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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bank governor says young people should volunteer to gain work experience

   Canada column for Sunday, Nov. 9/14

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Canada’s central bank governor suggests that young people still living with their parents should get out and work for free to boost their job skills.
   Stephen Poloz of the Bank of Canada said young grads struggling to find work should acquire experience through unpaid internships or volunteering until the job market improves.
   A government report shows 200,000 young Canadians are out of work, underemployed or back in school trying to improve their job prospects.
   Poloz told a House of Commons committee that job growth has failed to keep up with the improving economy.
   “Our belief is, though, that over the next two years we will manage to close up that gap,” he said.
   Another concern is that recent graduates who have not been able to find work will have to compete for employment against new grads arriving after them.
   “I bet almost everyone in this room knows at least one family with adult children living in the basement,” Poloz said. “I'm pretty sure these kids have not taken early retirement.”


   Two Members of Parliament have been suspended by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau over accusations of personal misconduct made by two female members of the New Democratic Party.
   Quebec Liberal Massimo Pacetti and Newfoundland Liberal Scott Andrews have been removed from the caucus while denying the allegations.
   House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer has been asked to investigate the complaints that have not been made public.
   While acting independently, Trudeau said Parliament “needs clear guidelines and procedures for dealing with allegations of serious personal conduct of this nature.”


    News in brief:
   - Prime Minister Stephen Harper is looking to improve relations during a four-day visit to China that will focus on building closer economic ties. Joining Harper on the trip are pork, beef and grain producers, financial services officials and those from mining and oil and gas firms. He is also expected to discuss China’s human rights record with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
   - SNC-Lavalin, one of Canada’s largest engineering and construction companies, is cutting its worldwide workforce by 4,000, mostly by the end of the year. Of that number, there will be 1,000 layoffs in Canada. President Robert Card said it is part of a restructuring effort to get out of “underperforming business segments.” The company has about 45,000 workers in 50 countries.
   - The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is asking the Ontario court to dismiss a $55-million defamation lawsuit by former “Q” radio host Jian Ghomeshi. The government-run broadcaster’s popular radio host was fired after allegations he engaged in repeated abusive sexual behavior. Toronto police are now investigating complaints from three women.


   Facts and figures:
   Canada’s dollar was valued at 88.06 cents U.S. on Friday while the U.S. dollar returned $1.1355 in Canadian funds, before bank exchange fees.
   The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is steady at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate is unchanged at 3 percent.
   Stock markets are mixed, with the Toronto exchange index up at 14,700 points and the TSX Venture index down at 761 points.
   The average price of a liter of gasoline is lower at $1.1578 (Canadian).
   Lotto 6-49: (Nov. 5) 23, 29, 31, 38, 40 and 42; bonus 44. (Nov. 1) 3, 5, 26, 37, 39 and 45; bonus 7. Lotto Max: (Oct. 31) 3, 12, 25, 30, 42, 44 and 45; bonus 26.


   Regional briefs:
   - Four passengers were taken to an Edmonton hospital for “observation” after an Air Canada Jazz flight made an emergency landing Thursday night. One of the plane’s tires blew out on takeoff from Calgary and the flight continued on to Edmonton. Passengers reported seeing sparks as the plane landed. It was headed for Grande Prairie with 71 passengers and a crew of four.
   - Atlantic Canada received a foot of snow that cut power to 14,000 customers in New Brunswick and closed schools throughout Newfoundland and Labrador on Monday. The “nor’easter” storm dumped snow and ice pellets in the two provinces while Prince Edward Island had high winds. Environment Canada was warning of snow and wind through the weekend in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Quebec.


Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com

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