Monday, December 11, 2017
News Roundup

Spending plan helps balance losses in oil

The Liberal government's spending plans are already proving to be a boost for the Canadian economy.

The Bank of Canada kept its trend-setting interest rate unchanged at 0.5 percent while predicting economic growth as shown by the gross domestic product to rise by 1.7 percent this year, up 0.3 percent from an earlier prediction.

The central bank noted this was due to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government deciding to invest $25 billion in additional spending over the next two years for such things as infrastructure projects.

The spending was included in the recent federal budget that projected a deficit of $110 billion over five years while the previous Conservative government was reducing spending to avoid going into the red.

"The mix of policies that we have today is a more favorable one for economic growth than what we had before," bank Governor Stephen Poloz said.

Spending by the government is helping to counter lower oil prices affecting the Canadian economy's commodity-abundant provinces.

The dollar dropped from a seven-month high topping 78 cents U.S. with news of the key interest rate remaining steady and lower oil and gold prices.

Alberta confronts $58 billion debt

The Alberta government is looking at $58 billion in debt over three years as the oil-rich province is dragged down by low commodity prices.

Things are so bad that Finance Minister Joe Ceci said there is no expectation of balancing the books before 2024.

The budget includes two new tax credits worth $250 million and cutting the small business tax to 2 percent from 3 percent to encourage investment and capital spending.

Alberta will launch a carbon tax that will cost households about $500 a year by 2018 as gasoline rises by 4.5 cents a liter (17 cents a U.S. gallon) next January. There will also be increases in home heating bills, excluding electricity.

News in brief

• Three senators have repaid expense claims that were called "unjustified." Liberal senator Colin Kenny paid back about $31,400 in expenses for trips and overnight stays. Conservative senators Jean-Guy Dagenais and David Tkachuk returned almost $2,300 and $1,900, respectively. There are still 12 senators being investigated for claims totaling $622,000.

• Police in Hallandale Beach, Fla., are hopeful that a new type of genetic profiling will help them find the killers of David Pichosky, 72, and Rochelle Wise, 66, of Toronto. They were found asphyxiated inside their winter home in 2013. Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy said DNA evidence was found from two women believed responsible. DNA phenotyping has allowed them to develop a composite sketch of one of the two women who stole a diamond ring from the home, he said.

Facts and figures

Canada's dollar returns 77.61 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar is worth $1.288 in Canadian funds, before bank exchange fees.

The Bank of Canada's key interest rate is steady at 0.5 percent while the prime-lending rate is 2.7 percent.

Markets are higher, with the Toronto Stock Exchange index at 13,627 points and the TSX Venture index 627 points.

The average price for gas nationally is higher at $1.012 cents a liter or $3.84 (Canadian) for a U.S. gallon.

Lotto 6/49: (April 13) 10, 14, 23, 41, 42 and 47; bonus 1. (April 9) 12, 29, 34, 44, 47 and 49; bonus 37. Lotto Max: (April 8) 9, 12, 13, 14, 28, 39 and 41; bonus 38.

Regional briefs

• Senator Jacques Demers is showing improvement daily at McGill University Health Center in Montreal, doctors say. Demers, 71, coached the National Hockey League's Montreal Canadiens to the 1993 Stanley Cup victory. "Every day he is brighter and looking better," said neurologist Dr. Angela Genge. He also coached the Tampa Bay Lightning, Quebec Nordiques, St. Louis Blues and the Detroit Red Wings.

• The New Brunswick government is offering free tuition beginning in the fall for full-time university and college students in households earning less than $60,000 a year. "This is the beginning. We're going to be looking for other ways to try and help ensure that university is accessible and affordable," Premier Brian Gallant said. About one student in four will qualify for the financial aid.

Contact Jim Fox at [email protected]

Comments
Pipe bomb strapped to man explodes in New York City subway, injuring 4

Pipe bomb strapped to man explodes in New York City subway, injuring 4

NEW YORK — A man with a pipe bomb strapped to him set off the crude device in the subway near Times Square on Monday, injuring the suspect and three other people at the height of the morning rush hour.The man and three others were being treated for n...
Updated: 21 minutes ago

Space heater may have sparked fire that destroyed St. Petersburg home

ST. PETERSBURG — A space heater may have sparked a fire that destroyed a home in St. Petersburg on Sunday afternoon.St. Petersburg fire officials say the fire occurred some time before 3 p.m. at 1225 21st St. S.According to St. Petersburg Fire Rescue...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Video gives animated tour of new Pier District

Video gives animated tour of new Pier District

Eager to see what the new Pier District will look like? A new animated video takes you on a bird’s eye and close-up tour of the $76 million waterfront attraction. Travel from the pavilion and plaza, through the coastal thicket and past the edu...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
Ticket-fighting firm hires former Florida Bar president to sue the Bar

Ticket-fighting firm hires former Florida Bar president to sue the Bar

Times Staff WriterWell, this is awkward. A company that is suing the Florida Bar has hired a former Bar president to represent it. Ramon Abadin has joined the legal team of TIKD, a company that expedites the process of fighting traffic tickets in Pin...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Do Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter get along?

Rick and Tom podcast: Do Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter get along?

The Bucs guarantee another losing season after turning the ball over five times in a 24-21 loss to the Lions. In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones talk about how the Bucs stayed in the game until the end despite a non-existent pass rush...
Updated: 1 hour ago
PolitiFact Florida: Does Andrew Gillum want to make Florida a sanctuary state?

PolitiFact Florida: Does Andrew Gillum want to make Florida a sanctuary state?

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is using the controversial topic of sanctuary cities to drum up Republican support in his bid for governor. At a campaign stop in Jacksonville, Putnam warned voters that one of his Democratic opponents wa...
Updated: 1 hour ago
‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globes

‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globes

Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War-era fairytale "The Shape of Water" swam away with a leading seven nominations from the Golden Globes, while the HBO drama "Big Little Lies" led the television nominees with six nods.The nominees for best picture drama ar...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Will misconduct scandals make men wary of women at work?

Will misconduct scandals make men wary of women at work?

NEW YORK — Some women, and men, worry the same climate that’s emboldening women to speak up about sexual misconduct could backfire by making some men wary of female colleagues. Forget private meetings and get-to-know-you dinners. Beware of banter. Th...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Firefighters brace for second week of California wildfires

Firefighters brace for second week of California wildfires

LOS ANGELES — As Southern California enters its second week engulfed in flames, fire officials anticipate more growth and danger due to continued strong wind gusts, no rain and decades-old dry vegetation. A powerful flare-up on the western edge of th...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Final push for Moore and Jones in Alabama Senate race

Final push for Moore and Jones in Alabama Senate race

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Alabama Democrats see Tuesday’s special Senate election as a chance to renounce a history littered with politicians whose race-baiting, bombast and other baggage have long soiled the state’s reputation beyond its borders. Many Repu...
Updated: 3 hours ago