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Good news report from Canada

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1 May 2008

10 April was the 10th day of the tenth month of the 2nd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:

10April 2008

The Globe and Mail - Canadian exports jump sharply (10 April 2008) Canada's merchandise trade surplus with the world increased by more than C$2 billion in February to C$4.9 billion, as exports rose 3.8 per cent to $39.3 billion and imports fell 2 per cent to $34.4 billion, Statistics Canada said. Overall, Canadian exports grew to $39.32 billion from $37.8 billion in January. The February numbers were much better than economists had expected. Prices were flat, so volume accounted for the entire 3.8 per cent rise. 'The hefty jump in the trade surplus is a surprise but the real eye-opener is the fact that the improvement was driven by volumes, not booming commodity prices,' BMO Nesbitt Burns deputy chief economist Douglas Porter said. TD Securities economists strategist Jacqui Douglas noted the monthly gain in exports was broad-based, with all major sectors posting an increase.

From a CBC News report on this: Despite the run-up in the Canadian dollar to hover around par with the US dollar, Canada's trade surplus with the United States soared as exports to the US rose by 3.6 per cent. Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States fell for a second straight month on higher exports to Japan and the European Union, particularly the Netherlands and Italy.

From a Reuters Canada report on this: Canada's trade surplus jumped by a startling 78 per cent to C$4.94 billion in February, a performance that economists said was indicative of economic strength. It was the biggest monthly surplus since May 2007 and the largest rise since June 2004. Analysts had expected a surplus of $3.3 billion.

The Toronto Star on continuing strength of Toronto housing starts (9 April 2008) Overall starts remained at high levels in Toronto in February, dipping slightly to a seasonally adjusted 44,700 units from 46,100, thanks to the strength of highrise building. On an unadjusted basis, local housing starts are up 60 per cent in the first quarter of the year compared with the first three months of 2007, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC). 'This is one of the highest levels experienced over the last two years,' said Jason Mercer, CMHC senior market analyst. 'The strong numbers we are seeing [are] a positive indicator that the Ontario housing market has been tremendously resilient. . . ,'Ontario Home Builders' Association president Mark Basciano said.

The Globe and Mail - Ontario's greenbelt a model for the world (10 April 2008) The loss of prime agricultural land near cities due to urban sprawl is bemoaned the world over as a modern blight. But a solution may be at hand, for which Toronto should be recognized as a world leader: greenbelts, or farmland and environmentally sensitive land that has been officially made off limits to developers. A new study says the zone of protected land around Toronto is not only one of the largest greenbelts in the world, but is also superior to others in North America and in Europe. 'Ontario's greenbelt is positioned to be the most successful and most useful greenbelt in the world,' concluded the study, compiled by the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy. Many greenbelts are under threat because of pressure for housing, roads, and other urban uses, but the case in Ontario is the opposite. 'My goal and my mantra that drives me is that we're going to be doing nothing but expanding the greenbelt,' Municipal Affairs Minister Jim Watson said in an interview. With that goal in mind, the government is embracing municipalities that are interested in having more land covered by the greenbelt.

The Canadian Press - Some Canadians want more Earth Hours, poll suggests (9 April 2008) A new Harris-Decima poll suggests more than a third of Canadians wouldn't mind flicking off their lights and appliances for an hour once a month, while 10 per cent would do it each week and 12 per cent once a day. More than half of those surveyed say they reduced their energy use during Earth Hour. Ontarians were the biggest participants at 73 per cent. 'What's really changing in terms of attitudes toward the environment is the sense of personal responsibility that a lot of people feel,' Harris-Decima president Bruce Anderson said. 'So there's a very strong desire, almost a sense of personal, moral imperative, to try to do something better, to try to do less harm.'

The Financial Post - Vancity the first North American-based financial institution to go carbon neutral (10 April 2008) Vancity, Canada's largest credit union, announced it is the first North American-based financial institution to go carbon neutral. In the past decade, it has trimmed energy use by 50%, staff commuting driving by 13%, and paper consumption by 30%. Vancity says it now produces 50% fewer emissions per employee than other Canadian financial institutions. It covered over what remained of its carbon footprint by buying emissions offsets in British Columbia and abroad. A press release quotes David Suzuki applauding Vancity 'for taking a leadership role—[and] helping set a positive example for other businesses and organizations to follow.'

The Financial Post - Invited into inner circle (9 April 2008) Jane Allen's title, as of January, is Chief Diversity Officer, Deloitte Inc. It came on the heels of Statistic Canada's report that showed that the level of immigration in recent years has been unprecedented—the highest in 75 years. 'Diversity brings a lot to the table: different ideas, different ways that people have conducted business and seen things done,' says Sarah Redford, human resource manager at global IT consulting firm Avanade Canada. When Xerox Research Centre of Canada surveyed 1,000 working Canadians across industries and across the country, its findings linked diversity to all-important innovation and ultimately productivity and success. Meanwhile, Catalyst, a non-profit advisory group working toward inclusivity in business, and Ryerson University's The Diversity Institute surveyed 17,000 managers, professionals, and executives in 43 of the largest firms in the country. In the survey released in June, 50% of respondents reported having diversity councils, and of those, most were chaired by the chief executive.

Canwest News Service - Actions speak volumes in recruiting (9 April 2008) 'In the past five years, we've definitely seen a much broader awareness of the importance of diversity in the workplace,' says Michael Bach, KPMG's director of diversity. 'It's not just a numbers game and a legislative requirement. It's about diversity of thought and how that adds to the bottom line to benefit a business.' KPMG, a large public accounting firm, is one of the country's Top 25 Best Diversity Employers, according to Mediacorp's first annual ranking in this area. Diversity comes in many forms, and companies demonstrating best practices realize they have to tap into all aspects of diversity, whether gender, age, cultural, or ethnic background.

Mediacorp's report on the best diversity employers shows companies are making big gains on the diversity front with equal gains in corporate financial health and long-term sustainability 'The larger picture is that it's simply good for business in terms of recruitment to be reflective of your community and sensitive to the needs of specific communities,' says Richard Yerema, a Mediacorp. editor. What struck him most was the rapid evolution of diversity programmes and widespread adoption of such initiatives, a recent trend in corporate Canada. A Leger marketing survey of 1,000 Canadians, sponsored by Xerox Research Centre of Canada, shows 77% of Canadian workers feel diversity in culture and background contributes to innovation and a stronger business landscape. And more than three-quarters of respondents said Canada's cultural diversity provides a 'distinct advantage' when it comes to fostering innovation.

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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