a risk on corporate Canada

Apr 14 2021 — Don Pittis — Once again taxpayers have stepped in to throw a multibillion-dollar lifeline to corporate Canada, but this time it looks as though Canadians may actually make money on the deal. After a long and contentious negotiation, the federal government announced this week that it had struck a bargain to bail out Air Canada, imposing a strict […]

More signals of a Roaring ’20s rebound for Canadian economy when pandemic ends

Mar 3 2021 — Don Pittis — Gloomy headlines about the collapse of the Canadian economy, which faced its worst retreat since records began, may have obscured some startling new evidence for a strong rebound. As we reported on Tuesday, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic put Canada’s economy into a tailspin, making 2020 the worst year on record, with gross domestic […]

Why cheap wind power is making Quebec’s big, old dams more valuable as a ‘battery,’ say experts

Feb 8 2021 — Don Pittis — You might think that what with having Canada’s largest hydroelectric capacity, providing almost 100 per cent of its electricity, including exports, a new $600-million wind power project is the last thing Quebec would need. That was exactly what experts were saying when Premier François Legault cancelled Apuiat, a private but government-supported wind project in Northern […]