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Hard Numbers: Itochu to invest in Canada, Heliene to invest in US, Freeland disappoints Toronto, secret trials face legal challenge

The logo of Itochu Corp is seen outside the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.

The logo of Itochu Corp is seen outside the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.

REUTERS/Toru Hanai

2 billion: Itochu, Japan’s third-largest trading company, has announced the creation of a new special fund to invest $2 billion into renewable energy assets in the US and Canada.

145 million: Meanwhile, Heliene, one of Canada’s leading solar panel manufacturers, announced plans to invest $145 million in a new factory in Minneapolis-St Paul. The move to the Twin Cities is the latest example of Canadian renewables companies looking south of the border to take advantage of tax breaks and other incentives offered by the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act. It’s a trend the Trudeau government doesn’t love.

300: Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland rejected a request from Toronto to help the city boost its capacity to house rising numbers of refugees. As many as 300 people are turned away from Toronto shelters every night, and city officials say they need close to CA$160 million to solve the problem. But Freeland said Monday that it’s Ontario’s responsibility to find that money for the city, not Ottawa’s.

3: There have been at least three separate Canadian trials held entirely in secret over the past year and a half. The identities of the accused, the judge, and the lawyers have been concealed from the public, as have the nature of the charges themselves. Two of the trials reportedly involved government informants whose identities the authorities wished to keep secret. A challenge to this rare type of secret trial will reach Canada’s Supreme Court later this year.


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