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Eight stories in Canada we’re watching

In the news today: falling dollar, frozen salaries, promised investments


 
A man walks past a building in Toronto that used to house the Toronto Stock Exchange on August 18 2011. The Toronto stock market looked to open slightly higher as traders digest the latest data on U.S. retail sales and consumer sentiment. (Aaron Vincent Elkaim/CP)

(Aaron Vincent Elkaim/CP)

Five stories in the news today, Jan. 14:

CANADIAN DOLLAR CLOSES BELOW 70 CENTS U.S.

The Canadian dollar closed below 70 cents U.S. Wednesday for the first time in nearly 13 years while the Toronto stock market registered its 10th losing day in 11 trading sessions since the Christmas break. The loonie finished the day at 69.71 cents U.S., down 0.43 of a cent since Tuesday’s close. In early trading overseas Thursday, the dollar was trading at 69.60 cents U.S.

EXPEDITED INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING CONSIDERED

The Trudeau government is “actively considering” speeding up promised investments in infrastructure in a bid to stimulate Canada’s rapidly deteriorating economy. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised during last fall’s election campaign to pump an additional $60 billion over 10 years into infrastructure projects. However, The Canadian Press has learned the government is now looking at moving up the spending schedule, pushing the money out faster in response to worsening economic conditions.

THOUSAND FLAGGED BY AIR SCREENING

Canada’s new security system for scrutinizing people who arrive by airplane singled out more than 2,300 passengers for closer examination during a recent three-month period, the federal border agency says. The Canada Border Services Agency says the travellers — flagged for possible links to terrorism or serious crime — represented a tiny fraction of the millions who flew into the country.

NORTHERN GATEWAY STYMIED

An alliance of First Nations is celebrating a British Columbia Supreme Court ruling that it says could set back the Northern Gateway pipeline by years. The case was brought forward by the Gitga’at First Nation and Coastal First Nations, which represents nine aboriginal communities in B.C. At the centre of the challenge was an agreement in which British Columbia gave the National Energy Board the power to review the pipeline proposal. The court found the province failed to consult with the Gitga’at and Coastal First Nations.

ALBERTA FREEZES NON-UNION STAFF SALARIES

The Alberta government is freezing the salaries of about a quarter of its workforce for two years as it deals with nosediving oil and gas prices. Finance Minister Joe Ceci said Wednesday the move affects 7,000 civil servants and will save $57 million in total. The move comes as the province moves into bargaining over the next two years with teachers, nurses and with its largest union, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees.

ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will attend Google Canada’s opening of its new Kitchener-Waterloo headquarters.

Statistics Canada will release the new housing price index for November.

The Nova Scotia Nurses Union will release a report on the state of long term care in the province.


 
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