Canada Shifts Debt-reduction Burden To Provinces -budget Officer

Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed the Keystone XL project, a flashpoint in the debate over climate change, during a visit to New York City. The long-delayed project carrying oil from Canada’s oil sands needs approval from the U.S. State Department, and Harper’s remarks are some of his strongest to date. “My view is that you don’t take no for an answer,” Harper said. “We haven’t had that but if we were to get that it won’t be final. This won’t be final until it’s approved and we will keep pushing forward.” Harper, who made the remarks at a Canadian American Business Council event, said he’s been in regular contact with President Barack Obama. Harper said it will create 40,000 jobs in the U.S. “The logic behind this project is simply overwhelming,” the prime minister said. Harper said politics has cast doubt on whether the pipeline will be approved but said he’s optimistic it will be approved. “Ultimately, over time, bad politics make bad policy,” he said. “The president has always assured me that he will a make decision that’s in what he believes is in the best interests of the United States based on the facts. I think the facts are clear.” The Obama administration is considering whether to approve the pipeline, which would carry 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta across six U.S. states to the Texas Gulf Coast. A decision late this year or early next year. Republicans, and business and labor groups, have urged the Obama administration to approve the pipeline as a source of much-needed jobs and a step toward North American energy independence.

GMCR Canada Continues to Revolutionize the Coffee Industry

CHANGE IN TRANSFERS Ottawa expects a deficit in the 2013-14 fiscal year of C$18.7 billion ($18.2 billion), or 1 percent of GDP. But in a controversial move in 2011, the Conservatives announced a change to the way the federal government transfers funds to the provinces to cover the country’s universal, publicly funded healthcare system. Transfers have been growing by 6 percent a year and will continue to do so until 2016-17, but after that they will increase in line with average growth in nominal gross domestic product, which is expected to be lower. The budget office said the change to the so-called Canada Health Transfer “has transferred the fiscal burden to provinces and territories”. “PBO estimates that the debt path of other levels of government is not sustainable and will continue to rise, reaching 359.9 percent of GDP by 2087,” it said. The PBO defines a government’s debt as sustainable if the debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to return to its current level over a 75-year horizon, taking into account pressures from an aging population and other considerations. The fiscal gap of other levels of government – lumping together provinces, territories, municipalities and aboriginal governments – is 1.9 percent of GDP, it estimated. That means these governments combined would have to increase revenues, reduce spending or a combination of both by C$36.2 billion this year to set their finances on the right track, the report said. A spokeswoman for federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty defended the transfer policy, saying Ottawa’s payments would continue to increase every year to record levels. “Our government has announced long-term, stable funding arrangements with the provinces that will see health transfers reach historic levels of C$40 billion by the end of the decade,” spokeswoman Kathleen Perchaluk said. The PBO report did not single out individual provinces.

Canada PM Won’t Accept US Rejection of Keystone XL

Sales rose 0.6 percent to C$40.3 billion ($39.1 billion), following a similar decline in June, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Todays figure follows July gains of 1.5 percent for wholesale sales, 1.7 percent for manufacturers and a 20.7 percent surge in building permits. Canada suffered its biggest monthly contraction since the recession in June when the economy shrank 0.5 percent, due in part to the impact of flooding in Alberta and a construction strike in Quebec . The nations output is poised to accelerate at a 2.1 percent pace from July to September, after slowing to 1.7 percent in the second quarter, according to Bloomberg economist surveys. That weakness in June even outside of the temporary disruptions was overstated, said Nathan Janzen, an economist at Royal Bank of Canada, by telephone from Toronto. The bounceback implies activity is on a stronger path than what was implied by the June data alone. Growth will expand 0.7 percent in July and an annualized 3.4 percent pace in the third quarter, Janzen predicts. Todays data is the last major release before Julys economic growth report on Sept. 30, and indicates GDP expanded 0.5 percent that month, Robert Kavcic , senior economist in Toronto at Bank of Montreal, said in a note to clients. Tipping Point The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 22 economists was for a 0.5 percent gain in retail sales. From a year earlier, sales were up 3.0 percent. Canadas economy has been relying on consumers to drive growth, as the nation waits for faster global demand to fuel exports and business investment. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said last week growing confidence about global demand has brought the economy to a tipping point. Sales in July were led by a 3.2 percent increase at gasoline stations. Clothing and accessory stores posted a 1.9 percent gain and home furnishing retailers boosted receipts by 1.6 percent.

Canada July Retail-Sales Rebound Boosts Recovery Argument

(GMCR Canada), a subsidiary of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR), outlined upcoming product innovations the company is bringing to Canada, and also previewed new developments in the Company’s sustainability strategy for the region. Mr. Toutant noted: “Coffee consumption is changing rapidly. GMCR is at the heart of this transformation and our innovative approach is what enables us to maintain our competitive edge. We’re committed to the ongoing development of our systems and enhancing our brand portfolio of coffees and beverages to offer consumers a wider choice,” he said. A North American leader in specialty coffee and coffeemakers with its innovative Keurig brewing technology, GMCR has redefined the way coffee is made and enjoyed both at home and at workplaces. In Canada today, Keurig Single Cup Brewers with licensed partners are the top-ranked coffee maker brand in Canada based on dollar sales(1) and the Keurig system represents 23% of dollar sales for the entire coffee category(2). With the ease, convenience, and variety offered in the Keurig system, the Company continues to revolutionize the way people drink coffee – at the touch of a button. Expanding Product Offerings In his speech, Mr. Toutant outlined that key to the company’s success to-date has been its beverage diversification and partnership strategy. “GMCR continues to seek avenues to further expand consumer choice within the Keurig system. For example, the Company has secured partnerships with some of the world’s most beloved coffee and tea brands like Lipton and Snapple and is working exclusively with leading retailers like Costco, METRO and Sobeys to produce their house brands in K-Cup packs,” Mr.