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CN Rail to shut ‘significant’ sections of track if Coastal GasLink pipeline protests continue – The Globe and Mail

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A First Nations protester stands in front of a transport in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory near Belleville, Ont., on Feb. 11, 2020, in support of Wet’suwet’en’s blockade of a natural gas pipeline in northern B.C.

Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press

Railways in the country’s most populous areas approached gridlock Tuesday as Indigenous people and their supporters protested against a B.C. pipeline development and government leaders squabbled over who should intervene.

Canadian National Railway Co. announced it “will be forced to shut down significant parts” of its network if protests don’t end soon along Southern Ontario rail lines, which control trains headed east and west. After six days of protest, hundreds of trains hauling everything from fresh produce to chlorine for municipal water purification were parked on the tracks, which are filling rapidly.

Protests escalated and spread across the country after police confronted protesters from the Wet’suwet’en Nation who had blocked construction of the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline in British Columbia. RCMP arrested seven people on Monday along a key logging road in a bid to restore access to construction sites for Coastal GasLink. Along that road, police have arrested a total of 28 people at protests sympathetic to the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs’ cause since Thursday.

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Port operations in Halifax, Montreal and Prince Rupert were slowed, while rail service disruption in B.C. caused trains to be backed up to Saskatchewan, according to CN. Passenger train service Via Rail, which runs mainly on CN tracks, cancelled 34 trains in the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal corridor on Tuesday because of the protests. Some 24,500 travellers have had to make other plans since Thursday. Via said late Tuesday it’s cancelling all service on the Montreal-Toronto and Toronto-Ottawa routes in both directions through Thursday because of the blockade.

“It’s not just passenger trains that are impacted by these blockades, it’s all Canadian supply chains,” said JJ Ruest, chief executive officer of Montreal-based CN. “We are currently parking trains across our network, but due to limited available space for such, CN will have no choice but to temporarily discontinue service in key corridors unless the blockades come to an end.”

As the protests along CN’s main line near Belleville, Ont., entered their sixth day, Andrew Brant, who is from the nearby Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, said the demonstration along the train tracks began organically, as a gesture of solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en and other Indigenous communities.

“It just happened,”’ he said. “A couple people went out there because we’re sick of how we’re treated as Indigenous people in Canada.”

The protesters, who are by their own admission acting without the support of their chief and band council, say they will not move until the RCMP stop enforcing a court injunction against anti-pipeline protesters in northwestern B.C.

“Pull out and leave them alone” Mr. Brant said. “As soon as that happens, we can leave. We can all go back to our daily routines.”

Despite being thousands of kilometres apart, the communities of Wet’suwet’en and Tyendinaga forged a bond during the 1990 Oka crisis, a long standoff between Mohawk communities in Quebec and the Canadian Armed Forces over the expansion of a local golf course. “They were there for us in 1990,” Mr. Brant said.

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Last Friday, CN obtained an injunction against the protesters from Tyendinaga, as their encampment continued to snarl passenger and freight traffic between Toronto and Montreal. Protesters have vowed to defy the injunction.

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau said he is concerned about the blockades, but it is up to provincial governments to enforce the law along railways.

“The impact is enormous,” Mr. Garneau said. “The railways have obtained injunctions. … It is the responsibility of the province to make sure an injunction is respected, not the federal government.”

The Ontario Provincial Police are continuing to speak with protesters and seek a “peaceful resolution,” said spokesman Bill Dickson, including by delivering gifts of tobacco and maple syrup. The OPP is acting in accordance with the force’s framework for police preparedness for Indigenous critical incidents, Mr. Dickson said. The policy was adopted in the wake of the Ipperwash Crisis, a 1995 standoff over disputed land in Southwestern Ontario between local First Nations and provincial police.

“It’s been a peaceful demonstration,” Mr. Dickson said. “We’ve had nothing but good co-operation, good communication with the individuals participating.”

Quebec Premier François Legault, whose province is cut off by the Ontario protest and is also dealing with a commuter rail line blockade south of Montreal, said Ottawa and the local Mohawk Peacekeeper police force must act. “I think there’s a big part of this that is the federal government’s responsibility,” he said. “We’ve got passenger train problems and once again looming propane shortages for farmers. It has to stop. It can’t go on like this for long.”

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Protesters used mounds of snow and wooden pallets to block the Candiac commuter rail line in the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory near Montreal, disrupting the daily travel of 3,000 people.

Some protesters were apologetic for the disruption they were causing, but pointed to the hundreds of years of inconvenience sthey had suffered since European settlement. “I feel like the message is getting across,” said Dayna Danger, a Métis-Saulteaux originally from Winnipeg who lives in Montreal and joined the Kahnawake protest in solidarity. “The RCMP [are] breaking our laws with their action [in British Columbia], so we’re coming together to pressure the RCMP to get out of that territory.”

In Eastern Quebec, members of the Listuguj Mi’gmaq nation blocked a small regional railway line used mostly to haul lumber.

Meanwhile, anti-pipeline protesters surrounded the B.C. Legislature on Tuesday, preventing some elected officials and journalists from entering the buildings and delaying the start of the 2020 legislative session.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, a fervent defender of the oil and gas industry, called the protesters hypocrites who are not helping to further Indigenous rights or fight climate change. He said that all elected First Nation councils along the pipeline route support the Coastal GasLink project, and he argued that ensuring countries such as China replace coal power with liquefied natural gas would have an enormous impact on reducing global emissions.

With reports from James Keller in Calgary, Justine Hunter in Victoria, and The Canadian Press.

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Canadian Inflation Cools But Hot Core Keeps Up Rate Pressure – Bloomberg

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[unable to retrieve full-text content]

  1. Canadian Inflation Cools But Hot Core Keeps Up Rate Pressure  Bloomberg
  2. Canada’s inflation rate falls to 7.6 per cent  CBC News
  3. Inflation in Canada slows in July, rising 7.6 per cent from last year  Yahoo Canada Finance
  4. EDITORIAL: Inflation still hurting Canadians  Toronto Sun
  5. CityBiz: Latest report on inflation in Canada, home sales slide again  CityNews
  6. View Full coverage on Google News



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Where to look for cheap rent in Canada, as prices soar, again – CBC.ca

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As rent prices spiked over the past two months, affordable pockets of rental housing became harder and harder to find.

In July, the average monthly cost for rental properties across Canada was $1,934 — up 10.4 per cent over last year, according to the data of the property listing company Rentals.ca. A similar hike in June saw the average rent spike 9.5 per cent.

Analysts say the steep prices are being driven by more demand than inventory.

And that demand is being driven in part by some people fleeing larger cities, while others flock to them.

This creates a challenge for people like Joan Alexander.

The senior has rented homes across Canada, in St. Catharines, Ont., and Guelph, Ont., then in Castlegar, B.C., and for the past two years on Prince Edward Island.

Joan Alexander, left, sits with her dog Beau and her partner, Elizabeth Huether. They plan to move from P.E.I. to Lloydminster, Alta./Sask., this October. (Submitted by Joan Alexander )

Alexander and her partner chose Summerside, a city about 50 kilometres northwest of Charlottetown, for its small-town feel.

But rising rental costs and other considerations — like proximity to health care — are driving her to relocate.

“We really hoped that P.E.I. would be our last stop on our life journey,” she said. 

Last year, rents on P.E.I. rose higher than they had in a decade. Plus rental places are scarce.

Finding affordable rental housing in Canada after a pandemic is proving a challenge for many, with spiking interest rates, inflation and limited rental stock. 

Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research and Consulting, a real estate advisory firm that tracks rental pricing in Canada, says if you are looking for a deal there still are some places he’d describe as comparatively “cheap.”

This two-bedroom in Lloydminster, Sask., offers a 1,000 square foot corner unit in a quiet building for $1,250 per month. (Aspen Grove/Kijiji)

He suggests looking at Red Deer or Lethbridge in Alberta, or Saskatoon.

“You can get a two-bedroom for under $1,150 a month. It’s all about where you can work,” said Myers. 

Alexander says she was able to find a few havens on the Prairies.

“It felt almost too good to be true. There seemed to be a few pockets where we could find what we were looking for. Pet friendly, affordable, safe housing,” said Alexander, who needs monitoring after donating a kidney and a place that welcomes her small, beloved dog — Beau.

Lloydminster — a city that spans Alberta and Saskatchewan — attracted Alexander and her spouse with affordable prices and a pet-friendly property owner.

They move in October to their new $1,200-per-month home.

WATCH | Priced out by rising rents:

Soaring prices leaving some renters priced out

1 day ago

Duration 2:03

While the housing market may be cooling down, the rental market is on fire, with the price of an average unit up 10 per cent compared to last year. That has left many renters scrambling to find suitable housing.

Rentals.ca listings include detached and semi-detached homes, townhouses, condominium apartments, rental apartments and basement apartments. The company can’t provide an average rent for all cities. Some smaller communities don’t have enough rentals to get an accurate average.

So it’s worth hunting. There are some hidden gems.

Myers says that in a normal year, rent can fluctuate on average three to five per cent. But average rents grew 10 to 12 per cent in 2019, due to a shortage of supply, he says. Then the pandemic hit and rent declined, on average, 15 to 20 per cent.

“We are now adjusting back to pre-pandemic levels,” said Myers.

Renters on the move

Then there are the super-expensive anomalies — like Vancouver, which rebounded even faster from the pandemic, with a per month average rent of $2,300 in June 2022. 

Myers says there have also been significant shifts to cities that used to enjoy low rent, as some people migrate to smaller places where they can get more real estate for their dollar.

Retiring Baby Boomers from the Toronto area are creating demand and raising prices in places like the Niagara Region and Halifax, for example. 

“Halifax has gone kind of nuclear. Definitely a lot of Ontarians moved to Halifax during the pandemic,” Myers said.

Also, he says a lot of students stayed in their university towns like Victoria, London, Ont., and Kingston, Ont., when offices closed during the past two years.

“All the benefits of living in a big city were almost bad because you didn’t want to be around a lot of people during a pandemic,” said Myers. 

Vanishing affordable rentals

But all this change has just put more pressure on the rental market that’s been seeing declines in rental options for low earners for more than a decade, according to housing policy researcher Steve Pomeroy.

He uses Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) data to probe losses in the rental market.

Pomeroy, the senior research fellow for the Centre of Urban Research at Carleton University, estimates that between 2011 and 2016, the number of rental units that would be affordable for households earning less than $30,000 per year — with rents below $750 — declined by 322,600 in Canada.

That has an effect on the one in three Canadians who rent, according to 2016 census data.

Pomeroy says historically Quebec offered the largest rental stock available in the country.

“Quebec has always been culturally very different. Rent is much more culturally accepted. It’s a bit about European influence … You get these very scenic estates of two-, three-storey homes with the wrought iron staircase and with three units, and two are rented. So by definition, two-thirds of your population are renters,” he said.

He says perhaps it’s time for the remainder of Canada to consider a more European model, where renting is more accepted. 

He says there are many cities, in France and Germany for example, where renters almost match owners in population.

North America historically has had a different culture, where owning is seen as better.

“Traditionally there has been very strong support for home ownership. Here in Canada we’ve had mortgage insurance including increasing access to credit for buyers … the political system has very much reinforced that belief system, that ownership is the right thing to do.”

In Red Deer, Alta., this two-bedroom townhome rents for $1,220 per month if you opt for the smaller one with no den. It even comes with energized parking stalls. (Sunreal Property Management Ltd./Rentfaster.ca)

But now, tenancy and anti-poverty organizations are lobbying for more renters’ rights. That’s something Pomeroy sees as a positive shift.

He also says he believes many younger Canadians see renting as their future. It gives them the freedom to pursue experiences, move for jobs and not remain tethered to a property that they can’t afford.

Pomeroy recently asked his graduate students — all employed and in their 20s — if they thought they could buy a home in the next five years. Would you want to?

He says he was surprised to hear for the first time, none of them believed they could.

“Nobody thought they could, and only about half actually wanted to.”

The average monthly cost for rental properties across Canada in July was $1,934 — up 10.4 per cent over last year — making it harder still for renters to find affordable housing. (David Horemans/CBC)

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WTI Stops Slide As API Figures Show Major Gasoline Draw – OilPrice.com

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WTI Crude Falls To Lowest Level Since January | OilPrice.com


Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.

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Crude oil prices fell further on Tuesday, with WTI falling to its lowest benchmark price since January this year.

Crude oil prices began their fall on Monday, dragged down by China’s disappointing economic data that led to China’s central bank cutting lending rates.

WTI prices fell to $86.13 per barrel by 2:24 pm ET, down $3.28, or 3.67% on the day. Brent crude fell $2.98 (-3.13%) on the day to $92.12 per barrel—the lowest price since February this year.

Gasoline prices in the United States have been falling for months now led by falling crude oil prices. Today’s gasoline prices in the United States average $3.949 per gallon, according to AAA data, down from $3.956 yesterday. Over the last month, U.S. gasoline prices have fallen 60 cents. They are still 76 cents above where they were this time last year.

The weight of disappointing data out of China—the world’s second-largest oil consumer and largest oil importer—was compounded on Tuesday by developments surrounding the Iran nuclear deal. Just moments before the deadline, Iran sent its written response to the EU regarding the “final” nuclear deal text. In its letter, Iran suggested that it was closer than it had ever been to securing a deal, although there were a few sticking points—mainly that the U.S. guaranteed the deal couldn’t be changed by future U.S. Presidents.

Despite the current crude oil fundamentals that suggest the market is still tight, the market fear is that Iran could unleash on the market hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil per day if sanctions were to be lifted. Iran has said that it could ramp up production and exports within months.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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