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  1. http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Gazette+exclusive+EMSB+pitches+tout+fran%C3%A7ais/2414008/story.html This is much needed. And not all of it should be spent on grammar reciting either (as is often the case). I think a big part is just being able to learn to get use out of it. Practice comprehension and conversational skills first, then worry about written skills. Although I had great French teachers in school, how was I (or anyone else) to become fluent by spending only 4-5 hours a week on it? This compared to living the rest of the week entirely in English (except for the Habs/Expos game back in the day). Having said that, English instruction should be toughened up as well. The quality of written English of a good portion of university peers is downright abysmal. They should have to pass a stringent English exam to get accepted into a regular program (if they fail, they should take a year-long mini program designed at teaching them proper written and spoken English). From what I have heard, they offer English-Second-Language courses that are taught by immigrants with heavy accents (notably from Ukraine and China). WTF?
  2. Québec évitera la récession, mais pas Montréal Publié le 01 avril 2009 à 06h47 | Mis à jour à 06h49 La Presse (Montréal) Saskatoon et Regina font souvent sourire en raison de leur climat rude et de leur vie nocturne peu animée. Ces deux villes de la Saskatchewan feront toutefois des jalouses parmi leurs rivales canadiennes cette année. Le climat sera toujours aussi peu accueillant et les soirées finiront toujours aussi tôt, mais les deux villes des Prairies devraient connaître la plus grande croissance économique au pays en 2009. Leur secret afin d'éviter la récession? L'immigration - principalement celle en provenance de l'Alberta, la province voisine. «Saskatoon et Regina ont fait une campagne de charme auprès de leurs anciens résidants partis s'établir en Alberta afin qu'ils rentrent au bercail, dit Mario Lefebvre, économiste au Conference Board du Canada. Elles font valoir que bien des gens partis en Alberta pourraient vendre leur maison à profit et revenir s'établir en Saskatchewan, où les possibilités d'emploi sont intéressantes et le coût de la vie moins élevé.» Selon les prévisions du Conference Board du Canada, seulement six des 13 grandes villes du pays devraient éviter la récession en 2009: Saskatoon ("1,7%), Regina ("1,6%), Winnipeg ("1,1%), Québec ("0,6%), Ottawa-Gatineau ("0,2%) et Halifax (0,0%). Sur ces six survivantes, cinq ont un point en commun: leur statut de capitale et, surtout, la fonction publique qui vient avec. «Les capitales ont généralement une économie plus stable et moins sensible aux soubresauts économiques», dit Mario Lefebvre. Vancouver déchante Alors que la ville de Québec évitera la récession en raison du poids de la fonction publique, Montréal vivra son premier recul économique depuis 1991. Le Conference Board prévoit 25 000 pertes d'emplois dans la métropole québécoise, comparativement à aucune à Québec. À l'échelle canadienne, 300 000 personnes devraient perdre leur emploi en 2009. Avec un recul prévu de 0,5%, Montréal arrive 10e rang sur 13 du classement du Conference Board. Seules les villes de Vancouver (-0,9%), Toronto (-1,6%) et Hamilton (-1,9%) devraient connaître une année plus difficile sur le plan économique. Si les déboires de l'économie ontarienne n'étonnent personne, ceux de Vancouver sont plus intrigants à moins d'un an des Jeux olympiques d'hiver de 2010. L'aventure olympique devait engendrer un boom économique dans la métropole de la Colombie-Britannique. Cette dernière vivra plutôt sa première récession depuis que le Conference Board a commencé à publier la croissance économique des villes en 1987. «La plupart des travaux sur les sites olympiques sont déjà terminés, dit Mario Lefebvre. C'est positif d'un point de vue logistique, mais pas d'un point de vue économique.»
  3. Québec et Ottawa-Gatineau afficheront une croissance en 2009 Publié le 31 mars 2009 à 13h02 | Mis à jour à 13h06 La Presse Canadienne Ottawa Cinq régions métropolitaines seulement, dont celles de Québec et d'Ottawa-Gatineau, afficheront une croissance positive de leur économie cette année au Canada, selon un rapport publié mardi par le Conference Board du Canada. Pour Québec, la croissance devrait être de 0,6%, alors que la croissance du produit intérieur brut de la région de la capitale fédérale devrait s'établir à 0,2%. Ces deux régions ne seront toutefois pas les plus performantes cette année, selon le rapport de l'organisme qui indique que trois villes des Prairies enregistreront les plus hauts taux de croissance. Saskatoon arrive en premier avec une croissance de son PIB attendue de 1,7% cette année. Regina est deuxième avec un taux de 1,6%, alors que Winnipeg est troisième avec une croissance prévue de 1,1%. Le rapport du Conference Board tient compte de 13 régions métropolitaines au total. Les moins performantes de la liste en 2009, selon les prévisions de l'organisme, devraient être Toronto et Hamilton, avec des reculs prévus de 1,6% et 1,9%, respectivement. Montréal devrait afficher un recul de 0,5% de son PIB réel cette année, selon le Conference Board du Canada.
  4. Les entraves à la mobilité des gens d'affaires limitent les possibilités de commerce et de croissance économique au Canada, selon le Conference Board. Pour en lire plus...
  5. Vote for Montreal to be the sole Canadian city on the board! Only 20 cities will be included. We are currently 18th!
  6. TSX Group looks to U.S. for next CEO Talks with ex-CBOT chief; risks backlash by overlooking former head of Montreal Exchange BOYD ERMAN From Wednesday's Globe and Mail May 28, 2008 at 4:10 AM EDT TSX Group Inc. [X-T] is close to hiring a U.S. executive to run the company now that the merger with Montreal Exchange Inc. is complete, passing over former MX head Luc Bertrand in a decision that's sure to be controversial in Quebec. Sources said TSX is in talks with Bernard Dan, former president and chief executive officer of the derivatives-focused Chicago Board of Trade, though a contract has yet to be signed. Mr. Dan lost his post at CBOT after the company's 2007 acquisition by Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings Inc. (CME). Mr. Bertrand, who built the Montreal Exchange into a force in derivatives, had been long viewed as the likely successor to Richard Nesbitt at the helm of TSX Group. Under the merger agreement, Mr. Bertrand was slated to be deputy CEO with Mr. Nesbitt in the top job, but those plans were thrown into flux when Mr. Nesbitt unexpectedly announced his resignation in January to become CEO at CIBC World Markets. A dark-horse candidate was Rik Parkhill, the head of the markets division at the TSX and one of the company's interim co-CEOs after Mr. Nesbitt's departure. Bernard Dan Both Mr. Parkhill and Mr. Bertrand were among the final candidates, but sources said the TSX board deadlocked over whether the CEO should come from TSX or MX and that contributed to the decision to go with an outside candidate. Passing over Mr. Bertrand may rekindle a controversy that arose last year even before the merger, when Quebec's Finance Minister said an early round of talks about a TSX-MX combination broke down because some on the TSX board weren't happy with the idea that a Montrealer might run the company. "Even though there were no guarantees that Luc would get the job, it's going to be perceived as a slap in the face," said Dundee Securities analyst John Aiken. That may lead to a backlash from Quebec investors, he said. Still, going with Mr. Dan may have some advantages, Mr. Aiken said. Whoever takes over TSX will have to know derivatives, because buying the MX gives the combined company dominating positions in that business as well as stock trading. Also, the TSX is facing a surge of new competition from alternative trading systems (ATS) for shares, a trend long established in the United States. "Canada with all the ATS's is going to more a U.S.-style exchange environment, and nobody domestically has seen that yet," Mr. Aiken said. "The question is how quickly will this individual adapt to the peculiarities of the Canadian market." TSX spokesman Steve Kee would not comment on the names of any candidates, and declined to confirm the talks with Mr. Dan. "The board process is not complete," Mr. Kee said. "We don't have a deal with any candidate." Mr. Kee said TSX plans to have the new CEO in place in time for the June 11 annual meeting. Previously, the company had a May 30 target. As head of CBOT from 2002 to 2007, Mr. Dan oversaw one of the biggest U.S. markets for agricultural and financial derivatives - contracts tied to price movements on everything from bonds to beef. He also won plaudits for CBOT's expertise with electronic trading, which helped to fuel the company's growth. Electronic trading is a focus at the TSX as the company rolls out its new system, known as Quantum, and tries to integrate the MX's Sola system. TSX GROUP (X) Close: $43.01, down 92¢ http://www.reportonbusiness.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080528.wrtsxceo28/BNStory/SpecialEvents2/home
  7. C'est ce qu'indique un rapport du Conference Board du Canada publié alors que le milieu artistique lutte contre les compressions annoncées par Ottawa. Pour en lire plus...
  8. La confiance des consommateurs américains a nettement progressé en août, avec un indice montant à 56,9 points contre 51,9 points en juillet, dit le Conference Board. Pour en lire plus...
  9. Prosperity gap to widen, Conference Board says Growth in Quebec expected to hit 1.4% DAVID AKIN, Canwest News Service Published: 8 hours ago Booming Saskatchewan will lead all provinces in economic growth this year, while Ontario and Quebec will suffer through a difficult year, said forecasters at the Conference Board of Canada. The widening prosperity gap between the West and those in central and eastern Canada presents federal policy-makers with some unique challenges. The West may need policies that slow growth and curb inflation, while central Canada has few inflationary worries but needs some economic stimulus to encourage growth. In its semi-annual provincial outlook, the Conference Board says Saskatchewan's economy is booming thanks to surging commodity prices, particularly oil and potash, and as a result, the provincial economy there will grow by 4.2 per cent this year. In fact, the Conference Board said workers are leaving Alberta and heading to Saskatchewan to make their fortune. The report says that, as a result, retailers in Canada's flattest province may be in for a particularly good year. "The positive labour outlook, combined with lofty wage gains, is spurring a spending spree. Retail sales are expected to soar by 12.2 per cent in 2008," it said. Meanwhile, in Quebec, things will be a bit better this year, where growth of 1.4 per cent is expected. "Since the middle of 2007, the Quebec economy has been at a near standstill. The weakness in the manufacturing sector has eroded economic gains made in other industries,' the report said. Next door in Ontario, where manufacturers had particular trouble coping with the one-two punch of a fast-rising loonie and skyrocketing energy prices, economic growth will be just 0.8 per cent, the Conference Board said. Only Newfoundland and Labrador will see slower economic growth than Ontario this year. After a stellar year in 2007 with double-digit economic growth, the Conference Board said the pace in Canada's most eastern province is stalled. It predicts growth there of just 0.2 per cent this year. Overall, the Conference Board believes Canada's economy will grow by 1.7 per cent. The forecasters at the independent think-tank are much more optimistic than the Bank of Canada, which said last month it believes Canada's economy will grow by one per cent.
  10. L'indice de confiance des consommateurs du Conference Board du Canada a encore baissé ce mois-ci, soit à 71 points. Pour en lire plus...
  11. Sans surprise, ce sont des régions métropolitaines de l'ouest canadien qui occupent les sept premiers rangs de croissance économique. Pour en lire plus...
  12. New Website Studies Montreal for Students 9/6/2007 A new web portal highlighting Montreal as an excellent location for international students has been launched by TP1 Communication electronique, a Montreal-based technology and communications company. Study in Montreal (www.studyinmontreal.info) is a reference tool providing this clientele with information about the many resources, activities and attractions that Montreal offers. The portal for international students includes original photography by Montreal photographer Benoit Aquin. "TP1 has distinguished itself through its approach to integrating all of the project's components: visual design, photo acquisition, technology, hosting, site maintenance and support. The team understood the objective of the portal right from the beginning and demonstrated rigour and creativity throughout its development," stated Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, one of the partner organizations in the project. "A site like the Study in Montreal portal containing literally thousands of hyperlinks cried out for a tool enabling a small team of users to manage it efficiently," declared Joseph Blauer, Vice-President of Technology at TP1. Drupal, the chosen tool, is an open source web content management system published under the GNU Public License. Its content management capability along with its modular architecture, place Drupal among the most multi-faceted and flexible web content management systems currently available. For Study in Montreal, it clearly demonstrated its superiority for the creation of one of a new generation of collaborative websites. For more about Drupal, visit www.tp1.ca/en/drupal. TP1 will continue to work with the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal in 2007, notably to optimize external referencing. The portal is an initiative of the Conference regionale des elus de Montreal and is an integral component of the "Montreal, city of learning, knowledge, and innovation" project, in collaboration with the "Ouverture aux citoyens du monde" committee. This committee brings together Montreal's four major universities (McGill University, UQAM, Universite de Montreal and Concordia University), the Regroupement des colleges du Montreal metropolitain, the City of Montreal, the Federation etudiante universitaire du Quebec, the Forum jeunesse de l'ile de Montreal, Montreal International, and the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. The site is supported by the Forum jeunesse de l'ile de Montreal as a principal financial partner and the Ministere des Affaires municipales et des Regions as a financial partner. TP1 offers consulting services in communications and technology, combining the strategic, operational and technological requirements of business through the common thread of communications. We offer a range of services in electronic communications, including: Website development, communications consulting, application development and managed services.
  13. http://world.time.com/2013/04/08/quebecs-war-on-english-language-politics-intensify-in-canadian-province/ To live in Quebec is to become accustomed to daily reminders that French in the Canadian province is the most regulated language in the world. Try, as I did recently, to shop at Anthropologie online and you’ll come up empty-handed. The retail chain (which bears a French name) opened its first Montreal boutique in October, but “due to the Charter of the French Language” has had its site shut down: “We hope you’ll visit us in store!” Montreal’s transit authority maintains that under the present language law, its ticket takers must operate in French, which lately has spurred complaints from passengers. Last year, the city of Montreal erected 60 English safety signs nearby Anglophone schools in an effort to slow passing vehicles. The Quebec Board of the French Language and its squad of inspectors ordered that they be taken down; a snowy drive through town revealed that all had been replaced by French notices. Since the Parti Québécois (PQ), which calls for national sovereignty for Quebec, won a minority government in September, the reminders have become increasingly less subtle. In February, a language inspector cited the swank supper club Buonanotte, which occupies a stretch of St. Laurent Boulevard, Montreal’s cultural and commercial artery, for using Italian words like pasta on its otherwise French menu. The ensuing scandal, which has come to be known as “pastagate,” took social media by storm. “These are problems we had in the 1980s,” says restaurant owner Massimo Lecas. “They were over and done with; we could finally concentrate on the economy and fixing potholes. And then this new government brought them all back. These issues might never go away now, and that is a scary sort of future.” It’s true: despite the nuisances and controversies generated by Bill 101, Quebec’s 1977 Charter of the French Language, the province had settled in the past years into a kind of linguistic peace. But tensions have mounted considerably since the separatist PQ returned to the fore. In the wake of pastagate, the language board allowed that its requests were maybe overzealous; the head of the organization resigned. And yet the PQ has prepared for the passage of Bill 14, a massive and massively controversial revision to Bill 101. The bill’s 155 proposed amendments go further than any previous measures have to legislate the use of French in Quebec. Most English speakers see the changes as having been designed to run them right out of the province. “Definitely non-Francophone kids who are graduating are leaving,” says restaurateur Lecas. “If you don’t have a mortgage yet, if you’re not married yet, if you don’t own a business yet, it’s like, ‘I’m so outta here.’ But leaving is not the solution because when you leave, they win.” In a poll conducted by the research company EKOS in January, 42% of the Anglophones surveyed said they’ve considered quitting Quebec since the PQ was elected. If Bill 14 passes, military families living in Quebec but liable to be relocated at any time will no longer be permitted to send their children to English-language schools. Municipalities whose Anglophone inhabitants make up less than 50% of their populations will lose their bilingual status, meaning, among other things, that residents won’t be able to access government documents in English. For the first time, companies with 25 to 49 workers will be required to conduct all business in French, a process set to cost medium-size businesses $23 million. French speakers interested in attending English-language colleges will take a backseat to Anglophone applicants. The language inspectors will be able to instantly search and seize potentially transgressive records, files, books and accounts, where currently they can only “request” documents that they believe aren’t in accordance with the law. And no longer will they grant a compliance period. As soon as a person or business is suspected of an offense, “appropriate penal proceedings may be instituted.” Jamie Rosenbluth of JR Bike Rental is among the business owners who’ve had run-ins with the ever more bold language board, which already has the authority to impose fines and, in extreme cases, shut enterprises down. A month ago, an inspector asked him to translate the Spanish novelty posters that paper his shop and increase the size of the French writing on his bilingual pricing list by 30%. Says Rosenbluth: “I told her, ‘You want me to make the French words 30% bigger? O.K., how about I charge French-speaking people 30% more?’ It is so silly. Are they 30% better than me? Are they 30% smarter than me?” Since the encounter, he has covered the offending posters with placards of his own that say, in French, “Warning: Non-French sign below. Read at your own discretion.” The PQ is trying to reassure its separatist base of its seriousness as a defender of Quebecois identity. To pass Bill 14, it will need the support of at least one of the province’s two primary opposition parties. In other words, if the bill doesn’t succeed, Premier Pauline Marois of the PQ will be able to hold the opposition accountable and remain a hero to the hard-liners. The PQ knows that, in its present incarnation, it will never drastically expand its core of support, but it can galvanize its troops. Some of those supporters rallied together in Montreal last month to protest “institutional bilingualism” and champion the bill. Cheers and applause resounded when journalist Pierre Dubuc called out: “If someone can’t ask for a metro ticket in French, let them walk.” Public hearings on Bill 14 began in early March at the National Assembly in Quebec City and are ongoing. “I can tell you that if someone came to Côte-St.-Luc to tell us we would lose our bilingual status, you will have chaos, you will have opposition of people you wouldn’t think of who will take to the streets,” testified Anthony Housefather, mayor of the municipality of Côte-St.-Luc, on the first day. “People are scared, people are very scared.” By the time Quebec’s largest Anglophone school board, Lester B. Pearson, came forward on March 19, it had already collected 32,000 signatures on a petition against the bill. “There are many ways of protecting French, and coercion isn’t one of them,” says Simo Kruyt, a member of the board’s central parent committee. “Fourteen of our schools have closed over the past seven years. We are getting fed up. We are getting tired of having to fight to be who we are. English is the language of commerce and we parents believe we are part of a world that’s larger than Quebec.” It’s hard yet to say if the bill will make it through. The opposition Liberals have flat-out refused to support the legislation. The Coalition Avenir Québec, which holds the balance, has said that it might — if certain of the more controversial measures are “improved.” In fact, the Coalition has only come out against four sections of Bill 14, and these don’t include the provisions that would give the dreaded language inspectors new and extraordinary powers. In the face of such antagonism, it’s no wonder some are leaving. Kruyt’s eldest son, a bilingual 27-year-old engineer, is preparing to relocate to Ottawa, the Canadian capital that sits near Quebec’s western border. Says Kruyt: “There, they’ll appreciate his French and won’t hammer him because of his English.” Read more: http://world.time.com/2013/04/08/quebecs-war-on-english-language-politics-intensify-in-canadian-province/#ixzz2PxmWuSHp
  14. (Courtesy of The Guardian UK) I wonder if anyone from the PQ or BQ heard or read about this Probably not seeing they dislike the English language. So I guess Canadian / Quebec history is safe for now, until one of them comes out of their narrow-minded shell and sees this
  15. Trois-Rivières se démarquera avec sa croissance économique 25 juin 2008 - 10h18 Presse Canadienne Le Conference Board du Canada prévoit que Trois-Rivières sera une des trois régions de recensement de petite ou moyenne taille à enregistrer une croissance économique de plus de 2% cette année. En raison du ralentissement général de l'économie, la plupart des régions devront s'attendre à une croissance réduite. Dans sa Note de conjoncture métropolitaine de l'été 2008, publiée mercredi, le Conference Board indique que la détérioration du secteur manufacturier, en particulier de l'industrie du papier, demeure une source de préoccupation à Trois-Rivières. La région accueillera toutefois divers projets d'infrastructure du gouvernement provincial qui lui garantiront une croissance de 2,3%. C'est la région d'Abbotsford, en Colombie-Britannique, qui affichera cette année la plus forte croissance économique parmi les petites et moyennes régions métropolitaines de recensement du Canada, selon les calculs de l'organisme. Après une croissance modeste de 2,7% l'an dernier, le produit intérieur brut (PIB) réel d'Abbotsford s'accroîtra de 2,5% cette année. Saint-Jean, au Nouveau-Brunswick, est l'autre des trois régions où la croissance sera plus de 2% cette année. Au Québec, les villes de petite et moyenne taille sont durement touchées par la dégringolade du secteur manufacturier, écrit le Conference Board dans sa Note de conjoncture métropolitaine pour les petites et moyennes agglomérations. Ainsi, à Sherbrooke, la croissance sera limitée par le recul de la production manufacturière causé par un dollar canadien élevé et une économie américaine léthargique limitera la croissance. Dans cette région, estime le Conference Board, la faible activité manufacturière dans les industries des pièces d'automobiles et des produits de plastique sera compensée par la vigueur de la construction et la solide croissance dans l'industrie des services. Selon les prévisions de l'organisme, la croissance du PIB de Sherbrooke atteindra 1,8% en 2008. L'économie de Saguenay profitera pour sa part de la demande robuste d'aluminium, ainsi que des travaux menés dans le cadre d'importants projets de construction. La région devrait voir son PIB croître de 1,2% cette année, taux qui s'établissait à 1% en 2007. C'est la première fois que le Conference Board regroupe et classe dans une note de conjoncture distincte 14 petites et moyennes régions métropolitaines de recensement. Dans les notes précédentes, ces régions étaient comprises au sein de régions de plus grande taille.
  16. Sharing the streets JULIA KILPATRICK, The Gazette Published: 6 hours ago Skateboard users risk fines as well as injury when they travel on public arteries like sidewalks or bike paths. But while aficionados complain about the regulations, police say their goal is safety Turning his back to the traffic screaming past a small skateboard park east of the Gay Village, Kyle Naylor pulled his board out of his backpack. The skateboard was split in two jagged pieces. A car had run over it earlier, when Naylor was skating to the park for an afternoon session with friends. "My friends all put in some cash so I could buy a new board," Naylor, 18, said. Email to a friendEmail to a friendPrinter friendlyPrinter friendly Font: "We didn't want to miss out on our skate day." Skateboard commuters like Naylor risk more than a broken board when they choose to ride on the street. Bylaws prohibit skateboarding on Montreal's roads and sidewalks. Fines for ignoring the rules range from $30 to $300. Commander Daniel Touchette, of the Montreal police traffic division, says the fines are justified because skateboarders are not equipped to share the roads with other vehicles. "The regulations exist for the safety of skateboarders," he said. "If they are on the street and they fall, there's no saying where they might go." Naylor's broken board appears to support that argument, but the statistics don't. Montreal police issued 116 tickets for offences related to skateboarding or inline skating in the street in 2006, Touchette said. Police records don't specify when a motor vehicle accident involves a skateboarder, yet Touchette said that, to his knowledge, there have been no serious or fatal accidents involving skateboarders in the past year. Last year, the city added 25 kilometres of bicycle lanes on the island in an effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions and encourage the use of alternative transportation. But while those lanes are open to cyclists and inline skaters, they are closed to skateboarders, leaving many frustrated by the city's refusal to see skateboarding as a legitimate means of transportation. "It's ecological, and you can take public transit with it, which you can't with your bike," said Alex Jarry, 31, manager of the Underworld skateboard shop on Ste. Catherine St. E., near Sanguinet St. He travels to and from work daily on his skateboard, and says concerns about the safety of boarding in the street are overblown. "People who skate in the street, they control their board," he said. "If you don't feel confident to ride in the traffic, you don't do it." Naylor said he would rather try his luck in the street than compete for space on the sidewalk, as some less experienced skateboarders do. The issue made national headlines recently after Fredericton resident Lee Breen, 25, spent a night in jail for refusing to pay a $100 fine for skateboarding on city roads. Naylor and his friends Alex Potter, 19, and Ryan Baird, 18, ride their boards everywhere - and pay the price. All three have been fined for skateboarding on public property, including streets, sidewalks and parks. "Everybody I know, they've got fined for skateboarding," Jarry said. "It's legal to sell skateboards and illegal to practise it." That's not the case, Touchette said: "It's not illegal. You have parks and other places where you can use them for sport." Skateboarders can hone their skills legally at more than 30 outdoor parks across the city. But commuters who would rather skateboard than drive a car do so at their own risk - physically and financially. "For transportation, you cannot use a skateboard to move from place to place in the streets of Montreal," Touchette said. [email protected] http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=7d7951ab-8d48-4b4c-bafa-3fa2843eac88
  17. Les retombées des industries culturelles et artistiques sur l'économie du pays s'élèvent à 85milliards de dollars et représentent des centaines de milliers d'emplois. Pour en lire plus...
  18. Les Canadiens estiment que la situation économique s'est améliorée au pays depuis six mois et qu'elle va s'améliorer encore au cours des prochains mois. Pour en lire plus...
  19. Le ralentissement se confirme au Québec 7 août 2008 - 06h32 La Presse Jean-François Cloutier Au Québec, l'aérospatiale demeure un des rares secteurs exportateurs vigoureux, mais les effets positifs de nouveaux projets comme celui de la CSeries de Bombardier ne devraient se faire sentir pleinement que dans les années à venir. Le ralentissement persistant aux États-Unis rattrape l'économie québécoise, qui connaîtra une année plus difficile que prévu, selon le Conference Board du Canada. Le Conference Board s'était démarqué en mars en y allant de prédictions parmi les plus optimistes chez les analystes économiques. Il est aujourd'hui forcé de revoir sa boule de cristal. La croissance qui devait s'établir à 2,4% au Québec perd un gros point de pourcentage pour s'établir à 1,4% dans ses nouvelles perspectives, intitulées de façon éloquente «Not Out of the Woods Yet» (Pas encore sortis du bois). «La croissance dans les exportations pour cette année a été revue à la baisse de façon significative», concède Sabrina Browarski, économiste au Conference Board. L'automobile en Ontario, mais aussi le bois et l'équipement de machinerie au Québec, sont touchés de plein fouet par une série de facteurs dont le ralentissement de la consommation aux États-Unis, le resserrement des conditions de crédit et la quasi-parité récente entre les devises canadienne et américaine. Au Québec, l'aérospatiale demeure un des rares secteurs exportateurs vigoureux, mais les effets positifs de nouveaux projets comme celui de la CSeries de Bombardier ne devraient se faire sentir pleinement que dans les années à venir: «Même l'aérospatiale nous a déçus depuis le début de l'année», affirme Mme Bowarski. Le déclin du secteur manufacturier n'est pas nouveau, mais la demande intérieure permettait jusqu'ici de compenser ses effets. C'est de moins en moins vrai: «Des signes de malaise commencent à apparaître dans les dépenses des consommateurs», observe l'organisme dans son rapport. Le règlement du déséquilibre fiscal et les baisses d'impôt provinciales ont eu un effet important au début de l'année qui tend à s'estomper. En plus, le marché de l'emploi s'est révélé moins dynamique que prévu depuis le début de l'année. C'est sans parler de la flambée des prix du pétrole qui commence à affecter la confiance des consommateurs. Mince consolation: le Conference Board prédit que la situation devrait s'améliorer en 2009, alors que la croissance de l'économie québécoise devrait remonter à 2,4%. La province profitera alors d'un meilleur équilibre entre le commerce extérieur et la consommation intérieure. L'Ouest en force Encore une fois, c'est l'ouest du pays qui s'avère la locomotive de l'économie canadienne. Le Board remarque cependant que l'épicentre de la croissance s'y déplace graduellement de l'Alberta vers la Saskatchewan et le Manitoba. «L'Alberta est affectée par un grave manque de main-d'oeuvre qualifiée, alors que les Prairies capitalisent encore à fond sur les retombées du boom des matières premières», explique Mme Bowarski. La croissance de l'économie de la Saskatchewan devrait atteindre 4,2% cette année, au sommet des provinces canadiennes, alors que la croissance du Canada en entier se situera à 1,7%. En régions Le rapport du Board survient en même temps qu'une étude de l'Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ) qui traduit elle-même les difficultés du secteur manufacturier et le boom des matières premières. Alors que les usines de Montréal tournent au ralenti, des régions éloignées profitent du prix élevé des métaux et autres produits de base. La Côte-Nord et l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue ont enregistré la plus forte hausse du revenu personnel disponible en 2007, avec une croissance importante de 9 et de 8,9% respectivement. Le revenu moyen atteint maintenant 25 438$ sur la Côte-Nord, ce qui la situe au troisième rang des régions administratives les plus riches. «Ces régions profitent notamment de l'accroissement des activités dans les mines, Pendant ce temps, l'emploi croît plus faiblement à Montréal», explique Stéphane Ladouceur, de l'ISQ. Pour la première fois, la métropole s'est même fait détrôner par la Capitale Nationale en tête des régions les plus riches. Dopée par les versements d'équité salariale, la grande région de Québec affiche maintenant un revenu moyen de 25 541$, devant la métropole, à 25 490$. Secteur manufacturieren baisse La production de produits chimiques, de bois et de machinerie a connu une baisse marquée ces derniers mois, frappée entre autres par le ralentissement aux États-Unis. Aérospatial en hausse L'aérospatiale est un des rares secteurs de l'industrie manufacturière à bien faire. La demande pour des avions d'affaires moins gourmands en carburant permettra au secteur de poursuivre sur sa lancée. Consommation en hausse La hausse des transferts fédéraux et les réductions d'impôt provinciales ont fait bondir la consommation depuis le début de l'année, quoique celle-ci devrait ralentir en raison des prix de l'essence. Construction en baisse La construction non résidentielle ralentit après quelques années de forte croissance. Le construction résidentielle a atteint un sommet et devrait aussi diminuer.
  20. Less Charter, more economy. MONTREAL — There was an initial sense among many observers that the Liberal election victory would be good for the economy, at least in the short run. It’s true that some measure of political stability will return to the province as the PQ’s divisive Charter of Quebec Values is thrown in the wastebasket and as the immediate risk of a referendum on sovereignty is removed. But the sobering truth is that Quebec could face years of mediocre economic growth unless it undertakes some major structural reforms. That warning came this week from Glen Hodgson, senior economist at the Conference Board of Canada, who said Quebec is heading for a prolonged period of economic underperformance unless decisive steps are taken by government and the private sector. “Quebecers could face the disagreeable prospect of deteriorating public services combined with a rise in income taxes” unless the province’s competitive position improves, he wrote in an opinion piece in La Presse. Interviewed Tuesday, Hodgson noted that over the past couple of years, during a period of economic recovery, Quebec has been unable to do better than a growth rate of around one per cent. That raises the question: What’s in store once the North American economic cycle shifts back to recession? The current underperformance has weakened the government’s fiscal position and made it less able to withstand the next economic downturn. Combined with a slowdown in private investment and little growth in the job market, this is playing havoc with government revenues. There are reports that the $2.5 billion deficit projected for 2013-14 may run as high as $3.3 billion once the Liberals get a full picture of public finances. Meanwhile, Quebec’s public debt is the highest in Canada, equalling about 50 per cent of its economic production. The Conference Board estimates growth of two per cent this year as the recovery in the United States picks up steam and extends into next year. “But the recovery will not last,” said Hodgson, “because the foundation for growth in Quebec is not solid.” The province’s long-term growth potential is around 1.5 per cent, he says, which will put it behind the eight ball. “You can’t grow at 1.5 per cent and be able to pay for health care when it’s growing at five per cent.” One doesn’t have to look far to find the reasons for Quebec’s troubles. “It’s really driven by demographics, private investment and productivity,” Hodgson said. Demographic forces are hitting Quebec harder than Ontario, which is also struggling with a weak economy. As active participation in the Quebec labour force declines, paying for expensive government programs like health care and education will get more difficult. The Conference Board projects growth in the labour force of just 0.5 per cent after 2015 as baby-boomer retirements kick in. Compensating for that reduction will require integrating more immigrants into the economy, providing more job training and boosting productivity. Former Liberal finance minister Raymond Bachand says he’s optimistic that some of those hurdles can be overcome. Bachand has agreed to head a new economic think tank called the Institut du Québec, which will be a joint venture between the Conference Board and the HEC business school in Montreal. The goal, he says, is to stimulate public debate with evidence-based research on the economy and public finances. Too many think tanks these days have a political bias, he believes. “We’re going to come up with a fiscal outlook in the next few weeks as our first piece of research,” Bachand said. “We know that we have a demographic challenge. We need the labour market to be healthy. “We have to get private investment back and we have to get our health costs under control. That’s the real goal of the Institut: to contribute to the debate from a fact-based point of view.” Between the Conference Board and HEC, the joint venture will have 400 researchers at its disposal to try to contribute to the debate. That should help the new finance minister and other government players get a better sense of the policy options available.
  21. Les consommateurs américains reprennent confiance * Anne Robert, Lesaffaires.com * 10:54 L’indice de confiance des consommateurs américains que tient le Conference Board a grimpé plus de 12 points en avril. L’indice du Conference Board est passé de 26,9 points en mars à 39,2 points en avril, soit un bond de 12,3 points. Lynn Franco, directrice du centre de recherche sur les consommateurs du Conference Board estime que ce sont surtout les perspectives de court terme qui se sont améliorées. Les consommateurs pensent que l’économie se rapproche du plancher», dit-elle, tout en avertissant que le niveau actuel de l’indice reflète malgré tout une conjoncture de récession. Quoique nombreux à dire que les affaires vont mal et que les emplois sont durs à trouver, le nombre de consommateurs pessimistes est en baisse par rapport à mars dernier.
  22. Montreal faces uphill battle in new economic order KONRAD YAKABUSKI Report on Business April 9, 2009 MONTREAL -- The Montreal Exchange, now part of TMX Group, is forwarding journalists' calls to Toronto. The new head of BCE Inc. has not taken up residence in the city that, officially anyway, is still home to the telecom giant's headquarters. Alcan's "head office" is shrinking under parent Rio Tinto. AbitibiBowater answers to its bankers in Charlotte, N.C. When Michael Sabia had a getting-to-know-you lunch last week with Quebec Inc.'s grands fromages, the new head of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec found himself talking to a sparser crowd than any Caisse chief before him would have likely faced. The ranks of Quebec Inc., that Quiet Revolution embodiment of Quebec's French-speaking business class, are thinning. Where will this all leave Montreal if, as Creative Class guru Richard Florida recently predicted in The Atlantic magazine, "the coming decades will likely see a further clustering of output, jobs and innovation in a smaller number of bigger cities and city-regions"? Can Montreal aspire to be one of them? Or has its fate already been sealed? Prof. Florida, now director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at University of Toronto, warns that "we can't stop the decline of some places, and we would be foolish to try. ... In limited ways, we can help faltering cities to manage their decline better, and to sustain better lives for the people who stay in them." Let's be clear: Montreal is not Detroit. St. Jude himself could not save Motor City. The unemployment rate there now stands at 22 per cent. When only one in 10 Detroiters has a college degree, the jobless rate won't be coming down any time soon. If ever. The current economic crisis, as Prof. Florida notes, will "permanently and profoundly" alter the economic geography of North America. Montreal needs to get busy if it is to carve out a place for itself in this new economic order. It has a lot going for it: A vibrant inner city, a deep talent pool of "knowledge" workers, a diverse population and creativity to burn. Its problem is just that Toronto has even more of these things. Toronto also has the support of its provincial government. Montreal's provincial masters seem at best indifferent to it, if not chronically at war with it. How else do you explain why, despite decades of promises, the current Liberal government has yet to proceed with the construction of two new mega-hospitals in Montreal to replace a complex network of antiquated institutions spread over multiple sites? If the new hospitals do get built - delivery is now promised between 2013 and 2018 - will there even be enough doctors to work in them? Quebec pays its general practitioners and specialists about a quarter less than Ontario, and a new interprovincial labour mobility agreement will make it easier for them to practise elsewhere. But Montreal can't afford to lose any more of its "brain surgeons," regardless of their profession. In 1976, Montreal and Toronto had nearly identically sized populations, each with about 2.8 million people living within its Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). Since then, the population of the Toronto CMA has doubled to 5.6 million; Montreal has only managed to reach 3.7 million, a 30-per-cent increase in three decades. In its latest Metropolitan Outlook, the Conference Board of Canada predicted that Montreal will post the weakest growth of any major Canadian city over the next half-decade. Though its economy will not contract as much as Toronto's this year, Montreal's output will expand much more slowly once the recession lifts. Part of the explanation for this may lie in another report out this week, this one also supported by Conference Board data, on Toronto's status as a global city. Though the Toronto Board of Trade's Scorecard on Prosperity highlighted Toronto's shortcomings when compared to the 20 other cities studied, it provided even grimmer news for Montreal. Toronto ranked fourth over all. Calgary was first. Montreal was 13th, the poorest performance of any Canadian city on the list. There are grounds for optimism. The proposed Quartier des Spectacles - the redevelopment of a run-down downtown intersection into a hub for the arts - will help Montreal catch up, or at least decline more slowly relative to Toronto's now superior cultural infrastructure. But it's hard not to be disheartened when the top news story in city politics these days is how Mayor Gérald Tremblay's former right-hand man vacationed in the Caribbean on the yacht of a construction magnate just before the latter's consortium won a juicy municipal contract to install water meters. When this much energy gets absorbed in damage control, how much is left for the kind of creative thinking needed to ensure Montreal's position in Prof. Florida's new economic landscape? Or is it already too late for that? [email protected] http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/GAM.20090409.RYAKABUSKI09ART1924/TPStory/TPComment
  23. Toronto a suburb? It's begun RENÉ JOHNSTON/TORONTO STAR Apr 08, 2009 04:30 AM Vanessa Lu city hall bureau chief Toronto is at risk of becoming a bedroom community for the booming 905 regions, warns a new report by the Toronto Board of Trade. Cities that were once outer suburbs are now growing employment areas as more businesses have pulled up stakes in the downtown core for cheaper real estate. Meanwhile, the city itself faces increasing disparity between the wealthy, who buy downtown condos where factories once stood, and the poor who inhabit the increasingly deprived inner suburbs. So Toronto remains an attractive place to live, but struggles to keep up with its neighbours on key economic indicators such as employment, productivity and income growth. "It's a tale of two cities," president and CEO Carol Wilding said at yesterday's release. "We see the reverse, or mirror images, from the city proper versus the 905." Wilding agreed with a release for the report that said Toronto has become a "magnet for living, while the surrounding municipalities form the more powerful economic engine." "If you stand back, the data shows that at this point," said Wilding. "Given the employment growth that isn't there in the city centre – yet it is a hugely attractive place – suggests the doughnut effect. ... People flock to and live in the city ... but are actually travelling outwards in the region for employment opportunities." The split between the two regions is reflected in a prosperity scorecard that compares the Toronto region with 20 others around the world on 25 important indicators. While the Toronto region scored very well overall – tying for fourth place with Boston, New York and London, but behind Calgary, Dallas and Hong Kong – the findings show a growing gap between the city itself and surrounding communities. (The study is based on the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, a tract that includes most of the GTA except Burlington and Oshawa.) If the 416 and 905 area codes were ranked separately, the suburban regions would have taken second place on the world list – after Calgary – and Toronto would have fallen into the bottom half. But Wilding credited Toronto city hall for taking steps to counteract the trend and boost economic growth, including a policy of gradually shifting more of the property tax burden from commercial and industrial property onto homeowners. "I think from a policy perspective, we've put in place many of the changes the data would have suggested we do ... two years ago. We didn't wait," Mayor David Miller said yesterday, reacting to the report. However, he said, "Toronto starts from a very good place" as Canada's financial capital and the third biggest centre of information communications technology in North America. "Council adopted a strategy two years ago because we didn't believe we could take success for granted," he added. "And I think the underlying data says we took the right step and we're on the right path." He noted both the tax rate cuts and the creation of two new agencies, Build Toronto and Invest Toronto, to lure business and investment to the city. Given that traffic is now jammed both ways on the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway in the morning rush hour, it hardly comes as a surprise that employment growth has been strong outside Toronto proper. But the data shows the gap is "far larger than people would have expected it to be," Wilding said. Employment in the suburban regions grew by an average of 2.8 per cent a year between 2002 and 2007, compared with 1.1 per cent in the city of Toronto. In fact, most of the employment growth over the past two decades has occurred outside Toronto. "That's a significant divide. Until we start to narrow that, then we aren't serving the interests of the region as a whole," Wilding said. Average real GDP growth during the same period was just 1.2 per cent in Toronto – compared with 4.2 per cent in neighbouring cities. After-tax income growth over the same period was 3.5 per cent in Toronto, compared with 5.9 per cent outside. Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone said the report's data is already a couple of years old and doesn't reflect recent actions the city has taken to stem the flow of jobs. The report cites a 10.2 per cent growth in non-residential building permits in the surrounding regions, versus only 8.9 per cent in the city. But Pantalone pointed out that today, 4 million square feet of office buildings are under construction in Toronto, compared with only 1.5 million square feet in the 905. "That's a historical reversal. It shows those policies are working," he said. "We have established new trend lines to correct that. And it seems to be working." As Miller pointed out, the report isn't all bad news for the city. It notes that Toronto is "a study in contrasts, struggling to keep pace on the economic fundamentals but scoring well on all the attributes of an attractive city." Using research from the Conference Board of Canada, the report points out the city is doing well on indicators such as commuter travel choices, a young labour force, university education and percentage of jobs in the cultural industry. New infrastructure investments by the province, notably in transit, will also help make Toronto more competitive. Some 44 per cent of Toronto residents walk, bike or take transit to work, while only 13 per cent of residents outside Toronto do. One of Toronto's biggest advantages is its diversity, with immigrants making up close to half of the city's residents. That puts it at Number 1 among the 21 global cities, above Los Angeles at 41 per cent and New York at 36 per cent. But Board of Trade chair Paul Massara warned that the talent that exists among newcomers must not be squandered – and their integration has to be ensured. "It's absolutely essential that we get this productive part of the economy working and enhance that," Massara said, noting governments have been working to improve settlement services. With files from Paul Moloney
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