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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘alberta

[NEWS] Some Thursday links

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  • The BBC hosts an article by an Igbo journalist talking about his native language.
  • Bloomberg notes Brexiters’ hostility to the OECD’s prediction of British economic woe outside of the European Union, and looks at Venezuela’s physical shortage of bills.
  • CBC looks at how tourist operators in North Carolina are afraid the anti-trans bill might hurt their business in the long term.
  • MacLean’s and the Toronto Star look at the aftermath of two Alberta parents’ conviction for not getting their son adequate medical care.
  • The National Post looks at the idea of Hitler’s relative normalcy being problematic.
  • The New Yorker looks at how, increasingly and with good reason, people are identifying mental capabilities they have in common with animals.
  • Open Democracy describes official Belarus’ repression of anything to do with Chernobyl.
  • Politico looks at the popularity of Donald Trump with official Russia.
  • Quartz notes that so much technology is designed to default to the requirements of men exclusive of women.
  • Wired looks at Nokia’s venture into the realm of smart tech.

[NEWS] Some Wednesday links

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  • The Associated Press notes the hostility in many American communities to Muslim cemeteries.
  • Bloomberg explores the revival of watchmaking in East Germany’s Saxony, and touches on the new two-day public work week in Venezuela.
  • Bloomberg View notes Japan’s rising levels of poverty, looks at the politicization of the Brazilian education system, and examines potential consequences of Pakistan-China nuclear collaboration.
  • The CBC reports on the difficulties of the Canada-European Union trade pact, reports on the conviction of an Alberta couple for not taking their meningitis-afflicted child to medical attention until it was too late, and notes that an American-Spanish gay couple was able to retrieve their child from a Thai surrogate mother.
  • MacLean’s examines how Karla Homolka ending up shifting towards French Canada.
  • The National Post‘s Michael den Tandt is critical of the idea of a new Bombardier bailout.
  • Universe Today notes a paper arguing that, with only one example of life, we can say little with assuredness about extraterrestrial life’s frequency.
  • Vice‘s Noisey notes how Prince and Kate Bush ended up collaborating on “Why Should I Love You?”.
  • The Washington Post reports on a study suggesting that root crops like the potato were less suited to supporting complex civilizations than grains.

[NEWS] Some Monday links

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  • Asahi notes the problems of Uniqlo.
  • Atlas Obscura looks at the effort to restore the Old Spanish Trail, an early American interstate highway.
  • Bloomberg notes the travails of the coal industry in the Czech Republic.
  • Bloomberg View notes South Africa’s serious economic problems and looks at how the Panama Papers make centrism more difficult.
  • CBC notes how a terrifyingly high suicide rate in Attawapiskat has triggered a state of emergency.
  • Fusion looks at how default settings for online mapping services have left some people targets.
  • The Boston Globe reports on how Boston cops can now be freely gay.
  • The Inter Press Service notes the increasing alienation of Ethiopia’s Oromo in the face of the corporatization of agriculture.
  • MacLean’s considers the future of the NDP, post-Mulcair.
  • Space Daily looks at new research examining how neutron stars could, through mass accretion, become black holes.
  • The Toronto Star looks at what happened to Mulcair at the NDP convention.
  • The Weather Network notes the spread of goldfish into the lakes of Alberta.

[NEWS] Some Friday links

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  • Bloomberg notes the defection of 13 North Korean workers at an overseas restaurant to the South, reports that Venezuela has declared Friday a holiday to try to save on power consumption, wonders if low oil prices will hurt the Philippines through diminished remittances from the Middle East, notes that Russian efforts at import substitution are failing, and argues against a $15 minimum wage in the United States.
  • The Inter Press Service reports on how forests can help solve urban water scarcity issues.
  • MacLean’s notes the general attack in Alberta on Mulcair, from the NDP and from the Wildrose Party.
  • The National Post notes the export of old homes from British Columbia to the United States, and looks at how Russia’s targeting of terrorists’ families works out.
  • The Dragon’s Tales linked to this PNAS article speculating as to why Mars is so small relative to Earth.
  • Wired notes how a study that was product of fraud ended up apparently being confirmed by research conducted by the same whistleblowers. How tragic for the first author.

[DM] Some followups

At Demography Matters, I have a links post following up on old posts, everything from Georgia’s continued population shrinkage to the plight of Haitian-background women in the Dominican Republic to stateless children of North Korean women in China.

[URBAN NOTE] “Fort McMurray and the Canadian boom-to-bust experience”

CBC’s Don Pittis reports about how Fort McMurray’s vulnerability to the boom-and-bust economy is an ancient Canadian pattern.

Hark Savinsky remembers the boom days when every kid out of high school could walk right into a good job. And the first thing each youngster did after getting that job — with a little help from the bank — was buy a shiny new truck.

Those days are gone. In fact, they’re long gone.

Because Savinsky, who now works at Scotiabank’s corporate headquarters in Toronto, grew up not in Fort McMurray, Alta., but in Atikokan, Ont. He watched the northern Ontario community boom, and when the mines closed one after the other, he witnessed its pain as the boom turned to bust.

Fort McMurray is going through the same difficult process experienced by communities dotted across Canada as the single industry they depended upon sinks following an exhilarating rise.

The wealth and sophistication of Fort McMurray is hard to compare with smaller boom towns, but one common feature is that the decline is often gradual, as enormous reservoirs of wealth seep out of the community. After many years of prosperity, residents cannot accept that the party is over.

“There was a lot of hope,” Savinsky says of Atikokan, which saw its population shrink from about 7,000 to just over 2,000. “And this is part of the denial, I suppose.”

Written by Randy McDonald

February 19, 2016 at 6:57 pm

[URBAN NOTE] Two links on housing market issues across Canada

First, the CBC:

The federal housing agency says there is a risk of correction in Canadian housing markets in several cities, especially Toronto, Saskatoon and Regina, because of overvaluation and overbuilding of real estate.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation looks at housing markets in 15 Canadian cities every quarter, in an effort to detect housing bubbles.

Cities such as Calgary, Saskatoon, and Regina suffer from both overvaluation and overbuilding, as prices remain high and building continues in face of low oil prices.

The level of housing prices in these cities is not supported by the economic conditions, CMHC says. Prices remain high despite rising vacancies and falling demand for housing.

Alberta and Saskatchewan are facing weakening migration, employment, and income, which are in turn affecting housing markets, CMHC said in its report released Wednesday.

Overbuilding has worsened in Saskatoon and Regina, despite downward pressure on prices from weakened demand for housing, CMHC says.

Next, Bloomberg:

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau introduced a package of tighter home-lending rules in December, citing risks from a surge in prices in Toronto and Vancouver that leave some younger families at risk from outsized mortgages. Prices of single-family homes in those cities often exceed a million dollars and have sparked a surge in condo construction that has drawn warnings from the International Monetary Fund.

“In Toronto, overall strong evidence of problematic conditions reflects a combination of price acceleration and overvaluation,” the CMHC report said. “We are also monitoring for the potential emergence of overbuilding in Toronto due to the high number of condominium units under construction. Inventory management therefore continues to be necessary to make sure that these condominium units under construction do not remain unsold upon completion.”

The overvaluation rating for Montreal, Canada’s second-largest city, was lowered to moderate from strong.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 10, 2016 at 7:25 pm


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