Wednesday, April 20, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 19 April 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports
Canadian

MONTREAL: PREMIER WARNS OF CONSEQUENCES OF CHANGE OF POWER

The premier of the Canadian province of Quebec, Jean Charest, is warning that the opposition Parti Québécois is becoming more radical. Mr. Charest says resolutions adopted at the sovereignist party's weekend policy convention show that leader Pauline Marois and the party are taking a hard line. One such measure would make it mandatory for francophones and immigrants who attend junior college to do so in the French language. Mr. Charest also warns that if Mrs. Marois and her party are elected they will want to provoke conflicts with the federal government. He predicts a Parti Québécois government would focus its energies the next sovereignty referendum and rather than the economy. Mr. Charest does not need to call an election until 2013. When in power, the Parti Québécois lost two referendums to separate from Canada in 1980 and 1995.



UNDATED: CANADIAN SNARES PHOTO HONOUR

Canadian Barbara Davidson has won the Pulitzer Prize for photography. She was awarded the honour for her work documenting gang violence in Los Angeles. Her photographs for the feature story focused on the effects of the tragedy on the victims and their families. Miss Davidson says she first developed her skills at the school newspaper at McGill University in Montreal. She now works for the Los Angeles Times.



REGINA: FLOODING FEARS WANE

Flood forecasters in the western Canadian province of Saskatchewan are cautiously optimistic that water levels have peaked in many places. The Saskatchewan Watershed Authority says water levels are still very high across the southern half of the province but they will not rise as much as previously feared. Emergency response officials say it's been a unique year because the flooding has been so widespread. Fifteen communities have declared states of emergency.



OTTAWA: INFLATION TAKES BOUND

Canada's inflation rate rose sharply last month to 3.3 percent, up from 2.2 percent in February. The increase was the biggest in more than two years, with increases in gas and food prices fuelling the rise.



WELLAND: LAYTON ATTACKS PM ON JOBS

New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton visited southern Ontario's hard-hit industrial heartland on Tuesday. Speaking in Welland, he accused Mr.Harper of doing nothing to prevent the loss of thousands of well-paying jobs. Mr. Layton claims that the prime minister visits places like Welland without even mentioning the subject of jobs. Many businesses in Welland went bankrupt during the recession. One of the town's biggest employers, Henniges Automotive, recently announced it will close its plant, throwing 300 people out of work. Mr. Layton accuses Mr. Ignatieff of being in cahoots with the Conservatives by supporting corporate tax cuts which he says have cost countless jobs in Ontario and elsewhere. The NDP has promised tax credits worth up to $4,500 for each new job, a plan which Mr. Layton says would reward the small businesses that create almost one-half of new jobs. On another matter, the NDP leader again promoted the idea of working with the other parties. He says a coalition is not necessarily a bad thing, either in a formal arrangementor on an ad hoc basis. But he says there have been no discussions with the Liberals or Bloc about overthrowing a re-elected Conservative minority.



WINNIPEG: GRIT LEADER PUSHES WATER PLAN IN FLOODED WEST

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff campaigned on Tuesday in the western province of Manitoba. That province and neighbouring Saskatchewan are trying to cope with the worst flooding in a century, with hundreds of residents having been forced from their homes. Mr. Ignatieff took advantage of the unfortunate circumstances to promote his party's $225-million fresh water strategy. Under the plan, scientific solutions would be devised for Canada's water problems, including the annual spring floods in the Prairies. It would also explore ways to clean up heavily polluted Lake Winnipeg and to remove invasive species from the Great Lakes. Mr. Ignatieff noted that the flood poses a particular danger to aboriginal communities.



THUNDER BAY: PM CAGEY ON FUTURE

Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper refused to say whether he would resign if his party again fails to win a majority on May 2. He contented himself with the statement that he's campaigning to win. Mr. Harper was in Thunder Bay, ON, to talk up the Conservative plan to spend $100 million on a fund to support brain research and neuroscience. The prime minister says one Canadian in three suffers from brain or nervous system disorders, such as multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer's disease. Mr. Harper stressed that only a majority government can deliver on health care fund and vital medical research.





International

CUBA

Cuba's Communist Party has approved economic reforms at its annual Congress in Havana. The reforms represent the biggest changes to Cuba's Soviet-style economy in decades. The reforms include cutting more than one million government jobs over the next few years, reducing subsidies, encouraging more private initiative, giving more autonomy to state companies, encouraging more foreign investment and bringing down state spending. the government also hopes to increase food production by decentralizing agriculture and increasing the role of private farmers. Currently, Cuba depends on much of its food from imports.



JAPAN

Japan's government has asked local authorities, businesses and citizens not to discriminate against evacuees from the area around the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant. The request came after some evacuation centres demanded radiation-free certificates from people who lived near the plant. Since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami triggered the world's worst nuclear crisis since the 1986 Chernobyl atomic plant explosion in Ukraine, nearly 86,000 people have had to evacuate from Fukushima prefecture. More than five weeks since the accident, several cases have emerged in which people from Fukushima have faced discrimination. The earthquake and tsunami has claimed the lived of at least 13,000 people and left tens of thousands homeless.



JAPAN

Japan's government has asked local authorities, businesses and citizens not to discriminate against evacuees from the area around the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant. The request came after some evacuation centres demanded radiation-free certificates from people who lived near the plant. Since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami triggered the world's worst nuclear crisis since the 1986 Chernobyl atomic plant explosion in Ukraine, nearly 86,000 people have had to evacuate from Fukushima prefecture. More than five weeks since the accident, several cases have emerged in which people from Fukushima have faced discrimination. The earthquake and tsunami has claimed the lived of at least 13,000 people and left tens of thousands homeless.



UKRAINE

Donors have promised $780 million more to build a new giant encasement around the reactor at Chernobyl that exploded in 1986 in the world's worst nuclear disaster. The amount is less than the Ukrainian government had hoped. The European Commission president, José Manuel Barroso, says the EU will provide about one-half of the money pledged. The encasement will cover the existing makeshift sarcophagus around the blasted reactor, which has begun to leak radioactivity. The new structure is expected to be in place until the end of the century.



LIBYA

Canadian Lieut-Gen. Charles Bouchard, who leads the NATO mission for Libya, has described the situation in Misrata as very difficult. He says Moammar Gaddafi's forces have shed their uniforms and are hiding on the rooftops of mosques, hospitals and schools and are shielding themselves from enemy fire with women and children. Although Gaddahfi has promised that aid workers can get in and out of all areas of Libya that he controls, it doesn't appear that that will provide any relief to those trapped in Misrata, where hundreds are believed to have died. Meanwhile, efforts to break the military stalemate in Libya are being stepped up. France is increasing its air strikes in Libya to protect civilians from Gaddafi's forces. Britain says it will send a dozen senior soldiers to Libya to help organize the rebel forces. The rebels have been engaged in battles with Gaddafi's loyalists for weeks. NATO is enforcing a UN no-fly zone over Libya. NATO warplanes launched air strikes on the capital, Tripoli, and the city of Sirte on Tuesday. Elsewhere, forces loyal to Gaddafi renewed bombardment of the rebel-held city of Misrata and casualties were reported.



SYRIA

Syria's government has passed legislation lifting the country's emergency law. The law, that had been in place since 1963, restricted civil liberties, imposed restrictions on public gatherings, freedom of movement and allowed the arrest of anyone suspected of posing a threat to security. The passage of the bill came amid month-long protests calling for reform. In related developments, Syrian security forces opened fire before dawn on hundreds of anti-government protesters in the city of Homs. Hundreds of people had gathered Monday at a major square in the centre of Homs. They promised to stay until President Bashar Assad resigns. At least 200 people have been killed during the past month as security forces launched a crackdown on a growing protest movement.





Financial

MARKETS

TSX: 13,749, + 47. Dollar: US$1.04. Euro: $1.37. Oil: $108.15, + $1.03.



OTTAWA: DUTIES CLAPPED ON CHINESE STEEL PRODUCT

Punitive duties are to be slapped on imports to Canada of steel grating from China. The decision was announced on Tuesday by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, an independent body that hears cases involving allegations of dumped and subsidized imports. Steel gratings are a grill or network of bars set in a window or door or used as a partition. The ruling backed a case brought by the Fisher & Ludlow firm of Burlington, ON, found that the company had been harmed by dumping and subsidizing of steel grating from China. The Tribunal didn't specify the amount of the punitive duties or give its reasons. It will do so on May 4.





Sports

SPORTS

HOCKEY

In the National Hockey League, San José centre Logan Couture, Islanders winger Michael Grabner and Carolina centre Jeff Skinner are the three finalists for rookie of the year. Couture had 32 goals and 56 points for the Sharks. Grabner didn't start the season with the Islanders, but ended it as the club's goals leader with 34. Skinner, who's just 18, led all rookies in scoring as the league's youngest player.





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