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23 September 2008

4 September was the 4th day of the second month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:

4 September 2008

Reuters Canada - Canada and Jordan reach free trade pact (26 August 2008) Canada wrapped up free trade negotiations with Jordan. The deal will improve market access for Canadian agricultural products and industrial goods, and eliminate tariffs on the vast majority of current exports to Jordan, International Trade Minister Michael Fortier said. This bilateral free trade agreement will open up significant opportunities for Canadian companies in this growing economy, as well as elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa, Fortier said. The agreements also commit the two countries to uphold international labor standards and requires them to refrain from relaxing environmental laws to encourage trade or investment, and commits them to improving those laws.

From a Canadian Economic Press report on this: The deal still has to be approved by the House of Commons before it can be implemented. We welcome this opportunity to expand Canada-Jordan trade relations, said Minister of International Trade Michael Fortier. The Jordanian free trade agreement is the third pact negotiated this year by the government of Canada following similar deals with Colombia and Peru.

Canwest News Service - Alberta still has the best labour market in North America (28 August 2008) Alberta has the best-performing labour market in North America, reflecting its strong job growth, high productivity, and low durations of unemployment, a Canadian economic think-tank says. US states take the other nine top spots, according to the annual comparison of labour markets by the Fraser Institute. The western provinces, led by Alberta and followed by British Columbia, dominated the Canadian rankings. BC was 11th overall in North America.

The Globe and Mail - High gas costs pushing people to use public transit, survey finds (1 September 2008) A telephone survey by the Strategic Counsel on behalf of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Canadian Urban Transit Association asked 1,100 adults across the country about today's elevated gas prices and how they will affect transportation habits. The survey found that 60 per cent said gas prices are forcing them to re-evaluate the way they travel. Twenty-three per cent reported they were driving less, while 20 per cent reported they had switched or were thinking of switching to public transport. The runners-up for coping with gas prices were purchasing a more fuel-efficient vehicle (16 per cent of respondents) and biking or walking (13 per cent).

The Victoria Times Colonist - When it comes to butting out, B.C. teens are leaders of the pack (4 September 2008) British Columbia teens are leading the way across Canada when it comes to not smoking. Only 9 per cent of 15- to 19-year-olds in BC habitually lit up in 2007, compared with 12.4 per cent the year before and 15 per cent across the country, according to a Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring survey. The survey found a dramatic drop in young female smokers aged 15 to 24, with 11.6 per cent smoking compared with 19.2 per cent the year before. And it's not just teens who are 'butting out'. According to the survey, BC boasts the lowest overall smoking rate in the country at 14.4 per cent. This compares with the province's 2006 rate of 16.4 per cent and a national smoking rate of 19 per cent. Mary Polak, minister for healthy living and sport, said the push by BC's government is to ensure youth don't start smoking in the first place.

The Canadian Press - B.C. students get healthy start to school year (30 August 2008) Chocolate bars, salt and vinegar chips, and soft drinks have been expelled from British Columbia schools as the government starts the new school year on a health kick. Education Minister Shirley Bond says a healthy body really does promote a healthy mind. Junk food has been banned from all public elementary and secondary schools, and students from kindergarten through to Grade 12 will be required to meet physical activity requirements. 'We actually know that children who are healthy actually learn better,' said Ms. Bond. She said BC's junk food ban combined with its daily exercise programme gives the province the most aggressive health programme in Canada. Students from kindergarten to Grade 9 will be required to do 30 minutes of physical activity each school day, Bond said. Secondary school students in Grades 10 to 12 must complete 150 hours of exercise (or equivalent extracurricular activities) a month.

The Canadian Press - Value found in old-growth forests (4 September 2008) Leaving British Columbia's old-growth forests standing may make more economic sense than cutting them down for timber, especially as the province looks to strategies to cut global warming, a new study suggests. The report from Simon Fraser University shows that conservation wins out over logging when forests are valued for their role in capturing carbon from the atmosphere, protecting endangered species and providing opportunities for recreation. Trees absorb and store carbon dioxide, using it as a building block in their development. When old-growth forests are harvested, that carbon is released into the atmosphere. Dr Faisal Moola, science director for the David Suzuki Foundation, said 25 per cent of the carbon dioxide that hits the atmosphere is caused by destruction of carbon stores of old-growth forests. 'The study shows there's direct economic benefit for British Columbia if we can account for the carbon stored,' he said.

The Montreal Gazette - Solar power giant embraces Quebec (26 August' 2008) After a 17-month search covering more than 100 sites in 16 countries, solar-energy powerhouse Renewable Energy Corp. (REC) of Norway has settled on Becancour, Quebec, as the home of a new manufacturing plant to make polysilicon, a raw material used in the production of solar wafers and cells. With an estimated price tag of US$1.2 billion, it is one of the largest private-sector investments in the province in the last decade. The plant is expected to provide 300 full-time jobs and economic spinoffs for the province of C$100 million annually. Renewable Energy Corp. is one of the world's largest makers of solar-grade silicon. It also produces solar cells and modules.

From a Globe and Mail report on this: REC chief executive Erik Thorsen told a press conference that a key factor was the abundant supply of electricity needed in the silicon manufacturing process, he said. REC also said it likes the fact that Quebec's electricity does not create greenhouse gases. The province generates most of its power from hydroelectric plants. But Mr. Thorsen said his company was also impressed with the 'innovative mindset' and research and development capacity in the region. Quebec Premier Jean Charest used the occasion to underline the province's commitment to renewable energy. About C$31 billion will be invested in energy capacity in the province in the next few years, he said, mainly in hydro power and wind energy, but also in biomass and cellulosic ethanol. 'We now have solar energy as a bigger part [of that strategy], as of today,' Mr Charest said.

The Globe and Mail - Quebec schools to celebrate diverse holidays (2 September 2008) Quebec schools won't be marking the arrival of just Christmas any more—now they will be required to note the passage of holidays like Hanukkah and Eid al-Adha, Diwali, and the birth of the Sikh guru Nanak. The dates on the school calendar are part of a new course on ethics and religious culture that makes its debut in classrooms across Quebec this year. It's a historic shift in a province defined by Catholic and Protestant education for nearly two centuries. The Quebec government says the new course merely reflects the reality of immigration in the province, which has radically transformed Montreal's classrooms. At the city's largest school board, more than 56 per cent of students are foreign-born or have one immigrant parent. Elementary school teachers preparing the course there have already received educational kits filled with religious artifacts, including a crucifix, a Muslim prayer carpet, an Aboriginal talking stick, and a Diwali candle. One of the textbooks they will use offers up colourful drawings that explain that while most Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving, for example, Jews also mark the autumn harvest with Sukkot. In the chapters on birthdays, the book talks about the birth of Buddha and the annual festival of Wesak. 'This is historic,' said Jean-Pierre Proulx, a University of Montreal education professor who advised the government on the new course. 'We're not aiming to form good Catholics or good Protestants or good Jews. We want to form good cultivated citizens, who are tolerant and able to enter into dialogue with others.'

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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