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Mar 14, 2014

Canada to make it easier to shut down problem railroads

OTTAWA, March 14 (Reuters) – Canada will bring in new rules
making it easier to quickly shut down unsafe railroads, the
government said on Friday, eight months after 47 people died in
the Lac-Megantic, Quebec, crude-by-rail disaster.

Once the regulations come into force later this year, all
rail companies operating on federally regulated railroads will
require a valid Railway Operating Certificate, the transport
ministry said in a statement.

Mar 14, 2014

Canada household debt-to-income ratio slips from record high

OTTAWA, March 14 (Reuters) – The ratio of Canadian household
debt to income in the fourth quarter of 2013 slipped from a
record high while net worth rose, bolstering the Bank of
Canada’s belief that the housing market is in for a soft
landing.

The central bank and the Conservative government have long
fretted that near record low interest rates might prompt people
to take on too much debt, especially big mortgages that could
increase the chances of a housing crash.

Mar 11, 2014

Canada, South Korea conclude long-delayed free trade deal

OTTAWA, March 11 (Reuters) – Canada and South Korea
announced on Tuesday they had wrapped up talks on a long-delayed
free trade deal which had stalled for years amid squabbles over
exports of autos and beef.

The deal – outlined in a statement by Canadian Prime
Minister Stephen Harper – is particularly important for Canada,
which is trying to cut its reliance on the U.S. market.

Mar 7, 2014

Canada orders railways to boost grain shipments to ease logjam

WINNIPEG, Manitoba/OTTAWA, March 7 (Reuters) – Canada’s
government took the drastic step on Friday of forcing the
country’s two major rail companies to ship at least 500,000
tonnes of grain each a week to ease a massive backlog that is
hurting farmers.

Record crops of wheat and canola, along with frigid weather,
have overwhelmed Canadian National Railway Co and
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd, resulting in overdue
orders for tens of thousands of grain cars.

Mar 6, 2014

Canada, South Korea very close to free trade deal: sources

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada and South Korea are very close to signing a long-delayed free trade deal after years of talks, sources familiar with the negotiations said on Thursday.

“It’s imminent,” said one business source, who asked for anonymity because a formal announcement had not been made yet.

Mar 6, 2014

Canada building permits soar, residential sector hits record

OTTAWA/TORONTO, March 6 (Reuters) – The value of building
permits issued in Canada surged in January, while the pace of
purchasing activity unexpectedly picked up last month,
suggesting some of the impact of unusually harsh winter weather
may be dissipating in Canada.

Building permits jumped by 8.5 percent at the beginning of
the year, data from Statistics Canada showed on Thursday,
handily surpassing expectations for a 1 percent increase.

Mar 5, 2014

Bank of Canada holds rates, frets about low inflation

OTTAWA, March 5 (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada continued to
express concerns about weak inflation on Wednesday, even after
consumer prices picked up markedly in January, and it repeated
that its next move on interest rates could be either up or down.

The central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged
at 1.0 percent, as expected, extending a freeze that has lasted
more than three years. Analysts do not expect the bank to move
on rates until the third quarter of next year.

Mar 4, 2014

Uighur leader fears China’s ‘iron fist’ after knife attack

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Chinese authorities are likely to further crack down on dissent in the restive Xinjiang region after a bloody train station knife attack that Beijing blames on militants, an exiled Uighur leader said on Tuesday.

China says separatists from the far western region launched the attack last Saturday, killing at least 33 people and wounding about 140. The assault by masked and identically dressed assailants took place at the railway station in Kunming, some 1,500 miles southeast of the Xinjiang capital Urumqi.

Feb 28, 2014

Canada economy grew faster than expected, dims rate cut talk

OTTAWA, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Canada’s economy grew more than
expected in the fourth quarter of 2013, a development that could
help kill off any remaining market chatter that the Bank of
Canada might cut interest rates to boost growth.

Statistics Canada said on Friday that annualized fourth
quarter growth was 2.9 percent, more than the 2.5 percent
markets had been anticipating.

Feb 24, 2014

Ski jumping-Women seek more advances after long-awaited breakthrough

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) – Women ski jumpers tasted Olympic competition for the first time ever at the Sochi Games and are already pushing to be included in more events.

The International Olympic Committee, which had long cited a lack of competition for keeping women out, relented after many years of pressure and allowed 30 female athletes to jump the normal hill only.

    • About David

      "I have been the National Political Correspondent in Canada for Reuters since 1999, focussing on politics, defence (in particular Canada's role in the Afghan War) and the environment. I won the award for Reuters Treasury scoop in 2009 for my work at the G20 summit. From 1995 to 1999 I worked in London, mainly covering foreign affairs, and from 1989 to 1995 I was stationed in Moscow where I covered the collapse of the Soviet Union and the many conflicts this helped trigger."
      Hometown:
      Ottawa
      Joined Reuters:
      1987
      Languages:
      English, French, Russian
      Awards:
      Treasury scoop of the year 2009
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