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Showing posts from November, 2015

Postal Union wants postal banks re-introduced to help fund Canada Post

In the second quarter of this year, Canada Post actually made a profit, but in the last quarter it lost $13 million. Even so, this is a relatively small sum, as is the total loss for the year so far of $20 million.

Many countries have taken the opportunity to privatize postal services to help out their corporate friends. Among the prime functions of modern governments is to find new sources of profits for capital. First moves involved changing the laws that used to give national postal services monopolies over postal services. Private corporations were allowed into parcel delivery etc. services, that could bring a profit while often leaving uneconomical services such as regular mail delivery to isolated and rural areas to the national postal service. This forced national services such as Canada Post into an unfair competition in which its competitors were able to provide services in a growth area in high volume settings whereas Canada Post also had to provide first class mail service…

Daughter of Canadian imprisoned without charge in UAE wants help from Justin Trudeau

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Salim Alaradi was among 10 business men detained by UAE authorities in August and September of last year. Human Rights Watch asked UAE authorities to investigate accusations from three former detainees that they were tortured by state security officers. + Add Image 1 of 2  Human Rights Watch reported that the former detainees claimed they had been beaten, subject to forced standing, and threats to rape, kill, and electrocute. Salim Alaradi remains among six still held incommunicado in detention. He has not been charged with any offence. Marwa Alaradi, just 18, has published the appended video appealing directly to Trudeau to call on the UAE to release her father. She said to CBC: "This is not the case of a criminal. This is a human rights case and an injustice has been done to my family. My father has been kidnapped, tortured and interrogated and he's had no charges."She said that her father did receive a visit from a Canadian Embassy official in the UAE who said that her…

Oil patch CEO has some kind words for Alberta NDP royalties review panel

The Alberta NDP government appears to realize it is better to listen to the oil patch than to get in a shouting match with a key industry in Alberta that has fallen on hard times. + Add Image Some in the oil patch are responding in kind, rather than being critical of the NDP and claiming its Royalty Review Panel is causing fear within the oil patch, as they have no idea what horrible policies the "socialists" are hatching to hurt investment and profits in the oil industry. This latter view appears to be the line that both the official opposition Wild Rose Party and the Conservatives are taking. The reaction of some in the oil patch is surprisingly different. The Royalty Review Panel was a key NDP election promise but the thought of such a review with possible increases in oil royalties, at a time of declining prices, revenue, and investment in the oil patch, naturally created jitters in the industry. However, to chair the review Energy Minister McCuaig-Boyd chose banker, Dav…

CMHC and others issue warnings about Canadian housing market

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.(CMHC) released an unsettling picture of what could happen if there were a severe correction in the Canadian housing market. + Add Image The CMHC used a stress test or worst case scenario to test what would happen in the Canadian Housing market if there were a quite significant downturn in the Canadian market. The CMHC projected a 30 percent plunge in home prices and a 5 percent increase in unemployment. This is what happened in the U.S. in 2008 when its housing market imploded. In such a scenario the CMHC would be faced with eight times more insurance claims than now, with total claims of $5 billion over five years. The CMHC profit of $7.5 would swing to a $2.8 billion loss. Many analysts think the CMHC scenario based on what happened in the U.S. is quite unlikely to happen here. Sal Guaterei, an economist at the Bank of Montreal (BMO), notes in the U.S. there was a huge problem with sub-prime borrowers, a situation that does not really exist in Canad…

Trans-Pacific Partnership text shows some sectors in Canada to be badly hurt

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Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper made sure the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal was not revealed before the federal election. If it had been released, he might have faced an even more resounding defeat. + Add Image The Liberal government of Justin Trudeau will now be faced with deciding whether it should seek changes in the deal. Given that there were 12 different countries involved in the negotiations it may be difficult if not impossible to negotiate changes. Mark Nantais, president of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturer's Association, said the Liberals will need to take a close look at the agreement and see if they can make changes. The 12 nations all have to ratify the document. Perhaps some will decide to reject the terms,. The full text of the agreement was just made available yesterday. It is available here. The document is 6,000 pages in all. Mr. Nantais pointed out that Canada consented to eliminate a tariff on imported Japanese vehicles in five years wh…

Brian Pallister, leader of Manitoba PC's hates Halloween

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No doubt there are many industrious researchers from various parties searching through the past speeches of their opponents to unearth treasures with which they can embarrass them. + Add Image In the case of Brian Pallister, the leader of the opposition Progressive Conservative party in the Manitoba legislature, such researchers have unearthed several paragraphs in a speech that Pallister gave in the legislature in November of 2014. I thought I would check out the speech just to make sure that the researcher was not altering any of what Pallister said. The whole speech can be found here. Turned out that everything was authentic and the author even mentions the context that Pallister was actually trying to draw a parallel between the behaviour of NDP members and trick-or-treaters at Halloween. Indeed, Pallister was trying to scare Manitobans away from supporting the NDP, since they are like those who go out looking for treats on Halloween. They dress up and disguise themselves so that …

Gary Doer Canadian Ambassador to the US and former Manitoba premier to return to province

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- Gary Doer is planning to leave his position as Canadian ambassador to the U.S. soon, but is leaving the exact date to the new Liberal government. + Add Image When he resigned as premier of Manitoba, he did not say that the Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper had chosen him to be Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Given that Doer was a prominent NDP premier, the appointment was a surprise. Harper constantly warns his supporters about the dangers of the socialist NDP. However, as former NDP Manitoba MLA and leftist Cy Gonick claims, perhaps Doer "does not have a socialist bone in his body." No doubt Harper hoped that Doer's diplomatic skills in dealing with politicians of every political stripe and his leftist credentials would help him out in dealing with the new Democratic administration of Barack Obama in the United States. In spite of his NDP background or perhaps because of it, Doer's efforts were appreciated by the Conservatives. He has served Harper for si…