A huge trade deal between Canada and the European Union, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has been in the works for seven long years. The EU, with its population of more than 500 million, is our second-largest trading partner after the U.S. CETA would eliminate about 98% of existing tariffs for both sides and a study concluded it could boost Canada’s economy by $12 billion annually. However, there has been a fly in the jam jar.
Now that one set of elections is over and done with, take a deep breath and hold on tight for 13 days until the Big One south of the border. I don’t even like talking about the mess that is the U.S. Presidential campaign, but morbid fascination compels me to go along for the ride. While Hillary Clinton is certainly unpopular with roughly half the electorate, it’s obvious to any rational person that Donald Trump is ethically, intellectually and temperamentally unfit to be the most powerful person on the planet.
Time sure does fly (whether or not you’re having fun!). Four years have elapsed since the last municipal elections held on October 24th, 2012. That was when we changed from 3-year terms to 4. The polls are open today from 8am until 8pm. In 2012 in Saskatoon 37% of eligible voters took the time to cast their ballots. That’s not a percentage to be proud of but at least it was an increase from 2009. If advance poll participation is any indication this year’s turnout could improve once again, which is good.
I made a crack last week about how not everyone is a sports fan. That being said, there are millions of us and I read that within the next couple of years, media rights in pro sports will beat out gate revenues as the industry’s largest source of revenue. Media rights fees for TV and radio broadcast, cable, internet and mobile properties, will be just under $20 Billion by 2018, slightly surpassing gate revenue as well as sponsorships. Media rights could go beyond $21 Billion by 2021.
I talked recently about how Ontario will be attempting to pass legislation aimed at stopping “scalper bots” from grabbing vast amounts of the best concert tickets the minute they go on sale. These bots are legal in most jurisdictions. Between them and ticket brokers, who buy up tickets to re-sell at a profit, most of the best seats can be gone by the time the general public has a crack at them. A prime example of this was the widely publicized Tragically Hip tour this summer.