News   May 17, 2024
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PM Justin Trudeau's Canada

Canada is raising the federal minimum wage next month

From link.

Federal workers are getting a bump in their pay next month.

The Canadian government has announced that it will raise the federal minimum wage from $15.55 to $16.65 per hour on April 1, 2023.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) says this increase is to keep pace with inflation, which rose by 6.8% in 2022.
“The cost of living is rising, so we’re making sure that wages keep going up too,” said Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan Jr in a statement. “We’re looking after workers, because that’s how you grow the economy and create more prosperity for everyone.”

The government adds that this raise aims to make life more affordable for approximately 26,000 Canadian workers who earn less than the current rate.

Federally regulated private-sector employers will need to adjust their payroll information with the new rate to ensure employees and interns are paid correctly as of April 1, says the ESDC.

If the provincial or territorial minimum wage rate is higher than the federal minimum wage, employers must apply the higher pay.

This wage increase applies to workplaces including banks, postal and courier services, interprovincial air, railroad, and marine transportation.

The last federal minimum wage increase was in April 2022.

This change comes as provinces and territories make moves to boost workers’ paycheques. Here’s a rundown on which spots in Canada will and won’t be raising the minimum wage in 2023.

For more information on the federal minimum wage increase, you can check out the government’s pay and minimum wage, deductions, and wage recovery site, or contact the Labour Program at 1-800-641-4049.
I would just as concerned and outraged if I learned that the Koch Brothers, Apple or The Vatican were interfering in our elections.

Just an addendum to earlier discussion. Everybody focuses on right wing lobbying like the Koch network. But some left wing outfits are just as bad. There's a few now that have been co-opted and trying to push for an end to aid to Ukraine. There's some that push genocide denial and revisionism. We should be careful with our biases that those who seek to influence us, only come from one side of the political spectrum.

Anti-Chinese racism during Covid was absolutely disgusting. Governments should have done more to crack down.

The current atmosphere is most definitely not great. And that goes beyond the security concerns, with broader issues with immigration. Sadly, the advocates who would be best suited to speak up for Chinese Canadians (politicians from that community) are some of the very problems that agencies are complaining about.
There were always simmering hostilities, especially in Vancouver. With housing and then the pandemic and now this. It just seems like it never really goes away.

Yes those politicians are especially troubling because it casts doubt on other politicians and community leaders. There’s always going to be a questioning of allegiance. But that was a problem before I guess. I think we all remember the attacks on Dr Theresa Tam.

I worry that the political polarization around interference and the willingness of the current government to use racism as an excuse to avoid accountability and scrutiny, is risking delegitimizing real complaints about racism. At some point, the government in power will change (as is the course of democracy) and when it does I don't want combating racism to be seen solely as a Liberal cause and combating foreign interference as solely a Conservative cause. This would be very bad for the country and even worse for Chinese Canadians.
It looks like it’s heading that way, unfortunately. The conversation at the political level has lost a lot of nuance. To Conservative partisans the idea of racism in this country is that it doesn’t exist. And to Liberal partisans it’s used as a shield to deflect criticism. Like you allude to, this polarization is not healthy.
Just an addendum to earlier discussion. Everybody focuses on right wing lobbying like the Koch network. But some left wing outfits are just as bad. There's a few now that have been co-opted and trying to push for an end to aid to Ukraine. There's some that push genocide denial and revisionism. We should be careful with our biases that those who seek to influence us, only come from one side of the political spectrum.

I just find it so bizarre how the far left and far right come together in their support of Russia over Ukraine. It’s almost like some knee jerk contrarianism to set themselves apart as “enlightened”.
I just find it so bizarre how the far left and far right come together in their support of Russia over Ukraine. It’s almost like some knee jerk contrarianism to set themselves apart as “enlightened”.

I don't find it surprising. The far left thinks the US and its Western allies are the worst evils to befall the world. So even Putin's fit of imperialistic genocide is defensible, if it falls on to a Western aligned country. For the far right, it's mostly reactionary (to liberals being in office) and partly fear that their bannerman (Putin) is going to be exposed for the weakling and fraud that he is, undermining their standing. Remember when they thought the manly Russian military would triumph because of its manliness and that would show how weak the liberalized US and West is? Not working out so well for either side that Ukraine still stands and does so with Western aid.

Canada’s inflation rate eases by most since early in the pandemic, but grocery costs still rising fast

From link.

Canada’s annual inflation rate fell by the most since the early stages of the pandemic, although grocery prices are still rising by more than 10 per cent, a strain on household finances.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 5.2 per cent in February from a year earlier, slowing from a 5.9-per-cent pace in January, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday. It was the largest drop in CPI since April, 2020. Financial analysts had been expecting an inflation rate of 5.4 per cent.

The recent slowdown in consumer price growth is largely because the initial effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – which led to spiking prices of commodities, such as crude oil and wheat – are no longer part of the year-over-year calculation of inflation. This is known as a base effect.

For that reason, the coming months should bring a further deceleration. The Bank of Canada projects the annual rate of CPI growth will cool to around 3 per cent by the middle of the year, then return to its 2-per-cent target by late 2024.

Elsewhere, there were signs of stickiness. Excluding food and energy, prices were up 4.8 per cent on an annual basis in February, down just slightly from a 4.9-per-cent gain in January.
The Bank of Canada and other central banks are being tested by inflation that remains too high, but also distress in the financial system, after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and the emergency takeover of Credit Suisse.

Unlike many of its peers, the Bank of Canada had already moved to the sidelines, putting a “conditional pause” on further increases to its policy rate, now at 4.5 per cent. Inflation appears to be cooling more rapidly in Canada than in the U.S. and Britain.

“With inflation subsiding on both the headline and core measures, the Bank of Canada is in a less awkward position than many others during the recent financial turmoil. That is, there’s really no underlying reason for the Bank to hike further,” Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter said in a note to clients.

“Over all, the Bank’s pause looks prudent, and we expect them to stay at current levels for quite some time, barring a major flare-up in the banking turmoil,” Mr. Porter added.

Gasoline was a big contributor to slowing inflation. Prices at the pump fell nearly 5 per cent in February from a year earlier – the first annual decline since the outset of 2021. Over all, energy prices fell 0.6 per cent. Electricity dropped by 2.3 per cent over the previous year.

There were other notable areas of decline. Child-care costs fell by 27.5 per cent on an annual basis as the national child-care deal leads to a sharp reduction in fees.

In some places, progress is slow. Grocery prices rose 10.6 per cent on a 12-month basis in February. While that was improved from January’s pace of 11.4 per cent, it was the seventh consecutive month of double-digit increases.

“Continuing to put upward pressure on grocery prices are supply constraints amid unfavourable weather in growing regions, as well as higher input costs such as animal feed, energy and packaging materials,” Statscan said in its report.

The housing sector has been on a rollicking ride. Over all, shelter costs rose 6.1 per cent in January on a 12-month basis – better than 6.6 per cent in January. However, mortgage interest costs surged by nearly 24 per cent, the fastest pace since 1982.

In recent months, economists have looked to short-term trends in inflation for a sense of how things are progressing. Expressed at an annualized rate, the three-month change in core CPI (excluding food and energy) was 3.4 per cent in February, up from 3.1 per cent in January – and just outside the Bank of Canada’s target range of 1 per cent to 3 per cent.
The central bank will make its next rate decision on April 12. Bank officials have said they would only resume hiking interest rates if they see an “accumulation of evidence” that price growth is not easing as expected and economic conditions are overheated.

“We agreed inflation is coming down largely as expected and that there has been a clear momentum shift in goods prices. But we also agreed services price inflation needs to cool further,” Carolyn Rogers, senior deputy governor at the central bank, said in a recent speech.

While the next rate decision is still a few weeks away, analysts said Tuesday that the Bank of Canada is likely to stick with its pause.

“There was nothing in [Tuesday’s] inflation report that would move the Bank of Canada off of its pause on interest rate moves,” said Leslie Preston, senior economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank, in a note to investors. “Unlike the Federal Reserve, domestic inflation trends mean the BoC can ride out the current volatility in financial markets driven by stresses in the banking sector internationally.”
If this is true, we've crossed from bad judgement to possibly treasonous (even if legal)...

I'll be stunned if he isn't kicked out of the Liberal caucus by the end of the week.
I fhink the 'if its true' bit is important. I have no knowledge of what the MP in question may or may not have said; certainly if he said, what he is alleged to have said, that is profoundly foolish and unethical for a start.

But, I also think we need a healthy suspicion of anonymous sources; sources which apparently had all this information 2 or more years ago, but chose now to leak it. (raises eyebrow); that doesn't make it un-true, of course, but still merits
some weight in evaluating things.


Here's the thing, the MP in question has admitted to meeting with the Chinese diplomat; and apparently did so without the express knowledge or permission of the PMO/Prime Minister. That's really a pretty substantial no-no from my perspective, no matter what he said behind closed doors.

I think an MP can certainly meet w/foreign consular officials, but outside of a public function or the like, or some terribly routine matter, I would expect any contact would be approved up the food chain; most particularly, if the MP was going to say anything about a high-profile, on-going dispute.

Mr. Dong does not deny he made statements on that subject to the Chinese diplomat, he only denies the substance (he states he advocated for the Michaels release).

But I don't know where a backbench MP gets to end run Foreign Affairs and the PMO on such matters.

He needs to be sent packing for that alone. At the minimum he is guilty of poor judgement and a poor understanding of protocol and optics; one may well be rightly concerned he is guilty of worse.
Repeating an 'if true' caveat, the incarceration of two Canadian citizens by a foreign state was at least indirectly connected to the custody and extradition hearing of a foreign national in Canada. If anything he said or did can be seen to be somehow obstructing or interfering with those proceedings, their *might* be the grain of a criminal offence. it is, admittedly, a bit of a stretch given the indirect connection.

If he was operating rogue in relation to whatever the PMO or Global Affairs were trying to do, I can't fathom how or why the government would keep him around.
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