Canada's farm and mining province Saskatchewan is seeing record activity in exploration for helium, as global demand rises like a hot air balloon for the gas used to manufacture semiconductors and conduct medical tests. Saskatchewan produces only 1% of the world's helium, dwarfed by Qatar and the United States. Saskatchewan issued 126 permits and 72 leases for helium production in 2021, breaking previous records, according to government data obtained by Reuters.
The left used to warn about unintended consequences in foreign policy. Maybe it's time to remember those warnings.
Governments worldwide are easing quarantine rules, reviewing coronavirus curbs and dialling back pandemic-era emergency support as they bid to launch their economies back into some version of normality. The moves, motivated by the lower severity of the Omicron variant and the need to keep workers in work and the global recovery on track, have generated a whiff of optimism that has lifted oil and stock prices. "We are taking a big step and that also means we're taking a big risk," Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said last week before stores, hairdressers and gyms reopened in a partial lifting of a lockdown despite record numbers of new cases.