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    Wondering what happened to your investments last week?

    (Almost) All of Us Are Freaking Out Over the Pfizer Vaccine…

    …and so is the market

    Robyn Fiell

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock, we’re sure you’ve all heard the news about the COVID-19 vaccine…

    Here’s a quick recap – American pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, and its partner BioNTech announced Monday have tested an mRNA-based vaccine and allegedly found it to be 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 infections.

    The news we’ve all been waiting for came with big stock market moves early last week. Here’s what you need to know about the winners and the losers.

    Investors believe a return to “normal” may come A LOT sooner than what was previously expected, meaning more people going out, driving, flying, vacationing and creating economic activity. Companies tied to a reopening economy – such as airlines and travel-related firms, oil and gas companies and banks – are among the group that rallied last week.

    ·       Southwestern Airlines stocks rose 9.7%

    ·       Carnival corp., a cruise ship company rose 39.9%

    ·       Exxon oil company’s shares rose 10%

    ·       Several banks stocks such as JP Morgan and Bank of America rallied at the indication of a quicker return to economic normal

    Unfortunately, not all stocks reacted well to the vaccine news. As you can imagine, the so-called “stay-at-home” stocks took a pretty big hit, with the tech-heavy NASDAQ composite index down 2.8% on Tuesday.

     ·       Zoom and Peloton both traded down ~17%

    ·       Netflix dropped by 8.6%

    ·       Amazon was down 5.1% on Monday

    Before you freak out, BMO analyst Thanos Moschopoulos cautions us NOT to overreact to the selloff, as the tech sector in general has out-performed this year, and there’s always going to be an appetite for companies that have a good track record.

    “Delaying the Inevitable”: a Canadian Debt Update…

    Nabeela Jivraj

    In recent weeks, government relief programs structured to ease the financial burden of the pandemic on households and small businesses have been winding down.

    Thanks to these programs, many Canadians have seen a decrease in bankruptcies declared relative to previous years, and an increase in the savings rate in the summer months (and also, sparking some interesting conversations about the viability of a Universal Basic Income).

    That being said, StatsCan data shows an uneven debt picture across income groups, indicating that the current picture of stability won’t last long. Given that prior to the pandemic more than half of Canadians were living paycheck-to-paycheck or within $200 of insolvency, government support programs have largely delayed an inevitable debt crisis.

    Experts expect a massive increase of insolvencies in coming months, as individuals undertake the transition from the CERB to the CRB and EI. The fact that student loan payments are a thing again for many folks also adds an additional burden (and, ICYMI, the NSCLC is a hot mess as a result).

    On the business side, insolvency filings are “more than double” what they were at this time last year, as many sectors (especially the restaurant and hospitality industries) are starting to falter. So far, banks are continuing to support these sectors, but we aren’t in the clear yet.

    None of this bodes well, and it goes without saying that the increase in financial stress has broad implications for physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing for all of us. We want to take a moment to acknowledge how difficult these times are and how hard it can be to discuss personal finances. We hope that you are all finding space and support to have these hard conversations in your lives! <3

    Seven Mi’kmaq nations bid $1b to buy Clearwater Seafood…

    Paisley Sim

    On November 9th, a group of Mi’kmaq First Nations – the MembertouMiawpukekPaqtnkekPictou LandingPotlotekSipekne’katik, and We’koqma’q – announced that they were jointly buying Clearwater Seafood Inc. with Premium Brands Holdings Corp.

    The $1 billion purchase is the largest ever investment in the Canadian seafood industry by an Indigenous group. While the nations will hold all of Clearwater’s offshore fishing licenses and operate within a fully Mi’kmaq owned entity, it doesn’t mean that the recent controversy over defining a “moderate livelihood” has been put to bed.

    Clearwater is Atlantic Canada’s largest wild seafood company. The joint venture weds the Mi’kmaq whose territory, Miꞌkma’ki, encompasses Nova Scotia, PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador, and BC’s Premium Brands. To finance the purchase, Premium Brands sold $200 million of new shares, and the Mi’kmaq will use a $250-million issued by the First Nations Finance Authority, an entity designed to increase capital available to First Nations.

    The purchase comes on the heels of incidents of domestic terrorism motivated by a fight over the right to harvest lobster in St. Mary’s Bay in southwestern Nova Scotia. Where Clearwater symbolizes a historic investment in offshore fishing, the heart of the controversy in St. Mary’s Bay relates to inshore fishing.

    In Marshall, the Supreme Court confirmed that First Nations have the right to fish for a “moderate livelihood” outside of the federally regulated season. Non-indigenous commercial fishers must fish within a restricted season to control supply and prices.

    On the 21st anniversary of the decision, the Sipekne’katik FirstNation opened the Mi’kmaw lobster fishery, where they have about 150 traps and are using three of seven licenses. Despite operating a small number of traps, non-Indigenous commercial fishers argue that the Sipekne’katik are fueling a black market that undercuts their prices.

    In mid-October the Sipekne’katik warehouse was set on fire, vehicles burnt and traps were damaged or seized. Fearing for their safety, the Sipekne’katik ultimately backed out of the remainder of the season. By resorting to violence, racists won the day.

    The RCMP’s failure to protect the Sipekne’katik has led many to call for Commissioner Brenda Lucki to resign. And a broader conversation about how to measure a “moderate livelihood” is underway, but will be slow to resolve.

    In the long-term, global demand for seafood is projected to outstrip supply. The Mi’kmaq stand to benefit from this imbalance, and the Clearwater joint venture has proven to be an excellent plot-twist in recent tensions.

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