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10 January 2009

5 January was the 5th day of the seventh month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:

5 January 2009

The Toronto Star - Canadians query Afghan mission (3 January 2009) A majority of Canadians want the troops out of Afghanistan before their scheduled departure in 2011. This is the finding of a new Toronto Star/Angus Reid poll of 1,004 Canadians conducted 19-20 December. Quebecers are the most inclined to call for an end to the mission before 2011 at 67 per cent. 'What's interesting is that it is still two years away and the number of Canadians who want this to be over before 2011 is very high,' said Mario Canseco, vice-president of Angus Reid Strategies. The poll also queried Canadians on the idea of the Afghan government and others reaching out to the Taliban in a bid to stem violence. Quebecers are most supportive at 48 per cent.

CBC News - Island MPs ready to work with government (5 January 2009) Prince Edward Island's Liberal MPs say they are willing to work with the Conservative government in Ottawa on a new budget. Malpeque MP Wayne Easter said he's willing to put aside his differences with Prime Minister Harper if his government brings in a budget later this month that jump-starts the Canadian economy. Easter and fellow Liberal Charlottetown MP Shawn Murphy are holding a pre-budget town hall meeting Tuesday. They are looking for ideas from their constituents for federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. That's a sure sign the Liberals are at least willing to consider voting in favour of the budget. Murphy said he wants to see Flaherty's budget before deciding. 'For me to get on a telephone interview and say that I'm going to vote against a budget that I haven't seen would be the height of irresponsibility as far as I'm concerned,' he said. 'I don't think that's what the Canadian people would want to hear.'

The Canadian Press on silver lining seen in economy (5 January 2009) Many private sector economists say they spot the beginnings of a silver lining. 'I'm really quite optimistic that growth will happen by the third quarter,' said Dale Orr of IHS-Global Insight consulting and forecasting firm. Others see a hint of growth as early as the second quarter, the April-June period. One heartening indicator is the stock markets, which after free-falling through much of September, October, and November, have shown surprising stability and modest growth in the past two weeks. Royal Bank economist Paul Ferley noted that stock markets are usually seen as predictors of future economic conditions. Other factors are pointing to a resumption in growth in the second half of 2009, say economists, including extremely low interest rates and cheap oil, which lowers production costs and leaves more money in consumers' pockets. A critical factor, they add, is that both the U.S. and Canada are expected to put in place massive stimulus packages. 'Governments are going to start spending and that's going to be a big part of the momentum for the economy in the second half of the year,' said Avery Shenfeld, a senior economist with CIBC.

The Toronto Star - There's reason for hope in the economy (3 January 2009) There's ample reason to bet that by this time next year conditions will have improved. Banks are remarkably flush, thanks in no small degree to unprecedented billions of government dollars pumped into their reserves. They're poised to resume lending at reasonable rates when demand reasserts itself—that is, when the consumer and business confidence essential to a robust economy is restored. But the run of astonishing bad news that has sapped confidence has largely run its course. For the most part, the banks and big businesses that were going to fail have done so. Meanwhile, the fundamentals that drove up energy and agricultural demand are unchanged, conspicuously the overnight industrial revolutions occurring in China and India. It's worth noting that in Business Week's annual survey of economic forecasters, the most upbeat were in the chronically underreported, and relatively healthy, small-business realm. When it becomes apparent that the real economy, as opposed to the financial economy, is in pretty good shape, Main Street confidence will gradually be restored and Wall and Bay Streets will follow. What that means is that even a modest economic recovery this year could yield dramatically good results. Certainly in Canada, economic recovery may come sooner than expected. With its long string of federal budgetary surpluses and decade of strong GDP and job growth, Canada slipped into recession late last year in better shape than its G8 peers. Business expansion is likely to resume, if modestly at first, following a substantial fiscal stimulus in the Jan. 27 federal budget.

The Globe and Mail - No cracks in Canada's nest egg (5 January 2009) Even the Canada Pension Plan's huge asset base, which now stands at C$117.4 billion, has shrunk under the meltdown. Should Canadians worry that CPP retirement pensions, the foundation of many people's retirement finance planning, won't be there when they need it? The answer is an emphatic 'no'. The chief actuary's latest report said the plan is financially sound for another 75 years. The annual revenue from workers' CPP contributions will continue to exceed expenditures for about another decade. After that, the CPP will dip into its accumulated savings to help pay benefits, but the annual draw will amount to no more than about 2 per cent of the fund itself, which will keep growing.

The Daily Gleaner (N.B.) on Fredericton upbeat about 2009 (3 January 2009) A recent Harris Decima survey asked Canadians about their expectations for this year. Fifty-eight per cent said they had an optimistic outlook. Anthony Knight, CEO of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, said this reflects an optimism that's prevalent in New Brunswick's capital city. People in Fredericton continue to shop, spend and purchase, he said. 'Home prices are steady and employment figures are also steady,' Knight said. 'There are some very positive signs that Fredericton will weather the economic storm that we're confronted with fairly well. We're excited about the prospects for 2009.'

Canwest News Service - Plug-in electric cars will break into market when economy recovers: Panel (5 January 2009) Plug-in electric cars can make a breakthrough into the North American market within the next decade, said the head of an industry-led panel advising the federal government in Ottawa. The task force, which includes General Motors and Ford, said up to 15% of new cars could be plug-in vehicles within the next decade. The target is part of the group's new vision statement, which triples a previous goal of 5% from last summer. 'I think it's a lot of common sense with a little bit of a push, and personally I think we can do better if we all pull together,' said Michael Elwood, who is chairing Canada's Electric Vehicle Technology Road Map group.

Canwest News Service - No more 'free' plastic grocery bags (1 January 2009) That plastic bags take more than 1,000 years to break down and the world consumes more than 500 billion a year are why governments are working with retailers to phase them out. While 2008 began with some companies and municipalities banning plastic bags, by the end of the year another idea had emerged: Fees as an incentive for shoppers to start bringing their own reusable bags. In June, Toronto will become the first major Canadian metropolis to force all retailers to charge at least five cents per bag, hoping it will lead retailers to hand out fewer bags and reduce consumer demand. Following the city's decision, national grocery chain Loblaws announced it would stop giving out free plastic bags at all its stores in April and start charging five cents per bag. Kim McKinnon, vice-president of the Ontario branch of the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors supports the fee. 'One of the things we're doing is to either charge for bags or incent consumers to bring their own reusable bag either through air miles points or shopper point cards,' she said. 'You will probably see more and more grocery industry players moving in that direction.'

CanadaEast News Service - Bald eagle making comeback (2 January 2009) Bald eagles have a wing span of more than two metres. The largest bird of prey in Canada is making a comeback in New Brunswick, Natural Resources Minister Wally Stiles said. 'Information collected in the spring shows the bald eagle population to be an estimated 110 to 145 breeding pairs,' said Stiles. 'That's double the number of known breeding pairs 10 years ago and a huge jump from the 12 breeding pairs back in 1980.' The bald eagle is listed as regionally endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Stiles said the department is developing an update on bald eagles. 'Information gathered during the [spring] survey will be critical to the development of this report and allow us to make informed decisions about the continued recovery of the species in our province,' he said. Bald eagles have slowly recovered through legislation to protect the eagle and its habitat, as well as the banning of DDT and other pesticides.

The Globe and Mail on brain function of seniors improving (3 January 2009) The prevalence of cognitive impairment among people over 70 has been declining sharply in recent years. Brain scientists aren't sure why, but they think it's tied to the fact that older people are better educated, wealthier and more active than ever before. We are being flooded with remarkable new findings about brain plasticity. It seems that the brain - even the aging brain - is more malleable than we thought. It can even grow new nerve cells. Mental challenges are very good for the brain. Even Googling is beneficial. And exercise, social connections, flexibility and openness to new experience are extremely effective cognitive medicine.

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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