Thursday, June 2, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 1 June 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports


Canada's four major federal political parties met in Ottawa Wednesday for the first time since the May 2 election as they prepare for the opening of Parliament. They will elect a new speaker on Thursday and on Friday the Governor General will reveal the government's plans for the next session of parliament. On Monday, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will present his budget, which he says will contain only minor changes from the one he tabled in March. Members of Parliament are expected to take their summer holiday in about two to three weeks.


Three Canadian provincial premiers want Prime Minister Stephen Harper to drop his plan to reform the Senate. Dalton McGuinty of Ontario, Darrel Dexter of Nova Scotia and Chrisrty Clark of British Columbia say the upper chamber of parliament should be abolished. Mr. McGuinty says it's impossible to reform the Senate in any substantive way.


Canada's parliamentary budget office has denied the government's contention that it will be able to balance the budget by 2014-15 as planned. A report by Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page says the government's calculations exclude higher operating expenses than projected. The report says that while it's not impossible to balance the budget by 2014-15, this won't happen without policy decisions to increase revenues or reduce spending. For the first time, Mr. Page used his office's own economic growth forecasts rather than the consensus private sector forecasts published by the government. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will present his next budget on Monday.


A judge in the Canadian city of Montreal has freed 31 alleged members of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang who were facing drug charges. They were among 155 people who were arrested by police in 2009. In setting them free, Justice James Brunton said it took too long to put them on trial. He also criticized the province of Quebec's justice minister and the head of criminal prosecutions for thinking the justice system could handle such a big and complex case.


The heads of Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers met on Wednesday in a last-ditch move to avert a strike. CUPW has threatened to launch a walkout at midnight Thursday. The employer has said Canada Post must address labour costs in a new contract, pointing out that its letter-mail business has dropped by more than 17 per cent since 2006 because of digital communications. The union says sick leave is a major stumbling block. Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt has urged the two sides to reach an agreement because a strike would hurt the economy.



NATO is extending its Libyan mission launched in March for another 90 days. The 28-member alliance imposed air strikes, a no-fly zone and an arms embargo on Libya in late March with a 90-day operations plan. The alliance has increased its bombing of Moammar Gadhafi's forces and headquarters in recent weeks. But analysts say it has yet to deliver a decisive blow to topple the Libya. Meanwhile, rumours and denials in recent weeks that Libya's oil minister has defected have turned out to be true. Shukri Ghanem turned up in Rome on Wednesday and said he will join young Libyans fighting for a democratic country. However, he added that he isn't working with the National Transitional Council in Benghazi.


Thirty-seven people were killed in overnight clashes between opposition tribesmen and security forces after a truce collapsed. Heavy fighting is continuing between both sides in the capital Sana'a. The government accused tribesmen of breaking the four-day old truce. But sources claim Yemen's troops were to blame as they fired on the compound of a tribal leader in the north of the city. The fighting came a day after régime forces shot dead seven people demonstrating against President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Taez. At least 320 people have been killed in fighting since protests started in Yemen about four months ago.


There's a report that 33 people have been killed in the Syrian government's crackdown on two towns in the centre and south of the country. It comes from the Local Co-ordination Committee in Syria, which documents the country's protests. It says the military shot dead 25 people in the central town of Rastan. The group says that tanks and artillery shelled the southern town of Hirak, killing at least eight people, one of them an 11-year-old girl. In another development, state-run Syrian television says the interior ministry has ordered an investigation into the death of a 13-year-old boy. Videos of the boy's corpse bearing apparent marks of torture have appeared on the Internet. Opposition groups blamed the security forces for the death.


More than 25,000 Jewish Israelis took part in the annual Jerusalem Day parade in mainly Arab eastern sector on Wednesday. The event celebrates the city's capture by the Israeli army 44 years ago. Palestinians shut their shops as the marchers arrived. More than 3,000 police were deployed to prevent clashes.


Former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic, extradited to the Netherlands from Serbia on Tuesday after 16 years in hiding, will appear in court on Friday to face war crime charges. Mladic was indicted over the 43-month siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo and the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the town of Srebrenica during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.


China's People's Liberation Army has forbidden its 2.3 million soldiers to use the Internet. PLA officials say that making online friends could help the enemy. The People's Liberation Daily, the armed forces' official newspaper, says passing on personal details such as a soldier's address, duties or contact details could risk revealing the location of military bases. It adds that particular risks exist in users posting photos of themselves, such as during training, which could divulge military capabilities and equipment. The ban was included in regulations announced last year that forbade soldiers from to launch websites or blogs.


Russian Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov has applauded a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in the case of jailed former oil tycoon Mikhail Khosorkovsky. The court ruled that there was no "incontestable proof" that his conviction for tax evasion was politically motivated. But it said his arrest was illegal and his jail conditions poor, and so ordered the Russian government to pay him 10,000 euros in compensation. Mr. Konovalov says the judgment will lessen the dishonest polemics and hysteria about the case. Both Khodorkovsky and his jailed associate Platon Lebedev requested bail on Tuesday.



Bombardier Aerospace Inc. says it now has 100 firms orders for its CSeries 100 airliner. Braathens Aviation of Sweden has placed firm orders for 10 of the new aircraft with an option for 10 others. If the options are exercised, the Swedish order would have a list price of US$1.37 billion. Bombardier other CSeries customers are Republic Airways, Deutsche Lufthansa and Lease Corporation International.


Engineering firm SNC-Lavalin has announced a multi-million-dollar contract for an energy expansion project in the Russian Arctic. The Canadian firm says the Russian company Globalstroy-Engineering has chosen it as the main sub-contractor for engineering and procurement for phase three of the Kharyaga oilfield project in Nenets Autonomous Territory in the oil-rich province of Timan-Pechora. Financial details weren't disclosed. Unnamed analysts cited by the Canadian Press put the value of the contract at between $40 million and $60 million. Phase Three of the project involved maintaining a daily output of 300,000 barrels a day and developing additional reserves. On Tuesday, SNC-Lavalin said it had been awarded of an offshore natural gas project in Venezuela which analysts assessed as being worth between $20 million and $50 million.


TSX on Wednesday: 13,534 - 269. Dollar: US$1.02. Euro: $1.39. Oil: $100.27 - $2.43.




The same excitement that gripped Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics has taken hold of the city.

Only this time, the streets are full of fans wearing Canuck jerseys.

The Canucks went after the first National Hockey League Stanley Cup championship in their 40-year history Wednesday night, hosting the Boston Bruins in game one. Boston is looking to end its own long Stanley Cup drought.

The Bruins have won the Cup five times, the last time in 1972.

Meanwhile, season tickets went on sale Wednesday for Winnipeg's new NHL team.

True North Sports and Entertainment formally announced it has purchased the Atlanta Thrashers, and is moving them north.

Jubilant fans are being asked to open their wallets and show support for the new franchise.

Tickets will range from $39 to $129.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made it clear every one of them better be sold next season, adding, it isn't going to work very well unless the MTS Centre is sold out every game.

Winnipeg's arena will be the smallest in the league.

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