Below-normal temperatures lead to soaring spot LNG prices

But opposition to resource development means Canada is being left out in the cold

Below-normal temperatures lead to soaring spot LNG pricesExtreme cold weather and mismatched supply and demand have pushed spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Asia through the roof. Bloomberg reports that LNG spot prices went from “almost to zero” in April 2020 to above US$30 per one million British thermal unit (MMBtu), rising “18-fold in less than nine months.” Prices in…

How will Canadian households cope as food prices rise?

The pace of food inflation is unmanageable for many

How will Canadian households cope as food prices rise?Canada’s Food Price Report 2021 brought some disconcerting news to Canadians. We could see food prices rise by as much as five per cent in 2021, according to the recently-released report. That’s the highest increase ever predicted by the report’s authors, a group of 24 scholars from four universities. For a family of four, the…

Federal Clean Fuel Standard is all smoke and mirrors

As proposed, the CFS will do little to reduce GHG emissions, will hike the cost of energy and undermine Canadian energy security

Federal Clean Fuel Standard is all smoke and mirrorsBy Jock Finlayson and Denise Mullen Business Council of B.C. Amid the worst economic and public heath crisis in Canadian history, the federal government has decided to proceed with a major new regulatory initiative that promises to add billions of dollars to the cost of energy for households and businesses in every corner of the…

Better get used to higher food prices

The food sector has never been recession-proof. But COVID-19 may show us that it’s immune to deflationary pressures

Better get used to higher food pricesDespite a negative inflation rate overall, recent Statistics Canada numbers tell us we’re in for a wild ride at the grocery store. While the general inflation rate sits at -0.2 per cent, the food inflation rate is at 3.4 per cent. In December, Canada’s Food Price Report predicted a food inflation rate of about 4.0…

There’s no free lunch when it comes to government spending

Modern monetary theory advocates argue the government should have a magic wand to conjure up money out of thin air.

Left to their own devices, politicos every now and then come up with a theory that allows them to promise free lunches. Modern monetary theory (MMT) is all the rage in the United States and Canada among starry-eyed social engineers who see no limits to their intervention. Rather than arising from academic inquiry, debates concerning…

Waste not, want not and your business will profit

When you need to find savings in your business, look at the areas of systems, energy, people and inventory

Waste not, want not and your business will profitI was eating breakfast with my son Caleb the other day and noticed he left his crusts on the plate. “Caleb,” I said, “do you know how many kids in the world would beg for scraps of food like you’re wasting?” Watching him made me remember my parents’ reminders about the millions of starving children…

Why Canadians are suffering a bankruptcy spike

Interest rate hikes, housing costs, rising taxes and stagnating wages are all crucial. We need to address these problems

Why Canadians are suffering a bankruptcy spikeWhat can't happen won't happen. If incomes are stagnant while taxes, prices and interest rates rise, people will fail to pay their debts – as is the case for 120,000 Canadians every year. The long-term buildup of urban house prices had already made people financially vulnerable and consumer insolvencies in Canada increased by 9.2 per…

Central banks’ overreach risks another recession

We need a decentralized, innovative and transparent banking system driven by free-market principals

Central banks’ overreach risks another recessionAs financial markets around the world erupt, dampening the festive spirit of this time of year, plenty of blame has been passed around. There are some notable geopolitical risks in the Middle East, Ukraine, North Korea, Pakistan and elsewhere. There’s the trade war between China and the United States. There are also signs of slowing global…

Shrinkflation: to control costs, food companies shrinking packaging

When costs rise, a food company has three options: raise the price, make smaller packages or change the ingredients

Shrinkflation: to control costs, food companies shrinking packagingRough estimates suggest that anywhere from 15 to 20 per cent of packaged food products in Canada have shrunk over the last five years. Consumers find this irritating, but given the economics of the food industry, the industry can hardly be blamed. Most consumers worry about the cost of food. We constantly look for bargains…

Quit blaming workers for rising inflation

By raising interest rates, central bankers are moving away from one of their prime purposes: to maximize employment

Quit blaming workers for rising inflationFinancial markets were in a tizzy last week. The Dow Jones industrial average wobbled, falling over 1,500 points in near-panic selling over several days. And then, as if on cue, stock markets all over the world were soon 'correcting' with the Dow. What caused markets to fall? According to the experts, there were several root…