Manitoba’s Agri-Food and Manufacturing Sectors Lead the Way to Steady Export Growth

WINNIPEG —; Thanks to the diversification of its export economy, Manitoba’s exports will grow by four per cent in 2016 and five per cent next year, according to Export Development Canada’s semi-annual Global Export Forecast.

This steady growth, continuing on from last year, is the product of strong performances across all the province’s export sectors, particularly agri-food and manufacturing. Manitoba stands as one of the most diversified export economies in Canada.

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“When it comes to exports, we all envy Manitoba. Even though oil exports have fallen off, other sectors have made up for it. Diversification is what you want. It provides stability that the economy can rely on in volatile times like we’re experiencing now,” said Peter Hall, EDC’s Chief Economist.

Agri-food, which is Manitoba’s largest export sector and accounts for more than one-third of the province’s exports, will see overall growth of two per cent this year, followed by five per cent in 2017.

This positive outlook is being driven by pork meat and hog exports, with increasing Asian demand coming off the heels of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA). EDC also expects Manitoba to benefit from U.S. pork production dropping back to normal levels after years of record-highs.

Within the agri-food sector, Manitoba’s oilseeds and pulse exports will also perform relatively well this year and next. The strength of these sub-sectors will help offset this year’s decline in wheat exports. Despite relatively strong wheat production in the province, global demand for wheat is expected to be weaker due to high inventories and strong production from the United States, China and India.

The manufacturing sector is another bright spot in the province’s export outlook, with motor vehicles experiencing a 22 per cent increase and aerospace a 16 per cent increase this year. Companies like New Flyer Industries, a bus manufacturer, are leading the charge with several important contract wins in 2016.

“New Flyer Industries specialized in heavy-duty buses, focussed on innovation and now they are a leader in North America for this technology. They’ve been so successful in part because they know how to sell into markets outside of Canada,” noted Hall.

While provincial exports will continue to rely heavily on the strength of the U.S. economy, the diversity of Manitoba’s exports presents opportunities in emerging markets as well.

“Export growth is still mostly about U.S. demand, however, Manitoba companies and producers have the opportunity to gain entry beyond North America because of the variety and types of products they are selling. It’s not just hogs and wheat, but also pharmaceuticals and clean technology,” added Hall. “Growth is coming and now is the time for Manitoba exporters to look beyond the United States and capitalize on the international opportunities before them.”

Mr. Hall will be joining local businesses people today at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg to discuss the export outlook for Manitoba and Canada.

The event is being held in collaboration with Manitoba Trade and Investment. Over the past month, Hall has been travelling across Canada for EDC’s Let’s Talk Exports tour, which offers insights on the current global economy and explores how economic trends will impact Canadian companies and exporters.

Visit EDC’s Global Export Forecast: Spring 2016 to learn more.

About EDC is Canada’s trade finance agency, providing financing and insurance solutions locally and around the world to help Canadian companies of any size respond to international business opportunities. As a profitable Crown corporation that operates on
commercial principles, EDC works together with private- and public-sector financial institutions to create greater capacity for Canadian companies to engage in trade and investment.

Some of its services include the Export Guarantee Program to help exporters access more financing, direct financing in support of contracts and direct investment abroad, Foreign Exchange Facility Guarantees to help exporters manage foreign exchange risk, and Political Risk Insurance that can cover up to 90 per cent of losses from political risks in foreign markets.

EDC’s economics team includes some of Canada’s leading trade experts, who share their knowledge freely with Canadian companies looking to grow their international sales and help them manage the associated market risks. Its semi-annual Global Economic Forecast addresses the latest global export conditions, including providing perspectives on leading economic trends and export strategies to help Canadian companies of all sizes maximize their export growth.


Atomic bomb survivors want Obama to apologize during visit to Hiroshima

TOKYO – A group representing Japanese survivors of U.S. atomic bombings urged President Barack Obama to hear their stories and apologize when he visits Hiroshima.

Two leaders of the Tokyo-based nationwide group told a news conference in Tokyo on Thursday that many survivors still want an apology though they have long avoided an outright demand for one out of fear that it would be counterproductive.

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  • Obama to become 1st sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima
  • Foreign ministers push nuclear disarmament at G7 meeting in Hiroshima
  • John Kerry ponders complexity of war during visit at atomic bomb memorial in HiroshimaToshiki Fujimori, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, said he found it awkward to hear local and central government officials going over their heads to say they were not asking for an apology.“I suspect there was a pressure (not to seek an apology) to create an atmosphere that would make it easier for Obama to visit Hiroshima,” Fujimori said. “But many of the survivors don’t think they can do without an apology at all.”He said the survivors want Obama to know that their suffering is not limited to immediate damage and visible, physical scars. They also suffered discrimination at work, in marriage and in other parts of their lives, by their own people in Japan, he said.READ MORE: Japanese don’t expect apology from Obama during visit to HiroshimaU.S. atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the World War II left killed more than 200,000 people and nearly destroyed the cities.Obama will visit Hiroshima on May 27 after the Group of Seven summit in central Japan, becoming the first serving American president to do so.Washington said he won’t apologize and a meeting with survivors is unlikely. Japan’s government had also told U.S. officials that it is not expecting an apology, according to Japanese and American officials.That apparently prompted the survivors to remind him of their true feelings and expectations for his commitment to a nuclear-free world.Terumi Tanaka, a survivor of the Nagasaki atomic bombing who serves Secretary-General of Japan Confederation of A and H Bomb Sufferers Organizations, said he only wished Obama to offer an apology for the survivors for what his wartime government had done to them.“Families of the victims, those who lost their children. They deserve an apology and I really hope Mr. Obama will at least apologize to them,” he said.

Mother worries about how Preeceville, Sask. ER shutdown may affect her son

REGINA – A Preeceville, Sask. family was at the legislature on Thursday to help raise concerns about the upcoming suspension of emergency room and acute services at the local hospital.

On Wednesday, the Sun Rise Health Region announced the temporary shutdown, which starts on June 1, citing “lack of physician coverage.”

READ MORE: ER services to be suspended in Preeceville, Sask.

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Stacey Strykowski said her six year-old son Jackson has a severe peanut allergy. He has two EpiPens on him at all times but needs emergency treatment within 20 minutes of using the EpiPen to receive additional steroid treatments.

Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit says while the shutdown is unfortunate, Preeceville still has a number of nurse practitioners, two advanced care paramedics, and access to STARS Air Ambulance.

“I was really disappointed because we only have one advanced care paramedic. The other one right now is on maternity leave,” Strykowski said in regard to Ottenbreit’s comments.

“So just like they say a doctor can’t work 24/7, he can’t work 24/7, and we only have two ambulances, so if one’s out on a transfer to another emergency, how are we going to get our child the care he needs, and all the other kids.”

STARS estimates the average flight to Preeceville is 80 minutes from Regina or Saskatoon, since it intersects their coverage zones.

Ottenbreit says staffing challenges at rural hospitals are not just an issue in Preeceville, but across the province. All they can do is keep recruiting.

“We continue to recruit, we have another new doctor coming in October,” he explained.

“We can’t just pull them off shelves. It takes a while to get them trained, to match them to the proper community.

Ottenbreit went on to say they can’t force physicians to stay in a community.

“We have communities offering housing, and these types of things, and we still face these challenges,” he said.

The Rural Health Minister added that in the past “five or six years” Preeceville has received 5 new doctors, but four have left.

Strykowski says she and her family are tired of being told to wait for the emergency room to reopen.

“We need to be somewhere where there’s a hospital. So that means leaving our school, our jobs, and our family,” she said with tears running down her cheeks.


Vancouver’s outdoor pools and beaches open for the summer this weekend

Vancouver’s outdoor pools and beaches will officially make their debut for the summer season this Victoria Day long weekend.

Lifeguards and Park Rangers will be on deck beginning Saturday, May 21 at the heated outdoor pools at Kits Beach, Second Beach in Stanley Park, New Brighton Park in East Vancouver, as well as Hillcrest Centre’s outdoor pool.

Kerrisdale’s Maple Grove Pool will open Saturday, June 18.

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Eleven beaches around Vancouver will also be patrolled by rangers and lifeguards beginning this weekend, daily from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. until Labour Day (closing at 9 p.m. from mid-June to mid-August).

“Outdoor pools are cherished by residents. The Park Board is soon beginning the most ambitious review of aquatic services in the last 15 years,” said Vancouver Park Board chair Sarah Kirby-Yung. “This is a reflection of the priority this Board places on expanding pool facilities for our residents.”

Energy conservation projects are still underway at Kitsilano Beach pool and Second Beach pool. This is the second year windbreaks are being installed at the seaside facilities to help reduce heat-loss and greenhouse gas emissions. The Park Board reports last year’s windbreaks lowered greenhouse gas emissions by 220 metric tonnes, equal to removing 46 cars from the road.

Kids can also make use of the city’s supply of water parks, which will be fully operational beginning this weekend, except for the Lumberman’s Arch park opening in June due to repairs.

But with the expected rise in park use, the City wants to remind visitors that all beaches and parks are smoke-free and fire-free. Dogs are also not permitted on beaches and must be leashed in all parks, except designated off-leash areas.


Justice delayed: 3 Alberta sex assault cases rescheduled for 2017 due to judge shortage

Three sexual assault cases have been delayed 10 months because there aren’t enough judges on Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench.

“There was no judge available to hear them,” Court of Queen’s Bench spokesperson Michelle Somers said Monday. The three cases, set to be heard this week, have been rescheduled–two in February 2017 and one in March 2017.

“We have done all we could” to coordinate cases, Somers said in a Tuesday email.

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  • Court doc says shortage leaves Alberta judges ‘without requisite time’ for cases“The rest is up to the federal government.”READ MORE: Court doc says shortage leaves Alberta judges ‘without requisite time’ for casesThis isn’t a new problem: Alberta’s politicians, lawyers and justices have been calling on the federal government to remedy a years-long judge shortage that’s only worsened.There are 59 justices sitting on the Court of Queen’s Bench, but there should be 65: six positions are vacant.The Court of Appeal is missing almost 30 per cent of its judges – there are only 10 sitting; there should be 14. Alberta has fewer judges per capita than any other province.“It’s very concerning when any case is delayed, particularly serious criminal matters,” reads a Thursday statement from Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley.“The urgency of this situation is clear, we want to see these vacancies filled as soon as possible.”Somers doesn’t have statistics on how many cases have had to be rescheduled because of a provincial judge shortage.She said the Court of Queen’s Bench has never had to adjourn a sexual assault trial before.“It is an accelerating situation,” she wrote in an email to Global News. “Our lead times keep getting longer, which means because the cases keep coming in at the same rate and we don’t have enough judges to hear them, we have to schedule further and further out in time.”She said court has been working with the federal government, and submitted “business cases with statistics like population increases and increases in number and complexity of cases.”Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench has only gained two judicial positions in the past 20 years, even as the province’s population doubled.The province’s business case for more judges, submitted in January, says the Court of Queen’s bench is “facing a crisis,” getting new judges added decades too late. The court has cut its dispute resolution services but that isn’t helping the backlog.The federal government acknowledges the concerns and said this week it is “moving forward on measures that will facilitate appointments to fill these highly pressing vacancies as soon as possible.”“We have also committed to a review of the entire judicial appointments process, based on the principles of openness, transparency, merit, and diversity,” a spokesperson for federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said in an emailed statement Monday.“This review will achieve a greater degree of diversity within the Canadian judiciary, so that it will truly reflect the face of Canada.”Global News asked the federal government why this review is taking place and how long it will take. We were sent an identical statement from a different spokesperson.Ganley said she’s spoken with federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and expects the feds to appoint new judges while it conducts its review.The Court of Queen’s Bench doesn’t know much about the review, either, Somers said.“We are told they wish to increase the diversity of appointments to the courts, and to make the process more open,” she wrote.“In the meantime, we have been waiting for appointments to fill our six vacancies, some for as long as two years.”

Man accused of using fake ID to get Fort McMurray wildfire funds

CALGARY – Two people are facing charges after using fake identification to get emergency money meant for Fort McMurray fire evacuees.

Calgary police Const. Melissa van Waes says a 29-year-old man went to a centre set up by the Alberta government to give debit cards to people who had to flee their homes in northeastern Alberta due to a massive forest fire earlier this month.

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  • Fort McMurray wildfire: evacuation order lifted for some work camps north of the community
  • Fort McMurray residents forced out by wildfire long for the comforts of home
  • Phased re-entry into Fort McMurray after wildfire to begin June 1READ MORE: Phased re-entry into Fort McMurray after wildfire to begin June 1The officer says a Service Alberta worker noticed something when the man produced identification and it turned out it was fake. It was also discovered that the man had two other debit cards from another centre.Watch below: Between the province and the Red Cross, Fort McMurray wildfire evacuees have received more than $116 million in financial aid along with donated food and clothing. Those services are available to all evacuees in need but as Sarah Kraus reports, not everyone is playing by the rules.Edmonton police have also charged a woman with two counts of fraud for using fake documents to obtain relief funds.The Red Cross is seeing isolated incidents in relation to the money it is handing out to evacuees, too.Red Cross Alberta’s vice president, Jen McManus, said that is typical of humanitarian responses.“Very few, between one to two per cent of individuals, will ask for assistance who aren’t actually directly impacted by an event such as this.”READ MORE: Man in Claresholm allegedly pretends to be Fort McMurray evacuee “There have been reports of people attempting to acquire a second set of debit cards or additional funding from the Red Cross,” Shane Schreiber, managing director of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency, said Friday. “The RCMP and city police are actively investigating those cases.“We’ve got additional security around those debit card sites to deter that kind of behaviour.”Schreiber said these types of incidents are rare.“In general, it’s an extremely small number. We’ve had a handful of reports of this activity going on and, where we get the reports, I know the police are extremely proactive in following up.”Watch Below: Latest B.C. and Fort McMurray wildfire updatesDebit cards for evacuees are loaded with $1,250 for an adult and $500 per child.Van Waes says police are working with Service Alberta to determine whether the funds have been accessed.Charges of fraud under $5,000 and uttering a forged document are pending against the man.READ MORE: Fort McMurray residents forced out by wildfire long for the comforts of homeThe officer says the man has no fixed address.The Alberta government said as of Thursday, more than 35,000 debit cards totalling $75 million had been distributed.More than 80,000 residents fled Fort McMurray on May 3 when the fire started burning homes on the edges of the city. Officials have said more than 2,400 buildings were lost but that firefighters managed to save almost 90 per cent of the oilsands capital.

Hope From the Ashes’: Calgary rescue worker helps Fort McMurray fire relief with book of poetry

What he experienced in the Fort McMurray area this month had a big impact on Johnny Walker.

“Really, really overwhelming just to see people so worried about whether they have anything to go back home to,” Walker said.

Now he’s turning those experiences into a book of poetry he’s selling, donating all proceeds to the fire relief effort.

Walker spent a week in the fire zone, volunteering his services as an emergency rescue technician, “putting out spot fires, helping people that got small cuts.”

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  • Atlantic Canadians with connection to Fort McMurray lending helping handFort McMurray wildfire: Friends, strangers, refugees compelled to helpFort McMurray wildfire: Pet owners get a helping hand to save animals left behindHe’s now trying to help with his book “Hope From the Ashes”.In one poem, called “Into the Gates of Hell,” Walker writes, “darkness fills the sky, even in the daylight. Plumes of thick smoke, billowing from within the earth’s floor.”“I’ve been writing poetry since I was a child,” Walker said. “Words just come into my head and I start writing things down.”Walker published a similar book after volunteering in the aftermath of the southern Alberta floods in 2013.Sales of that book raised more than $8,000 for relief efforts, and Walker’s now hoping for a similar response to “Hope From the Ashes.”The book is available through Facebook here.

Blues plot to nullify Roos’ Brown in AFL

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Carlton are planning a team effort to shut down North Melbourne’s Ben Brown in their AFL clash.It will be all hands on deck for winless Carlton as they try to nullify North Melbourne AFL forward Ben Brown.

Brown, who is the third-highest goal scorer with 10.2 after three rounds, will be a key target in Saturday night’s clash in his home state Tasmania.

Hobart’s Bellerive Oval was a fruitful hunting ground last season for Brown, headlined by a decisive four-goal haul in round 19 against Melbourne.

Carlton assistant coach John Barker said the task of blunting the 25-year-old woould not be given to one man.

“We play a strong team defence. We don’t want to be relying on any one person to shut one opposition player down,” he said.

“There’s a real requirement on our mids to apply enough pressure so we disrupt the supply that goes to Ben.”

The Blues have lost their opening three matches, throwing away promising starts against Richmond in round one and last weekend against Collingwood.

“We’ve had periods of play where we’ve been really good and, obviously, periods of play where our method hasn’t quite stood up,” Barker said.

Carlton have recalled Jack Silvagni and also named 2017’s No.10 draft pick Lochie O’Brien as well as Cam O’Shea.

North have regained vice-captain and star defender Robbie Tarrant but are without Nathan Hrovat (fractured thumb).

Barker said ruckman Matthew Kreuzer was primed for a fired-up Todd Goldstein after the Kangaroos’ ruckman was outplayed comprehensively last weekend by his Melbourne opposite Max Gawn.

“I think they’re both great ruckman – strong contested players. It’s going to be a great contest in the middle,” Barker added.

North have won 11 from 13 at their home away from home, while it’s Carlton’s first regular-season match at Bellerive Oval.

“Any new ground we go to is going have subtle differences,” Barker said.

“We’ve talked about them. We’ll adjust our game plan accordingly.”

Australian Associated Press


TPP pushes ahead as Trump rethinks pullout

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Trade Minister Steven Ciobo says a new TPP deal won’t be changed to appease the United States.Australia has welcomed signs the US may seek to re-join a Pacific trade deal, but won’t put the latest agreement on hold while Donald Trump makes up his mind.

A White House spokesman confirmed the president – who pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership last year – had assigned his top trade advisers, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and his new chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, “to take another look at whether or not a better deal could be negotiated”.

However, Mr Trump tweeted on Friday he would only join the TPP “if the deal were substantially better than the deal offered to Pres. Obama”.

“We already have BILATERAL deals with six of the eleven nations in TPP, and are working to make a deal with the biggest of those nations, Japan, who has hit us hard on trade for years!” he wrote.

Australia’s Trade Minister Steve Ciobo said while US interest was welcome, the TPP 11 – as they are now known – were on track to bring the agreement into effect by the start of 2019.

“We’ve got a deal, it’s a good deal, 11 countries have signed up and we are all working to put the deal into effect,” Mr Ciobo told reporters on the Gold Coast on Friday.

“I can’t see that all being thrown open now to appease the United States.”

But he said the agreement partners, who had “little appetite for substantial negotiation”, would welcome the US coming back to the table.

“We will have discussions.”

The TPP 11 countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam.

The text of the agreement has been tabled in the Australian parliament and two committees are examining it.

A national interest analysis showed the deal would significantly enhance Australia’s economic relationships.

Australian Greens trade spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said reports of Mr Trump taking fresh interest in the deal were bad news.

“Many of the worst features of the first dud deal were put on ice as an attempt to build a new deal out of the rubble. But everything that’s on ice gets defrosted if the US comes back to the table,” she said.

She said longer monopoly rights on medicines would punish Australians suffering from conditions like cancer or rheumatoid arthritis by making medicine more expensive.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso was cautious about the president’s decision.

Trump “is a person who could change temperamentally, so he may say something different the next day”, Mr Aso said.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Mr Trump are expected to discuss the TPP at their summit meeting next week.

Australian Associated Press


AFL Giants feel at home in Canberra: Davis

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Greater Western Sydney’s co-captain Phil Davis knows the Giants have an advantage in Canberra.Canberra’s UNSW Oval has become a fortress for Greater Western Sydney and co-captain Phil Davis is determined it stays that way.

The Giants have won seven AFL games straight at their second home ground, having not lost there since round 17, 2015.

Three of those seven wins have come by more than 80 points, with the last two premiers Richmond and Western Bulldogs among the victims of those routs.

Davis believes there’s something different about the ground that GWS are able to exploit.

They take on Fremantle on Saturday at the venue in a battle of teams with 2-1 records.

The Dockers are virtual strangers to Canberra. Their only appearance there was in 2002 when they lost to North Melbourne by one point.

Davis said the Giants felt comfortable taking on any opponent at the ground.

“We’ve obviously won a lot more games (overall) in the last few years but (other) teams find it hard to win here,” Davis said on Friday.

“I think it’s a slightly unique ground with the dimensions and how it plays with the wind so we feel comfortable here and always get great support.”

Leon Cameron’s Giants will take on Fremantle boosted by the returns of star small forward Toby Greene and veteran defender Ryan Griffen.

Former Bulldogs captain Griffen is playing his first game since round three last year after recovering from persistent ankle injuries.

Ruckman Dawson Simpson has been recalled for the mammoth task of facing Dockers big man Aaron Sandilands, with Rory Lobb missing through bone bruising.

The Giants’ midfield has also taken a hit, with All-Australian Josh Kelly out with groin soreness.

But Davis said the on-ball battle would be a highlight as Dylan Shiel, Callan Ward and Stephen Coniglio went up against Nathan Fyfe and Lachie Neale.

“It will be a really big challenge with the midfield battle because we’ve got an all-star midfield and they’ve got an all-star midfield,” Davis said.

Fremantle are settled following their 28-point defeat of Gold Coast last Saturday, and have kept the same line-up.

Australian Associated Press