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The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation CEO plans to remain in place for the length of his term, which finishes at the end of the year. Siddall made the announcement via a video message to his staff, a source told The Logic. A CMHC spokesperson confirmed that Siddall won’t seek another term. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Siddall, who has been at the CMHC since 2014, was widely seen as a serious candidate to lead the Canada Infrastructure Bank. A friend of Finance Minister Bill Morneau, he was often consulted by the government on non-housing-related matters, including the 2018 purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline. Siddall’s name was also mentioned as the potential next Bank of Canada governor, which ultimately went to Tiff Macklem. In his video address, Siddall said he had expected another government appointment that didn’t materialize, according to the source.

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The 130-kilometre line would link the city’s international airport with the resort town and four other stops. The CIB and Alberta Transportation will jointly “review the project’s estimated costs and revenues, explore financing options and assess environmental, social and economic benefits.” The Crown corporation will pay for the research, but did not disclose how much it will cost. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The project is the first since the federal government overhauled the CIB’s leadership last month, with CEO Pierre Lavallée exiting and former Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec head Michael Sabia taking over as chair. It’s also the agency’s first Alberta investment; Lavallée defended the CIB against repeated criticism that its early project portfolio was too central Canada- and Quebec-centric. The agency has focused significantly on transport so far. The Calgary-Banff line is its fourth train undertaking, following a $1.28-billion loan for a Montreal light-rail line, $2 billion to expand GO between Toronto and Hamilton, and a $55-million Via Rail feasibility study.

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The Chinese telecommunication company bought full-page spots in national newspapers and digital ads to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of its British business. Meanwhile, China’s ambassador to the U.K. Liu Xiaoming reportedly warned Whitehall that Chinese companies’ work on U.K. high-speed rail lines and nuclear power plants could be affected if the British government reduces Huawei’s role in 5G networks. (BBC, The Sunday Times)

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Talking point: Engaging foreign media is a key part of the response plan the Wall Street Journal reports Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei drew up last year, following the arrest of his daughter and company CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver and amid the U.S. campaign to dissuade countries from allowing its telecommunications equipment. The firm has also filed lawsuits against White House bans on buying from it, and increased R&D spending to find replacements for components U.S. manufacturers can no longer sell to it. But Huawei could reportedly run through its chip stockpiles in early 2021, and preventing a slowdown in demand for its equipment in countries like the U.K. won’t solve its supply issues.

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Michael Sabia said there are “candidates” in the running for the top job to lead the Crown corporation, which was created in 2017 and has a $35-billion budget. Appointed chair in April, Sabia said the bank “can and should” have a role in relaunching and stimulating the post-COVID-19 economy. (The Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: Of the candidates, the name most frequently brought up is Evan Siddall. The current Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) CEO announced his departure in January after more than six years as its CEO. He has a close relationship with Finance Minister Bill Morneau, and is generally well regarded in Ottawa for his time at CMHC. “He is too young and too smart not to be in public service,” Christopher Ragan, director of McGill University’s Max Bell School of Public Policy, where Siddall teaches, told The Logic.

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The funding was raised from parent company Alphabet and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP). SIP was launched in August 2019 by Alphabet, Sidewalk Labs and OTPP. Upon its launch, the Sidewalk Labs spinoff said it would focus on technology-enabled infrastructure projects, and The Wall Street Journal reported that SIP would be investing in projects that require more than US$100 million of equity. (Fortune)

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Talking point: The news came hours before Sidewalk Labs announced it was pulling out of its smart-city partnership with Waterfront Toronto to develop Toronto’s Quayside neighbourhood. “SIP is an independent company backed by Sidewalk Labs, Alphabet and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan,” an OTPP spokesperson told The Logic. “It holds, acquires and invests in technology-enabled infrastructure throughout North America. The decision not to pursue the Quayside project has no impact on Ontario Teachers’ commitment to SIP.”

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Pierre Lavallée is leaving to “pursue other opportunities,” the Crown corporation announced in a Friday afternoon news release. Annie Ropar, chief financial and administrative officer, will take interim charge. Sabia, the former CEO of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, will replace ex-RBC CFO Janice Fukakusa as board chair on April 15. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Lavallée is the third of the CIB’s three top executives to leave in short order. Nicholas Hann, head of investments, and François Lecavalier, head of project development, departed in July and December 2019, respectively; neither had been in the role for much more than a year. In January, the Crown corporation said it was adopting a new corporate structure to better integrate its investments and advisory services, under new chief investment officer John Casola. Over his two years in the job, former pension fund executive Lavallée staunchly defended the pace and project mix of the bank’s cheque-writing. But senior officials in the federal infrastructure department reportedly didn’t share his outlook that things were moving quickly. New chair Sabia will be familiar with the bank’s operations—its first deal was a $1.28-billion loan for a Caisse-controlled light rail line project in Montreal.

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Senior military leaders reportedly told the federal government they believe the telecom giant’s 5G equipment could be used for Chinese espionage and that it could jeopardize intelligence sharing among the Five Eyes, a group that also includes the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. (The Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: The military’s recommendations come amid growing calls from the U.S. for its allies to follow its lead in renouncing the company. In a speech on the weekend, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned state governors that Beijing’s “long arm” was infiltrating institutions. At the same time, countries considering their 5G rollouts are facing pressure from China to allow the company in the next generation of their wireless networks. This weekend, the Chinese embassy in Paris railed against treating Huawei differently from other telecom equipment providers after France’s main carrier, Orange SA, said it would prohibit Huawei from its network. While the U.K. plans to allow the company in non-core parts of its network, Canada—which has deepening research and development ties to Huawei—is still considering whether to do the same; a decision is expected sometime this year.

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The bank will advise a group that is considering building a 1,200-kilometre transmission line bringing hydroelectricity and broadband internet from Manitoba to several communities in the territory. If the project goes ahead, the bank may invest directly. (The Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: This is the bank’s ninth project and its second partnership with a pension fund. It’s also the first project in the Prairies and it comes after the Conservatives, which largely swept the region in last fall’s election, promised to close the bank. On Wednesday, CEO Pierre Lavallée said he hoped other pension funds, as well as international investors, would make more infrastructure investments in Canada. That’s the same pitch the bank has been making since it was founded in 2017. In October 2019, The Logic reported it was looking at creating a public utility to lower internet costs and provide service in areas that don’t have fast coverage. This new project could halve energy costs in parts of Nunavut and increase internet download speeds by 3,000 per cent.

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Members of the Climate Finance Partnership, a group led by BlackRock that includes France, Germany and the Hewlett and Grantham charitable foundations, will provide the first US$100 million, which will be used as a safety net for possible losses incurred by other institutional investors for the remaining US$400 million. The fund will focus on projects in Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America. (The Logic)

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Talking point: This is the latest in a string of climate-related commitments from the world’s biggest asset manager. In his annual letter to chief executives last week, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink stressed the need to address climate change in business and investment decisions; he committed to doubling the number of ESG exchange-traded funds and dropping portfolio firms with more than a quarter of their revenues from thermal coal. Days earlier, BlackRock signed onto Climate Action 100+, a global initiative in which institutional investors pressure the biggest carbon-emitting companies to curb their environmental impact. BlackRock’s investment decisions tend to have a ripple effect in the finance community, with its stance on gun control and corporate responsibility, for example, driving industry-wide change. The concept of considering climate change in financial decisions already had momentum before BlackRock went all in on the file, but its new commitments could sway some holdouts or encourage bolder strategies.

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Macky Tall, who has been with Quebec’s public-pension manager since 2004, wears many hats. As president of the Caisse’s infrastructure wing, he helped spearhead Montreal’s 67-kilometre light rail project, slated for completion by the end of next year. He is also head of liquid markets and sits on the Caisse’s executive and investment-risk committees. (La Presse)

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Talking point: Though apparently the favourite of the Caisse’s selection committee, Tall reportedly has competition. Quebec economic minister Pierre Fitzgibbon wants André Bourbonnais, a managing director at New York-based BlackRock, while Charles Émond is a rising star whom Sabia brought into the Caisse’s fold last year. Sabia will depart next month, having accepted the position of director at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. His successor will oversee the Caisse’s more than $325 billion in managed funds.