Five things you should know before starting your work day on Dec. 21

Canada isn't keeping up with other nations in taking advantage of the resources in the far north.

Good morning! Today, we have stories on two divergent sectors, oil and green industries. And a few personal finance pieces: one on deferring the OAS benefit, one on the outlook for the housing market in 2019, and how to invest in a down market. And please note that the Financial Post newsletter will be on hiatus until Jan. 3. We’ll see you then!


Canada has put the Arctic “in a snow globe” as it freezes oil and gas development just as Norway and Russia accelerate theirs. While other countries see the Arctic as an economic generator, Canada has taken a step back, which some say is a missed opportunity. In part two of this three-part series, Geoffrey Morgan discusses the “painful irony” that the Beaufort Sea has 56 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 8 billion barrels of oil, yet ships its needs up from the southern edges of Canada.


Here’s what retirees need to know if they plan to defer Old Age Security benefits until 70. Jonathan Chevreau reveals that although deferral covers some longevity risk, life expectancy may be shorter than expected — so he gives up a little-known tip about how to get a retroactive one-year’s lump-sum payment.


Canada’s housing market correction isn’t over, analysts say. We take a look at what to expect in four markets. The higher interest rates and mortgage stress tests will further dampen real estate, Irene Galea writes. “Young people have to be prepared to live in townhouses and duplexes, and maybe even condominiums,” says Don McClintock, president of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board. “We’re going to have to change our expectations….”


In our Investing Outlook 2019 video, WestCourt Capital CEO David Kaufman tells Larysa Harapyn that now, “Volatility is something you have to live with.” His advice is to hope for the best, and prepare for the worst for the coming year. Clients are saying “Now I’m scared. I thought I was ready for this kind of volatility, but now I’m feeling quite uncomfortable.” Here’s how he tries to make them comfortable.


StatCan just exposed how worthless “green” industries are to Canada’s economy. Phillip Cross recounts some numbers from the Environmental and Clean Technology Accounts: Green industries accounted for 3.1% of GDP in 2017 — relatively stable since 2007. The sector stagnated for 10 of the biggest years for pro-green policies and against historically slow growth in the rest of the economy. It contributed just 1.6% of total jobs. If this is the future, the grass doesn’t look that much greener …