The (Right) News Rundown
- Canada has been flagged by a global banking body for “vulnerabilities” tied to credit, property prices, and the prospect of rising interest rates.
- In a quarterly review published Monday, the Bank for International Settlements, or BIS, said Canada is among the jurisdictions showing early warning indicators for financial crises and domestic banking risks.
- The report measures credit and housing prices relative to gross domestic product, and the ability to service debt in the event of rising interest rates.
- The report said debt service ratios are at manageable levels for most countries provided there are no changes to interest rates. However, Canada is flagged alongside China and Turkey as countries that face “potential risks” under more stressed conditions that assume a 250 basis point increase in rates.
- The debt service ratio for Canada would jump to 7.9 from 3.6 in such a scenario, according to the BIS report. That’s the second highest among 22 countries measured, lagging only China.
- The report notes that two-thirds of banking crises were preceded by credit-to-GDP gaps that breached the 10 per cent threshold during the three years before the event.
- Much of the debate around Canada’s buoyant housing market has centred on the growing amount of Canadian household debt, and questions about the ability of consumers to handle their overall debt burdens if and when interest rates rise from prolonged lows.
- The BC Conservative Party is heading into the next provincial election in May without a leader, and without a spot in the televised leadership debate, but is still hoping to gain vote percentage in a race dominated by Premier Christy Clark's Liberals and the Opposition NDP led by John Horgan.
- Last fall, the party, which has no seats in the B.C. legislature, removed Vanderhoof businessman Dan Brooks as leader because his candidacy for the leadership was approved at a party meeting that lacked quorum. Still, the Conservatives are forging on into electoral battle, hoping to have 40 candidates for the 87 seats, and to reach voters through social media, touting what party communications and policy director John Twigg calls “captivating” policy ideas to be unveiled during the campaign.
- The Conservatives, who have not won a seat in the legislature since 1986, ended up with 4.8 per cent of the popular vote in 2013, when they had a familiar name as leader, then-former Tory MP John Cummins. In the run-up to the campaign, they had one seat held by former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister John van Dongen, who left his party. Mr. Cummins was at the podium during the debate, making the case for the Conservatives against the leaders of the Liberals, NDP and B.C. Greens.
- John Twigg said questions over political fundraising in the province, which led Elections BC to refer the issue to the RCMP for an investigation, may create an opening for the Conservatives as voters look away from the Liberals, who have borne the brunt of criticism over the issue. “Eight weeks from now, who knows what that will look like. It’s not inconceivable that the Liberals break down, [which] could create new opportunities for the B.C. Conservative party.”
- Asked about party finances for fighting a campaign, he said, “I’d have to phone the treasurer and he probably wouldn’t tell me.” Still, he conceded the party doesn’t have a lot of money.
- Jason Kenney wins Alberta PC Leadership Race
- What started as a unity tour last summer in a blue truck has ended with the result of Jason Kenney being elected leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party.
- The party first came to power in 1971 and held power until the 2015 election which elected the NDP.
- 1113 Kenney
- 323 Starke
- 40 Nelson
- We’ve heard many times before that the PC Party reinvents itself in order to maintain relevance and that’s always worked. We saw it with Ralph Klein and we saw it with Ed Stelmach and Allison Redford to mixed results. Last time the PC party tried to re-invent itself was with a forced merge with the Wildrose under the late Jim Prentice and Danielle Smith.
- That of course led to the utter collapse of the PC Party from the “conservative” side and the progressive wing of the party was also fed up and that ultimately led to the election of the NDP.
- What course is ahead for the future of the PC Party seems to be a likely folding into a single conservative party in time for Alberta’s 2019 election.
- Brian Jean has already indicated that the Wildrose is ready to talk merger and has extended a meeting invitation to new leader Kenney on Monday.
The Firing Line
- “The Canadian military will review its badges, uniforms, flags and associated ceremonial activities to ensure they are welcoming to women, visible minorities, the disabled, indigenous people and members of the gay and transgender communities.”
- The plan includes a detailed list of initiatives the Forces can take to accommodate those members, among them:
- • “Review current dress, badges, flags, music, lineages, affiliations, drill and ceremonial, etc. and ensure these customs complement and expand towards a more diverse and inclusive national military institution (Allow dress appropriate to one’s gender identity.)”
- • “Consider family circumstances when posting CAF members, including if possible, geographic proximity to family for cultural reasons, when requested.”
- • “Dedicate a room at the workplace where CAF members feel encouraged and not at risk to practice their religion.”
- Other initiatives to be considered involve examining military equipment and infrastructure to “accommodate the needs of Designated Group Members and other members with specific needs,” and ways to improve healthcare and family support for the various individuals, which would include “traditional healing, spiritual needs, specific accommodations – dietary needs.”
Word of the Week
the action of leading a group of people or an organization: different styles of leadership.
How to Find Us
Episode Title: Strong and Head-scratching Leadership
Teaser: Is Canada showing early signs of a financial crisis? The Alberta PCs choose unity. While the B.C. Conservatives have no leadership. And you’ll see what the Canadian Forces are up to now.
Recorded Date: March 18, 2017
Release Date: March 18, 2017
Edit Notes: None