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March 10, 2022

HOT CLIMATE DAMAGES ECONOMY

Eric Lascelles, chief economist at RBC Global Asset Management, says the likelihood is that climate change will go past a two degree increase. This “isn’t what anyone wants, but it just seems to be the trajectory that we are very likely on,” he said at ‘The economic contours of climate change’ session at the ‘PH&N Investment Perspectives’ event. And while global warming is likely to rise with time, “most of the damage comes later.” That is one of the reasons governments have been moving fairly slowly and not doing enough to hit targets so far, he said. From an economic standpoint, there are a number of considerations. There is direct damage from hotter temperatures and more natural disasters and other impact will be the result of the efforts to mitigate climate change. Simultaneously, there is the damage from efforts to mitigate climate change. The economic damage is real and set to be very significant, he said. However, the real story is at the sector level. Employment suffers, but not as much as GDP. Inflation goes a little higher. Interest rates go a little higher ‒ “I don’t think big jumps, but a little bit.” In terms of markets, there is an elevated risk of financial crises as some industries fail to adapt or from greater geopolitical conflict around the world because of shortages of, for example, fresh water. The impact of climate change “isn’t yet fully factored into market pricing. So there’s more work to be done there,” he said, which is an opportunity for active investors.

March 10, 2022

MANDATORY VACCINATION CREATES ISSUES

Future developments regarding mandatory vaccination policies in Canada will involve more judicial decisions, including challenges before the courts unless clear directives are passed by governments in Canada, says a Borden Ladner Gervais LLP ‘Newsletter.’ It says there are three issues that employers and legal counsels must consider when designing a mandatory vaccination policy. First, it needs to be determined if the collective agreement allows for these policies. Such a review is even more important where the clause in question was drafted in general terms, to cover general issues, and not any issue remotely applicable to COVID. Another issue is whether unions should afford more protections to fully vaccinated employees or to those who want the right to choose not to be vaccinated. This will determine whether a trade union will decide to contest the vaccine policy. Employers will also need to be particularly vigilant and diligent in balancing these two positions. It will necessarily involve a workplace analysis. Finally, in a non-unionized workplace, whose responsibility is it to protect the employees? In the context of a global pandemic, it says this responsibility cannot rest solely on the employer’s duty of prevention set out in provincial legislation. Arbitration decisions highlight that each case is a particular situation and that there is no uniform model applicable to all employers, employees, and/or trade unions. Thus, considerations in designing a mandatory vaccination policy must be tailored to each individual case.