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Canadian unemployment numbers put damper on momentum

An increase in the number of unemployed Canadians is being viewed as a sign that the economic recovery is losing momentum.

Even though 36,000 jobs were created in August, Canada's unemployment rate rose 0.1 percent to 8.1 percent with 53,500 more people looking for work.

With a labor force of 18.7 million workers, the net result was a jump in the unemployed to about 1.5 million.

This is consistent with a "broader loss of momentum" in Canada's economy, said BMO economist Doug Porter.

In the first half of the year, there were strong gains with a monthly increase in jobs averaging 51,000, but that declined in July and August to about 13,000 each month.

Professional jobs and those in education, natural resources, and the scientific and technical service sectors increased, while there were losses in manufacturing, business support services, building, information, culture and recreation.

Unionists want the federal government to reverse its decision to end the extended period of jobless benefits that were part of economic stimulus measures.

Bell Canada buys rest of television network

A $3.2 billion deal in which Bell Canada Enterprises is buying out its partners in the CTV network reshapes the country's media landscape.

BCE paid $1.3 billion for CTV, with the balance to cover debt, so it can boost content in its television, Internet and wireless businesses.

It owned 15 percent of CTV and is buying the remaining 85 percent from the Thomson family holding company, Woodbridge; the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan; and Torstar.

Thomson regains its ownership of the national Globe and Mail newspaper based in Toronto, while BCE keeps a 15 percent stake.

News in brief

• Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said she was in Canada last week to "listen and learn," not make judgments or comment on Alberta's controversial oil sands. She was at a luncheon in Ottawa hosted by Julie Jacobson, wife of U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson, and met with environmentalists. News reports said Pelosi opposes fossil fuels including the oil sands and calls it a moral issue.

• Northgate Minerals Corp. has struck gold in northern Ontario and is developing a mine to produce 2.5 million ounces in the next 15 years. The first gold pour in Matachewan will be in early 2012 at the Young-Davidson Gold Mine. It will employ 875 people and be a "long-life, low-cost operation," said Ken Stowe, Northgate president and chief executive.

Facts and figures

The Bank of Canada continued increasing its key interest rate by raising it another 0.25 percent to 1 percent, the third consecutive jump. The prime lending rate rose to 3 percent.

Canada's dollar is higher at 96.55 cents U.S., while the U.S. dollar returns $1.0357 Canadian, before bank exchange fees.

Stock markets were mixed Friday, with the Toronto exchange index lower at 12,069 points and the TSX Venture Exchange higher at 1,592 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Wednesday) 4, 6, 11, 45, 46, 47; bonus 48. (Sept. 4) 11, 13, 17, 18, 20, 45; bonus 41. Lotto Max: (Sept. 3) 12, 17, 27, 28, 31, 36, 48; bonus 37.

Regional briefs

• The Atlantic Canada fishing industry and groups opposed to genetically modified food are concerned over salmon being reared in Prince Edward Island. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the salmon are safe to eat. Aqua Bounty Technologies, based in Massachusetts, wants the salmon that have been genetically modified to grow twice as fast as normal Atlantic salmon approved for consumption.

• A tentative deal has been reached for 850 longshoremen who were locked out at the Port of Montreal for five days in mid July. The four-year contract for the Canadian Union of Public Employees includes wage increases, improved work force flexibility and a voluntary retirement option.

• One of the two rare red panda cubs born at the Edmonton Valley Zoo and the second of two Siberian tiger cubs at the Calgary Zoo have died. The 9-week-old female panda died of a blood clot, while her twin brother continues to do well, zoo officials said. The tiger cub died of injuries caused by its inexperienced mother, Katja, carrying it too firmly in her mouth, which is what happened with the other cub, said veterinarian Sandie Black.

Jim Fox can be reached at

Canadian unemployment numbers put damper on momentum 09/11/10 [Last modified: Saturday, September 11, 2010 7:36pm]
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