Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Canada's politicians see good side of bad economy

Canada's political leaders are putting a positive spin on the economic downturn as they push the Senate to quickly pass the stimulus bill.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada will emerge from the global recession sooner and stronger than other countries.

"Canada was the last advanced country to fall into this recession. We will make sure its effects here are the least severe and we will come out of this faster than anyone and stronger than ever," he said.

The financial turmoil provides an "opportunity to position ourselves so that when the recovery comes, we're among the first to catch the wave," Harper added.

At the same time, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is demanding the Liberal-dominated Senate promptly pass the $31.6 billion (U.S.) stimulus package.

Canada has the "strongest fiscal fundamentals" of the G7 nations, paid down debt in recent years and hasn't created any long-term deficit, he said.

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff said the Senate is "not holding up" anything, adding: "This (Conservative) prime minister cannot live without creating artificial crises."

Union rejects Chrysler contract demands

The Canadian Auto Workers union is "standing firm" in rejecting demands to revise its contract as Chrysler threatens to pull out of Canada if it can't slash labor costs by one-quarter.

Giving in would create an unfair advantage over its competitors and upset the revised pact between GM and the union, said president Ken Lewenza.

Chrysler president Tom LaSorda wants $2.3 billion from the Ontario and Canadian governments and resolution of a tax dispute, or they risk having its plants closed in Canada, putting 10,000 people out of work.

Canadian labor costs are about $20 an hour more than for automakers such as Toyota and Honda, he said.

News in brief

• Vancouver police say feuding drug gangs are responsible for an outbreak of violence that includes 33 shootings in the past two months. The violence has claimed two more victims, raising the death count to 14. Police Chief Jim Chu said the region is in the midst of a gang war blamed for more than 100 shootings in recent years.

• It was a bad decision for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. to give away 22 foreign luxury cars — instead of locally built vehicles — at its casinos this month, Deputy Premier George Smitherman said. "It's disappointing, it's disillusioning, it's wrong on all levels and it was a big mistake," he said of the choice of Mercedes-Benz vehicles when thousands of Ontario auto workers are losing their jobs.

Facts and figures

Canada's jobless rate jumped half a point to 7.7 percent as the economy shed 82,600 jobs last month after a loss of 129,000 in January. Employment remained flat in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In the past four months, 160,000 jobs have disappeared in Ontario, mostly in manufacturing, business and construction.

The Canadian dollar advanced to 78.48 U.S. cents while the U.S. greenback returned $1.2743 Canadian, before bank exchange fees.

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

Stock markets are higher, with Toronto's composite index at 8,242 points and the TSX Venture index 844 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Wednesday) 2, 18, 20, 23, 24, 48; bonus 30. (March 7) 8, 12, 14, 22, 29, 49; bonus 11. Super 7: (March 6) 5, 12, 16, 20, 25, 39, 45; bonus 43.

Regional briefs

• The death toll is expected to reach 17 after a helicopter went down in the North Atlantic southeast of St. John's, Newfoundland, on Thursday. Sixteen people are missing, one body was pulled from the ocean and one man, Robert Decker, was rescued. The chopper was ferrying workers to the Sea Rose and Hibernia oil platforms. Investigators found what they thought was the wreckage on Saturday.

• The Mounties have apologized to the family of Marie Fortin of Montreal, who froze to death after being lost for several days while skiing near British Columbia's Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Staff Sgt. Marko Shehovac said he is "accountable for this error in judgment" in not starting an official search sooner after "SOS" signs were noticed in the snow. Her husband, Gilles Blackburn, 51, was rescued and suffered frostbite and exposure.

• Quebec entrepreneur Gerald Dominique plans to launch a "death" channel on cable TV. Je me souviens (I Remember) would be a niche, French-language specialty channel highlighting obituaries, prayers, hospitalization notices and messages of thanks. He plans to later expand nationally in a goal to "tell stories" about people's lives.

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

Canada's politicians see good side of bad economy 03/14/09 [Last modified: Saturday, March 14, 2009 6:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. After Irma disruption, Miami eager to face Toledo

    College

    LAKE BUENA VISTA — Like thousands of other evacuees, Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz headed north to escape Hurricane Irma with his family, two suitcases and the anxiety of not knowing what would happen to everything he left behind.

    Miami coach Mark Richt watches during a victory over B-CU in the Sept. 2 opener. The Hurricanes haven’t played since.
  2. Despite Hurricane Irma, Hillsborough remains on pace to unlock hotel tax that could pay for Rays ballpark

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Despite the threat of a catastrophic storm, it was business as usual at many Hillsborough County hotels in the days before Hurricane Irma bore down on the Tampa Bay region.

    The Grand Hyatt near TIA closed during Hurricane Irma, but many other Hillsborough hotels were open and saw an influx.
  3. Pinellas votes 7-0 to help sue Legislature over new law favoring charter schools

    K12

    LARGO — They said they had no choice but to do it. They said they would rather reach a compromise.

    Gov. Rick Scott, right, kicks off the 2017 legislative session on March 7 in Tallahassee. Scott later signed a massive education bill that is being challenged by several school districts. On Tuesday, Pinellas became one of them. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  4. Deputies find 24 dogs, 2 birds, 2 cats, 1 child in Hernando home

    Public Safety

    SPRING HILL —A woman was arrested Monday on charges of animal cruelty after deputies said they found injured animals at her Spring Hill home.

    Jennie Card, 44, was arrested on two counts of animal cruelty after deputies said they found her injured animals at her Spring Hill residence.[Courtesy of Hernando County Sheriff's Office]
  5. New Graham-Cassidy health care plan stumbles under opposition from governors

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — The suddenly resurgent Republican effort to undo the Affordable Care Act was dealt a blow on Tuesday when a bipartisan group of governors came out against a proposal gaining steam in the Senate.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined by, from left, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks to reporters as he pushes a last-ditch effort to uproot former President Barack Obama's health care law, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. To win, 50 of the 52 GOP senators must back it -- a margin they failed to reach when the chamber rejected the effort in July. [/J. Scott Applewhite | Associated Press]