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5 December 2008

24 November 2008 was the 24th day of the fifth month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:

24 November 2008

The Financial Post - 'We have lots of leeway to act' on economic slowdown: Flaherty (24 November 2008) Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the federal government has 'lots of leeway' to act, to stimulate domestic demand. He also opened the door to other stimuli—most likely tax cuts—the government is contemplating on top of infrastructure spending. 'Canada goes into this economic slowdown in the best position among industrialized countries,' he said. 'We have paid C$37 billion of our debt. The credit rating of the government of Canada is among the best in the world. So we are in a position as a government to take various actions—we have lots of leeway to act if we need to. We are reviewing steps we could take in addition to infrastructure that would help stimulate the economy.'

The Canadian Press on budget moved up to deal with economy sooner (24 November 2008) In a speech Monday evening, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said he plans to move up the tabling of the next federal budget in order to introduce a package of infrastructure spending and other measures to stimulate the economy as soon as possible. The finance minister underlined the urgency of acting soon at a news conference after the speech. 'We are working with the provinces, the territories, the municipalities, to accelerate our infrastructure investments,' he said. Flaherty said he met with leaders of Canadian municipalities and asked them bluntly to give Ottawa a list of construction projects 'that are environmentally approved that can go now, that can put a shovel on the ground now'.

The Globe and Mail - For Campbell, normal no longer exists (22 November 2008) Far from being morose about what's unfolding around him, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell seems almost excited about the opportunities. He thinks the crisis will force governments in Canada and around the world to make changes that should have been made years ago. 'Now we're talking about taking down [interprovincial] trade barriers,' Campbell said. 'This is something [BC] has been talking about for some time and we totally agree with it. But there has been this institutional inertia that says we shouldn't change.' Campbell says what the country needs to do to address some of the bigger economic challenges facing it is to tap into Canadians' creativity, innovation, and drive.

The Ottawa Business Journal on Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp outlook on economy and housing (24 November 2008) Economists at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) said recent and expected future interest rate cuts, combined with government stimulus packages, lead them to side with more optimistic growth forecasts. 'Our view for Canada is 1.2 per cent to two per cent (GDP growth in 2009), which implies that all this stimulus will have an impact on consumer confidence sooner, rather than later,' said CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan, adding this is good news for the housing market, especially when combined with mortgage rates forecasted to remain at close to 50-year lows and a strong labour market. Mr Dugan also said that 'a near-record share of Canadians have a job right now'.

CBC News - Poll finds public support for national park in B.C.'s Flathead Valley (24 November 2008) A poll conducted by McAllister Opinion Research for the Sierra Club of British Columbia and Wildsight found that 73 per cent of respondents would support a national park in the lower one-third of the Flathead River Valley in British Columbia's Kootenay region. This is the province's last unsettled low-elevation valley. It has been compared to Africa's Serengeti National Park for its richness of plant species and was recently called a 'nursery' of wildlife by National Geographic Magazine.

CBC News - Leading by example on climate change, says P.E.I. (21 November 2008) A document on energy and climate change was released by Prince Edward Island. Some initiatives such as the commitment to wind power and the establishment of the Office of Energy Efficiency were announced previously. 'There's only one spaceship Earth. There's no where else to go, so we have to preserve and protect what we have from an Earth, planet point of view, and P.E.I. works hard to do our little piece,' Environment Minister George Webster said.

CBC News - Canada's largest wind farm to be set up in southern Manitoba (24 November 2008) Manitoba's government and hydro utility said they have signed a deal to develop what would be the largest wind farm in Canada, near St. Joseph in southern Manitoba. The project is worth more than C$800 million and would generate 300 megawatts of electricity from 130 turbines. The farm is being developed by Babcock & Brown Canada, which is to sell the power to Manitoba Hydro over a 25-year agreement. The wind farm will bring the province closer to achieving its goal of an installed capacity of 1,000 megawatts of wind power. 'The St. Joseph wind farm will add another renewable resource to Manitoba's considerable portfolio of renewable hydroelectric generating facilities,' Manitoba Hydro CEO Bob Brennan said. Landowners will receive C$70 million in lease payments. Environmental benefits include displacing 800,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually—equivalent to taking 145,000 cars off the road.

The Toronto Star - Twinning builds bond between Muslims, Jews (24 November 2008) Despite their differences, members of Toronto's Temple Emanu-El, a Jewish synagogue, and Noor Cultural Centre, a Muslim group, will be twinned like brothers and sisters. The two communities are among 50 matches made since Friday over the 'Weekend of Twinning' between synagogues and mosques across North America, including four pairs in Toronto, to expand on interfaith dialogue. Temple Emanu-El and the Noor centre adopted the theme—From Estrangement to Reunion and Beyond: Rethinking the Story of Abraham's Families. The focus on Abraham sheds light on their shared roots. Emanu-El's members joined their Muslim counterparts for a Jumaa (Friday) prayer at Noor, while the Jewish group hosted a Shabbat dinner for guests of Islamic faith. Other services and discussions followed over the weekend. Samira Kanji, whose father, Hassanali Lakhani, founded the cultural centre, said twinning fits with the centre's mandate to promote appreciation of diversity, within and outside the Muslim community. 'This is a wonderful time to start talking people to people, community to community,' said Emanu-El's rabbi, Debra Landsberg. The two groups have already planned more joint programs to build on the foundation. 'Through this bond, we'd like to establish a long-term relationship,' said Barbara Landau, co-chair of the Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims.

The Vancouver Sun - The Aga Khan after 50 years: We may yet set the world right (24 November 2008) The Aga Khan says the world has made great strides against mass poverty, and he now sees real prospects for new bridges between Muslim states and the West. Such optimism was recurrent during an hour-long interview with The Vancouver Sun on Sunday. The Aga Khan was in Vancouver on the second stop of a four-city tour of Canada to celebrate his 50 years as hereditary leader of the world's 15 million Ismaili Muslims. He cited several reasons for hope. One is growing acceptance on both sides of the divide for his urgent call to combat what he terms 'the clash of ignorance'. Education is the key to better relations, the Aga Khan said. For Muslim states, this involves continuing his push for acceptance of pluralism. And it involves schooling—one of the key thrusts of his Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). This US$500-million-a-year group of agencies works in a score of poor countries on projects that range from little madrassas where preschoolers learn to read in rural villages, to on-the-job teacher training in places where qualifications are low, to state-of-the-art high schools offering the international baccalaureate programme, to two acclaimed international universities. For the West, it means more inclusive curriculums in institutions that were long rooted solely in the Judeo-Christian tradition, unaware of Muslim history and culture. So, too, Western governments are gradually coming to understand just how diverse is the Muslim world, yet how in every Muslim country the relationship between religion and state is, unlike in the West, inextricably intertwined. The challenge has evolved into how to make the remaining poor areas of the world 'areas of opportunity where people can have hope and confidence in improving the quality of life'. Muslims, he said, do believe in concepts of charity—giving to needy people who have no other options. But a higher concept—a duty, rather than a gift inspired by kindness—is to help build in the powerless 'the capacity to be masters of their own destiny'. He said that is referred to [in his faith] as the best form of charity. The Aga Khan said he is delighted at the resurgence of massive private capital in development initiatives by people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet or, on a smaller but still dramatic scale, Vancouver mining magnates Frank Giustra and Lukas Lundin, who have pledged US$100 million each to the Clinton Foundation. 'I am very, very, very pleased that there is a sense of social ethics which is coming back in a part of the world which I thought had become so materialistic that they had lost the notion of ethics. That they had lost notions of the unity of humanity and the fact that they couldn't leave people—millions and millions of people—at risk of ill health, of marginalization ... .'

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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