Tuesday, May 17, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 16 May 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


The Canadian Parliament will reconvene on June 2, exactly one month after the Conservatives won a majority in the House of Commons on the third try. Government House leader John Baird says the House will first choose a speaker then return the next day for the Speech from the Throne in which the government will unveil its priorities for the session. The Conservative majority is expected to introduce a slew of bills, including an omnibus crime bill and a bill to abolish the long-gun registry. The New Democratic Part will form the Official Opposition with 103 seats. The Liberal are reduced to third place and the Bloc Québécois has lost its official party status. Parliament will see the début of Elizabeth May, the leader of the Green Party.


The Bank of Canada governor is warning that high levels of debt in advanced economies could damage the global economy and Canada's as well. Speaking to the Canadian Club of Ottawa, Mark Carney said advanced economies face a protracted period of slow growth as they struggle to come out from under a mountain of debt, while emerging economies such as China will face the opposite challenge of restraining inflation. He said Canada has the advantage of a strong fiscal position, but it cannot totally evade the fallout of high debt in the U.S. and other advanced nations. Mr. Carney also urges Canadian firms to start taking advantage of the opportunities presented by strong growth in emerging markets like China, since growth in the U.S. will be modest for some time. The governor gave no hint about his own long-term plans for interest rates in Canada.


A town in the western Canadian province of Alberta has been hit hard by a fire that was out of control. Police say the nine-square-kilometre blaze has destroyed many buildings in the northern town of Slave Lake, 200 kilometres north of Edmonton. Some 7,000 people were forced to evacuate with little warning. Officials have advised residents to protect themselves from the wildfire by heading for parking lots, beaches or large, green open spaces. Among the buildings gone are the town hall, the hospital and a local radio station.


The government in the western Canadian province of Manitoba says sunny, warm weather and a slow flow of water through a deliberate breach in a major dike are giving crews a chance to boost flood protection in the controlled zone. The province opened a dike east of Portage la Prairie Saturday morning to prevent worse flooding downstream along the Assiniboine River. So far, none of the 150 homes in the controlled flood zone have been swamped. Many are critical of the province's decision to breach the dike, but Premier Greg Sellinger says it was a necessary measure and all those affected will be well compensated.


The east coast Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island say they require special consideration for transfer payments from the federal government and the provinces expire in 2014.government. They want an increase of funding especially for health care. Premier Robert Ghiz of Prince Edward Island and Premier Darrell Dexter of Nova Scotia say their provinces have an aging population that is putting pressure on the cost of health care. The current transfer agreements between the federal Prime Minister Stephen Harper has agreed to maintain the six-per cent annual increase in health care funding.


U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano hopes that American border agents can improve border surveillance by getting access to 22 Canadian radar stations. The United States relies on one national radar network run by the Federal Aviation Administration and the defense department. Some U.S. government officials are worried about growing drug smuggling from Canada, where smugglers use small planes to fly across the border at low altitudes to prevent radar detection. A new law requires the Obama administration to come up with an anti-drug strategy on the U.S.-Canada border by this summer. Increased enforcement along the Mexican border has made smuggling more challenging for criminal cartels using the major southern routes.



The chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court has requested an arrest warrant for Libyan leader Moammar Ghaddafi for crimes against humanity. Luis Moreno-Ocampo accuses Ghaddafi of having ordered his forces to shoot down civilians in their homes, at funerals and outside mosques. The indictment also claims Ghaddafi prepared lists of dissidents who have been jailed in Tripoli, tortured and made to disappear. The prosecutor has also charged the leader's second son and his brother-in-law with crimes against humanity. A panel of ICC judges will decide whether to accept the prosecutor's application


A court in New York has refused bail to the head of the International Monetary Fund. Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been charged with rape and other crimes. His defence lawyers were seeking his release on $1 billion in bail. A 32-year-old chambermaid has accused him of trying to rape her in a Manhattan hotel on Saturday. He denies it. A defence lawyer says he did not flee the hotel and that the person with whom he dined on Saturday will testify to this. Mr. Strauss-Kahn's lawyers say he'll plead not guilty to a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment. He'll next appear in court on May 20.


Pakistani official say two U.S. drones struck a target with missiles in the tribal area of North Waziristan, killing at least seven militants. The strikes destroyed a compound and a vehicle. The drone attacks were the fifth and sixth since U.S. commandos filled Osama bin Laden on May 2. The attacks coincided with a visit to Islamabad by U.S. Sen. John Kerry. His mission is try to smooth relations in the wake of the raid.


Russia's deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, says the U.S. has refused to provide legal guarantees concerning its plan to install an anti-missile defence shield in Europe. Mr. Ryabkov says the Russian government is disappointed with the refusal. Russia demanded legal assurances that the eventual defence shield wouldn't some day be deployed as a space-based weapons system that could threaten southern and western Russia. This followed the agreement between the U.S. and Romania that anti-missile interceptors would be deployed on Romanian territory. Mr. Ryabkov acknowledged Monday that the system as planned now isn't aimed at Russia.



The Canada-based group that made a takeover offer for the Toronto Stock Exchange over the weekend has promised to maintain current management staffing levels and dividends if its bid for the TMX is successful. Maple Group Acquisition Corp. says its $3.6-billion bid is "a superior outcome for Canadian capital markets." The group comprising four big banks and five pension funds made a $48 per share offer, a 24-per cent premium over the price offered in a proposed merger between the TMX and the London Stock Exchange. The proposed merger has been criticized by the Ontario government and big Canadian banks on the grounds that the deal could allow foreign interests to dominate decision-making at Canada's largest stock exchange. TMX and LSE argue that the merger would create enough financial heft to compete. LSE also says it will stick to its offer.


TSX on Friday: 13,391 + 11. Dollar: US$1.02. Euro: $1.36. Oil: $97.11 - $2.54.




The Vancouver Canucks needed just 79 seconds to take Game 1 of the Western Conference final. Kevin Bieksa and Henrik Sedin scored two quick goals as Vancouver rallied to beat San Jose 3-2 last night. Monday was an off day in the National Hockey League playoffs. The Canucks and Sharks resume their series Wednesday.



British Columbia on Tuesday: cloud south, rain north, high C12 Vancouver. Yukon: mix sun cloud. Northwest Territories: sun. Nunavut: mix sun cloud snow. Whitehorse 19, Yellowknife 21, Iqaluit -2. Alberta, Manitoba: sun. Saskatchewan: rain north, sun south. Edmonton 20, Regina 18, Winnipeg 24. Ontario: rain south, sun north. Quebec: rain. Toronto 12, Ottawa 10, Montreal 11. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton, Halifax, Charlottetown 8, St. John's 6.

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