Black Friday, BoC Governor Steps Down, USMCA Troubles
Thirty years ago this week, fourteen women were murdered in their classroom.
Today, the picture has not changed.
At least 118 women have been killed in Canada so far this year.
Once a week a Canadian woman is murdered by her partner.
One in three Canadian women will experience sexual violence throughout the course of their life.
We will not forgot the women of 1989.
We will not stop fighting until violence against women ends.
Poloz Steps Down
Could a woman be next?
Last week, Stephen Poloz announced that he will be retiring as Governor of the Bank of Canada as of June 3rd 2020.
Governor Poloz has been at the job since 2013, and has overseen a period of economic expansion for the country, while managing to keep inflation close in check to the bank’s target of 2%.
Governor Poloz began his tenure in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, inheriting historically low interest rates and an economy slower to recover than expected.
As it stands now, Canada is hovering near 45-year lows in unemployment, and Poloz has managed to increase interest rates overall, even despite the 2015 crash in oil prices. While Poloz has been unable to make a significant impact on lowering Canada’s high levels of household debt, by and large, he’s been praised for steering the ship to smoother waters.
He even counts former Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge, who held the same job from 2001 to 2008, as a fan. “In monetary policy terms, you’d have to judge it as being a very successful period for the central bank”.
In short, whoever comes next has big shoes to fill. Many are predicting Carolyn Wilkins, the bank’s current Senior Deputy Governor, will fill the position in June. Although she does not have a PhD in economics like the previous three Governors, Ms. Wilkins has a highly respected reputation at the bank. Oh ya, and she would be the first female Governor in the bank’s history.
Speaking to the Globe and Mail, this weekend, Dodge solidly endorsed Wilkins, stating, “someone would have to be pretty good to be judged better than the current senior deputy Governor.”
Whoever is next selected, they’ll have their work cut out for them. From navigating an unpredictable global economy to modernizing Canada’s banking system to be up to date with digital currencies and financial technology, it’s certain to be a challenging gig.
Shopify Wins Black Friday
Black Friday has officially come and gone, the time of year where everyone throws their hard-earned cash at heavily discounted consumer *stuff* to kick-start our Christmas shopping (but really, who DOESN’T love to buy a little somethin’ extra for themselves).
Some retailers faired better than others over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping extravaganza, and Shopify merchants made off like bandits.
The Ottawa-based e-commerce company saw its retailers generate more than $2.9 billion across the globe on Black Friday through to Cyber Monday. Approximately 25.5 million shoppers purchased items from Shopify merchants, and sales reached an outstanding $1.5 million per minute.
Ranked among the top buying cities were London and Toronto, and top-selling countries included the UK, Germany, France and Spain.
It’s the strongest showing to date over the US thanksgiving period for the Canadian start-up, who recently hit one million worldwide merchants on its platform.
“These unprecedented sales demonstrate the power of borderless commerce and how independent businesses and direct-to-consumer brands around the world have become the heroes of Black Friday [and] Cyber Monday,” wrote Shopify in a statement on its website.
And apparently, no one loves a deal quite like Canadians do. Statistics from Shopify show that Canadians outspent our US counterparts by $8.66 per person. On average, individual Canadians were spending $93.15, whereas Americans spent $84.49 per person.
It’s official – it looks like we’re officially sticking a big ol’ Canada flag in the traditionally American-as-heck and capitalist-as-hell shopping spree holiday.
GOD BLESS CONSUMERISM :’)
USMCA has Everybody Nervous…
It’s time for a status update on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which was signed by all three countries in October 2018, to replace the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which is over 25 years old.
Here’s the catch: even though all three countries have signed USMCA, America still needs to ratify the agreement in order for it to come into effect.
This week, President Trump tweeted that the deal is at risk of ‘collapsing’ if Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi does not move to call a vote ASAP.
However, Pelosi has voiced her opposition to a clause within USMCA that will provide legal protections to large tech companies.
Specifically, the language in USMCA echoes Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects tech companies from liability from their users’ content. As disinformation and violent content on social media websites increases, lawmakers are concerned about giving tech companies legal protections across the US, Canada, and Mexico that may encourage them to shirk their responsibilities to regulate content on their platforms.
Whether USMCA is modified to remove the legal protections, or whether Speaker Pelosi will schedule a vote to ratify the trade agreement will become apparent in the coming weeks.