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17 August 2008

9 August was the 9th day of the second month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:

9 August 2008

Reuters Canada on consumer confidence up (8 August 2009) Canadian consumers were feeling slightly more confident in July, the Conference Board of Canada said. The board's index of consumer confidence rose 1.4 points in July to 81. The survey, which is based on 2,000 telephone interviews, was conducted between 10 July and 16 July. Asked if their families were better off financially compared with six months ago, 20.3 per cent of respondents agreed, up from 18.5 per cent in June. The number who said their families were worse off dropped to 20.2 per cent from 23.7 per cent. Twenty-four per cent said their families would be doing better financially in six months, up from 23.3 per cent the month before. On the flip side, 20.4 per cent thought their financial situation would get worse, down from 21.9 per cent. The survey said Canadians were slightly more inclined to make major purchases, such as buying a car or house, with 35.7 per cent of respondents agreeing, versus 32.6 per cent in the previous month. The increase in consumer confidence was most pronounced in Central Canada. In the province of Quebec it was up 5 points. In Ontario it was up 2.6 points.

The Financial Post on June building permits (7 August 2008) The total value of building permits in Canada declined 5.3% in June from May to C$6.3 billion, Statistics Canada reported. In contrast, permit applications rose 3.5% across both the residential and non-residential sectors in Quebec. In keeping with the provincial trend, 'the total value of permits in the census metropolitan area of Quebec rose [43%] in June, due to increases in both the residential and non-residential sectors,' StatsCan said. One bright spot nationally that defied some expectations was the number of new single-family building permits, which edged up 3.7% in June.

From a Canadian Economic Press report on this: Nationally, despite the June decrease, the dollar value of permits issued during the month remained above last year's monthly average of C$6.2 billion. With the release of the June building permit figures, StatsCan revised its May results to show a 2.0% increase, originally reported as 1.1%.

From a Globe and Mail report on this: Sandy McNair, president of Altus InSite, which conducts market research, said there is 'a reasonable level of [non-residential] activity going on across the country' right now. 'Edmonton has never had more construction activity in 20 years in terms of office building activity. Toronto has a healthy level of construction activity going on right now. Ottawa, even Montreal, have a healthy level of activity under way,' Mr McNair said.

The Regina Leader-Post - Building activity bucks trend (8 August 2008) Construction activity in Saskatchewan 'has been very strong', since about May of last year, said Nicole Charron, of the investment and capital stock division of Statistics Canada. The 5.0-per-cent dollar-value increase in building permit activity in Saskatchewan in June compared to May put the province in second place among the provinces, behind only Newfoundland and Labrador, which enjoyed a 19.1 per cent increase.

The Canadian Economic Press on Montreal's resale housing market remains robust (7 August 2008) Total housing resales in the Greater Montreal area fell 1% in July compared to the same period a year ago, while condominium sales rose 3%. 'Thanks to stable mortgage rates and an increase in consumer confidence, the resale market's performance in July is outstanding,' said Michel Beausejour, CEO of the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board. 'A small decrease is excellent news especially considering that there was an all time record set in July 2007, when sales increased by 25%.' The median price of resale units continued to rise in July, with single-family homes up 3% from a year ago, and condominiums up 10%.

The National Post - Back-to-back record months for home sales in Winnipeg (9 August 2008) A hot month of sales activity led to a new July sales record, reports the Winnipeg Realtors Association. The month follows on the heels of the best June result. Sales for the first time in July went over 1,400 and dollar volume closed in on C$270 million, which puts July in the top six months ever for dollar volume. (May 2008, was the highest ever at C$319 million.) Compared with last year, July sales were up 13%, while dollar volume increased sharply 24%.

The Toronto Star - The hustle for hybrids (9 August 2008) Soaring gasoline prices have sparked a huge increase in hybrid auto sales in Canada, according to automakers. Hybrid auto sales jumped by more than 66 per cent in the first six months from the same period in 2007.

Reuters Canada - Four wheels good, two wheels better, Canadians say (8 August 2008) Canadian manufacturer Dorel Industries, whose bicycle brands include Schwinn and GT, said that two-wheeler sales had soared as bikes fly off the shelves. Scooters are also seeing a surge in popularity in Canada. Bruce Cran, president of the Consumer Association of Canada, said that between rising fuel prices and growing environmental concerns, the trend looks like it may be here to stay.

Canwest News Service - Great lakes water levels at 4-year highs (6 August 2008) Water levels in the Great Lakes are rebounding from record lows last year to hit their highest levels in four years, Environment Canada said.

CBC News on B.C. Climate Action Team recommendations (7 August 2008) The 21-member Climate Action Team was created by British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell to reach a consensus among scientists, industry, government, First Nations, and environmentalists on how the province can reach the premier's goal of cutting emissions by one-third by 2020. A new report by the team proposed two short-term targets and made 28 recommendations to ensure BC is on track to reach the goal. The first short-term target is to not only reverse the growth in BC's greenhouse gas emissions by 2012, but to have already decreased emissions by five to seven per cent. The second target is that by 2016, the decline in emissions must have accelerated, with annual emissions falling to at least 15 per cent below 2007 levels. 'It certainly puts B.C. in a leadership position,' said Peter Robinson, CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation and a member of the climate action team. The goals can be reached without hurting the economy and any tax increases would be offset by tax cuts in other areas, Robinson said. 'I'm an optimist. I really think human innovation and the capacity to change is something that's inherent to us,' he said. BC's official climate action plan to cut greenhouse gases is among the most aggressive in North America. Its programmes would only take the province about 73 per cent of the way toward a one-third reduction in emissions by 2020, so the team handed down recommendations to bridge the gap. Recommendations include increasing public education, improving fuel efficiency of heavy vehicles, increasing use of rail, bike, and foot transportation, creating greener building codes, making appliances more efficient, using carbon capture and storage, making solid waste disposal more effective, creating new forestry and bio-energy strategies, and carbon neutral strategies for municipal and the provincial governments.

From a Vancouver Sun report on this: 'The team's recommendations build on the strong actions government has already taken to address the challenge of climate change while developing clean technology and innovation in our province,' said Cheryl Slusarchuk, chair of the Climate Action Team.

The Canadian Press - B.C. gives city of Beijing gift of cedar arches gracing pavilion (9 August 2008) The British Columbia government has given Beijing the set of red cedar arches gracing the entranceway of the BC Canada Pavilion in the city, a C$14 million business and tourism showpiece for the months around the Olympics. Since the pavilion opened in May, dozens of business agreements have been signed between Canadian and Chinese companies. In giving the gift of the arches, which cost almost C$3 million, BC Premier Gordon Campbell said the province wanted to recognize the special relationship between Canada and China. 'We wanted to leave a legacy of our time here in Beijing with you and the people of Beijing,' Premier Campbell told the city's vice mayor Chen Gang at a ceremony on Saturday. Campbell said he hopes the arches also signify a stronger relationship between the two countries. 'This space, which is embraced by 13 arches representing Canada's 10 provinces and three territories, we also hope will be symbolic of the gateway between Canada and China,' Campbell said. 'It is a cultural gateway, it is a trading gateway, it is an Olympic gateway which says we are friends and we can build a better future together.'

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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