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Good news report from Canada

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17 April 2008

26 March was the 26th day of the ninth month of the 2nd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:

26 March 2008

Reuters Canada - Canada consumers unscathed by credit crunch: report (26 March 2008) Canadian households have felt little fallout from the global credit troubles, with mortgage and consumer credit expanding and no big increases in arrears or delinquencies, according to a report by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). Looking at the most recent data on mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, household debt, and consumer bankruptcies, Benjamin Tal, senior economist at CIBC World Markets, concludes: 'So far the credit crunch did not impact the Canadian household credit market in any significant way.' Numbers from January and February suggest Canadians are confident enough in their incomes to continue to take out mortgages at a robust rate.

From a Financial Post report on this: Bank of Canada statistics show growth in mortgages outstanding picked up in the final months of 2007, ending the year at a 13% year-over-year pace. That was the fastest pace since 1990 and up from 10% at the end of 2006, said Benjamin Tal. Preliminary data suggest activity has remained near that level for the first two months of the year. 'It's a reflection of a credit market in Canada that is still relatively healthy,' Mr Tal said. Businesses, too, have had little trouble accessing credit. Overall business credit is still growing at about a 16% year-over-year pace. 'It's among the strongest growth we've seen in 20 years time,' said David Wolf, Canadian economist at Merrill Lynch.

Mr Tal said strong labour markets have kept the percentage of mortgages in arrears to an extremely low 0.26% of the total, a level it has swung around since 2006. The Canadian economy is strong relative to some others and the housing market is still a picture of health, but Mr Tal says there are two other reasons why credit availability remains robust: High-risk borrowers have not been a significant part of the Canadian mortgage market, and Bank of Canada interest-rate cuts have headed off a crunch.

From an Ottawa Citizen report on this: Canadian consumers not only keep spending and borrowing more, but are also meeting their debt payments, CIBC said. And, for the most part, they are expected to continue doing so. This is due to the strength of Canada's job market, where unemployment is at a modern-day low of 5.8 per cent and employment at an all-time high.

From a Globe and Mail report on this: Household credit in Canada, made up of both mortgages and consumer credit, is growing by a more than 10-per-cent annual pace right now. That's a pace normally associated with boom times. 'From the household side, it's a case of ''Crisis? What crisis?'' ' said Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns. The borrowing trend speaks to the strength of Canada's domestic economy, even as overall economic growth is slowing this year. Canada's job market, consumer demand, and housing market are all humming along merrily. 'Domestic demand has remained impervious to what we've seen on the export side. . . ,' Mr Porter said.

CanWest News Service on small business optimism holds steady (26 March 2008) The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released its latest quarterly survey of business optimism. 'Nationally, the CFIB's quarterly business barometer is at 104, down from 104.2 in December, and optimism remains strong in several provinces,' said CFIB chief economist Ted Mallett. He said it's worth noting the decline from December was as small as it was. 'We're still in growth territory according to our members,' said Mr Mallett. 'Many more expect to see growth in the next 12 months than expect to see a further decline.' That optimism is evident in the hiring intentions of the CFIB's 105,000 members, 30% of whom intend to increase their full-time staff in the months ahead. Intentions for capital spending are also strong. Continued strength in the domestic economy helped buoy sentiment in the consumer-focused retail and hospitality sectors, as well as the financial- and social-service sectors.

The Toronto Star - Steep annual drop registered in jobless benefits recipients (26 March 2008) The number of Canadians receiving regular employment insurance benefits in January declined 6.6 per cent from January 2007. Provincially, the largest year-over-year drop in regular beneficiaries was in Saskatchewan (down 12.9 per cent) and Manitoba (down 11.7 per cent). The number declined by more than 20 per cent from the year before in four cities—Windsor, Ont. (down 27 per cent), Regina (down 25 per cent), Saint John, New Brunswick (down 23 per cent), and Saskatoon (down 22 per cent). Meanwhile, the number of recipients dropped from December in seven provinces, falling by more than 2 per cent in Ontario (down 2.4 per cent) and Prince Edward Island (down 2.3 per cent).

The Globe and Mail on McGuinty banks on education (26 March 2008) Ontario's budget directs C$1.5 billion over three years to education and training, a sum that seemed to catch many leaders in the college and university sector by surprise. The boost for skills retraining, textbook grants, and campus upgrades is a cornerstone of the government's economic plans, along with municipal infrastructure investment. Finance Minster Duncan characterized the unexpected spending in the sector and other areas as a testament to the resiliency of the provincial economy. 'We had a better than anticipated year,' he said. 'We made a choice. We've chosen to invest in skills and training. We have chosen to invest in education.' All this follows C$464 million in year-end money that has already been directed to colleges and universities in the past two months. At the centre of the skills plan is C$355 million over three years to enable 20,000 laid-off workers to enroll in retraining programmes.

The Canadian Press - Ontario to spend $41M to combat toxic emissions (25 March 2008) A C$41 million, four-year plan to reduce toxic emissions is meant to support the development of a toxics reduction strategy that will require companies to reduce emissions over time. As part of this, government will work with Cancer Care Ontario and the Ontario Medical Association to identify and reduce the number of cancer-causing agents that are released into the environment. The province is also allocating C$10 million over four years to support initiatives related to banning the use of non-essential pesticides and C$63 million to clean up PCB-contaminated soil. The Ministry of the Environment will also get a 14-per-cent budget increase next year. To promote energy conservation—a key component of Ontario's 20-year plan to reduce peak electricity demand by 20 per cent—the government is extending its Retail Sales Tax exemption on qualifying household appliances and light bulbs until the end of August 2009.

From a Globe and Mail report on this: The budget also promised C$3 million in one-time funding to ensure that environmental education is part of every student's curriculum, and that schools incorporate environmental awareness in planning their resources and operations. 'A competitive economy is a green economy . . . and so we are increasing funding to fight climate change and provide funding for an environmental curriculum,' Finance Minister Duncan said.

CBC News - More wind power in the air for Summerside (26 March 2008) Having bought 15 per cent of its electricity from wind farms in 2007, Summerside, Prince Edward island, is aiming to get five times that much. During his budget address to council, finance chair Bruce MacDougall announced the city expected wind power to make up 23 per cent of its 2008 requirements, and that was only the beginning. 'Plans are moving ahead for the development of our own 12.5-megawatt wind farm,' said MacDougall. 'Once completed, Summerside will receive 76 per cent of its electricity purchases on an equivalent basis from wind energy. To our knowledge, your worship, this will be by far the highest use of renewable energy by any city in the developed world.'

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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