Should B.C. bank on LNG exports?

A weekly roundup of news and views on money, markets, the economy and more

Canada’s LNG exports could reduce carbon emissions in parts of Asia but would likely increase emissions in most other potential markets, according to a C.D. Howe Institute report released Wednesday. While LNG exports would reduce overall emissions if they replaced coal and oil-fired power production in China, India, Japan and Taiwan, emissions would likely go up in Canada’s nine other likely export markets. The B.C. government, which hopes to develop a provincial LNG industry to boost jobs and revenue, responded in a statement that “British Columbia’s efforts are focused on the four countries the report indicates would benefit from lower emissions using B.C. LNG.” (CBC)

Vancouver tech company sues Snapchat. Vancouver-based Investel Capital Corp. has filed suit against Snapchat Inc. in the Federal Court of Canada alleging that the social media company is infringing on its “geofencing” patents, which allow the service to monitor the physical locations of its users. Investel alleges that Snapchat uses technology owned by one of Investel’s subsidiaries, a company called iFramed. (The Globe and Mail)

Lower Mainland toll bridges would need six lottery wins to break even. The Port Mann Bridge and the Golden Ears Bridge together lost more than $127 million last year, as drivers took free routes instead. The proposed 10-lane toll bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel could also break the bank, according to public watchdog Integrity BC, predicting a similar pattern would result in costing the province hundreds of millions more than advertised. The bridges’ annual losses are similar to the amount B.C. plans to spends on affordable housing over the next two and a half years and about two and a half times the amount needed each year to kickstart the Lower Mainland’s transit plan. (CTV)

Is neoliberalism dead? Author Martin Jacques, one of the first to herald the emerging dominance of neoliberal economics espoused by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in the early ’80s, argues that this doctrine is now faltering. “The neoliberal era has delivered the west back into the kind of crisis-ridden world that we last experienced in the 1930s,” he writes, and the arguments of critics of hyper-globalisation are steadily gaining ground. Roughly two-thirds of Americans agree that “we should not think so much in international terms but concentrate more on our own national problems.” (The Guardian)

Weapons of Math Destruction: algorithms—models used by governments, schools and companies to find patterns in data—can produce nasty, or at least unintended, consequences. A new book by a math professsor who became an Occupy Wall Streeter pushing for banking reform explains how the use of sloppy statistics and biased models tend to hurt the poorest people most, whether those stats are used to sentence prisoners or target consumers with predatory ads. (Bloomberg)