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8 August 2008

26 July was the 26th day of the first month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:

26 July 2008

The Globe and Mail - A more optimistic barometer of our wealth (26 July 2008) The Bank of Canada's seeming nonchalance about simultaneously slowing growth and rising inflation may be explained by its heightened focus on real gross domestic income (GDI), instead of real gross domestic product. This indicator suggests that Canada's income will be plentiful in the next couple of years. The measure accentuates the effect of terms of trade on the country's income, and reflects the fact that high commodity prices mean a huge inflow of money into Canada, even if overall production has stalled. A growing number of economists argue that it's a much better indicator of Canada's economic health right now than the more traditional real gross domestic product. Indeed, for the first time, the Bank of Canada has published its forecast of real GDI, saying it will reach 4 per cent in 2008 and soar to 4.4 per cent in 2009—a far cry from its 1 per cent real GDP forecast for 2008, and 2.3 per cent for 2009.

The Canadian Press on core inflation below Bank of Canada target (23 July 2008) Statistics Canada reported the country's annual inflation rate jumped to 3.1 per cent in June. If not for gasoline, however, Canada's annual inflation rate would have stood at a tepid 1.8 per cent in June. Not all things were more expensive in June. The price of purchasing or leasing an automobile continued to fall, down 8.4 per cent from June 2007. Computer equipment and supplies were 13.2 per cent less expensive, and books, clothes, and furniture were also cheaper. Regionally, inflation was lowest in New Brunswick (2.1 per cent) and Manitoba (2.4 per cent). A better measure of whether Canada has a real inflation problem is the core price index, Scotiabank economists Derek Holt and Karen Cordes wrote in a note. They point out that the rise in core prices—excluding energy and other volatile items—is stable and well below the central bank's two per cent target for inflation. 'Core inflation remained at 1.5 per cent for the third consecutive month, signalling once again that current inflation fears are overblown and that there is room for the BoC [Bank of Canada] to reduce rates once again if needed,' they wrote.

From a Financial Post report: The core inflation rate is forecast by the central bank to remain below 2% all the way into next year. 'It's the core rate of inflation that is the best predictor of future inflation,' Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney said after presenting the bank's monetary-policy update (last week). 'Total inflation tends to come back down to core. That's consistently been the experience in Canada and core inflation remains well-contained.'

The Canadian Economic Press - Fewer Employment Insurance recipients in May (22 July 2008) The number of Canadians receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits dropped 1.2% in May. Compared to the same period a year ago, the number of Canadians receiving regular EI benefits was down 3.2% in May.

From a Canadian Press report: The number of Canadians who received regular Employment Insurance benefits in 2007 hit its lowest level since 2000, Statistics Canada reported.

The Canadian Press on biodegradable and compostable bags (20 July 2008) With standard plastic bags now considered the enemy of environmentally conscious consumers, alternatives to polyethylene are becoming increasingly popular, including biodegradable bags that look similar but claim to break down much more quickly. Vancouver-based BioBag Canada Inc., the Canadian distributor of the global BioBag brand, sells bags and packaging made from a material called Mater-Bi. Mater-Bi uses corn instead of polyethylene and claims to be the 'first completely biodegradable and compostable bio-polymer ever invented'. BioBag products are promised to biodegrade and compost when disposed of, within 10 to 45 days, depending on the methods used. Greg Beresford, president of BioBag Canada, said micro organisms in the compost 'eat' the bag, which is made of 'GMO-free' corn starch and vegetable oils, which are grown naturally and haven't been altered by chemicals or other methods.

The Globe and Mail - Victoria suburb to legalize low-speed electric cars (24 July 2008) The Victoria (British Columbia) enclave of Oak Bay is poised to become the first municipality in Canada to legalize the use of 'low-speed' electric vehicles on its streets. Oak Bay councillors voted unanimously in favour of a new bylaw that would grant electric vehicles with a maximum speed of 40 kilometres an hour the same traffic rights as all other vehicles in the municipality. Oak Bay's bylaw, slated for final approval 18 August, was made possible by recent provincial legislation allowing low-speed electric cars on all streets with a speed limit of 40 kilometres an hour, and giving municipalities the option of allowing vehicles that travel 50 km/h.

CBC News - City offers vacation bonus for green commuters (22 July 2008) Employees of the City of Summerside (Prince Edward Island), are getting some extra incentive this summer to bike, walk, or roller-blade to work. The city has created a Green Commute Club to earn credits that can be used towards days off from work. Gordon MacFarlane, the city's director of human resources and legal affairs, came up with the idea. 'If they have a green commute 80 per cent of the time between 16 June 16 and 30 Sept., then we will give them a couple of green days off,' said MacFarlane. 'Employees are also obviously saving money on fuel,' he said. In addition, employees are improving their fitness level, said MacFarlane.

The Edmonton Journal - $100M city bike network unveiled (26 July 2008) City planners want to lure more cyclists onto Edmonton streets with a C$100-million proposal to build a network of marked lanes and trails, improve signs, and require bicycle parking in new developments. The scheme would create a 489-kilometre system of high-volume routes along major roads by 2018 that would link to local connectors, as well as put bike racks on all 906 transit buses instead of the current 100 and increase bike safety education campaigns.

The Toronto Star - Ontario extends PST break for 'green' appliances, bikes (24 July 2008) Going green will continue to save you some green [money]. The Ontario government is extending the provincial sales tax exemption on energy-efficient appliances, high-efficiency light bulbs, and most bicycles. The 8 per cent PST exemption on appliances and light bulbs will continue until 31 Aug. 2009. The tax break on bikes, helmets, and other cycling safety gear will continue until 31 Dec. 2010.

From a Canadian Press report on this: Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says it's time to start looking at permanent tax breaks for energy-efficient refrigerators, dishwashers, light bulbs, and air conditioners to encourage people to buy products that help combat climate change and reduce energy usage.

The Globe and Mail - Gold stars all round for some brave political decisions (26 July 2008) Some of Canada's governments have been doing things right recently. So let's give them a cheer. Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach announced a C$2-billion effort to find the solutions to burying carbon underground. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) certainly won't solve all of Alberta's emissions challenges, but it will help. Good for Mr Stelmach for devoting this money to CCS technology, as long as everybody understands CCS is only part of the solution. Good, too to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty for setting aside half of his province's boreal forest, more than 55 million acres. Healthy, untouched forests are wonderful carbon sinks; that is, they absorb lots of carbon. It was a brave decision. Good, too, for the Harper government and the McGuinty government for signing a multibillion-dollar infrastructure program for Ontario. It will represent wise long-term investments in economic competitiveness and residents' quality of life. They are part, we should remember, of a nationwide federal government investment in infrastructure. Finally, what about those premiers? More than 30 years ago, their predecessors began talking about a free internal market for goods and labour in Canada. Provincial governments talked, and they talked, and they talked, and they commissioned studies, and more studies, and task forces, and then they talked some more, and then created little agreements between or among provinces; and now finally, they actually seem to have agreed that within one sovereign country, there ought to be as few obstacles to the movement of people and capital as possible.

These are a few of the news reports reflecting Canada's rising invincibility from the growing Yogic Flying groups across Canada and the Invincible America Assembly at Maharishi University of Management and Maharishi Vedic City, USA.

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