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  1. I have an idea...lets keep the status quo. By Nicolas Van Praet Montreal • Forget Newfoundland, derided for decades as the fish-dependent fiscal laughingstock of Canada. Another province is swiftly climbing the ranks of the penniless: Quebec. Quebecers will displace their fellow countrymen as the poorest Canadians if current income and purchasing power trends continue, according to a new study released Tuesday by Montreal’s HEC business school. The stark outlook underscores the urgency for Canada’s second-largest province to fix its structural problems and lends weight to arguments that its untapped natural resources should be developed. Related “Compared to the rest of the country, Quebec has a real revenue problem,” says Martin Coiteux, an economist who wrote the study for the HEC’s Centre for Productivity and Prosperity. Unless the province begins an honest, nothing-off-limits self-examination, “it runs the risk of finding itself last among Canadian provinces with respect to income and standard of living.” It’s the trend lines that should be worrying Quebecers, Mr. Coiteux said. The income gap is widening between Quebec and Canada’s richest provinces while it is shrinking with the poorest. Over a 31-year period from 1978 to 2009, every region of Canada gained on income against Quebec, according to the study. Buoyed by revenues from offshore oil, Newfoundland has bridged the income gap with Quebec to within $3,127 per adult as of 2009. Ontario’s income was $9,853 higher per adult that year while Alberta’s was $17,947 higher. That in itself is problematic for Quebec. But the HEC research also shows that one of the key things that made living in Quebec so attractive, namely the lower cost of living compared with other big provinces, is also rapidly changing. While it remains cheaper to buy consumer goods like food, gasoline and haircuts in Quebec than most other provinces (9% cheaper in Quebec than Alberta in 2009 for Statistics Canada’s standard Consumer Price Index basket of goods, for example), the difference is narrowing. And that makes the purchase power equation even worse for the French-speaking province. What explains this income nightmare? Mr. Coiteux summed it up thus: “Proportionately, fewer Quebecers work [than other Canadians]. They work fewer hours on average. And they earn an hourly pay that’s lower than that of most other Canadians.” The relative poverty of Quebec means that its residents pay less in federal income tax and receive more transfers than those living in richer provinces, which reduces the income gap with Ontario, Alberta and B.C. But that situation also represents “a form of dependency,” Mr. Coiteux noted. Provincial wealth in Canada is increasingly split along the lines of those who have natural resource wealth and those who do not. In addition to a bounty of hydroelectric power and aluminum production, Quebec also has known shale natural gas and oil deposits on its territory. The Liberal government of Jean Charest has signalled it is eager to tap its forestry and mining wealth, most notably with its plan to develop a vast portion of its northern territory twice the size of Texas. It has put oil and gas commercialization on the back burner in the face of public opposition and a continuing ocean boundary spat with Newfoundland. But even the northern development plan isn’t generating unanimity. Quebecers have proven to be tremendously shy in using their resources to generate wealth, says Youri Chassin, economist at the Montreal Economic Institute, a conservative think-tank. “We are kind of afraid of the consequences. And it might be good to have public debate about this. But [in that debate], we have to take into account that we are getting poorer.”
  2. 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
  3. GDS

    Tuition 2008

    2007/2008 2008/2009 Canada $4,558 $4,724 Newfoundland and Labrador $2,632 $2,632 Prince Edward Island $4,440 $4,530 Nova Scotia $6,110 $5,932 New Brunswick $5,590 $5,590 Quebec $2,056 $2,167 Ontario $5,388 $5,643 Manitoba $3,271 $3,276 Saskatchewan $5,015 $5,015 Alberta $5,122 $5,361 British Columbia $4,922 $5,040 Undergrad tuition rises to average of $4,724 a year: StatsCan CBC News Full-time Canadian undergraduate students paid an average of $4,724 in tuition for the 2008/2009 academic year, an increase of 3.6 per cent over the previous year, Statistics Canada said Thursday. The rise, which follows on the heels of a 2.8 per cent increase in the 2007/2008 academic year, was especially prominent in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island. Fees held steady in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and dropped in Nova Scotia. Despite the drop in Nova Scotia — the result of the implementation of the Nova Scotia University Student Bursary Trust in March 2008 — students paid the highest fees anywhere in Canada: $5,932. Quebec ($2,167) and Newfoundland and Labrador ($2,632) had the lowest tuition fees. Statistics Canada analysts were at pains to point out that the average annual increase over the last decade has outpaced the consumer price index. The CPI is a way of measuring the cost of items purchased by a typical Canadian in any given month, and includes shelter, food, entertainment, fuel and transportation. In the last 10 years, tuition has increased annually an average of 4.4 per cent — it was $3,064 in 1998/1999. In contrast, the CPI rose at an annual average rate of 2.3 per cent. Meanwhile, tuition fees for full-time undergraduate international students increased 3.9 per cent on average to $14,495 compared to the previous year. Canadian graduate students paid 3.3 per cent more for tuition than a year earlier, with an average of $5,777 in fees this fall. Tuition fees don't include additional compulsory fees, such as those for athletics, student health services and student associations, which increased 3.3 per cent from a year earlier. On average, Canadian undergraduate students paid $695 in additional compulsory fees in 2008/2009, up from $673 a year earlier.
  4. SSJD to move out of Montreal, cites budget woes staff Apr 7, 2008 Citing financial difficulties, the Anglican Sisters of St. John the Divine (SSJD) and the diocese of Montreal have jointly agreed that the Sisters would withdraw from St. John’s House/Maison St-Jean Montréal at St. Lambert, Que., when the lease expires this June, and move back to the SSJD convent in Toronto. “The issues leading to this decision are complex; however, both the diocese and the Sisters would like to see us better able to minister in the diocese without being housed in a large but underused facility,” said Bishop Barry Clarke of Montreal, in a statement issued on behalf of Sr. Elizabeth Ann Eckert, SSJD Reverend Mother. “Over the course of the years, the Government of Quebec added school taxes which had to be paid on the property in addition to the lease, adding a further financial burden to the diocese of Montreal, already struggling to continue to minister faithfully to its people.” Last February, the Sisters celebrated the tenth anniversary of their “ministry of prayer and presence” in the diocese. Bishop Clarke said the diocese and the SSJD are exploring new ways for the sisters to make their ministry available not just to the diocese, but to the whole Ecclesiastical Province of Canada. (The Ecclesiastical Province of Canada includes the dioceses of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Montreal,Western Newfoundland, Central Newfoundland and Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador.) “When invited to come, the sisters would like to let others in the diocese know of our availability over a one or two week period and cluster several events together, staying with associates and other friends,” the statement said. “By not having sisters stationed at a house, other sisters would be available to visit and minister and would allow the sisterhood to train more sisters in mission and retreats.” Before operating St. John’s House, the sisters conducted mission work in the parish of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Montreal from 1929 to 1963. The sisters came back in 1998 at the invitation of the diocese and offered a community “committed to being a praying presence.” They preached, taught and led retreats and quiet days. They also participated in ecumenical and inter-faith activities and served on a variety of diocesan committees at the Diocesan Theological College. The SSJD was founded in 1884 by Hannah Grier Coome and is the only order that is entirely Canadian in origin. http://www.anglicanjournal.com/100/article/ssjd-to-move-out-of-montreal-cites-budget-woes/