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28 December 2008
17 December was the 17th day of the sixth month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:
17 December 2008
The Canadian Press - Economic troubles expected to unite finance ministers on solutions (16 December 2008) Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is seeking economic co-operation from the provinces at a meeting with colleagues in Saskatoon, to set the stage for his coming budget which is expected to stimulate the economy with billions of dollars in new spending. For one of the few times in the long history of federal-provincial get-togethers, the affair Wednesday promises to be more about collaboration than squabbling. Most provincial finance ministers were talking about the need to co-operate in advance of the meeting. Alberta Finance Minister Iris Evans exemplified the mood of many, saying her province largely supports efforts to rescue the battered auto sector concentrated in Ontario. 'It's a huge and critical problem when any part of Canada is hurting financially. When they are losing jobs somewhere else, it hurts in Alberta as well,' she said. Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said he was gratified by what he has heard from many other provinces about the proposed auto bailout. 'I've sensed what I would call a great deal of empathy from my provincial counterparts,' he said. The single biggest area of agreement among the finance ministers is in the need to speed up and increase infrastructure spending over the next year to get the construction sector of the economy moving and creating jobs. Flaherty is seeking help in identifying and quick approvals for so-called 'shovel-ready' projects.
From a Toronto Star report on this: 'This is one country after all, and Canadians expect all of us to pull together and create this kind of stimulus' to boost the economy, Flaherty said.
The Globe and Mail - Bank of Canada has prepared range of options, Carney says (17 December 2008) Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney says the central bank has prepared a range of options, beyond interest rate cuts, to stimulate the Canadian economy. There are several reasons why Canada does not need non-conventional measures right now, said Stewart Hall, economist at HSBC Canada. For now, the central bank and most economists are not predicting a long, deep recession for Canada, and foresee a recovery starting next year. Plus, Canadian banks are still lending to households and corporations, and so the central bank does not have to break up a credit logjam that exists in other countries, Mr Hall said.
The Globe and Mail - Buy Canada, Goldman Sachs says (17 December 2008) Now is a good time to buy Canadian dollars because the country's economic picture is less dire than in other Group of 10 nations, Goldman Sachs said Wednesday. Goldman listed three factors for its recommendation. First, the economic picture has 'deteriorated less' in Canada than in most other G10 economies, because of relatively strong consumer spending. As well, the Canadian government continues to run a surplus, 'which provides some cushion against deteriorating global credit markets'. And the banking system 'appears to be in relatively good shape, in comparison with the rest of G10', the report said.
The Globe and Mail - Canadian stocks undervalued, investment managers say (15 December 2008) Canadian stocks are undervalued and likely to surge in 2009, according to a survey of investment managers. Forty per cent of the managers surveyed said they expected gains of up to 40 per cent in 2009, while only 13 per cent said they expected to see negative returns. Eleven per cent replied that Canadian stocks are overvalued, while 65.8 per cent felt they were selling at a significant discount. Enthusiasm was strongest for financials, which had a 'bullishness' score of 55 per cent. Last year, only 23 per cent of managers were bullish in utilities, for 2009 that has increased to 44 per cent. Other sectors seeing a bump in optimism included materials, telecom, energy, and consumer staples.
The Canadian Economic Press - Regina tops Canadian economic activity index (17 December 2008) The city of Regina, bolstered by a robust employment market, strong house prices, and a low personal bankruptcy rate, has moved to the top of the latest edition of the CIBC World Markets metropolitan economic activity index. It is the first time the Saskatchewan capital has topped the annual list that measures nine key macroeconomic variables. Regina was given a score of 23.0 on the index. Strong population growth, a nation-leading pace of job creation, low unemployment rate, and well below average corporate and personal insolvency rates combined to boost Regina to its current ranking, said index author Benjamin Tal. Toronto and Saskatoon both finished just behind with 20.0. Toronto's population is growing fast and its quality of employment is 'relatively strong', wrote Tal, while the pace of growth in consumer and business bankruptcies remains well below the national average.
The Financial Post - Why coming clean is good business (17 December 2008) Shareholder activists in Canada brought forward 57 climate-change resolutions to 31 Aug. this year, representing a doubling of such resolutions in the past five years. There were fewer than 10 such resolutions in both 2000 and 2001. The activism proved effective. Half the 2008 resolutions were withdrawn after management agreed to positive climate-change commitments. 'It's getting tougher and tougher for companies anywhere to argue that climate change issues are not material to institutional investors,' says Julie Desjardins of Desjardins Associates Consulting, an advisor to the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants on climate-change disclosure matters. If this year's Carbon Disclosure Project report, released in early November, is any indication, fewer companies are making this argument. The report concluded that Canada's largest companies are providing more and better information about their greenhouse gas emissions and their management strategies to deal with them. All of which may turn out to be a good thing for companies as well as investors.
The Toronto Star - Alberta eyes $2 billion in wind power lines (17 December 2008) Wind power developments planned in Alberta will require C$1.83 billion in new transmission lines to connect the electricity to markets, the province's system operator said. The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) is recommending construction of a system to connect 2,700 megawatts of electricity to be generated by wind farm projects planned for the province's south over the next decade. AESO said it expects the system to be built in three phases with the first stage expected to cost C$750 million and handle 1,200 megawatts of wind power.
The Canadian Press - As trend to eating locally grows stronger chef promotes winter markets (16 December 2008) Certainly it can be challenging to find locally grown fruits and veggies when it's a chilly 30 below, but one of Canada's top chefs, Toronto chef Jamie Kennedy, believes it is possible because there is a bounty of delicious produce to be found, especially in winter markets. Kennedy says that he is seeing a heightened interest among people wanting to know what is in the food they eat 'at a level that hasn't been seen in over a century'.
The Globe and Mail - Figures show steep decline in Toronto crime this year 7 December 2008) Crime of virtually every stripe has declined in Toronto this year, domestic violence included. Most of the numbers are down compared with the same 11-month period last year. From murder to sexual assault, from car theft to burglary, most categories of crime that worry people have dipped, comprising a collective drop of about 10 per cent compared with 2007, whose numbers, in turn, were 4 per cent lower than those of 2006.
The Associated Press on long-distance bicycling a growing phenomenon (13 December 2008) Long-distance bicycling is catching the imagination of governments worldwide as they look for ways to encourage people-powered travel and tourism. In Quebec, the 2,700-mile Route Verte, or Greenway, was finished last year at a cost of more than C$80 million from the provincial government and millions more from localities along the way. Quebec set rigorous conditions for operators who want business from the cyclists. Certified campgrounds must guarantee space to cyclists, reservation or not, and offer a sheltered place to eat. Participating hotels must offer high-carb meals, fresh fruit, and secure storage for bikes. And amenities and public transportation are offered at set intervals.
The Canadian Press - McGuinty says Harper has agreed to give Ontario 21 more seats in Parliament (17 December 2008) Prime Minister Harper agreed to give Ontario 21 additional seats in the House of Commons, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Wednesday. That's 11 more new Commons seats than the Conservatives initially said Ontario would get under a redistribution plan announced last year to reflect growing populations in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. In his end-of-year news conference Wednesday, McGuinty confirmed he and Harper had resolved their disagreement over seats in Parliament when they met in Ottawa last Friday. 'I think there was a sense that it was the right thing to do,' McGuinty said. Ontario currently has 106 seats in the 308-seat House of Commons. Ottawa's original plan would have given Canada's most populous province only one MP for every 115,000 while other provinces moved to one Member of Parliament for every 105,000 people. The federal Conservatives and Ontario Liberals have been taking great pains to co-operate and refrain from criticizing each other in recent weeks.
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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