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Canada Report: Hurricane Arthur damage still being repaired

Power is gradually being restored across Canada's Maritime Provinces after being hit last weekend by the remnants of Hurricane Arthur.

The storm cut electricity to more than 250,000 residences and businesses, with New Brunswick and Nova Scotia suffering the most damage.

There are more than 1,000 power workers repairing downed lines, and cutting away broken trees and limbs brought down by the storm.

In New Brunswick, the hardest-hit areas were around Fredericton and in the southwest of the province, with thousands of felled trees and downed power poles.

About 80 percent of the service has been restored, with work continuing over the weekend, said Meghan Gerrish of New Brunswick Power.

The provincial government opened 33 reception centers to assist those without electricity. The Emergency Measure's office said Arthur was powerful enough to pull down trees that would have withstood a typical storm.

Bob Hanf, president of Nova Scotia Power, said damage was as severe as damage from Hurricane Juan in 2003.

Unemployment up, job growth down in June

A yearlong slump in job creation continues as Statistics Canada reported the unemployment rate climbed one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.1 percent in June.

There was an increase of about 25,000 people seeking jobs last month, while economists had predicted strong job growth after a gain of 25,800 jobs in May.

As of June, the economy had added only 72,000 new full-time and part-time jobs in the past 12 months.

Across the country, Alberta was the only province showing substantial job growth, with full-time jobs rising by 19,500.

News in brief

• There is still no sign of Nathan O'Brien, 5, and his grandparents, Alvin and Kathy Liknes of Calgary, who have been missing since June 29. Police have been searching a rural property where Douglas Garland, 54, lives and have taken him in for questioning. Police confirmed Garland had business dealings with the couple, and his sister is in a "common-law relationship" with a member of the Liknes family.

• The Canadian Environmental Law Association said Canada should ban two antibacterial chemicals found in many consumer products that have turned up extensively in the Great Lakes. The group said Canada, the United States and all provinces and states bordering the lakes should prohibit the use of triclosan and triclocarban. They are used in products such as toothpaste, body washes, bar soap and clothing.

Facts and figures

Canada's dollar is lower, at 93.33 U.S. cents, while the U.S. dollar returns $1.0715 in Canadian funds, before bank exchange fees.

The Bank of Canada's key interest rate is steady at 1 percent, while the prime lending rate is unchanged at 3 percent.

Stock markets are lower, with the Toronto exchange index at 15,103 points and the TSX Venture index at 1,023 points.

The average price of a liter of gasoline in Canada is down at $1.3484 (Canadian).

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Regional briefs

• A freight train derailment on the main line between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal has forced Via Rail passengers onto buses. No one was injured when 26 cars of a CN Rail train derailed at Brockville, Ontario, about 4 a.m. on Thursday. The rail cars were carrying new cars and carbon powder, and 13 were empty fuel tankers.

• Forest fire crews are trying to keep a blaze from reaching oil and natural gas wellheads in northeastern British Columbia. The fire, southeast of Tumbler Ridge, has quadrupled in size to about 8,000 acres and was headed toward the Alberta border. About 200 people were forced to leave two oil and gas camps in the area.

• Flood waters from the Assiniboine River have started to subside near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. More than 700 people fled as the provincial government declared a state of emergency. Military personnel helped place hundreds of thousands of sandbags around homes while dikes and riverbanks were reinforced.

Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com.

Canada Report: Hurricane Arthur damage still being repaired 07/11/14 [Last modified: Saturday, July 12, 2014 10:23pm]

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