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IMF report cuts growth outlook for Canada to 1.0 per cent for this year

OTTAWA – The International Monetary Fund has cut its growth outlook for the Canadian economy to just 1.0 per cent for the year, due to the drop in oil prices and reduced investment in the energy sector. Source: IMF report cuts growth outlook for Canada to 1.0 per cent for this year OTTAWA – The […]

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KPMG Canadian Tax Scheme Suspiciously Similar to UBS Tax Evasion Fraud

Canada is routinely cited as a boring backwater in financial services that has none of the scandals plaguing the rest of the industry. But in an extraordinary investigative report on The National, CBC’s Ian Hanomansing revealed an ongoing Canada Revenue Agency investigation, and a looming criminal investigation into KPMG Canada’s Isle of Man tax “haven” scheme reserved for its wealthiest clients. Current Canadian government ministers are also implicated in apparent conflicts of interest. I have been particularly struck by the similarity of the KPMG Canada scheme to similar tax evasion schemes in both the European Union and the United States which have been the subject of criminal investigations, admissions of guilt, and substantial fines. Of particular note is the UBS tax evasion scheme which has led Swiss and U.S. authorities to prosecute senior UBS executives. A larger question now looms. Which other Canadian firms and financial institutions may have similar tax evasion schemes?

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Roger Sugden

UBC Okanagan Dean Roger Sugden: Is He Worth $216,740? What Is Your Take?

After last year’s Faculty of Management public relations fiasco caused exclusively by the Dean himself, Roger Sugden appears to have resurrected from the proverbial dead. Following the incident, many were shocked and surprised to learn that an outside consultant concluded that the Dean was not a problem. The problem in the FOM was judged to be a small clique of dissatisfied faculty members. Has Dean Sugden’s performance actually recovered and improved? Is he leading the Faculty of Management with forthright leadership? Some say that the Dean has become the invisible man, more unavailable than ever. What is your take on Dean Sugden’s job performance and his salary?

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Uber’s Distortion of the Sharing Economy

I found this important editorial opinion piece in The Guardian, the UK journal. The point of this is, IMHO, a critically important moral issue. Many of these new corporate entities, Uber in particular, when viewed without their sheep’s clothing, are doing nothing more than joining the global corporate drive to eliminate the middle class, local […]

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Why Are We Losing Our Global Influence?

As we are now on the verge of U.S. Congressional ‘fast track” approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement, and simultaneously a severe challenge to the integrity of the European Union as Greece and the EU cannot seem to agree on terms to avoid a catastrophe, perhaps it is worth stepping back to consider these complex issues from a higher perspective. None of us has concrete answers. One thing is clear: the U.S. position as a global leader is under serious challenge.

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This viral video shows Japan’s bullet trains being cleaned in 7 minutes flat

Originally posted on Quartz:
Japan’s bullet train or shinkansen¬†has long embodied the miracle of the country’s progress and efficiency. But it’s not just the trains that are quick. A 7-minute video showing an army of cleaners clearing the cars in a record time has gone¬†viral. The clip, created by the American journalist Charli James, shows…

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big ideas

BIG IDEAS: Physics At The Crossroads

This is another in my occasional series on Big Ideas. Last night I had my first opportunity to watch Particle Fever, the acclaimed 2014 documentary on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle. This followed my reading of a much more recent New York Times Op-Ed, describing a crisis in physics resulting from the discovery of the Higgs Boson. Essentially, the science of physics has no ability any time in the foreseeable future to experimentally go beyond the Higgs Boson. Physics is unlikely to be able to find The Holy Grail: a unifying Theory of Everything tying Einstein and the Higgs Boson into one simple elegant explanation.

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parliament hill

OECD Slashes Canadian Economic Forecast Yet Again

One day after federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver deflected concerns over Canada’s poor economic showing to start 2015, the OECD announced that it now projects Canadian growth this year at about 1.5 percent, down sharply from 2.2 percent during its previous temperature reading in March and a full percentage point below its forecast last November. Oliver on Tuesday told a Parliamentary Committee that he does not anticipate a recession.

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iraqi oil

Iraq About To Flood Oil Market: More Grief Ahead For Canada

Underscoring Goldman Sachs forecast last week of oil prices at or below $50 per bbl until at least 2020, Bloomberg News is today reporting that Iraq is preparing to unleash a flood of new oil within the next few months. This is very bad news for the price of Western Canadian Select bitumen, and Alberta oil sands producers. Saudi Arabia’s strategy, together with OPEC, to squeeze high-cost oil producers of oil sands and shale seems to be working. More pessimistic forecasts of WCS at $25 for an extended period now appear more plausible.

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10 Best Industries To Target For Internships and Entry Level Positions

Let’s be frank. Finding a decent job commensurate with your new UBC degree in Management has become extremely difficult. I have blogged previously here on the discounted value of a degree, as explained by UC Berkeley economist and former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich. For those living in the Okanagan or hoping to stay here to enjoy the sunshine, I urge you to relocate to a region with better employment prospects. BC Business recently published a ranking of BC cities for employment prospects. Kelowna ranked 17th, despite being the second largest region in B.C.. Calgary is no better option for jobs these days.

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