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23 December 2008

12 December was the 12th day of the sixth month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:

12 December 2008

Reuters Canada - Government sees more cooperation with opposition (11 December 2008) Prime Minister Harper called Michael Ignatieff on Wednesday to congratulate him on his appointment as leader of the biggest opposition party (the Liberal Party) and to open the door to talks ahead of the 27 January federal budget. 'We are optimistic that there can be constructive dialogue with the new leader of the opposition . . . ,' a top Harper aide said. Mr Ignatieff said he was hopeful the country could find a way to move forward.

Canwest News Service - Harper, Ignatieff hold 'cordial' meeting on economy (12 December 2008) Prime Minister Harper and new Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff held talks on Friday about the state of the economy and the coming federal budget, which will be presented 27 Jan. and is expected to focus on a plan to stimulate spending to boost the economy. The get-together was the first attempt by the two leaders to clear the air and end a standoff between the government and the opposition at a time when they are under public pressure to appear co-operative in dealing with the economic crisis. Officials from both parties described the talks as 'cordial and businesslike'.

Reuters Canada on Canadian stocks up for the week (12 December 2008) The TSX composite index rose 123.55 points, or 1.47 per cent, to 8,515.45 on Friday. For the week, the index rose 4.9 per cent. Lost in the closing numbers Friday was the scope of the rally. The financial group, which makes up about a third of the index, rallied 3.37 per cent. Manulife Financial, Canada's biggest insurance company and the main contributor to the rally, closed 11.96 per cent higher, while Royal Bank of Canada rose 2.47 per cent. The technology group gained 0.66 per cent as talk in the US that large stockpiles in cash at technology companies would help them weather the economic downturn filtered through to the Canadian market. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, another key contributor to the market's gain, rose 4 per cent. The materials group, which includes some of the biggest base-metals and gold-mining companies in the world, led all sectors with a 3.67 per cent gain. 'The fact that the market came back from a weak open for a strong close provides a fairly positive tone to the market,' said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal. 'Very bullish is a bit too strong of a word, but it's a very optimistic close.'

The Globe and Mail on export showing better than expected (11 December 2008) The overall trade surplus shrank to C$3.78 billion (from C$4.25 billion) in October, but Canada's export sector showed a tiny glimmer of hope, Statistics Canada said. The surplus was slightly higher than the C$3.3 billion expected by economists. 'The Canadian trade surplus narrowed as expected, but it was not as bad as feared,' said Charmaine Buskas, senior economics strategist at TD Securities. 'There was still a heatlhy underlying tone in exporting activity.' Economists said the trade numbers suggest the Canadian economy may not be deteriorating quite as steeply in the fourth quarter as many had feared. Exports of machinery and equipment, wheat, and gold coins, of all things, helped exporters boost their sales by 2.5 per cent to C$43.5 billion in the month. (All sectors other than autos contributed to the increase.) Imports rose 4.1 per cent in October. But the numbers were distorted by the big depreciation in the Canadian dollar. Imports were inflated by a sliding loonie (popular name for the Canadian dollar) that made goods from other countries more expensive. But once prices are factored out, import volumes dropped 3.6 per cent, while export volumes fell 1.6 per cent. Since the volume of exports did not fall as much as the volume of imports, 'in real terms, exports performed better than imports, which has positive implications for gross domestic product, at least for October,' Ms Buskas said. While Canada's trade surplus with the United States shrank, its position with the rest of the world improved slightly. The trade deficit with the rest of the world narrowed to C$3.5 billion.

The National Post - Commentary - David Akin: Ignore the headlines, read the Bank of Canada report; it's not that bad (12 December 2008) David Akin is the National Affairs Correspondent for Canwest News Service. The Bank of Canada released its semi-annual Financial System Review or FSR on Thursday. In it, the Bank warned that if times get tough, people will lose their jobs and when people lose their jobs, they'll have a hard time making their mortgage payments. . . . Now some news organizations took that warning and ran with it, blaring headlines that might make one think that a wave of mortgage defaults was not only imminent but unavoidable. In fact, as the bank notes, just one of every 250 mortgages is in arrears in Canada right now (arrears is still a long way from default) and that's much better than the average since 1997. In fact, the big news . . . from the Bank was its assessment that by-and-large Canadian households are holding up very nicely, thank you, in this economic storm. . . . the Bank says, right there in black-and-white, that, so far as the average Canadian household goes, 'the overall situation remains relatively positive'. Now that's news! The Bank also notes that the national debt-service ratio—the ratio that essentially measures our ability to pay—is near historical lows which means, to use the Bank's phrase, 'households can comfortably manage their financial obligations'.

The Globe and Mail on the growing success of First Nation economic development (12 December 2008) Millbrook First Nation first dipped its toe into business waters in 1995 with a single service station. In the years since, the site has mushroomed into a sprawling business park near Truro, Nova Scotia. The companies operating here employ more than 700 people, most of them non-natives. The band also owns a 56-unit apartment building in Halifax. And it recently built an C$11-million office building in the city and leased it out. The band now get less than 30 per cent of their funding from government, compared with at least 95 per cent in the early 1990s. Millbrook is just one example of a growing movement of aboriginal communities embracing economic development with enthusiastic determination. Bernd Christmas is a lawyer who served more than a decade as CEO of Membertou First Nation in Sydney, NS. When Mr Christmas took the reins in the mid-1990s the band had a budget almost entirely funded by the federal government. The band now has annual revenue of C$76 million, from business ventures that include retail, information technology and the hospitality industry. 'A nation doesn't depend on another nation,' Mr Christmas says. The sentiment is gaining increasing traction. Another strong advocate of self-sufficiency is Calvin Helin, CEO of the Native Investment and Trade Association in Vancouver. 'If someone controls your purse strings, they control your life,' argues the lawyer and member of British Columbia's Tsimshian Nation. 'Self-government has to be taking care of yourself.' A recent trade mission to China by representatives of 25 First Nations was co-sponsored by Mr Helin's organization.

The Toronto Star - Greenhouse gas targets on track, official says (11 December 2008) Ontario's climate change action plan is on track to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2014, says Ontario's environmental commissioner. Gordon Miller evaluated the Ministry of the Environment's first report on greenhouse gas reduction. The report shows how Ontario plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 6 per cent over 1990 levels, a 61 megaton decrease by 2014. About 44 per cent of its reductions will come from the closure of Ontario's coal-fired electricity plants, along with savings from green power sources like wind turbines and solar panels. Savings will also come from using less diesel fuel, an increase in public transit, and making industries become greener.

The Toronto Star - Earth Hour '09 to send message (11 December 2008) Earth Hour 2009 was launched this week at the United Nations climate change negotiations in Poland. In 2008, organizers estimated that 50 million people in 35 countries took part. In Greater Toronto, 3.5 million people participated (with a drop of 8.7 per cent in electricity usage), and up to 10 million Canadians got involved. Organizers predict the 2009 event on 28 March will draw 1 billion people from 1,000 cities worldwide. They hope it will motivate government leaders from around the world meeting in Copenhagen next December to create a blueprint for a new global climate agreement. 'Earth Hour sends a statement that . . . all Canadians value preserving our environment to the highest possible priority and we are acting in concert with the rest of the world,' said Toronto Mayor David Miller, who will attend the global summit in Copenhagen as leader of the C40, a group of the world's big cities fighting climate change. 'A billion people acting in concert for any cause is a great story,' said Star editor-in-chief Fred Kuntz. 'But on top of that, the Star is proud to sponsor Earth Hour, because we believe even one person can make a difference.'

The Calgary Herald - Alberta students shine in global science test (10 December 2008) Alberta grade 4 students placed fourth in the world in science on the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. Test results put the local students behind only Singapore, Chinese Taipei, and Massachusetts when it comes to science. About 4,000 students from 146 Alberta schools wrote the test last spring. 'It's gratifying to know Alberta students are still among the best in the world,' Alberta Education Minister Dave Hancock said.

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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