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Newsletter. Issue 2007-07. March 31, 2007
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Canadian economy cooling, not stalling, in 2007: TD Economics

TORONTO, March 26 /CNW/ - Canada's economic challenges are largely limited to the export-oriented manufacturing sector, rather than the domestic economy. As a result, Canadian economic growth will likely outperform that of its neighbor to the south in 2007. TD Bank's Chief Economist, Don Drummond, stated: "The Canadian economy isn't out of the woods yet, but we can see the tree line."

The March issue of the TD Quarterly Economic Forecast states that the Canadian economy will expand at an annual average pace of 2.4 per cent in 2007, just mildly slower than in 2006. The report can be found at www.td.com/economics.

The U.S., however, will see a more sizeable slowdown, as the housing market continues to soften. After the year-long contraction in housing, the recent deterioration in the sub-prime market was expected. "Worries over the Chinese stock market and U.S. sub-prime lending have led financial markets to internalize something we've been saying for over a year - global growth is
moderating," said Don Drummond. "However, the bigger issue for the U.S. economy this year will be consumer's reluctance to spend, not their inability to find a loan. Stagnant home prices in the U.S. will limit home equity and make consumers less inclined to make big purchases now."


As The EU Turns 50, Pope Says It's On Path To Oblivion
• Europe 'ignoring Christian roots' says Pope Benedict XVI
Ian Traynor in Berlin
Monday March 26, 2007

The Guardian …. Excerpts
European leaders yesterday celebrated the EU's 50th birthday, with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, telling the prime ministers or presidents of 27 countries that modern Europe was a dream come true.

But the birthday party summit for the EU - staged with rock concerts, Beethoven, beer and cake in brilliant sunshine in Berlin - was soured by the German Pope, Benedict XVI, who delivered a profoundly pessimistic verdict on Europe at 50, declaring that the continent could be heading for extinction.

Angry that a "Berlin Declaration" unveiled yesterday listing the EU's achievements and challenges on its 50th birthday contained no reference to the continent's Christian roots, Pope Benedict said that Europe could "not be built by ignoring its people's identities".

In his remarks to bishops gathered for ceremonies in Rome to mark the signing of the treaty that founded the EU in 1957, the Pope declared that the reluctance of women in Europe to have babies and Europe's failure to regenerate itself was putting the continent on the path to oblivion. "From a demographic standpoint ... Europe seems set on a path that could lead it to take leave of history," he warned. Europe was "losing faith in its own future".

Birthrates are at historic lows in many EU countries, most notably in strongly Roman Catholic countries such as Poland, Italy and Spain. According to UN projections, the population of the EU could shrink by 50m within a few decades.

He said that Europe's moral, cultural, and historical values had been forged by Christianity and that the EU was denying such facts. Europe's loss of contact with its Christian roots was bringing about "a singular form of apostasy, not so much from God as from itself".


Canada One Digi Looks To Court Ethnic Market
by: Norma Reveler


Diversity is frequently preached as a wise philosophy for forward-looking Canadian TV enterprises - and it is also the mandate of a proposed digital service with a licence application that is - controversially - being considered by the CRTC.

Canada One TV plans to produce and commission mainstream, high-quality English-language drama that reflects Canada's racial and cultural diversity. The channel's backers tell the CRTC they will spend more than $2 million on script and concept development over a seven-year licence term, and air two hours of original Canadian drama between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. weekly by year five, and three hours between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. by year seven.

"Factoring together the low presence of visible minorities and Aboriginal persons in English-language Canadian drama, and the lack of viewing by Canadians to Canadian drama programming on Canadian services, the need for Canada One TV becomes even more apparent," writes majority shareholder Diversity Television in its CRTC application.

Former VisionTV VP Paul de Silva, a partner in Diversity Television with Amos Adetuyi and Alfons Adetuyi of Toronto prodco Inner City Films, says the channel would fill a gap in reflecting Canada's diverse cultural communities and by finding a place in the rapidly expanding ethnic market.

Also on board is Halifax's DHX Media, headed by Michael Donovan, which would invest $5 million to launch Canada One, along with $2.5 million from the Royal Bank of Canada. CBC has provided research support, and could possibly provide technical facilities and collaborate on programming, says de Silva.

A sample programming grid submitted with the application includes entries such as Epitome Pictures' Degrassi franchise and Protocol Entertainment's Saddle Club, and includes ethnic-based programming from around the world. DHX will also provide programming from its catalog.

The channel would be financed primarily through subscriber fees, de Silva explains, and wouldn't be expected to turn a profit until the end of its first licence term, with subscriber fees projected to increase from $29.3 million in year one to $47.2 million in year seven as the digital universe expands, while national advertising is estimated to grow from $735,000 to $3.5 million over the period. The channel is proposing a monthly fee of $0.50 per subscriber.

De Silva said Canada One could launch anywhere from six to eight months after receiving regulatory approval. A public hearing on the licence application will be held on March 26.



 At their Annual General Meeting held at Commander Park Arena on Sunday, 25th March, more than 70 members attended to show their appreciation and the continued interest they have in the budding Association.

In his welcome address following a prayer, the President, Al Andrade expressed his gratitude to see so many members present, which he said, “obviously demonstrates the interest you have in the welfare of the Association and the confidence you have in the Executive”. He reiterated that the motto of the Executive has always been to primarily focus on the objectives enshrined in the constitution, with emphasis on promoting the social and cultural activities of the members. The strong support by members has only encouraged the Executive to do more. Right from day one the Executive decided to give members the maximum benefit for minimum charge.

Al recognized the members as the backbone of the Association and the Executive Committee as an integral part. He commended the members of the Executive for their commitment and for giving of their time and talents for the benefit of the Association.
The members of the Executive were introduced to the house individually.

Before commencing the formal part of the meeting Al praised the Gen. Secretary, Carmelita D’Souza for presenting members with a comprehensive report on the activities
of the Association. His sentiments were endorsed by the house. He also thanked the Treasurer, Valentine Viegas, for so efficiently presenting the Annual Accounts. Both the reports were unanimously adopted by the house.

The President agreed to incorporate the suggestions and recommendations made by the General Body in 2007.


Full House at 55PGA Annual General Meeting

The Executive of the 55PGA was taken by surprise on Thursday, March 22, 2007 when members turned out in large numbers for their first AGM.
Click on Thumbnails for larger view

Tony Fernandes, President of the 400+ association, welcomed members, and listed accomplishments of the past year.

The 55PGA:
• Is registered with the Ontario Government as a not-for-profit organization
• A working constitution has been reviewed and approved by members
• The final name for the organization is still left for the members to determine.
• The 55PGA takes special care in scheduling its events so as to avoid conflict with established mainstream organizations.
• The major challenge is getting meeting rooms where seniors can gather on a regular basis. Parish Halls are heavily booked, or not available to seniors, while community centres carry heavy overheads, jacking up admission costs making it difficult for seniors on a fixed income to attend.

Members then heard the good news from three hardworking women who made things happen:

Muriel Lucas, the General Secretary, reviewed the handout of her report given to members and went on to reiterate the need for members to get more involved in volunteering their services in any which way possible!. She emphasized “While we intend to become a diverse organization, and like any other family, our common bonds provide strength and will remain an asset in searching for ways to make everyday "bigger and better" and so, the plea and challenge for them to become involved has never been greater. Our intentions to remain vigorous and undiminished, is one of our primary goals. We know each and everyone is very busy indeed, but, as the saying goes, "If you want anything done - "ASK A BUSY PERSON!”. – She then went on to thank all those who contributed and assisted the 55PGA during the past 2 years and looked forward to their continued support and participation.

Juliet Rebello, Social Secretary, reported that the 55PGA ‘s first formal event, a sit-down Christmas Dinner held in December 2005 gave the organization a flying start. The first Anniversary Dance, and the 2006 Christmas Dance, was also held at banquet halls with waiter service. These were well attended, and gave members a sense of style and value-for-money .The highlight of the 2006 Christmas Dance was a fashion show featuring 13 models, all members of the 55PGA.

The nine monthly meets at the Malta Band Club were well attended with members participating in line dancing, whist, a Ladainha, troque, and a host of other events. Other special events included an Easter Morning Brunch, and Western Chili Night, and a joint outdoor picnic with TEGSA. The 55PGA has a new venue for monthly events for 2007, which allows more flexibility in organizing events, and controlling costs. Juliet stressed that the success of the 55PGA events was largely attributed to her strong “Telemail Committee” who kept in touch with members through email, and through phone calls for the more senior members not conversant with the Internet.

Vivien Fernandes, Trips Coordinator, noted that trips are a great hit with the 55PGA and in 2006. She noted, “…we have strived to give our members the best opportunity to enjoy the outdoor trips we had to offer! The 3 highlight Trips were: Woodbine Racetrack, St.Jacobs & Kitchener, Oktoberfest, and Festival of Lights, Niagara Falls. To those who participated and assisted, she extended “ a very "Big Thank You!..”

For 2007 she said “…. besides focusing on local plays, we are slowly "spreading our wings" to cover new outings such as the "Alaskan Cruise,"- a trip to the Divine Mercy Shrine just a hint to give you a rough idea what is in store. So - I do encourage you to visit us on our website, at goanvoice.ca  “

The meeting ended with members mixing and enjoying snacks and drinks provided by the duo of Romeo & Belinda Remedios.

See goanvoice.ca  Events Section for the 2007 Programme of Activities & Trips.

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