Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'rate'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Real estate projects
    • Proposals
    • Going up
    • Completed
    • Mass Transit
    • Infrastructures
    • Cultural, entertainment and sport projects
    • Cancelled projects
  • General topics
    • City planning and architecture
    • Economy discussions
    • Technology, video games and gadgets
    • Urban tech
    • General discussions
    • Entertainment, food and culture
    • Current events
    • Off Topic
  • MTLYUL Aviation
    • General discussion
    • Spotting at YUL
  • Here and abroad
    • City of Québec
    • Around the province of Québec.
    • Toronto and the rest of Canada
    • USA
    • Europe
    • Projects elsewhere in the world
  • Photography and videos
    • Urban photography
    • Other pictures
    • Old pictures

Calendars

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.

Blogs

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.


Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


About Me


Biography


Location


Interests


Occupation


Type of dwelling

Found 62 results

  1. April 29, 2009 By LANDON THOMAS Jr. LONDON — Tetsuya Ishikawa reaped the fruits of London’s financial boom, structuring and selling his small share of the complex securities that fueled both his professional rise and the uninterrupted economic growth of Britain. When the boom went bust last year, he lost his job at Morgan Stanley, along with about 28,000 other Londoners working in finance. Mr. Ishikawa, who has written a fictional memoir, has no plans to return to the City, as London’s banking district is known. But Britain’s revenue-starved Labor government will find no such escape. “By 2010, the U.K. will have the largest budget deficit in the developed world,” said Richard Snook, a senior economist at the Center for Economic and Business Research in London. “The problem is that the financial services industry has been a huge cash cow for the British government for the last 10 years and now it is going into reverse.” The country’s budget deficit has soared to 12 percent of gross domestic product; its public debt burden could soon reach 80 percent of annual economic output, a figure that would leave it roughly in the same position as Greece. But at a time when Britain more than ever needs a financial sector firing on all cylinders, its economic engine is conking out — for a number of reasons, including some that critics blame on the government. All told, more than 70,000 jobs in finance are expected to disappear over the next two to three years, a big chunk of the total estimated job losses of about 280,000 in London. The British government has poured hundreds of billions of pounds into preventing several of its largest banks from falling into bankruptcy as the extent of their bad bets became evident. But there is little prospect of a revival anytime soon, as the government is about to impose stiffer demands on banks to keep high capital ratios and to rely less on leverage and once-lucrative trading activities. That, combined with a more aggressive posture by the regulatory authorities to put a check on bonuses, is likely to hasten what has already been a sharp falloff in corporate and income taxes from the City. The economic contribution from the British financial sector, according to the Office for National Statistics, peaked at 10.8 percent of G.D.P. in 2007 — up from 5.5 percent in 1996, just before Labor took over. By comparison, the contribution from financial services in the United States to the American economy never exceeded 8 percent. In a bid to capture more revenue, the British government has decided to raise tax rates on the affluent, many of them working in finance. But the new top income tax rate of 50 percent for those earning at least £150,000, or $219,000, may only make things worse, said Mr. Snook, the economist. “These people are highly mobile and they will leave London,” he said. “The impact on public finances will be negative.” Britain’s top tax rate will soon rank fourth behind those of Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands — not quite the advertisement one would expect from one of the world’s leading financial centers. In many ways, Mr. Ishikawa’s career tracked the credit explosion that has now imploded. When he began work as a lowly credit analyst in 2002, banks in London issued about £20 billion in securities linked to various mortgage instruments. His career took off as that figure surged to over £180 billion by 2008, when Mr. Ishikawa secured for himself a $3 million bonus from Morgan Stanley as a reward for peddling assets that turned out to be toxic. With that line of business virtually defunct, banks in the coming years must return to lower-risk and lower-return businesses like equity and bond underwriting, foreign exchange trading and traditional deal-making — businesses that may well be profitable, but can in no way make up for the loss of such a lush specialty. The Center for Economic and Business Research estimates that corporate and income taxes from the financial industry will shrink from 12 percent of the overall tax take in 2007 to 8 percent this year and perhaps lower in the years ahead, a prospect that could force Britain to increase its already substantial borrowing requirement. The crisis has humbled all financial centers, from Wall Street to Dubai. According to an index produced in Britain that ranks financial centers around the world, the City of London still comes out on top, closely followed by New York. The gap, though, between these two and Singapore, which is now third, is narrowing. Lord Adair Turner, the chairman of the Financial Services Authority, agrees that London as a financial center will be in for an adjustment and says that a large portion of the banking industry’s profit contribution to the economy was “illusory.” But even in a more restrictive environment, he points out, London’s importance as a global financial hub and the most valuable trading center in Europe will not go away. “The City is important today for the same reason it was important in 1890,” he said. As for Mr. Ishikawa, who is 30 and grew up in Britain as the son of a successful Japanese executive, he is putting his hopes into a new career as a writer. His book, “How I Caused the Credit Crunch,” chronicles the debauched excesses of the boom — he was briefly married to a Brazilian lap dancer — by lightly fictionalizing his six-year stint in finance. “I really don’t miss it,” he said, sipping a coffee near the building where he was laid off. “There are many more kids out there more hungry than me.” Like Faruq Rana, for example. Mr. Rana, the 26-year-old son of Bangladeshi immigrants, was born and reared in Tower Hamlets, a district abutting Canary Wharf that has Britain’s highest unemployment rate. From his window, he can see the towers of Citigroup and Barclays reaching into the sky and his ambition to one day work as a trader in one of those buildings soars nearly as high. “Every day when I wake up and open up my window, I can smell my job,” said Mr. Rana, who is a student in a government-financed program at Tower Hamlets College that prepares local youths for jobs in the financial industry. Unlike Mr. Ishikawa, Mr. Rana did not go to Eton or Oxford, but he remains undeterred. “I have the motivation and the drive,” he said. “I think I can be one of them.” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/29/business/global/29city.html?ref=global-home
  2. 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."
  3. du NationalPost Nobody is selling real estate and few are buying it, so how do you value it? The question dominated a panelist discussion that included the leaders of some of the largest real estate companies in the world. The consensus at the 14th annual North American Real Estate Equities conference, put on by CIBC World Markets, is the Canadian market will see little activity in 2009. Pinned down on what Toronto's Scotia Plaza might fetch in today's market, Andrea Stephen, executive vice-president of Cadillac Fairview Corp., said she couldn't answer. "It is difficult because there is a small pool of buyers," said Ms. Stephen who passed the question on to Tom Farley, chief executive of Brookfield Properties Corp. which is now building the Bay-Adelaide Centre, the first new office tower in Toronto's financial core in 15 years. Mr. Farley noted only three major assets have traded in the past seven years, the last being the TD Canada Trust Tower in Toronto. That was sold at $723/square foot, he said. Ms. Stephen said that figure might be "little rich" in today's market, but said it's hard to establish a real price. When Cadillac, which is owned by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board, bought the Toronto-Dominion Bank's office tower assets the price was about $300 a square foot but that was eight years ago. There is no real pressure on any of the major owners of Canada's office towers to sell, so the type of fire sales that have been seen in the United States are less likely. "You have eight entities that control 90% [of the major towers]. It's ourselves and seven pension funds," said Mr. Farley. "We can weather the storm." Not everyone on the panel was as confident about the Canadian market. David Henry, president of retail landlord Kimco Realty Corp. which is based in the United States but has some holdings in Canada, said rental rates are "falling of the cliff." He did note the company's Canadian portfolio is holding up better than its U.S. holdings. He said there will be merger opportunities as prices continue to fall. Mr. Henry, said capitalization rates have been rising with alarming speed. The cap rate is the expected rate of return on a property, the higher the cap rate the less a property is worth. "We saw cap rates go from 6 to 8.5 in the United States. It may not go as high [in Canada] but it could go to 8," he said, referring to the retail sector. Dori Segal, the chief executive of First Capital Realty Corp., said he still hasn't seen the buying opportunities. "There is not a single grocery anchored shopping centre for sale in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary or even Victoria for that matter," said Mr. Segal.
  4. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Quebec+highest+acquittal+rate+Country/3338332/story.html#ixzz0v6w8XDYg Wow, this is not good.
  5. Mediocre job performance is better than the alternative JAY BRYAN, The Gazette Published: 7 hours ago Canada's job market is in mediocre shape, we discovered yesterday, and when you look at the alternative, this is wonderful news. For the past few weeks, many economic forecasters have been nervously asking themselves if Canada could resist the powerful recessionary undertow from a slumping U.S. economy or whether we'd fall into a downturn similar to the one that's under way south of the border. The final answer might not be available for a little longer, but yesterday's August job reports out of Ottawa and Washington make it clear that, for now, Canada is doing much better than the U.S. and is certainly nowhere near recession. In Canada, employment grew by a solid, if uninspiring, 15,200 jobs, returning to growth after two months of declines. That left the unemployment rate at 6.1 per cent, just above its record low of 5.8 per cent in February. So far this year, the Canadian economy has created 86,900 jobs. In the U.S, by contrast, August proved to be the eighth month in a row of shrinking employment, with 605,000 jobs lost (divide by 10 for a rough equivalence to Canadian numbers) since the beginning of this year. Unemployment south of the border jumped to a five-year high of 6.1 per cent - which sounds low to Canadians, but because of differences in measurement methods, is approximately equivalent to a Canadian unemployment rate of 7.1 per cent. Canada's modestly good job report reinforces the rationale for the Bank of Canada's decision to hold interest rates steady this week. The bank's targeted rate is already quite low at three per cent, and there's no clear need to pump emergency stimulus into the economy. Indeed, one of the the country's weakest sectors in recent years, manufacturing, has shown surprising resilience this year. As of August, factory employment was down by just 14,000, or 0.7 per cent, for this year. That's quite an accomplishment, given the plunge in car purchases by U.S. shoppers, who are the key market for Ontario's giant auto industry. In fact, Ontario has done quite well for a manufacturing province heavily dependent on U.S. customers. So far this year, it has created 51,900 jobs and its unemployment rate has actually edged down to 6.3 per cent from last December's 6.5 per cent, thanks to strong employment in construction and service industries. Ironically, Quebec, another big manufacturing province, hasn't done nearly as well, even though its big aerospace industry is much healthier than the auto industry, helping Quebec's factory sector create some jobs this year. Still, Quebec is one of the few provinces not to have enjoyed overall job growth so far in 2008. In fact, employment has shrunk by 25,200, while the unemployment rate has risen to 7.7 per cent from 7.0 per cent at the end of last year. Montreal's unemployment rate is up just 0.1 per cent so far this year, to 7.3 per cent in August, but this doesn't reflect any better performance than Quebec's on the employment front. The city actually lost 15,700 jobs in the first eight months of the year, but this was mostly offset by the 13,000 workers who abandoned the Montreal job market, making them disappear from the unemployment calculation. They might have found better opportunities elsewhere, gone back to school or simply stopped looking after a tough job search.On the provincial level, Quebec construction employment has been lukewarm and consumer-oriented service industries like retailiing have been shedding jobs, notes economist Sébastien Lavoie at Laurentian Bank Securities. As well, education employment has shrunk in Quebec as it grew in Ontario. Lavoie suggests that Quebec consumers may feeling worried enough to be cutting back on spending, while in Ontario's bigger, more diverse economy, there are still enough areas of growth to offset the auto industry's distress. Nevertheless, Ontario's ability to shrug off the U.S. economy's distress could be living on borrowed time, warns economist Douglas Porter at BMO Capital Markets. There are layoff announcements and factory closings that have yet to go into effect, he notes. And as for Ontario's boom in condo and office construction, "I have to wonder how long it can hang on."
  6. 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
  7. jesseps

    Rogers Vision

    Anyone try it out? Rant: I just wish we could sort of get a decent rate for surfing the net with our phone. One thing I noticed that the Vision (3G) is on the same network at the wireless internet (pc cards) or so I think. 1GB for $65. Something similar for consumers and not business oriented people, probably cost over $500. Plus 1GB surfing on the phone seems reasonable, it is like 30 MB a day for about $2.
  8. Source: Bloomberg Quebec’s unemployment rate fell to the lowest on record last month while Alberta’s surged to a two-decade high, underlining the the swing in Canada’s economic momentum through the recovery from an energy crash. Joblessness in the mostly French-speaking province fell to 6.2 percent in November from 6.8 percent in October, and in Alberta it climbed to 9 percent. The national jobless rate declined to 6.8 percent from 7 percent, Statistics Canada said Friday from Ottawa. “I’m stunned -- it’s a banner year” for Quebec, said Sebastien Lavoie, assistant chief economist at Laurentian Bank Securities in Montreal. He linked good times to a construction boom in his hometown, a low dollar boosting service industries and business confidence aided by provincial government budget surpluses. The movement of jobs from the western oil patch to central Canada’s service and factory hubs meshed with Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz’s view that non-energy companies will help the world’s 10th largest economy recover over the next few years. Poloz said this week he would only cut his 0.5 percent benchmark interest rate if there was another shock like the oil crash. His next rate decision is Wednesday. “Quebec is within a whisker of posting the lowest unemployment rate in the country, something that we haven’t seen in the 40 years of available data,” said Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto. The job report “strengthens the view that the Bank of Canada will be perfectly happy staying on the sidelines.” Quebec is tied more to manufacturers like Canam Group Inc. and Montreal-based software makers, who benefit from Canada’s weaker dollar and a growing U.S. economy. South of the border, payrolls increased by 178,000 jobs, the Labor Department said, bringing the unemployment rate down to a nine-year low of 4.6 percent. The province added 8,500 jobs in November and over the past 12 months the number of unemployed people has dropped by 17 percent. It wasn’t all good news: part of the reason the jobless rate fell was 20,300 dropped out of the labor force, the most since since December 2014. Lavoie at Laurentian Bank said it would be “extremely surprising” for Quebec to make further major gains in the job market over the next year. The figures have yet to reflect some announced cutbacks at Bombardier Inc. that haven’t happened yet, and the U.S. might be about to get tough on Quebec’s large softwood lumber industry. “There are also growing uncertainties linked to trade,” he said. “There will be duties on lumber, so that’s not going to help future job creation.” The mixed pattern also showed up in the national figures. Employment climbed by 10,700 in November as 27,600 left the labor force. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected the jobless rate would be unchanged and employment would decline by 15,000.
  9. Exclusive Business Class Travel Between Toronto and Montreal MONTREAL, Feb. 28, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Ufly, a new business class travel experience, announced today that it will sell exclusive flights between the Billy Bishop and Saint-Hubert airports from Monday to Friday, at a frequency of two round trips daily. Offering numerous advantages such as online bookings at a fixed rate, last minute boarding in addition to quick and easy access to aircrafts, Ufly and Pascan Aviation are every business traveler's dream. An accessible, exclusive and efficient service Ideal for frequent business flyers, Ufly truly demonstrates a full executive treatment: comfortable, exclusive and luxurious. Thanks to its unprecedented service offering, Ufly members can take advantage of a VIP lounge, a dedicated phone reservation line, a mobile application, and free parking near the priority security checkpoint and check-in. As a high-end luxury service provider, Ufly sells seats on private nine-seater Pilatus PC 12 planes, the safest on the market, equipped with comfortable, large leather seats that are operated by Pascan Aviation. Available on a member-only basis, Ufly proposes several membership types to meet every travelers' corporate budget allowances. Furthermore, ticket prices do not fluctuate throughout the year, allowing users to benefit from fixed rates that include snacks and beverages and an unlimited number of flights! For more information, go to uFly. About Ufly Launched in February 2017, Ufly sells tickets for Pascan Aviation between Saint-Hubert airport and Billy Bishop airport in Toronto, as well as between Saint-Hubert airport and Québec City, Val-d'Or and Bagotville. Ufly is primarily designed for business professionals and offers preferential access to planes operated by Pascan Aviation. The service is designed to dramatically reducing airport wait times. Members have access to an unlimited number of flights at a fixed rate. Ufly plans to offer more routes in the upcoming year. For more information, go to uFly.
  10. http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/healthy-economic-outlook-for-montreal-and-quebec-city-in-2016-570899271.html OTTAWA, March 3, 2016 /CNW/ - Quebec's two largest cities are forecast to enjoy healthy economic growth in 2016. Montréal and Québec City can expect growth of 2.3 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively, according to The Conference Board of Canada's Metropolitan Outlook: Winter 2016. "The depreciation of the Canadian dollar and a healthy U.S. economy is bringing good news to Québec City and Montréal and their export-oriented industries. Economic growth in both cities has been on the upswing. In fact, we expect real GDP growth in both Montréal and Québec City to outpace the national average for the second consecutive year in 2016, after trailing it for five straight years" said Alan Arcand, Associate Director, Centre for Municipal Studies, The Conference Board of Canada. Highlights Montréal is expected to see real GDP growth of 2.3 per cent in 2016, up from 1.7 per cent last year. Québec City's real GDP growth is expected to reach 2 per cent in 2016. Vancouver's real GDP is forecast to grow 3.3 per cent, making it the fastest growing economy among the 28 census metropolitan areas covered in this edition of the Metropolitan Outlook. Montréal Montréal's economic improvement will be driven by a strengthening manufacturing sector, a rebound in construction, and steady services sector gains. Manufacturing output is forecast to expand by 3 per cent in 2016, bolstered by the combination of a weaker Canadian dollar and healthy U.S. demand. Two massive infrastructure projects—the $4.2-billion Champlain Bridge and the $3.7-billion Turcot Interchange—will help the local construction industry shake off three straight years of declines. However, a decline in housing starts will limit overall construction output growth to 2 per cent in 2016. Growth among the services-producing industries is projected to be 2.2 per cent in 2016, the same rate as in 2015. All eight industry sectors will advance this year, with the biggest gains coming from the business services sector and the personal services sector. In all, Montréal is expected to post real GDP growth of 2.3 per cent this year, up from 1.7 per cent in 2015. About 26,000 jobs are expected to be created in 2016. A similar rise in the labour force will keep the unemployment rate at 8.2 per cent, well above the national average of 7 per cent.
  11. The French election and business The terror The 75% tax and other alarming campaign promises Apr 7th 2012 | PARIS | from the print edition EUROFINS SCIENTIFIC, a bio-analytics firm, is the sort of enterprise that France boasts about. It is fast-growing, international and hungry to buy rivals. So people noticed when in March it decamped to Luxembourg. Observers reckon it was fleeing France’s high taxes. It will soon be joined by Sword Group, a successful software firm, which voted to move to Luxembourg last month. As France enters the final weeks of its presidential campaign, candidates are competing to promise new measures that would hurt business. François Hollande, the Socialist candidate, and the current favourite to win the second and final round on May 6th, has promised a top marginal income-tax rate of 75% for those earning over €1m ($1.3m). He has declared war on finance. If the Socialists win, he pledges, corporate taxes will rise and stock options will be outlawed. Other countries welcome global firms. “France seems to want to keep them out,” sighs Denis Kessler, the boss of SCOR, a reinsurer. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, an even leftier candidate than Mr Hollande, has been gaining ground. Communists marched to the Bastille on March 18th to support him. The right offers little solace. Nicolas Sarkozy, the incumbent, is unpopular partly because of his perceived closeness to fat cats. To distance himself, he has promised a new tax on French multinationals’ foreign sales. If Mr Hollande wins, he may water down his 75% income-tax rate. But it would be difficult to back away from such a bold, public pledge. And doing business in France is hard enough without such uncertainty. Companies must cope with heavy social charges, intransigent unions and political meddling. The 35-hour work week, introduced in 2000, makes it hard to get things done. Mr Hollande says he will reverse a measure Mr Sarkozy introduced to dilute its impact by exempting overtime pay from income tax and social charges. The 75% income-tax rate is dottier than a pointilliste painting. When other levies are added, the marginal rate would top 90%. In parts of nearby Switzerland, the top rate is around 20%. French firms are already struggling to hire foreign talent. More firms may leave. Armand Grumberg, an expert in corporate relocation at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, a law firm, says that several big companies and rich families are looking at ways to leave France. At a recent lunch for bosses of the largest listed firms, the main topic was how to get out. Investment banks and international law firms would probably be the first to go, as they are highly mobile. Already, the two main listed banks, BNP Paribas and Société Générale, are facing queries from investors about Mr Hollande’s plan to separate their retail arms from investment banking. He has also vowed to hike the corporate tax on banks from 33% to nearly 50%. In January Paris launched a new €120m ($160m) “seed” fund to attract hedge funds. Good luck with that. Last month Britain promised to cut its top tax rate from 50% to 45%. No financial centre comes close to Mr Hollande’s 75% rate (see chart). Large firms will initially find it hard to skedaddle. Those with the status ofsociété anonyme, the most common, need a unanimous vote from shareholders. But the European Union’s cross-border merger directive offers an indirect route: French firms can merge with a foreign company. Big groups also have the option of moving away the substance of their operations, meaning decision-making and research and development. Last year, Jean-Pascal Tricoire, the boss of Schneider Electric, an energy-services company, moved with his top managers to run the firm from Hong Kong (where the top tax rate is 15%). For now, the firm’s headquarters and tax domicile remain in France. But for how long? Pressure to leave could come from foreign shareholders, says Serge Weinberg, the chairman of Sanofi, a drugmaker. “American, German or Middle Eastern shareholders will not tolerate not being able to get the best management because of France’s tax regime,” he says. At the end of 2010, foreign shareholders held 42% of the total value of the firms in the CAC 40, the premier French stock index. That is higher than in many other countries. It is not clear whether the 75% tax rate would apply to capital gains as well as income. As with most of the election campaign’s anti-business pledges, the detail has been left vague. Mr Sarkozy has offered various definitions of what he means by “big companies”, which would have to pay his promised new tax. Some businessfolk therefore hope that the most onerous pledges will be quietly ditched once the election is over. But many nonetheless find the campaign alarming. French politicians not only seem to hate business; they also seem to have little idea how it actually works. The most debilitating effects of all this may be long-term. Brainy youngsters have choices. They can find jobs or set up companies more or less anywhere. The ambitious will risk their savings, borrow money and toil punishing hours to create new businesses that will, in turn, create jobs and new products. But they will not do this for 25% (or less) of the fruits of their labour. Zurich is only an hour away; French politics seem stuck in another century. http://www.economist.com/node/21552219
  12. Discard your stereotypes: people in the U.S. own fewer passenger vehicles on average than in almost all other developed nations. Americans love cars. We pioneered their mass production, designed iconic autos from the Model T to the Deville to the Corvette, and are a major exporter as well as importer. It's practically a part of the American national identity. But it turns out, according to a new paper from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on worldwide car usage, that American per capita car ownership rates are actually among the lowest in the developed world. The U.S. is ranked 25th in world by number of passenger cars per person, just above Ireland and just below Bahrain. There are 439 cars here for every thousand Americans, meaning a little more than two people for every car. That number is higher in nearly all of Western Europe -- the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, etc. -- as well as in Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. It's higher in crisis-wracked Iceland and Greece. Italians and New Zealanders have nearly 50 percent more cars per capita than does the U.S. The highest rate in the world is casino-riddled Mediterranean city-state Monaco, with 771 cars per thousand citizens. America actually starts to look unusually auto-poor when cars per capita is charted against household consumption per capita, which the Carnegie paper explains are two typically correlated variables. That is, countries where household spend more money on average tend to also own more cars. The countries on the right side of the line are where people own fewer cars than you might expect. The developed countries on that side of the graph include the super-dense Asian city states (Macao, Singapore, Hong Kong) where car ownership is tightly regulated to keep traffic down, and the United States. The countries far to the left of the line own more cars than expected: car-crazy Italy, for example, and sparsely populated Iceland. I found this really surprising -- I'd always associated the U.S. closely with car culture, an impression anecdotally enforced by my interactions with non-Americans. So what explains the American outlier? The Carnegie paper explains that car ownership rates are closely tied to the size of the middle class. In fact, the paper actually measures car ownership rates for the specific purpose of using that number to predict middle class size. Comparing the middle class across countries can be extraordinarily difficult; someone who counts as middle class in one country could be poor or rich in another. Americans are buying fewer cars -- is it possible that this is another sign of a declining American middle class? Even if Americans are on average richer than Europeans, after all, U.S. income inequality is also much higher. According to the Carnegie paper, about 9.6 of Americans' cars are luxury cars, an unusually high number; but it unhelpfully defines "luxury" as "Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus" (no Cadillacs?), which may help to explain why Germany's "luxury car" rate is 26.6 percent. Still, it's also possible that the answer has less to do with Americans adhering to Carnegie's thesis about car ownership predicting middle class size and more to do with other, particularly American factors. Young Americans are spending less of their money on cars, as Jordan Weissmann explained, as they get driver's licences at lower rates and spend more of their money on, say, high-tech smart phones. Amazingly, Americans still manage to suck up far, far more energy per person than do the people in those Western European nations with so many more cars per capita. Our oil usage per capita is about twice what it is in Western Europe, and here's our overall energy usage: Whatever the reason for America's comparatively low car ownership rate, it may be time to update our stereotypes. The most car-obsessed place in the world isn't the nation of Detroit and Ford and Cadillac. It's Western Europe, the land of Peugeot and Smart Cars and Ferrari, where cars are most common. L'article avec les graphiques mentionnés plus haut: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/08/its-official-western-europeans-have-more-cars-per-person-than-americans/261108/ L'étude: http://www.carnegieendowment.org/2012/07/23/in-search-of-global-middle-class-new-index/cyo2
  13. Deflation a concern in North America By Paul Vieira, Financial Post February 20, 2009 OTTAWA -- Inflation in North America is to remain benign for the months -- and perhaps years -- ahead, analysts say, as a shrinking global economy undercuts commodity prices and inventories in Canada remain at excess levels. Data were released in both Canada and the United States on Friday. The Canadian numbers, Bay Street economists say, further strengthen the case for the Bank of Canada to cut its key lending rate by a further 50 basis points on March 3. Further, the data indicate deflation remains a concern for policy-makers on both sides of the border. Statistics Canada said the headline inflation rate dropped for a fourth consecutive month, to 1.1% from 1.2%. The Bank of Canada’s core rate, which removes elements subject to volatile prices, such as energy, dropped to 1.9% from 2.4%. That is in contrast to the United States, where the cost of living rose 0.3% in January, the first climb in six months based on stronger energy prices. Last month, prices fell 0.8%. The U.S. numbers initially eased deflationary fears. Analysts, however, were not so confident. "The near-term risk has lightened a little bit, but if anything the medium-term risk may have been ramped up a notch or two by the clear evidence about how the global economy is sliding," Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets, said. "The deep dive in the global economy threatens to further undercut commodity prices, and more broadly, pricing power in other industrial goods." Mr. Porter said the BMO economics team envisages the global economy shrinking 0.5% this year. As it happens, economists at Toronto-Dominion Bank issued an updated outlook that forecasts a similar contraction in the world economy -- the first since the Second World War. "Deflation is not a paramount risk right now -- but it is a risk when you are looking at a global contraction," said Richard Kelly, the TD senior economist who issued the revised global forecast. The Bank of Canada had forecast inflation would dip below zero for two quarters this year, largely based on the big drop in energy prices. However, the central bank has dismissed concerns about deflation, calling risk "remote." Mr. Porter said he believes Canada can avoid deflation, "but my conviction is weakening given just how weak the global economy has become." In a related report, David Wolf, chief Canadian economist at Bank of America Securities-Merrill Lynch, said inventory held by Canadian companies remains at higher levels compared with their U.S. counterparts. As a result, this excess supply will attract lower prices -- which will further drive down inflation. Mr. Wolf added there remains an "excess" overbuilding of housing supply in Canada. "That will continue to be a factor that will put a lot of downward pressure on prices," he said, adding that new house prices make up a small component of the consumer price index. © Copyright © National Post
  14. Job Losses Show Breadth of Recession Article Tools Sponsored By By DAVID LEONHARDT Published: March 3, 2009 It is both deep and broad. Every state in the country, with the exception of a band stretching from the Dakotas down to Texas, is now shedding jobs at a rapid pace. And even that band has recently begun to suffer, because of the sharp fall in both oil and crop prices. Unlike the last two recessions — earlier this decade and in the early 1990s — this one is causing much more job loss among the less educated than among college graduates. Those earlier recessions introduced the country to the concept of mass white-collar layoffs. The brunt of the layoffs in this recession is falling on construction workers, hotel workers, retail workers and others without a four-year degree. The Great Recession of 2008 (and beyond) is hurting men more than women. It is hurting homeowners and investors more than renters or retirees who rely on Social Security checks. It is hurting Latinos more than any other ethnic group. A year ago, a greater share of Latinos held jobs than whites. Today, the two have switched places. If the Great Recession, as some have called it, has a capital city, it is El Centro, Calif., due east of San Diego, in the desert of California’s Inland Valley. El Centro has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, a depressionlike 22.6 percent. It’s an agricultural area — because of water pumped in from the Colorado River, which allows lettuce, broccoli and the like to grow — and unemployment is in double digits even in good times. But El Centro has lately been hit by the brutal combination of a drought, a housing bust and a falling peso, which cuts into the buying power of Mexicans who cross the border to shop. Until recently, El Centro was one of those relatively cheap inland California areas where construction and home sales were booming. Today, it is pockmarked with “bank-owned” for sale signs. A wallboard factory in nearby Plaster City — its actual name — has laid off workers once kept busy by the housing boom. Even Wal-Mart has cut jobs, Sam Couchman, who runs the county’s work force development office, told me. You often hear that recessions exact the biggest price on the most vulnerable workers. And that’s true about this recession, at least for the moment. But it isn’t the whole story. Just look at Wall Street, where a generation-long bubble seems to lose a bit more air every day. In the long run, this Great Recession may end up afflicting the comfortable more than the afflicted. The main reason that recessions tend to increase inequality is that lower-income workers are concentrated in boom-and-bust industries. Agriculture is the classic example. In recent years, construction has become the most important one. By the start of this decade, the construction sector employed more men without a college education than the manufacturing sector did, Lawrence Katz, the Harvard labor economist, points out. (As recently as 1980, three times as many such men worked in manufacturing as construction.) The housing boom was like a giant jobs program for many workers who otherwise would have struggled to find decent paying work. The housing bust has forced many of them into precisely that struggle and helps explain the recession’s outsize toll on Latinos and men. In the summer of 2005, just as the real estate market was peaking, I spent a day visiting home construction sites in Frederick, Md., something of a Washington exurb, interviewing the workers. They were almost exclusively Latino. At the time, the national unemployment rate for Latino men was 3.6 percent. Today, when there aren’t many homes being built in Frederick or anywhere else, that unemployment rate is 11 percent. And this number understates the damage, since it excludes a considerable number of immigrants who have returned home. Frederick was typical of the boom in another way, too. It wasn’t nearly as affluent as some closer suburbs. Now the bust is widening that gap. If you look at the interactive map with this column, you will see the places that already had high unemployment before the recession have also had some of the largest increases. Some are victims of the housing bust, like inland California. Others are manufacturing centers, as in Michigan and North Carolina, whose long-term decline is accelerating. Rhode Island, home to both factories and Boston exurbs, has one of the highest jobless rates in the nation. All of these trends will serve to increase inequality. Yet I still think the Great Recession will eventually end up compressing the rungs on the nation’s economic ladder. Why? For the same three fundamental reasons that the Great Depression did. The first is the stock market crash. Clearly, it has hurt wealthy and upper middle-class families, who own the bulk of stock, more than others. In addition, thousands of high-paying Wall Street jobs — jobs that have helped the share of income flowing to the top 1 percent of earners soar in recent decades — will disappear. Hard as it may be to believe, the crash will also help a lot of young families. The stocks that they buy in coming years are likely to appreciate far more than they would have if the Dow were still above 14,000. The same is true of future house purchases for the one in three families still renting a home. The second reason is government policy. The Obama administration plans to raise taxes on the affluent, cut them for everyone else (so long as the government can afford it, that is) and take other steps to reduce inequality. Franklin D. Roosevelt did something similar and it had a huge effect. Of course, these two factors both boil down to redistribution. One group is benefiting at the expense of another. Yes, many of the people on the losing end of that shift have done quite well in recent years, far better than most Americans. Still, the shift isn’t making the economic pie any bigger. It is simply being divided differently. Which is why the third factor — education — is the most important of all. It can make the pie larger and divide it more evenly. That was the legacy of the great surge in school enrollment during the Great Depression. Teenagers who once would have dropped out to do factory work instead stayed in high school, notes Claudia Goldin, an economist who recently wrote a history of education with Mr. Katz. In the manufacturing-heavy mid-Atlantic states, the high school graduation rate was just above 20 percent in the late 1920s. By 1940, it was almost 60 percent. These graduates then became the skilled workers and teachers who helped build the great post-World War II American economy. Nothing would benefit tomorrow’s economy more than a similar surge. And there is some evidence that it’s starting to happen. In El Centro, enrollment at Imperial Valley Community College jumped 11 percent this semester. Ed Gould, the college president, said he expected applications to keep rising next year. Unfortunately, California — one of the states hit hardest by the Great Recession — is in the midst of a fiscal crisis. So Imperial Valley’s budget is being capped. Next year, Mr. Gould expects he will have to tell some students that they can’t take a full load of classes, just when they most need help. The Geography of a Recession http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/03/03/us/20090303_LEONHARDT.html
  15. The Toronto Board of Trade's Scorecard on Prosperity ranks 24 cities based on economy and labour attractiveness #20 Montreal (Courtesy of The Globe and Mail)
  16. Ontario in decline: From Canada's economic engine to clunker Can Dalton McGuinty see the light and reverse the decay with his forthcoming budget? By Paul Vieira, Financial Post March 23, 2009 A month before Dalton McGuinty, the Liberal Ontario Premier, hit the election trail in the fall of 2007 to seek a second mandate, an ominous warning sign of the province's crumbling economic stature emerged that should have provided fodder for the campaign. An analysis from leading Bay Street economist Dale Orr said Ontarians' standard of living had plummeted -- from a peak of 15% above the Canadian average in the mid-1980s to just more than 5%. Accompanying the analysis was a warning of further erosion by 2010. Alas, the eye-opening report hardly generated buzz during the election campaign. Instead, most of the talk was about a Conservative proposal to provide government funding for faith-based schooling. Ontarians didn't warm to the idea and re-elected Mr. McGuinty's Liberals with another majority. Reflecting today on that report, Mr. Orr said his nightmare scenario for Ontario has unfolded as envisaged. If anything, the situation in the province may be worse. As the McGuinty government prepares to table its sixth provincial budget on Thursday, it does so knowing the province that was once the country's economic engine is now the clunker of the confederation. While former have-nots such as Saskatchewan post surpluses this fiscal year, Ontario is bleeding red ink--a cumulative two-year deficit of $18-billion. Ontario's dramatic decline comes as no accident. It was decades in the making, based on a combination of mismanaged public finances and the ascent of emerging economies at the expense of high-cost manufacturing. Upon taking office in 2003, Mr. McGuinty moved to pour tens of billions of dollars into improving government services -- health care, education and social programs targeting the downtrodden -- while neglecting the changing economic landscape. To help finance this agenda, he raised corporate taxes and slapped a health-care levy on households. These moves, analysts say, helped cement Ontario as one of the least attractive places for companies to invest. Analysts wonder whether the economic crisis is finally going to force Mr. McGuinty and Dwight Duncan, his Minister of Finance, to make tough choices on spending and undertake the kind of tax reform -- as displayed this week by New Brunswick-- that will help the province attract investment to offset heavy job losses in Ontario. Derek Burleton, senior economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank, said Thursday's budget presents a possible turning point for the province. "There is no doubt we are undergoing a period of transformation as some of the industries that have driven healthy gains in living standards are on the decline," said Mr. Burleton, who co-authored a report with TD chief economist Don Drummond last fall that called on the province to embrace a "sweeping" new economic vision. "Given the sizeable deficit the province faces, that will put increasing pressure on the government to prioritize." One of those priorities is for Mr. McGuinty to cease his preferred manner of dealing with difficulties in the industrial heartland -- funneling tens of millions of dollars to the manufacturing sector, particularly automotive, through targeted tax relief or direct subsidies. "What the province should have been doing over the years was to make the province more flexible in attracting new businesses and not diverting resources into declining sectors," said Finn Poschmann, vice-president of research at the C. D. Howe Institute, a Toronto-based think-tank that has been critical of Ontario's tax breaks for struggling sectors such as autos and forest products. "Do you want to steer resources to the sectors where the outlook is positive and growing? Or do you want to divert resources from these stars, which are more likely to generate the long-term employment and wage growth that Ontario is accustomed to?" The manufacturing sector, and its high-paying jobs, used to be the province's crown jewel. But as a component of Ontario's GDP, it has dropped from a peak of 23% in 2000 to roughly 18% on factors such as a richer Canadian dollar, higher energy costs and offshore competition. It is expected to fall further once the dust settles from this crisis. The province was largely able to mask the decline in manufacturing through a combination of a booming housing market, a surge in public sector hiring and a robust financial services sector. The financial crisis, however, has exposed those flaws. For the period starting in 2003, only Quebec and Nova Scotia have produced weaker growth than Ontario. Forecasts suggest Ontario was the only province whose economy shrank last year, and economists say it will record either the worst, or second-worst performance, among provinces this year. Scotia Capital, for instance, has Ontario's economy contracting 2.9% in 2009, and posting meagre growth of 1.4% in 2010, below the expected national average. Of the roughly 295,000 jobs lost in Canada since October, nearly half have come from the province. The result? Unemployment in Ontario, at 8.7%, is now higher than it is the United States (8.1%) and above Quebec's 7.9% jobless rate-- the first time that has happened in three decades. The news is not expected to get any better any time soon. "We believe that the unemployment rate in Canada's largest province should hit 10% by 2010, even if the automobile sector's restructuring plan works," said Sebastian Lavoie, an economist at Laurentian Bank Securities. Further, Mr. Lavoie said wage growth in the province is destined to take a hit. In the past, companies were forced to offer comparable wages and benefits based on what the Canadian Auto Workers would negotiate with the Detroit car makers. But Mr. Lavoie said that will no longer be the case, with CAW accepting salary freezes and making concessions on perks such as cost-of-living-allowance. The financial crisis has just exacerbated a growing trend, said Mary Webb, senior economist at Scotia Capital. Ontario's receipts from foreign-bound exports last year represent an 11.7% drop from a peak of $185.1-billion recorded in 2000. For the same time period, Quebec's receipts fell by just 2.9%. For the rest of Canada, excluding Ontario and Quebec, receipts have surged a whopping 72%. Compounding Ontario's problem is the emergence of big deficit, fuelled in part by shrinking tax revenue and years of escalated program spending. Under Mr. McGuinty, program spending now stands at $23-billion per year more than when he took office in October, 2003, an increase of 36%. In fiscal year, 2007-08, program spending climbed more than 10% to $87.6-billion, compared with a 5.4% increase in tax revenue. Observers note Mr. McGuinty's ascent to power in 2003 can be attributed to a desire for change among Ontarians after years of the hard-nosed, right-leaning Conservative regime that earned scorned for cutting government services. Mr. McGuinty's two terms have been dominated by a push to restore spending on public goods such as education, health care, infrastructure and social services. Analysts say Mr. McGuinty was on the right track to bolster some key building blocks, such as post-secondary education. To help pay for this, Mr. McGuinty raised the corporate tax -- to 14% from 12% --in his first budget. "The balance of [McGuinty's] approach was not quite right," said Jack Mintz, public policy professor at the University of Calgary and renowned tax expert. "The problem was trying to [reinvest in public services] while at the same time trying to maintain a vibrant industrial sector." Mr. Mintz and other analysts say Ontario's tax regime, as currently structured, is suffocating the province's ability to attract investment and rebuild the economy. Last year, Jim Flaherty, the federal Finance Minister, suggested the tax system was making Ontario the "last place" businesses wanted to invest. Mr. Flaherty took lots of heat for that remark, but he was on to something. Mr. Mintz's research indicates the province's marginal effective tax rate on capital, which encompasses all levies slapped on investment in the province, stands at 35%, six points higher than the Canadian average, 29%. Further, the Ontario rate ranks as the ninth-highest in the world, tied with Japan. Despite moves to eliminate capital tax in 2010, and other business tax reductions from the federal government, Ontario's marginal rate is expected to drop only three points to 32% by 2012 -- still higher than all provinces and exceeding the national average. "Ontario will not be successful in retaining existing businesses and attracting new ones if its taxation system is not on sound competitive footing with other provinces and countries," said the TD report by Messrs. Burleton and Drummond. There are signs that Mr. McGuinty is acknowledging the need to change. Despite previous opposition, he said in January the province would take a "long, hard look" at harmonizing its provincial sales tax with the GST. As currently structured, Ontario's sales tax derives almost half of its revenue from taxing business inputs such as productivity-enhancingequipment. Harmonizing with the GST would shift the tax burden to households, but economists argue it would boost business investment and make Ontario more attractive. In a C. D. Howe research paper he released yesterday, Mr. Poschmann said putting an end to the "archaic" sales tax and harmonizing with the GST would move Ontario from a high-tax jurisdiction to a medium-tax jurisdiction by 2012, with the marginal rate on investment falling just over 10 percentage points. A signal toward sales tax harmonization could be contained in Thursday's budget, although observers are hedging their bets given the potential voter backlash. Any further moves on taxation, whether business or personal, may have to wait given the province's monster deficit and an unwillingness to give up further revenue to fund public service initiatives. "Ontario is going to be deeply challenged," Mr. Mintz said, "because it is going to be very hard for the government to do anything when you are so fiscally restrained-- unless it wants to make the deficit even bigger now." Glen Hodgson, senior vice-president and chief economist at the Conference Board of Canada, said the needed tax reductions would not see the light of day until Ontario decides what to do about health-care spending, which is growing at an annual clip of 8% to 10% and is the single biggest expense item in the budget. "This is a catalytic moment for the province," Mr. Hodgson said. "The light bulb has gone on, but it is not burning brightly yet. A lot of people would like to return to the Old World. But I think the Old World is gone -and that's the dilemma Ontario faces." --------- MANITOBA, N.B. SET EXAMPLE: As Ontario attempts to pull itself out of its economic quagmire, it can look to the provinces of Manitoba and New Brunswick for leadership. While the recession is expected to hit every province, Manitoba comes out near the top in most forecasts as one of the country's better performers in 2009. In its outlook, the Conference Board of Canada projects slight growth in the province of 1%, powered by infrastructure projects and tax cuts. Jack Mintz, public policy professor at the University of Calgary, said Manitoba was, along with Ontario, considered a high-tax jurisdiction for business investment. But the government has moved and Manitoba's marginal effective tax rate on investment dropped from 37% in 2007 to 33.8% last year. It is now scheduled to fall to 26.7% by 2012. "It is on the high side, but it will be closer to the national average" in 2012,Mr. Mintz said. "From the point of view of people who need to make investment decisions now, they know these changes are in place over the next several years. So Manitoba looks more appealing." Manitoba also benefits from having one of the most diversified economies in Canada. Roughly 30% of its economy is agriculture, which is more resilient to economic downturns. Further, Manitoba has a diversified manufacturing base with aerospace and buses playing key roles - and, unlike autos, demand for those products continues to be fairly solid. It also has abundant, cheap hydroelectricity. In contrast, questions abound over the reliability of Ontario's power grid, especially in light of the 2003 blackout that blanketed the province and much of the U.S. northeast. Meanwhile, analysts have applauded New Brunswick for taking aggressive steps on taxation this week in an effort to make the province more attractive for both investors and workers. The main change is the replacement of the existing four-bracket personal income tax structure to a simpler two-bracket structure by 2012. The lowest rate will be 9% for workers earning less than $37,893. Beyond that threshold, a flat tax of 12% will be applied. Perhaps more stunning, however, is that New Brunswick plans to lower its general corporate tax rate from 13% to 12%, effective this year, and all the way down to 8% by 2012 - the lowest in the country. "The New Brunswick government appears to be relatively more proactive compared to other jurisdictions, taking bolder steps to improve its economic and fiscal roadmap," said Carlos Leitao, chief economist at Laurentian Bank Securities, in his analysis of the province's budget. Source: Paul Vieira, Financial Post [email protected] ONE-TIME POWERHOUSE CAN'T KEEP UP WITH REST OF THE COUNTRY: Ont. Export Receipt Drop 11.7% Que. Export Receipt Drop 2.9% Receipt Rise Rest Of Canada 72% Ontario GDP Decline, 2009 2.9% RANKS OF WORKERS IN CANADA'S LARGEST PROVINCE TAKE IT ON THE CHIN: Ontario Unemployment 8.7% U.S. Unemployment 8.1% Quebec Unemployment 7.8% Ontario Unemployment, 2010 10% © Copyright © National Post
  17. Jobless claims soar 21% in Canada Financial Post March 24, 2009 1:02 Lukas Stewart, with his resume strapped to his body, uses a megaphone to attract the attention of potential employers on Bay Street in Toronto's financial district.Photograph by: Mark Blinch/Reuters, Mark Blinch/ReutersOTTAWA -- The number of people receiving employment insurance benefits rose to 567,000 in January, a 21.3% jump from the year before. British Columbia saw the biggest percentage increase, rising 47.7% from last year, followed by Alberta, 46%, and Ontario 43%, Statistics Canada said Tuesday. But Ontario, where the manufacturing sector experienced heavy layoffs, suffered the biggest number increase with claims rising by 54,570 from the year before. “In recent months, labour market conditions in Canada have deteriorated significantly,” the agency said in its report. “Through the early part of 2008, employment growth weakened, only to fall sharply later that year and into 2009, causing a spike in the unemployment rate. By February 2009, the unemployment rate hit 7.7%, up almost two percentage points from a record low at the start of 2008.” The number of beneficiaries is a measure of all persons who received employment insurance benefits from Jan. 11. to 17. In Alberta, 23,300 people were receiving regular EI benefits in January, up 10.5% from the month before. British Columbia had 56,100 beneficiaries, up 9%, while Ontario had 181,500 people receiving EI, which was a 6.2% increase over December. The agency noted year-over-year figures shows the increase in the number of men receiving regular was double that of women. © Copyright © National Post
  18. April 8, 2009 By MERAIAH FOLEY SYDNEY — The Australian government said Tuesday that it would create a publicly owned company to build a national high-speed broadband network worth 43 million Australian dollars in one of the largest state-sponsored Internet infrastructure upgrades in the world. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the eight-year, $31 billion project would create up to 37,000 jobs at the peak of construction, giving a lift to the economy as retail spending slumps and mining companies cut workers amid weakening demand for Australian metals. The plan is “the most ambitious, far-reaching and long-term nation-building infrastructure project ever undertaken by an Australian government,” Mr. Rudd told reporters. The government’s announcement was a surprise rebuff to five private telecommunications firms, including Optus of Singapore and Axia NetMedia of Canada, that had been bidding to build a slower, less expensive network, with fiber-optic cables reaching as far as local nodes, worth around 10 billion dollars. But Mr. Rudd scrapped those proposals in favor of a superior but more expensive network that will deliver broadband speeds of up to 100 megabits per second — fast enough to download multiple movies simultaneously — to 90 percent of Australian buildings through fiber-optic cables that extend directly to the premises. The remaining 10 percent will receive upgraded wireless access. Analysts said the government-sponsored project would be the most ambitious fiber-to-the-premises network to have been undertaken by any nation and would be watched carefully by other governments considering Internet infrastructure spending as a way to stimulate growth as the global economic crisis continues. The Britain, Canada, Finland, Germany, Portugal, Spain and the United States have all included measures to expand broadband access and to bolster connection speeds in their planned stimulus packages. “Compared to what has been done elsewhere, this is quite a unique situation,” said Laurent Horrut, a telecommunications analyst at J.P. Morgan. Most developed countries have relied heavily on private-sector spending to upgrade their Internet networks, and those that have pledged public money have come “nowhere close” to the level of spending announced by Australia, he said. “This will set Australia up as potentially one of the international leaders here,” Paul Budde, an independent telecommunications analyst, said in a statement posted on his blog. “This government understands the trans-sector approach that is needed to stimulate the digital economy.” The government would make an initial investment of 4.7 billion Australian dollars in the enterprise, in which taxpayers would hold a 51 percent share. The remaining costs would be financed by investment from private companies and the sale of infrastructure bonds. Once the network was fully operational, Mr. Rudd said, the government would sell down its interest within five years. Mr. Rudd’s conservative opponent, Malcolm Turnbull, and some analysts criticized the plan, saying the cost of the project would likely be passed to consumers in the form of higher Internet fees. They also questioned whether consumers would embrace a fixed-line, fiber-to-the-premises network over increasingly popular wireless services. Even those who agree that the proposal is both sensible and achievable said setting the right price for companies to access the network would be “a major challenge.” “A low price will discourage private investors, but a high price will discourage consumer uptake and service innovation,” David Kennedy, research director at global advisory and consulting firm Ovum, said in an e-mailed statement. While most analysts agree that investing in communications technology makes economies more competitive, some are skeptical about whether long-term spending on communications infrastructure will provide the short-term stimulus needed to pull countries out of recession. The plan fulfills a 2007 election promise Mr. Rudd made to overhaul the country’s sprawling, antiquated Internet infrastructure. But the government is also holding the project up as a job-creating form of fiscal stimulus in a time when the private sector is shedding jobs at a faster-than-expected rate. On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia cut its benchmark cash rate by 0.25 percentage point to 3 percent, its lowest level since March 1960, amid signs the once-booming economy is continuing to deteriorate. The bank has so far slashed 4.25 percentage points from the cash rate since September in a bid to stop the country from slipping into its first recession in nearly two decades. According to government figures released last week, retail sales fell 2 percent in February, the biggest one-month drop since the introduction of a 10 percent goods and services tax in July 2000. Unemployment data has also gone from bad to worse. Australia and New Zealand Banking said Monday that job advertisements in newspapers and on the Internet had dropped 8.5 percent from February to March and a staggering 44.6 percent from the year before. It warned that unemployment could exceed 8 percent by next year. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/08/technology/internet/08broadband.html?_r=1&ref=business
  19. Houston study lauds red light cameras despite uptick in accidents We all know we shouldn't mess with Texas. And Houston, Texans shouldn't mess around with statistics, because the folks running the show are going to come to any conclusions they want no matter what the statistics say. This is the easy part: a study of red light cameras in the city shows that accidents have actually increased at intersections with the cameras. These are the parts that are open to interpretation: most intersections only have one camera looking at one (out of four) directions of traffic, but the accident rate went up for traffic in the other three unmonitored directions; and, in the one monitored direction, "accidents remained relatively flat or showed only a slight increase." What do you make of that? Mayor Bill White and the study authors say the city in general is experiencing a swell in the number of collisions, and claim that collisions at the monitored intersections haven't risen as much as the wider municipal rate. Yet they have no data to back up an increase in citywide collisions, and no year-on-year accident data at intersections (let alone an explanation for the uptick). White said that a 40-percent year-on-year drop in red light citations in the month of October shows the program is working and keeping drivers more safe. Critics say that the program is nothing but a cash register for city government. The study's authors plan to study insurance industry findings to come up with more substantive conclusions. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6185795.html
  20. (Courtesy of Huffington Post) Honestly some of the comments about the topic is beyond stupid. Some people don't want to move to Canada seeing we are seen as a "socialist" country
  21. U.S. jobless rate climbs to 5.7% JEANNINE AVERSA The Associated Press August 1, 2008 at 12:19 PM EDT WASHINGTON — The U.S. unemployment rate climbed to a four-year high of 5.7 per cent in July as employers cut 51,000 jobs, dashing the hopes of an influx of young people looking for summer work. Payroll cuts weren't as deep as the 72,000 predicted by economists, however. And, job losses for both May and June were smaller than previously reported. July's reductions marked the seventh straight month where employers eliminated jobs. The economy has lost a total of 463,000 jobs so far this year. The latest snapshot, released by the Labour Department on Friday, showed a lack of credit has stunted employers' expansion plans and willingness to hire. Fallout from the housing slump and high energy prices also are weighing on employers. The increase in the unemployment rate to 5.7 per cent, from 5.5 per cent in June, in part came as many young people streamed into the labour market looking for summer jobs. This year, fewer of them were able to find work, the government said. The unemployment rate for teenagers jumped to 20.3 per cent, the highest since late 1992. The economy is the top concern of voters and will figure prominently in their choices for president and other elected officials come November. The faltering labour market is a source of anxiety not only for those looking for work but also for those worried about keeping their jobs during uncertain times. Job losses in July were the heaviest in industries hard hit by the housing, credit and financial debacles. Manufacturers cut 35,000 positions, construction companies got rid of 22,000 and retailers shed 17,000 jobs. Temporary help firms — also viewed as a barometer of demand for future hiring — eliminated 29,000 jobs. Those losses swamped job gains elsewhere, including in the government, education and health care. In May and June combined, the economy lost 98,000 jobs, according to revised figures. That wasn't as bad as the 124,000 reductions previously reported. GM, Chrysler LLC, Wachovia Corp., Cox Enterprises Inc. and Pfizer are among the companies that have announced job cuts in July. GM Friday reported the third-worst quarterly loss in its history in the second quarter as North American vehicle sales plummeted and the company faced expenses due to labour unrest and its massive restructuring plan. On July 15, GM announced a plan to raise $15-billion (U.S.) for its restructuring by laying off thousands of hourly and salaried workers, speeding the closure of truck and SUV plants, suspending its dividend and raising cash through borrowing and the sale of assets. GM also said it would reduce production by another 300,000 vehicles, and that could prompt another wave of blue-collar early retirement and buyout offers. Meanwhile, Bennigan's restaurants owned by privately held Metromedia Restaurant Group, are closing, driving more people to unemployment lines. All told, there were 8.8 million unemployed people in July, up from 7.1 million last year. The jobless rate last July stood at 4.7 per cent. More job cuts are expected in coming months. There's growing concern that many people will pull back on their spending later this year when the bracing effect of the tax rebates fades, dealing a dangerous blow to the fragile economy. These worries are fanning recession fears. Still, workers saw wage gains in July. Average hourly earnings rose to $18.06 in July, a 0.3 per cent increase from the previous month. That matched economists' expectations. Over the past year, wages have grown 3.4 per cent. Paycheques aren't stretching as far because of high food and energy prices. Other reports out Friday showed stresses as companies cope with a sluggish economy. Spending on construction projects around the country dropped 0.4 per cent in June as cutbacks in home building eclipsed gains in commercial construction, the Commerce Department reported. And, manufacturers' business was flat in July. The Institute for Supply Management's reading of activity from the country's producers of cars, airplanes, appliances and other manufactured goods hit 50, down from 50.2 in June. A reading above 50 signals growth. The news forced Wall Street to reassess its initial positive reaction to the jobs data. The Dow, which opened higher, slid about 80 points by midmorning. The Federal Reserve is expected to hold rates steady next week as it tries to grapple with duelling concerns — weak economic activity and inflation. In June, the Fed halted a nearly yearlong rate-cutting campaign to shore up the economy because lower rates would aggravate inflation. On the other hand, boosting rates too soon to fend off inflation could hurt the economy.
  22. Ce n'est peut-être pas la meilleure source sur le recyclage montréalais, mais bon, je suis tombé sur cet article qui décrivait la situation à travers le pays... Recycling rates vary greatly across nation Municipalities that make it easy for people to dispose of garbage have higher diversion rate Jul 16, 2007 04:30 AM Kristine Owram Canadian Press Statistics Canada says Canadians are recycling and composting more than ever before, but whether they compost their coffee grounds or recycle their milk cartons seems to have a lot to do with where they live. While cities like Montreal and Calgary struggle to divert even a third of their waste from landfills, others expect to be recycling or re-using up to 90 per cent of their solid waste within a few years. In Markham council has been working for years to find ways to divert as much waste as possible from landfills. Through a combination of public education and pilot projects, they've managed to reduce the amount of waste headed to the dump to just 30 per cent. Regional councillor Jack Heath, chairman of Markham's waste diversion committee, said the solution was simple: picking up recyclable and organic waste – blue boxes and green bins – twice as often as garbage. "If you want to throw your banana peels and your dirty diapers in the garbage, you can hang onto them for two weeks," Heath said. "Or, you can throw them in the green bin and we'll collect them every week." Heath said all it took to reach 70 per cent diversion – a rate Toronto, which currently sits at about 42 per cent, has set as a "long-term goal" – was a little political will. "People had some trepidation, but after a few weeks they said, `This isn't that difficult,'" he said. "It was the strong will of council to solve the problem that basically changed the system, and that's how we got to where we are." Statistics Canada's Households and the Environment Survey, released Friday, found the proportion of household waste recycled by Canadians increased from 19 per cent in 2000 to 27 per cent in 2004. The survey also found that 27 per cent of Canadian households composted in 2006, up from 23 per cent in 1994. In Edmonton, councillors brought the public on board by making it easy for them to recycle, said Garry Spotowski, a spokesperson for the city's waste management division. Edmonton has been a trailblazer in the field of waste diversion since 1988, when the city became one of the first in North America to introduce a blue-box recycling program. Many cities, including Ottawa and Vancouver, ask residents to separate paper from metals, plastics and glass. Most cities ask residents to throw organic waste in green bins, separate from the rest of their garbage. Edmonton residents, however, need only put recyclables in blue bags and the rest into garbage bags; the city takes care of all the sorting, Spotowski said. "Instead of going to a landfill, it goes to the Edmonton composting facility, where it's sorted and any material that doesn't compost is screened out," he said. "It's actually very simple. We emphasize convenience as much as possible." The city currently diverts about 60 per cent of its waste from the dump, but that figure is expected to reach 90 per cent within a few years once a new "gasification" facility opens to convert residual waste into gas for heating, transportation and producing electricity, said Spotowski. Larger cities like Toronto, however, are struggling to catch up. In 2002, Toronto's Keele Valley landfill site was closed and the city began shipping its garbage to Michigan for disposal. At that point, the city had a waste diversion rate of only about 25 per cent, said Geoff Rathbone, Toronto's director of solid waste programming. Since then, the city has introduced a green bin program, which it will extend to apartment buildings and other multi-family homes by next year. It also plans to introduce a new pay-as-you-toss system for garbage. All this will contribute to the city's 10-year plan to increase diversion to 70 per cent, Rathbone said. Halifax is close behind Edmonton with a diversion rate of 55 per cent. Although they ask residents to separate organics from recyclable containers from newspapers from garbage, they take a similar approach to ensure nothing gets left behind. "You know you'll never have 100 per cent compliance, meaning that hidden inside that black garbage bag, you'll still have some items that shouldn't be there," said Jim Bauld, manager of solid waste resources for the Halifax Regional Municipality. "So every bag is opened." http://www.thestar.com/News/article/236301