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Found 36 results

  1. Montreal has a hot brand City should plug culture: minister By LYNN MOORE, The GazetteFebruary 21, 2009 Montreal should be "branding" itself as a major cultural and creative capital using institutions such as the Canadiens, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Montreal International Jazz Festival, Quebec's minister of economic development told a gathering of business leaders. The global finance crises has exasperated setbacks such as the loss of the Grand Prix Formula 1 racing event while continuing job and production cuts by major companies have shaken citizens and business leaders alike, Raymond Bachand told a Metropolitan Montreal Chamber of Commerce luncheon. "I want to tell you that the solutions (to shaken confidence and setbacks) are staring us in the face ... and are under our feet, if only we would see them," Bachand said. Bachand's reference to the Canadiens as a "one of the best-known trademarks in the world" prompted a wave of laughter from the audience. A front-page article in yesterday's La Presse linked three Canadiens players with one of the suspects arrested last week in a police operation targeting organized crime. "When one journalist makes a mistake, we don't condemn all media (outlets). And just because one player makes a mistake, we don't forget about 100 years of history," Bachand said. [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  2. (Courtesy of The Canadian Press) OT: How about also raising the spending limit for shopping in the US. Would be nice if we could come back after a a day with $500 CDN (goods) and week with $2000 CDN (goods)
  3. Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/programmes/world_news_america/7725979.stm Published: 2008/11/13 09:47:01 GMT © BBC MMVIII
  4. According to aviationiran, AC is looking at YUL-IKA flights Tehran-IKA Confirms 2 New Airlines; Negotiations with 4 Others - Aviation Iran This was also rumoured by a Iranian minister last October Air Canada and 3 Other Airlines Plan 7 New Routes to Iran - Aviation Iran
  5. http://www.thestar.com/article/845013--siddiqui-harper-s-ottawa-becomes-republican-la-la-land
  6. 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.
  7. Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2501395#ixzz0e4p62T3C Take that.
  8. A new vision for the country? Harper's federation of fiefdoms will drive Canadian traditionalists nuts LAWRENCE MARTIN From Thursday's Globe and Mail July 31, 2008 at 9:21 AM EDT Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been knocked for not giving the country a sense of direction, for visionlessly plotting and plodding, politics being his only purpose. Not true. Something has been taking shape - and it just took further form with pledges from Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon on the dispersal of federal powers. Yes, Matilda, the Conservatives have a vision. A federation of fiefdoms. Stephen Harper - headwaiter to the provinces. The firewall guy has curbed the federal spending power, he's corrected the so-called fiscal imbalance in favour of the provinces, he's doled out new powers to Quebec and now, if we are to believe Mr. Cannon, more autonomy is on the way for one and all. Mr. Harper has always favoured a crisp reading of the Constitution. He has always been - and now it really shows - a philosophical devolutionist. His nation-of-duchies approach will drive Canadian traditionalists bananas. They will see it not as nation building, but nation scattering. They will roll out that old bromide about the country being more than the sum of its parts. They will growl that we are already more decentralized than the Keystone Kops and any other federation out there save Switzerland, and that only rigorous paternal oversight can hold us together. But do these long-held harmonies still hold? Or are they outmoded, in need of overhaul? Has the country not moved beyond its vulnerable adolescent era to the point where now, like a normal family, it can entrust its members with more responsibilities? After 141 years, is there not a new sense of trust and maturity in the land? Identity? History is identity. If you don't know who you are at 141, if you still think some provinces have stars and stripes in their eyes, the shrink is in the waiting room. Now even Liberals don't think the new Canada is as dependent on the centre as the old. The old parts were fragile, in need of nurturing, in need of national and protectionist policies. But now there is more wealth and more equality, a levelling of the braying fields. Little guys like Newfoundland and Saskatchewan, with their newfound riches, are no longer little guys. They are not as beholden and their new level of maturity requires new thinking in Ottawa. Treat them like teenagers and they'll be more inclined to rebel. Give them space and they'll be more inclined to be part of the whole. Not to say that a balkanization of the federation is in order. Not to say that you want a host of provinces running off and negotiating treaties with other countries or that you want better north-south transportation systems than east-west or that national programs are not worthwhile. But a recognition of modern realities is in order. When we get more meat on the bones of Mr. Harper's plans, we'll know how they stack up. There's plenty of room for cynicism. It's well known that the PM will do anything to woo Quebec politically. Letting the province negotiate a unilateral labour-mobility agreement with France can be seen as some rather timely toadying. Shouldn't he be doing more for labour mobility between Ontario and Quebec? Extending his autonomy push to other regions smacks of smart politics as well. Headwaiter to the provinces? How about head cashier at the polling booths. Westerners will lovingly see it as a kick at the Toronto-Ottawa dictatorship. It's gravy for la belle province and down East, loud guys like Danny Williams won't be complaining. The PM needed something to take the focus away from Stéphane Dion's attention-grabbing Green Shift. This raw-boned conservative stuff might do the trick. Joe Clark was the original headwaiter to the provinces. Pierre Trudeau mocked him mercilessly. But of course it was Mr. Trudeau's great centralist grab, the national energy program, that backfired. Brian Mulroney undid some of Mr. Trudeau's work and tried to go further with his province-friendly constitutional accords. Under Jean Chrétien, the Grits got in the act, forsaking economic nationalism. Mr. Harper is following and hastening the trend line. We needed - thank you, England - grandparents. We needed - thank you, John A. - a national policy. We needed measures to keep us independent of the United States and our social security systems and national institutions. Thank you, other leaders. All part of growing up. But now? Noteworthy is that while in more recent times we have seen a trend away from centralized powers, unity is now well intact. Many would argue the country is more unified today than at any time since 1967. The big centre is still needed. It's still needed for infrastructure, uniform social programs, defence and multifarious other initiatives. But, with the old family having a better sense of its bearings, it isn't needed the way it was before.
  9. [video=youtube;7chpllnU-To] Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Bank+Canada+unveils+secure+plastic+bank+notes/4976595/story.html#ixzz1Pr2CMMca
  10. Tories looking for ways to cut gas price DANIEL LEBLANC Globe and Mail Update July 30, 2008 at 2:01 PM EDT LÉVIS, Que. — The Conservative Party will look over the next two days for ways to bring down the price of gas even though there is no room for major tax cuts, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said. Speaking to reporters Wednesday morning, Mr. Flaherty said his constituents have clearly told him about the impact of high gas prices on their household budgets in recent weeks. However, Mr. Flaherty cautioned that “this is a time of economic slowdown” and that his government has no plans to drastically change its course in coming months. “This is not a year for big new spending projects or big new tax reductions,” he said. Still, Mr. Flaherty said that the Conservative caucus will be exploring solutions to high gas prices at its current two-day meeting, including looking at a variety of tax measures that will be proposed by MPs. However, Mr. Flaherty shot down the notion that he could use $4-billion in revenue from a recent auction of wireless spectrum to send cheques directly to taxpayers to offset their heating bills. Mr. Flaherty said it is likely that a portion of the auction funds will be used to pay down the debt. “Our preference is to have structural change,” he said. “You can't spend your way out of a situation like this.” On law and order, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day showed that the Conservatives will continue to press for tough measures against criminals as a way to differentiate themselves from its political opponents. “We are alone on this,” Mr. Nicholson said, promising to toughen the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Mr. Day said his government is also looking to improve security in prisons, including getting rid of rules that prevent the government from forcing inmates to work or that hinder proper searches for drugs in prisons. On federal-provincial relations, Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon said his government will continue to foster the autonomy of the provincial governments in their areas of jurisdiction. Mr. Cannon, who is the Quebec lieutenant in the Harper government, said his party's position is clearly different from the Bloc Québécois's focus on sovereignty and the Liberal Party's centralizing view. “Our autonomy position as a political party is to respect the Constitution as it was written,” he said. Conservative MP Maxime Bernier also addressed reporters, saying he has nothing more to say about the controversy over his relationship with Julie Couillard, a woman who had relationships with a number of people tied to criminal biker gangs.
  11. Liberals refuse to confirm report Ontario to run near $1-billion deficit Wed, 2008-10-22 13:04. By: THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO - The Ontario government refused to confirm Wednesday in advance of handing down its fall economic update that the province will run a deficit of almost $1 billion this year because of the world financial crisis. For the past two weeks, Premier Dalton McGuinty has signalled he is prepared to run a deficit because of declining government revenues. In the legislature, Opposition Leader Bob Runciman wanted to know how Ontario went from a balanced budget four weeks ago to what he said was an expected deficit of $1 billion. "Less than a month ago, (Finance Minister Dwight Duncan) said the budget would be balanced, even with a downturn in the U.S. economy," Runciman said. "Premier, how is it that just four short weeks ago the budget was balanced, but today there's going to be a deficit of almost $1 billion?" McGuinty told the house he didn't know where Runciman was getting his numbers. People would have to wait until the finance minister delivers the fall economic update later Wednesday to see what red ink exists, McGuinty said. "We're in a pretty good position now to withstand these powerful winds that are blowing out there," he said. But, McGuinty added, the government also has to find a way to "make advances on the poverty front, to act in a way that is fiscally responsible, to protect health care and to protect education." On Monday, McGuinty said he told Duncan not to run a deficit unless not doing so would mean cutting back on public services. He also vowed that Ontario would not close hospitals or cancel infrastructure programs after more than 200,000 people lost their jobs. On Tuesday, he warned schools, cities and hospitals that funding projections would have to be scaled back during challenging times that may last as long as two years. Government officials will say only that Duncan's statement will outline which new government programs will have to be delayed because of falling revenues. Anti-poverty activists are worried that will mean the government will fail to keep its promise to help the poorest of the poor improve their living standards.
  12. Ottawa's '09 deficit may hit $14B Nov 20, 2008 11:16 AM Les Whittington OTTAWA BUREAU OTTAWA–An independent parliamentary review of the Harper government's finances concludes the federal Conservatives are likely to run budget deficits "in the near term," possibly beginning this year. The report by Kevin Page, the new Parliamentary Budget Officer, says the weaker economic outlook poses a risk to the government's attempts to achieve its "short-term and medium-term fiscal targets." Assuming no changes in Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's policies, "the downgraded economic outlook suggests the government would record modest and temporary deficits in the near term,"according to the analysis released this morning. While a budget surplus is still possible this year, the report warns the negative impact on government revenues because of the turmoil on financial markets is not yet known. "As a result, a deficit for this (2008-09) fiscal year is a distinct possibility." Page says the deterioration of the federal government's financial picture in the first nine months of 2008 is not so much the result of the weakened economy as Flaherty's policies, particularly the latest reduction in the GST tax and reduced corporate income taxes. This has caused federal revenues to decline by $353 million in the first nine months of this year. The budget office projects a budget deficit of $3.9 billion in 2009-10, although it adds that, if the economic downturn proves worse than expected, next year's federal deficit could hit $14 billion. The budget office was created in 2006 to provide independent fiscal forecasts for parliamentarians. This is Page's first budgetary study. Parliament's budget watchdog said Thursday Ottawa is in danger of running deficits starting this year, ballooning to as high as $13.8-billion next year, before returning to a surplus position starting in 2011-12. Nevertheless, the watchdog still projects a surplus for this fiscal year of at least $1.7-billion. Its "average" scenario, which is midway between worst- and best-case, projects a $3.9-billion deficit next year and a $1.4-billion shortfall in 2010-11. The outlook comes from the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, a newly-created body that aims to provide non-partisan economic analysis. It used nearly a dozen private-sector forecasts to develop its outlook, and made judgments as how certain changes in growth would affect federal coffers. It made its budget deficit call based on what is expected to be weak economic growth for the country as the global economy tries to pull itself out of a financial crisis. The "external factors" that supported recent growth in Canada have "reversed course," the office's report said. "The weaker Canadian outlook ... poses a risk for the government to achieve its stated short-term and medium-term fiscal targets," the budget officer, Kevin Page, said his outlook. "Assuming no major fiscal policy changes, the downgraded economic outlook suggests the government would record modest and temporary deficits in the near term." The budget office also warned that a deficit for this fiscal year remains "a distinct possibility," due to decisions to cut the GST and corporate taxes - and not weakened economic conditions. But officially, the office projects a surplus this fiscal year as low as $1.7-billion to as much as $6-billion. "While the year-to-date fiscal results, as well as all of our projection scenarios, suggest a modest surplus in 2008-09, it will be some time before the implications for [government] revenues of the recent financial market turmoil are known." Opposition politicians immediately pounced on the report, saying misguided Conservative decisions on spending and tax cuts put the country into a deficit position. "Will the Prime Minister admit, coming from his own appointee, Kevin Page, that he is no longer anywhere to hide? The deficit is not the fault of the international community. He and his reckless Finance Minister are the sole proprietors of Canada's deficit," John McCallum, head of the Liberal Party's economic team, said during debate in the House of Commons. Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister, responded: "We need to correct the facts. There are numerous prognostications about the future. And the Minister of Finance will deliver his fiscal update in the week to come -- and that will provide the facts to all members of Parliament." The fiscal update, scheduled for some time next week, will provide the Department of Finance's outlook on the economy. But Mr. Page's report steals some of the thunder. Mr. Harper added Thursday Canada remains in a surplus position, and is one of the few countries in the industrialized world that can boast about that during this current downturn. Meanwhile, Mr. Page said there are a range of policy initiatives the government can enact to address the current economic slowdown, among them a stimulus package to boost demand. But, he added, "the key challenge for policymakers is to address short-term pressures while maintaining a longer-term vision, enacting policies that are fiscally sustainable and address the fundamental long-term challenges." Chief among those long-term challenges is boosting Canada's lacklustre productivity growth. "With population ageing reducing growth in the labour force going forward, fostering productivity growth will be absolutely essential for ensuring sustained increases in living standards," Mr. Page said. In the Speech from the Throne, delivered Wednesday, the government warned of "misguided" attempts to stay in a budget surplus position given the state of the global economy. The last time Ottawa recorded a deficit was in 1996-97, when former finance minister and prime minister Paul Martin oversaw a shortfall of $8.7-billion. [email protected]
  13. Ottawa pledges tax cuts as surplus soars STEVEN CHASE Globe and Mail Update September 27, 2007 at 1:02 PM EDT The Canadian government racked up a monster surplus of about $14-billion for the last fiscal year, Ottawa reported Thursday. It said it has used the surplus to retire national debt and will funnel the $725-million interest saved as a result to Canadian taxpayers through tax cuts. That is a break of about $30 to $40 per tax filer in annual savings, depending on how it is allocated. That surplus far exceeds the $9.2 billion forecast in the last budget. Prime Minister Stephen Harper congratulates Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on March 19 after the government's budget speech. It is an embarrassment of riches for the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, which said Canadians were overtaxed when it took office and vowed that there would be no more surplus surprises. Ottawa's coffers are swollen by extra personal and corporate income-tax revenue generated by richer profits from a commodity boom. By law, all this excess cash – $14.2 billion – has been used to pay down Canada's debt and is not available for spending. However, the interest savings generated by the debt paydown – a fraction of the overall surplus – will be used to fund tax reductions, as promised by the Harper government. The surplus hit $13.8-billion and Ottawa ultimately reduced its debt by $14.2-billion last year, the government announced.
  14. 1,000 new homes for poor in Montreal The Gazette Published: 1 hour ago Quebec announced yesterday it will build 1,000 new social housing units in Montreal, part of a $132-million investment for 2,000 units in Quebec announced in the 2008-2009 budget. "For the past five years, our government has increased its actions to improve conditions for those who are less fortunate in Quebec," said Nathalie Normandeau, minister of municipal affairs. Affordable housing is in high demand in Montreal, with only a 1.4-per-cent vacancy rate in 2007 for units with at least three bedrooms that rent for less than $700 per month.
  15. Yo Malek, Dans un fil sur les Musées Canadiens sur Skyscrapercity(section Canada), tu as posté un article qui viens du Globe and Mail. le dernier paragraphe parle de la crainte de voir Montréal dépassée par Toronto comme la capitale de Culture au Canada. j'ai peut être un blanc de mémoir, mais, est ce que quelqu'un ici sait de quoi ils parlent? Plusieurs MILLIARDS de $ de la part du Gouv. Provincial dans la culture??? avez vous des exemples? Merci les filles!
  16. Let us decide its own cultural priorities, Charest says Quebec premier calls for reversal of arts funding cuts KEVIN DOUGHERTY, The Gazette Published: 8 hours ago (The Gazette)
  17. No surprise here: Harper remains fiscally off balance with Quebec JEFFREY SIMPSON September 24, 2008 at 11:00 PM EDT Right there, in bold type on page 144 of the 2007 budget, the Harper government declared: "Fiscal Balance Has Been Restored." Everywhere Prime Minister Stephen Harper goes in Quebec - the issue being of interest only in that province - he affirms that "we solved the problem of the fiscal imbalance." His Quebec ministers repeat the mantra; his candidates hammer home the message. The inference: Vote for us because we handed over all that money to Quebec (and the other provinces), just as we promised in the 2006 campaign. Case closed. Except that, as anyone with the slightest sense of Quebec could have predicted, the appetite there only grows with the eating. "The fiscal imbalance, according to us, is not yet solved," proclaims Quebec Finance Minister Monique Jérôme-Forget. Things are much better, she acknowledges. But, "is it finished?" she asks. "No." Quebec Premier Jean Charest also insists more money is needed to "solve" the problem. And, by the way, how about handing over all money and federal jurisdiction over "culture and communications," so that Quebec can achieve "cultural sovereignty"? And, while you're at it, Mr. Harper, hurry up with that promise to eliminate Ottawa's power to spend any money in areas of provincial jurisdiction. Mr. Charest has learned the ways of a Quebec premier. Always demand. Never be satisfied. Keep the heat on. Position yourself as the "defender" of Quebec's interests. Insist on more money and power from Ottawa. Mr. Harper ought to have seen this coming. No federal prime minister can ever out-national the nationalists, and none can ever satisfy any premier, at least not for long. As a result, he and Mr. Charest are no longer political allies, because it does not suit Mr. Charest to be other than a demandeur. Instead, the Action Démocratique has become the Conservatives' closest political ally in Quebec, especially in the rural and small-town ridings the Conservatives target. This is the crowd that whipped up alarm over immigration. This is the party that wants a separate constitution for Quebec, talks always of "autonomy" for Quebec, wants Quebec citizenship, demands a massive transfer of power (and money, of course) from Ottawa to Quebec, and sees Canada as a very loose association of two states. Mr. Harper has never repudiated any of these demands/statements from his erstwhile allies. Mr. Harper, as is his wont, plays with slippery language in Quebec, often using the word "autonomy." Of course, he reminds everyone that he got passed the resolution describing the Québécois as a "nation" within Canada. And he brags about having "solved" the "fiscal imbalance." These ADQ/Conservative voters are exactly those for whom artists whining about cuts to their subsidies are figures of scorn. The brouhaha about Mr. Harper's $46-million in cuts to the arts goes right over their heads, or even fires them up more to support the Conservatives. Mr. Harper says his government has increased cultural spending by 8 per cent. Where he gets that number from is unknown. He did increase the Canada Council's budget over two years by $50-million, and he put $60-million into "local arts and festivals" in the 2007 budget. But the biggest increase this year was for the Francophone Summit in Quebec City, which will happen just after the election - $38-million in 2008 and $13-million in 2007. Is that culture? The $46-million cut is a drop in the bucket of the tens of billions transferred to Quebec and the other provinces to "solve" the fiscal imbalance. The attention being paid to it represents a classic example of the urgent but minor driving out the huge and important. The whole fiscal imbalance was an invention that became a mythology in Quebec: Big, bad, fat Ottawa was rolling in dough, while the poor, beleaguered provinces had too little. A commission, established under the separatist government, produced a sum it claimed would resolve the problem. But even after the Paul Martin government transferred a larger sum than the commission had demanded, the mythology held. Still more was required to solve the "problem," claimed Quebec and those provinces that clung to Quebec's coattails. Mr. Harper, fishing for votes in Quebec and desirous of slimming the federal government anyway, obliged with a cool $40-billion in transfers. "We have solved the fiscal imbalance," he proclaimed. Nice try.