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Oct 16, 2013

Canadian government promises balanced budget law, sees free trade with EU

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s Conservative government on Wednesday promised to introduce legislation that will require balanced budgets except during economic crises, and renewed a pledge to balance its books by 2015.

It also said it would soon wrap up free trade talks with the European Union, and announced that Prime Minister Stephen Harper would travel to Brussels on Thursday “with the goal of concluding the … negotiations.”

Oct 16, 2013

Canadian government signals consumer approach, few new ideas on growth

OTTAWA, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Canada’s Conservative government
on Wednesday highlighted a populist, pro-consumer approach ahead
of a 2015 election, but says it will continue to push for more
jobs and economic growth.

Addressing members of his Conservative caucus ahead of a
policy speech that will outline government priorities for the
second half of its 4-1/2-year mandate, Prime Minister Stephen
Harper said the government planned moves on “choice, fair
treatment, competitive prices.”

Oct 16, 2013

Canada factory sales slip, weigh on August growth

OTTAWA, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Canadian manufacturing sales
unexpectedly fell in August, likely dampening economic growth in
the month as the outlook for the sector remains murky in light
of the fiscal standoff in its top market, the United States.
Factory shipments sank 0.2 percent from July to a seasonally
adjusted C$49.5 billion ($47.6 billion) in the month, dragged
down by weakness in the vehicle assembly and food industries as
well as an outsized drop in the small jewelry and silverware
sector, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters had predicted a 0.2 percent
gain in August. Eleven of 21 industries registered setbacks.
The volume of sales, used in calculating gross domestic
product, fell 0.3 percent.
The report suggests manufacturing will contribute little to
monthly GDP and supports the Bank of Canada’s move to downgrade
its growth forecast for the third quarter to between 2.0 and 2.5
percent from 3.8 percent, annualized.
“Manufacturing has stagnated in 2013 and not much positive
momentum should be expected over the balance of the year as the
prospects of a healthy recovery in the U.S. into the fourth
quarter look precarious,” said Mazen Issa, an economist with TD
After weeks of bitter fighting, U.S. lawmakers prepared on
Wednesday to put forth a proposal to raise the debt limit and
reopen a partially shuttered government in hopes of avoiding a
historic default which could throw the economy back into
Canada sells about 75 percent of its exports in the United
“Even if a short-term deal is brokered to extend the
deadline into early next year, uncertainty will hang in the
balance leaving the Canadian manufacturing industry in limbo,”
Issa said in a note to clients.
Year on year, sales were up by just 0.3 percent in current
dollar terms and down 2.1 percent in volume.

Growth in the Canadian economy has disappointed this year,
Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said on Friday, and August
trade data released last week showed exports were still not
providing the much-wanted boost in the third quarter.

Oct 9, 2013

Brazil spying report gives Canada black eye -opposition leader

OTTAWA, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Allegations that Canadian security
officials spied on a Brazilian ministry give Canada “a black eye
in the world,” a top opposition leader said on Wednesday,
putting more pressure on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to
explain the affair.

Thomas Mulcair, leader of the official opposition New
Democrats, branded as “unacceptable” the allegations in a
Brazilian media report saying the Communications Security
Establishment Canada (CSEC) had targeted the Brazilian mines and
energy ministry.

Sep 25, 2013

Canadian regulators team up to watch telecoms pricing

OTTAWA, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Two of Canada’s top regulators
said on Wednesday they would cooperate to ensure affordable
prices for telecommunications and broadcasting services, a key
platform of the federal government’s telecommunications policy.

“We look forward to continuing to work together towards our
mutual goal of benefiting Canadian consumers by ensuring access
to services at competitive prices,” Competition Commissioner
John Pecman said in a statement.

Sep 24, 2013

Fairfax’s BlackBerry deal seeks to forgo Canada takeover review

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The investor that has struck a tentative $4.7 billion deal to take smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd private is aggressively touting his group’s Canadian status to avoid the government reviews of foreign takeovers that have plagued recent attempts to buy Canadian companies.

The $9 a share proposal, from an as-yet unidentified consortium led by Canadian investment guru Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings, was announced on Monday. That was the first working day after BlackBerry shares dived after the company warned of an almost billion-dollar quarterly loss and announced it was laying off more than a third of its workers.

Sep 23, 2013

No big U.S. telecoms in Canada auction, boosting domestics

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Major foreign telecommunications companies have not registered for a Canadian wireless spectrum auction, raising questions about the government’s plans to introduce more competition into the mobile telephone sector.

The lack of major foreign entrants in a list of bidders that the government published on Monday is good news for the dominant Canadian companies – Rogers Communications Inc, BCE Inc and Telus Corp. The three had complained that the auction rules favored foreigners.

Sep 19, 2013

Canada to set up new markets watchdog, but scope limited

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s federal government and two of its provinces will set up a common securities regulator as a first step toward their ultimate goal of replacing the current patchwork of provincial agencies with a more efficient national markets watchdog.

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and his counterparts from Ontario and British Columbia unveiled details of the plan on Thursday. Together, Ontario and British Columbia are home to about two-thirds of the country’s capital markets.

Sep 19, 2013

Canada to set up securities regulator with Ontario, B.C.

OTTAWA, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Canada’s federal government and
two of its provinces will set up a common securities regulator
to try to replace the current patchwork of provincial
regulation, but most provinces, notably the French-speaking
province of Quebec, have not signed on.

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and his counterparts
from Ontario, home to the country’s predominant capital market,
and British Columbia unveiled details of their plan on Thursday.

Sep 19, 2013

Passenger train, bus collide in Canada’s capital, six dead

OTTAWA (Reuters) – A passenger train and a double-decker city bus collided on the outskirts of Ottawa on Wednesday, killing six people on the bus and injuring 30 others, emergency officials said.

The front of the red double-decker bus was sheared off and the engine of the VIA Rail train had derailed, but the train cars remained upright with little noticeable damage.