Friday, September 30, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 29 September 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


Canada's finance minister appears to accepting the possibility of a lower Canadian dollar during the next few months. Jim Flaherty says he would expect an effect on the dollar if investors continue to invest in the U.S. dollar. The Canadian currency dropped more than a full cent on Wednesday, closing at US96.84. Canadian. The Bank of Montreal has predicted that the Canadian dollar will decline to as low as 93 cents by the end of the year.


Canada's governments have been warned that they face dramatic choices when it comes to future spending. The warning comes from Parliament's spending watchdog. Kevin Page's warns that federal and provincial spending is unsustainable over the long term. His report says governments will have to choose between raising or cutting spending or find some combination of both options. The report says the major factor in long-term budget prospects is the aging of the population, a development which he says will reduce gross domestic product.


Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore says the country needs a strong copyright law to power the economy and to create jobs. Mr. Moore says the Conservative government is committing to providing companies and industries with the protections they need to grow and prosper. The government reintroduced the copyright legislation that died on the order paper in Parliament when the May 2 election was called. The government is trying to make the law compatible with the World Intellectual Property Organization treaty. The proposed legislation was applauded by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce but not by the official opposition party. MP Charlie Angus of the New Democratic Party was critical of a clause of concern to consumers, universities and filmmakers that would make it illegal to pick a "digital lock" installed on a copyrighted work. This would make it illegal to evade a digital lock in a DVD to burn it into an iPad or hard drive. Mr. Angus says the measure would be unfair to consumers.


Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has defended his defence minister's use of government aircraft. The question of Peter MacKay's use of the aircraft arose in the House of Commons on Thursday. The opposition has criticized him for spending $3 million to fly on Challenger VIP jets since he assumed his post in 2008. In recent weeks, Mr. MacKay has been chided for having had a search-and-rescue helicopter pick him up at a fishing lodge in Newfoundland after a vacation. Mr. Harper responded by saying the minister has mostly flown the jets to attend repatriation ceremonies in Trenton, ON, for soldiers killed in Afghanistan. The defence critic for the opposition New Democratic Party, Jack Harris, ridiculed the explanation, accusing Mr. MacKay of using government jets to attend government announcements instead of boarding commercial flights as other cabinet ministers do.


The United States is considering building fences along its border with Canada to increase defences against terrorists and other criminals. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency is proposing to use fencing and other barriers to manage trouble spots. It's also considering increased use of radar ground sensors and drones. The agency is inviting comment on the options and plans a series of public meetings in Washington state and several U.S. border communities next month.


Environmental groups have turned to a court to try to stop the Ontario government from building new nuclear plants. Greenpeace and three other groups are seeking an injunction to prevent the construction of two new nuclear reactors at Darlington, 70 kilometers east of Toronto. The government says the nuclear-generated power is needed as it phases out coal-power plants and other nuclear generators. Greenpeace argues that the two new reactors would be too expensive, block the expansion of green energy, increase the risk of an acciddent and threaten the environment. The group also says the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan has been a global wakeup call that the Canadian authorities are refusing to hear.


A report about the capsizing of a tall ship based in the eastern Canadian province of Nova Scotia says the crew of the Concordia were inadequately trained. The Concordia capsized in rough seas 550 kilometres southeast of Rio de Janeiro. The 64 people on board were adrift for two days. The report by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada says the crew weren't trained in risk assessment and did not take appropriate measures for a storm such as lowering sails, sealing openings or changing course before a squall hit with winds of up to 56 k an hour. The passengers had only 20 to escape before the Concordia capsized.



Supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad threw rocks and tomatoes at the convoy of the U.S. ambassador on Thursday as he visited an opposition leader. The U.S. state department says no one was hurt but several cars were damaged. The department says the Syrian government was trying to intimidate a diplomat who was witnessing the brutality of the government. The envoy, Robert Ford, has angered the government by visiting the scenes of protests against Mr. al-Assad. The government accuses the diplomat of inciting violence.


Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko has told a court in Kiev that she is a victim of a "lynching" and that her trial has shamed Ukraine. In a four-hour speech summing up her defence at the end of the trial, she attacked the leadership of President Viktor Yanukovich and said she would never ask him for a pardon. She risks a seven-year sentence if found guilty of having negotiated exorbitantly high natural gas prices with Russia when she was Prime Minister in 2009. Mrs. Timoshenko narrowly lost the presidential election to Mr. Yanukovich in 2010.


Pakistan's intelligence chief has denied a U.S. accusation that the Pakistani government supports a Pakistani militant group. Lieut.-Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha told the Reuters news agency that other intelligence agencies operate inside Pakistan in support of militant groups. Gen. Pasha head the Inter-Services Intelligence agency. Last Thursday, the U.S. chief of staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, accused the ISI of supporting the Haqqani network, which the Americans accuse of responsibility for an attack on the U.S. embassy in Kabul. Local news media in Islamabad report Gen. Pasha of saying that U.S. military action against insurgents in Pakistan would be unacceptable and that the country's military would be able to respond to such a provocation, a remark he later denied.


EU and IMF auditors held talks in Athens on Thursday with Greek officials. The officials were trying to persuade the visitors that the government's budget cuts and tax increases are credible enough to release the latest payment from the first of two bailout packages. The government has said that if the new tranche of $11 billion isn't released, it will be in default in two weeks. Several hundred government employees demonstrated in central Athens to protest against cuts in pensions, salaries and personnel numbers. Meanwhile in Berlin, the German parliament voted in favour of a plant to increase the European Financial Stability Facility. The Fund would also be authorized to buy bonds of debt-stricken members of the eurozone such as Greece.


The government of Niger says it won't turn over a son of ousted Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi to face justice. Niger's prime minister, Brigi Rafini, said on Thursday during a visit to France that his government won't turn over Saadi Gadhafi because there's no assurance he would receive a fair trial. The son fled to Niger after anti-Gadhafi fighters seized Tripoli last month. Earlier in the week, Interpol issued an arrest warrant for him for allegedly having commanded military units involved in anti-Gadhafi demonstrations by civilians. Meanwhile in Tripoli, three U.S. senators say they raised the issue of the Lockerbie bombing with the new authorities. Sen. John McCain said afterwards that the senators are confident that they will co-operate to find out who were the perpetrators. Two-hundred-and-fifty-nine people on a Pan Am airliner died when it exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988. Most of them were Americans. There was considerable indignation in the U.S. when the Scottish government released the only person convicted in the bombing on humanitarian grounds in 2009 because he supposedly was dying. Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi is still alive in Libya.



The governor of the Midwestern U.S. state of South Dakota has come out in support of a controversial Canadian project to build an oil pipeline across the region. Gov. Dennis Daugaard says TransCanada Pipeline Inc.'s Keystone XL line would create jobs in South Dakota, provide more than $10 billion in yearly local property taxes and offer a way to convey the state oil to refineries. Mr. Daugaard also says he agrees with the U.S. state department assessment that the project isn't an environmental threat. The pipeline would convey crude oil from Alberta's oilsands region 2,700 kilometres across six U.S. states to refineries along the Gulf coast of Texas. Opponents of the pipeline plan consider it an environmental danger and a boost to the oilsands industry, a major producer of greenhouse gases.


The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear an appeal of a case involving broadcasters on one side and cable and satellite providers on the other. The high court will rule on whether the federal telecom regulator has the power to establish a system which would allow broadcasters to charge for the use of their programs, as the broadcasters demand. The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission itself referred the matter to the Supreme Court after announcing its plan to set up such a régime. A lower court had previously ruled that the CRTC has the power to do so, but the cable and satellite companies appealed the decision on the grounds that the Commission was exceeding its jurisdiction.


TSX on Thursday: 11,686 + 100. Dollar: US.96. Euro: $1.40. Oil: $82.29 + $1.08.




In the Canadian Football League, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will be minus their starting quarterback for tomorrow night's showdown with the Montreal Alouettes. Veteran Buck Pierce will miss the contest after aggravating a rib injury in last week's 25-24 road loss to Toronto. Backup Alex Brink is listed as the club's starter despite suffering a shoulder injury against Toronto.



British Columbia on Friday: rain, high C15 Vancouver. Yukon: mix sun cloud snow. Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud. Nunavut: rain. Whitehorse 8, Yellowknife 9, Iqaluit 3. Alberta: mix sun cloud. Saskatchewan, Manitoba: sun. Edmonton 23, Regina 22, Winnipeg 15. Ontario, Quebec: rain. Toronto 17, Ottawa 16, Montreal 18. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton, Halifax, Charlottetown 21, St. John's 20.

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