Canada's central bank wants to put more cash into system

Canada's central bank is planning further stimulus measures soon with the country mired in the worst economic downturn in half a century.

The measures, designed to put more money into the system, would be in concert with what has already been done, said Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney.

Carney is expected to lower the bank's trendsetting interest rate a quarter point to a record low of 0.25 percent on April 21.

His comments that governments should not overreact in their battle against the recession appear to counter those of Prime Minster Stephen Harper.

The dangers of "under-acting" are greater than piling on too much stimulus, Harper told the G-20 leaders in London.

"I think, if anything, leaders should over-act at this point," Harper told CNN.

While stimulus spending could create jobs and ease the impact of recession, economists fear they could lead to budget deficits and ignite inflationary pressures that would trigger higher interest rates and weaker growth.

Poll: Be like Obama

A poll shows that Canadians would like to see and hear their prime minister in the style of President Barack Obama.

A Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey found 83 percent endorse Obama's media strategy with his exposure on television networks along with holding regular news conferences and one-on-one interviews.

By comparison, Harper allows only sporadic interviews, and news conferences on Parliament Hill are rare.

Prior to attending the G-20 summit in London, Harper went to the United States for interviews with media outlets, including CNN and Fox News, to highlight the strengths of the Canadian economy and banking system.

He also limited the number of questions Canadian journalists could ask on the trip to Britain.

News in brief

• Forecasters have downgraded the threat of flooding along the Red River in Manitoba. It's expected water levels will be lower than the province's second-worst flood, in 1979. Flood forecaster Alf Warkentin said there is still concern over thick ice, which means some areas, including Winnipeg, could have flooding. The crest is expected to arrive in southern Manitoba on Wednesday.

• Montreal-based Bombardier Inc. is cutting 3,000 jobs worldwide because of a weakening demand for business jets. Canada's largest maker of aircraft said further cuts are possible even as Bombardier had a record profit of $1 billion (U.S.) last year. There will be 1,030 jobs lost in Montreal, in addition to 710 announced last month, 475 in Toronto, 975 in Belfast, 470 in the United States and 50 in Mexico.

Facts and figures

Canada's dollar is worth 80.92 U.S. cents, while the U.S. greenback returns $1.2358 Canadian, before bank exchange fees.

The Bank of Canada key interest rate remains at 0.5 percent, while the prime lending rate is 2.5 percent.

Canadian stock markets are continuing their month-long rally, with Toronto's composite index at 9,082 points and the TSX Venture index at 978 points on Friday.

Lotto 6-49: (Wednesday) 4, 6, 24, 32, 46, 48; bonus 8. (March 28) 6, 10, 33, 39, 40, 48; bonus 43. Super 7: (March 27) 8, 10, 14, 18, 28, 30, 36; bonus 25.

Regional briefs

• It has been a grim season for fatalities in avalanches in Western Canada. The latest death was snowmobiler Daryl Hay, 50, of Carbon, Alberta. Twenty-four people have died in slides, all but one in British Columbia and most of them snow­mobilers. Officials say that every weekend about 20,000 snowmobilers from British Columbia, Alberta, Washington and Idaho venture into the Canadian back mountain regions.

• CHUM, which became Canada's first Top 40 radio station in May 1957, has been rebranded CP24 Radio 1050 and is simulcasting CP24's all-news TV channel. CTVglobemedia owns both broadcasters and made the change because of poor ratings for the oldies' format, said general manager Bill Bodnarchuk.

• Newfoundland and Labrador have a deal to transmit hydroelectricity through Quebec and sell it across North America. Premier Danny Williams said Nalcor Energy, the province's energy corporation, will sell power from its Churchill Falls hydroelectric project over Hydro-Quebec transmission lines for the first time in the initial five-year deal.

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

Canada's central bank wants to put more cash into system 04/04/09 [Last modified: Saturday, April 4, 2009 6:25pm]

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