October 2019

TORONTO — Losses in several sectors resulted in a moderate decline on Canada’s main stock index Thursday while the loonie was little changed.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 73.67 points to 15,191.96, with energy, base metals, industrials and financials the biggest losers.One bright spot for the energy sector was Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ), which reported higher second-quarter profits compared with a year ago. Its stock rose $1.31, or 3.39 per cent, to $39.90.Otherwise, crude prices have stalled, weighing on oil and gas stocks, said Todd Mattina, chief economist and strategist at Mackenzie Investments.The September crude oil contract gave back 56 cents to US$49.03 per barrel. It settled above the US$50 mark on Monday, but has since retreated.“Energy is having a tough time cracking the $50 threshold,” said Mattina.In New York, markets were generally flat. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 9.86 points to 22,026.10, its seventh straight record close, while the S&P 500 index slipped 5.41 points to 2,472.16 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 22.31 points to 6,340.34.The quiet trading day came as the Institute for Supply Management delivered a disappointing report on how U.S. services companies did in July. The group said its services index slipped to its lowest reading in 11 months as production, orders and hiring all slowed down.On Friday, stock markets will look for direction from two important reports when both Statistics Canada and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics release the jobs figures for July.“A lot of investors are looking to those reports for signs of where the economic cycle is going and how that might influence the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Canada in their next interest rate decision,” said Mattina.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 79.50 cents US, down 0.12 of a cent.Elsewhere in commodities, the September natural gas contract lost one cent at US$2.80 per mmBTU, December gold was down $4.00 to US$1,274.40 an ounce, and September copper was unchanged at US$2.88 a pound.— With files from The Associated PressFollow @DaveHTO on Twitter. read more

TORONTO — At least 255 workers were told they will be laid off from GM Canada’s St. Catharines, Ont., auto parts plant because they don’t need the production due to a strike at the company’s CAMI facility in Ingersoll, Ont., according to Unifor Local 199 in St. Catharines, Ont.The company has confirmed they are making adjustments to production at the facility.More coming.

The police have arrested 12 people who attempted to go to Australia by boat illegally from Chilaw and Mahawewa, the police media unit said today.All 12 people were arrested yesterday by the Chilaw police intelligence unit together with two vans and a motorbike, the police said. The failed asylum seekers are said to be from Lunuwila, Mahawewa, Chilaw, Mullaitivu, Puthukudirippu, Jaffna and Akarayankulam.The Chilaw police are conducting further investigations.

The Tamil Nadu government led by J. Jayalalithaa on Wednesday said that due to its consistent efforts Sri Lanka had released over 500 fishermen arrested by its navy since May, 2011 and re-affirmed that retrieval of ‘katchatheevu,’ an islet ceded by India to the neighbouring nation in 1974, was its “topmost agenda.”Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa had written 17 letters to the Centre on the issue of arrests of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy who also allegedly attacked them, the Press Trust of India reported. The islet was ceded to Sri Lanka “unilaterally,” he said adding government was taking pro-active steps such as State Revenue Department impleading in a case filed by Jayalalithaa in the Supreme Court in 2008 against the Indo-Lanka agreement.The government had also filed an ‘Expedite petition’ in the apex Court last year, he added. Jayapal said the fishermen from the districts off Palk Bay in the State who ‘drift’ to the other side of International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) while fishing in Palk Strait were at times “arrested/harassed by the Sri Lankan navy.”Taking a ‘serious view,’ of this, Jayalalithaa had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh 17 times since May 2011, nine letters seeking steps for release of arrested fishermen and the rest asking him to take “urgent steps” to prevent the mid-sea incidents of ‘harassment’ Mr. Jayapal reiterated the government’s commitment on retrieval ofKatchatheevu as that and restoration of traditional fishing rights of Indian fishermen in the Palk Bay area “are the topmost agenda of the government of Tamil Nadu.” “Due to the consistent efforts taken by the government, 505 arrested fishermen since May 2011 (217 in 2011, 219 in 2012 and 69 till date in 2013) have been released by the Sri Lankan authorities and repatriated to Tamil Nadu,” State Fisheries Minister K. A. Jayapal told the State Assembly. He assured the House of action for release of the “remaining innocent” fishermen lodged in Sri Lankan jails but did not specify the exact number. read more

She waited for a few months and came back again to Srinivasapur in May, when she heard that he was already married. She tried to meet his parents, but in vain. She then stayed put at a durgah in Muragmalla in Chintamani taluk and visited Srinivasapur often, but nobody helped her. Finally, she decided to end her life and consumed poison in front of Fayaz’s house, said Asif, who is taking care of things on behalf of Nasreen.Mulbagal DySP Siddaramaiah said Nasreen is out of danger, and police are on the lookout for Fayaz. Reddy said her visa had expired on Saturday, and she claimed she had no money either to go back to Sri Lanka or Kuwait, and wants to marry Fayaz Pasha and live in Srinivasapur. Since her visa had expired, he brought the matter to the notice of the higher-ups. Police said Nasreen alleged that Fayaz had promised to marry her, but returned to Srinivasapur about a year ago and married a local girl three months ago. He moved out of Srinivasapur and nobody, including his parents, know of his whereabouts, Srinivasapur PSI SLR Reddy said. A Sri Lankan woman Nasreen (name changed), aged about 23, consumed poison in front of her lover’s house in Zakir Hussain Mohalla in Srinivasapur India late on Saturday night, the Times of India reported today. She was admitted to a private hospital and later shifted to the Government Hospital in Srinivasapur, where she is recuperating.The girl, daughter of a mason from Sri Lanka, went to Kuwait five years ago in search of a job. She worked as a tailor in a garment factory when she met Fayaz Pasha, who was working as a driver. Asif Ali Khan, who runs a mobile phone shop in Srinivasapur, said he went to Kuwait 11 years ago, and later arranged for his friend Fayaz Pasha’s visa and got him a job as a driver. He said Fayaz, who was in love with Nasreen, promised he would marry her and both began saving money. Fayaz reportedly bought an Eicher Tempo with the savings, and the jewellery they bought was sent to Fayaz’s house in Srinivasapur. Meanwhile, Fayaz returned to India a year ago on the pretext of his sister’s marriage, but didn’t return to Kuwait.Nasreen waited for him for a few months, then came down to Srinivasapur in January and met Fayaz and his parents. Fayaz’s parents reportedly assured Nasreen that their marriage would be solemnized soon and that Fayaz would return to Kuwait. She returned to Kuwait, but Fayaz didn’t follow her. read more

A key suspect wanted over smuggling people to Australia from Sri Lanka was arrested in Kiribathgoda today, the police media unit said.The police said that the suspect, a businessman, was arrested by the Matara police special crimes unit. The police had also arrested a Navy officer recently over his involvement in human smuggling as well as four other sailors. He was arrested based on information provided by a group of people arrested recently while they were about to head to Australia from Matara by boat illegally. Australia and Sri Lanka have an agreement in the fight against human smuggling. (Colombo Gazette) read more

“This was unanimously agreed and since there was no action, the Members of the Northern Provincial Council, cutting across party lines, walked into the well of the Chamber and stood in protest opposite me immediately after the 30th Sessions started on 09.06.2015. I told them that I will pursue this matter with Your Excellency and the TNA leaders and requested them to go back and take their seats .They complied with it after expressing their views,” the NPC Chairman said in the letter to the President. Sivagnanam told the President in the letter that ignoring the request made earlier is purely a matter of breach of privilege and disrespect to the elected representatives of the people. The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) has written to President Maithripala Sirisena requesting the urgent transfer of the Government Agent of Vavuniya, out of the District.C.V.K. Sivagnanam, the Chairman of the NPC, in a letter to the President, notes that all of five Members of the Provincial Council from the Vavuniya District presented a copy of a letter addressed to the President signed by them and three Members of Parliament from the Vavuniya District at the sittings held in March and moved that the Council request the President to transfer the Government Agent Vavuniya, out of the District. He also noted that the issue has nothing to do with one community, because the NPC members who protested are from the Tamil, Muslim and Sinhala communities and so he urged the President to immediately transfer the Government Agent of Vavuniya out of that District. (Colombo Gazette) read more

“NFF and other fishermen representatives will meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to appraise her about the issue and appeal her to ensure the release of boats of the Indian fishermen seized by the Sri Lankan navy,” he said.Noting that nearly 19 boats seized by the Sri Lankan navy were damaged during the last rainy season, Ilango said 46 boats still remain in the custody of Lanka and this will also be damaged, if not returned soon. Stressing that the fishermen crossed the maritime boundary unintentionally and never indulged in anti-social activities, he appealed to the Lankan government to desist from going ahead with the Bill. “Both Sri Lanka and India are signatories to the International Laws of the Sea. The two countries should treat the crossing of the maritime boundary as “innocent passage” (as stated in the International Laws of the Sea) and as a livelihood issue,” he said. Welcoming the Sri Lankan decision to release the fishermen, Ilango said that unless their boats were also released, the fishermen will suffer losses to the tune of crores and this will hit their livelihood.He further said that the forum will request the External Affairs Minister to form a committee, consisting of navy, coast guard representatives of government officials and fishermen, to propose recommendations to address the fishing row.Pointing out that Sri Lanka has already formed a committee, he said that the Centre should form a panel ahead of the fourth round of talks between the two countries to sort out the issues. According to information gathered here, Sri Lankan Fisheries Director General MCL Fernando has said that amendments were considered to be introduced to the Fisheries Act to impose severe penalties, up to `150 million (Sri Lankan currency), on foreign vessels poaching in Sri Lankan territorial waters. The National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) in India is planning to approach the International Court of Justice or the United Nations on the Sri Lankan government’s proposed move to draft a bill to impose hefty penalties on foreign vessels poaching in Lanka’s waters, NFF chairperson, M Ilango said.Talking to the New Indian Express, Ilango said that the NFF, along with other representatives of fishermen on coastal regions, will approach the Central government to pursue, through diplomatic channels, and prevail upon Sri Lanka not to go ahead with the move. The island nation’s government has also appointed an advisory board to formulate recommendations to solve the crisis of illegal poaching by Indian fishermen before the government initiates fresh talks with India.

President Sirisena emphasizes that during his political career, he had never indulged in any form of corruption or malpractice or encouraged such activity. (Colombo Gazette) Transparency International said the commitment to strengthen anti-corruption efforts underpins President Sirisena’s yahapalanaya (good governance) mandate. President Maithripala Sirisena had yesterday instructed the Attorney General to look into the allegations raised against him by the Australian media.The President rejected any involvement in the incident which is said to have taken place when he was the Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Services. Transparency International Sri Lanka has noted with concern the recent media allegations published by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) against President Maithripala Sirisenaagainst President Maithripala Sirisena.The allegations connect Snowy Mountain Engineering Company (SMEC), an engineering company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia with alleged requests for “political donations” connected to President Maithripala Sirisena dating from 2009 (prior to assuming the Presidency). Furthermore, given the need for responsibility to be taken for the actions of those working under his control, Transparency International Sri Lanka requested President Sirisena to urgently provide a detailed response to the allegations put forward. read more

Entering airport terminal without a valid ticket is illegal under Indian aviation rules. The man was identified as Nuwan U Fernando, a resident of Sri Lanka, he said. A Sri Lankan national has been apprehended at the Delhi airport for entering a terminal allegedly using a fake ticket, officials said today.The man was apprehended when a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel, deployed for the airport’s security, found him roaming suspiciously inside the terminal-III building, a senior official in airport security said, according to the Press Trust of India. The man told officials that he used a cancelled ticket to enter the airport terminal, he said.He was then handed over to the police which filed an FIR against him under various sections of IPC, he said. He told the CISF personnel that he had come to see off his mother, who was travelling to Colombo from the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), the official said. read more

He said the President will spell out the plans to the country on Monday. (Colombo Gazette) President Maithripala Sirisena is to announce a three year plan of the Government on Monday.Speaking at an event in Malabe today, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the next three years will focus on the development of the country.

Minister Samaraweera was accompanied by Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, Commissioner General of Labour R.P.A. Wimalaweera, Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka Mrs. Samantha Jayasuriya, Ms. Shashika Somaratne, Minister Counsellor, B. Vasanthan, Senior Assistant Secretary of Ministry of Labour and Trade Union Relations and other senior officials. (Colombo Gazette) Sri Lanka says it is ready to share its expertise with the International Labour Organization (ILO) on preventing child labour.Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations Ravindra Samaraweera told the Director General of the ILO Guy Ryder in Geneva that Sri Lanka was interest to be at the forefront of the ILO’s global and regional efforts, along with other relevant stakeholders, in striving towards eliminating child labour and forced labour. In this connection, he assured Sri Lanka’s fullest support for declaring year 2021 as the Year of Elimination of Child Labour and expressed willingness to become a “Pathfinder Country” of Alliance 8.7. Sri Lanka is currently considering the ratification of ILO Protocol 29 to the Forced Labour Convention. The Director General of the ILO, welcoming the Minister and his delegation, noted that Sri Lanka is an important partner for ILO work with a positive working relationship. He expressed deep appreciation for Sri Lanka’s ongoing efforts in promoting labour rights, in particular eliminating child labour. In this context, Ryder recalled pledges made by Sri Lanka at the IV Global Conference on Sustained Eradication of Child Labour in Buenos Aires in November 2017, including to raise the minimum age of employment from 14 to 16. He also requested Sri Lanka to be actively involved in the Centenary Celebration activities of the ILO in 2019. read more

It is suspected that Rahman’s estrangement from his wife, Anusha, may have played a role in their death. Police said that the 38-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil, who had lived in Chennai for some years,  worked for a catering unit. Two years ago his wife moved to Sri Lanka. Rahman had reportedly tried to reconcile with his wife but in vain.“Rahman learnt that she had visited the city last week but did not meet him or the children. This upset him,” police sources said, adding that suicide was suspected. Investigations revealed that the neighbours had last seen Rahman and the boys on Sunday. “On Tuesday, neighbours noticed a foul smell and broke the doors,” said a police source. They alerted police who sent the bodies to Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital for post-mortem. The police have registered a case. (Colombo Gazette) A Sri Lankan Tamil man and his two sons have been found dead in Chennai, the New Indian Express reported.The smell reportedly alerted neighbours that something was amiss on Tuesday. Concerned, they broke down the doors of the Maduravoyal residence and found Habib Rahman and his two sons — both younger than six — dead. read more

The Colombo Chief Magistrate today rejected a bail application submitted by President Maithripala Sirisena’s former Chief of Staff K Mahanama and former State Timber Corporation (STC) Chairman P. Dissanayaka.Mahanama and Dissanayaka who were remanded till today over a bribery case were ordered to be further remanded till September 4th. Mahanama and Dissanayaka had been arrested for accepting a bribe of Rs.20 million over a land deal.Mahanama and the Chairman of the State Timber Corporation, P. Dissanayake were arrested at the car park of a Colombo hotel while accepting the bribe from an Indian businessman. (Colombo Gazette) read more

“Political rally planned in #Colombo today. American citizens encouraged to exercise caution and avoid large crowds,” the US Embassy in Colombo tweeted.The Police has been placed on alert ahead of the joint opposition protest. (Colombo Gazette) The US Embassy in Colombo has urged US citizens to exercise caution during the protest in Colombo today.The protest is expected to disrupt traffic in areas frequented by tourists, including Galle Face, today.

Abeygunawardena said that both the SLFP and the SLPP stand for the same policies. (Colombo Gazette) The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) will contest the Parliamentary elections with the Sri Lanka Freedom Alliance (SLFP) in a broad alliance, SLPP member Rohitha Abeygunawardena said.He told reporters today that talks on the broad alliance are underway and is likely to conclude this week. Rohitha Abeygunawardena said that the SLPP and SLFP will not be contesting against each other at the election.Several SLFP members joined the SLPP yesterday and obtained party membership. read more

Hockey is known as Canada’s sport. And this country produces a lot of NHL players.But last week, a Canadian was chosen as the number one draft pick in the NBA. As Kate Carnegie reports, Anthony Bennett is enjoying the spotlight, but says he will never forget the rough Toronto neighbourhood where he was raised.00:00:00 | 00:00:00::Projekktor V1.3.09

OTTAWA — Canadians dodged paying Ottawa somewhere between $800 million and $3 billion worth of taxes on foreign personal income in 2014, says a new federal estimate released Thursday.The study by the Canada Revenue Agency says the missing funds represented between 0.6 per cent and 2.2 per cent of the total income tax revenue Ottawa collected that year from individuals.So far, the federal government has collected up to $14.6 billion less than it would have in 2014, had all tax obligations been fully met — and that number is expected to grow as the agency’s research continues.Big banks vs CRA: The $2.8-billion tax battle that’s been decades in the makingEverything you need to know about paying taxes by instalments, and why ignoring the CRA’s reminders is a bad idea‘Blind faith’ in your tax preparer no excuse for a faulty returnIn previous reports, the agency has already released other estimates on the so-called tax gap — the difference between what is owed to the government and what was collected — for personal income tax and the federal portion of the GST and HST.The agency’s next study will focus on domestic and international businesses, a report it says will provide CRA with its first estimate of Canada’s overall tax gap.The latest numbers come as Ottawa invests more resources in analyzing and cracking down on tax evasion.“Most Canadians pay their fair share of taxes,” National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier said in a statement. “They expect their government to pursue people and businesses that try to avoid doing the same.”The agency said Thursday that international audits it conducted between 2014-15 and 2016-17 uncovered close to $1 billion in income — and identified $284 million in additional taxes. In the process, it assessed 370 individuals, 200 corporations and a small number of trusts.The CRA analysis also found that in 2014, Canadians earned $9 billion in foreign income and held a total of $429 billion worth of assets outside the country — with most of it reported in the United States and the United Kingdom. read more

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada is highlighting its growing concerns about the challenges of climate change for the economy and the financial system.For the first time, the central bank’s financial system health report is flagging climate change as an important vulnerability along with its long-running worries about household debt and apprehension about the housing market.The assessment is part of the Bank of Canada’s annual report card that explores key weak spots and risks surrounding the stability of the financial system. The bank says climate-change risks — including extreme weather events and the complex shift to a lower-carbon economy — is now being incorporated into its research.The report says the transition to the greener economy will likely lead to difficult adjustments for carbon-intensive sectors, such as oil and gas, and could expose insurance companies, banks and asset managers to more risks.Related Stories:ECB should take climate change into account – VilleroyStephen Poloz’s dashboard: The latest charts that matter most to the Bank of CanadaIn addition to climate change, the report is also underlining the emerging vulnerability of rising corporate debt levels, some of which is of a lower quality. read more