Canada’s Economy Rebounds In July As Construction Resumes

Canada looking to entice SA entrepreneurs with startup visa

The Canadian dollar rose 0.1 percent to C$1.0295 per U.S. dollar at 12:53 p.m. in Toronto. Investors are pricing in less than a 50 percent chance of a rate increase by the end of next year, according to trading in overnight swaps. Accelerating Growth The central bank forecast in July that growth will accelerate to a 3.8 percent annualized pace in the third quarter after slowing to 1.7 percent in the second quarter. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg this month forecast a 2.1 percent rate from July to September. Canada has averaged annualized quarterly growth rates of 1.3 percent since the start of 2012, down from 3 percent in 2010 and 2011. The bigger story here is that underlying growth is still just quietly grinding along at a modest pace, Doug Porter , chief economist at Bank of Montreals capital markets unit in Toronto, said in a note to investors. The central bank has kept its key lending rate at 1 percent since September 2010, the longest pause since the 1950s, to encourage investment and spending. The nations output in July was 1.4 percent higher from a year ago, up from a revised 1.1 percent annual increase in June. Grinding Along Construction led gains in July, with the industry posting a 1.9 percent increase in output during the month as it recovered from a June strike in Quebec. Non-residential building construction rose 9.2 percent in July. Manufacturing also rebounded with a 1.1 percent increase in July, after falling 1 percent in June.

Health Canada presides over birth of billion-dollar free market in marijuana

Rifici, who is also a senior adviser to Trudeau, was cited in a Conservative cabinet minister’s news release Friday that said the Liberals plan to “push pot,” with no reference to Health Canada’s own encouragement of marijuana entrepreneurs. Rifici says he’s trying to help a struggling community by providing jobs while giving suffering patients a quality product. “There’s a real need,” he said in an interview. “You see what this medicine does to them.” Tweed Inc. proposes to produce at least 20 strains to start, and will reserve 10 per cent of production for compassionate, low-cost prescriptions for impoverished patients, he says. Patients often use several grams a day to alleviate a wide range of symptoms, including cancer-related pain and nausea. They’ll no longer be allowed to grow it for themselves under the new rules. Revenues for the burgeoning new industry are expected to hit $1.3 billion a year by 2024, according to federal projections. And operators would be favourably positioned were marijuana ever legalized for recreational use, as it has been in two American states. Eric Nash of Island Harvest in Duncan, B.C., has applied for one of the new licences, banking on his experience as a licensed grower since 2002 in the current system. “The opportunity in the industry is significant,” he said in an interview. “We’ll see a lot of moving and shaking within the industry, with companies positioning. And I think we’ll see some mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances formed.” “It’ll definitely yield benefits to the consumers and certainly for the economy and society in general.” Veterans Affairs Canada currently pays for medical marijuana for some patients, even though the product lacks official drug status. Some provinces are also being pressed to cover costs, as many users are too sick to work and rely on welfare.

Canada is actively recruiting foreign entrepreneurs with a startup visa programme. Introduced by the Canadian government, the programme is meant to assist qualified entrepreneurs interested in relocating to Canada. According Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, the visa is part of Canadas plans to show that it is open for business to the worlds start-up entrepreneurs. Innovation and entrepreneurship are essential drivers of our economy. We need people who can build companies that will create new jobs, spur economic growth and compete on a global scale, hence our new startup visa. Interestingly it looks like a delegation from the Great White North will be heading to South Africa in a bid to actively recruit entrepreneurs into applying for the visa. As part of the delegation, which will land in November, Canadian tech entrepreneurs and angel investor Mike Edwards will to meet with potential candidates. Edwards own company, LX Ventures , acquires, integrates and accelerates early stage high growth tech companies, and he is also a director of GrowLab , a Vancouver-based startup accelerator. Our objective is to identify and evaluate new software companies which have graduated from the incubator stage and have earned enough early-stage revenue to show that they are sustainable businesses. These are the business we feel would benefit from investment and relocating to Canada, he said. He explained that to be eligible for the Startup Visa Program, the Canadian government required them to obtain a minimum level of funding: $75 000 CDN from angel investors and $200 000 CDN from venture capital organisations. Im interested on behalf of both LX Ventures and GrowLab. While Im in South Africa I also want to meet with other businesses like mine startup incubators and accelerators that can continue to scout for potential prospects after we have returned to Canada. Im also happy to meet with economic development organisations that are interested in supporting the Startup Visa initiative. There will also be a South African on Edwards team in the shape of Gary Boddington, an entrepreneur who co-founded a business in his garage in Durban and sold it to the London-listed Sage Plc. Boddington now lives in Canada where he says he experienced essential support as a startup business and is now paying forward his good fortune to fellow South African entrepreneurs.