Image of François-Philippe Champagne: Facebook
#François-Philippe Champagne, #Association of Southeast Asian Nations, #investmentrelationships, #Asia-PacificEconomicCooperation,
Toronto, May 29 (Canadian-Media): The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canadian Minister of International Trade concluded a week-long trip to East and Southeast Asia On May 26 to boost trade and investment relationships, media reports said.
“During my official visits to Asia, I have seen first-hand the rapid growth taking place across the region. Asia represents massive opportunities for Canadian businesses that will translate into more innovation, and commercial connections that will help create more jobs and growth at home for Canada’s middle class,” said Champagne, Global Affairs Canada reports said.
According to reports, the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) rank as Canada’s sixth-largest merchandise trading partner, with bilateral merchandise trade in 2016 being $21.6 billion.
Asia’s fast-growing markets reportedly showed great promise as trading partners and is a top priority for the Government of Canada.
This partnership, said the reports, would not only improve bilateral investment, but create more jobs and improve economy to benefit the middle class.
Canada’s second-largest trading partner in Asia was reported to be Japan with Canada’s merchandise exports to Japan being up 9.7 percent since 2015, with the top exports being agri-food products, forest products, and metallurgical, coal and copper ores.
During his trip to Hanoi, Vietnam; Singapore; Seoul, South Korea; and Tokyo, Japan to identify export markets for Canada’s world-class forest products, Champagne met with senior government officials, his international counterparts, media, and local entrepreneurs in wood-product importers and architects, woman entrepreneurs, youth, and innovative companies.
Champagne’s discussion, said the reports, with woman executives and entrepreneurs aimed to further the cause of women’s economic empowerment
Champagne also participated in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in preparation for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November 2017 and had useful meetings with companies using Canadian wood products and companies interested in potentially growing imports.
An APEC Business Advisory Council meeting, is reported to be hosted in Toronto In July 2017 in which all business and political leaders, from the Asia-Pacific region, focused on increasing trade and economic cooperation, would get a chance to participate.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#Statistics Canada, #Jeremy Harrison, #WholesaleTrade
Toronto, May 26 (Canadian-Media): According to the Statistics Canada’s report this week, wholesale sales in Saskatchewan jumped 1.4 percent during March when compared to the previous month.
Sales, in Saskatchewan, one of the provinces of Canada, had shown a steady upsurge 13.8 percent – a $261-million increase from March of 2015-March of 2016 in the sales this year -- the third-highest percentage growth among the provinces. -- was due to growth of motor vehicle sales and parts, and machinery, equipment and supplies, Global News reports said.
The total value of wholesale trade in March was $2.2 billion.
Saskatchewan’s Economy Minister Jeremy Harrison said the numbers reflect a growing optimism in the province’s economy.
“Wholesale trade continued to grow in March, and that shows that our provincial economy remains strong and resilient,” Harrison said in a statement.
“Growth in wholesale trade points to optimism as wholesale trade statistics are known as a leading indicator of future economic growth.”
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Image of Jeremy Harrison: twitter
#Ontario, # Jobs, # Canada, # BalancedBudget, # OHIP, # JobsInCanada, #JobsInOntario
Toronto, May 20 (Canadian-Media): The Ontario government in Canada had predicted creation of an addition of 94,000 new jobs in 2017 which would lead to upsurge in employment rate by 1.3 percent, a press release reports said.
Since 2001, Ontario had seen the lowest unemployment rate of 5.8 percent in April.
Last month Ontario's Liberal government presented a $141-billion budget promising to invest billions of new dollars into health care.
The "balanced" budget was approved this week, and the government said this would support a stronger, healthier Ontario. This included, starting in January 2018, considerable investments in health care and education, including free prescription medications for everyone aged 24 and under through Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) and Children and Youth Pharmacare.
The 2017 "Balanced Budget" is part of the government's plan to invest in people, communities and businesses across the province with am to help strengthen Ontario's economy to create jobs, and help people in their everyday lives.
A balanced budget ensures access to more funding for the programs and services for the people, the government said.
“Ontario’s balanced budget is more than just the bottom line number, it’s about creating more opportunities and providing greater support for people. This balanced budget makes crucial investments in hospitals, schools, public transit, roads and bridges across the province. Our plan continues to bolster Ontario’s strong reputation as a driver of progressive policy and a leader in economic growth," said Charles Sousa, Provincial Minister of Finance.
The government is investing of more than $190 billion, the largest infrastructure investment, over the 13-year period starting in 2014–15, in the province’s history. This would help in building new child care spaces, schools, hospitals, public transit, highways and roads.
There has been a considerable increase in exports and business investments and as a result unemployment rate continues to decline, claimed the government.
The province has launched a new Career Kick-Start Strategy, as part of the current budget, and plans to create 40,000 new work-related opportunities to help students and recent graduates to have the necessary experience help land a good job.
The growth of Ontario's real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), over the last three years, supported by the government's strategic investments, has surpassed that of all G7 countries.
To reduce wait times, improve access to care and faster recovery of patients, our government is increasing health care funding by $11.5 billion over three years.
In the field of education also, an additional $6.4 billion over three years being invested to help learners reach their full potential by supporting from kindergarten right through the postsecondary education.
The present budget would facilitate 100,000 more children to access affordable, quality licensed child care in addition 24,000, allocated in 2017-18, it said.
Beginning this summer, there would be a reduction of the household electricity bills by 25 percent on average, implied by the current budget, and will hold rate increases to inflation for four years, said the government.
Besides large investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and other public infrastructure in Ontario's history, the budget would also ensure more affordable housing for homebuyers and renters through Ontario's Fair Housing Plan, the government claimed.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Image of Charles Sousa: Twitter
#EglintonCrosstown #LRT, #Metrolinx, #Bombardier, #JohnJensen, #StevenDelDuca, #JoshMatlow, #injunction
Toronto, May 15 (Canadian-Media): Metrolinx -- an agency created by Government of Ontario to improve the coordination and integration of all modes of transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area -- had taken a major decision last week to enter into contract with Alstom, one of Bombardier's competitors, as an alternative supplier of light rail vehicles to ensure the timely launch of Eglinton Crosstown LRT and to keep other LRT projects on track, media reports said.
“We know for sure that Alstom’s light rail vehicles work. They are currently producing quality vehicles on-time for Ottawa’s Confederation Line LRT project. We are going through a dispute resolution process with Bombardier, but that could take 8-12 months, and we can’t wait that long to determine whether Bombardier will be able to deliver. We are hopeful that Bombardier can get its program on track. However, the steps we are taking give us a safety net if it turns out Bombardier is unable to fulfil its contract", said John Jensen, President & CEO, Metrolinx.
Over the past several months, Bombardier had failed to prove its ability to deliver quality vehicles according to the contract schedule compelling Metrolinx to make a deal with Alstom.
As a result, the transit authority of The Greater Toronto Area (which includes city of Toronto and the adjoining cities) had ordered 61 light-rail vehicles from Alstom Canada, costing approximately $528 million.
Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation, said that 17 of these vehicles will be used for the Finch West LRT and added that if Bombardier is able to deliver their vehicles on time, the 44 remaining vehicles ordered from Alstom will be used for the Hurontario-Main LRT line.
“We believe that this is both a creative and prudent approach to dealing with the less-than-ideal situation that none of us relishes being in,” Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca told reporters at a press conference in Toronto Friday morning.
According to a news release Del Duca stated, "This is a sensible, responsible, and creative plan. If Bombardier is…able to deliver quality vehicles on time for the Eglinton Crosstown's completion, Metrolinx will be able to use the Alstom vehicles for other projects, including the Hurontario LRT. If Bombardier is found to be in default, Alstom's vehicles would be used on the Crosstown and an additional order would be placed with Alstom for Hurontario. This plan puts people in Ontario first -- both as commuters and as taxpayers. This isn't about who gets the job done; it's about getting the job done. As the Minister of Transportation, that will continue to be my priority."
Bombardier had scored a procedural victory against the Bombardier in April when a judge ruled that Metrolinx cannot cancel a $770-million contract and implied both parties to go through a dispute resolution process.
But The transit authority announced that Metrolinx was already in discussions with an alternate supplier by the time the injunction was approved.
Citing the delayed delivery of a test pilot vehicle, Del Duca had stated, "That dispute resolution process could take up to one year, and if Bombardier continues to fall even further behind during this process, it could mean that our transit projects will be further delayed…It has been clear for months that Bombardier has failed to meet its obligations as it relates to other critical transit projects."
Coun. Josh Matlow, whose ward contains a large section of the LRT route applauded Metrolinx's move of entering into contract with Alstom.
"If Metrolinx is taking proactive and prudent measures to ensure their deadline for the LRT to be running... then I think that's something that's a smart move on their part," he told CBC Toronto.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#IOM African Capacity Building Centre, #Tanzania, #Africa, # UNMigrationAgency, # Democratic Republic of the Congo, #Republic of Guinea, # Federal Republic of Nigeria, #Republic of Sierra Leone, #United Republic of Tanzania, #Enhancing Migration Management in African States, #Netherlands, #CelestineMushy, #Dr.QasimSufi
Tanzania, May 11 (Canadian-Media): A new capacity-building project for immigration and border officials from five African countries had been launched by the IOM African Capacity Building Centre (ACBC) on May 8, media reports said.
The UN Migration Agency (IOM) would provide instruction on a rotating basis to 100 border and immigration officials from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Republic of Guinea (Conakry), Federal Republic of Nigeria, Republic of Sierra Leone and the United Republic of Tanzania in Moshi, United Republic of Tanzania, International Organization of Migration reports said.
The training project entitled, “Enhancing Migration Management in African States through Capacity Building on Integrated Border Management and Countering Irregular Migration”, was funded by the Ministry of Security and Justice of the Netherlands costing Euro 274,098 and was attended by government, donor and IOM officials at the Tanzania Regional Immigration Training Academy (TRITA) in Moshi.
Supervision of the project would be done by the Repatriation and Departure Services (RDS) of the Ministry of Security and Justice of the Netherlands and the training would be provided in immigration and migration-related topics targeted to middle management officials from border agencies.
Training in techniques in screening travellers and investigation of reported cases of human trafficking will be two areas of concern and would be provided at national, regional and international levels.
Ambassador Celestine Mushy, Tanzania’s Director of Multilateral Cooperation and East African Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, commended RDS and IOM for their timely intervention.
“African migrants have perished while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe,” he told the audience, “And I call upon the international community to treat migrants with humanity.”
Jan Willem Konig, the Senior Advisor of the RDS said: “It is the joint responsibility of the international community to address challenges related to irregular migration and human trafficking that is causing the suffering and death of tens of thousands of migrants.”
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
UN Immigration Agency: Courtesy of IOM
#J.P. Meena, #India, #SIALCanada2017, #Toronto, #Canada, #DineshBhatia, #GregMeredith, #I-CCC, #WorldFoodIndia2017
Mr. J.P. Meena, Special Secretary in the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (FPI), Government of India was in Toronto to participate in a major biennial event “SIAL Canada 2017,” held in Toronto from May 2-4, 2017, a press release report, issued by The Consulate General of India in Toronto, said.
SIAL Canada 2017, related to agriculture and food processing industries had meetings – arranged by the Consulate General of India in Toronto, Mr. Dinesh Bhatia -- with officials of Ontario Government and Canadian companies to discuss ways to enhance bilateral cooperation in food processing sector.
Mr. Meena accompanied by Mr. Bhatia along with officials from Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and Invest India had met with Mr. Greg Meredith, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Small Business and other senior officials in the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Mr. Meena also had a chance to indulge in profitable interaction with the President of the Canadian Food Exporters Association as well as with the representatives of the various major Canadian companies.
Mr. Meena and Mr. Bhatia also participated in a Roundtable organised by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (I-CCC) in Toronto with prominent Canadian companies in the food and food processing sector, where Mr. Meena made an announcement about the “World Food India, 2017”, to be held in New Delhi, India from 3-5 November 2017.
Mr. Meena added that aim of this international food summit -- organised by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, India – would serve as a global platform for the vast investment opportunities available in India for all food processing and food retail players.
This summit, said Mr. Meena, would enable Canadian companies to connect and collaborate with potential investors, suppliers and buyers. The Canadian counterparts, keenly interested in enhancing bilateral relations, said they were considering participation in the Delhi Summit.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#news business, #MélanieJoly, #Canadianmediaindustry, #Google, #Facebook, #Ottawa, #Canada, #digitalsubscriptions, #New York Times website
Greatly concerned about the declining media industry in distribution of news, Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, made a call last week suggesting redefining Canadian media industry, media reports said.
While addressing an audience of journalists at the annual Canadian Association of Journalists conference Friday, Joly commented, there had been job cuts in Canadian news outlets due to decline in its profits in recent years and said government should work as catalyst to redefine change of our business practice.
She, however, said that she could not predict what Ottawa will do to help improve the situation, theStarNews reports said.
Joly mentioned that there a range from tax changes to the creation of a fund for media projects.
A report, published in January on the declining media sector, said Google and Facebook, were responsible for huge portions of digital ad spending.
Keeping this in mind, said Joly, the government should include big agencies like Google and Facebook along with journalists in media industry in all its decisions.
These questions and concerns had been explored by Parliamentary committee, for several months, and committee is expected to make recommendations on how to respond to changes of the ascendancy of digital platforms such as Google and Facebook, which publish news for millions of users collectively, and the downfall of newspapers and private broadcasters in smaller markets.
In late January, the Ottawa-based Public Policy Forum released a report on the media industry.
The report said in almost a decade ad revenues, for community and daily newspapers in Canada, had dropped from $3.8 billion to $2.3 billion, and private broadcasters also saw declines.
It recommended several ways the government could support Canadian journalism including the application of sales tax to the sales of digital subscriptions of foreign media outlets, such as the New York Times website, and the introduction of fund to support digital news innovation local news and indigenous reporting.
The fund would start with $100 million from Ottawa and then run on $400 million per year, and the money could come from the digital subscription tax revenue.
The committee also suggested that funds can also be generated by 10-per-cent levy on advertisements purchased from digital platforms that don’t spend enough money on news reporting in Canada.
Joly said Friday that while the report’s recommendations were being considered it was hard to say which ones, if any, the government may act on.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Image of Mélanie Joly: Wikipedia
#Annual Job and Career Fair, #The City of Toronto Next Steps Employment Centres, #Progress Career Planning Institute, #YWCA Toronto, #On-site pre-screening interviews, #Free Wi-Fi
Annual Job and Career Fair will be hosted by The City of Toronto Next Steps Employment Centres, Progress Career Planning Institute and YWCA Toronto on May 3 from 10 a.m. at the Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Drive. media release reports said.
The main aim of this Career Fair is to connect job seekers and employers as part of the City’s workforce development strategy,
The event will be launched with the opening remarks by Deputy Mayor Glenn De Baeremaeker (Councillor, Ward 38 Scarborough Centre) and Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of Toronto's Economic Development Committee.
This fair will be attended by more than 35 employers from a variety of sectors. Job seekers are invited to bring their resumés and be ready to meet employers. On-site pre-screening interviews will be conducted for some positions. Resumé reviews and interview tips will be provided by event staff. Free Wi-Fi will be available. All Toronto residents are welcome to attend.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj
Image of job fair: Wikimedia Commons