In this edition:
Real estate sector gears up to battle Liberal government’s proposal to ban ‘blind bidding’ for houses
The Canadian real estate industry is gearing up to fight Ottawa’s plan to ban a common home selling practice known as blind bidding.
The Liberal Party’s April 7 budget proposed to end blind bidding, in which competing buyers in a multiple-bid situation do not know what others are offering to pay for a home.
It has taken some of the blame for out-of-control competition during the pandemic’s real estate boom. Winning bids could sometimes be hundreds of thousands of dollars above the next highest offer.
But Canada’s national real estate association and other powerful industry groups oppose the federal plan, saying that ending blind bidding would not bring down prices and would deprive homeowners of the choice of how they want to sell their homes. Most sellers prefer blind bidding because they believe it can get them a higher price.
31% of Canadians don’t earn enough to pay their bills: Survey
A new survey suggests almost one-third of Canadians aren’t pulling in enough income to cover basic monthly expenses.
Thirty-one per cent of respondents to an Ipsos survey conducted for MNP said they don’t earn enough to cover bills and debt payments, and almost half of all respondents (49 per cent) said they are within $200 of insolvency.
Two thousand Canadian adults were surveyed by Ipsos from March 9-15 — about one week after the Bank of Canada raised its main policy rate for the first time since 2018. The central bank ramped up its efforts to rein in inflation last week when it delivered its first half-point hike since 2000, and also announced it would start allowing its balance sheet to shrink later this month.
The survey for MNP demonstrates the extent to which some Canadians were already being squeezed prior to last week’s supersized hike.
Britton to join regional council in May
At a meeting last week, St. Catharines city council voted to recommend Mike Britton fill George Darte’s Niagara Region council seat.
Region Clerk Ann-Marie Norio told regional council the City of St. Catharines has until April 29 to officially inform the upper-tier municipality.
“Once we receive that correspondence, it will be put on our council agenda,” Norio said. “So, most likely, it will be our May 19 meeting where we will swear in the new councillor.”
Darte didn’t provide much in the way of an explanation for his sudden resignation on March 30 other than asking that his privacy be respected.
Annual meetings are the new frontline in the battle over corporate purpose
Companies have always had to answer to their investors. But these days shareholders have new questions—lots of them. On April 28th shareholders in three big drug companies, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer, are set to vote on resolutions filed by Oxfam, a charity, that seek to widen access to covid-19 vaccines. In May shareholders in Amazon are due to vote on a proposal from New York state’s pension fund, asking for an audit of the e-commerce giant’s policies on racial equity. Carl Icahn, a notoriously fierce corporate inquisitor, has broadened his attention from profits to pigs. He has filed proposals at McDonald’s and Kroger, a grocer, in a quest to end the confinement of pregnant sows.
Update on Ukraine
German businesses, unions oppose boycott of Russian oil and natural gas
Germany’s employers and unions have joined together in opposing an immediate European Union ban on natural gas imports from Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, saying such a move would lead to factory shutdowns and the loss of jobs in the bloc’s largest economy.
“A rapid gas embargo would lead to loss of production, shutdowns, a further deindustrialization and the long-term loss of work positions in Germany,” said Rainer Dulger, chairman of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations, and Reiner Hoffmann, chairman of the German Trade Union Confederation, in a joint statement Monday on Germany’s dpa news agency.
The statement comes as European leaders are discussing possible new energy sanctions against Russian oil, following a decision April 7 to ban Russian coal imports beginning in August. Ukraine’s leaders say revenues from Russia’s energy exports are financing Moscow’s destructive war on Ukraine and must be ended.
Through the Daily Updates, the GNCC aims to deliver important business news in a timely manner. We disseminate all news and information we feel will be important to businesses. Inclusion in the Daily Update is not an endorsement by the GNCC.