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Good news report from Canada

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7 January 2009

31 December was the 31st day of the sixth month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:

31 December 2008

CBC News - Montreal boasts record low year for homicides (30 December 2008) Montreal is rounding out 2008 with the fewest homicides the city has ever seen since police started keeping statistics. So far, 29 people have been killed in Montreal this year—the fewest since the island-wide police force was formed in 1972. Last year, there were 42 homicides in the city. 'We are in a time of peace instead of a time of war on our territory,' said Clement Rose, commander of the Montreal police major crimes division. '[There are] no wars with the Rock Machine and the Hells Angels, as we have had in past years. There are also no wars between street gangs. There are conflicts between individuals, but there aren't street gang wars.' Montreal's homicide numbers have been declining for several years. Last year, Montreal had a lower homicide rate than any other major Canadian city.

Canwest News Service - Canadians better off than most: report (29 December 2008) By and large, Canadian families will finish 2008 in much better financial shape than families in many other parts of the world. Indeed, the Canadian consumer almost single-handedly sustained the Canadian economy for much of the year, a function of employment and wage growth that surprised professional forecasters at every turn. 'Overall, despite a modest deterioration, the financial position of the Canadian house-hold sector remains relatively positive,' the Bank of Canada said on 11 December. Canada, at least at year's end, still had a relatively stable employment outlook. For most Canadian households, this is the most important pillar of financial security. Canada's economy has done remarkably well when it comes to job creation in 2008, creating more than 129,000 net new jobs in the 12-month period ending in November. Wage growth was also strong through most of the year and touched some record-highs in mid-year. Finally, there is that other pillar of economic security, our homes, which, for most Canadians, is their biggest asset and biggest investment. For most of the year, housing markets in Canada held up relatively well.

The Canadian Press on tax savings in 2009 (31 December 2008) Thanks to provincial tax changes, some Canadians will be able to realize tax savings in 2009 starting New Year's Day. Alberta is eliminating the health care premium, saving individuals C$528 and families C$1,056 on average in 2009. Elimination of the health care premium will benefit Albertans even if the payments are fully or partially covered by employers, since those were considered a taxable benefit. Meanwhile, Newfoundland lowered all its tax rates effective to last summer, moving the province from among the highest taxing jurisdictions to the middle of the pack in Canada. In Ontario, investors will benefit from the increase to 7.4 per cent from seven per cent of the tax credit for dividends from large Canadian companies. Nationally in 2009, corporate income tax continues to shrink from the current 19.5 per cent to 19 per cent on route to a 15 per cent rate by 2012. And Canadians can now utilize the new Tax-Free Savings Account that allows them to invest up to C$5,000 a year starting 1 January without paying taxes on future growth. (Unused contribution amounts are carried forward and savers can withdraw money at any time tax-free.)

Bloomberg News - Royal Bank, Manulife lead surge in Canadian stock offerings (30 December 2008) Royal Bank of Canada and Manulife Financial led a surge in Canadian equity offerings in December. Canadian banks and insurers accounted for about 88 per cent of the C$5.65 billion in new equity sales, the highest monthly total since at least 1999, when Bloomberg began collecting data. The offers included a C$1.4 billion common share sale by Toronto-Dominion Bank, and Royal Bank's C$2 billion issue, the largest in four years. Other companies selling shares included Manulife, the country's largest insurer, which raised C$1.15 billion in a public offering. 'It's positive,' said William Tynkaluk, who helps manage about C$2 billion at Leon Frazer & Associates in Toronto. 'It tells you there is money out there, the way they're going out the door.' Next year may be 'fairly healthy' for stock sales as companies seek to reduce debt, according to Roman Dubczak, head of equity capital markets at CIBC World Markets in Toronto.

CBC News - Nunavut led nation in polar year research (29 December 2008) Nunavut hosted more scientific research projects and activities than any other province or territory during the International Polar Year (IPY), according to Jamal Shirley of the Nunavut Research Institute in Iqaluit. 'In 2008, we had 461 scientists working in Nunavut as part of IPY, on about close to 160 different projects,' Shirley said. Now the institute and Nunavut Arctic College are working together to make sure all that research is made available to the residents of Nunavut. Shirley said getting scientific researchers and organizations such as the college to work together will develop material that is more useful to the people of Nunavut.

The Canadian Press - New energy-efficiency standards for new homes in Ontario kick in (31 December 2008) Effective 1 January, Ontario's building code will require near full-height insulation on foundation walls in all new-home construction. The province estimates that such homes will be typically about 28 per cent more energy efficient than a decade ago. 'Our new insulation requirement will . . . support the building of cleaner, greener communities,' Housing Minister Jim Watson said. After 2011, houses will have to have an EnerGuide 80 level or higher efficiency. EnerGuide 80 is a model energy rating system for houses developed and administered by Natural Resources Canada. Previous upgrades to building requirements were made to windows, ceilings, walls and furnaces.

The Toronto Star - Turning our condos green (27 December 2008) Barbara Lawlor, president of Baker Real Estate, says the new watchword in building materials is sustainable. 'We are starting to hear more about natural stone and natural fibres,' Lawlor said. 'Bamboo and cork is coming on. . . .' Clients are now asking for granite alternatives such as Caesar stone—a concrete and stone chip mix—because granite has to be shipped such great distances. Locally-mined quartz is also a popular countertop alternative, she said.

The Lethbridge Herald (AB) - Smokeless stores (28 December 2008) Cigarettes will disappear from most of Alberta's supermarket shelves by 1 January, as the next step in the province's anti-smoking campaign. Sales will also be banned in all drug stores, health-care facilities, and Alberta's public colleges and universities, by authority of the province's Tobacco Reduction Act. 'This is one of the most effective measures our government has taken to protect the health of Albertans,' says Shari Langhofer, speaking for the Action on Smoking and Health initiative in Lethbridge. The ban is the third step in the campaign, which has already prohibited smoking in all public places, and halted advertising and promotion of tobacco products. Smoking trends have been going down. The number of Albertans aged 15 and up who smoke dropped below 21 per cent by 2007, with 26 per cent reporting they were 'former smokers' and more than 52 per cent saying they've never smoked tobacco.

CBC News - Tobacco power walls banned in N.B. stores as of Jan. 1 (31 December 2008) New Brunswick stores will no longer be able to have cigarettes on display as of 1 January, as a part of the provincial government's attempt to snuff out tobacco advertising. Health Minister Michael Murphy announced the crackdown earlier in the year, saying the idea is to keep cigarettes out of sight and out of mind of New Brunswickers, especially young people. The rule changes also ban any form of tobacco advertising from the public's view. The move is aimed at stopping impulse buying and enticing young people to smoke. 'This ban will help more New Brunswickers to be non-smokers and lead healthier lifestyles by keeping these harmful tobacco products out of sight,' Murphy said.

The Globe and Mail on nutrition top-of-mind for Canadians (31 December 2008) Good news: Canadians are clearly interested in nutrition and trying to adopt a healthier diet, according to a national survey released in October by the Canadian Council of Food and Nutrition. Eight out of 10 Canadians consider themselves at least somewhat knowledgeable about nutrition. Half of us think nutrition is 'very important' when deciding what to eat. What's more, six out of 10 Canadians say they've made an effort in the past year to adopt a healthier diet. The top improvements include eating less fat and sugar and more vegetables, fibre, and whole grains.

The Canadian Press - Back in the kitchen, eating well, food safety all trends for new year (30 December 2008) Watch for the following food trends to emerge in 2009: Home cooking: Canadians will be cooking more often and eating out less. Sales of cookbooks as well as enrolment in cooking classes are increasing. Precise sourcing: Consumers are more focused on buying local. Food-safety issues have consumers increasingly concerned about where their food is coming from. Nutrition replaces diets: Dieting seems to be on the decline with consumers gravitating to smarter lifestyles instead. Long-term trends have seen consumers more interested in eating healthier, more organic and locally sourced food.

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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