(Reuters) – Quebec’s separatist government is betting on broad popular support with a proposal that prohibits public workers from wearing headscarves, skullcaps and other religious symbols, yet it is dividing the movement that advocates independence from Canada.
The proposal, unveiled by the ruling Parti Quebecois on Tuesday, plays with the explosive issue of minority rights in a part of Canada, a country that prides itself as being a tapestry of immigrants rather than a U.S.-style melting pot.
The separatist Bloc Quebecois kicked one of its five members of Parliament out of its caucus on Thursday after she took a strong stand against a proposal by Quebec’s separatist government to ban public workers from wearing most religious symbols.
OTTAWA, Sept 4 (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada held its key
interest rate steady on Wednesday but signaled it has concerns
about global economic uncertainty and the health of the
country’s export sector, suggesting it is in no rush to follow
the U.S. Federal Reserve in altering monetary policy.
In a statement accompanying its widely expected rate
decision, the central bank repeated its vague tightening bias,
pointing to higher rates somewhere on the horizon. But it also
highlighted the slack in Canada’s economy and muted inflation,
and cited signs of improvement in household debt and in the
housing market, all of which suggested such a move is some way
OTTAWA, Aug 30 (Reuters) – Next week’s Group of 20 summit
will discuss the volatility in emerging markets that erupted
after the U.S. Federal Reserve started to talk about scaling
back its massive bond-buying program, Canadian officials said on
Friday, but they suggested the Fed’s move was not the only
reason for the turbulence.
A senior official, briefing reporters on condition of
anonymity, said the summit in Russia of the G20 leading
economies will take time to examine the reasons for the market
volatility in India and other countries.
OTTAWA, Aug 29 (Reuters) – The already low rate of arrears
on mortgages insured by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp
(CMHC) declined further in the second quarter, an indicator
which might temper concerns about a possible hard landing for
the housing sector.
The government agency said in its quarterly financial report
that the arrears rate had
declined to 0.32 percent as of the end of June, down from 0.35
percent both at the end of 2012 and at the end of March.
OTTAWA, Aug 22 (Reuters) – Canadian retail sales fell 0.6
percent in June after a 1.8 percent gain in May, foreshadowing
weaker gross domestic product for the month than initially
thought, Statistics Canada data showed on Thursday.
The effect of floods in Alberta and a construction labor
strike in Quebec for two weeks in June had led analysts to
expect a decline in retail sales and economic growth in the
month. That was expected to be largely matched by a rebound in
July, and therefore the Bank of Canada had said it would
essentially ignore June’s expected economic weakness.
OTTAWA, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Canada is focused on boosting
competition in the telecom sector and will examine any move by
industry leader Rogers Communications Inc to back a
private equity bid for two small wireless carriers, Industry
Minister James Moore said on Wednesday.
The deal would be a way to thwart the possible entry of U.S.
giant Verizon Communications Inc into a Canadian market
where Rogers and two other players, BCE Inc and Telus
Corp, hold some 90 percent.
OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Canadian government is watching smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd carefully as it explores options including sale of the company but will not comment on its affairs, Industry Minister James Moore said on Wednesday.
Loss-making BlackBerry, which has bled market share to Apple’s iPhone and phones using Google’s Android operating system, said last week it was weighing options that could include an outright sale.
OTTAWA, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Birch Hill Equity Partners Inc, a
Canadian private equity fund, has registered to lobby Ottawa
over investment in wireless carriers, lending credence to the
idea it wants to buy two small wireless firms and elbow aside a
possible move into the Canadian market by Verizon Communications
Sources have tipped Birch Hill as a possible bidder for
controlling stakes in small players Wind Mobile and Mobilicity,
two newcomers in the market, with financial help from market
leader Rogers Communications Inc..
OTTAWA, July 31 (Reuters) – The Canadian economy grew by 0.2
percent in May from April, according to Statistics Canada data
on Wednesday, below forecasts and dampening expectations for the
The fifth consecutive monthly increase beat the 0.1 percent
rate registered in April, but the median forecast in a Reuters
survey was for 0.3 percent growth, ahead of what is expected to
be a poor June reading due to floods and a Quebec labor strike.