Gene Marks: Best. Small business advertisement. Ever.

Lots of small business owners are contractors – roofers, electricians, plumbers. And many of them spend money putting the names of their businesses on their pickup trucks and vans as a form of advertising. We’ve all seen them driving around our towns. They’re pretty much the same. Most of the time we don’t take notice.But you’ll take notice of Nick Hudson’s truck. Go ahead and click here and you’ll see why I say that. Impressed? So am I! The 25-year-old owner of The Sault’s Plumber in Ontario, Canada not only has a great slogan for his business (“We’re Fast. Not Half-Fast”), but he’s created an epic design on his pickup truck that pretty much perfectly advertises his company. As aptly put in this Buzzfeed article it’s a “literal tribute to toilet humor.” “I just wanted something where, when peoples see …

Price status, Keith-less defence among points of focus for Team Canada squad

Mike Babcock had just three days to prepare his team for its first game at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Team Canada’s head coach won’t be so pressed for time ahead of the World Cup of Hockey.Training camp begins in Ottawa on Monday with the tournament starting almost two weeks later in Toronto on Sept. 17. That leaves plenty of opportunity for Babcock and his staff to evaluate starting goalie Carey Price, rejig a defence that will be without injured veteran Duncan Keith and craft line combinations from a wealth of talent.

“We’re excited about the mix of our …
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Canada fertilizer deal would send farmers to regulators

By Rod Nickel and Michael Hirtzer
| WINNIPEG/CHICAGO

North American farmers will pressure regulators to protect their negotiating leverage with fertilizer suppliers if Potash Corp of Saskatchewan and Agrium Inc agree to merge, major farm groups said on Wednesday.The potential deal revealed on Tuesday would combine the world’s largest fertilizer producer by capacity with the continent’s biggest network of farm retail dealers and consolidate 60 percent of North America’s potash production with one company.The tie-up would face regulatory scrutiny in both the United States and Canada. For farmers, already facing the prospect of fewer buying choices for seed and chemicals, the potential merger raises fears they will lose pricing power. Independent retailers in the United States and Canada worry about competing against a fertilizer Goliath that may stock its stores at preferential rates.”It’s like the movie ‘Mad Max’ – one company owns everything,” said Norm Hall, president of …
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Canadian ambassador criticizes Chinese President during Trudeau trip

China’s treatment of its own people has regressed under Xi Jinping, Canada’s ambassador to China said, hours after Justin Trudeau completed a meeting with the Chinese President and his top deputy.“In the last three years we have seen, I think, things going backward, unfortunately,” Guy Saint-Jacques told Canadian reporters at a briefing Wednesday night. “And that’s why Canada has used opportunities to express its views to China.”

Justin Trudeau says China should strengthen trade with Canada (CP Video)

Human-rights advocates and China observers have used much stronger language to describe how Mr. Xi is changing the …
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Political Hotspots May Bubble Up on G-20 Sidelines in China

(Bloomberg) — This weekend the leaders of 20 of the world’s major economies gather in China to talk about issues ranging from the global economy to the threat of terrorism. As usual, it’s the sideline tensions that may capture attention.Last year’s summit in Turkey was overshadowed by Islamic State’s deadly attacks on Paris just days before. The violence, which left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded, spurred a flurry of meetings on the sidelines, mostly about Syria, where a civil war helped create the conditions for the terrorist group to grow.The previous year in Australia, talks were dominated by Russia’s occupation of Crimea and its alleged support for Ukraine separatists. The host country’s then leader, Tony Abbott, threatened to “shirtfront” — or tackle — Vladimir Putin, who ended up leaving the summit early. As leaders prepare to meet in China, there are several hot-button …
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CanadaB.C. business forced to build $10K 'sidewalk to nowhere'

THE CANADIAN PRESS
Aug 30, 2016, Last Updated: 5:19 PM ET

SMITHERS, B.C. — On a lonely stretch of concrete in Smithers, B.C., a black-and-white sign cautions passersby: “The end is near.”

But rather than warn of impending doomsday, the sign literally refers to the end of the sidewalk, just a short 30-metre stroll away.

The “sidewalk to nowhere” outside North Central Plumbing and Heating is causing controversy in the small northwestern British Columbia town.

A local bylaw requires property owners with building permits of over $75,000 to construct public infrastructure, including sidewalks, outside their premises.

General manager Trevor Bruintjes says North Central Plumbing and Heating spent $10,000 to build the walkway that connects to nothing — as the nearest sidewalk is 500 metres away.

Mayor Taylor Bachrach says the isolated sidewalk has created so much conversation that the town will hold a public meeting on Thursday to discuss the bylaw and possible alternatives.

Canada house prices to rise sharply on cheap money, speculation

By Anu Bararia

BENGALURU (Reuters) – The sharp acceleration in Canadian home prices shows no sign of abating this year, though economists expect the pace will be reined in by high household debt and a growing lack of affordability, a Reuters poll found.

Foreign wealth, cheap borrowing costs and bets that urban centers Vancouver and Toronto will remain profitable will likely support the Canadian property market over the next few years.

House prices are forecast to rise 10 percent in 2016, almost double the pace expected in May’s survey, and the fastest since polling for 2016 began two years ago, according to the …
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Federal government keeps a close eye on province's economy

Naturally, Albertans are preoccupied with the province’s stumbling economy. It turns out they are in good company.
According to briefing notes acquired through access to information requests, the federal government is just as worried about the state of affairs in Alberta.
Over the past year, the federal Department of Finance Canada, Natural Resources Canada and the Prime Minister’s Office — spanning two governments — have received at least a dozen briefings, some marked confidential or secret, on the health of Alberta’s housing market (it’s holding on), the direction of oil prices (who knows?), the health of individual energy companies (redacted), the strength of the job market (so-so) and whether pipelines will help (probably).
CBC News has written about some of these briefing notes here:
Individually, each report is interesting. Collectively they show a federal government that is well aware of Alberta’s position as a significant economic engine in Canada and is worried …
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Canada's SNC-Lavalin says it is mulling offer for French business

By Allison Lampert
| MONTREAL

Aug 29 Canadian construction and
engineering company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc said on
Monday it is weighing an offer for its entire business in
France, which has about 1,100 employees and manages 17 regional
airports in the country.

The offer, for an undisclosed amount, comes from a
partnership comprising private French companies Impact Holding
and Ciclad Gestion, SNC spokesman Louis-Antoine Paquin said by
email, confirming a report last week in Canada’s La Presse
newspaper.

Paquin said the company started a consultation process on
Aug. 22 with employee representatives in France over the
potential sale.

“We intend to consider this offer as it is consistent with
our efforts to align our activities with our global business
strategy,” he wrote.($1 = 1.3010 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting By Allison Lampert;diting by Steve Orlofsky)

You can still shop Canadian in Canada

Buy Canadian. Support local business. Is there anything wrong with that idea?
Of course not.
But should we take it so far as to suggest it is unpatriotic to shop at the Canadian outposts of American retailers?
James West is an investor and the author of the Midas Letter, an investing research report focused on Canadian markets.
In the Financial Post he wrote that, “One of the wonderful things about a road trip across Canada used to be the myriad character of small towns and cities along the route.
“Mom and Pop burger stands, coffee shops and fruit sellers were …
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