Happy Thursday, everyone! For some, that’s easier said than done. We have a group of stories today in which everyone has had it up to here (except John Boehner, as you’ll see). B.C.’s businesses are ticked at their premier, Albertans are ticked at Ottawa, Toronto buyers are ticked they can’t afford a condo, and Whistler locals are ticked at the ski hills’ new owners. So, let’s read:
IT TURNS INTERNAL
The trade war between B.C. and Alberta over the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline project could result in Alberta cutting off petroleum supplies to B.C. — which could mean soaring prices for gasoline, diesel and even consumer goods in the Lower Mainland. As Geoffrey Morgan reports, it could cost $120 to fill up in B.C. if this happens. Premier John Horgan’s defiant stance against the pipeline has business groups turning against their provincial government.
Quote: “The impasse created and sustained by the provincial government is now challenging — in full view of the international investment community — the very ability of our country to govern itself,” Greater Vancouver Board of Trade president and CEO Iain Black said.
TURNING TIDE I
Ticked-off Albertans have risen up against Ottawa’s empty pipeline promises, with protesters showing up in force in Calgary yesterday. (And, as Claudia Cattaneo writes, this isn’t Vancouver, where protesters seem to be on speed dial, but people in a tight-lipped oil industry.) They’re mad that the PM is holding on to his climate-change and carbon-tax strategies instead of supporting oil and gas. That pent-up anger is expected to continue at a rally today in Edmonton.
Quote: “It’s not fair to denigrate an industry that provides energy products in one of the most ethical and sustainable ways in the world. It’s not fair to let vocal minority groups that don’t run on fact to control the fate and prosperity of an entire country,” Conservative MP Michelle Rempel said.
TURNING TIDE II
Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner and former Massachusetts Governor William Weld will join the advisory board of U.S. cannabis producer Acreage Holdings. Boehner’s move marks a fundamental shift for a man who nine years ago said he was “unalterably opposed” to legalization, and it indicates that pot is increasingly supported by the American establishment. In fact, one analyst said the “bombshell” move may help legitimize the sector and generate investor interest.
Quote: ““Over the last 10 or 15 years, the American people’s attitudes have changed dramatically,” Boehner said. “I find myself in that same position.””
If you want to buy a condo in Toronto, you’ll need to have an income of at least $100,000. Naomi Powell reports that, what with low supply and soaring demand, the average price of a resale condo in Toronto hit $558,000 in Q1 2018, up from $510,000 for the same period last year. In order to satisfy new lending standards and tougher mortgage qualification rules, a buyer would need a five-figure income. Just a year ago that threshold was $77,000.
Quote: “It’s difficult to make that leap as a first-time buyer,” said Shaun Hildebrand of market analysts Urbanation. “That’s pushed some out of the market at least temporarily, adding pressure to a rental market that’s already extremely tight.”
Canadians are pretty angry over the Vail acquisition of Whistler Blackcomb by an American corporate behemoth. The new owner’s offences include the adoption of an on-mountain app that features Fahrenheit and inches; tickets priced with a base rate in U.S. dollars; and a season’s-pass pricing system for all of the company’s 14 resorts in North America and Australia, which benefits globetrotting jet-setters at the expense of locals.
Quote: “It irks you,” says Roger Schmidt, an engineer based in Ottawa who’s been skiing at Whistler since the 1970s. “I’m the victim of the exchange rate in my own country. It’s like the message is, if you’re local, you can ski at the smaller hills.”