Canadian economy experienced no growth or decline in July
Statistics Canada says the Canadian GDP was virtually flat in July, citing weaknesses in oil and gas extraction offsetting gains due to ongoing shutdowns in the industry.
“Economists had expected growth of 0.1 per cent, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv,” reports Global News.
Ryan Straschnitzki, a 20-year-old hockey player who was involved in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash is home after undergoing surgery in Thailand. Straschnitzki was paralyzed when the team bus hit a westbound semi-trailer truck on April 6, 2018. 16 people on the bus were killed due to the awful accident.
On Sunday night, Straschnitzki made his way into the Calgary airport from Thailand. He told Global News, “It feels good. I mean I felt that cold, cold wind hit my legs, so I’m feeling good. It’s good to be back.”
Straschnitzki was paralyzed from the chest down in the accident and had to have an epidural stimulator inserted into his spine along with having stem cells injected.
Straschnitzki is quoted saying, “It was incredible. I mean the last time I walked beside my dad was before the accident and before I moved away. So doing that again and just seeing the look in his eyes is motivating to me.”
His father, Tom, said, “When I actually saw him move his leg, it just took me back to imagining his last steps going onto that bus on that fateful day. And I was just thinking maybe he can go back on the bus one day.”
The surgery that Straschnitzki required is not yet approved by Health Canada, or covered by public insurance, so it can cost close to $100,000. Because of this, Straschnitzki and his family had to make the trip to Thailand, unhappy with the Canadian health-care system.
“Our health-care system is kind of lacking in this area for spinal cord injuries and I think it’s huge that Thailand and some other places are getting this started.” Said Straschnitzki hoping to help get the ball rolling on the issue.
Licenced Spinal Cord stimulators are given by Health Canada but are just for pain relief and not for the recovery of motor skills.
“Just getting that feeling of being able to move something that I wasn’t able to move before, and I know core is a huge part of my disability, so anything below my chest is crucial. And after the programming it really helped,” said Straschnitzki.
He is planning to take some time to rest before getting back to the ice and physiotherapy. Straschnitzki is also optimistic about making the Canadian Olympic team for sledge hockey in the future.
Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre slammed the minority Liberal government and the media at a Sunday press conference in Ottawa, where he called on Finance Minister Bill Morneau to come up with a plan to “restart” the sagging Canadian economy that shed 71,000 jobs last month.
“Others here in the bubble, inside Ottawa, might be fascinated by the palace intrigue of leadership politics,” replied Poilievre to a reporter’s question about his party leader Andrew Scheer’s viability at the Conservative helm.
“But if you’re one of those 71,000 people who just lost your job in November, you probably couldn’t care less.”
Poilievre and the Opposition Conservatives are calling for on Morneau, “to present an urgent fall economic update to salvage Canada’s teetering economy.”
Last week, Statistics Canada posted the worst one-month job loss numbers in the country for a decade as 71,000 additional people were out of work for November 2019. This included 18,000 in British Columbia and 18,000 in Alberta. It was especially terrible news for Alberta as it has already shed more than 150,000 jobs since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first took office in 2015.
According to the Carleton MP, whose riding is on the outskirts of the “Ottawa bubble”, the update should come with “major tax cuts for entrepreneurs and workers, so they can spend and invest and get out economy moving again.”
The Conservatives also want the government to cut “the insane, high levels of red tape holding (entrepreneurs) down,” said Poilievre. “(And) reassure investors by presenting a reasonable plan to help phase out the deficit in the medium term.”
With just five sitting days in the House of Commons scheduled before the Christmas break, Poilievre took exception with media queries about whether there was enough time to accomplish the task.
“You seem to be suggesting that our prime minister spent his first 10 days after the election surfing rather than working… the election was in October, they’ve had plenty of time,” replied Poilievre, referencing Trudeau’s Tofino trip, a post-election holiday he took after the October 21 vote.
“The storm clouds of our economy have been gathering overhead for a long time (and) the average Canadian wasn’t surfing in November. The average Canadian was worried about his or her job…and then we got a report that south of the border they had a quarter million new jobs.”
“So this is a made in Canada problem. It requires urgent action and we’re calling on the government to take that action by calling for a fall economic update.”
As for Morneau, Poilievre said if the finance minister were “competent, he’s got it already written. But that is not a safe assumption.”
“We’re prepared to work through the Christmas break, if necessary… and I’m sorry if Liberals have vacation plans. Cancel them.”
Asked whether the Conservatives red-tape cutting, lower taxes mantra was in need of an overhaul in light of the previous election result that boosted Conservatives presence in the Commons but failed to unseat Trudeau, Poilievre bristled.
“The trendy pundits that you bring on CBC… they tell us that we need to abandon everything we believe in. That we need to embrace big government, high deficits and high taxes,” replied the Carleton MP.
“That is the absolute worst thing Conservatives could do. That would be an electoral, political and economic disaster for the country if we went down that road. Our goal is not just to fit in with the four socialist parties. Our goal will be to stand out. To stand out as the only voice of taxpayers.”
Brian Bowman, who presides over a city increasingly defined by rising crime, chaos, and a spiralling meth epidemic, apparently thought it would be smart to tweet out a photo of him looking happy to meet China’s ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu.
“Pleased to visit with Chinese Ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu. Thank you for a productive discussion about our Sister City Chengdu, trade, and Winnipeg’s goal of becoming a leader in the protection and promotion of human rights.”
You can already see the problems here.
First, if you’re going to talk about the “protection and promotion of human rights,” you probably shouldn’t be meeting with an ambassador from a country that has a horrific human rights record like China.
China has at least one million innocent Muslim people in concentration camps, is committing a cultural genocide, is breaking their “One Country, Two Systems” pledge in Hong Kong, and is threatening their neighbours.
Also, to “thank” China’s ambassador after that same ambassador threatened Canada, and while China continues to jail the two Michaels is an absolute disgrace.
Unsurprisingly, Bowman is being ripped following the Tweet.
Below, you can see how badly Bowman got ratioed, with just 26 retweets and 482 comments.
Here is some of what people said:
“How much money did communists pay you to make you praise their ‘human rights’ disaster?! Swear you don’t know Tian’anmen Square Massacre, live organ harvesting, Uyghurs in concentration camps, HK protests being brutally cracked down! Where is your conscience sir?!”
“Whose going to tell him they have two of our people in torture like conditions?”
“#TheMichaels will appreciate the irony in the Human Rights part…”
“Human rights and ‘industrial scale murder for organs’ are not compatible”
“It’s time to drop Chengdu as a sister city. And certainly time to revoke any future invitations to ANYONE who denies the existence of these concentration camps. Oh, and you’ve officially lost my vote.”
Bowman was also ripped by some Canadian leaders, including Conservative MP James Bezan, and former Canadian Ambassador to China David Mulroney:
“Statements like this play into the PRC’s agenda of obfuscation, and actually undermine efforts to protect human rights. They reflect the false assumption that diplomacy cannot cope with plain-speaking and hard truths”
“Too bad @Mayor_Bowman was played. The only discussions with Chinese officials should be about the release of Michael Kovrig & Michael Spavor, removing Chinese sanctions on our agriculture products, & respecting human rights in China. Until then, everything else is off the table.”
Bowman has made a fool of himself, and sent a message that will encourage China to treat Canada even worse, as they once again see that the only response from Canada’s political elites is pathetic weakness.
If Bowman had any integrity he would listen to Yaakov Pollak and resign.
A recent study by Statistics Canada revealed that Alberta has lost 18,000 jobs in November alone. The decline in jobs was across numerous industries but was affected most in wholesale and retail trade, according to the Labour Force Survey.
Total employment had seen little dramatic change over the past decade. The unemployment rate rose by 0.5 percent to 7.2 percent as early as August but has since rebounded to 6.6 percent in September and 6.7 percent in October according to StatsCan.
This isn’t just affecting Alberta alone, across the country 38,400 full-time jobs and 32,800 part-time jobs were lost in November. Canada’s overall unemployment rate went up 0.4 percent since October being the biggest one-month hike since 2009.
Manufacturing employment hasn’t been as affected over the past years but the natural resources sector saw about 25,000 lost jobs or 7.2 percent. Alberta and British Columbia taking the biggest hit. British Columbia lost 18,000 jobs in November.
The services-producing sector had a decrease in employment of about 25, 000 workers primarily in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta this November. Men between 25 to 54 and women aged 55 and older were most affected.
Calgary’s housing market is showing the fallout of this increase in unemployment. A decline of 2.2 per cent for the average new home since July 2018 according to the New Housing Price Index.
Jim Sparrow, a long-time realtor in Calgary told the CBC that “the resale prices have been falling for almost five years since the price of oil fell. We’ve sold fewer detached single family homes year to date than we did last year.” said Sparrow.
Even with the decline in prices, it’s the slowest year in Calgary real estate in 23 years. This has led to a decrease in the building of new homes as well.
“Buyers are really hard to find these days for homes in pretty much any price range,” said Sparrow.
Sparrow feels the oil and gas industries are struggling and is the reason for the downward shift in Calgary’s housing market.
“There’s a lot of people that aren’t impacted by the price of oil. But ultimately, I think they will be because Calgary still runs on oil and gas,” he said.
Calgary Real Estate Board chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie told the CBC, “When you take this many people out of the industry … they have no choice but to leave the province if they want to make a living.
“I don’t think we’re going to have any dramatic change in demand next year unless there’s a shift in economic conditions.” she said.