Odsonne Edouard scores twice as Celtic overcome Hearts in the Scottish Cup final to seal their ninth domestic trophy in a row.
On Saturday in Calgary, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer laid out his party’s vision for Canada’s future resource development.
There were short-term fixes, but also a long-term pitch for a national energy corridor that Scheer said he believes Canadian premiers will embrace.
“I want to talk about a national corridor that would move Canadian oil, gas, electricity, telecommunications and potentially anything else that runs along the ground,” he said.
Scheer compared his big idea to another big one from another century.
“I believe a national energy corridor can do for Canada what the railway did in the early days of Confederation,” he said.
Without specifying geography, cost, or timeline, Scheer said he believes there’s a will among different provinces to find a way to agree to create a route that will move Canada’s natural resources across the country through an area where there will be a kind of pre-approved status that would provide the kind certainty that the private sector craves.
Obviously it’s going to take a lot of work to find the right balance between Indigenous concerns and environmental concerns and any provincial issues– Andrew Scheer, Conservative Leader
That included increasing refining capacity in New Brunswick, exporting hydroelectricity in Quebec and Manitoba, and shipping oil and gas to tidewater and to eastern Canada from Alberta.
“I’m optimistic. I believe there’s a recognition of the need for it,” Scheer said.
“Obviously it’s going to take a lot of work to find the right balance between Indigenous concerns and environmental concerns and any provincial issues. There may be a lot of private property concerns for any individuals who may be living along the proposed route.
“But if we don’t start now, then it’ll never happen,” he added. “And what we’ve seen in the country in the last four years under this Liberal government is that our resources are becoming landlocked.They’re not being able to be developed.
“Big projects aren’t able to get done.”
“I believe in the benefits of our natural resources — not just in their ability to create wealth, prosperity and opportunity, but their power to bring Canadians together from right across the country,” he said.
In the short term, that vision was articulated as a six-point plan that would see a Conservative federal government, if elected:
- Scrap the carbon tax.
- Repeal Bill C-69, a bill to revamp environmental assessment of energy projects that Scheer calls the ‘no more pipelines’ bill.
- End a ban on tanker traffic in northern B.C.
- Ban foreign-funded advocacy groups from participating in the regulatory process.
- Assert federal jurisdiction where necessary.
He also called for the continued development of renewable resources and spoke about the need to create opportunities for innovators to develop new clean energy technologies, but said that Canada has lost its energy sovereignty under the federal Liberals, and needs to reclaim it.
“Now we can pretend — as some do — that the world doesn’t need oil and gas anymore,” Scheer said. “But that’s simply not true, and it sells Canada short.”
“Let’s not forget before Justin Trudeau became prime minister, we had three private companies willing to invest more than $30 billion to build three nation-building projects that would have created tens of thousands of jobs and generated billions in economic activity,” he said.
“Those companies — Kinder Morgan, Enbridge and TransCanada — continue to invest in pipelines,” he added. “Just not in Canada.”
Watch: Andrew Scheer explains vision of national energy corridor
Clean energy part of plan
When asked by CBC’s Helen Pike where clean energy fit into his vision, Scheer said Canada can be a world leader in creating clean technology.
“Obviously clean energy will be a big part of our environmental plan which we will be announcing in a few weeks. Around the world, Canada needs to lead the way and develop those world-class leading technologies — and use them to ensure that other countries can benefit from that to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as well.
“What we do know is the advancements made in Canada’s energy sector — especially here in Alberta — we’ve come so far, we’ve developed so many new technologies right here at home reducing the environmental impact of energy extraction here in Canada.
“We’re going to continue to do that and continue to make investments and incentives for further development in investment and research and development in clean energy and in renewable energy.”
In an emailed response, Vanessa Adams, the press secretary for Minister of Natural Resources Amarjeet Sohi, pointed out former prime minister Stephen Harper’s failure at getting pipelines built.
“The Conservatives spent a decade failing our energy sector and failing Canadians,” she wrote. “For 10 years they ignored Indigenous communities, environmental and local concerns. And for 10 years, they got nothing built to new markets.
“Andrew Scheer’s plan is no better,” she added. “He’s making it up on the fly. And he will use the same outdated approach.
“Canadians won’t be fooled. The result will be the same.”
|Glasgow Warriors (10) 15|
|Tries: M Fagerson, Stewart Cons: Hastings Pens: Hastings|
|Leinster (15) 18|
|Tries: Ringrose, Healy Cons: Sexton Pens: Sexton 2|
Leinster held off Glasgow Warriors at Celtic Park to retain the Pro14 title.
Matt Fagerson’s try gave Warriors the lead but Garry Ringrose pounced to cross after Stuart Hogg’s kick had been charged down.
Cian Healy powered over Leinster’s second try and Johnny Sexton’s kicks guided them to victory.
Hogg went off injured in his final Glasgow appearance before team-mate Grant Stewart got a late try but it was not enough for Dave Rennie’s side.
Adam Hastings missed the conversion on Warriors’ second try and they could not get the try they needed in the final few minutes to snatch the win and their first trophy since 2015’s Pro12 title.
Referee Nigel Owens yellow-carded a player from each side with Kyle Steyn for the hosts and the visitors’ Rob Kearney spending time in the sin bin in the second half.
Glasgow cannot maintain good start
For Exeter-bound Hogg, it was the most disappointing of farewells, his final ended prematurely just after the hour when Rob Kearney clattered into him in the air. The Leinster full-back avoided a red card, to the outrage of the home support, but Hogg did not get a similar reprieve. His time as a Warrior ended there and then. Soon, the final would come to a close with Leinster winning yet another title.
Rugby people piled into one of the great Scottish footballing citadels in vast numbers, the throngs descending on the east end of Glasgow despite the rain that fell in sheets for much of the evening.
Glasgow might have had home city advantage, but Leinster, with their Lions and their Grand Slammers and their multiple titles, were undoubted favourites. The feeling was that Glasgow had to take their recent coruscating form in the Pro14 and then up it a level to get through the reigning champions, they had to match them physically and punish them remorselessly when the chances arose.
In front of the greatest support they had ever had as Warriors, their mission began well. Leinster started slowly, Glasgow began quickly. The visitors lost a lineout midway through the half and they were made to pay for it. The Warriors worked their downfield, got quick ball when they needed it most and after Scott Cummings took them to striking distance of the Leinster line, Fagerson dived across it.
The Celtic Park crowd roared once and then twice when Hastings made it 7-0. Then, an almighty groan. Within two minutes they had coughed up the softest score, Hogg getting charged down by Luke McGrath with the breaking ball bouncing kindly for Ringrose to score.
Against a backdrop of boos for taking too long to get his kick away, Sexton missed the conversion – his second miss of the final. Hastings put over a penalty after more Glasgow pressure that was sparked by Steyn and Hogg. So far, so good for the challengers.
Leinster make experience count
Around that 25-minute mark everything changed in this final. Glasgow suffered the horrendous blow of having Fraser Brown stretchered off, then they conceded a second try, a product of relentless forward waves and culminating with Healy barging over. Sexton’s conversion made it 12-10. Sexton’s penalty soon after, as Leinster’s scrum got on top, made it 15-10.
Leinster are not normally in the business of giving up leads in big games like this, unless the opposition happens to be the mighty Saracens. Once ahead they tend to stay ahead. They squeeze the life out of the opposition, breaking their spirit.
That process carried on early in the new half. Another deluge from the heavens greeted the restart, a debilitating factor for a team like Glasgow that wants to run with abandon. They had got themselves on the front foot only to spill it in attack, an error that Leinster fed off.
Ringrose counter-attacked, James Lowe following in his wake. Steyn got done for lying on Lowe, giving up not just a penalty but getting a yellow card into the bargain. A double whammy that became a triple whammy when Sexton banged over a penalty minutes later to make it an eight-point game.
Leinster’s muscles pinned Glasgow on their own five-metre line for an age, scrum following scrum as the minutes ticked by. This had become the final that Leinster had wanted; a points advantage, all the possession, all the territory, Glasgow’s dangerous runners silenced, the 47,128 crowd, a new record, all but silenced.
The very breath was being drained from the night. When that siege was eventually lifted and Glasgow got out of their own 22 there was a moment of high controversy. Hogg went up to field a high ball and Kearney went clattering into him in the air. Hogg fell to earth and, briefly, he looked like he had been knocked out.
The crowd roared for a red card. Referee Owens deliberated, watched the incident again, and gave a yellow. A cop-out. That was Hogg’s night and Glasgow career done. He stood up and wobbled. He could not reappear after that.
Glasgow exacted a revenge of sorts when with five minutes left they engineered space up the right wing for the improbable finisher, Stewart, to run in from the 22m line. It was a brilliant score that made it 18-15. Hastings could not reduce the gap with the conversion and Glasgow could not find another gap in the Leinster defence or the field position to boot over a kick to take it to extra-time. The serial winners had done it again.
Glasgow Warriors: Hogg, Seymour, Steyn, Johnson, van der Merwe, Hastings, Price, Bhattie, Brown, Z. Fagerson, Cummings, Gray, Harley, Gibbins, M. Fagerson.
Replacements: H. Jones for Hogg (66), P. Horne for Johnson (56), G. Horne for Price (58), Kebble for Bhattie (52), Halanukonuka for Z. Fagerson (67), Gordon for Harley (52). Not Used: Stewart, Wilson. Sin Bin: Steyn (49).
Leinster: R. Kearney, Larmour, Ringrose, Henshaw, Lowe, Sexton, L. McGrath, Healy, Cronin, Furlong, Fardy, Ryan, Ruddock, van der Flier, Conan.
Replacements: R. Byrne for Sexton (73), McCarthy for L. McGrath (77), E. Byrne for Healy (63), B. Byrne for Cronin (64), Porter for Furlong (64), Molony for Ruddock (79), Deegan for van der Flier (74). Not Used: O’Loughlin. Sin Bin: R. Kearney (66).
Catch Yasmin Said putting up jump shots on a concrete court — her red hijab matching the Toronto Raptors logo on her T-shirt.
The 15-year-old is a huge Raptors fan, who has also been playing the sport for eight years, most recently as part of the group Hijabi Ballers, which encourages young Muslim women to get involved in sports.
The program also offers other sports, but basketball is “part of me,” Said says, surveying her local outdoor court in Toronto’s Scarborough neighbourhood.
Thanks to the Raptors’ success, thousands of Torontonians — and even more across Canada — are feeling the same way these days.
On Saturday night, those fans will watch as the Raptors try to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks and earn the franchise’s first-ever trip to the NBA Finals. Historic is not a big enough word.
Said, who says she watches the game with the intensity of an assistant coach, can’t wait. When everyone comes together over the game, she says, Toronto feels like “one big family.”
Raptors in uncharted territory
The Raptors’ story is well-known at this point. At first, Toronto’s fans just didn’t get basketball. Then the team struggled, in part because American players didn’t want to come to the city. Then Vince Carter slam-dunked the team into relevance. In recent years, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan led the team into the playoffs, but left the party early.
Now, they have Kawhi Leonard — and some high hopes.
But the more interesting story is that the Raptors have inspired so many in this multicultural country.
There are kids who grew up watching Carter and the Raptors, who are now starring in the NBA, like Andrew Wiggins, Jamal Murray and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to name just a few.
Then there are the newcomers, or the children of immigrants like Said, who see themselves reflected in the Raptors lineup. Those fans can cheer for African players (Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam), as well as Canadian-born talent like Chris Boucher or Marc (Big Spain) Gasol. Guard Jeremy Lin was so popular with the Greater Toronto Area’s Asian community that he won cheers at Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto even when he was on rival teams.
There’s also the whole Drake effect, and his large sprinkling of celebrity.
And if you need proof of the team’s universal appeal, just scan the crowd inside that roaring arena, or better yet, those cheering along outside in Jurassic Park.
Nobody knows Raptors fandom better than Nav Bhatia — better known as Superfan. During a Raptors game, you can’t miss him jumping around on the baseline in his turban and jersey (No. 95, referencing the Raptors’ inaugural 1995 season).
Bhatia has missed just a handful of Raptors games since then and speaks about being at Scotiabank Arena with reverence. The crowd is cooler than American crowds, he says, likening it to a “beautiful rainbow” of people.
At a Raptors game, he said, it “doesn’t matter how you look, what you wear.… Deep inside our passion is the same.”
“We see the real Toronto there. And they’re all for the team to win.”
Next generation watching closely
Part of that “real Toronto” is a contingent of the city’s youngest and among them some aspiring future NBAers.
Grade 8 student Mikkel Tyne became addicted to the game playing outside with his brother when he was little. Now, he’s already attracting buzz from schools down south as one of the top players in his age group in North America.
Watching the Raptors succeed is a huge motivator for Tynne, a player with Toronto City Elite, a program that helps to develop young basketball talent in the GTA.
“It inspires me. It makes me want to go harder,” he said.
It’s the same for Grade 6 student Jaylen Andrew Simmons. His dream? Getting drafted, winning championships and having a spot of his own in the hall of fame.
And compared to Canada’s other favourite sport, he says, “it costs less. Hockey is an expensive sport. And people who don’t have the money can’t play.”
But as for just what has so many young basketball fans and all-star hopefuls glued to the game, Grade 8 student Jordan Dickson sums it up best: “They came from the same place as us.”
When Europe’s tough privacy rules came into force on May 25, 2018, policymakers and industry executives expected a series of dominoes would soon start to fall.
Global technology giants like Facebook would feel the heat of fines of up to 4 percent of their total yearly revenue. Companies like Google would think twice before pushing ahead with aggressive new ways of collecting people’s data. Smaller rivals would be given greater space to compete.
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But a year later, none of those dominoes has yet fallen, according to interviews with senior policymakers, tech executives and privacy campaigners.
Big fines and sweeping enforcement actions have been largely absent, as under-resourced European regulators struggle to define their mission — and take time to build investigations that will probably end up in court.
New forms of data collection, including Facebook’s reintroduction of its facial recognition technology in Europe and Google’s efforts to harvest information on third-party websites, have been given new leases on life under Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR.
Smaller firms — whose fortunes were of special concern to the framers of the region’s privacy revamp — also have suffered from the relatively high compliance costs and the perception, at least among some investors, that they can’t compete with Silicon Valley’s biggest names.
“Big companies like Facebook are 10 steps ahead of everyone else, and 100 steps ahead of regulators,” declared Paul-Olivier Dehaye, a privacy expert who helped uncover Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal. “There are very big questions about what they’re doing.”
The patchy record of Europe’s data protection overhaul — on the one-year anniversary of its implementation — has given industry an opportunity to blunt similar efforts outside the European Union to emulate the region’s new privacy rules.
Campaigners and some lawmakers from Colombia to South Africa and even the United States clamor to import similar protections, claiming that only strict restrictions will grant citizens sufficient control over their data.
But aggressive industry lobbying in capitals worldwide has worked hard to frame Europe’s laws as overly cumbersome, particularly for small companies, with technology groups warning other politicians not to merely copy Europe in the rejiggering of their own local privacy standards.
“A lot of small and medium sized businesses are still struggling,” said John Miller, vice president of policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a trade group in Washington DC that represents many of Silicon Valley’s biggest names. “How do we protect the rights of consumers here without making the law quite so onerous?”
GDPR, one year on
It was not supposed to be this way.
When Europe unveiled its privacy revamp, European officials hailed it as a major victory for consumers — a message that piggybacked on the public’s growing awareness of their data rights after Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which roughly 87 million of its users worldwide had their data misused during political campaigns.
Policymakers like Andrea Jelinek, an Austrian official in charge of a pan-regional group of EU data protection regulators, gave evidence to the U.S. Congress on how Europe had implemented its new laws. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, promised to offer European-style protections to all of his company’s 2.2 billion global users.
But since the region’s standards came into force a year ago, few companies have yet had their wings clipped by the new regulation — and some of the world’s largest tech companies have used their significant in-house regulatory and financial muscle to turn Europe’s privacy push to their advantage.
So far, almost 100,000 privacy complaints have been filed with national privacy regulators, though only a few have led to meaningful penalties, according to the International Association of Privacy Professionals, an industry trade body. Total fines have now reached roughly €56 million — about $63 million — although almost all of that came from a one-off €50 million levy against Google by French officials (the search giant is appealing that decision).
National agencies — often small, obscure regulatory off-shoots that lack the manpower or legal resources to keep large multinationals at bay — have struggled to give Europe’s privacy rules real bite, despite widespread government efforts to increase their yearly budgets. Officials urge restraint, saying that it will take time for the full force of Europe’s privacy rules to take effect and that companies are already changing how they collect people’s data because of potential blockbuster fines.
“Even after 12 months, the reality is that there is no consensus or clear harmonization for how data should be processed,” said Ahmed Baladi, co-chair of the privacy, cybersecurity and consumer protection unit at Gibson Dunn, a law firm, in Paris. “We still need more guidance from national authorities.”
Facebook and Google
Into this void has stepped Big Tech.
Ahead of Europe’s privacy overhaul, Facebook spent months preparing to restart its facial recognition service in the region — technology that the company believes now meets the region’s beefed-up standards. Ireland’s data protection agency, which oversees the social media giant’s activities in the EU, has yet to take a position on the matter.
Despite the previous ban, Facebook’s facial recognition technology is now permitted in Europe because users are actively given the choice to opt into the service. The social networking giant also restarted the sharing of some data between WhatsApp, its popular messaging service, and Facebook — a practice that had similarly been outlawed in some states in the 28-country bloc.
Even now, some privacy regulators aren’t convinced that people understand how their data may be used and that others could still have their digital information collected without consent. Facebook denies it stores data on individuals who have not chosen to use its facial recognition technology.
“Processing of biometric data such as in automatic facial recognition comes with substantial risks,” Johannes Caspar, head of the Hamburg privacy regulator, said in an email. “Facial recognition must be strictly limited to those users who have opted in to that technology.”
Google also moved quickly to cement its position in the data economy.
Weeks before Europe’s new rules became law, the search giant contacted all websites, both inside the EU and elsewhere, that relied on the company’s dominant advertising services, informing these publishers that they would now have to solicit people’s consent to collect data on Google’s behalf.
Under Europe’s new privacy standards, the tech giant must get people’s permission to target them with digital advertising. But by forcing publishers to do this work for Google — the search giant said if websites did not comply, they would not be able to use the company’s advertising services — it added an additional line to the company’s revamped privacy settings, which allowed Google to take ownership of people’s data from publishers that it then could use for its own undefined purposes.
In response, the tech giant said these changes were necessary under Europe’s new data protection rules, and that it had not taken greater control over data collected by publishers worldwide.
Yet in a sign of potential future privacy woes for Google, an investigation into the legality of such practices is expected to be announced in the coming weeks, according to an industry executive with knowledge of the matter.
For Jason Kint, chief executive of Digital Content Next, a trade body for publishers including The New York Times and the Guardian (Axel Springer, which co-owns the European edition of POLITICO, is also a member), Google’s request represented a land grab for lucrative data that websites routinely had collected on their users — a crucial resource for newspapers increasingly going digital in search of much-needed revenues.
“It forced our members to give Google secondary use of their data,” said Kint. “They’re supposed to be transparent about what they’re using the data for, but we don’t really know.”
First Europe, now the world
The first shots in the global privacy war were fired in Europe. But as policymakers from New Delhi to Brasilia turn their attention to reining in Big Tech’s use of data, the EU’s standards are now at the center of cut-throat lobbying worldwide.
That’s particularly true in the United States, where lawmakers and tech executives agree on the need for new privacy rules after years of Silicon Valley’s dismissal of such protections.
In recent months, Congress has held multiple hearings on privacy, and politicians are engaged in negotiations over a wide-ranging data protection bill. But Republicans and Democrats are still divided on key principles, including if a federal law should override existing state-based rules and if individual consumers should have the right to sue tech firms over privacy violations.
Those sticking points may threaten to derail the push for national legislation — but the fact talks are happening after years of lack of interest can be attributed, in part, to the global influence of Europe’s privacy rules.
“There has been a dramatic change both in the attitudes toward the tech firms and, I would say, in the views of European privacy law,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a campaigning group in Washington, D.C. “Lawmakers are genuinely asking whether the U.S. needs a law similar to Europe.”
With negotiations in Washington stalled, particularly ahead of the U.S. presidential election in 2020, attention has shifted toward U.S. states, many of which are mulling wide-ranging privacy legislation that often mirror sections of Europe’s rules.
In California, which became the first U.S. state to pass wide-ranging data privacy legislation last year, lobbyists have until 2020 to soften the proposal’s impact on the likes of Google and Facebook by adding industry-friendly provisions to exempt certain kinds of data collection. Companies also successfully petitioned the state’s attorney general to remove the right for citizens to directly sue firms for illegally collecting their digital information.
In Washington state, lawmakers went a step further by specifically name-checking Europe’s privacy standards in proposals that narrowly failed to pass the legislature in late April.
But whereas in Europe, people are automatically given the right to not have their information collected unless they give explicit consent to companies, the U.S. proposals, by default, had given businesses the right to harvest such data without needing to seek users’ permission. That raised concerns among privacy groups that U.S. lawmakers were co-opting Europe’s privacy reboot without offering the same fundamental rights to U.S. citizens — criticisms that the bill’s backers deny.
“GDPR is the global standard,” said Reuven Carlyle, a Washington state senator who co-sponsored the recent privacy legislation. “But the history of deployment of technology in the United States is more aligned to the ‘opt out’ approach. Without that, you fundamentally alter the value proposition of innovation.”
This report first appeared on POLITICO.EU on May 22, 2019.
The race to succeed British Prime Minister Theresa May is heating up, the field of Conservative contenders is quickly growing and the focus is squarely on how to handle Brexit.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Saturday he is seeking to replace May, joining several others who have announced they will run to become the Conservative Party’s next leader, and by default, Britain’s new prime minister.
May announced Friday she plans to step down as Conservative Party leader on June 7 and remain as a caretaker prime minister while the party chooses a new leader in a contest that officially kicks off the following week.
She plans to remain as party leader through U.S. President Donald Trump’s upcoming state visit and the 75th D-Day anniversary celebrations on June 6.
Her successor will have to try to complete Brexit — a task that May failed to deliver during her three years in office. While she succeeded in striking a divorce deal with the European Union, the plan was defeated three times in Parliament by British lawmakers from across the political spectrum.
The EU extended Britain’s departure date to Oct. 31, but there still is no consensus among British lawmakers about how, or even if, the country should leave the bloc.
Even before a new leader is chosen, the Conservative Party is expected to fare poorly when the results of the European Parliament election in Britain are announced Sunday night.
Boris Johnson a lead contender
The best-known contestant for the Conservative leadership post is former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who has said he will take Britain out of the EU on Oct. 31, even if no deal has been reached with EU leaders.
Johnson’s willingness to back a no-deal Brexit is already causing some ripples.
Another Conservative contender, International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, said Saturday that he could not serve in a Cabinet under Johnson if Johnson wins. Stewart says he could not work for a leader who is comfortable with the idea of a no-deal Brexit.
A very dignified statement from @theresa_may. Thank you for your stoical service to our country and the Conservative Party. It is now time to follow her urgings: to come together and deliver Brexit.
Stewart complained that Johnson said in a private meeting several weeks ago that he would not push for a no-deal departure but appears to have changed course completely.
Many economists and business leaders have warned that a no-deal departure would have a drastically negative impact on Britain’s economy and also hurt its European neighbours.
Winning candidate expected to be chosen by July
The field is likely to grow to about a dozen candidates, with a winner expected to be chosen by mid- or late July. Senior Conservatives including Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and former House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom are among those considering a leadership run.
The Conservative Party chooses its leaders in a two-step process. First there’s a series of votes among the party’s legislators to establish two top contenders, then those names are submitted to a nationwide vote by about 120,000 party members.
The winner becomes party leader and prime minister, although the opposition Labour Party is warning of an immediate challenge to the new leader with an eye toward forcing an early general election.
John McDonnell, Labour’s economic spokesperson, told the BBC on Saturday the party would push a no-confidence vote against the new prime minister right away.
“We believe any incoming prime minister in these circumstances should go to the country anyway and seek a mandate,” McDonnell said.
An earlier Labour Party attempt to force an early election failed in January when May’s government survived a no-confidence vote.
The U.K.’s next general election is set for 2022 unless there is a government collapse.
He took the oath of office on Saturday in front of some 30,000 people at a stadium in the capital, Pretoria, with several regional leaders from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and elsewhere in attendance.
“A new era has dawned in our country. A brighter day is rising upon South Africa,” said Ramaphosa, promising that the nation was beginning “a new era of hope and renewal”.
“The challenges our country face are huge and real. But they are not insurmountable. They can be solved. And I stand here today saying they are going to be solved,” the 66-year-old said.
The inauguration followed his ruling African National Congress (ANC) party’s 57.5 percent victory in this month’s election. It was the party’s weakest election showing since the ANC took power at the end of apartheid in 1994.
Ramaphosa first took office last year after former President Jacob Zuma was pressured to resign amid corruption scandals that badly damaged public faith in the ANC.
A former protege of South Africa’s first black President Nelson Mandela, Ramaphosa is seen by many as having the potential to clean up both the government and the ruling party’s reputation.
Without him the ANC likely would have received just 40 percent of the vote, one party leader, Fikile Mbalula, has said.
Al Jazeera’s Fahmida Miller, reporting from Pretoria, said the president called for equality and preservation of the country’s resources.
“He said this will be a different era, an era that he will tackle the challenges of poverty, inequality, unemployment that affects almost half of the young people in the country,” she said.
“He also made reference to the last few years as nine wasted years where government institutions were looted and that corruption caused many lost opportunities.”
South Africa has the most advanced infrastructure in the continent, but its commodities-dependent economy has been in a slump for a decade.
It grew by an anaemic 0.8 percent last year and slipped into a brief recession during the third quarter of 2018. It is projected by the World Bank to expand by 1.3 percent this year.
Unemployment is running at 27.6 percent, but among the 20.3 million South Africans aged between 15-34 reaches 55.2 percent.
Ramaphosa also vowed to continue the fight against mismanagement and corruption that has hurt the country’s economy, the most developed in sub-Saharan Africa.
There was no sign at Saturday’s ceremony of Zuma, who has insisted he did nothing wrong and that allegations are politically motivated.
Alleged corruption under Zuma – known as “state capture” – saw millions of dollars siphoned off through government and state agencies awarding fraudulent contracts to favoured companies in return for bribes.
Zuma himself is facing trial for alleged corruption relating to a multibillion-dollar arms deal in the 1990s.
Ramaphosa in February announced he would set up a special tribunal of seven senior judges for “fast-tracking” the recovery of proceeds from corruption cases.
Al Jazeera and news agencies