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Friday News Round Up: December 1, 2017

Here’s what caught our eye this week:

The biggest risk to the Canadian economy? Rising house prices and debt

The Canadian economy is seeing growth and more jobs, but the biggest vulnerability is elevated housing prices and household debts, according to a new analysis released by the Bank of Canada this week.

While Canada saw four per cent growth in GDP in the first half of 2017, making it the fastest-growing economy among G7 countries,  growth is expected to slow down at the end of 2017 and into 2019. This could be a problem for Canadian households, which currently hold historically high levels of debt – especially as the Bank of Canada is expected to keep raising interest rates in 2018.

Older Canadians continuing to work past retirement age, Statistics Canada finds

More and more older Canadians are choosing to work past retirement age for many reasons, including their health, finances, or because they simply enjoy it. According to the latest census data from Statistics Canada, 38.8 per cent of Canadian women aged 65 worked in 2015 – twice as many as in 1995.

More than 53 per cent of Canadian men aged 65 were working in some form in 2015, including 22.9 per cent who worked full-time. That’s up from 37.8 per cent of men working in 1995, and 15.5 per cent working full-time.

Demographer David Foot was quoted in a Financial Post piece, suggesting that as people live longer and have greater financial pressures, more senior citizens are continuing to work, compared to previous generations.

Former FCC head appeals to Canadians to fight for net neutrality

The former head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made a verbal appeal to Canadians this week to protect net neutrality. Tom Wheeler, the head of the FCC under Barack Obama, warned that the U.S.decision to repeal net neutrality policies could become a cross-border issue.

In an interview with CBC Radio’s The House Wheeler noted that the U.S. market is now “dominated by a handful of gatekeepers that are exacting some kind of tribute. I’m sure that’ll be felt around the world.”

Despite net neutrality being protected in Canada’s telecommunications policy, changes in the U.S. could require content providers like Netflix and Spotify to pay additional fees to be included in internet bundles. This could drive up costs for consumers in Canada and around the world. Changes to net neutrality in the states could also have implications for Canadian news outlets looking to compete with U.S. counterparts.

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