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Tag Archives: Canada

Chart: Canada Federal Debt by Prime Ministers

Source : Fraser Institute

Chart: Canada Central Bank Raised Interest Rate by 1%

Largest Bank of Canada rate hike since 1998

The Bank of Canada joins more than 30 other central banks around the world that have raised interest rates by a full percentage or more this year.

Source : Bloomberg

Canadian Cities Like Vancouver and Hamilton Top L.A. and Chicago As More Expensive Places to Live

Tyler Durden wrote . . . . . . . . .

Canada’s most expensive cities to live are starting to officially overtake the U.S.’s most expensive cities to live.

In fact, Mississauga, Vancouver, and Hamilton are more expensive than well known expensive U.S. cities like Los Angeles and Chicago, according to a new study from Canadian insurance provider PolicyAdvisor.

The study looked at the “10 biggest cities by population in each of Canada and the US based on the average cost of eight items in each – a cinema ticket, a meal out, a bottle of water, a cappuccino, one month of gym membership, a one way ticket and a monthly ticket on public transport as well as a month’s rent”.

Topping the list remains New York, which is the most expensive city when “considering cost of living in relation with salary”. The combined cost of the basket of 8 items that the study looked at accounted for 57% of the average salary in New York, the study found.

New York was followed by Mississauga, Canada, at 56.4% of salary, and Vancouver, Canada, at 50% of salary. Both Hamilton and Toronto, Canada beat out well known expensive U.S. cities like Los Angeles and San Diego.

New York had the “highest price of rent, at an average of $3,381.88 per month, as well as the highest gym membership cost ($103.35), monthly transportation pass ($129.5) and cost of a meal at an inexpensive restaurant ($25),” the study found.

Toronto had the “second highest cost of monthly transport pass after New York” and Hamilton also a high monthly travel pass, at $85. Vancouver was toward the top of the list because of its far lower salary than other cities – people earned just $3,804.53 per month there.

“The impact of the pandemic has made a lot of people reconsider their priorities for both their careers and where they want to live. This data contains some surprising results, as even though some major cities in North America might be perceived as having lower living costs – when factoring in the average salary in the area, it’s not as clear cut,” a PolicyAdvisor spokesperson said.

Source : ZeroHedge

A Province-by-province Look at Excess Deaths in Canada During the Pandemic

Imagine the COVID-19 pandemic never happened — people still would have died across Canada, and the number of deaths would have been somewhat predictable based on data from previous years.

In a new study, Dr. Kimberlyn McGrail, a professor in UBC’s school of population of public health, examined all “excess deaths” across Canadian provinces during the first 19 months of the pandemic, and how many of those were attributed specifically to COVID-19. Excess deaths are deaths above and beyond what would have been expected under normal circumstances.

Dr. McGrail spoke about the findings, published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Why look at “excess deaths” rather than just COVID-19 deaths when trying to understand the pandemic?

The pandemic had a direct effect on deaths, in that people got the virus and unfortunately some died from it, but the pandemic also had other effects. People delayed care, or had surgeries, diagnostics and appointments cancelled, which can lead to poorer outcomes. We also had other public health events going on — particularly in B.C. with the ongoing tainted drug supply and the heat dome in the summer of 2021. Those things were potentially affected by the pandemic. So overall mortality is a better indication of what’s actually happening at the population level.

How do we know how many deaths were expected?

I used data provided by Statistics Canada. They look at trends in the population’s size and age in the five years preceding the pandemic to model what would have been expected in 2020-21, absent the pandemic.

What did you learn about excess deaths across Canada during the pandemic?

Excess mortality is just an estimate, but the experience across the provinces, according to what Statistics Canada is telling us, is very different. We saw very little to no excess death in the Atlantic provinces, and quite high excess deaths in western provinces.

What are some possible explanations for this wide variation?

One of the challenges is that a number of different things could contribute to this variation, and it’s probably not one or another, but a combination.

For COVID-19 deaths, differences in COVID-19 reporting practices could be contributing. Each province defines and counts COVID-19 deaths in different ways, and reports them at different speeds.

For overall excess deaths, it could be because provinces differed in their responses to COVID-19. It could be because of the additional public health events going on. Or it could be the broader implications of COVID-19, like cancelled surgeries and delayed diagnostics. There may also be some inaccuracy in the modelling of expected deaths by Statistics Canada.

Your study shows that excess deaths far exceeded COVID-19 deaths in some provinces. How is that possible?

I’ll use the heat dome in the summer of 2021 as a particular example. The B.C. Coroners Service has now attributed almost 600 deaths to that event. You might say that’s not related to COVID-19. However, so much policy attention was being placed on COVID-19 at the time. Some of the precautions, with people being locked down, limited activity and so on, might have contributed to how we responded to the heat dome, which in turn could have contributed to deaths. For example, lots of older people living alone didn’t have the usual level of social support and people checking on them.

Source : The University of British Columbia

Read also at Statistics Canada

Provisional death counts and excess mortality, January 2020 to February 2022 . . . . .

Charts: Canada’s Annual Inflation Quickened to 7.7% in May 2022

The highest since January 1983 and above market expectations.

Source : Trading Economics

Survey: Nearly 1 in 4 Canadian Homeowners Say They’d Have to Sell Home If Interest Rates Rise More

Nearly one in four homeowners say they will have to sell their home if interest rates go up further, according to a new debt survey from Manulife Bank of Canada.

The survey, conducted between April 14 and April 20, also found that 18 per cent of homeowners polled are already at a stage where they can’t afford their homes.

More than one in five Canadians expect rising interest rates to have a “significant negative impact” on their overall mortgage, debt and financial situation, the survey found.

The Bank of Canada remains on a rate-hike path as it tries to tame inflation, which is now at a 31-year high of 6.8 per cent. On June 1, the central bank increased its key interest rate by half a percentage point, to 1.5 per cent.

Low interest rates during the pandemic fuelled a surge in real estate demand that led housing prices to soar.

“Some Canadians made decisions to take their mortgages out based on what they could be approved for and maybe didn’t get some financial advice to say, well, ‘I know I can get approved for a mortgage at this particular level, but what can I actually afford?'” said Lysa Fitzgerald, vice-president of sales at Manulife.

But Fitzgerald says it’s important to remember that the survey is an indication of how Canadians feel about their financial situation rather than a reflection of their actual financial risk.

“There is a lot of speculation that is going on out there,” she said. “I would just encourage Canadians to find themselves a really good certified financial adviser who’s used to dealing with these types of scenarios.”

The Manulife survey also found that two-thirds of Canadians do not view home ownership as affordable in their local community.

Additionally, close to half of indebted Canadians say debt is impacting their mental health, and almost 50 per cent of Canadians say they would struggle to handle surprise expenses.

Source : CBC

Chart: Canada Annual Inflation Rate Continue to Climb in April 2022

The highest since January 1991

Source : Trading Economics

Canadians Advised to Regularly Conduct Personal Risk Assessments As COVID Restrictions Are Lifted

Nick Boisvert wrote . . . . . . . . .

The improving state of the COVID-19 pandemic means Canadian jurisdictions can now ease public health restrictions further, federal officials said Friday.

Trends of severe illness are declining in most areas of the country, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported during its weekly pandemic news conference.

Nationally, the rate of patients being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals has dropped by 15 per cent compared to last week.

“We need to turn our focus on easing societal disruption,” said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

That message comes as provinces across the country are rapidly lifting restrictions and vaccine mandates in a variety of settings.

Alberta and Saskatchewan have moved most aggressively to scrap COVID-19 measures, including requirements for masks and vaccine passports in virtually all situations.

Ontario followed on March 1 by lifting its vaccine passport system and capacity limits in all indoor settings. Quebec is slated to introduce similar changes later this month.

While Tam noted that a return to normal life is prudent given the recession of the Omicron wave, she also advised Canadians to assume more personal responsibility as they go about life in a society with relatively few restrictions in place.

“Regaining in-person social and economic activities while the pandemic is still ongoing and the virus is not going away means we must use all that we have learned to do this safely and make it last,” she said.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says Canadians will have to assume more personal responsibility as restrictions are relaxed or removed. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Compared to several provinces, the federal government has been slower to lift restrictions and vaccine mandates.

An unvaccinated person in Alberta, for example, is now allowed to go to any indoor setting with no capacity limit and no mask requirement — but that same person would not be permitted to board a plane.

Tam said federal agencies in charge of those rules, including Transport Canada, are evaluating the epidemiological situation and “will be making any policy adjustments as needed in the coming days and weeks.”

Officials call for ‘individual risk assessments’

Public health officials say Canadians should routinely perform what they call “individual risk assessments” as restrictions are lifted.

“Regularly checking in on the local epidemiology where you are or where you are going is important for keeping up on recommendations,” Tam said.

Those assessments should become “as important and routine as checking the weather,” she added.

Levels of community spread, vaccine rates and a person’s age and health are among the factors to be considered when making decisions, officials said.

Even as mask requirements are lifted in some provinces, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo said he plans to keep wearing a mask as an added layer of protection against infection.

“For a while, I will keep wearing a mask when I leave the house,” Njoo said in French during the news conference, noting that he’s over 50 and therefore faces a slightly elevated risk.

Tam and Njoo said similar assessments should be conducted ahead of any travel plans for March break.

The doctors urged families to evaluate the state of the pandemic and the public health rules at their planned destination, and to adjust their plans accordingly. Njoo did not issue any blanket advice against international travel.

“For me, personally, it’s a question of doing a personal risk assessment,” he said.

Source : CBC

Is Canada Becoming North America’s Cuba?

Dennis Prager wrote . . . . . . . . .

Canada is leaving the Western world.

In terms of all-encompassing government, suppression of dissent and the denial of fundamental human rights to many of its citizens, Canada is now more similar to Cuba than to any free country. Canada may eventually return to Western civilization, but as of this writing, the majority of Canadians appear to have no interest in it doing so. According to Maru Public Opinion, “two-thirds (66 percent) of Canadians support Prime Minister Justin Trudeau bringing in the Emergencies Act …. A majority (56 percent) of Canadians do not support the truckers who are protesting in any way, shape, or form …. This is a majority view held in every province/region across the country.”

I suspect that most Americans—and certainly most people outside of America or Canada—do not know precisely what Canada’s Marxist prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is doing to his country.

So, allow me to review.

Last week, for only the second time in Canadian history other than wartime—the first time was under Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, the other Marxist to govern Canada—Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act. This statute enables a Canadian prime minister to suspend fundamental human rights and rule as a dictator.

The CBC described in detail how Trudeau is using the Emergencies Act to destroy the lives of Canadian dissidents. This should be read carefully. Such policies have never been enacted by a Western country against its own citizens (with the extremely rare exceptions of those actively engaged in terrorism):

“Using powers granted under the Emergencies Act, the federal government has directed banks and other financial institutions to stop doing business with people associated with the anti-vaccine mandate convoy occupying the nation’s capital.

“The government’s new directive, called the ‘emergency economic measures order,’ goes beyond asking banks to simply stop transferring funds to protest organizers. The government wants banks to stop doing business with some people altogether.

“The order says that banks and other financial entities (like credit unions, co-ops, loan companies, trusts and cryptocurrency platforms) must stop ‘providing any financial or related services’ to people associated with the protests—a move that will result in frozen accounts, stranded money and cancelled credit cards.

“The Emergencies Act gives authorities the power to freeze the finances of those connected to blockades and protests, and the consequences could last long after the demonstrations end …

“The regulation’s definition of a ‘designated person’ also includes … anyone sending funds to support these protests …

“Mark Blumberg is a lawyer at Blumberg Segal LLP who specializes in non-profit and charity law. In an interview, he said that while the Emergencies Act gives banks time-limited powers, these institutions ‘may just decide to shut the person’s account down’ because there could be ‘huge risks’ for banks servicing these customers in the future. Banks will be working with law enforcement to decide who should be ‘de-banked.’

“A senior government official said … police could gather the names and license plate numbers of people participating in a protest or an unlawful assembly and share that information with FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) …

“Former CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) senior strategic analyst Jessica Davis (said) ‘the people who are participating in the protest aren’t going to be able to do things like pay bills, pay their hotel bills. They will eventually run out of supplies as well …

“With access to bank accounts and credit cards and other financial instruments suspended, protesters won’t be able to pay for things like hotel and fuel bills …

“Over the longer term, Davis said, it may be hard for some of the truckers participating to ever find work again because they could lack the necessary insurance to operate a big rig. ‘Paying bills, paying rent and any kind of day-to-day financial transaction can be stopped for people who are part of the protest movement,’ she said. There may also be some ‘unintended consequences’ from frozen accounts, such as suspended alimony and child support payments, Davis said. ‘It’s going to be very difficult for them.’

“Banks have been granted immunity against legal action in the event of disputes over whether someone should have been denied financial services. ‘No proceedings under the Emergencies Act and no civil proceedings lie against an entity for complying with this Order,’ the regulations read.”

None of these life-ruining, due-process defying measures is necessary. The truckers’ demonstrations could have been ended by arresting drivers who would not move their trucks or simply just towing their trucks. The purpose of these regulations is to destroy dissenters and deter future dissent. In a word, it is to ruin the lives of those who disobey Justin Trudeau.

As one who has followed Canadian life over the decades—I have lectured in nine of Canada’s 10 provinces—the moral descent of Canada is depressing but not especially surprising. Since I was in college in the 1970s, I traveled abroad every year of my life except in 2020—to some 130 countries. I not only took interest in the countries I visited but in the tourists who visited them. I recall well that when I was young, many young Canadians stitched a Canadian flag onto their backpacks. As almost no tourists from other nations did that, I asked Canadians why they did. Their reason was to identify themselves as Canadian rather than as American.

I am not the first observer of Canadians to note that a major part of Canadian identity—especially among Canadian elites—is being a not-American. Many Canadians were and remain first and foremost not-Americans. Other than that, not much defines Canadians. And when a nation stands essentially for nothing, bad things eventually happen—because nothingness is eventually filled or replaced by bad.

On my radio show, I once asked the late Charles Krauthammer, one of the most insightful commentators of this era, what he saw as the greatest difference between his native Canada and his adopted country, the United States. Without hesitation, he said that in America the national motto is “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” and in Canada it is “Peace, Order, and Good Government.”

The first inspires a nation. The second doesn’t.

Upon the death of Fidel Castro, Justin Trudeau gave the most positive assessment of the Cuban tyrant of any Western leader. It is worth quoting in full because it demonstrates Trudeau’s affection for communism and because Trudeau is transforming Canada into Cuba:

“It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President. Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.

“While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for ‘el Comandante.’

“I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honor to meet his three sons and his brother, President Raul Castro, during my recent visit to Cuba.

“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”

There does remain one major difference between Canada and Cuba. Few Cubans support their Marxist leaders, but most Canadians support theirs. They don’t know what they’re in for.

Source : Epoch Times

When Boring People Turn Dangerous: Taibbi On Canada’s Insane Power Grab

Matt Taibbi wrote . . . . . . . . .

On Christmas Eve, 2018, New York Times writer Andrew Ross Sorkin published, “How Banks Unwittingly Finance Mass Shootings.” Chronicling the credit card history of the man who killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida Sorkin noted Omar Mateen had not merely spent $26,532 on weapons and ammo in the eight months before the 2016 attack, but had wondered if his doing so had raised red flags:

Two days before Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 53 more at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, he went on Google and typed “Credit card unusual spending…” His web browsing history chronicled his anxiety: “Credit card reports all three bureaus,” “FBI,” and “Why banks stop your purchases.”

He needn’t have worried. None of the banks, credit-card network operators or payment processors alerted law enforcement officials about the purchases he thought were so suspicious.

Sorkin’s piece ended up being an argument in favor of credit-card companies, payment processors, banks, and others working together to bring about a Minority Report-style panacea in which society’s dangerous folk could be cyber-identified and stopped before they commit horrific acts.

At one point he quoted George Brauchler, the District Attorney who prosecuted the Century 16 movie shooter in Aurora Colorado, James Holmes:

“Do I wish someone from law enforcement had been able to go to his door and knock on his door and figure out a way to talk their way into it or to freak him out?” he said of Mr. Holmes. “Yeah, absolutely.”

I’ve never owned a gun and have been sympathetic to gun control ideas for as long as I can remember. Sorkin, however, was not talking about gun control. He was theorizing a quasi-privatized vision of social control that would bypass laws by merging surveillance capitalism and law enforcement.

In a rhetorical trick that’s since become common, he described how the failure of companies like Visa to block Mateen’s purchases made them “enablers of carnage.” Clearly, someone made the mistake of letting Sorkin see Sam Raimi’s Spiderman, and Cliff Robertson now whispers from the beyond to him too. If those with power to act don’t stop wrongdoing, aren’t they just shirking their great responsibility?

By the way, this same Sorkin once suggested he wouldn’t stop at arresting Edward Snowden, but go after the reporter who broke his story, too. “I would arrest him and now I’d almost arrest Glenn Greenwald, the journalist… he wants to help him get to Ecuador,” he said, on CNBC’s Squawk Box. It’s amazing how selective one can be in one’s authoritarian leanings. After Goldman, Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein appeared to commit perjury in 2011 when he told the Senate, “We didn’t bet against our clients,” Sorkin rushed an apologia into print saying “Mr. Blankfein wasn’t lying,” failing to remind audiences that his Dealbook blog at the Times was sponsored by… Goldman, Sachs.

Sorkin’s Visa piece is suddenly relevant again, after fellow former finance reporter Chrystia Freeland — someone I’ve known since we were both expat journalists in Russia in the nineties — announced last week that her native Canada would be making Sorkin’s vision a reality. Freeland arouses strong feelings among old Russia hands. Before the Yeltsin era collapsed, she had consistent, remarkable access to gangster-oligarchs like Boris Berezovsky, who appeared in her Financial Times articles described as aw-shucks humans just doing their best to make sure “big capital” maintained its “necessary role” in Russia’s political life. “Berezovsky was one of several financiers who came together in a last-ditch attempt to keep the Communists out of the Kremlin” was typical Freeland fare in, say, 1998.

Then the Yeltsin era collapsed in corrupt ignominy and Freeland immediately wrote a book called Sale of the Century that identified Yeltsin’s embrace of her former top sources as the “original sin” of Russian capitalism, a “Faustian bargain” that crippled Russia’s chance at true progress. This is Freeland on Yeltsin’s successor in 2000. Note the “Yes, Putin has a reputation for beating the press, but his economic rep is solid!” passage at the end:

It looks as if we’re about to fall in love with Russia all over again…

Compared to the ailing, drink-addled figure Boris Yeltsin cut in his later years, his successor, Vladimir Putin, in the eyes of many western observers, seems refreshingly direct, decisive and energetic… Tony Blair, who has already paid Putin the compliment of a visit to Russia and received the newly installed president in Downing Street in return, has praised him as a strong leader with a reformist vision. Bill Clinton, who recently hot-footed it to Russia, offered the equally sunny appraisal that “when we look at Russia today . . . we see an economy that is growing . . . we see a Russia that has just completed a democratic transfer of power for the first time in a thousand years.”

To be sure, some critics have lamented Putin’s support for the bloody second war in Chechnya, accused him of eroding freedom of the press… and worried aloud that his KGB background and unrepenting loyalty to the honor of that institution could jeopardize Russia’s fragile democratic institutions. But many of even Putin’s fiercest prosecutors seem inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the economy…

Years later, she is somehow Canada’s Finance Minister, and what another friend from our Russia days laughingly describes as “the Nurse Ratched of the New World Order.” At the end of last week, Minister Freeland explained that in expanding its Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) program, her government was “directing Canadian financial institutions to review their relationships with anyone involved in the illegal blockades.”

She went on to describe the invocation of Canada’s Emergencies Act in the dripping-fake tones of someone trying to put a smile on an insurance claim rejection, with even phrases packed with bad news steered upward in the form of cheery hypotheticals. As in, The names of both individuals and entities as well as crypto wallets? Have been shared? By the RCMP with financial institutions? And accounts have been frozen? As she confirmed this monstrous news about freezing bank accounts, Freeland burst into nervous laughter, looking like Tony Perkins sharing a cheery memory with “mother”:

Source : TK NEws