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21 February 2007
19 February was the 19th day of the eighth month of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:
19 February 2007
Bloomberg News - Canada wholesale sales rise the most since March 2004 (19 February 2007) Canadian wholesale sales rose 2.7 per cent in December, the most in more than two years and triple what economists expected. Total sales increased to C$42.8 billion, Statistics Canada reported.
'Wholesalers have benefited from both strong business investment, which has been supported by healthy corporate balance sheets, as well as record employment levels that continue to support solid growth in consumer spending,' Statistics Canada said.
Reports this month on the trade surplus, home sales and manufacturing also suggest the economy picked up in December. 'We are seeing indications of more widespread strength that should carry the economy forward in 2007,' said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto.
Reuters Canada reports (19 February 2007) The record-high finish to 2006, combined with strong manufacturing and export data, sparked hopes that growth in December was much better. 'There weren't any weak spots at all in the report . . . no matter which angle you look at it it was strong, strong, strong,' said Marc Levesque, chief fixed income strategist at TD Securities. 'The key story for the Bank of Canada is the trajectory of growth heading into the new year and things look really good on that front,' said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at the Bank of Montreal.
The good news is that the December strength is likely to guarantee an upbeat start to 2007. 'It does provide a good launching point for the first quarter of 2007 and that basically suggests that you could end up getting a pretty solid number in the first quarter,' said Levesque.
The Toronto Star - A richer way of measuring wealth (19 February 2007) There's an ambitious attempt to produce an alternative to the Gross Domestic Product, a simple totalling of all goods and services in the economy, with one that balances economic growth against a much larger and more comprehensive set of numbers to tell us if we are truly better off.
It's called the Canadian Index of Well-being and its goals are:
-To reflect a broad range of factors—such as the availability of health care, literacy rates, the quality of air and water, the costs of adequate housing and the value of unpaid work—that together determine the quality of life in Canada
-To give policy makers a tool to show, in quantifiable terms, the positive impact of good social policy such as measures to alleviate poverty
-To demonstrate with hard numbers how a dollar spent now on education or health prevention can reap huge rewards years down the road.
The first phase of the project is set for this fall. The CIW has gained a legion of fans, from former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow to Bay Street moguls to top government statisticians. At least seven Canadian universities including York and Dalhousie, several federal agencies, and a number of non-governmental groups such as the Atkinson Charitable Foundation are involved in the project.
To Romanow, the GDP's limitations as a measure of well-being are revealed in the negative inputs it includes. Expenditures on cancer treatment, divorce, prisons and funerals are counted alongside factory production and restaurant meals as good for the economy, but few would say such things have improved their lives. 'We really need a different kind of statistical indicator—not to replace the GDP, but to complement it,' says Michael Wolfson, assistant chief statistician at Statistics Canada.
The Toronto Star - New towers paint the town green (18 February 2007) Originally, the skyscraper was all about corporate might. Now it's about doing what's right. Toronto's getting into the act, and in a big way. Three skyscrapers now under construction are all tall and green. All three are going for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver certification. The green building rating system has become the North American standard for evaluating sustainable architecture. Some of the features of these buildings include individual fresh-air control, operable windows, natural and indirect lighting, and bicycle-storage areas and changing rooms.
'LEED silver is becoming the norm, not the exception. There are many ways to achieve LEED rating; the buildings we're designing in Toronto go well beyond LEED,' says Toronto architect Dermot Sweeny of Sweeny, Sterling, Finlayson, who's working on two of the towers. Nancy Searchfield of Colliers International, the first commercial real estate salesperson in Canada to become LEED accredited, believes the advent of these office towers represents a significant milestone in the sustainable development movement in Canada. 'Sustainability is the way of the future,' she says.
'The new LEED silver office towers are very cost-competitive with existing towers due, in part, to lower utility costs. In evaluating green buildings, it is important to also take into consideration the true economic cost of occupancy after allowing for all potential benefits arising from a healthier workplace: employee wellness, productivity gains, reduced absenteeism, improved employee attraction/retention and brand enhancement as an environmentally-responsible corporate citizen. When all of these factors are taken into consideration, the business case is quite compelling for green office developments. The question is not whether we can afford to go green but whether we can afford not to.'
The Globe and Mail - British Columbia aims to choke tobacco industry (19 February 2007) Tobacco advertising does not deserve free speech protection because it effectively does 'violence' to vulnerable addicts, says a BC government brief to the Supreme Court of Canada presented today in a constitutional challenge to federal government restrictions on tobacco sales and advertising.
The federal government, the Canadian Cancer Society and the six provinces will lead the charge against a concerted attack by Canadian tobacco companies. The case presents the court with its second run at judging a determined federal attempt to choke off an industry that it claims has caused untold human misery and financial carnage. A federal brief argues that tobacco kills one in every two smokers—about 45,000 people each year—and that the tobacco industry has knowingly concealed this devastating reality, all the while falsely claiming that filtered cigarettes and special 'light' brands provide a measure of safety.
'Weaker restrictions would be less effective,' the brief states. 'Indeed, stronger curbs on advertising than those currently found in the act would also be justified, with provinces increasingly adopting stronger legislation, and with a new international treaty including a comprehensive advertising ban.'
CanWest News Service - Health advocates welcome return of ParticipACTION (19 February 2007) The famed ParticipACTION campaign (a non-profit fitness agency) that promoted healthy, active living for nearly 30 years is back, the federal government announced, along with more than $3 million in funding. 'I always thought it was a very effective program,' said Ron de Burger, chairman of the Canadian Public Health Agency. 'We're happy to see it back and we really do want to look for continued national leadership on this topic.'
The Toronto Star reports (18 February 2007) More than 2,000 schoolchildren are now fluent speakers of Hawaiian. 'The reason that a lot of indigenous languages went extinct was that they could not be used in school,' said William Wilson, a professor of Hawaiian Language and Studies at Hilo, Hawaii.
The native Hawaiian language was in its death throes, but that changed dramatically after the state legislature in 1987 scrapped a 90-year ban on using Hawaiian in the schools. Now, students are taught in their native language from pre-school to college. Wilson said in an interview that the architects of language recovery in Hawaii worked closely with aboriginal groups in Canada, including the Squamish in Vancouver and the Six Nations at Brantford. The Hawaiian group also produced a multilingual book in co-operation with the Inuit.
The Globe and Mail - Year of the Pig? You're in luck (19 February 2007) 'The Year of the Pig is considered very, very lucky,' said Judy Li, who was celebrating the Chinese New Year in Toronto with her two-year-old daughter, Kethrin. Ms Li was among thousands yesterday who attended the Chinese New Year celebrations at Exhibition Place in Toronto, a city that boasts a Chinese community of more than 400,000. Similar celebrations took place across the country.
In Alberta, where the Chinese community is estimated at 100,000, the celebration at the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre included a performance of the Gold Dragon and Sixteen Lions dance. In Vancouver, New Year's celebrations were marked by a parade yesterday afternoon in the heart of the city's Chinatown. Alex Yeung, executive producer of Toronto Celebrates Lunar New Year Festival 2007, at Exhibition Place in Toronto, said every new year is a good one, but this one 'symbolizes intelligence and generosity.'
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.
For further information on creating invincibility for your nation, please visit: www.globalgoodnews.com/invincibility.html
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