Malaysia takes a $27-million liking to B.C.’s General Fusion

Premier Christy Clark looks on as a man explains the great mystery that is General Fusion’s technology

Plus, Bob Rennie on #donthaveamillion and a Conservative gift to North Vancouver approaches its best-before date

Funding the holy grail
A Malaysian state-owned company has made a major investment in a fledgling B.C. business in order to bring a new energy source to market. And nope, it has nothing to do with LNG. That business, General Fusion, a pioneer of fusion energy technology, is the recipient of a $27-million investment from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Khazanah Nasional Berhad, made with current investors Growthworks and Jeff Bezos’s personal venture capital fund. The funds will go to commercializing the company’s key technology—a metal sphere pumped full of molten lead-lithium that spews out quantities of energy. The device is also rather photogenic, as seen above being explained to Premier Christy Clark last week. The Burnaby-based company has raised over $100 million to date.

Everything is going to be all right
Lose the dream of owning a single-family home in Vancouver—that was Bob Rennie‘s message to the #donthaveamillion campaign in an interview on the CBC Tuesday morning. At the root of the pandora’s box of housing affordability, according to Rennie: 56 per cent of the land in the city is zoned single family—and unless the city massively up-zones, our affordability problems will fester. “We’re only going to solve affordability with supply,” he said. You can listen to Bob Rennie’s full conversation with Rick Cluff here.

An inconvenient contract
For North Vancouver, the Seaspan shipyards’ $8-billion contract with the federal government is, if not a lifeline, a welcome boost to the city’s shrinking manufacturing base. But now, thanks to a labour shortage (itself attributable to high housing costs or perhaps a general lack of interest), that contract for new coast guard vessels could turn into a convenient casualty for its political masters. And the Conservatives, according to Michael Den Tandt in his column in the National Post, are keen to divvy out funds to shipyards in more politically lucrative (and economically wanton) Quebec and Nova Scotia ridings as the election nears. Worth noting: the North Shore’s two ridings—and soon to be three—are represented in Parliament by the Tories.