National Newswatch

Americans face deadline to file paperwork for Huawei executive’s extradition

Jan 19 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — American authorities are facing a key deadline at the end of the month to formally request the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou from Canada to the United States. Friday, a spokesman for Canada's Justice Department said the U.S. had yet to file the required paperwork in the Meng case and stated the Americans have until Jan. 30 to do […]

Inflation accelerates as higher airfares, vegetable prices offset cheaper gas

Jan 18 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Canada's annual inflation rate saw an unexpected acceleration to two per cent last month as higher costs for airfares and fresh vegetables offset cheaper prices at the pump, Statistics Canada said Friday. Year-over-year prices picked up their pace in December after inflation was just 1.7 per cent in November, the agency said in its latest consumer price index. […]

U.S. calls Chinese death sentence against Canadian ‘politically motivated’

Jan 16 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — The United States has denounced a death sentence imposed on a British Columbia man in China as "politically motivated," adding heft to Ottawa's effort to intensify international pressure on Beijing to spare his life and to release two other detained Canadians. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland conferred Tuesday and "expressed their concerns about the […]

As bankruptcies edge up, Poloz personally responds to Canadians’ concerns

Jan 11 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Bankruptcies are up in Canada, the head of the Bank of Canada said this week, and he expects they'll rise even more as the central bank continues to hike interest rates. Governor Stephen Poloz said he hears just how difficult higher borrowing costs can be straight from the people feeling the pain. "We're acutely aware […]

Detained ex-Canadian diplomat Kovrig gets second consular visit in China

Jan 10 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig received a consular visit Thursday for the second time since his arrest in China last month for allegedly endangering Chinese national security, the government says. A spokesman for Canada's foreign ministry says consular officials are pushing for more access to Kovrig, on leave from his job as a diplomat at Global Affairs […]

With tariffs still in place, Ottawa to commit up to $90M for Algoma Steel

Jan 9 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — The federal government is to announce up to $90 million in support for Ontario's Algoma Steel on Thursday in a commitment aimed at helping the producer deal with the American tariffs on steel and aluminum, The Canadian Press has learned. Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains will make the announcement at Algoma's plant in Sault Ste. Marie. He'll be joined […]

Bank of Canada holds interest rate, views oil slump as temporary soft patch

Jan 9 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada left its trend-setting interest rate unchanged at 1.75 per cent Wednesday as the sharp decline in oil prices temporarily dims its economic outlook for the coming months. Before long, however, the central bank expects the economy to expand with renewed vigour. More rate hikes, it stressed, will be necessary "over time." In its first policy […]

Locked up in China: Arrested Canadian says legal trouble followed him home

Jan 7 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Crammed into a cell with 13 other sleep-deprived inmates, strong-armed into singing the Chinese national anthem and forced by shouting guards to watch state television — a Canadian man detained in China last fall is offering a glimpse of what he says life was like for him on the inside. Jason Cigana, a 39-year-old originally from the […]

Unemployment rate sticks at 43-year low of 5.6%; weak wage growth persists

Jan 4 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — The country's unemployment rate stuck to its 43-year low of 5.6 per cent last month as the economy closed out 2018 by adding 9,300 net new jobs, Statistics Canada said Friday. But even in a job market that has tightened over the past year the agency's latest data release shows the key indicator of wage growth continued to show weakness in […]

Tech CEOs say Liberal innovation agenda does little to help firms scale up: poll

Jan 3 2019 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — The federal government's big-ticket efforts to support high-growth tech firms are offering little for emerging companies that have already outgrown the fledgling start-up phase, according to a new survey of CEOs in Canada's sector. The insights are among the early findings of a three-year research project focused on properly defining mid-sized "scale-up" firms, outlining what prevents them from growing into big companies in […]

How long can it go? Resilient economy enters 2019 with signs of weakness

Dec 27 2018 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — The Canadian economy entered 2018 on an unexpectedly impressive run. The country begins 2019 on a healthy note but signs of weakness have raised a key question: how long until the good times come to an end? Through much of 2018, Canada's unemployment rate hovered near a 40-year low and job-creation remained strong as the evidence pointed to an economy going at close […]

Third Canadian detained in China not believed to be linked to other arrests: PM

Dec 19 2018 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Chinese authorities have detained a third Canadian but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there's no reason yet to believe the case is linked to the recent arrests of two other Canadians in the country. Trudeau said Wednesday that the latest case, so far, doesn't involve serious allegations related to China's national security. "These are two very different situations," Trudeau told a […]

Inflation slows to 1.7%, removing any interest-rate urgency for Bank of Canada

Dec 19 2018 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Cooling inflation has given the Bank of Canada another reason to keep interest rates on ice next month. The annual pace of inflation slowed in November to 1.7 per cent as upward pressure from higher gasoline prices eased off, Statistics Canada said in a report Wednesday. The agency's latest data point showed the weakest year-over-year pace of inflation since January 2018 in a reading far more […]

Canada’s robust credit rating should calm fears about federal deficits: Trudeau

Dec 17 2018 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — Canadians worried about federal deficits should look at the country's strong standing with international credit-rating agencies for some reassurance, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says. In a wide-ranging interview, Trudeau said Canada's triple-A rating with agencies like Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's should provide comfort to taxpayers who fear his government has been accumulating too […]

Second Canadian missing in China after questioning by authorities: Freeland

Dec 12 2018 — Andy Blatchford — OTTAWA — A second Canadian is missing in China after alerting Global Affairs Canada that he was being questioned by Chinese authorities, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Wednesday. Michael Spavor, the founder of a non-profit that organizes cultural-exchange trips to North Korea, "is presently missing in China," according to a statement from Global Affairs Canada. The information comes mere days after the […]