Reuters blog archive
In a Reuters poll conducted early last month, forecasters predicted that Canada's economy expanded by just 1.6 percent on an annualised basis in the first three months of this year.
But that consensus could prove to be too low, with many now expecting growth to be close to 2 percent or even higher, likely a welcome sign for Stephen Poloz who was named Bank of Canada's new governor last Thursday and will replace Mark Carney on June 3.
Last Tuesday brought the first bit of good news, with the monthly gross domestic product (GDP) by industry growing at a faster pace than forecast in February, lifted by strength in potash mining, oil and gas and manufacturing.
from Chrystia Freeland:
In other ages, we have called on shamans or saints in times of crisis when the usual remedies have not worked.
In the stagnant world economy today, we have designated central bankers as our superheroes, and we are relying on their magical monetary powers to restart global growth.
from Photographers Blog:
By Andy Clark
It was a cold, damp autumn day, as I remember it, sitting in a cinder block bunker terrified I was going to loose my hand as I loaded black clay disks into the machine in front of me. Seconds later I would hear a muffled voice shout, and the machine’s springs and mechanism would suddenly and violently let go, flinging the disk out of the bunker followed by another muffled boom, boom. I would then quickly lean down, take another disk from the box and gingerly place it in the machine. It was at this point my fear would take over, worried one of the distant voices would shout too soon and thus catch and propel my severed hand out of the bunker instead of the disk. Of course this never happened and once I got the rhythm, my fear slowly subsided, well sort of.
I think I was about 12 years old at the time and I was helping out at the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot at the local Trap Shooting Club just outside Ancaster, Ontario. Each year the contest was held on the weekend before the holiday as a dozen or so members, including my dad, all vied to hit the most clay pigeons and go home with a freshly cleaned turkey donated by a local farmer. Though my dad and grandfather had versed me well in the handling of guns by that age I was still too young to take part so was therefore drafted to load the machine.
from Full Focus:
Photographer Andy Clark spent time at a public indoor gun range in British Columbia and the 79-year-old Vancouver Gun Club where members shoot skeet and trap. The shotgun only club has a regular membership of about 400 and sells an estimated 1100 day passes each year. Canada has very strict laws controlling the use of handguns and violent crime is relatively rare. Read Andy's personal account here.
from The Great Debate:
The Oscar for Best Picture last month went to Argo, the Ben Affleck movie about the Canadian government’s help in spiriting U.S. diplomats out of Iran during the hostage crisis – which underscores the United States’ historic relationship with its closest ally, Canada. Back in the real world, however, the Obama administration is on the verge of severely damaging this strategic partnership with its poor handling of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
The State Department’s favorable draft environmental analysis, released on Friday, should pave the way for final administration approval of the pipeline. Of course, the State Department has already gone through this process once before. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton deemed Keystone XL to be in the national interest – only to have President Barack Obama shelve the project in January 2012, during the run-up to his re-election campaign.
from Chrystia Freeland:
Is oil like red meat or is it like tobacco? Your answer to that question determines how you feel about the North American boom in unconventional sources of fossil fuel, particularly the Canadian oil sands.
If you think oil is like tobacco, it is a strictly noxious commodity, which seriously harms its users and those around them. We should stop consuming it at once and at all costs. But if you think oil is like red meat, you take a more nuanced view. For the health of the planet, we should find greener alternatives to it whenever we can, but used wisely and in moderation it has an honorable role in the 21st-century economy.
from Photographers Blog:
Off the coast of Vancouver Island, Canada
By Ben Nelms
Last year, Canada became home to the first shark fishery in the world that was labeled with a Marine Stewardship Council certification. This is an internationally recognized certification that lists the B.C Spiny Dogfish Shark industry as ‘certified sustainable seafood.’ The fishery is located in the Pacific waters of Canada, off the coast and around Vancouver Island.
I spent a handful of nights on a commercial fishing boat called the Ocean Sunset. We departed from the small village of Ucluelet, which is on the Western shores of Vancouver Island. The only thing I forgot on land was my sea legs.
By George Hay
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own
Mark Carney's appointment as governor of the Bank of England changes the game for UK banks. On the big issues - capital, liquidity, and structural reform - the Canadian central banker is unlikely to deviate significantly from current policies. But the new man's different skills and interests, compared to current incumbent Mervyn King, could still make a tangible difference.
from The Great Debate:
If you watched the third presidential debate this week, you got the sense that in the U.S.-China relationship, there are only good guys and bad guys, and all the bad guys are in China. The Americans are the valiant defenders of well-paying jobs; the Chinese are the ones who make tires so cheap it hurts the Americans. The Americans have a currency so free it’s the envy of the world; China’s is so manipulated it stunts competition the world over. But the squabbling isn’t limited to what you heard at the debate or just the two governments. It’s also happening between governments and private companies.
For years, Huawei, a Chinese telecom giant, has been trying to break into the U.S. market. Huawei wants to provide communication infrastructure to the U.S., but the U.S. wants to make sure Huawei, founded by former members of the People’s Liberation Army, isn’t actually a spy organization. Huawei claims to be just like any other Silicon Valley tech giant. U.S. intelligence agencies, despite finding no evidence of spying, view Huawei’s technology as too vulnerable to hackers. The House Intelligence Committee classified Huawei as a national security threat. State capitalism and the challenge it poses have expanded enough that the government is officially worried about them.
By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
Is everything sacred in Canada? At first it was a hole in the ground. Then it was the stock exchange and a DIY chain. This week, regulators blocked two more big deals, including a $5.2 billion bid for Progress Energy by Petronas of Malaysia. Taken as a whole, these actions signal the market for corporate control in Canada - especially when it comes to foreign buyers - is effectively closed.