Timing & trends

Two Canadian banks lend $1.46 billion to Musk for Twitter acquisition

Following news that Elon Musk will acquire Twitter in a deal valued at $44 billion USD (about $56 billion CAD), it has been reported that the Royal Bank of Canada and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce are aiding the purchase, at least in some capacity.

According to the report, Musk has borrowed about $25 billion in loans from 12 banks, out of which RBC pledged $750 million USD (roughly $955 million CAD) and CIBC put up $400 million USD (roughly $500 million CAD), totaling about $1.15 billion USD ($1.46 billion CAD) of Canadian Bank loans.

Additionally, Musk is using a 17 percent stake of his Tesla share, which is valued at around $170 billion for a $12.5 billion loan to fund the acquisition.

CIBC and RBC’s loan is the least risky for Musk since it charges the lowest-cost debt among all 12 lenders.

Musk underlined that his decision to take over the company was motivated by his desire to protect free speech…read more.

B.C. strata turns off power on electric vehicle owner

A Vancouver strata owner who charged his electric vehicle (EV) using a parking stall outlet won’t be allowed to do that anymore.

That’s the decision from B.C.’s Civil Resolution Tribunal, which said March 24 that Ian Wong saw power turned off to the outlet by his strata corporation.

He asked the tribunal to decide that the power should be turned back on in exchange for a ‘reasonable fee.’

The strata, however, denied Wong is entitled to use its common electricity to charge his vehicle.

The tribunal agreed there was no requirement to let Wong use common property.

The strata said it has now passed a rule prohibiting EV charging through any 110-volt common property outlet…read more.

A majority of Vancouver residents ready to see COVID restrictions lifted by spring break: poll

Should we keep masking up and showing vaccine passports in B.C. as we head into mid-March and spring break?

Vancouver residents seem ready to ditch the province’s remaining pandemic-related restrictions, according to a recent V.I.A. poll, which found that 44.55% of local respondents would like to see all remaining COVID-19 restrictions in British Columbia lifted before spring break.

A further 25.99% voted to indicate they are keen to see some restrictions removed by then.

In mid-February, B.C. eased multiple COVID restrictions across the province, including ending capacity limits at restaurants and event venues, with promises of more removals to come, should the data indicate it’s safe to do so…read more.

“Is this necessary?” Calls grow to end BC’s vaccine passport system

Some British Columbians say the vaccine card program isn’t necessary anymore in BC.

Dr. Kevin McLeod, an internist who treats COVID-19 patients at North Vancouver’s Lion’s Gate Hospital, took to social media this month to voice his view on the passports.

“Vaccine mandates initially made sense. I supported them. At this stage of the pandemic, they do not make sense. It shouldn’t be political. It’s time they are removed,” he said.

“With Omicron, the vaccinated and unvaccinated spread it around equally. You aren’t safer in a room with the vaccinated, unvaccinated or in between.”

Alberta has already gotten rid of its passport, and Saskatchewan is preparing to do the same.

Ian Tostenson, president of the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association, agrees with McLeod’s stance to an extent.

“We can now see sunsetting the vaccination card program because we’ve done the job. I mean, we’ve gotten so many people vaccinated in British Columbia,” said Tostenson…read more.

  • Ontario declared a state of emergency on Friday, following two weeks of trucker protests.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford called the Freedom Convoy protests that have spread to Ottawa, Windsor, and Sarnia an “illegal occupation.”
  • Ford said the province will take legal action against protesters that are non-compliant via fines and potential jail time.

Ontario declared a widespread state of emergency amid ongoing trucker protests on Friday.

Doug Ford, Ontario’s premier, called the demonstrations against cross-border vaccine mandates an “illegal occupation.”

“This is no longer a protest,” Ford said at a press conference on Friday. “With a protest, you peacefully make your point and you go back home.”

Ford said he will “use legal authorities to urgently enact orders,” promising fines and jail time for non-compliance. To date, Ottawa police say they have made about 25 arrests and launched 60 criminal investigations into incidents, including “the desecration of the National War Memorial” as well as the appearance of Nazi and Confederate flags.

Canada can’t “have people occupying cities, holding them hostage,” Ford said, and urged demonstrators to go home…read more.