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Feb 1, 2014

Grief-stricken Quebec town mourns victims of retirement home blaze

ISLE-VERTE, Quebec (Reuters) – About 900 mourners in the small grief-stricken Quebec town of L’Isle-Verte attended a public mass on Saturday for the 32 people feared dead from a fire that ripped through a wooden retirement home.

Somber-faced friends and relatives sat in the town’s large 19th-century Roman Catholic church to hear prayers and tributes to victims of the January 23 blaze, one of the worst disasters to hit a Canadian residence for the elderly.

Feb 1, 2014

Quebec town mourns blaze victims as probe reaches critical stage

ISLE-VERTE, Quebec (Reuters) – Investigators sifting through the charred debris at a Quebec home for senior citizens may have found the spot where the fire started, police said on Friday, as the grief-stricken town prepared for a special ceremony for the victims on Saturday that will include Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Thirty-two elderly residents are presumed dead after a fire ripped through the three-story building early on January 23 in the tiny town of L’Isle-Verte on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, about 230 km (143 miles) northeast of Quebec City.

Jan 27, 2014

Canada’s Flaherty says “no doubt” budget balanced by 2015

OTTAWA, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Canadian Finance Minister Jim
Flaherty said on Monday there is “no doubt” the government’s
books will be balanced in 2015, but he cautioned against
speculation the federal deficit will be eliminated any sooner
than that.

Flaherty, speaking to reporters in Ottawa, said he would
announce in the House of Commons later in the day the date the
government’s 2014-15 budget will be released. It is expected to
be in the first half of February.

Jan 23, 2014

Canada, U.S. agencies urge fast action on oil-by-rail safety

OTTAWA, Jan 23 (Reuters) – North American regulators should
phase out the type of rail car involved in last July’s deadly
Lac-Megantic crash “sooner rather than later,” Canadian
investigators said on Thursday, urging the United States and
Canada to impose tougher standards swiftly.

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) and the U.S.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued three
recommendations each, adding pressure on regulators to improve
safety on the tracks after a series of oil-by-rail accidents in
recent months.

Jan 22, 2014

Bank of Canada leaves door open to rate cut if risks grow

OTTAWA, Jan 22 (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada signaled on
Wednesday it is more concerned about weak inflation than it was
three months ago and explicitly stated that its next move on
interest rates could be either down or up, depending on how
economic data unfolds.

The bank held its main overnight rate unchanged at 1.0
percent, as expected. While it said a more firmly entrenched
U.S. recovery and a weaker Canadian dollar would help lift
exports this year, its guidance on monetary policy was
incrementally more dovish than it had been.

Jan 21, 2014

Auto sector bounce good news for Canadian factories in November

OTTAWA, Jan 21 (Reuters) – A revived auto sector boosted
Canada’s manufacturing sales in November and helped prevent a
slide in wholesale trade, a trend that may continue into 2014 as
a weaker Canadian currency and strengthening U.S. economy spur
activity.

Factory sales jumped 1.0 percent to C$50.5 billion ($45.9
billion) in the month, the highest level in nearly two years and
approaching levels typically seen before the 2008-09 recession,
Statistics Canada data showed on Tuesday.

Jan 13, 2014

Bank of Canada poll sees businesses more upbeat, cautious

OTTAWA, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Canadian businesses were hopeful
in the fourth quarter of 2013 that sales would increase over the
next year and were more upbeat on investment and hiring than in
the previous quarter, according to a Bank of Canada survey
released on Monday.

But the positive outlook was not shared evenly among the
senior managers participating in the bank’s quarterly survey.
Details of the responses showed that companies benefiting from
an improving global economy appeared more encouraged than those
relying solely on the domestic market.

Jan 10, 2014

Canada sets new wireless auction in bid for competition

OTTAWA, Jan 10 (Reuters) – Canada will auction off another
set of airwaves for wireless use in April 2015, structuring the
rules in a way designed to boost competition and lower consumer
prices, Industry Minister James Moore said on Friday.

The announcement on details of the 2,500 megahertz auction
comes as the Conservative government prepares to open the
bidding process for the 700 MHz spectrum on Tuesday.

Jan 10, 2014

Canada loses 45,900 jobs in December in surprise setback

OTTAWA, Jan 10 (Reuters) – Canada’s economy lost 45,900 jobs
in December and the unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent from
6.9 percent in a surprising setback that may add pressure on the
central bank to consider cutting interest rates.

The employment data released by Statistics Canada on Friday
was the weakest since March 2013. The report also showed hiring
in 2013 was the slowest since 2009, with year-on-year employment
gains in December of just 0.6 percent, or 102,000.

Jan 7, 2014

Bank of Canada head says rates on hold until data improves

OTTAWA, Jan 7 (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada should keep its
key interest rate on hold until the data persuades it otherwise,
central bank chief Stephen Poloz said on Tuesday, adding that he
was not worried about calls from some international players to
tighten.

His comments follow controversial remarks by Canada’s
finance minister on Sunday suggesting there would be pressure to
raise interest rates in 2014.

    • 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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