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26 December 2008

15 December was the 15th day of the sixth month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:

15 December 2008

The Canadian Economic Press - Canadian government launches pre-budget consultations (12 December 2008) Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has launched an online budget consultation website so Canadians can weigh in on what the government should do to deal with the economic crisis. Flaherty also began a series of cross-country public consultations Friday with a stop in Saint John, New Brunswick. Flaherty said his government will hold four other regional roundtable meetings starting next week with a meeting of provincial finance ministers in Saskatoon. Flaherty said Prime Minister Harper will meet with the first ministers in mid-January in Ottawa, with the Minister of Infrastructure conducting infrastructure summits across Canada over the course of the next several weeks.

The Canadian Press - Budget talks constructive, Liberals say (15 December 2008) Liberal finance critic Scott Brison and John McCallum, chairman of the party's advisory committee on economic strategy, emerged from a pre-budget meeting with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on Monday, saying their talks were both productive and businesslike. Brison said Canadians want the country's political leaders to look beyond narrow politics and the Liberals were willing to do that and be 'constructive'.

From a CTV News report on this: 'I believe, based on our meeting today, that there is an openness with Minister Flaherty and the government to actually co-operate with us and to work with us,' Brison said.

The Canadian Press on Layton softens tone (14 December 2008) In an interview Sunday on CTV's Question Period, New Democrat Leader Jack Layton noted this is the season for miracles. 'Are we going to get a miracle in the budget? Maybe we have to be open to that possibility.'

The Regina Leader-Post - Rebuilding the guts of Canada (15 December 2008) For years, the country's ever-growing 'infrastructure deficit' took a back seat to other priorities. Now it is on the lips of virtually every politician as a key solution for tackling an economic slowdown by providing funds to companies bidding for contracts and putting people to work. 'I have to tell you in all the provinces there has been a sea change,' Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Minister John Baird said. 'Everyone wants to work together, everyone wants to make things happen and we're really committed . . . . There is very little tolerance in the public in these times of global economic uncertainty for us to not work together.'

The Canadian Press - Holiday retail better than expected (15 December 2008) The Canadian holiday shopping season was widely expected to be a bust, but deep discounts have kept shoppers in the malls and spending more money than the industry expected. While retail sales have slowed in recent months, the total receipts are still up five per cent year-over-year through September, wrote Adrienne Warren of Scotia Economics in a report. 'Early holiday shopping reports are reasonably good . . . ,' Warren said. 'Over the past year we've still seen solid job and income growth in this country,' Doug Porter, senior economist with BMO Capital Markets, said. Porter says that's one reason that retail sales could stay strong in the short term. 'It wouldn't shock me if retail sales hold up surprisingly well this year,' he said. The consumer slowdown hasn't run as deeply as some initially suggested. At the Yorkdale mall in Toronto traffic is up four per cent in the first half of December compared to last year.

The Canadian Press - N.L. marks 60 years of Confederation with growing confidence for future (14 December 2008) Newfoundland will usher in the occasion of its 60-year union with Canada with a province-wide party. Oil riches have rapidly transformed Canada's youngest province into a national economic driver. It is forecasting a C$1.3 billion surplus for the 2008-09 fiscal year. Newfoundland is now contributing to equalization. Analysts say Newfoundland is bound to take on a greater role within Canada because of its growing self-assurance and financial clout.

Canwest News Service - Rules will make finding skilled foreign workers easier (14 December 2008) The federal government is changing a key immigration rule. Skilled professionals such as engineers, accountants or professors from the US or Mexico will be able to get three-year-long work permits instead of one-year-long permits. 'Even though we are going into a period of economic difficulty, we continue to have a number of skilled labour shortages in certain areas of the economy,' Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said. 'This is about less paperwork, less red tape, and less waiting time.' The rule change follows a similar one made in October in the United States that allows Canadian engineers, computer scientists, and other professionals to obtain three-year work permits.

Canwest News Service - Less than half of federal inmates committed violent crime (15 December 2008) There has been a steady drop in the number of federal prisoners serving time for violent crime, dipping to less than half of the prison population 2006-2007, Statistics Canada said. In a report on the changing face of Canada's inmates, the agency said that 49 per cent of federal prisoners had committed violent crimes, dropping from 58 per cent a decade earlier.

The Globe and Mail on sharp drop in driving deaths (15 December 2008) The number of people dying in car crashes has dropped sharply this year, most significantly in Ontario, where provincial police have seen deaths drop 30 per cent from the same time in 2007. Double-digit percentage drops have also been seen in British Columbia and Manitoba. 'It's an unbelievable drop. We're very pleased with it,' said BC RCMP Traffic Division Constable Dave Babineau, whose unit has seen 18 per cent fewer deaths. The Canadian Automobile Association says people are pinching pennies and not driving as much as they would, even with gas prices dropping recently.

CBC News - Hospital death rate dropping, report shows (12 December 2008) Canadian hospitals are improving. The hospital standardized mortality ratio (HSMR) data released by the Canadian Institute of Health Information shows that nationally, the rate of in-hospital deaths has fallen four per cent over the past year, said Dr Indra Pulcins, director of indicator and performance measurement at the group. There are variations by hospital and region. Nonetheless, the trend is down. 'The bar gets lower every day,' Pulcins said.

The Globe and Mail - The growing push to end poverty (15 December 2008) Federal ministers are blitzing the country this week, aiming to pin down specific infrastructure projects with premiers, mayors, and native leaders in advance of next month's first ministers meeting and budget. Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl is starting his tour in Atlantic Canada. 'Provinces are saying they're just not prepared to let aboriginal people languish in the economic boondocks and neither are we,' Mr Strahl said. 'I'm sure it's going to be about less tolerance for jurisdictional wrangling and more tolerance for action plans that actually crank things out.' The Prime Minister and the premiers agreed in November to place aboriginal issues on the agenda for the first ministers summit, which is to be held in Ottawa in mid-January. British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell, who has already worked out deals on health care and education with Ottawa, says he is pushing for a major investment in aboriginal housing. 'We could have a national initiative around housing in aboriginal communities,' the Premier told The Globe and Mail. Mr Campbell and Mr Strahl have already discussed ideas, and said other specifics could include speeding up infrastructure projects for roads and clean drinking water, allowing on-reserve teachers access to provincial school board services such as professional training, or running joint job-skills programmes.

The Montreal Gazette - Happiness is within reach (13 December 2008) The MRI scanner has allowed researchers to see how living brains function and this is changing the entire understanding about the brain. When scientists began looking at active brains they were often amazed at how much of the brain is dedicated to positive emotion, or joy. The brain is a joy machine. UCLA neuroscientist Marco Iacobini says scientists are now seeing our tremendous capacity for joy and empathy and changing their conclusions about human nature. 'Neuroscience is discovering we are fundamentally good creatures built for joy and empathy,' he said. Human joy has the potential to pacify violent cultures and bring wellness to the ill. People have long known that thinking positive thoughts can change the way you view your life and your world. New research suggests meditation can elevate mood. Brains were once thought to be unchanging and begin decaying at the onset of adulthood. Some scientists now believe they are capable of change and regeneration. Neuroplasticity suggests we have some choice over our brain destiny. Further, as part of a huge study published earlier this month in the British Medical Journal, an American research group has claimed that happiness itself is contagious. The scientists found that happy people passed on their cheer to people they didn't personally know—and this transferred happiness lasted for up to a year. 'Happiness is like a stampede,' said Nicholas Christakis, a professor in Harvard University's sociology department, one of the study's authors. This suggests we all have some responsibility for our world's state of mind. According to a co-author of the study, James Fowler, the study was the first evidence of karma. 'The fact that happiness spreads from person to person to person suggests that these waves of happiness we radiate could eventually wash up on our own shores.'

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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