Thursday, December 8, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

U;.S., Canada finally sign border deal

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama have signed a 29-point border security accord in a ceremony in Washington. Mr. Harper says the accord creates a "new modern border for a new century." The agreement is aimed at protecting North America from terrorists, while allowing the freeest possible flow of people and goods over the border.

Several of the accord's features won't go into effect for three or four years. One of these is a plan to exchange entry information on all persons at the border. The entry record would serve to check whether the traveller also departed. Canada says this will help identify people who overstay their visas, track the departure of people subject to expulsion orders and check whether people receiving immigration and employment insurance benefits meet Canadian residency requirements. A new integrated cargo screening system also will be up and running only in 2014. It will also take time before there's a common framework for a trust traded program and more pre-inspection and pre-clearance forland, rail and

marine traffic.

Canada tells world to forget Kyoto

Canada has advised the world to forget about the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change. Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent offered that advice in a speech at the UN climate change conference in Durban, South Africa. Mr. Kent says Kyoto applies to to less than 30 per cent of global industrial emissions. He says It therefore cannot lead to the engagement of major polluters whoaren't party to it.

The minister says a more constructive approach to greenhouse gases would be to focus on implementation of a series of agreements reached in Mexico last year. Canada is a signer of the Kyoto Protocol but the present Conservative Party government has insisted that its emissions reductions targets are impossible to achieve. A Canadian TV network has reported that Canada will formally withdraw from Kyoto on Dec. 23.

Govt. loses wheat monopoly ruling

Federal Court of Canada has ruled that federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz breached the Canadian Wheat Board Act by making changes without holding a referendum among producers. The court ruled that the act requires the minister consult farmers before making change to the board's structure. Mr. Ritz introduced legislation in Parliament in October to end the wheat board's marketing monopoly on western wheat and barley by next August. The government had argued that governments are free to amend or repeal laws as they see fit. Human Resources Minister Diane Finley told the the House of Commons the government will appeal the ruling.

West-rest economic divide in Canada seen

A new economic analysis says Canada is a land becoming more and more divided between the prosperous West, blessed by its natural resources, and everyone else. The Bank of Montreal says the two western provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan will lead the rest of Canada in economic growth this year and next by a wide margin. The BMO report predicts the two provinces will both record three per cent or more economic growth this year, about one point higher than the national average, and again in 2012.

The report says Ontario and Quebec and the four Atlantic provinces will likely struggle with sub-two per cent growth next year as government austerity and export challenges due to the high dollar weigh on their economies. On average, Canada's economy is expected to continue with moderate growth of two per cent in 2012 .

Opposition wants army to help beleaguered native village

The opposition New Democratic Party is calling on the Canada's Conservative Party government to send the military into a northern Ontario reserve facing a housing crisis. Interim NDP leader Nycole Turmel says getting winter supplies to Attawapiskat will require much co-ordination. She says military support is needed, given the extreme weather and lack of a road into the community. Leaders of the Attawapiskat First Nation are asking the United Nations to intervene. They say the UN could force Prime Minister Stephen Harper to explain to the world why his government isn't living up to obligations to respect aboriginal people.

Ottawa has has removed the band's power over its own finances but on Monday band members told a government-appointed manager to leave the reserve. Mrs. Turmel says the Attawapiskat crisis is no different from other humanitarian crises that Canada has faced where the military was sent in.

Another female Mountie complains of mistreatment

Another female Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer is accusing the force of harassment, saying she was subjected to an "atmosphere of fear and control" while working with a drugs and organized crime unit in British Columbia. Cpl. Elisabeth Mary Couture filed a lawsuit last week in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, naming as defendants the province's Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, the Attorney General of Canada, and three senior RCMP members. According to court documents, Mrs. Couture began to experience daily symptoms of anxiety and panic and went off duty sick because of the mental suffering and harassment she endured while working with the B.C.-based drugs and organized crime awareness service.

Cpl. Catherine Galliford, who went public in November with her own allegations of harassment and sexual harassment, said women aren't the only alleged victims.

Yemen forms government

Yemen's official news agency says a national unity government has been created to take over from ministers allied with embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh. SABA says Vice-President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi issued a decree approving the formation of the new 35-member Cabinet headed by the veteran independent politician Mohammed Basindwa. The Cabinet posts are equally divided between Saleh's Congress Party and the opposition.

The creation of the national unity government was part of the power transfer deal signed by Mr. Saleh last month. Members of the Congress Party will head the ministries of defence, foreign affairs and oil, while opposition politicians will lead the ministries of interior, finance and information

Egypt's military moves to curb religious extremists

Egypt's military rulers said Wednesday the next parliament will not be representative enough independently to oversee the drafting of a new constitution. They say they will appoint a council to guide the process and protect it from the influence of religious extremists.

Egypt has just completed the initial stage of the first elections since former President Hosni Mubarak's ouster in February, with Islamist groups seizing an overwhelming majority. In theory, the new parliament will be entrusted with forming a 100-member constituent assembly to write the new constitution. However, liberals and the military are now concerned that religious extremists will exert too much influence over the process. The Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic fundamentalist group that was the best known and organized party competing in the elections, came in first with 37 per cent of the vote in the first round, according to partial official results.

France, Germany outline euro proposals

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have sent a letter outlining their proposals to save the euro, including punishing countries that spend too much money. The letter sent to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy on Wednesday sums up what the leaders outlined on Monday. It says governments that allow their deficits to exceed 3 per cent of their Gross Domestic Product should be automatically sanctioned and asked to lay out a plan for reducing spending. Ballooning government debt is at the heart of Europe's crisis.

Congo leader likely to be re-elected

Partial results issued by the electoral commission of the Democratic Republic of Congo make it all but certain that President Joseph Kabila will be declared the winner, setting the stage for possible clashes between his backers and those loyal to the main opposition candidate.

Supporters of longtime opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi have vowed to take to the streets if Kabila is declared the winner. Just before midnight Tuesday, election commission chief Daniel Ngoy Mulunda announced that the commission will require another 48 hours to issue the final provisional results. The delay, he said, is due to the fact that tally sheets from numerous provinces have still not been turned in.

Mexico stops plot to smuggle in Gadhafi son

The Mexican government says it stopped an international plot to smuggle in late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son Saadi and settle him on the country's Pacific coast. Several people were arrested on Nov. 10 and 11 over a plan for Saadi Gaddafi and his family to enter Mexico illegally after intelligence agencies got a tip in September. The criminal ring is said to have bought property and forged documents with the aim of bringing Saadi Gaddafi and his family to live near the popular tourist destination Puerto Vallarta.

The network, which authorities said included Mexican, Danish and Canadian members, had arranged for private flights between Mexico, the United States, Canada and the Middle East.

Planned Western pipeline faces regulatory delay

The regulatory panel weighing the controversial Northern Gateway oil pipeline said Tuesday it will likely make its decision in about two years, several months later than estimated by the builder, Calgary-based Enbridge Inc.

The proposed 1,200-kilometre pipeline would ship oilsands crude from Alberta to Kitimat, BC, where it would be loaded onto tankers that could transport it to Asia, providing exporters with alternatives to the United States, the biggest importer of Canadian crude.

However, as with the Keystone XL pipeline that TransCanada Ltd. hopes to build from Alberta to refineries along the Gulf Coast in the southern United States, Enbridge's Northern Gateway proposal faces opposition on environmental and other grounds. Thousands of people are set to speak at hearings across northern British Columbia and Alberta between January of next year and April 2013.

The joint review panel said Tuesday, in announcing several dates for the hearings, that it expects to release an environmental assessment report in the fall of 2013, and announce its final decision around the end of that year. Enbridge CEO Pat Daniel said in May he was anticipating an early 2013 decision, but it's clear from the hearing schedule that won't be the case.


TSX on Wednesday: 12,137 + 56. Dollar: US.99. Euro: $1.35. Oil: $100.66 - .62.



Former junior hockey coach and convicted sex offender

Graham James has pleaded guilty to sexual assaults involving two of

his former players, including National Hockey League star Theoren Fleury.

James entered the plea in a Winnipeg courtroom via video link

from Montreal.

The disgraced coach was facing nine charges of sexual assault on

three players, but only pleaded guilty to charges involving two.

James has been out on bail for almost a year and living in


He has already served a three-and-a-ha;f-year prison sentence for abusing

other former players he coached, including former NHL player Sheldon



British Columbia on Thursday: sun south, mix sun cloud north, high C4 Vancouver. Yukon, Nunavut: mix sun cloud. Northwest Territories: sun. Whitehorse 0, Yellowknife -20, Iqaluit -11. Prairies: sun. Edmonton -8, Regina -10, Winnipeg -11. Ontario: mix sun cloud south, sun north. Quebec: sun. Toronto, Ottawa 1, Montreal 2. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton 2, Halifax 12, Charlottetown, St. John's 6.