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  1. Harper disagrees with pessimistic report on Canadian housing market Wed Sep 24, 1:46 PM Conservative Leader Stephen Harper says he disagrees with a report by brokerage firm Merrill Lynch that warns Canada could be headed for a housing and mortgage meltdown similar to the one that has devastated the United States economy. The report, issued Wednesday by Merrill Lynch Canada economists David Wolf and Carolyn Kwan, said many Canadian households are more financially overextended than their counterparts in the U.S. or Britain. They said it's only a matter of time before the "tipping point" is reached and the housing and credit markets crack in Canada. "I don't accept that conclusion, not at all," Harper told reporters on tour in British Columbia. "We have seen the housing market and the construction market much stronger in Canada than in the U.S.," he said. Harper said Canadian financial institutions have also taken a different approach to lending than their American counterparts. "We don't have the same situation here with the mortgages as was the case in the U.S. with the subprime mortgages there," he said. "So, therefore, I think that our market is in a much stronger position." The report acknowledges that the analysis is more pessimistic than the prevailing view. Many economists have been saying that Canada's housing and banking sectors are much more stable than their American counterparts, and will likely slow down but not crash. But Merrill Lynch Canada - whose U.S. parent is one of the biggest victims of a crisis in financial markets arising from the American housing and mortgage meltdown - said Canadians should be wary. Household net borrowing in Canada amounted to 6.3 per cent of disposable income in 2007, which is more than households in the U.K. and not far off the peak reached by U.S. households in 2005. The report also said housing prices are now falling and inventories of unsold homes are rising sharply in Canada, suggesting that this market turnaround will not be a transitory phenomenon. However, the prevailing view is that Canada's lenders have issued few of the type of subprime mortgages that sparked the U.S. crisis. In addition, a recent study showed that Canadian residential properties are not overvalued in most cities. With files from the Canadian Press lien
  2. 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.
  3. Canada's inflation rate jumps to 3.1 per cent Canwest News Service Published: 1 hour ago OTTAWA - The annual rate of inflation in Canada jumped to 3.1 per cent in June, the biggest rise in almost three year years, fuelled by soaring gasoline prices, Statistics Canada said Wednesday. Most economists had expected an overall inflation rate last month of 2.9 per cent from a year early, compared with a year-on-year increase of 2.2 per cent in May. "Gasoline prices increased 26.9 per cent between June 2007 and June 2008, significantly higher than the 15 per cent advance posted in May," the federal agency said. "June's increase was the largest since the 34.7 per cent gain reported for September 2005, when hurricanes Katrina and Rita disrupted the oil market," it said. "June's increase reflected both recent increases in pump prices, as well as the fact that gasoline prices had been on the decline in June 2007." On a monthly basis, inflation rose 0.7 per cent in June from May. "In addition to gasoline prices, mortgage interest cost, bakery products and air transportation also exerted strong upward pressure on the consumer price index in June," Statistics Canada said. Prince Edward Island and Alberta posted the biggest gains in consumer prices, rises 4.7 per cent and 4.4 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile, the core rate - which strips out volatile items, such as energy and food, and is used by the Bank of Canada to gauge inflation - rose by 1.5 per cent in June, the same rate as the previous month. On Tuesday, Statistics Canada reported that retail sales rose by a less than expected 0.4 per cent in May, with virtually all of the increase due to higher prices, especially for gasoline. However, Canadian consumers - thanks to the strong Canadian dollar - have not been as hard hit by rising prices for food and fuel. As well, pump prices have fluctuated over the past few months from the $1.20 range upwards to nearly $1.50 a litre, driving down consumption. The Bank of Canada's target for inflation is between one and three per cent, although it expects the rate to peak at 4.3 per cent early in 2009. The central bank has held its key lending rate steady at three per cent for the past two months after a series of reductions in an effort to spur spending amid an economic slowdown. However, the bank has signalled it is now balancing the need to encourage growth without fuelling inflation. "The sting of the steep pick-up in headline inflation is lessened by the fact that the Bank of Canada was already so public in calling for an eventual peak of more than four per cent by the turn of the year," said BMO Capital Markets economist Douglas Porter. "A further correction in energy prices (on top of the $20 drop in crude oil in the past two weeks) would go a long way to further dampening concerns about lofty headline inflation readings," he said. "With core holding steady at 1.5 per cent in June, right around where the bank looks for it to average in Q3, there's really not much to chew on here from a monetary policy stance." The Canadian dollar trading around 99 cents US following the inflation report, little changed from its Tuesday close of 99.16 cents US. Percentage change (May to June / June 2007 to June 2008): All-items +0.7 / +3.1 Food +1 / +2.8 Shelter +0.6 /+4.7 Household operations and furnishings 0.0 / +1.3 Clothing and footwear -0.5 / -0.6 Transportation +1.8 / +5.5 Health and personal care +0.1 / +0.7 Recreation, education and reading 0.0 / +0.4 Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products +0.2 / +1.6 Goods +1.1 / +2.5 Services +0.3 / +3.7 All-items excluding food and energy 0.0 / +1.2 Energy +4.4 / +18 Source: Statistics Canada Percentage change (May to June / June 2007 to June 2008): Newfoundland and Labrador +0.8 / +3.1 Prince Edward Island +0.5 / +4.7 Nova Scotia +0.6 / +4.2 New Brunswick +0.5 / +2.1 Quebec +0.4 / +3.1 Ontario +0.5 / +2.8 Manitoba +0.8 / +2.4 Saskatchewan +0.7 / +3.4 Alberta +1.5 / +4.4 British Columbia +0.7 / +3 Whitehorse +0.9 / +4.5 Yellowknife +0.8 / +4.5 Iqaluit +0.6 / +2.3 Source: Statistics Canada http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/business/story.html?id=8187d0e4-0761-4d7e-a550-ad9f55369ca1
  4. A new era of prosperity RICHARD FOOT, Canwest News Service Published: 8 hours ago Boom times for have-not provinces are redrawing Canada's economic and political map. The remarkable growth is resource-driven: potash and uranium in Saskatchewan, offshore oil in Newfoundland and Labrador To find the front lines of the global commodities boom, drive an hour east from Saskatoon on the Yellowhead Highway to Lanigan, Sask., home of the world's largest potash mine. Two huge, dome-covered warehouses, each about the size of a football field, stand on the mine site, eerily empty except for a few dusty sweepings of potash on the floors. "A decade ago there would have been a mountain of potash in here," said Will Brandsema, general manager of AMEC, whose engineering firm recently completed a $400-million expansion of the mine for the Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan. Potash Corp.'s Lanigan mine in Saskatchewan. The price of the mineral has soared to nearly $1,000 a tonne from about $100.View Larger Image View Today, worldwide demand for the pinkish, chalk-like mineral is so great, Potash Corp. can't keep its warehouses full. In the past four years, the price of potash - the basic ingredient of fertilizer - has soared to nearly $1,000 per tonne from about $100, largely because of rising populations in China and India and their sudden appetite for high-value, fertilizer-grown food. Thanks to a quirk of geologic good fortune, Saskatchewan is filled with potash and now produces more than a quarter of the world's supply. What was for years an unremarkable export has suddenly become one of the most treasured commodities on Earth - pink gold, you might call it - which, alongside surging sales of oil, uranium and even grain, is suddenly making Saskatchewan the economic envy of the nation. About 3,000 kilometres away, another once-poor province accustomed to life on the economic fringes is also reaping a windfall from its natural resources. Skyrocketing oil prices are fuelling an extraordinary economic turnaround in Newfoundland and Labrador, where a fourth offshore oil project will soon be in development. Petrodollars are transforming St. John's from a down-at-the-heels provincial capital into a bustling energy city brimming with stylish restaurants, affluent condo developments and a sense of euphoria not seen there since cod were first discovered on the Grand Banks. "The Newfoundland and Saskatchewan economies have gone from stagnant to stellar," Statistics Canada declared in its May Economic Observer. "These two provinces have moved beyond old stereotypes and stepped into a new era of prosperity." Both provinces led the country last year in growth of exports, in the rate of housing starts and in growth of gross domestic product - the only provinces, along with Alberta, whose per capita GDP was above the national average. In June, a report by the TD Bank Financial Group called Saskatchewan "Canada's commodity superstar" and said if the province were a country, it would rank fifth in the world among member nations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, in terms of per capita GDP. It would trail only Luxembourg, Norway, the United States and Ireland. (Alberta would come second if ranked on the same list.) John Crosbie, who announced the cod fishery's shutdown as federal fisheries minister and is now the province's lieutenant-governor, expressed the mood of many Newfoundlanders while reading his government's throne speech in March: "Ours is not the province it was two decades ago," Crosbie said. "We are - for the first time in our history - poised to come off equalization very soon. This is a stunning achievement that will reinforce the bold new attitude of self-confidence that has taken hold among Newfoundlanders and Labradorians." What do such economic shifts mean for the country as a whole, and how will the rise of two weaker provinces, coupled with the manufacturing malaise in Ontario, affect the workings of confederation? First, many economists say it's a mistake to underestimate the resilience and strength of the huge Ontario economy. They also say the surging energy economies of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland face their own challenges, including cyclical commodity prices, the social costs of rapid development and severe labour shortages. Canada is already facing a labour crunch that's only going to worsen with time. In six years, said economist Brian Lee Crowley, president of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, there will be more people leaving the country's labour force than entering it. The new demand for workers in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, especially in construction and engineering, can only exacerbate the problem. In 2006, for the first time in 23 years, Saskatchewan stopped losing people, on a net basis, to other provinces, thanks to the thousands of workers streaming home from Alberta to new jobs in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and elsewhere. As job opportunities also grow in Newfoundland, and competition for skilled workers intensifies, the availability of labour will decline and the cost of it will increase, putting further pressures on the dollar and on manufacturers. The rampant growth of Canada's resource-rich economies is also expected to force changes to the federal equalization program. In April, the TD Bank forecast that Ontario, a longtime contributor to equalization, could become a recipient as early as 2010 - not because Ontario's economy is falling apart, but because it is slipping relative to the extraordinary growth of commodity-producing provinces. As the resource boom pushes the average level of provincial revenues higher, provinces like Ontario will fall below that average, and the cost of funding equalization will increase. Yet the federal government won't be able to afford the program, because Ottawa has no access to the commodity revenues that are driving up its cost; natural resource royalties flow only to the provinces. "The amount of money required for that program is going to get bigger and bigger," said Wade Locke, an economist at Memorial University in St. John's. As for Newfoundland and Labrador, over the past decade its per capita GDP has risen to $10,000 above the national average from $10,000 below - the fastest 10-year turnaround of any province in Canadian Newfoundland and Saskatchewan both reaped a bonanza last year from commodity royalties. Newfoundland posted a record $1.4-billion budget surplus; Saskatchewan announced a $641-million surplus plus a $1-billion infrastructure spending spree. While those two provinces enjoy their economic rebirth, recession stalks other regions of Canada, in particular the industrial heartland of Ontario. There, many manufacturers are struggling with high energy costs and a strong dollar, and the North American automakers - once Canada's economic engine - are shedding jobs and shutting factories. John Pollock, chairman of Electrohome Ltd. in Kitchener, Ont. - he is winding up the affairs of a once-proud consumer electronics maker forced to the sidelines by overseas competition - predicts Ontario is entering a period of perhaps a decade or more in which it will no longer drive the country's economy. "There's going to be a period of transition that's going to be tough," he said. "Ontario has supported the rest of the country - provinces like Saskatchewan and Newfoundland - for years. Maybe it's time for a shift." Global financier George Soros recently described Canada's economy as a split personality - half beleaguered by a sluggish manufacturing sector, and half enjoying the wonders of the worldwide resource boom. Never before have the fault lines between Central Canada's energy-dependent provinces and the far-flung energy-rich ones been so stark, says Brett Gartner, an economist with the Canada West Foundation, a Calgary think-tank. "Of course, Ontario's not about to fade away. It still accounts for more than 40 per cent of the national economy," Gartner said. "But let's not discount what's happening in the regions. It's quite astounding." In Saskatchewan, for example, Potash Corp., buoyed by a share price that has made it one of the leading companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange, is spending $3.2 billion to construct new mines and expand existing ones. Much of that work has gone to AMEC, an international engineering firm that recently refurbished a second mill at the Lanigan mine after the facility was closed in the 1980s because of lack of demand. Will Brandsema, who runs AMEC's Saskatoon office, says he can't hire engineers fast enough to fill the jobs created by mine expansions in the potash and uranium industries. Eight years ago, AMEC employed 64 people in Saskatoon; today that number is 325. "You talk about have-not provinces," he said. "Ten years ago, I spent most of my time in the office looking for business. Now I spend most of my time with human resources, looking for people to hire. "It's just amazing the growth here, and not only in potash. Thirty per cent of the world's uranium comes out of this province. And we have other commodities - oil, gas, coal and the whole agricultural side. All of these are going to grow." Saskatchewan left the ranks of equalization-receiving provinces in 2007. Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to become a "have" province this year or next, a startling change considering that the cod fishery - once the foundation of the province's economy - has not substantially reopened since its devastating closure by Ottawa in 1992. "It's currently $13 billion. It's going to be $30 billion in 10 years. The federal government doesn't have the financial wherewithal to fund that program." Yet abolishing or changing equalization, a program required by the constitution, presents huge political problems, particularly in Quebec, which receives the largest equalization payment, although the lowest per capita amount. "You're going to see some serious restructuring of equalization, but not before the next election," Locke said. "The Harper government is not going to do it." Changes to equalization, not to mention a realignment of "have" and "have-not" provinces, could also prompt a new wave of regional beefs and resentments - the bane of confederation. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is already complaining about how much his province's taxpayers contribute to national transfer programs, a system Ontario governments once supported in better economic times. Oil itself could become a flashpoint that divides the country. Public demands in Quebec, Ontario or British Columbia for a national carbon tax would now raise the ire of more than just one oil-producing province. In the meantime, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, which typically wield little weight in national discussions, could use their new economic clout to campaign for a truly effective Senate, with real power to represent regional interests. "There is some realignment of economic power occurring that will influence the national political debate," said former Newfoundland premier Brian Peckford, who now works as a business consultant in British Columbia. "Premiers' meetings, for example, won't be dominated by only a few big provinces. Smaller provinces like Saskatchewan and Newfoundland won't have to shout and demand to be heard. We'll get noticed simply by being there." Still, Peckford - who grew up in a province so poor that he remembers, as a boy, studying his schoolbooks by kerosene lamp - warns Newfoundlanders not to let their budding affluence go to their heads. "I would caution them that as they grow financially, they must also grow emotionally and socially," he said. "The last thing Newfoundland and Labrador should do is get arrogant about this, because one never knows how long it will last. "A lot of Canadians helped us after we joined confederation, so it's our turn now to contribute back." Rags to resources: First of a series Boom times for the "have-nots" are redrawing Canada's economic and political map. Next: Day 2: Flush with commodities cash, Saskatchewan revels in its rebirth. Day 3: From misfit to petro-darling: Newfoundland's remarkable transformation. Day 4: Hard times in the industrial heartland: Ontario's painful transition. Day 5: The ''curse'' of resources: Post-fortune perils. Day 6: Finding new fortunes: Quebec's industrial heartland moves on. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=6fd0d4f0-4e9c-462d-af41-4ae1b93545a0&p=3
  5. FINANCIAL POST http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpposted/archive/2007/11/15/the-rebirth-of-downtown-montreal.aspx Posted: November 15, 2007, 2:46 AM by DrewHasselback Montreal Downtown Montreal is going through a rapid revitalization that has seen the rise of condo towers, university buildings, hotels -- and major international retailers. Nowhere is this more apparent than the corner of Peel and Ste-Catherine, one of the city's busiest spots. "The corner has always had a certain amount of vibrancy," says Sam Sheraton, senior administrator for Montreal's Drazin family, which owns property near Peel and Ste-Catherine. "Now, it has become the central core of downtown Montreal." One-level retailers who once occupied 1,500-to 2,000-square-foot spaces and generated sales of about $400 to $600 per square foot are making way for bigger, multi-level stores that bring in twice as much. A large Roots store on the northeast corner of Peel and Ste-Catherine recently downsized and hot U.S. retailer American Eagle Outfitters moved in. On the northwest corner, a Guess store opens next month. Next door on Ste-Catherine is the year-old flagship store of Montreal's own Garage chain, one of Canada's top fashion retailers. And on the southwest side, several retailers, including a Rogers phone store and SAQ liquor outlet, are being relocated by the owner, to make way for a multilevel H& M store, industry sources say. (On the remaining southeast corner is an HMV store, in the same building as the Montreal Gazette and National Post bureau). Rumour has it Pottery Barn is looking for a location nearby. A few blocks to the west on Ste-Catherine, next to Ogilvy's, Apple is taking a space formerly occupied by a menswear store. Sean Silcoff
  6. Air Canada Increases Israel Service with a New Non-Stop Route from Montreal and Daily Flights from Toronto - Feb 13, 2017 MONTREAL, Feb. 13, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada announced today a significant expansion in services between Canada and Israel, with the introduction of a seasonal non-stop service between Montreal and Tel Aviv and an increase in its current Toronto-Tel Aviv non-stop service to a daily frequency year-round. With the new services beginning this summer – a 28 per cent capacity increase over summer 2016 – Air Canada will be the airline offering the most seats and frequencies between Canada and Israel. "Air Canada is the leader in the Canada-Israel market, which we have now served for 22 years. Today we are pleased to step up our capacity in response to the increased demand in business, leisure and cultural travel between both countries. As of June 2017, Air Canada will be launching a new seasonal non-stop service between Montreal and Tel Aviv, strengthening our hub in Montreal, which will also offer convenient connections throughout Canada and the U.S.," said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada. "This new service also reflects Air Canada's ongoing international expansion strategy, from which Montreal is deriving significant benefits. This month Air Canada will launch new service to Shanghai from the city and for next summer we have already announced new routes to Algiers, Marseille, Reykjavík and Dallas from Montreal," said Mr. Rovinescu. "In the same week as the inauguration of a non-stop Air Canada service to Shanghai, it is with pride today that we welcome a new international link with Tel Aviv. This important investment demonstrates the vitality of our city and Montreal's relevance as a North American aviation hub. This new air link by Air Canada will facilitate travel and trade between our two cities and countries. Coming only a few months after Montreal's trade mission to Israel, this new route is a concrete example of the strength of the economic, family and community ties that unite us," said Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal. Toronto's current service will increase this summer to daily from six days a week while the new Montreal-Tel Aviv service will operate twice weekly from June 22 to October 16, 2017. The Montreal flight will be operated with a 292-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft with three cabins of service, including Air Canada's International Business Class cabin, featuring 27 Executive Pods with 180- degree lie-flat seats all configured for direct aisle access. The Premium Economy cabin has 21 seats that offer generous personal space, wider seats and extra legroom and recline, as well as premium meals, complimentary bar service and priority check-in and baggage delivery at the airport. The Economy cabin has 244 seats providing comfortable personal space and a state-of-the-art individual on-demand entertainment system. All flights are timed for convenient connections with Air Canada's extensive domestic and transborder network. Tickets for the new Montreal-Tel Aviv service will be available for sale beginning Wednesday, February 15, 2017, subject to final government approval. * Flight Departs Arrives Day of Week AC082 Montreal 18:35 Tel Aviv 12:15 + 1 day Thursday, Sunday AC083 Tel Aviv 13:55 Montreal 18:20 Monday, Friday *
  7. Air Canada Adds Lyon, London-Gatwick to its Growing Global Network New mainline service between Montreal and Lyon will be only year-round flight between North America and France's second largest metropolitan area New Air Canada rouge route to London-Gatwick complements and builds on the success of Air Canada flights to London Heathrow, Air Canada's largest international gateway MONTREAL, June 25, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada today further expanded its extensive global network with the announcement of new non-stop services to Lyon, France and London's Gatwick airport beginning in summer 2016. The two new routes will provide customers even more convenient options when travelling to Europe for business or leisure. "Pursuing our ongoing strategy to expand internationally, Air Canada is pleased to offer customers non-stop, year-round service between Montreal and Lyon, heart of the second largest metropolitan area in France. Air Canada continues to serve Paris Charles de Gaulle and this new Air Canada mainline route will further increase convenience for customers travelling to France as well as provide the only year-round service between North America and Lyon. It also complements our Air Canada rouge Nice-Côte d'Azur service," said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines, at Air Canada. "Our new seasonal Air Canada rouge service between Toronto and London's Gatwick airport will complement our extensive operation at London Heathrow, our largest gateway outside Canada with non-stop service from eight Canadian cities. Air Canada rouge is ideally-suited to serve London-Gatwick, with its focus on leisure travel and provide easy access to southern London. This new service will also make us the only Canadian carrier serving multiple airports in the London region and complements our Air Canada rouge service to Manchester and Edinburgh. Both new routes offer customers convenient connection times with our extensive domestic, U.S. transborder and international network." James Cherry, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aéroports de Montréal said: "This new scheduled service between Montreal and Lyon, France's second-largest urban area, is excellent news that further supports Montreal–Trudeau's positioning as a hub between North America and Europe, particularly French-speaking Europe." Howard Eng, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority said: "As Canada's largest gateway hub airport, we welcome Air Canada's announcement of a new rouge service from Toronto Pearson to London's Gatwick airport starting next summer. This new service will offer our passengers even more choice and convenience when it comes to planning their travel schedule – and that's an important part of how we're working to put our passengers first." Tickets for both routes will be available for purchase starting July 2, 2015 and service between Montreal and Lyon will begin June 16, 2016 and operate up to five-times weekly with an Airbus A330-300 aircraft with 37 International Business Class lie-flat suites and 228 Economy class seats. Air Canada rouge's summer seasonal service between Toronto and London-Gatwick will begin May 19, 2016 and operate up to seven-times weekly with a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with 24 Premium rouge seats and 256 rouge seats. All flights are timed to optimize connectivity through Air Canada's Montreal and Toronto hubs respectively. Air Canada Montreal-Lyon Flight From To Depart Arrive Frequency AC828 Montreal Lyon 21:10 10:20 (+1 day) Up to five times a week AC829 Lyon Montreal 12:00 14:00 Up to five times a week
  8. Vacancy rates keep rising in third quarter for Canada's commercial real estate sector, report shows (CP) – 44 minutes ago TORONTO — The amount of empty office space across Canada continued to rise in the third quarter due to higher unemployment in white-collar industries and excess inventory in some cities, a new report shows. Vacancy rates for commercial real estate are expected to keep rising "well into 2010" as the country works through the impact of the recent recession, CB Richard Ellis Ltd. said in report released Monday. Vacancy rates rose for the third straight quarter to an average of 9.4 per cent, up from 6.3 per cent for the same time last year, said the real estate services firm. "Limited new job creation in Canada's 'white-collar' industries and the addition of new inventory in two of Canada's three largest office markets are cited as reasons for the increase," according to the National Office and Industrial Trends Third Quarter Report. Commercial vacancy rates rose most noticeably Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, the report shows. Calgary's third quarter vacancy rate jumped to 13.1 per cent, from 4.7 per cent last year, due to the impacts of a slowdown in the oil and gas industry. "The city's oil and gas industry and commercial market remained inexorably linked, as players both large and small continue to recognize that even Calgary has not been immune to the country's new economic reality," the report states. In Toronto, the commercial vacancy rate rose to 9.1 per cent from 6.6 per cent last year. The vacancy rate in downtown Toronto is expected to climb further in the coming quarter as space becomes available in newly constructed office towers. In Vancouver, vacancy rates climbed to 8.9 per cent from 5.4 per cent for the same time last year. The report said Vancouver is one of the more stable markets in the country thanks to limited new development. Montreal's vacancy rate rose to 10.3 per cent from 8.3 per cent last year, while Halifax's rose to 10.2 per cent from 8.4 per cent. Vacancy rates also rose in the country's smaller office markets, specifically in suburban areas, but at a lesser rate, the report shows. It said cities with government office space also saw more stability in their commercial real estate markets. Ottawa had the lowest overall third quarter vacancy rate in the country of 5.8 per cent compared to five per cent for the same time last year, while Winnipeg's rate came in at 7.5 per cent up from 4.8 per cent last year. The overall vacancy rate in the Waterloo Region, home to such technology firms as Research in Motion (TSX:RIM), edged up slightly to 6.7 per cent from 6.4 per cent last year. The report predicts vacancy rates to keep rising in the fourth quarter and into 2010, "as Canada continues to grind its way out of the recession."
  9. PR Newswire MONTREAL, March 15, 2017 MONTREAL, March 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - Air Canada announced today the return of daily year-round service between Montreal and Washington Dulles (IAD) starting May 1, 2017, offering more choice for customers travelling between Montreal and the Washington, D.C., Metro area. In addition to well-timed connections to Air Canada's extensive network to Europe and North Africa, flights will also offer one-stop service to/from Quebec and Eastern Canada including Bagotville, Sept-Îles, Quebec City, Fredericton, Moncton, Bathurst, Saint John and Halifax. Special introductory fares start as low as $191 one-way, all in, and tickets are now available for purchase at aircanada.com or through travel agents. "We are happy to once again operate Montreal-Washington Dulles (IAD) flights that complement our existing twice daily flights to Washington National Airport and strengthen our market presence in the Washington, D.C., Metro area," said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines, at Air Canada. "We continue to strategically grow our transborder network in support of our commitment to expand our global reach from Montreal-Trudeau reinforcing it as a hub that offers convenient connections from points throughout Quebec and Eastern Canada and to Air Canada's extensive international network including Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt and Casablanca." The daily non-stop Air Canada Express service will be operated with 50-seat Bombardier CRJ-100 aircraft. All flights provide for Aeroplan accumulation and redemption, Star Alliance reciprocal benefits and, for eligible customers, priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounge access, priority boarding and other benefits. Flight # Depart Time Arrive Time AC8172 Montreal (YUL) 13:25 Washington (IAD) 15:09 AC8173 Washington (IAD) 15:40 Montreal (YUL) 17:15 So far in 2017, Air Canada has launched new non-stop U.S. services from Montreal to Dallas-Fort Worth and now to Washington Dulles; Toronto to: San Antonio, Memphis and Savannah; Vancouver to: Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver and Boston. About Air Canada Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 200 airports on six continents. Canada's flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2016 served close to 45 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 64 airports in Canada, 57 in the United States and 91 in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,330 airports in 192 countries. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax. For more information, please visit: www.aircanada.com, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook. Internet: aircanada.com SOURCE Air Canada Copyright © 2017 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved
  10. Plusieurs projets de Montréal s'y retrouve. Belle interface... http://top100projects.ca/map/
  11. Canada's housing market cools Home prices are still rising but much more slowly.Tyler Anderson/National PostHome prices are still rising but much more slowly. Resale price growth lowest in seven years Garry Marr, Financial Post Published: Friday, June 13, 2008 More On This Story TORONTO -- The Canadian real estate market is being flooded with homes, causing prices to start falling in some key markets, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. The average price of a home sold last month in the country's top 25 markets was $337,071, an all-time record. But that record price was only up 1.1% from May, 2007 -- the smallest year-over-year increase in seven years. "The record number of new listings means more opportunities for buyers," said Gregory Klump. chief economist with CREA. "The resale housing market has evolved in just a few short months." CREA said there were 67,628 new units on the market in May, a 7% jump from last year. It was the second straight month that a record number of houses has gone on sale. The impact on prices is being felt most keenly in Alberta. The average price of a home sold in Calgary last month was $418,881, a 2.4% drop from a year ago. Edmonton sale prices averaged out at $340,499, down 4.8% from a year ago. Unit sales in both Alberta cities are also plummeting. Calgary homes sales were off 34.2% from a year ago while Edmonton sales were down 34.8% during the same period. The home sales are dropping across the country. CREA said on a national basis sales were off 16.9% in May from a year earlier.
  12. Canada's GDP equals to Texas's GDP
  13. No housing crash in Canada "In most eastern cities, builders continued to enjoy modest price gains." JAY BRYAN, The Gazette Published: 9 hours ago The latest data out of Canada's housing market demonstrate two things clearly: it's going through a significant slowdown, but, just as important, it's not following the U.S. market down the drain. The number of new homes started by Canadian builders in October was down, but only by three per cent, much less than expected by forecasters. So far this year, notes economist Paul Ferley at the Royal Bank, average monthly starts are down by less than five per cent compared with the plunge of 30 per cent seen in the U.S. Still, housing starts in Canada have been drifting down since they peaked at an annual rate of 277,000 two and a half years ago. The rate in October was 212,000. Market analysts believe that pent-up demand for homes has been increasingly satisfied over the past few years. As well, rising prices squeezed affordability for those looking for a first home. Now most analysts believe the construction decline will accelerate in the coming year, as a slowing economy puts more pressure on would-be buyers. Nevertheless, new-home prices as of September (these numbers take longer to compile), were holding up well, reflecting the same resilient demand that has kept home construction busy. A survey by Statistics Canada finds that average new-home prices across Canada were up by 2.1 per cent in September from a year earlier, although there's a lot of variation among major cities. The sharpest price changes were in cities with resource-based economies. In St. John's and Regina, where local booms have yet to peter out, prices were up by 23 per cent. But in Alberta, where an oilsands investment frenzy has cooled recently, gains have ended. In Calgary, the average new home price was down by one per cent. In Edmonton, it fell by six per cent. And after having soared higher than anywhere else in Canada, prices stalled in Vancouver (up 1.4 per cent) and Victoria (no change). In most eastern cities, builders continued to enjoy modest price gains, with the average new home up by 4.8 per cent in Montreal, three per cent in Toronto, 6.1 per cent in Quebec City and 4.3 per cent in Ottawa-Gatineau. There was a similar regional divide in housing starts, with British Columbia and Alberta down sharply from a year ago, while Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario are up. As a slowing economy squeezes prices, it's likely to be the highest-priced markets that will show the most substantial price losses, suggested Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at the Bank of Montreal. Canada's housing downturn is likely to be much milder than the one in the U.S. because it's fundamentally different, he said. The U.S. housing collapse stemmed from a home-price bubble whose collapse is taking down the whole economy, but the key influence on Canada's generally healthy market is merely the predictable drag from a North American recession. However, a few cities in Canada witnessed such big price gains that they're likely to sell off sharply, Porter said. When the latest resale prices for existing homes come out late this week, he expects to see continued drops in Canada's highest-priced cities: Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. In Quebec and Atlantic Canada, existing home prices have continued rising and should continue to hold up relatively well, he predicted, because their more modest growth remained tied to fundamentals like average incomes. As of September, the average Montreal resale price was up by 4.4 per cent from a year earlier, while Halifax was ahead 10 per cent. By contrast, Toronto was down three per cent, Calgary was off six per cent and Vancouver had lost eight per cent. [email protected]
  14. LIST :: http://www.financialpost.com/magazine/fp500/list.html The beat goes on The right numbers are up. But momentum? That’s another thing Cooper Langford, Financial Post Business Published: Tuesday, June 03, 2008 Related Topics Story tools presented by Good stories start in the middle of the action, so let's do that - specifically at the No. 162 spot on the 2008 edition of the Financial Post 500, our annual ranking of Canada's largest companies by revenue. In that position: Martinrea International Inc., a Vaughan, Ont.-based auto-parts maker that's put the pedal to the metal in pursuit of growth. In a year when the loonie hit par with the U.S. buck and belt-tightening at Detroit's Big Three throttled the auto sector, Martinrea did a surprising thing: It more than doubled its revenue to $2 billion. In the process, it also jumped 168 places, making it one of the highest-climbing firms on our list. That an upstart underdog in a declining sector can deliver such a positive outcome says a lot about the stories, themes and companies that define this year's FP500. Some firms have had great years, but for many others it was just the opposite. And in a lot of cases, one company's good fortune comes at the expense of others. Martinrea, for example, made its big leap because it was able to acquire a major rival at depressed market prices. Likewise, factors such as the price of oil - which rose to within a hair's breadth of US$100 per barrel in 2007 - boosted most oil producers while hammering other companies that were directly or indirectly hurt by the high cost of fuel. Martinrea's success is revealing in one other way as well. With total revenue of all the FP500 companies increasing by just $44 billion in 2007 - to $1.583 trillion from $1.539 trillion - the little parts maker's $1.1-billion revenue gain represents fully 2.5% of the entire increase. When you're counting on a company that represents a meagre 0.1% of the total FP500 revenue to do that much heavy lifting, you have to wonder about the strength of the underlying economy and the prospects for the year ahead. Meanwhile, the theme of surprise extended to some of the largest companies on the FP500, too. Start with Royal Bank of Canada, which returns as No. 1 overall. No one doubted that it would retain its crown as Canada's largest corporation, but how many thought it would also lead our list of top revenue gainers? After all, the financial sector was hammered last year by fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis and the choked credit markets that followed. Yet RBC - thanks to its well-diversified base of revenue streams - shone through with a year-over-year increase of more than $5 billion. And then there's EnCana Corp. (No. 13), Canada's largest energy company and one of its most profitable firms. Many people will no doubt be surprised to find that it tops our list of biggest profit decliners. Granted, it still earned $4.3 billion, but that's off $2.1 billion from 2006, despite a 24% increase in revenue to $23 billion. Blame a steep mid-year dip in the price of natural gas, the erosion of margins due to the rising dollar and ever-escalating costs that resulted from shortages of materials and skilled labour. (A complete series of "Top 5" breakout lists and profiles accompanies this story.) ANYONE LOOKING for more predict-able outcomes can still hang their hat on the global commodity boom. While price increases didn't match those of 2006, there was still enough steam in the market for it to have a major impact on the list - powering up some of 2007's largest percentage revenue gains. Yamana Gold Inc. (No. 340), for example, leapt onto the FP500 with a 318% increase, to $800 million, following its $3.5-billion acquisition in September of Meridian Gold Inc. Soaring oil prices continued to stoke more than a few bottom lines across the energy sector - average revenue growth there came in at 18.8%. Leading the way was Calgary-based Harvest Energy Trust (No. 94) with a revenue increase of 193.2%, to $4 billion. This gain was due, in part, to its mid-2006 acquisition of North Atlantic Refining Ltd. in Come By Chance, N.L., a groundbreaking $1.6-billion deal that turned Harvest into Canada's first vertically integrated oil and gas royalty trust. At the same time, however, energy costs - coupled with the strong dollar - weighed heavily on central Canada. They wreaked havoc particularly on forestry companies already reeling from the collapse of the U.S. housing market. Indeed, of the 19 forestry firms on our ranking, only four avoided outright revenue declines. Nine of the remaining firms saw a double-digit fall in their income. Weyerhaeuser Canada Ltd. turned in the worst performance, stumbling to the No. 384 position from No. 231 as its revenue fell to $648 million - a 50% decrease, which earned it the dubious distinction of this year's "Worst Fall." The picture looks only a little brighter in the beleaguered manufacturing sector, where half of the 28 ranked firms posted revenue declines. In broad terms, though, the economy absorbed the worst of these impacts. Much like corporate revenue and profit (which climbed 4.4% for the FP500 as a whole, compared to a 34% rise in 2006), GDP growth held steady, clocking in at 2.7%, the same as 2006, but down from 2.9% in 2005. Unemployment, meanwhile, fell to 6%, its lowest level in 33 years. These kinds of numbers, it seems, were good enough to keep consumers in stores with their wallets open, as a look at some of the newcomers to the FP500 suggests. For evidence, look no further than the No. 288 position, occupied this year by consumer electronics manufacturer LG Electronics Canada, with revenue of $1 billion. A few ranks further down, at No. 311, you'll find Kia Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Korean auto maker Kia Motors, with revenue of almost $900 million. Equally intriguing - given fears for the future of the music and video retail business - is the arrival on the FP500 of HMV Canada Inc. at No. 500, with revenue of $407 million. Granted, HMV's revenue is actually down 0.6%, yet it still made the jump from No. 510 last year on the Next 300 list. DEALING WITH volatility and a rapidly changing economic landscape may have been the biggest theme in corporate Canada during 2007, but it wasn't the only one: Foreign takeovers also swept the market. The headlines were bigger in 2006, when iconic Canadian firms such as Hudson's Bay Co., Inco Ltd. and Dofasco fell into foreign hands. But it wasn't until last year that the number and value of takeover deals hit truly astonishing levels. In the first six months of 2007, the value of foreign M&A activity in Canada soared to $153 billion, according to investment banking firm Crosbie & Co. Inc., eclipsing the total of $102 billion for all of 2006. By the end of the year, the value of deals reached a record-setting $186.8 billion, with international miner Rio Tinto plc's $44.9-billion acquisition of Alcan Inc. (No. 7) leading the way. Other deals included Houston-based Marathon Oil Corp.'s $7.1-billion bid for Western Oil Sands Inc. (No. 296), Abu Dhabi National Energy Co.'s $5-billion takeout of PrimeWest Energy Trust (No. 398) and IBM Corp.'s $4.4-billion acquisition of software maker Cognos Inc. (No. 261). With those kinds of names and numbers in the air, it's no surprise that the flurry of activity reignited the age-old debate about the "hollowing" of corporate Canada. Dominic D'Alessandro, who recently announced he'll retire next year as CEO of Manulife Financial Corp. (No. 2), weighed in during his annual address to shareholders in May 2007, saying: "I sometimes worry that we may all wake up and find that, as a nation, we have lost control of our affairs." Others wondered what all the fuss was about. In a March 2007 report, the Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity argued that Canada's ability to produce companies that are global leaders far outweighs the losses it has witnessed due to foreign takeovers. Among the examples it used to make its case were Research in Motion Ltd. (No. 65), North American convenience-store giant Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (No. 24) and ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (No. 367), a manufacturing-solutions firm active in the international health-care, electronics and automotive sectors. We'll keep our opinions to ourselves, but here's one notable fact: According to Crosbie & Co., Canadian firms made twice as many acquisitions abroad as foreign firms did here. At $93 billion, however, the total value of those deals was only half the value of foreign takeovers in Canada. GIVEN ALL that acquisition activity in 2007, it's almost inevitable that some companies now on our list will have disappeared when it comes time to compile the FP500 for 2008. Others may fall off because their revenue stumbles to levels where they no longer make the cut-off. But the FP500 is a renewable resource; for every firm that leaves, there's another that takes its place. A scan of the Next 300, which follows our main ranking, offers hints. Companies that stand out include The Data Group Income Fund, which rose more than 100 positions to No. 507 and was just $10 million shy of making the big chart, as well as rising food manufacturer Lassonde Industries Inc. at No. 505, up from No. 545 in 2006. The biggest wild card for next year's ranking, however - one that affects nearly every company on both the FP500 and the Next 300 - has to do with where the economy will take them. The FP500 as a whole hasn't had a year of revenue decline since 2004 (and the drop was a miniscule $2 billion), but it looks like a distinct possibility if current GDP forecasts prove accurate. In late April, the Bank of Canada called for GDP growth of just 1.4% in 2008, with most private-sector forecasts in the same ballpark. While Canada's domestic markets should do okay, a weak U.S. economy will drag us down. Results like that, at least a full percentage point lower than 2007's 2.7%, would make it hard for FP500 revenue totals to stay out of the red. If so, spunky companies like Martinrea may be fewer and farther between when we do this again next year.
  15. Canada's housing boom is over, bank says VIRGINIA GALT Globe and Mail Update June 26, 2008 at 10:44 AM EDT After a long run of rapidly-rising prices, the Canadian housing market has cooled to the point that it is no longer a sellers' market, Toronto-Dominion Bank said Thursday. “The long-awaited end of the Canadian housing boom has occurred, reflecting more moderate demand and increased supply of properties for sale,” TD economists Craig Alexander and Pascal Gauthier said in a report. “The year-over-year price growth for existing homes in Canada's major markets fell to only 1.1 per cent in May, down from 8.6 per cent just four months earlier,” the TD economists wrote. “The trend has been broadly based, but is has been particularly sharp in some of the markets that had experienced the most dramatic price growth. Calgary and Edmonton home prices in April and May fell to below year-earlier levels.” The TD economists said they had expected the slowdown to occur before now, but “housing remained stronger for longer than we had anticipated, largely due to increased affordability through new financing options, such as no money down or extended amortization.” Regional economic strength related to the commodity boom also helped to fuel “unsustainably elevated home price growth in the west,” they wrote. Last month, the Canadian Real Estate Association reported that resale home listings across Canada rose by 17.7 per cent in April from a year earlier – pushing the number of home listings to the highest level on record. At the time, Bank of Montreal economist Douglas Porter noted: “For the first time in a long time, sellers are not in the drivers' seat any more. I'm not necessarily saying that buyers are in the drivers' seat either, but what we've seen truly is a return to a balanced market.” The TD economists concurred in their report Thursday. “Most of Canada's major housing markets have moved out of sellers' territory to more balanced markets.” Mr. Alexander and Mr. Gauthier forecast modest national average price growth of 2 per cent this year and 3.5 per cent in 2009, “down substantially from the 10 per cent annual pace of the last six years.” However, the Canadian housing market remains fundamentally strong, unlike the U.S. market, where the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that median home prices continued to fall. The median price of an existing U.S. home sold in May was $208,600 (U.S), down 6.3 per cent from a year earlier – fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis. In Canada, the TD economists forecast an average existing home price of $313,300 (Canadian) in 2008, up 2 per cent from last year's average. Canadians, the TD economists said, are “cashing in, not foreclosing. “... It should be stressed that the rise in listings does not reflect homeowners of principal dwellings desperate to sell, and this is the dominant difference between the Canadian and U.S. experience,” they wrote in their report, Canada's Housing Boom Comes to an End. “Indeed, the U.S. has been characterized by an abnormal rise in delinquencies and foreclosures or large negative equity positions. In Canada, speculators may be quickly dumping properties on the market to get out while the times are good, but individuals that have a principal dwelling are not under financial duress. “Canadian consumers are nowhere nearly as leveraged through their home equity as American consumers are.” Throughout the rest of this year and 2009, most regional housing markets in Canada “will see low to mid single-digit gains, but Saskatchewan and Manitoba will continue to post double-digit gains in the near term, followed by a significant cooling in 2009 – with the risk of a mild price correction in the major cities that have recently experienced extraordinary price growth,” the TD economists said. “Alberta will have further weakness in the near term, as Calgary and Edmonton will likely see prices continue to fall for another three or four quarters, dropping 8 per cent to 10 per cent from their peak, after which prices should stabilize and start rising at a low single-digit pace.” http://www.reportonbusiness.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080626.whousing0626/BNStory/Business/home
  16. The housing boom may be over, but there's no bust in sight Jay Bryan, Canwest News Service Published: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 With housing demand weaker, price gains have already slowed sharply.Reuters fileWith housing demand weaker, price gains have already slowed sharply. Ever since last year, forecasters have been predicting that Canada's hot housing market was about to slow to a much more sedate pace. Well, it's happened. Except that sedate is hardly the word for the 14% plunge in construction activity that turned up Monday in the housing starts data for July. To many, this sharp drop will be downright alarming, raising fears that the catastrophic housing meltdown in the U.S. has now spread across the border. They can relax. Or at least most of them can. Maybe a little nervousness is appropriate for those who bought near the market's peak in one of Canada's very high-flying centres of real-estate inflation -- places like Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria. In these towns, warns BMO Capital Markets economist Sal Guatieri, soaring home prices so greatly outstripped income growth that it wouldn't be surprising if real-estate values had to drop significantly in order to restore affordability to the market. But in most of Canada, what we're seeing looks like a normal return to earth after a six-year-long real-estate boom. The frenetic construction and double-digit price gains of yesteryear couldn't last forever, so now we've entered the cooling-off phase. Economic forecasters think the outlook for most cities is for prices to stagnate, or maybe edge down a little, while the level of construction eases, but doesn't collapse. If this doesn't seem to fit with the outlook foreshadowed by July's big drop in construction activity, that's simply because you're reading the numbers too literally. No one month's statistics mean very much, especially if you take them at face value. When you look at a chart of housing starts over a period of many months, it looks like a mountain range, with soaring peaks and deep valleys. Most of this volatility is caused by builders of condominiums and other multiple-unit developments, where a few projects more or less can make the numbers skyrocket or plummet. That's why analysts take the single-family starts more seriously. They're a lot less volatile and, thus, a better indicator of where the market is really heading. In July, single-family housing starts fell by just 7%. As well, nearly all of July's decline was in Ontario -- "think Toronto condos," says BMO Capital Markets analyst Robert Kavcic. And exceptionally wet weather in Eastern Canada likely slowed construction, notes Millan Mulraine of TD Securities. Outside of Toronto, most big cities saw only modest changes in total activity. So what can we expect for the coming months? Continued slowing, most likely, but certainly no savage nationwide meltdown on the model of the U.S. Royal Bank economist Paul Ferley notes that in 2007, Canadian housing construction remained little changed from the banner year of 2006, even as U.S. activity plummeted 26%. He thinks Canada's housing starts will drop by only about 5% this year, compared with a 30% plunge south of the border. Mr. Ferley thinks that 2009 will finally bring a significant drop in Canadian activity, but nothing like the U.S. collapse, with starts down by about 15%. The brake on construction is the slowdown in sales that started months ago, with sales figures in each month this year down from the comparable period in 2007, Mr. Guatieri noted. It's quite likely that this will continue into next year, since the U.S. economic slowdown and the recent sharp decline in commodity prices are both beginning to bite in Canada, bringing declines in job creation. With housing demand weaker, price gains have already slowed sharply. With a 5.4% average gain over the past year, Montreal is doing a little better than the national average of 3.5%. Toronto is near average at 3.8%. The hardest-hit include mainly big Western cities, with Vancouver up 1.8%, Edmonton 1.6%, Calgary a mere 0.1% and Victoria down by 0.4%. But even if the boom is over, there's no national bust in sight. Without the severe financial excesses and fraud that devastated the U.S. mortgage market, undermined that country's banking system and brought soaring numbers of home foreclosures, Canada simply doesn't have the conditions to trigger a housing collapse.
  17. L`article est un peu facultatif, je veux porter votre attention aux nombreux commentaires en relation avec celui-ci. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071204.wcensusmain1204/CommentStory/census2006/home/ Canada's tenuous French connection BRODIE FENLON Globe and Mail Update December 4, 2007 at 4:12 PM EST Just a day after the Prime Minister appointed Bernard Lord to head a committee on bilingualism, newly released census figures suggest that Canada's official-languages policy and the vitality of the French language are under increasing pressure outside Quebec. There are nearly as many Canadians with a non-official language as their mother tongue as there are francophones, while the peak rate of bilingualism for anglophones living outside Quebec has dropped again. The new figures on immigration, language and mobility, gleaned from the 2006 census, paint a dramatic picture of Canada's changing demographics. Among the highlights: • One in five Canadians – 19.8 per cent of the total population – was born outside the country, a rate not matched since 1931, when the percentage of foreign-born citizens peaked at 22.2 per cent. Only Australia has more foreign-born residents. • More than 60 per cent of immigrants live in the large urban centres of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver; only about 5 per cent live in rural parts of Canada. • Most of the recent newcomers to Canada are from Asia – 58 per cent when those from the Middle East are included. Europeans, the dominant immigrant group for most of the 20th century, represented only 16 per cent of those who moved to Canada between 2001 and 2006. • Canada's foreign-born population increased by 13.6 per cent, four times greater than the growth rate of 3.3 per cent for the Canadian-born population. But it is the language numbers released Tuesday that will likely make headlines, following as they do on the heels of Mr. Lord's appointment by Stephen Harper to head a high-profile committee on bilingualism in Canada. The former premier of New Brunswick will travel to seven cities across the country during the first two weeks of December to speak to members of English and French minority communities and provide advice and guidance to the federal government. Mr. Lord will then report to Official Languages Minister Josée Verner in January. What Mr. Lord will find outside Quebec and New Brunswick, Canada's only officially bilingual province, is increasingly isolated French-language communities, the census suggests. One indicator is mother tongue, defined as the first language learned at home and still understood at the time of the census. For the first time, allophones – those who speak neither English nor French as their first language – represent fully one-fifth of the population. The numbers jumped to 20.1 per cent from 18 per cent in the last census, driven primarily by immigration. Conversely, the proportion of francophones and anglophones decreased slightly after population growth is taken into account. This will be no surprise for Canadians in many parts of the country. For several years, Chinese has topped French as a first language in Ontario, Alberta and B.C. The 2006 census reaffirmed the position of Chinese languages as Canada's third most common mother tongue group. More than one million Canadians reported one of the Chinese languages as their first language, a jump of 18.5 per cent. Experts are quick to note that allophones speak about 200 languages and are not a homogeneous group. Francophones still represent about one-quarter of the population; people who report Chinese as their mother tongue represent 3.3 per cent of the total population. Moreover, the census showed that nine out of 10 Canadians speak English or French most often at home: Just over one-fifth spoke French, 67.7 per cent spoke English, and 11.9 per cent spoke a non-official language at home. It is important to note, however, that the English and French numbers dropped from the previous census, while the non-official language numbers increased by 1.5 per cent. Even in Quebec, the percentage of people who spoke French most often at home dropped to 81.8 per cent from 83.1 per cent. The bilingualism rate is another indicator of the tenuous French connection. Outside Quebec, only 5.6 per cent of allophones in 2006 reported knowing both official languages. While there was a slight increase – 7.4 per cent from 7.1 per cent – in the number of anglophones outside Quebec who said they could carry on a conversation in both official languages, the number dropped for a key demographic: young Canadians. Because most anglophones learn French at school, the peak bilingualism rate for Canadians outside Quebec occurs in the 15-19 age range. That rate has slipped over the past decade, to 13 per cent in 2006 from 16.3 per cent in 1996. The ability of young anglophones to maintain their knowledge of French as a second language appears to decline with time. In 2001, 14.7 per cent of anglophones aged 15 to 19 were bilingual. Five years later, only 12.2 per cent of that same cohort reported being bilingual. The numbers are disappointing, considering that one of the chief objectives of Ottawa's $787-million plan on official languages – launched by the previous Liberal government in 2003 – is to double by 2013 the percentage of young bilingual Canadians to 50 per cent. Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies and advocate of official bilingualism, warned against an “ethno-local” reading of the numbers, which he said could foster tensions and challenge public support for French in areas where other languages dominate. “When you start breaking things down locally, then you risk tearing away at the fabric of national unity. ... That's the Canada of multiple parts, not the Canada with a national vision both of its demographic reality and its history,” he said. “Bilingualism is the fundamental feature of a strong Canadian identity to the extent that more than a quarter of the country, nationally, consists of people who are French speakers.” Others suggest, however, that such sentiments are antiquated in a multicultural Canada and ignore the demographic reality of much of the country, especially urban areas such as Toronto or Vancouver. “Nobody's asked any longer what is the place of French. Now I walk on hot coals to even say that out loud,” said Heather Lotherington, associate professor of multilingual education at York University. “We're living in a global society. We have this influx of people who speak the languages of the world, and we're not doing a damn thing with these languages. We're just letting them go to waste.” Ms. Lotherington, whose research is focused on Toronto-area schools, advocates for the inclusion of students' mother tongues in the curriculum. She said decades of research shows that if you maintain the languages children know, they learn other languages better, fast and more easily. “French immersion needs to be looked at critically,” she said. “I do not want to throw it out. Canada is a world leader in immersion education. But you have to think about the way we learn languages and the possibility of learning more. "It's a very colonial stance to say that English and French are the languages of Canada.” Concerns about official bilingualism and the impact of immigration on the French language inside and outside Quebec are not new. In September's Throne Speech, the Prime Minister pledged to extend official bilingualism programs for minority communities. The appointment of Mr. Lord is seen as the first step in that commitment and a response to the critical report by Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser, who accused the Harper government of having “directly undermined” the official languages plan with budget cuts and by eliminating the Court Challenges program, which financed minority-rights court cases against the government. Citizenship and Immigration recently set targets through 2011 to attract between 8,000 and 10,000 French-speaking immigrants a year to francophone communities outside of Quebec. Driving these targets are demographic data showing that for every new immigrant whose mother tongue is French, there are 10 whose mother tongue is English, and that the vast majority of newcomers adopt English upon arrival in Canada. Meanwhile, the debate over immigration and language continues in Quebec, where the Bouchard-Taylor commission on reasonable accommodation of minorities heard last week from a prominent Parti Québécois strategist that only an independent Quebec could protect the French language. The commission also heard from French-speaking immigrants to Quebec who said their lack of English was impeding their ability to get jobs. And in October, PQ Leader Pauline Marois caused a small furor when she proposed the Quebec Identity Act, which would require all new immigrants to the province to learn French within three years. Those who failed a language test would not be permitted to hold public office, raise money for a political party or petition the National Assembly. The bill was widely condemned. The Official Languages Act, first passed in 1969 and updated twice since, stipulates Canadians' right to receive federal government services in either English or French where numbers warrant, the right of public servants to work in either language in certain areas, the right of either English or French speakers to advance in the public service, and that the government must promote bilingualism.
  18. Air Canada Launches New Non-Stop Service between Montreal and San Juan, Puerto Rico MONTREAL, Dec. 17, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada today inaugurated a new non-stop service between Montreal and Puerto Rico. This morning's departure of Air Canada flight AC958 marks the beginning of weekly flights from Montreal to San Juan's Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, which will operate as a seasonal service this winter. "This new route from Montreal will make it easier for customers to travel to Puerto Rico from eastern Canada and complements our existing twice-weekly services between Toronto and San Juan. It also strengthens Air Canada's Montreal hub, which is playing a significant strategic role in our ongoing global expansion. Our capacity in Montreal is up nearly 20 per cent over the last two years and in the past year alone we have launched or announced 13 new destinations from the city, including Shanghai, Algiers, Lyon, and Marseille," said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada. "I would like to congratulate and thank Air Canada for adding San Juan, Puerto Rico to its already impressive list of non-stop destinations served from Montreal," said James Cherry, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aéroports de Montréal. "This new service will offer one more option to our passengers seeking to diversify their sun destinations." Air Canada's Montreal-San Juan flights will operate with a 146-seat Airbus A320 featuring two classes of service with 14 Business Class seats and 132 seats in Economy Class. The aircraft features a personal seatback In-Flight Entertainment system and a power outlet available at every seat throughout the aircraft. Flights are timed for convenient connections through Air Canada's extensive international network and provide for Aeroplan accumulation and redemption and, for eligible customers, priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounge access in Montreal, priority boarding and other benefits. FLIGHT DEPARTS ARRIVES DAY of the WEEK* AC958 Montreal at 8:00 San Juan at 14:00 Saturday AC959 San Juan at 14:45 Montreal at 18:59 Saturday * Service operates until April 22, 2017