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Canadian official warns of job losses

Another 100,000 Canadians will lose their jobs this summer as federal financial stimulus spending won't have much of an impact until later in the year, according to Canada's parliamentary budget officer.

Kevin Page said the government believes its $40 billion — $32 billion in U.S. dollars — in spending over two years will save or create 190,000 jobs but the net job loss will climb above 450,000 positions.

The incentive money will only soften the recession's impact on jobs, incomes and output, he added.

Despite the update by the Conservative government last month indicating 80 percent of the stimulus commitments were implemented, it won't mean new jobs until the fall or winter because contracts have to be approved, Page said.

In his economic assessment, he said Canada's economy won't return to full potential until 2014. Even then the national jobless rate won't be back down to the 6.2 percent average of last year.

Now is the time for the government to start thinking about the aftermath of the recession, he warned, and the impact of dealing with billions of dollars in debt after 12 rosier years of surpluses to pay down the debt.

Millions are lost in scams, identity theft

Statistics show Canadians are falling prey to scams, including the old "Nigerian e-mail letter scam," as they try to cope with the economic downturn.

The Competition Bureau said these are "boom times for scammers," and in May the e-mail scam took $500,000 (U.S.) from 11 Canadian victims. It promises millions in exchange for help with bank transactions.

Phonebusters — the antifraud call center run by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Competition Bureau and Ontario Provincial Police — tries to help victims but most often there is no way to get the money back.

As well, more than 1,000 Canadians contact Phonebusters every month after being victimized by identify theft. In the past six months, about 6,700 people said they had lost $4.5 million (U.S.).

News in brief

• Another 200 temporary dump sites in parks are being opened in Toronto as the garbage workers' strike is in its third week. Even with trash piling up with 24,000 civic inside and outside workers off the job, "it's actually a great time to visit," said Mayor David Miller. He was commenting to CNN about a San Francisco newspaper article that warned Toronto is a hazardous vacation destination because of the "mounds of trash."

• Salida Capital, a Toronto investment firm, had the winning bid of $1.68 million (U.S.) in a charity auction to dine with millionaire investor Warren Buffett in New York. The company can select eight guests to attend, making it "an opportunity for us to thank some of the key people who have been part of our success," said Salida Capital CEO Courtenay Wolfe. Each year Buffett auctions off a lunch to benefit Glide Foundation, a San Francisco charity for the homeless and the poor.

Facts and figures

Canadian housing starts rose last month to 140,700 units from 130,300 in May.

The Bank of Canada's key interest rate remains at 0.25 percent, and the prime lending rate is 2.25 percent.

Canada's dollar is lower at 85.92 cents U.S., while the U.S. currency returns $1.1639 Canadian, before bank exchange fees.

Stock markets are lower, with Toronto's composite index at 9,751 points and the TSX Venture index at 1,041 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Wednesday) 12, 32, 35, 36, 37 and 46; bonus 23. (July 4) 1, 14, 23, 27, 32 and 44; bonus 48. Super 7: (July 3) 8, 10, 14, 35, 42, 43 and 47; bonus 21.

Regional briefs

• With oil prices plummeting in resource-rich Alberta, many businesses have cut back or canceled their traditional lavish Calgary Stampede parties. However, the annual 10-day event to celebrate the city's cowboy culture has been hampered more this year by poor weather than by the recession, publicist Doug Fraser said.

• Vale Inco is cutting 54 head-office positions in Sudbury, Ontario, in advance of a strike by 3,000 nickel mine workers. At its operations in Labrador, workers rejected Vale Inco's contract offer and plan to go on strike Aug. 1.

• Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter and Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly recreated the Beatles' iconic Abbey Road album cover in advance of this weekend's concert by Paul McCartney, his only Canadian show this year. Dexter played Ringo Starr and the mayor went barefoot as McCartney. Members of the tribute band Abbey Road rounded out the foursome in the street crosswalk scene.

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

Canadian official warns of job losses 07/11/09 [Last modified: Saturday, July 11, 2009 7:40pm]

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