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Aug 9, 2013

Public sector layoffs weigh on Canada job market in July

OTTAWA, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Record job losses in the public
sector and scarce opportunities for youth led to unexpected
weakness in the Canadian labor market in July, hinting at a
sluggish start to the third quarter.

The economy lost a net 39,400 jobs during the month, and the
unemployment rate ticked up to 7.2 percent from 7.1 percent in
June, Statistics Canada reported on Friday.

Aug 7, 2013

Railway in deadly Quebec explosion files for bankruptcy

OTTAWA/WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) – The railway whose runaway train killed 47 people in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, last month filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada and the United States on Wednesday as it faces mounting pressure from authorities to pay for the disaster cleanup.

Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Ltd (MMA) filed for bankruptcy in both countries to preserve the value of its assets for a potential sale, according to court documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Maine.

Aug 1, 2013

Oil explosion in Quebec train crash “abnormal”, investigator says

* Investigator says probe will be comprehensive, take months

* Officials raise doubts about what fuel was being shipped

* Police end search for bodies; 47 dead or presumed dead

* MMA Railway suggests it may not survive

By Louise Egan

OTTAWA, Aug 1(Reuters) – As investigators seek reasons for
the deadly train crash in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, last month and
the huge “abnormal” fire it caused, they are focusing on the
nature of the fuel cargo as well as the brakes, tanker cars, and
locomotive, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) said
on Thursday.

TSB officials told a news conference that its investigation
into the July 6 railway accident, North America’s worst in two
decades, would last for months and that it was too early to draw

Aug 1, 2013

CP Rail subcontracted to MMA in Quebec train crash

OTTAWA, July 31 (Reuters) – Canadian Pacific Railway
, hired to transport oil from North Dakota to New
Brunswick, subcontracted part of the job to the small railroad
involved in the deadly crash in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, the
company that chose the Canadian railroad said.

CP Rail, which had not until now been named in connection
with the accident, subcontracted a section of the route to
Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (MMA), World Fuel Services
said on Wednesday.

Jul 29, 2013

Quebec orders MMA Railway, World Fuel to pay for crash cleanup

OTTAWA, July 29 (Reuters) – The Quebec government has
ordered the rail and fuel companies involved in a devastating
train crash that killed 47 people in the town of Lac Megantic to
pay for cleaning up the crude oil that spilled in the town and
surrounding lakes and rivers.

Quebec Environment Minister Yves-Francois Blanchet invoked
powers under a provincial law on Monday to force the companies
to take financial responsibility for fixing environmental

Jul 19, 2013

Canada June inflation rises to 1.2 pct, still tame

OTTAWA, July 19 (Reuters) – Canada’s annual inflation rate
rose in June for the second straight month to 1.2 percent after
hitting a 3-1/2-year low in April, but price pressures remained
muted as the central bank signaled an extended pause on interest
The consumer price index (CPI) was unchanged in the month,
Statistics Canada said on Friday, but the year-on-year rise in
transportation, shelter and food pushed up annual inflation from
0.7 percent in May. Inflation bottomed out in April at 0.4
Core CPI, which excludes gasoline and some other volatile
items, fell 0.2 percent in the month but quickened to a 1.3
percent annual rate compared with 1.1 percent the previous
Both annual rates came in exactly as forecast, although on a
monthly basis analysts in a Reuters poll had expected a 0.1
percent rise in total CPI and a 0.1 percent drop in core CPI.
“Inflationary pressures are really absent, there’s really no
inflation to talk about,” said Carlos Leitao, chief economist at
Laurentian Bank of Canada in Montreal.
Leitao said the data would not change the Bank of Canada’s
accommodative stance on monetary policy. “If anything it will
confirm to them that their current stance is appropriate.”
The Canadian dollar slipped after the data to a
session low of C$1.0390 to the U.S. dollar, or 96.25 U.S. cents,
marginally softer than just before the news and weaker than
Thursday’s close at C$1.0376, or 96.38 U.S. cents.
With inflation at the lower end of the Bank of Canada’s
target range of 1-3 percent, the central bank is unlikely to
follow through any time soon on its pledge of eventual interest
rate hikes.
The bank said on Wednesday it would keep its benchmark
lending rate unchanged at 1 percent as long as “the inflation
outlook remains muted,” the economy has significant slack and
household debt stays under control.

The bank sees total CPI inflation of 0.7 percent and core
inflation of 1.1 percent in the second quarter, according to its
quarterly estimates released on Wednesday. Both measures will
rise to 2 percent by mid-2015, it said.
In the 12 months to June, transportation costs accelerated
as gasoline prices jumped 4.6 percent and car prices rose 2
percent, Statscan said. Both items had fallen in May.
Prices rose in six of the eight major components of the CPI
in the year, with declines in health and personal care as well
as in recreation, education and reading.
After his first rate decision this week, new Bank of Canada
Governor Stephen Poloz maintained the message delivered by his
predecessor Mark Carney that the bank’s next move on rates would
be a hike, not a cut. But he made clear no such move is
Market players don’t expect rates to rise until the fourth
quarter of 2014.

Jul 17, 2013

Bank of Canada lays out conditions for steady rates

OTTAWA, July 17 (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada pledged on
Wednesday to keep its benchmark interest rate on hold as long as
there is economic slack, weak inflation and households are
managing debt carefully, but it also made it clear its next rate
move will likely be a hike.

The central bank’s first policy decision under new chief
Stephen Poloz, who took over in June, delivered roughly the same
message as those made under his predecessor, Mark Carney, over
the past year: that it is just a matter of time before borrowing
costs start to rise.

Jul 3, 2013

Latin America furious over Bolivia incident in Snowden saga

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Latin American leaders slammed European governments on Wednesday for diverting Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane on rumors it was carrying a wanted former U.S. spy agency contractor, adding a new diplomatic spat to the Edward Snowden saga.

Morales was returning from Moscow on Tuesday when France and Portugal abruptly banned his plane from entering their airspace due to suspicions that Snowden, wanted by Washington for leaking secrets, was onboard. Italy and Spain also banned the Bolivian plane from their skies.

Jun 27, 2013

Canada regulator approves BCE’s Astral bid with conditions

OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s broadcast regulator approved a C$3 billion ($2.86 billion) bid by BCE Inc (BCE.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the country’s biggest telecoms company, to take over Astral Media Inc (ACMa.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Thursday, a deal that will provide BCE with more content to distribute to television, computer and mobile screens.

The regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), had initially rejected the deal last year, saying it would make BCE far too dominant. BCE and Astral subsequently revised their agreement and promised to divest 11 television channels and 10 radio stations.

Jun 27, 2013

Canada’s new central bank chief: a corporate comeback kid?

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Forecast modeling is not all it’s cracked up to be, Canada’s new central bank chief says. So he’s employing a new tool: talking to “real people.”

And the real people of most interest to Stephen Poloz are Canada’s corporate chiefs who, in his view, hold the key to a more robust economy.

    • About Louise

      "I cover Canadian economic news, central banking and politics. I am based in Ottawa and have been in my current role since 2006. Before that, I wrote about Latin America from Buenos Aires and Santiago, Chile."
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