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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Census 2016: Canada getting more diverse as immigration, Indigenous population increase
Statistics Canada released its latest figures on immigration, diversity, Indigenous peoples and housing this morning. Canada's Indigenous population is growing at a rate far greater than the rest of Canada. According to Statistics Canada, the increase happened because of high fertility rates, improved life expectancies and also because more people are self-identifying as Indigenous. The number of Canadians who are visible minorities has also increased and people of colour now make up 22.3 per cent of Canada's population. Six in 10 immigrants arrive under the economic category, another three in 10 arrive to reunite with family members and the remaining are refugees.
Census figures released today also indicate that by some measures Toronto is outpacing Vancouver as the city where residents struggle the most to afford housing. More than a third of Toronto households spend more than 30 per cent of their income on housing costs, a figure that has increased since 2011. In Vancouver, however, the same figure has dropped to 32 per cent from 33.5 per cent five years ago.
Threat of NAFTA collapse, weak inflation put Bank of Canada on hold
The Bank of Canada held interest rates on Wednesday as inflation remained below its 2-per-cent target rate and major tensions remain in NAFTA renegotiations. The central bank kept its overnight rate at 1 per cent, and signalled it would delay any future rate hikes. "While less monetary stimulus will likely be required over time, [the Bank of Canada] will be cautious in making future adjustments to the policy rate," the bank said in a statement. The bank also revised its timeline for inflation, saying the 2-per-cent target will likely be met in the second half of 2018 instead of the middle of the year, as previously suggested. It also cautioned against rising protectionism in the U.S., calling it "the greatest source of uncertainty" for Canada's economic outlook.
Tax changes spur small-business owners to revisit retirement plans
Some small-business owners are beginning to rethink their retirement plans after the federal government tweaked its tax reform proposals. After an onslaught of criticism from a wide range of Canadians, ranging from doctors to family farmers, the Liberals decided to roll back some of their controversial policies and also announced a reduction in the small-business tax rate. The federal government said last week that it's moving ahead with plans to stop income sprinkling for family members not active in small business, which will have long-term implications on how long individuals will work and how they save for retirement, small business owners say. (for subscribers)
Quebec judge under fire for his comments during sex-assault case
"She's a young girl, 17. Maybe she's a little overweight but she has a pretty face, no?" Justice Jean-Paul Braun said during a hearing for a case in which a taxi driver was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old who was riding in his cab. "She was a bit flattered," the judge continued "Maybe it was the first time he showed interest in her." Quebec Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée called the comments "unacceptable" and has asked the province's judicial council to investigate the matter.
Roots battered on debut by tough retail conditions
Roots, the iconic Canadian retailer, started its life as a publicly listed company today. The company raised $200-million in its initial public offering but its stock slumped overall, with investors balking at buying retail stock as the industry grapples with competition and shrinking margins.
Canada's main stock index dropped Wednesday, brought down by weak quarterly results and a terrible start to trading by Roots Corp. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed down 0.32 per cent to 15,854.77. On Wall Street, the Dow and S&P 500 recorded their worst day in seven weeks on disappointing quarterly earnings and a rise in bond yields. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.48 per cent to 23,329.67, the S&P 500 lost 0.47 per cent to 2,557.16 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.52 per cent to 6,563.89.
Soylent, a popular meal-replacement drink, has been barred in Canada. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has determined that some of Soylent's products don't meet regulations.
Three cheers for the system: Predators have lost their power
"On the surface, there's not much to tie Leon Wieseltier and Bill O'Reilly together. One is a pugnacious public intellectual, a highbrow author and magazine editor. The other is a pugnacious right-wing former TV host, beloved of the aggrieved of America. What unites them is that they have both felt the consequences of a world that is finally taking sexual harassment seriously." — Elizabeth Renzetti
How to stop the Myanmar crisis? We can learn from Kosovo
"There is surely a lesson here that can be applied in Myanmar. International engagement can succeed. It has the potential to stop the carnage. In the case of Myanmar, the Security Council could influence the murderous conduct of that country's military, even without military intervention, through targeted sanctions, an arms embargo and by referring the matter to the International Criminal Court. The council could also demand that Myanmar stop destroying homes and villages in Rakhine State and remove the land mines it has placed on its border with Bangladesh. This could be the first message conveyed by Bob Rae, the recently appointed Canadian envoy to Myanmar. Strong denunciation and practical measures may produce the change in behaviour we all want to see." — Lloyd Axworthy and Allan Rock
Bill 62: The European experience shows us it's a bad idea
"The European experience tells us that nothing good can emerge from Bill 62. The Quebec government's ill-conceived legislation only strengthens those elements in society pushing a dangerous us-versus-them agenda at the expense of constitutional rights and social cohesion. In a pluralistic society, this does not bode well for the future." — Mihad Fahmy
Need a boost of antioxidants in your life? Try coffee-leaf tea. It has less caffeine than either coffee or tea and is made from the leaves of the Arabica coffee plant.
LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE
Bombardier 'just sold the future.' What now?
"Boeing, Airbus, Embraer and whoever else wants to come at us, we'll be able to fight," Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare told employees in 2016. A little more than a year later, its signature C Series airliner has been sold to Airbus after a lengthy and bitter trade dispute with Boeing. Airbus came to the rescue for Bombardier, despite trying to sink the C Series program earlier. With the deal, the Europe-based aerospace giant also ended Bombardier's ambitions of challenging the duopoly in the global single-aisle airliner market. What comes next for Bombardier, now that control over its biggest research and development effort to date has been handed over to a competitor? (for subscribers)