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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Refugee father of drowned Syrian boy blames Canada

   Canada column for Sunday, Sept. 13/15

   (c) By Jim Fox

   The father of a three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed up on a Turkish beach said he blames Canada for the tragedy that also killed his wife and another son.
   Abdullah Kurdi’s comment comes as Canadian premiers, mayors, church groups and citizens put pressure on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to welcome more Syrian refugees to Canada.
   Kurdi said he does not understand why Canada rejected his application for asylum but Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials said they received no such notice on his behalf.
   His sister, Tima, of Coquitlam, British Columbia, said she submitted an application for his brother Mohammed and planned to later apply to sponsor Abdullah’s family as well.
   Mohammed Kurdi’s application was said to be incomplete and he is now in Germany with his family.
   Tima said she sent money to Abdullah to pay smugglers for the deadly ride to Greece from Turkey in a boat that capsized.
   At an election campaign stop, Harper said he will unveil plans “in the very near future” to expedite the process for refugee resettlement.
   “Let me assure you that the position of this government is we have been the world leader in refugee resettlement and we intend to do that in a responsible and affordable way for Canadians,” he said.


   Canada’s leading dollar store might become a buck-and-a-half and more store due to the weak Canadian dollar.
   Dollarama CEO Larry Rossy said he expects to raise prices and make the high-end threshold at $4, up from $3, over the next year.
   He called this “an exceptional time” with the Canadian dollar dipping to a value of 75 U.S. cents.
   Everything sold by the discounter is bought in U.S. dollars, “so to absorb 25 to 35 percent (in currency exchange) is almost impossible,” he said.
   The Montreal-based store with 989 outlets across Canada had a 39-percent increase in earnings to $95.5 million in the three months ended Aug. 2.


   News in brief:
   - Canada’s central bank held the line on further rate cuts despite concerns over low oil prices and slowing economic growth. The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate remains at 0.5 percent after two previous cuts of 0.25 percent each. The cuts have had the desired “stimulative effect,” the bank said.
   - The household debt of Canadians has risen faster than incomes this year. Canadians owed nearly $1.65 for every dollar of disposable income, Statistics Canada said. On a per-capita basis, household net worth increased to $243,800, an increase of 0.9 percent in the second quarter.


   Facts and figures:
   The Canadian dollar is lower at 75.40 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.3262 in Canadian funds, before bank exchange fees.
   The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is steady at 0.50 percent while the prime-lending rate is 2.7 percent.
   Markets are mixed with the Toronto Stock Exchange index up at 13,437 points and the TSX Venture index down at 547 points.
   The average price of gas is lower at a national average of $1.063 a liter or $4.04 (Canadian) for a U.S. gallon.
   Lotto 6/49: (Sept. 9) 15, 16, 29, 30, 42 and 44; bonus 37. (Sept. 5) 10, 21, 36, 37, 42 and 48; bonus 43. Lotto Max: (Sept. 4) 7, 8, 15, 19, 36, 37 and 41; bonus 43.


   Regional briefs:
   - Jerry Bance is no longer an Ontario candidate for the Conservatives after news that he was caught on hidden camera urinating into a coffee mug during a 2012 house call to repair a leaky kitchen sink. Vancouver-area Liberal candidate Joy Davies has resigned after making controversial Facebook posts about marijuana use decreasing domestic violence and cancer research that weren’t to the liking of leader Justin Trudeau.
   - Marley Mcmonster, an Alberta search-and-rescue dog, is in need of help after veterinarians believe he received a venomous bite. The black Labrador retriever known as Monster has been saving lives since 2011 but is deathly ill. Owner Dalia Cheshire has maxed out her savings as vet bills have topped $6,000 and are growing. Supporter Sarah Tetlock has created a GoFundMe web page “Monster has a Mission” to help pay the bills.


   Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com

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