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Showing posts from April, 2015

Province of Ontario allows beer sales in some grocery stores

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The premier of the province of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, announced the government will allow beer to be sold in up to 450 grocery stores. + Add Image Up to now beer in Ontario has been sold through the Beer Store chain — owned by breweries — but also through Liquor Control Board of Ontario stores that sell liquor and wine as well. There are also outlets at individual breweries. Only 13 percent of Canadians surveyed knew that the Beer Store was not a government-owned monopoly. It is actually owned by multi-national breweries: Owned at its inception by a consortium of Ontario-based brewers, subsequent national and international consolidation has resulted in control now being shared by three multinational brewing companies, two foreign owned and one which is 50% controlled by non-Canadian interests.The new regulations indicate the Beer Store should open ownership to others than the three current owners. There are 447 Beer Stores across Ontario.
Craft brewers are happy the new regulations r…

Harper privatizes Canadian Wheat Board to US-based and Saudi multi-nationals

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Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced the deal with the multinational G3 Global Grain Group. The G3 are actually paying not one cent for the 50.1 per cent share they will get in the company. + Add Image 1 of 2  To get that share, the G3 Group must invest a total of $250 million. The G3 Group is a joint venture of Bunge Canada and SALIC Canada, the latter a subsidiary of the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co.The other 49.9 percent of equity will be held in trust for seven years but the G3 has the option to buy back the trust units from farmers after seven years at their market value. Ritz claims the new Wheat Board will increase the ability of Canada to export grain, as well as creating jobs, and promoting economic growth on the prairies: "Every relevant farm group across Canada supports this move. We see this as a great first step moving forward. We look forward to having another viable competitor."Farm groups opposed to the government action, such as…

Bank of Canada leaves overnight interest rate at 0.75 per cent

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The Bank of Canada announced that it will be maintaining the overnight interest rate at a low 0.75. The bank rate will be one per cent and the rate on deposits 0.50 per cent. + Add Image 1 of 2  Total Consumer Price Index(CPI), according to the Bank, rose just one percent even though core inflation has remained near 2 percent for the last few months. The lower CPI rate is the result of the sharp drop in energy prices. The drop in the value of the dollar, increasing the cost of U.S. imports, has offset other factors that might reduce prices. During the first quarter of this year, the Canadian economy has stopped growing due to damage caused by the decline in oil prices and its negative effect on the oil production sector.The Bank statement said:“The impact of the oil price shock on growth will be more front-loaded than predicted in January, but not larger. The ultimate size of this impact will need to be monitored closely.” The Bank predicts that the remaining quarters will see a rebou…

International Monetary Fund reduces Canada GDP growth rate projection

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The International Monetary Fund(IMF) has slightly reduced its forecast for Canadian economic growth both for this year and next. Reduction in oil prices is partly responsible for the reduction in the growth outlook. + Add Image The IMF's, World Economic Outlook, predicts that Canadian GDP will grow by 2.2 per cent this year and only 2.0 per cent in 2016. These predictions are both down 0.1 per cent from the last projection in January of this year. The US economy will do better than Canada, and is predicted to grow by 3.1 per cent both this year and next. Lower oil prices in the US will help spur consumer demand there. The US growth rate will still be below the global average estimated at 3.5 per cent for this year. In spite of the slight decline, the IMF still describes Canadian growth as solid and reinforced by a relatively stronger US economy and the decline of the Canadian dollar which will help exports. The report said:“These developments have led to a welcome pickup in export…