Blog

February 11, 2009

CBC reports today that, "A sharp fall in exports in December pushed Canada to its first monthly trade deficit since March 1976, Statistics Canada said Wednesday. The overall trade deficit for December was $458 million. In November, the trade surplus was $1.2 billion...The move into a deficit position was a big shock to economists, who had been forecasting a trade surplus for December of about $500 million."

WHAT'S A TRADE DEFICIT?
"A trade deficit occurs when a country imports more goods than it exports."

TRADE WITH THE US DECLINES
"Canada's trade surplus with the economically battered United States, the country's top trading partner, fell to its lowest level since December 1998. The surplus with the U.S. retreated to $3.8 billion in December from $4.6 billion in November. Exports to the United States dropped 10 per cent in December to $25.9 billion, while imports from the U.S. fell by 8.4 per cent."

SEMI-PERMANENT TRADE DEFICIT?
"One economist suggested Canadians may have to get used to trade deficits for a while."

February 10, 2009

If you go to the CPAC website http://www.cpac.ca/forms/index.asp?dsp=template&act=view3&pagetype=vod&lang=e&clipID=2329 or our energy campaign multimedia web-page at http://www.canadians.org/publications/audio/energy/index.html, you can see the video of the energy day of action delivery of ‘Dark Side of the Boom’ DVDs to Parliament Hill, MP Linda Duncan accepting them, and Environment Minister Jim Prentice being questioned about our concerns.

February 10, 2009

CBC reports today that, "A coalition of Canadian and U.S. environmental groups has launched a cross-border campaign ahead of Barack Obama's visit to Canada, urging the U.S. president to stick to his new energy plan amid possible pleas for him to support oil production from the Alberta oilsands."

OBAMA2CANADA.ORG
"Toronto-based Environmental Defence, Washington-based Earthworks and 14 other groups (including the Council of Canadians) have produced a newspaper advertising campaign that will start running Tuesday. They are also launching Obama2Canada.org and urging supporters to sign petitions to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Obama..."

NO TAR SANDS EXEMPTION IN CLIMATE PACT
"One ad — aimed at lawmakers and running in Roll Call, a prominent Capitol Hill newspaper in Washington — says: 'On February 19 Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will try to sell President Obama on a North American climate pact that gives special treatment to the tarsands in Alberta, the source of the dirtiest oil on earth. Tarsands don't fit into the new energy economy.'"

February 10, 2009

The Wall Street Journal reports that, "International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said the world's advanced economies -- the U.S., Western Europe and Japan -- are 'already in depression,' and that the IMF could slash its global growth forecasts further. The 'worst cannot be ruled out,' he said."

BRITISH PM SAYS GLOBAL ECONOMY IN DEPRESSION "Last week, when British Prime Minister Gordon Brown used the word 'depression' to describe the global economy, his aides quickly said it was a slip of the tongue."

WHAT IS AN ECONOMIC DEPRESSION?
"Political figures generally avoid using the word depression because of the association with the Great Depression of the 1930s, when unemployment hit 25% in the U.S. and economic output fell even more steeply...Former IMF Chief Economist Simon Johnson, a professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management, said the term refers to a significant contraction that lasts around five years."

598,000 AMERICAN JOBS LOST
In January alone, the American workforce lost 598,000 jobs.

February 9, 2009

The Globe and Mail is reporting this afternoon that, "Syncrude Canada Ltd. is facing federal and provincial environmental charges and could be liable for up to $800,000 in fines and executives could be sent to jail in connection with the deaths of 500 ducks in one of the tailings ponds at its oil sands operation north of Fort McMurray."

PROVINCIAL CHARGE
"The Alberta government announced the charge this morning under section 155 of the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, which states that 'a person who keeps, stores or transports a hazardous substance or pesticide shall do so in a manner that ensures that the hazardous substance does not directly or indirectly come into contact with or contaminate any animals, plants, food or drink.'"

FEDERAL CHARGE
"Syncrude has also been charged federally under the Migratory Birds Convention Act for 'allegedly depositing or permitting the deposit of a substance harmful to migratory birds in waters or an area frequented by birds.' The maximum penalty is $300,000 or six months in jail or both."

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