June 16

CBJ June 2016

The topic of immigration is one that is exceedingly vital to our country from a socio-economic standpoint, which also happens to elicit a wide range of responses, and therein lies the problem when it comes to determining how many immigrants should be allowed into this country each year in order to advance our overall prosperity. As noted in our cover story, determining the exact number of immigrants to maximize efficiency would be like trying to answer the question ‘how wet is water’? Whether your political leanings are more to the left or to the right, finding that balance in the middle is made that much more difficult because of people’s perceptions on where the middle ground lies.

Despite a sluggish economy, and a rather nasty downturn in Alberta, the major banks always seem to be able to withstand any storm. Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce are all topping profit estimates even as the energy industry downturn takes a toll on their loan books. The fact is, Canada has one of the strongest banking systems anywhere in the world, thanks to excellent rules and regulations that largely shield the financial institutions from major meltdowns such as we saw in the United States in 2008. It was that sub-prime fiasco that precipitated the worldwide recession.

Apparently golfer Phil Mickelson’s career earnings on the PGA Tour, plus the millions he’s made in endorsements, hasn’t been enough to quench his thirst for even more income. Lefty bought himself some stock, but then the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission came calling, informing Mickelson he had become part of an insider trading lawsuit, alleging in court documents that the five-time major winner made nearly $1 million via information that was not publicly available. Mickelson will repay the profits he earned but will not face criminal charges.

A tip of the hat to the Red Cross, which has raised millions of dollars in support of the evacuees from Fort McMurray after the devastating wildfires, unlike anything ever seen before in this country. The Red Cross has already provided $40 million to towards helping those people purchase groceries and other essentials for living. It’s expected the Red Cross managed to raise about $115 million by the May 31 deadline. The contributions will be matched by both the Alberta and federal governments.

Did you know?… Preliminary estimates indicate the cost to rebuild the fire-effected areas of Fort McMurray will exceed $9 billion.

Angus Gillespie

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