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15 December 2008

8 December was the 8th day of the sixth month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:

8 December 2008

The Victoria Times Colonist - Jobless rate here lowest in Canada (6 December 2008) Greater Victoria (British Columbia) remains in the top spot with the lowest unemployment rate in the country, 3.3 per cent in November, Statistics Canada said. Regina and Edmonton tied for second place with 3.6 per cent.

From a CBC News report on this: 'We are not in British Columbia anticipating that we are going to see significant layoffs. We still have an unemployment rate that is at one of the lowest we've seen in many, many decades,' said Finance Minister Colin Hansen. He is pleased, he said, with the provincial job numbers released Friday, which show a slight drop in the unemployment rate in November, down 0.2 per cent from the month before. 'B.C. remains in a strong position to weather the current economic downturn,' he said. 'The 2010 Winter Olympics are expected to provide a significant and well-timed boost to the provincial economy.'

The Canadian Press on no housing collapse in Canada: RBC (8 December 2008) RBC Economics says the risk of a meltdown in Canada's housing sector is remote. RBC senior economist Robert Hogue says the housing market is expected to hold up. Mr Hogue says the sub-prime business remains marginal, banks are stable, and households are generally not overstretched financially.

The Toronto Star - Positive perspective to real estate downturn in report (6 December 2008) A real estate report by Scotiabank economist Adrienne Warren was remarkably positive once one read past the first line. The balance of the report put the opening into some healthy perspective, something that has been sorely lacking in most recent media reports on the state of the housing market. 'We argue against taking an overly alarmist view to domestic housing prospects,' said Ms Warren. The correction in home prices will 'leave intact most of the significant price appreciation of recent years,' she said. The International Monetary Fund stated that Canada's housing market is the 'least overvalued'.

The Toronto Star - Green energy our best shot (8 December 2008) A coalition of environmental, farming, community, and native groups is urging the Ontario government to create a green energy act that would make renewable energy and conservation a priority, streamline regulation and the way power is purchased, push enabling 'smart-grid' technologies, and establish low-cost project financing. All of this would be with an eye to growing a green economy in Ontario that supports local jobs and technologies. 'We have some sense they [the provincial government, headed by Premier Dalton McGuinty] want to use this as an industrial driver,' said Deborah Doncaster, executive director of the Community Power Fund. Indeed, officials are working on some kind of green energy act in the background and there is high-level interest in making it happen within the next few months. Energy and Infrastructure Minister George Smitherman and Environment Minister John Gerretsen attended a showing last Tuesday of David Suzuki's new documentary, The Suzuki Diaries. During a panel discussion that followed between Suzuki and Smitherman, Suzuki issued a passionate appeal, but recognized the government for its commitment to phasing out coal and being more progressive than other jurisdictions on the green-energy file. Ontario gets about 20 per cent of its electricity from hydroelectric generation alone; the target is to reach about 45 per cent from all renewable sources by 2025 through the addition of wind turbines, solar parks, biogas generation from farms and landfills, and new hydropower. Andy King of the United Steelworkers Union sees a new era of manufacturing that supports development of green infrastructure. All governments have embraced the need for infrastructure spending as an economic stimulus. King added that the creation of green-collar jobs is an effective way of gaining community support for renewables.

CBC News - Ontario to set standards for electric car (8 December 2008) The Ontario government says it is prepared to develop safety standards that could pave the way for the arrival of the electric car in the province. Toronto-based Zenn Motor Company is pleased with the decision. Zenn, short for Zero Emissions No Noise, has been producing low-speed electric vehicles for nearly a decade. Zenn's low-speed electric cars are designed for urban roads at speeds under 50 kilometres an hour. In the US, the electric cars are allowed on the roads in 41 of 50 states. But in Canada, they're only allowed on the road in British Columbia and Quebec. Last week, however, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation said it will set new safety standards for low-speed electric vehicles, or LSVs. The ministry said it was prepared to allow the less powerful cars on public roads 'as long as they include a number of additional safety requirements and follow appropriate road restrictions'. Zenn spokesperson Catherine Scrimger applauds the government's decision. 'There's a real opportunity here for Ontario to sort of leapfrog forward and become the centre of excellence for electric drive,' said Ms Scrimger.

Macleans Magazine - Going Green (8 December 2008 Issue) Last month, workers at a newly built Mountain Equipment Co-op store in Burlington, Ont., lowered a 14-ton solar array onto the building's roof. The photovoltaic and thermal panels will generate 30 per cent of the store's energy needs, while heating the building and its water. The crew had already installed skylights along the full length of the building to allow in natural light, and the store was outfitted with motion detectors so that lights can automatically be dimmed when no one is in a room. What's more, the building will capture rainwater to be used in its gardens and plumbing, cutting water consumption in half. 'There's nothing like it in Canada,' says Gary Faryon, the Vancouver-based company's senior manager of operations. A closer look at the larger retail industry reveals that a sea change is underway. It's not just the so-called progressive companies that are going green—retailers such as Wal-Mart are emerging to lead the pack. Wal-Mart Canada plans to roll out new, not-so-big-box versions starting next year. At 175,000 sq. feet [15,258 square metres], they're nearly 20 per cent smaller than existing stores, resulting in an immediate reduction in heating and lighting costs. The stores will be partly heated with waste energy diverted from refrigerators, and solar panels are being installed at some locations. Wal-Mart expects the new stores will be 30 per cent more energy efficient than the old ones. In the meantime, companies like Mountain Equipment Co-op are powering ahead. New innovations will be incorporated into MEC's second new store, which will open in Montreal next year. There, the goal is to have the building itself generate every volt of electricity needed to keep the lights on. The company doesn't yet know exactly how it will do that—be it improved solar panels, wind turbines, or some other alternative energy source. But Faryon says they'll find a way. After all, as MEC discovered, what's good for the environment is often surprisingly good for the bottom line.

Canwest News Service - Canadians expect improved U.S. relations under Obama: poll (8 December 2008) With Barack Obama poised to enter the White House, Canadians are expecting a seismic shift in relations with their southern neighbour, says a new poll conducted 26 Nov. to 3 Dec. by EKOS Research Associates. 'Nearly half, and the plurality, of the sample believes this represents . . . the beginning of a fundamentally different era in terms of relationships between Canada and the United States,' Ekos pollster Frank Graves said.

From a Globe and Mail report on this: A majority of respondents—74 per cent—said the US is Canada's closest ally. The poll also says Canada must work together with the US on climate change and the environment and develop an integrated North American energy framework. In all, 64 per cent of Canadians believe an integrated approach is necessary in the energy sector.

Canwest News Service - Aga Khan joins prime minister's neighbourhood (6 December 2008) The Aga Khan, the Ismaili Muslim spiritual leader, opened a new C$50-million architectural landmark on Ottawa's famed Sussex Drive on Saturday. 'It will be a site for robust dialogue, intellectual exchange and the forging of new partnerships,' he said. Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, known as the Aga Khan, was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, which will serve as his office in Canada as well as a conference centre, and will be home to the Aga Khan's development agencies. The organization has partnership programme,s with the Canadian International Development Agency and several Canadian universities. His philanthropic institutions spend about C$600 million a year, mainly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The event was attended by Prime Minister Harper, a neighbour. Harper said the Canadian government shares a commitment to 'tolerance, compassion and community service' with the Aga Khan Development Network. 'Social integration can occur without sacrificing cultural identity,' the Aga Khan said of the Ismaili community in Canada. 'We are proving that there can be unity in diversity.'

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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