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Good news report from Canada

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1 December 2008

18 November was the 18th day of the fifth month of the 3rd year of Canadian national consciousness rising to invincibility, as indicated by the following press reports:

18 November 2008

The Calgary Herald - Alberta fitness buffs to get tax break (18 November 2008) Playing hockey, carving powder in the mountains (skiing), and pumping iron in the gym could soon be a lot less costly in Alberta. MLAs (members of the legislative assembly) approved a private member's bill, sponsored by MLA Dave Rodney, which will provide partial tax relief up to C$500 per person on annual fees for physical activities. Rodney's bill had support from backbenchers, cabinet ministers, and opposition members. Rodney said hockey, soccer, and skiing, along with organized running and hiking clubs will likely will be eligible for the credit. 'It's proactive and it's preventative. We're not just talking about health. We're actually doing something on the wellness side,' said Rodney. Politicians of all stripes hope the tax credit will create incentives for Albertans to be healthier and help trim a C$13-billion health budget that's gobbling up 36 per cent of the provincial budget. Rodney noted Nova Scotia also recently approved a credit for that province's residents.

From anEdmonton Journal report on this: In Canada's legislative system, witnessing a private member's bill actually make it into law is the parliamentary equivalent of a miracle. The skies parted on Monday, as MLAs wisely passed a private initiative by MLA Dave Rodney. Soon, Albertans will get partial tax relief up to C$500 per person to offset the costs of fitness activities. That's a nice surprise, especially for families with kids. Getting Canadians more active and hence, healthier, is not only the work of the angels but also a smart financial move given the population's escalating health-care expenses. Good for Rodney for convincing his colleagues that a fitter Alberta is a smarter, more competitive, happier Alberta.

From a CBC News report on this: 'Whether a person is urban or rural, or they happen to be going to the health club or the yoga club, or maybe slow pitch or curling, I would hope it would apply to that and many dozens of activities as well,' Dave Rodney said. 'The truth is, we just want to give people a reward for positive, healthy behaviour,' he said. The federal government already offers a tax break for children's fitness programmes, which allows parents to claim up to C$500 per year for eligible fitness expenses. 'The federal bill has been very, very popular, but it only applies to kids. This applies to anyone, anywhere in Alberta,' Rodney said.

Canwest News Service - A good time to buy a house: Canadians (18 November 2008) 'Residential mortgage consumers remain remarkably positive as they weather the financial storm,' the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals said in releasing a mid-October survey of 2,000 Canadians. Attitudes have shifted only slightly with 38 per cent of Canadians believing now is a good time to purchase a house, still outweighing the 32 per cent who believe it is a bad time. Meanwhile, only 0.28 per cent of mortgages are in arrears, a proportion that is not only low but also steady. And an overwhelming 84 per cent of homeowners are satisfied with their mortgages. Borrowers remain confident in a stable Canadian mortgage system, said Jim Murphy, association president. 'Canada is a financially conservative country where consumers are able to meet the terms of their mortgages and buying decisions are based on affordability,' said association chief economist Will Dunning.

From a CTV News report on this: 'In historical terms mortgage rates are still very low, so when people are asked why they're happy about their mortgages, the number one reason is the rate,' Murphy said.

The Canadian Economic Press - High fuel prices had Canadians driving less in Q2 (18 November 2008) Canadians owned more vehicles but drove them less in the second quarter of 2008 compared with the same period last year, Statistics Canada reported. The number of light vehicles registered in Canada, a category that includes passenger cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks, increased 2.5% year-over-year to 19.5 million. Each of those vehicles drove an average of 3,863 kilometres during the quarter, down 10.0% compared with the previous year. It was the fourth quarter in a row where the average decreased compared with the year before. The total use of larger vehicles such as vans, sport utility vehicles, and pickup trucks dropped by 17.7% compared with the second quarter of 2007.

The National Post - City will offer loans for green projects (18 November 2008) Toronto Mayor David Miller announced a C$62-million fund that will offer loans to non-profit groups or academic, health, and municipal institutions looking to invest in green energy. The zero-interest loans of up to C$1 million for a maximum of 49% of a project, would allow organizations to install geothermal heating and cooling, wind turbines, or solar panels to cut energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions (as well as to upgrade boilers and other means of improving energy efficiency). 'These buildings will run for less. Their heating and cooling will be significantly cheaper. I think it's an incentive for non-profit and public agencies to be able to do the right thing,' Mr Miller said.

From a Toronto Star report on this: Both new and retrofit building projects are eligible. 'The loans are repayable based in part on the expected energy cost savings resulting from the project,' according to a statement from the city.

The Globe and Mail - Natives eye power of the future (18 November 2008) The power lines that stretch across Northern Ontario, and the ones that will eventually transport much of the additional electricity needed to fuel the province's growth, all run through the traditional territory of Ontario's first nations. Anishinabek Grand Chief John Beaucage sees those vast fields of energy as the key to achieving economic equality for his people. His plan includes building wind farms to capture the powerful currents that sweep through native territory on the shores of Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and elsewhere, many of them considered prime areas for wind capture. He's also keenly interested in the proposed east-west hydroelectric grid that would connect Ontario to the Conawapa hydro project in Northern Manitoba. An economist who spent many years working at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., Mr Beaucage is one of a growing number of native leaders who see economic success as a path to sovereignty. Ontario's first nations will soon present Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty with a proposal that would require that any investment in energy guarantee some form of partnership with native people. At a luncheon held by the Ontario Energy Network in late October, Mr Beaucage did his best to reassure the roomful of major players in the energy sector that first nations don't want to stifle economic development, but rather they want to share in its benefits. 'When my ancestors signed those treaties 158 years ago, that person did not think they were condemning their descendants to poverty forever after. It was to share in the wealth with the newcomers,' he said. 'For first nations there was no concept of land ownership or land surrender.' Recent court decisions have consistently reinforced the duty of the Crown and private enterprise to consult and accommodate first nations about development on their lands. Mr Beaucage said the energy sector is eager to work with, rather than against, natives to get their projects under way. 'Some of the past wrongs are starting to be righted now, and we want to be part of that,' he said.

The Vancouver Province - Aga Khan in Canada to celebrate 50-years of leadership of Ismailis (18 November 2008) Ismaili Muslims have begun a week of celebration to mark the arrival Tuesday of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan for an 8-day visit to Canada during which he is to meet Canadian officials and his followers in major cities across Canada. The Aga Khan is spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims who live in large numbers in countries as varied as Canada, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The Aga Khan has branded tensions between Islamic nations and the Western world in the wake of the 9/11 attacks as a 'clash of ignorance' rather than a clash of civilizations. His main emphasis has been to stress the importance of pluralism among diverse cultures.

From a Vancouver Sun report on this: The Aga Khan is both a major spiritual leader and the head of a US$500-million-a-year development agency, and his visit to Canada reflects both roles. As Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, he will meet and address members of Canada's 75,000-strong Ismaili community in special events to mark his Golden Jubilee as their Imam. As founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), the world's largest non-governmental development agency, he also has a series of high-level meetings with Canadian leaders and institutions, including with senior government officials in Ottawa to discuss continued collaboration between Canada and the AKDN. Over 25 years, the network, primarily through Aga Foundation Canada, has worked with Canadian universities, government departments, and private sector and civil organizations to tackle challenges in the developing world. In Toronto, the Aga Khan will sign a memorandum of understanding between McMaster University (ON) and Aga Khan University, which has campuses and programmes in eight countries in South Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa.

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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