News   Apr 03, 2020
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For What it's Worth

In the workplace..
The office will endure
Canadian office workers are still toiling away at home, leaving downtown towers empty. At this point, it might feel like offices will never fill up again, but there is reason to believe they'll spring back to life. How and when workers returned to their offices was always going to come down to the value of commercial real estate versus what’s best for productivity and collaboration and, of course, COVID-19, says the Financial Post's Gabriel Friedman.


A decent boss makes a difference
What makes a job great? Economists say high pay, job security and development opportunities are all must-haves. But research shows a decent boss also makes a big difference. That's good news for employers who can't afford to pay spectacularly well. But it's bad news for organizations rife with mediocre managers. No amount of free snacks can counter a bad boss.

The trajectory of the economy is getting harder to predict these days and COVID-19 is only one of the factors making things difficult. Frances Donald, global chief economist and strategist at Manulife Investment Management, talks with the Financial Post’s Larysa Harapyn about the outlook for the economy, inflation and the risks of the "known unknowns."

One zoning law bites the dust in Cali...
The classic California suburb is largely a product of something called single-family zoning, a regulation dictating that there can be only one house per parcel of land. These rules have led to the rows of tract homes, each with their own yard and fence.​
But a new California law aimed at easing our housing crisis is essentially ending single-family zoning. As of Jan. 1, property owners can build up to three additional units on their land, allowing single-family homes to be transformed into as many as four units.​
The new law portends a housing boom in the state -- we are already engaged in several of these.
I'm guessing that's a headline we're going to see a lot more of across NA in the coming years.
Against all odds, oilsands exporters currently reign supreme over the Americas, and even have the audacity to make a play for market share in Asia.

How did it all come about? Just over a year ago, Canadian oilsands companies were struggling to keep their heads above water as pipeline cancellations and delays, environmental pressures and low crude-oil prices sent stock prices plunging and investors heading for the exits.

But the decimation of Mexican and Venezuelan crude exports to global markets amid resurgent global oil demand has suddenly left the field wide open for Alberta's heavy oil producers.

Read all about the great Canadian oilsands rebound here.
Ottawa's helping hand
The federal government is willing to bankroll a vast new project proposed by oilsands producers to capture greenhouse gas emissions in Alberta, says Jonathan Wilkinson, the country's natural resources minister.

But it will likely come with strings attached: Ottawa is keen on setting stringent emission-reduction targets for the oil sector to keep GHGs in check.
Cheap energy in an expensive world
Rafi Tahmazian, senior portfolio at Calgary-based Canoe Financial, believes the stratospheric surge enjoyed by Canadian oil and gas stocks last year will continue as valuations remain compelling compared to their global peers.
From the National Post...
Among the factors feeding Canada's housing shortage is the unwillingness of baby boomers to let go of their homes, according to a new report. There are some pretty good reasons for that reluctance, from their perspective. For one thing, they're healthier than previous generations and are therefore not in need of retirement living to the same degree. Add the lessons of the pandemic to the equation, and it's not surprising that nursing homes aren't particularly appealing to many boomers, either.