Friday, September 9, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 8 September 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


Canadian Prime Minister says the economy and the elimination of the federal deficit will be the Conservative government's main priorities when Parliament reconvenes. He made the declaration in remarks at a Conservative caucus meeting in Ottawa. The prime minister told his MPs that although the economy has created 600,000 new jobs since July 2009, the world economy remains fragile and the government must stay vigilant. The Conservatives also discussed how to fulfil campaign promises, such as the abolition of the long-gun registry and an omnibus justice bill.


The federal council of the opposition federal official opposition party will meet in Ottawa on Friday to lay the ground rules to pick a new leader to replace the late Jack Layton. The New Democratic Party officials will pick a date and location for a leadership convention, set a spending limit and decide whether a certain number of votes should be reserved for labour unions. Party President Brian Topp and Quebec lieutenant Thomas Mulcair have expressed interest in the job. The names of B.C. MP Peter Julian and Ontario MPs Paul Dewar and Charlie Angus also have been mentioned.


Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has acknowledged that the government's tariff policies could explain why some consumer products cost more in Canada than in the U.S. The minister made the comment one day after he asked the Senate finance committee to investigate the price gap between the two countries. Mr. Flaherty had been asked about the gap in the light of the virtual parity between the two countries' currencies. Tariffs on most goods trade between the U.S., Canada and Mexico were phased out in trade deals in the 1980s and 1990s. But tariffs are still levied on imports from Asia, Europe and South America. The Retail Council of Canada says tariffs are indeed a cause of the consumer price between Canada and the U.S. and that Mr. Flaherty knows this. The Council says tariffs can account for as much as 18 per cent on some imported items sold in Canada.


Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says the federal government and Quebec are still far from an agreement on compensation for the province's harmonized sales tax. In the last federal budget, the Conservative government committed itself to offer Quebec $2.2 billion in compensation for having blended the federal and provincial sales taxes and promised an agreement on the matter by Sept. 15. Mr. Flaherty said on Thursday that he cannot guarantee the deadline will be met. Quebec received no compenation when it blended the two taxes in the 1990s. It began demanding compensation after other provinces who took the same step received federal support.


Meanwhile in British Columbia, the government has said the loss of the harmonized sales tax will contribute to a huge budget deficit. Several weeks ago, residents voted in a referendum to get rid of the tax. Finance Minister Kevin Falcon said on Thursday that this will be a factor in a projected deficit of $2.8 billion in 2011-2012. This will be due in great part to the $1.6 billion that the province will have to repay the federal government which it had received to ease the transition to the HST.


Canada's west coast city of Vancouver has come out first in an environmental assessment of 27 Canadian and American cities. The survey was carried out by the British magazine The Economist. The magazine rated the cities' performance in nine categories, including transport, water, waste and land use. Vancouver finished in the top 10 in all nine categories. Toronto placed ninth overall and Ottawa 12th.


The town of Gander in the eastern Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador received warm words at a ceremony in Washington on Thursday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Sixty-seven-hundred airline passengers were rerouted to the town after the U.S. closed its airspace after the attacks. Many residents of the town of 10,000 took the stranded passengers into their homes. Gander was given an international resiliency award at the event sponsored by the Center for National Policy and the Voices of September 11 group. Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter welcomed Gander mayor, Claude Elliot, and Newfoundland Premier Kathy Dunderdale. Mrs. Dunderdale says she wasn't surprised by the generosity of Gander's residents toward their guests because people in her province are like that.



Libya's de facto prime minister has warned Libyans that the fight for liberation is not yet over. Speaking in Tripoli, Mahmud Jibril says liberation begins with the capture or elimination of Moammar Gadhafi because then his followers will truly know that the former dictator is out of the picture. Mr. Jibril didn't say how close the National Transitional Council is to tracking him down. The Council deputy leader says the first challenge for Libyans now is to forgive and to build a new future of themselves and future generations. In another development, NATO's secretary general says the alliance will continue its mission in Libya as long as there is any threat to the country's population from forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi that are still offering resistance. Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters in Lisbon that after the threat had gone, the alliance's role would be a supporting one.


Indian agencies on Thursday were scrambling for leads on the briefcase bombing that killed at least 11 outside a courthouse in the capital. Investigators are looking into an email sent to several TV news channels allegedly by a Pakistan-linked extremist group. It wants to determine whether it is a genuine claim of responsibility or a fake. The email demanded that a Kashmiri man convicted in a 2001 attack have his death sentence commuted. It also threatened to target other courts. Police in Kashmir say investigators have traced the email to an Internet cafe in the disputed Himalayan region's Kishtwar area and are questioning the owner.


Mexico's attorney general's office sayS the owner of a casino where 52 people died in an arson attack last month had received extortion threats. The owner of the Casino in Monterrey fled for fear of his life to the U.S. and spoke to the Mexican authorities in Miami. Raul Rocha Cantu said extortioners demanded $140,000 and torched his establishment when he didn't pay. Gunmen entered the casino in the northern city of Monterrey, spread gasoline and then set the building on fire. Dozens of gamblers and employees axphyxiated, most of them women playing bingo or slot machines.


The United States said Thursday it will veto a bid for UN recognition of a Palestinian state if it comes to a vote before the UN Security Council. The state department's declaration came after the Palestinians officially launched their campaign aimed at joining the United Nations as a full member state. Palestinian officials and activists on Thursday announced the campaign in a letter delivered to the office of UN chief Ban Ki-moon in the West Bank town of Ramallah. It urges the UN chief to "exert all possible efforts toward the achievement of the Palestinian people's just demands." The letter says the campaign will include a series of peaceful events leading up to the Sept. 21 opening of the UN General Assembly. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will address the assembly two days later. The Palestinians say they are turning to the UN because years of peace negotiations have failed. Israel says peace can only be achieved through negotiations.


A top hockey official says Lokomotiv Yaroslavl will be rebuilt in time to take part in this year's Kontinental Hockey League season. All but one of the 28 players travelling to Belarus for their first game of the season were killed when their Yak-42 jet crashed on Wednesday. The team's Canadian coach, Brad McCrimmon, also died. Kontinental Hockey League chief Alexander Medvedev said Thursday that each team in the KHL should volunteer up to three players each toward building a new Lokomotiv squad. He says that will free up between 40 and 45 players from which Lokomotiv can pick.



The Ontario Securities Commission has extended by four months its order that stopped trading in shares of timber firm Sino-Forest. The OSC says it needs more time to finish its investigation into allegations of fraud against the Chinese company. The Commission explained on Thursday that it has to interview witnesses with the aid of interpreters and to review thousands of documents written in Chinese. The allegations were first made by a U.S. investment house, which claimed that Sino-Forest had exaggerated sales and assets. The OSC then itself has accused the company of fraud.


Forestry products firm AbitibiBowater says it wants labour union support to reduce costs as it considers the partial reopening of a newsprint mill in Gatineau, QC. The company says it may reopen one of two newsprint machines there. The facility was supposedly permanently closed in May 2010 with the loss of more than 300 workers. AbitibiBowater says it could restart the machine if it gets a new labour agreement, obtains a stable fibre supply and settles energy problems with Hydro-Quebec. More than one-half of the newsprint production would be exported to Latin America and Asia.


TSX on Thursday: 12,684 - 37. Dollar: US$1.01. Euro: $1.37. Oil: $88.81 - .53.




The Canadian men's basketball team ended the FIBA (FEE'-buh) Olympic Americas tournament with a disappointing loss. Gary Forbes scored 39 points as Panama upset Canada 91-89 today in Argentina. The loss means Canada will not advance to a second-chance Olympic qualifier next summer. Canada hasn't qualified for the Olympics since the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney.



British Columbia on Friday: sun, high C24 Vancouver. Yukon: rain. Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud. Nunavut: mix rain cloud snow. Whitehorse 13, Yellowknife 18, Iqaluit 7. Prairies: sun. Edmonton, Winnipeg 31, Regina 30. Ontario: rain south, sun north. Quebec: sun. Toronto 25, Ottawa 27, Montreal 26. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador: mix sun cloud. Prince Edward Island: sun. Fredericton 24, Halifax 22, Charlottetown 21, St. John's 20.

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