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Newsletter. Issue 2010-06. March 13, 2010

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Newsline Canada

Canada's economic growth picks up
Russell Padmore | Business reporter | BBC World Service

Canada's economy grew at an annual rate of 5% during the last quarter of 2009, its fastest pace of expansion in nine years, according to official figures.

The figures underpin claims the economy is recovering quickly from the fallout of the global downturn. It comes after data for the previous three months showed growth of 0.9%, on an annualized basis. The country's economy was boosted by rising consumption, government spending and property investments. Canada's economy has rebounded strongly like its neighbor, the US.

The American economy grew at an annualized rate of 5.9% in the last three months of 2009, the Commerce Department said last week, revised higher from the first estimate of 5.7%.

A majority of Canadian exports head to customers south of the border, but businesses are being encouraged to focus on markets other than the US.

Len Crispino, the president and chief executive of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, told the BBC World Service: "There are still concerns about how fast [the US] economy will pick up. A number of small and medium-sized companies need to diversify away from that market," he said.

Fast economic growth

Canada's growth, its fastest since the third quarter of 2000, was more than economists had predicted, as well as outstripping the forecasts of the country's central bank.

The news pushed the value of the Canadian dollar higher against the US dollar, a nagging concern for companies that export to America.

The independent Virginia-based economist, Dennis Gartman, is telling his clients to go long on the Canadian dollar, or the Loonie, as it is colloquially known.

He told the BBC World Service: "The data simply underscores the fact that the Canadian economy is in demonstrably better shape than that of the US. Am I surprised by the news from Canada? No I am not. I am only more certain that erring long of Canadian dollars and short of euro and sterling makes more and more sense," he said.

Higher interest rates?

The fact that the economy is growing faster than forecasts will be welcome at the Bank of Canada, but it also brings a new challenge, analysts said.

On Tuesday, the central bank is due to announce its latest decision on interest rates, and the strong economic growth puts it under pressure to consider increasing rates.

However, economists are predicting that the Bank of Canada will keep rates on hold for now, but increase the cost of borrowing in the coming months.

Story from BBC NEWS:


"In a highly competitive, knowledge-based global economy, we're not going to succeed in Ontario by pulling stuff out of the ground," said McGuinty
Ottawa - The Canadian Press and Globe and Mail Update | Published on Thursday, Mar. 04, 2010  | 4:28PM EST | Last updated on Thursday, Mar. 04, 2010 | 5:25PM EST

Highlights from Thursday's federal budget for 2010-11:

  • Total spending of $280.5 billion, up $12.8 billion over last year.

  • Deficit of $49.2 billion.

  • Total debt rises to $566.7 billion.

  • Basic personal income-tax exemption (the amount you can earn before paying any taxes) for 2010 rises to $10,382.

  • $3.2 billion in personal income-tax relief, largely through raising the basic personal tax exemption and higher child benefits for parents.

  • Plan to reduce the deficit to $1.8 billion by 2014-15, largely by ending stimulus funding next year and restraining program spending.

  • $7.7 billion in stimulus money for infrastructure.

  • $4 billion for extra EI benefits and training.

  • Freeze on EI premium rate (paid by workers and employers) until the end of 2010. Rate will likely rise in 2011.


Forestry industry
They?ll be able to extract more value out of wood by tapping a government fund to produce renewable energy and chemicals

Tariff phase-out will save them $210 million next year, with that figure rising to $300 million annually once the levy is gone

Credit unions
Budget makes it easier for them to compete nationally rather than provincially

Nuclear industry
$253 million next year to finish ongoing repair and modernization projects


Program reviews and frozen operating budgets could mean job cuts

Nothing harmful in the budget, but no perks either

Plastic-surgery candidates
Budget ends a tax credit for everything from dentures to Botox treatments


Study: Projections of the diversity of the Canadian population 2006 to 2031

By 2031, between 25% and 28% of the population could be foreign-born. The South Asian population, which would still be the largest visible minority group, could more than double from roughly 1.3 million in 2006 to between 3.2 million and 4.1 million. By 2031

All growth scenarios considered, the diversity of Canada's population will continue to increase significantly during the next two decades, especially within certain census metropolitan areas, according to new projections of the country's ethnocultural makeup. By 2031, between 25% and 28% of the population could be foreign-born. This would surpass the proportion of 22% observed between 1911 and 1931, the highest during the twentieth century. About 55% of this population would be born in Asia.

Between 29% and 32% of the population could belong to a visible minority group, as defined in the Employment Equity Act. This would be nearly double the proportion reported by the 2006 Census. The visible minority population is likely to increase rapidly among the Canadian-born, many of whom are children and grandchildren of immigrants. The vast majority (96%) of people belonging to a visible minority group would continue to live in one of the 33 census metropolitan areas. By 2031, according to the reference scenario, visible minority groups would comprise 63% of the population of Toronto, 59% in Vancouver and 31% in Montréal. In contrast, they would comprise no more than 5% of the population in St. John's, Greater Sudbury, Trois-Rivières, Québec or Saguenay.

Foreign-born population

Between now and 2031, the foreign-born population of Canada could increase approximately four times faster than the rest of the population. The population of foreign-born could reach between 9.8 million and 12.5 million, depending on various immigration assumptions. The proportion of foreign-born in the total population would increase from 20% in 2006 to between 25% and 28%. By 2031, nearly one-half (46%) of Canadians aged 15 and over would be foreign-born, or would have at least one foreign-born parent, up from 39% in 2006.

Canadian-born population

Regardless of future immigration, diversity will grow among the Canadian-born population. By 2031, according to the reference scenario, 47% of second-generation Canadians would belong to a visible minority group, nearly double the proportion of 24% in 2006. Second generation refers to those who are Canadian-born and have at least one parent born outside Canada.

Within the third generation or more, the proportion belonging to visible minorities, although low, would almost triple, from 1% to 3%. The third generation or more are people who are Canadian-born and whose parents and possibly grandparents were Canadian-born.
Visible minorities

According to the scenarios developed for the projections, the visible minority population would continue to be bolstered by sustained immigration, slightly higher fertility and a younger age structure. In 2006, the median age of this population was 32.5 years, compared with 40.4 for the rest of the population. Under the low- and high-growth scenarios of these projections, Canada could have between 11.4 million and 14.4 million persons belonging to a visible minority group by 2031, more than double the 5.3 million reported in 2006. The rest of the population, in contrast, is projected to increase by less than 12%.

The South Asian population, which would still be the largest visible minority group, could more than double from roughly 1.3 million in 2006 to between 3.2 million and 4.1 million. The Chinese population is projected to grow from 1.3 million to between 2.4 million and 3.0 million. South Asians would represent 28% of the population belonging to visible minority groups, up from 25%, while the share of Chinese would decline from 24% to 21%. This is because Chinese women have one of the lowest fertility rates in Canada, unlike South Asian women. Also, people born in China have a higher propensity to emigrate than South Asians.

Canada's Black and Filipino populations, which were the third and fourth largest visible minority groups in 2006, could also double in size. The Arab and West Asian groups could more than triple, the fastest growth among all groups.


Canadian Federal Budget highlights 
05 March | 2010 08:43:00

CBJ Mar 5 - Finance Minister Jim Flaherty released Canada?s Budget 2010 (March 4), revealing the country?s action plan to address our biggest needs. Predictably, number one on the list was financial stimulus for our continued climb out of the recession. The budget aims to contribute to the recovery and sustain Canada's economic advantage now and for the future.

The budget plan has three broad goals.

  • First, it confirms $19 billion in new federal stimulus under Year 2 of Canada's Economic Action Plan, to create and maintain jobs complemented by $6 billion from provinces, territories, municipalities and other partners.

  • Second, the budget invests in a limited number of new, targeted initiatives to build jobs and growth for the economy, strengthen Canadian innovation and make Canada a destination for new business investment.

  • Third, Budget 2010 charts a course to bring Canada's finances back to balance over the medium term and well before any other Group of Seven (G7) country.

Some of the ways Flaherty plans to help Canadian families and workers manage through the difficult times include:

  • $3.2 billion in personal income tax relief. This includes allowing Canadians to earn more income before paying federal income tax and before being subject to higher tax rates. It includes the enhanced Working Income Tax Benefit to strengthen work incentives for low-income Canadians. Tax measures for 2010?11 also include higher child benefits for parents and lower taxes for low and middle-income seniors.

  • Over $4 billion in actions to create and protect jobs. This includes additional Employment Insurance (EI) benefits and more training opportunities to help unemployed Canadians through this difficult period, and help ensure they are equipped to re-enter the workforce and prosper in the future.

  • $7.7 billion in infrastructure stimulus to create jobs. This will modernize infrastructure and support home ownership and improve social housing across Canada. This builds on the $8.3 billion investment in infrastructure and housing delivered in 2009?10.

  • $1.9 billion to create the economy of tomorrow. This investment will help develop and attract talented people, strengthen our capacity for world-leading research, improve commercialization, accelerate private sector investment, enhance the ability of Canadian firms to participate in global markets, and create a more competitive business environment.

  • $2.2 billion to support industries and communities. This will support adjustment and provide job opportunities in all parts of Canada that have been hit hard by the economic downturn. It provides support for affected sectors, including forestry, agriculture, small business, tourism, shipbuilding and culture. In addition, the proposed elimination of tariffs on manufacturing inputs and machinery and equipment will encourage investment in the manufacturing sector.


Budget Takes Step In RIGHT Direction - Doesn't Go Far Enough

TORONTO, March 4 /CNW/ - Today's budget measures are a good step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to put Canada back on the road to sustainable economic growth.

Responding to today's federal budget, National Citizens Coalition President Peter Coleman commended the Harper government for introducing measures that will limit the size of government, and address the bloated spending that has become pandemic in Canada. At the same time, the NCC criticizes the budget for not going far enough to secure the country's financial future.

"This is a matter of fiscal leadership, and doing what is right for Canada," added Coleman. "This government needs to go further in their efforts to reduce the size of the civil service, and more needs to be done to reduce spending."

"We are talking about the priorities of hard-working Canadians. Only when these priorities are met can we focus our financial resources on the areas that are going to put us back on the road to sustainable economic growth. Investing in job creation, innovation and technology improvements would be the right step to take."

The National Citizens Coalition 5-0-1 Campaign for Better Government has received wide spread media recognition and galvanized the voice of hard-working Canadians. It calls on federal and provincial politicians to reduce their pay by 5%, introduce zero-based budgeting, and limit federal spending increases to 1%, while reducing the size of government by hiring one new civil servant for every two that retire.

"It's good to see our government paying attention to our plan for a better Canada." Coleman added. "But more needs to be done. Promising a salary freeze, ending unnecessary hires in the civil service, and limiting spending increases to 2% doesn't go far enough. A salary freeze is not a salary cut. A 2% spending increase is not zero-based budgeting. And there is no real explanation of how this government will gauge what is a necessary hire in the civil service."

The National Citizens Coalition plans to continue moving forward with their innovative and unique 5-0-1 Campaign for Better Government. Today's budget was a step in the right direction, but the NCC does not plan to stop their fight until politicians across the country adopt the 5-0-1 Plan and put this country back on the road to sustainable economic growth.

The National Citizens Coalition is Canada's largest non-partisan organization for the defence and promotion of free enterprise, free speech and a government that is accountable to its taxpayers. To learn more about the NCC and the 5-0-1 Campaign for Better Government, visit the organization online at

For further information: or interviews, please contact: Peter Coleman, President and CEO, National Citizens Coalition, office: (416) 869-3838, cell: (416) 388-5633

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