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Newsletter. Issue 2008-26. December 20, 2008

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Newsline Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper believes a depression is possible and says he's never seen such economic uncertainty
Associated Press - 2008-12-17 08:19 AM

Harper said the outlook for the Canadian economy is increasingly hard to read. "The truth is, I've never seen such uncertainty in terms of looking forward to the future," Harper told CTV television on Tuesday. "I'm very worried about the Canadian economy."

When asked whether a depression might be possible, Harper answered: "It could be, but I think we've learned enough about depression; we've learned enough from the 1930s to avoid some of the mistakes that caused a recession in 1929 to become a depression in the 1930s." The credit crisis and a global sell-off of commodities have slowed Canada's resource-rich economy. Alberta's once booming oil sands sector has cooled as every major company has scrapped or delayed some expansion plans.

The manufacturing sector in central Canada is also in trouble. Canada could lose more than 580,000 jobs within five years if Detroit's Big Three automakers go out of business, according to an Ontario government-commissioned report. The review, prepared for Ontario's Ministry of Economic Development and released Tuesday, warns that the collapse of General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC would send lasting shock waves through the economy.

Ontario Economic Development Minister Michael Bryant said Tuesday a proposed 3.4 billion Canadian dollar ($2.8 billion) rescue package is needed to avoid a "catastrophic" chain of events.

Harper said Canada will almost certainly be run a deficit in 2009 as the government spends billions to prop up the economy. Opposition parties tried to topple Harper's Conservative government earlier this month after his fiscal update didn't include a stimulus package.


'Canada, India should work together in resolving financial crisis',prtpage-1.cms
23 Nov 2008, 1203 hrs

TORONTO: Lauding long-standing bilateral ties between Canada and India, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said that Toronto and New Delhi should work together in resolving the current financial crisis. "It is more important than ever that Canada and India work together in resolving the challenges we face in the global economy," Harper, who is currently in Peru to attend APEC's Leaders Summit, said in a message to an annual cultural and entertainment gala organised by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce yesterday.

Harper said that Canada and India had long-standing bilateral ties, built upon shared values of democracy and pluralism and strong people-to-people links and Canada was committed to expand them.

Deepak Obhrai, Parliament Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affair Lawrence Cannon who read the Prime Minister's message, said that: "Canada respects India because it is a responsible democracy that shares with Canada the fundamental values of freedom, democracy, human rights and respect for the rule of law." Now there were no barriers between Canada and India as all of them have been removed and both the countries were committed to deepen bilateral relations and people-to-people links, Obhrai said, while commending contributions made by the ICCC in strengthen bilateral trade and investment.

Hazel McCallion, Mississauga Mayor, commended the contributions made by Indo-Canadians into Canadian economy and strengthening bilateral trade and investment. Asha Luthra, ICCC President, said that the group would send a large delegation to attend Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas to be held in January 2009 in India.


South Asian groups uniting to fight poverty among immigrants
Torstar News Service
17 December 2008

Members of several South Asian community groups have united to find out how they can fit into Ontario?s poverty reduction strategy. They share a feeling that different racial groups are treated differently in the strategy?s big picture.

?The government has recognized that poverty is an issue in Canada that is unacceptable,? said Fariah Chowdhry, with the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA).

A gathering of about 100 in Scarborough last night was aimed at getting not just service groups but also the community involved in anti-poverty work. Chowdhry said what was lacking in the strategy is how different ethnic / racial communities face poverty in disproportionate levels.

There is a feeling that many new immigrants are unable to escape poverty when they are being taken advantage of as minimum wage and often less than minimum wage paid workers despite their skills and professional experience.

?The South Asian community has specific needs particularly around internationally trained professionals,? said Neethan Shan, executive director of CASSA.

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