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29 December 2008

18 December was the 18th day of the sixth month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:

18 December 2008

The Canadian Press - Flaherty establishes economic council (18 December 2008) Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is establishing an economic advisory council to give input on next month's federal budget and the economy. The 11-member advisory group is made up of eminent Canadians, most of them business people and academics. Former British Columbia finance minister Carole Taylor is to chair the council. Also included are billionaire businessmen James D. Irving and James A. Pattison. 'I called them all personally and I said, 'Your advice is needed for your country.' And all of them said, 'Yes,' Flaherty told reporters at a news conference in Saskatoon. The group is to meet for the first time Tuesday in Toronto. Flaherty said politics did not play a role in selecting the members. 'I did not look through party ties when I went through the list.' Flaherty expects the council will continue to give him advice through 2009. Meeting with ordinary Canadians is also on his agenda. Town hall meetings will take place in several different cities across Canada in the new year. 'I look forward to hearing from Canadians directly and in person what their concerns are and what their advice is.' The Finance Department has also set up an online forum for suggestions from the public. 'Thousands of people have already sent in their views to the website of the Department of Finance,' said Flaherty. 'And we look at those carefully and review them as we prepare the budget.' Flaherty also said he and Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney will meet with the CEOs of the country's biggest banks in January to ensure they are taking steps to make more credit available to average Canadians and businesses.

From a Reuters Canada report on this: Flaherty said of the advisory council: 'I want their advice on what sort of stimuli we should use in the economy. I want their advice about taxation matters. I want their advice about spending. I want their advice about the availability of credit, and what their experiences are.'

From a National Post report on this: The council also includes: Mike Lazaridis—founder and co-CEO of Research In Motion (RIM), creator and manufacturer of the BlackBerry, and chancellor of the University of Waterloo; Ajit Someshwar—founder and chief executive of CSI Consulting, a Toronto-based information technology and risk management company with more than 400 consultants based in the United States, Canada, India, and Europe.

From a Canwest News Service report on this: 'In this time of unprecedented economic turmoil, I am bringing some of Canada's best minds together to find solutions and help launch a timely recovery,' Mr Flaherty said.

The Canadian Economic Press - Scotiabank forecasts fast recovery for Canadian economy (17 December 2008) Although Canada's economy will grow by just 1.2% next year, it will suffer much less damage and see a stronger recovery than some of its counterparts, leading Scotiabank economists said in Scotiabank's 2009-10 Economic Market Outlook Report. Canada will fare better due to 'greater resilience' in its economy based on stronger financial institutions and higher home equity levels, said chief economist Warren Jestin. As a result, the drop in housing activity will be much less severe in Canada, he predicted. Jestin said Ottawa's expected stimulus spending on transportation, education, and health care infrastructure will further fuel the Canadian recovery. And once commodity demand and pricing rebounds, western and Atlantic Canada should lead the recovery. Yet emerging economies in China, Brazil, and India will continue to outperform traditional developed nations 'by a wide margin', Jestin added.

The Saskatoon StarPhoenix - Despite challenges, Sask. economy still strong, says provincial finance minister (17 December 2008) Saskatchewan's finance minister says the province's economy continues to be strong despite falling commodity prices. Rod Gantefoer predicted a balanced budget for the province next spring. 'Saskatchewan is in a relatively unique and a very strong position,' Gantefoer told reporters after a meeting of provincial finance ministers in Saskatoon Wednesday. Gantefoer also said he was optimistic the next federal budget will contain funding for infrastructure. He said he was 'very pleased' at the outcome of the finance ministers meeting, where federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty indicated more 'flexibility and sensitivity' on the part of the federal government regarding infrastructure.

CBC News - N.B. government charts plan with deep corporate tax cuts (17 December 2008) New Brunswick will slash corporate income tax rates to the single digits, giving the province the lowest corporate tax levels in Canada, Finance Minister Victor Boudreau said. The finance minister offered a broad outline of a tax reform agenda that will be announced in March. 'The key elements of our tax reduction package include gradual, yet significant reductions in personal income tax, as well as a target of a single-digit general corporate income tax rate in New Brunswick,' Boudreau said. 'If the government moves toward a single rate tax, New Brunswick is going to have one of the best investment climates in the country,' Niels Veldhuis, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute, said.

Statistics Canada - Large urban transit (18 December 2008) Combined ridership on 10 large urban transit systems in Canada was 4.4% higher in October 2008 than it was in October 2007. Approximately 131.1 million passenger trips were taken on these transit systems in October. These systems account for about 80% of total urban transit in Canada.

The Toronto Star - Green giant urges energy rethink (18 December 2008) Ontario could power itself exclusively on renewable energy one day, says German legislator Hermann Scheer, largely credited for pushing through the policies that have turned his country into a renewable-energy powerhouse. The biggest challenge is overcoming the belief that large, centralized power plants based on nuclear fission and fossil fuels are necessary for an electricity system to operate reliably, Scheer said during a phone interview from his office in Germany. He points to the current structure of Ontario's electricity system, which has nuclear and hydroelectric generation supplying most of the province's base-load power needs—that is, the minimum amount of electricity required at any point in the day. During the course of a day, as electricity demand climbs and then falls again, coal and natural gas generation is called into or taken out of service. Conventional thinking, said Scheer, is that renewables such as wind and solar could never replace base-load nuclear power because it's not consistent and reliable enough. 'We have to rethink this paradigm,' said Scheer, adding that Ontario's vast hydroelectric resources give the province more flexibility than it appreciates. Unlike nuclear and fossil fuel plants, hydroelectric facilities can be turned on and off quickly. His recommendation: Aggressively add wind, solar, biomass, and new hydroelectric generating sources to the grid and use existing hydroelectric facilities as backup for intermittent renewables. 'The combination of hydro power and wind power is perfect, absolutely perfect,' said Scheer. 'If there's enough wind you can easily stop the hydro power production. If there's no wind you can take the hydro power production. It costs no money and there are no fuel costs.' In Germany enough renewable energy was added in 2007 alone to generate 16 terawatt-hours of power production—or about 10 per cent of all electricity generated last year in Ontario. 'If we could extend this annual installation rate [in Ontario] we would reach 100 per cent renewable energy in 25 years,' Scheer said.

The National Post - Health Canada backs research into chronic lead exposure (15 December 2008) Health Canada is sponsoring groundbreaking new research to gauge how much lead Canadians absorb over time. The C$500,000 pilot study is aimed at measuring the long-term accumulation of the toxic metal in people's bones, which cannot be determined by more commonly used blood tests. Scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., will perform special X-ray scans of subjects' bones, where lead can stay trapped for as long as 30 years. The results of the pilot and possible followup studies could lead the government to further lower the level of lead ingestion that is considered safe, said Tye Arbuckle, a senior epidemiologist with Health Canada. The threat generally has receded in the past couple of decades, after use of lead in paint was curtailed in the 1950s and later banned, and leaded gasoline was phased out in the 1980s. Yet research is revealing health problems—such as reduced IQ and academic success—at lower levels of contamination, said Fiona McNeill, the medical physicist at McMaster who will head the study. The first national survey of blood-lead content in 30 years was released last month, indicating that the proportion of Canadians with too-high levels had plumetted since 1978. But the blood tests used in that survey indicate only the subject's most recent exposure to lead, not what they have accumulated over time, McNeill said. The McMaster scans provide an accurate view of bone content. McNeill added: 'Especially in these vulnerable populations—very young children and pregnant women—you really want to be careful that you're protecting the next generation.'

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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