After some expressed confusion online over what languages Canada Post will accept from Canadians writing to Santa this holiday season, the corporation says it accepts letters in any language.
Some users noted in the comments of the post that commonly spoken languages in Canada such as Punjabi, Tagalog and Farsi were not included, which prompted responses from Canada Post saying its team is working on adding those languages in the future.
According to the 2021 Canadian census, 520,390 people reported they speak Punjabi most often at home, with 275,045 reporting the same for Tagalog or Filipino, and 179,745 for a Persian language.
Mandarin and Punjabi are the most common non-official languages used in Canada, with more than one million people predominantly speaking one of the two.
However, a spokesperson for Canada Post said in an email to CTVNews.ca on Saturday that the corporation does not typically publish a list, given it has constantly evolved over the years, and that the message should be, “We Answer in Your Language.”
The spokesperson said Canadians wanting to write to Santa can do so in whichever language they choose and that this would be clarified in its Instagram post.
“The inclusive spirit of the Santa Letter program is that any child who writes to Santa in their language will receive a response in their language,” the spokesperson said.
“Like Santa, we value the diversity that makes Canada such an amazing country. Over the last 40 years we’ve been helping Santa with his letters, the number of languages has evolved and that continues to this day. Every child is important to Santa and we are proud to help him respond to over a million letters a year to children in Canada and around the world.”
Those writing letters are asked to send them by Dec. 9, with Santa’s address and a return address included, in order to receive a reply before the holidays.
No postage is required and the Canada Post spokesperson said drawings and artwork are always appreciated.
The address for Santa is:
With files from The Canadian Press
Inflation in Canada: Finance ministers meet
TORONTO – The two big spending pressures on the federal government right now are health care and the global transition to a clean economy, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Friday.
After hosting an in-person meeting with the provincial and territorial finance ministers, Freeland said U.S. President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which includes electric-vehicle incentives that favour manufacturers in Canada and Mexico as well as the U.S., has changed the playing field when it comes to the global competition for capital.
“I cannot emphasize too strongly how much I believe that we need to seize the moment and build the clean economy of the 21st century,” Freeland said during a news conference held at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.
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Canada needs to invest in the transition in order to potentially have an outsized share in the economy of the future, she said, or it risks being left behind.
This year in particular will be an important year for attracting capital to Canada, she said, calling for the provinces and territories to chip in.
“This is a truly historic, once-in-a-generation economic moment and it will take a team Canada effort to seize it.”
At the same time, Freeland spoke of the need for fiscal restraint amid economic uncertainty.
“We know that one of the most important things the federal government can do to help Canadians today is to be mindful of our responsibility not to pour fuel on the fire of inflation,” she said.
Freeland said these two major spending pressures, which were among the topics prioritized at Friday’s meeting, come at a time of a global economic slowdown which poses restraint on government spending.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to meet with the premiers Feb. 7 to discuss a long-awaited deal on health-care spending. The provinces have been asking for increases to the health transfer to the tune of billions of dollars.
Freeland said it’s clear that the federal government needs to invest in health care and reiterated the government’s commitment to doing so but would not say whether she thinks the amount the provinces are asking for in increased health transfers is feasible.
“It’s time to see the numbers,” Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard said Friday afternoon, in anticipation of the Feb. 7 meeting.
The meeting of the finance ministers comes at a tense time for many Canadian consumers, with inflation still running hot and interest rates much higher than they were a year ago.
The ministers also spoke with Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem Friday and discussed the economic outlook for Canada and the world, said Freeland.
“We’re very aware of the uncertainty in the global economy right now,” said Freeland. “Inflation is high and interest rates are high.”
“Things are tough for a lot of Canadians and a lot of Canadian families today and at the federal level, this is a time of real fiscal constraint.”
The Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate again last week, bringing it to 4.5 per cent, but signalled it’s taking a pause to let the impact of its aggressive hiking cycle sink in.
The economy is showing signs of slowing, but inflation was still high at 6.3 per cent in December, with food prices in particular remaining elevated year over year.
Interest rates have put a damper on the housing market, sending prices and sales downward for months on end even as the cost of renting went up in 2022.
Meanwhile, the labour market has remained strong, with the unemployment rate nearing record lows in December at five per cent.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 3, 2023.
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