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17 November 2008

12 November was the 12th day of the fifth month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:

12 November 2008

The Financial Post on Canada looking to expand trade opportunities (12 November 2008) 'The emerging economies are going to lead us out of this [economic downturn],' Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said to a group of business leaders in Toronto. 'They're the ones that still have growth. If you look at Brazil, India, and China, and some of the other emerging economies, they are going to be the engine getting us out of this.' He said the government wanted to expand trade and was furthering negotiations with the European Union with 'full force'.

Canwest News Service - Holiday shopping season may be more festive than you think (11 November 2008) Survey results released by business advisory group Deloitte show most Canadians—53%—will spend the same amount they did last year on holiday shopping. Deloitte polled 2,847 people between 29 Sept. and 9 Oct. 'It may sound strange, but we view these results positively and believe that Canadian retail sales this year will be higher than last year,' Brent Houlden, leader of Deloitte's retail practice, said. 'Consumers always spend more than they intend during the holiday season, and with Canadians currently enjoying lower gas prices, they'll have a little more cash in their wallets.' Economists at one bank recently said Canadians have an extra C$10 billion to spend this holiday season—amounting to about C$300 per person—due to lower energy costs. Last week, Ernst & Young forecast there would be growth of anywhere between one and 4% in holiday shopping sales this year.

The Regina Leader-Post on Saskatchewan government expects record surplus (12 November 2008) Saskatchewan's latest financial update shows it is expecting a C$2.3 billion surplus this fiscal year—the highest in its history. Revenue is forecast at C$12.26 billion, down slightly from the first quarter forecast, but C$2.9 billion more than was anticipated in the spring budget. Falling resource income is contributing to less revenue than forecast as are recent tax cuts. 'Our economy continues to expand and is in good shape,' Finance Minister Rod Gantefoer said.

From a Canadian Press report on this: The Government said it will apply the surplus to the province's debt, reducing it by about 40 per cent to C$4.2 billion.

From a CBC News report on this: Gantefoer said the report shows the fundamentals of the economy remain strong. Employment is growing, the population increasing and commodity prices are still high compared with a few years ago.

Reuters Canada - Canadian banks may not need any government aid: TD Bank (12 November 2008) Canadian banks should be able to get through the financial crisis without relying on the kind of government aid that is being deployed to financial institutions in other countries, TD Bank President Ed Clark said. While the Canadian government announced an increase in the size of its bank mortgage buyback programme, the Federal Government is actually making money on that programme, Clark said. Canadian banks, with strong balance sheets and healthy mortgages on their books, are using the buyback programme to fund themselves at rates comparable with, or better than, what banks elsewhere in the world can get, he said. There have been no bailouts of the Canadian banking system, he noted.

Canwest News Service - Gas prices plunge lower (11 November 2008) Gasoline prices in Canada have fallen for an eighth straight week, according to a weekly report released Tuesday by industry consultancy group MJ Ervin & Associates. The average price for regular gasoline across the country was 88.7 cents a litre, down four cents from a week before. That's the lowest level since 13 Feb. 2007. The least expensive was in Kingston, Ont., at 78.9 cents, down 6.8 cents from a week ago.

The Toronto Star - A cleaner way to work: City launches clean commute plan (12 November 2008) 'Smart Commute Toronto-Central will provide tools and resources to help commuters make the shift away from the car to more sustainable modes of travel like carpooling, transit, walking, cycling, and telework,' said Mayor David Miller at the City Hall launch of the area's newest 'Smart Commute' association. The associations enlist the support of employers by helping companies set up ride-matching programmes, shuttles, telecommuting, compressed work weeks, and flex hours. They also encourage employers to offer incentives such as transit pass discounts and preferred parking for those who choose to carpool. The new association is the latest to spring up around the Greater Toronto Area as municipalities try to cut congestion and greenhouse-gas emissions. Miller called employer response to the newest Smart Commute association 'overwhelming', with 30 already interested in greening the commutes of their workers.

CBC News - Nunavut setting energy efficiency, alternative power targets (12 November 2008) The Nunavut government is in the process of setting targets for energy efficiency and alternative energy production in an effort to reduce the territory's expensive dependence on fossil fuels. The targets will be in the Ikummatiit energy strategy, which is expected to be finalized by the end of this year, Meghan Bennett, acting director of the Nunavut Energy Secretariat, told CBC News. Bennett said the plan will include targets to reduce the government's energy use and encourage alternatives such as hydroelectricity, wind energy, and possibly even tidal energy. A major component of the alternative energy target would come from a proposed five megawatt hydroelectric dam, but Bennett said Nunavut is also determining the most productive wind power sites. That came as good news to Sean Whittaker, vice-president of policy with the Canadian Wind Energy Association, who said improvements in technology have made modern wind turbines suitable for Arctic climates. 'We've seen, particularly from experience in Alaska, where there are upward of 20 or 30 turbines installed, that they can provide very reliable and relatively competitive power.'

The Globe and Mail - A building with an energy all its own (11 November 2008) Offices and retail centres that harness the earth, wind, and sun to generate energy for their own needs, to share with adjacent buildings, or to sell to the power grid will become common some architects believe. 'This is a realistic goal,' says Birgit Siber, project architect at Diamond and Schmitt Architects in Toronto. Putting a wind turbine on top of a building might make sense, even in a downtown core, adds Richard Williams, vice-president of architecture at HOK Canada. But cold-climate countries such as Canada tend to get a lot of sun, so solar might be the dominant design consideration here. 'The solar energy that falls on the roof of a typical building far exceeds its energy requirements,' says Dr Andreas Athienitis, Concordia University Research Chair in the department of building, civil, and environmental engineering and chairman of the Solar Building Research Network, a group of professors from 11 Canadian universities. 'That means there's potential for that building to achieve, on average, zero-net energy consumption.'

The Toronto Star - A ray of sunshine for solar energy (10 November 2008) John Paul Morgan has developed a new type of solar panel that, like many others, concentrates the sun's rays onto high-efficiency solar cells. The big difference is the simplicity of his design and the lower-cost materials used to build it that could soon make power from the sun as affordable as electricity from fossil fuels. Morgan, who has a graduate degree in electrical and biomedical engineering from the University of Toronto, founded Morgan Solar Inc. in Toronto in June 2007. The company has a prototype that was displayed for the first time last month at an international solar conference in San Diego. Morgan Solar has come up with a completely different approach that relies on what it calls a light-guided solar optic. The technology is 'amazing', according to William Masek, president and chief technology officer of Upper Canada Solar Generation Ltd., which has plans to build 50 megawatts of solar farms in Ontario. In the next few weeks he will begin field-testing Morgan Solar's prototypes. 'They probably have the most breakthrough solar technology announced in a long time.' Masek says the cost savings for him could be enormous if the technology, as claimed, can affordably convert more of the sun's energy to electricity per square metre than conventional solar panels. 'With traditional solar panels we'll need over a thousand acres of property. But if we switch to their system, we can cut that land requirement in half and also substantially cut our costs,' he says. There are several demonstration projects, including two in Spain. Commercial production of the product, dubbed Sun Simba, is targeted for 2010.

Canwest News Service - Would-be Speaker unveils plan to end sniping in Question Period (12 November 2008) 'Ever since I was first elected, I have heard Members of Parliament talk about raising the level of debate in the House,' said Barry Devolin, Member of Parliament and candidate for Speaker of the House of Commons. 'Every M.P. deserves respect from their colleagues, the same as they would get in any other workplace in Canada,' said Devolin. 'I believe there is an appetite for change among Members of Parliament from all parties. This is not a partisan issue.'

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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