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'

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

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

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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German minister says Brexit 'may end EU'

Germany’s vice-chancellor has warned the future of the EU could be in doubt if the UK’s exit is handled badly.Sigmar Gabriel said the EU would go “down the drain” if other states followed Britain’s lead and that the UK could not keep the “nice things” about Europe while taking no responsibility.It comes as Theresa May summoned ministers for a meeting on Wednesday to discuss ideas for the UK’s withdrawal.Downing Street said Brexit was “top” of the prime minister’s agenda.But a report in The Sunday Times suggested her cabinet was split over leaving the single market.The UK voted to leave the European Union in a referendum vote on 23 June.Mr Gabriel, who is also economy minister in Germany’s governing coalition and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s deputy, told a news conference that as a result, the world now regarded Europe as an unstable continent.’Deep trouble'”Brexit is …
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Chinese in Canada feel chill of Beijing’s reach

TORONTO — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is due in China on Tuesday for a much anticipated visit, hoping to reset what had been an up-and-down relationship under the previous government. Closer ties, Trudeau says, would release untapped prosperity at home and promote Canadian values like good governance and the rule of law in China.

But many Chinese-Canadians say the opposite is happening. They say the growing economic clout wielded in Canada by China, Canada’s largest trading partner after the United States, is leading to an erosion of their own freedom — specifically their freedom to speak openly about China’s authoritarian state. Journalists who write for the many Chinese-language publications in Canada, along with activists and others, say they are under increasing pressure to promote the interests of the Chinese government.

“It’s gotten worse and worse,” said Jonathan Fon, 67, a Toronto paralegal, freelance writer and critic of China’s Communist rulers.

Fon, who emigrated …

Canadian neighbours discover they were switched at birth 41 years ago 

Two men living in a remote Canadian community have discovered they were switched at birth 41 years ago.
Leon Swanson and David Tait were born three days apart at Norway House Indian Hospital in Manitoba.
Mr Swanson was born on January 31, 1975 and Mr Tait on February 3. The two men knew each other, having been raised in a Cree Nation community about 286 miles north of Winnipeg.
DNA tests revealed that Mr Swanson had been raised by Mr Tait’s biological mother and vice versa, CBC News reported.

David Tait, struggling to hold back tears at the press conference, said he felt distraught …
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Trader Joe's lawsuit over Canadian store Pirate Joe's can proceed

 A U.S. court has the authority to hear a trademark lawsuit by grocery chain Trader Joe’s against a man who bought the company’s products and resold them in Canada at Pirate Joe’s, a store designed to mimic Trader Joe’s, a federal appeals court said Friday. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a district court’s decision to dismiss California-based Trader Joe’s federal trademark claims. 
The district court in Washington state had said it lacked authority to hear those claims because the defendant’s reported trademark violations occurred in Canada and Trader Joe’s had failed to clearly explain how they affected U.S. commerce.The 9th Circuit said defendant Michael Hallatt’s conduct could harm Trader Joe’s reputation, decreasing the value of its American-held trademarks. 

Circuit Judge Morgan Christen also pointed out that Hallatt bought the Trader Joe’s goods he resold in Washington state. Hallatt’s attorney, Nathan Alexander, said in …