Wednesday, November 30, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 29 November 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather

Canada won't obstruct cllmate change talks

The Canadian government promises not to play an obstructionist role in the current round of climate talks. Environment Minister Peter Kent says Canada won't stand in the way of other countries who want to make a second commitment to the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change. For the second day in a row Mr. Kent isn't denying reports Canada plans to withdraw from the 1997 Kyoto agreement.

Critics have said that even if Canada pulls out, it could continue to be a negotiator on the next climate-change deal and seek to water down the accord for those who stay on. Mr. Kent says Canada won't make a second commitment to Kyoto because the accord doesn't include some of the world's biggest emitters, like the United States, India and China. He says he's going to this week's summit in South Africa to advance the cause of a new climate-change agreement that will eclipse Kyoto.

Minister wonders where stricken Ontario reserve's money went

Ontario Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan says he wants to know why housing conditions on a Northern Ontario reserve are so poor, given all the money spent on trying to improve them. A 2010 audit of on-reserve housing found the Aboriginal Affairs department wasn't explicitly tracking the money it spends on housing, so it can't say whether it achieves results.

The audit also found that government officials don't regularly check up on housing projects and when they do, they don't document what they find. The Ontario reserve of Attawapiskat is currently in a state of emergency over housing, with families living in tents and trailers despite the community receiving millions in federal housing funds over the last five years.

Petition raised against shale gas in NB

A Conservative member of the New Brunswick legislature has presented a nearly 16,000-name petition calling on his own government to put a ban on shale gas exploration. Tory Kirk MacDonald presented the petition Tuesday in the legislature and also signed the petition himself. The signatures were collected by the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

The Conservative government is supporting shale gas development, but has promised to develop strict regulations. All 13 members of the Liberal Opposition also presented petitions Tuesday calling for a halt to shale gas exploration. The Liberals have asked the government to put a moratorium on shale gas exploration and create a select committee of the legislature to study the issue. Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup said there will be no moratorium.

Federal minister defends public broadcaster

Canada's heritage minister says if Canadian Broadcasting Corp. TV anchor Peter Mansbridge wants to tell Canadians his salary, that's up to him, but James Moore says legislation prevents the government from doing so itself. The declaration came after Mr. Moore delivered a staunch defence of the public broadcaster amid calls by some caucus colleagues to end federal support for the 75-year-old institution.

The minister says it's in the best interests of the CBC to be as transparent as possible in the face of public scrutiny. Mr. Moore says CBC, which receives $1.1 billion in federal funding each year, should be "open and accountable for every dime that they get from taxpayers." He also says CBC won't be immune from government-wide budget cuts. But he says the public broadcaster plays an important role that private broadcasters do not or cannot fill.


Egypt's military takes credit for smooth vote

Egypt's military rulers were quick to take credit Tuesday for a strong turnout in the first elections since Hosni Mubarak's ouster, a vote that appeared to be the country's freest and fairest in living memory. The military did not field candidates in the parliamentary vote. But showing a smooth, successful and virtually fraud-free election would significantly boost the ruling generals in their bitter struggle with youthful protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square calling for them to transfer power immediately to a civilian authority.

Even before two days of voting began Monday, protesters were accusing the military of trying to cling to power and safeguard its interests under any future government. Now, they warn the ruling council will try to use the success of the election to cement its

hold on power.

New Yemeni leader will announce cabinet

Yemen's prime minister-designate promised on Tuesday to announce his government within days, saying Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would help the country with oil and electricity as it tries to pull back from the brink of civil war. Mohammed Basindwa, a former foreign minister, has been charged under a Gulf-brokered peace plan with forming the interim cabinet after President Ali Abdullah Saleh handed power to his deputy following 10 months of protests seeking his overthrow.

Yemeni Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has been empowered to run the country during an interim period, has called an early presidential election on Feb. 21, 2012 as part of the Gulf Coooperation Council initiative. Mr. Hadi named Mr. Basindwa, who joined the opposition during the protests, as interim premier on Sunday.

Nigerian lawmakers would ban same-sex unions

Nigeria's senate passed a bill on Tuesday outlawing same-sex marriage in Africa's most populous country as well as banning public displays of affection between homosexual couples. The bill, which still must be approved by the House of Representatives and signed by President Goodluck Jonathan, spells out a 14-year jail term for anyone involved in same-sex marriages.

The bill says those who abet or aid such unions could be given 10 years, as would "any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs... or directly or indirectly makes public show of same sex amorous relationships."

Pakistan withdraws from Afghanistan conference

Pakistan has pulled out of an international conference on the future of Afghanistan next week to protest against a NATO cross-border attack that killed 24 of its soldiers and plunged the region deeper into crisis. The decision not to attend the conference in the German city of Bonn, aimed at bringing together major stakeholders in securing an Afghan peace after NATO combat troops leave at the end of 2014, could mean Pakistan won't use its influence with Taliban militants to bring them to the peace table.

Bonn was never intended to produce firm financial commitments but it was organized with the expectation that the United States and Afghanistan would have pinned down a strategic partnership deal defining their relationship after the departure of foreign combat troops, due to be complete by the end of 2014.

Turkey turns up heat on Syria

Turkey said Tuesday it will consider using Iraq as an alternative transit route for trade with the Middle East, cutting out Syria entirely as Damascus faces broad economic sanctions over its deadly crackdown on an 8-month-old uprising. Syria has been a main transit route for Middle East trade, which Damascus hopes will help cushion the effects of tough new sanctions from the Arab League and Turkey.

On Monday, Syria warned that Damascus could use its strategic location to inflict economic damage of its own. But Turkey's transport minister said there are alternatives to Syria. Binali Yildirim says old the state-run Anadolu Agency on Tuesday. He said Turkey would increase the number of border gates with Iraq in such an event. Syria has come under mounting international pressure over its crackdown. Sunday's decision by the Arab League to impose sanctions was an unprecedented move by the 22-member League against a fellow Arab state. The Arab sanctions were expected to hurt far more than existing sanctions from the U.S. and the European Union, who had far more limited trade with Damascus.

Pressure grows on Chinese artist

The wife of Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei said on Tuesday police treated her as a "criminal suspect" when they took her away for three hours ofquestioning, in a sign that Beijing is stepping up efforts to intimidate Mr. Ai, its most famous social critic. Lu Qing, 47, was the latest person linked to Ai to be taken in for questioning. But Mrs. Lu, who was released soon after, said police officers could not tell her what kind of crime she was suspected of committing.

Mr. Ai, whose 81-day secret detention earlier this year ignited an international uproar, was released in late June. He and his supporters said he was the victim of the ruling Communist Party's crackdown on dissent. The government accused him of tax evasion, a charge he denied.

Italy's borrowing costs soar

Euro zone ministers struggled to boost the firepower of their rescue fund and looked to the IMF for more help on Tuesday after Italy's borrowing costs hit a euro lifetime high of nearly 8 percent. Two years into Europe's sovereign debt crisis, investors are fleeing the euro zone bond market, European banks are dumping government debt, deposits are draining from south European banks and a looming recession is aggravating the pain, fuelling doubts about the survival of the single currency.

Italy had to offer a record 7.89 percent yield to sell 3-year bonds, a stunning leap from the 4.93 percent it paid in late October, and 7.56 percent for 10-year bonds, compared with 6.06 percent at that time. The yields were above levels at which Greece, Ireland and Portugal applied for international bailouts.

U.S. airline goes into bankruptcy

American Airlines and its parent company filed for bankruptcy protection as they try to cut costs and unload massive debt built up by years of high fuel prices and labour struggles.

There will be no impact on travellers for now. AMR Corp. has continued to lose money while other U.S. airlines returned to profitability in the last two years. American said it would operate normally while it reorganizes in bankruptcy. The airline said it would continue to operate flights, honour tickets and take reservations. American was the only major U.S. airline that didn't file for bankruptcy protection in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks that triggered a deep slump in the airline industry.


Western pipeline gets poor report card

Enbridge Inc.'s proposed $5.5-billion pipeline to British Columbia poses huge environmental risks, according to a new report that signals the project will become the next battleground over the future of Canada's oilsands. The study by three environmental groups, released on Tuesday, after a decision to push back approval of TransCanada Corp's Alberta-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline by more than a year. The delay has led the Canada's oil industry and Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government to intensify their emphasis on exporting oil sands-derived crude to Asia.

The Enbridge project, known as the Northern Gateway pipeline, is the first attempt at doing that in scale. But the new report issued by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Pembina Institute and Living Oceans Society says the project would threaten native communities, salmon fishery and wildlife habitat on land and in waters off the West Coast. The report cites last year's Enbridge pipeline rupture and oil spill in Michigan as an example of why governments and regulators should block the plan. Northern Gateway would move 525,000 barrels of crude a day to the port of Kitimat, where it would be loaded onto tankers and shipped to Pacific Rim refiners.

China coal market a godsend

One of Canada's biggest coal producers says the Chinese market is a buffer from problems caused by Europe's national debt crisis. Teck Resources |Ltd. CEO Don Lindsay says fears about the European crisis will make steelmakers there wary of building up their inventories in the near future. But Mr. Lindsay told a mining conference in Toronto on Tuesday that the steel industry in China is still growing although not as fast. At the same time, China's domestic coal sources are becoming harder to mine and their labour costs are rising.

Teck has been increasing production at its five coal mines in B.C. and one in Alberta. Coal accounts for about one-half of the company's revenues.

New potash investment for SK

A German fertilizer company has approved C$3.25 billion in spending for a new potash mine in Saskatchewan that will create up to 1,300 jobs. The K+S group said Tuesday it expects to have more than 1,000 people working on construction at peak periods and employ 300 at the mine when the operation hits full production. Saskatchewan has the world's largest deposits of potash, a valuable mineral mainly used in fertilizer.

Other companies, including, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan and Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton, are also expanding or building new mines in the Prairie province. Chinese companies are also acquiring stakes in potash developments in the province. Demand for fertilizer is soaring in China and India as farmers seek to increase crop yields to feed growing populations. Production from the proposed Legacy mine, about 50 kilometres north of Moose Jaw, SK, is expected to begin in 2015.


TSX on Tuesday: 11,728 + 87. Dollar: US.97. Euro: $1.37. Oil: $99.78 + $1.57.




Some of the top curlers in the country are in Cranbrook, BC, this week for the Capital One Canada Cup. Competition begins Wednesday, the finals are Sunday and the winning men's and women's teams will earn a berth in the 2013 Canadian Olympic curling trials in Winnipeg.



British Columbia on Wednesday: mix sun cloud, high C7 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud. Nunavut: snow. Whitehorse 2, Yellowknife -23, Iqaluit -28. Alberta, Saskatchewan: snow. Manitoba: cloud. Edmonton -3, Regina, Winnipeg -1. Ontario: mix snow rain. Quebec: rain. Toronto 4, Ottawa 6, Montreal 11. Maritimes: rain. Newfoundland and Labrador: cloud. Fredericton, Halifax, Charlottetown 14, St. John's 6.

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