Altus report latest marker forecasting lower B.C. housing starts

A new report from the research firm Altus Group reinforces expectations that B.C. housing construction, particularly in Metro Vancouver, will decline under the influences of mortgage stress tests, new tax measures and a slowing economy. The report, released Monday, estimates that housing starts in B.C. will fall to 37,475 units in 2019 and further to 36,925 in 2020 compared with 2018’s 40,875 units, perhaps adding to pressure on federal officials to change policies aimed at protecting first-time homebuyers from taking on too much debt. “Our expectations in the budget is that the feds are going to do something,” said Peter Norman, vice-president and chief economist at Altus Group, “This is… Read More

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BC attorney general opens door to background checks for money transfer/exchange businesses

B.C. Attorney General David Eby is considering a B.C. licensing system for money transfer and foreign exchange businesses, which are vulnerable to money launderers. Eby was responding Monday to a Postmedia investigation that found two dozen money-services businesses in Vancouver, Richmond and on the North Shore are run out of condos and homes, others are run by real estate firms and property developers, and many that have no public face at the street level or online. The investigation, published last week, also uncovered that a company and owner was fronting a money-services business for another person, and found companies that had supposedly ceased business were still registered with Fintrac, Canada’s… Read More

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Utah biotech company’s stock drops after SEC actions revealed

SALT LAKE CITY — PolarityTE, a biotech firm that’s pioneered new processes for tissue regeneration, saw its stock price tumble Monday morning following news of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission probe involving the company. While the company made no mention of SEC-related activities in a Monday press release about its annual filing with the agency, the document itself, known as a Form 10-K, noted the company was both under investigation and had received a records subpoena for three individuals with connections to PolarityTE. The report notes that “On March 4, 2019, we obtained from the SEC a copy of the formal order of investigation of the company and its… Read More

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Photos: Bees fans pitch in and donate blood

Those who donated blood received four ticket vouchers that can be redeemed for a game during the Bees’ opening homestand against Fresno and Sacramento April 9 through 15. ARUP Blood Services, which provides blood to more than 7,000 patients each year, is the sole blood provider to University Hospital, Huntsman Cancer Hospital, Primary Children’s Hospital and Shriners Hospital for Children. Along with the blood drive, the ballpark’s box office opened for the 2019 season allowing fans to purchase single-game tickets in person or exchange vouchers for upcoming games. See the world through the eyes of award-winning photojournalists. Click through the gallery above to view the unique images our visual storytellers… Read More

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B.C. argues it cannot stop Trans Mountain pipeline, but it can protect environment

VANCOUVER — A lawyer for the British Columbia government says the province knows it cannot stop the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, but it can enact environmental laws to mitigate the harm it may cause. B.C.’s Court of Appeal is considering a reference case filed by the province that asks if it has jurisdiction to regulate the transport of oil through its territory and restrict bitumen shipments from Alberta. Joseph Arvay, who represents B.C., says his opponents in the case are essentially saying provinces are powerless to enact laws that prevent environmental harm to their lands, waters, people and animals. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau say only… Read More

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Who’s hiring the most tech workers in Salt Lake City? The answer may surprise you

SALT LAKE CITY — When the conversation turns to the current stalwarts of tech in Utah, Qualtrics, Pluralsight, Adobe, Domo and a few others are sure to figure largely. However, findings in a report released Wednesday that drilled down into data in one area of the state reflect that the No. 1 hirer of tech-related professionals in Salt Lake City is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The report from Indeed.comlists the church in the top slot of its ranking of tech hirers in Utah’s capital city, with Zions Bank, Overstock.com, Progressive Leasing and Western Governor’s University rounding out the top five. Heather Tuttle Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff… Read More

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Residential real estate foreclosures in Metro and Fraser Valley rising

With recent home sales in the Lower Mainland showing some dramatic price declines, there has been an uptick in foreclosures as owners are unable to make mortgage payments. In the past decade, there have been few foreclosures because rising real estate values and low interest rates allowed owners to easily refinance or sell to get out of a bind. But as prices have turned, there has been a modest increase in the number of court-ordered residential real estate sales in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, starting late last year, according to several agents. “Yes, there’s definitely more,” said Vancouver realtor Russ Macnab. “For the last three or four years,… Read More

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2019 legislative session’s over, but work continues on tax reform in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — The 2019 Legislature may be over, but lawmakers will continue to work on a tax reform plan that could include taxing services, restoring the full sales tax on food purchases or a statewide property tax hike. And while there’s already $75 million set aside for some type of tax cut in the $19 billion budget finalized before the 45-day session ended Thursday night, Gov. Gary Herbert is pushing for at least twice that much. In the final hours, the Legislature approved a new task force to find a fix to the slowing growth in state sales tax revenues fast enough to be handled in a special… Read More

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5 things to know about Boeing’s problems over new airplane

Investigators at a lab in France and a field in Ethiopia are looking for clues into the second deadly accident involving Boeing’s newest jetliner, while DNA testing has started to identify the remains of victims. As the investigation proceeds, more details have emerged suggesting similarities between Sunday’s crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 jet and another deadly Max 8 accident in October. Here are five things to follow as the investigation continues. THE INVESTIGATION: Experts on Friday in France began analyzing the so-called black boxes from Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which plummeted to the ground shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa. Preliminary satellite data suggests that the… Read More

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Some tech issues slipped through this session’s cracks, as did $2 million in funding for Utah schools

SALT LAKE CITY — While Utah’s burgeoning tech sector got a few boosts from lawmakers in the just-completed 2019 session, a few unresolved issues, and addressing short-term fixes to long-term issues, remain on the collective to-do list. A first-of-its-kind grant program aimed at getting more computer science classes into K-12 public schools in Utah earned about $3 million in support, but the funding fell far short of the $7 million request that earned unanimous approval in committee hearings and floor votes. The bill also had 53 bipartisan co-sponsors, the most of any legislative effort in the session. Funding was adjusted downward amid wrangling over budget issues. Perhaps more significantly, the… Read More

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