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6 August 2008
22 July was the 22nd day of the first month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:
22 July 2008
The Canadian Press - Retail sales record seventh increase in eight months in May (22 July 2008) Retail sales rose 0.4 per cent in May to C$35.8 billion, the seventh increase in eight months. Statistics Canada reported retail sales in current dollars were up in five of eight sectors in May, with the automotive sector and building and outdoor home-supplies stores leading the way. Sales in current dollars increased in eight provinces in May, with Saskatchewan recording the most substantial rise, at 1.8 per cent.
From a Canwest News Service report on this: Consumers, thanks to the strong Canadian dollar, have not been as hard hit by rising prices for food and fuel. Also, job losses have been marginal. Evidence of the healthy Canadian job market was another Statistics Canada report Tuesday showing that the number of Canadians on employment insurance fell 1.2 per cent in May and was down 3.2 per cent from a year earlier.
From a Globe and Mail report on this: Ontario sales rose 0.2 per cent, the third monthly increase in a row. Retail sales seem to be on an upward trend in Ontario, after a slump in mid-2007, Statscan said.
From a Reuters Canada report on this: Retail sales rose by 0.4 per cent in May from April. Year-over-year sales grew 2.6 per cent. The Bank of Canada said last week consumer spending would be a factor driving economic growth this year. It expected spending to rise 2.1 per cent in 2008, down slightly from 2.5 per cent in 2007. Final domestic demand, which also includes business investment, government spending, and housing, was expected to climb 3.4 per cent.
The Globe and Mail - Canada well-placed to weather economic storm: Scotiabank (21 July 2008) Rising commodity prices are bolstering Canadian exports; a 'legacy of household caution' kept Canadian consumers from being swept up in the subprime mortgage crisis; and the commitment of Canadian governments to balanced budgets 'is now proving to be an important national strategic advantage', Bank of Nova Scotia economists said in a report on the economic outlook. The report noted, the loss in Canadian manufacturing exports has been cushioned by a big run-up in commodity receipts. Furthermore, instead of using home equity withdrawals to underwrite spending, Canadians have tended to build equity in their homes. 'Canada's fortuitous position as a major commodity producer, its strategic advantage in government finance and its legacy of household caution with respect to leverage have helped to shelter domestic activity . . . ,' chief economist Warren Jestin said in releasing the bank's report.
The Winnipeg Free Press - Restaurants make 'great gains' in cutting trans fats (21 July 2008) Canada's restaurant industry has made significant progress in cutting out trans fats from its menus, Health Canada reported. The federal government gave the food industry two years (by end of 2009) to voluntarily reduce the trans fats from their foods or risk having government force them to do it. Health Canada's first-year review found the one food area which has struggled to make improvements is baked goods.
From a Canadian Press report on this: MP Steven Fletcher, Parliamentary Secretary to Health Minister Tony Clement, calls the latest trans-fat statistics from Health Canada 'great news for Canadians'. But Fletcher said more must be done. A gram of trans fat is said to be 10 times more damaging to heart health than a gram of saturated fat.
From a CTV News report on this: 'People are demanding healthier food,' Fletcher said. At the end of the two-year period, if levels are not brought within acceptable standards, the government has indicated it will bring in regulations to virtually eliminate trans fats in Canadian foods.
The Toronto Star on health-conscious consumers can't get enough of Canada's most valuable fruit crop (20 July 2008) Prized for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, blueberries have become the super fruit of health-conscious consumers. While some might assume the apple is Canada's most valuable fruit crop, in fact the blueberry now has that distinction. Blueberries are Canada's largest fruit export, worth C$323 million last year. More than half the country's fruit-growing area is devoted to them, Agriculture Canada reports. In fact, with demand exceeding supply in recent years, farmers are looking for more and more farmland to grow blueberries. Land area devoted to cultivating berries increased 40 per cent in a 12-month period between 2006 and 2007. Most of that expansion has been in British Columbia, where the mild climate and soil are ideal for blueberries. In 2002 the BC blueberry crop was valued at C$37 million; this year it's expected to top C$100 million.
Canwest News Service on one of world's rarest lichens discovered in Nova Scotia (20 July 2008) The discovery of one of the world's rarest lichens, the boreal felt lichen, in a coastal forest in Nova Scotia has scientists calling the province a hotbed for exotic examples of the organisms. 'We don't even have a full handle on the number of species here,' biologist Rob Cameron says. 'But we seem to be the epicentre for a number of rare species.' One of the rarest is the boreal felt lichen. The only known populations of the endangered lichen are in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Lichens derive all of their nutrients from the air and rain water. Some species of lichens are acutely sensitive to air pollution and changes in the acidity of rainwater and die off quickly, making them very good indicators of effects of pollution. 'From a human perspective, they are the barometers of the ecological health of the forests,' Cameron said. Biologist Mark Elderkin, who monitors species at risk in Nova Scotia, believes the discovery of three new boreal felt lichen sites in the province is cause for celebration. Elderkin calls the lichen one of the essential building blocks of the forest. Preserving its habitat is essential to preserving coastal eco-systems, he says.
Canwest News Service - Number of jailed B.C. youth plummets: StatsCan (22 July 2008) The number of young offenders sent to jail in British Columbia has dropped by 50 per cent over the past six years, giving the province the second-lowest youth incarceration rate in the country. Youth incarceration rates have been dropping nationwide. Statistics Canada says much of the decline is due to the 2003 Youth Criminal Justice Act, which replaced the Young Offenders Act and states that jail time should be used for only the very worst young offenders. Raymond Corrado, an expert on youth crime at Simon Fraser University, said research suggests that, for most young offenders, putting them in jail is counter-productive.
The Toronto Star on Premiers work together at their annual meeting (20 July 2008) Something significant happened last week at the annual meeting of provincial premiers. 'There was no grandstanding here. We came to get things done,' an Alberta delegate said. The best example is a commitment on the part of five premiers—including Quebec Premier Jean Charest and Ontario's Dalton McGuinty—to undertake a trade mission to China this fall. The latest evolution in the alliance between McGuinty and Charest constitutes something of a sea change in the minds of officials from both provinces. 'When two-thirds of the country comes together like that you can't help but be confident,' a senior Ontario official said. 'There are two ways of addressing questions like human rights: You can do it quietly, respectfully, in the spirit of friendship, or you can publicly whack them over the head with a baseball bat,' said a senior Quebec official. 'It's our view that the first option is preferable . . . .'
The Globe and Mail - New law puts green screen on government decisions (21 July 2008) A private member's bill in Parliament that received multi-party support, received Royal Assent this month. Under the new law, every government decision must include an outline of how the environment will be affected. Failing to protect the environment will carry consequences. For public servants, the law now forces managers to write environmental goals into employee contracts relating to bonuses. Employees who fail to meet their environmental targets will lose bonuses. For politicians, the law requires the Auditor-General and the Environment Commissioner to keep tabs on whether the government's environmental targets—which could include areas such as clean air and protecting species—are clear and are being met. 'The act encourages the government to make bold environmental commitments and then it goes even further and makes it difficult for the government to renege on those commitments,' said Pierre Sadik of the David Suzuki Foundation. '. . . Here's an example of [how] when people were willing to work together, things were able to get done,' said Gary Keller, a spokesman for Environment Minister John Baird.
These are a few of the news reports reflecting Canada's rising invincibility from the growing Yogic Flying groups across Canada and the Invincible America Assembly at Maharishi University of Management and Maharishi Vedic City, USA.
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