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Jobless rate in Canada rises slightly

Canada's jobless rate edged higher to 7 percent last month, up 0.1 percent, even as the economy created about 25,800 net new jobs.

Most of the jobs, however, were part-time and more people were looking for work in May, Statistics Canada said.

The results follow a surprise loss of 29,000 jobs in April while over the past year 86,000 new jobs were created, a 0.5 percent increase, but largely in part-time positions.

Biggest job gains were in Alberta, up 16,400 workers, while Newfoundland and Labrador lost 4,100 full-time jobs.

News in brief

• Prime Minister Stephen Harper toured a Canadian military cemetery in France on Friday on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day attack on Juno Beach. There were 340 Canadian soldiers killed that day and 18,000 casualties in the Second World War's Normandy campaign. Canadians can take enormous pride that their troops played "such a pivotal role in ensuring the success of the D-Day landings," he said.

• Justice Minister Peter MacKay said the proposed prostitution bill will criminalize the purchase of sexual services. The "made-in-Canada" model is aimed at targeting johns and pimps while protecting the vulnerable, he said. It is in response to the Supreme Court of Canada ruling to strike down key parts of the prostitution laws. The court said they were unconstitutional and told the government to replace them.

Facts and figures

Canada's dollar is lower at 91.48 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.0931 in Canadian funds, before bank exchange fees.

The Bank of Canada has kept its key interest rate steady at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate is unchanged at 3 percent.

Stock markets are higher, with the Toronto exchange index at 14,895 points and the TSX Venture index at 985 points.

The average price of a liter of gasoline in Canada is up at $1.3552 (Canadian).

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Regional briefs

• Only a week before Ontario's provincial election, police served a court order at the legislature into the alleged coverup of the Liberal government's decision to cancel two gas plants. The move to stop the work already under way helped the Liberals win the 2011 election but cost taxpayers about $1.1 billion. Investigators want records concerning the deletion of emails and wiping of computer hard drives in the premier's office.

• A landmark Quebec bill, called an act "respecting end-of-life care," was passed on a 94-22 vote. The right-to-die bill could be challenged by the federal government as assisted suicide and euthanasia are illegal. The bill would allow someone with unbearable physical or psychological suffering and deemed mentally sound to make such a request.

• British Columbia teachers are planning a vote on whether to escalate their contract protests to a full-scale strike. "Teachers are prepared to take a stand," said Jim Iker, president of the B.C. Teachers' Federation. The teachers are into their third week of rotating strikes to back contract demands and plan to close every school in each district for one day in the next week.

Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com

Jobless rate in Canada rises slightly 06/06/14 [Last modified: Friday, June 6, 2014 7:35pm]

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