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Dollar loses out, yuan soars amid doubts about U.S. economy – The Guardian

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By Stanley White

TOKYO (Reuters) – The dollar was on the defensive against most currencies on Friday after a rise in U.S. jobless claims and a dip in Treasury yields dampened the appeal of holding the greenback.

The yuan jumped to a seven-month high against the dollar, showing that even U.S.-Sino diplomatic tension was not enough to deter traders who are bullish on China’s economic outlook.

The euro, which has been the biggest beneficiary of a recent decline in the dollar, will come into focus later on Friday as traders brace for euro zone manufacturing data.

A larger-than-expected rise in weekly U.S. jobless claims came just one day after Fed officials warned that a recovery in hiring is starting to slow, raising doubts about how quickly the world’s largest economy will bounce back from the coronavirus.

Concern about the U.S. economy, combined with an excess supply of dollars already in circulation due to the Fed’s massive quantitative easing, are likely to weigh on the U.S. currency in coming weeks, analysts say.

“Sentiment for the dollar is weak, reflecting all the QE and the decline in real U.S. yields,” said Tsutomu Soma, a credit trader at Monex Securities.

“On the flip side, the euro is strong because Europe has already put a firm backstop in place to support economic growth, which has boosted confidence in the euro and euro-zone bonds.”

The dollar stood at $1.1867 per euro on Friday in Asia following a 0.2% decline in the previous session.

The British pound bought $1.3229, holding onto a 0.8% gain made on Thursday.

The dollar also nursed losses against the safe harbour Swiss franc , last trading at 0.9074 in Asia on Friday.

The onshore yuan rose to 6.8969 per dollar, the highest since Jan. 22. Offshore, the yuan briefly hit 6.8935, its strongest since Jan. 21.

China’s currency has recovered all of its losses since the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus first broke out, was first put on lockdown.

The greenback was quoted at 105.72 yen after a 0.3% decline on Thursday.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose back above the 1 million mark last week, data showed on Thursday in a setback for a U.S. job market that has been crippled by the coronavirus pandemic.

A slight decline in Treasury yields was another factor working against the greenback.

The dollar index =USD> against a basket of six currencies was on course for its ninth consecutive weekly decline.

Sentiment for the dollar and risk assets like equities had already taken a hit after dovish minutes from the Fed’s most recent meeting, which were released on Wednesday.

Traders in the euro are looking ahead to the release later Friday of manufacturing data for the euro zone and for Germany, Europe’s largest economy.

The growing consensus is the euro will continue to edge higher because European governments have taken decisive action on stimulus measures to support growth.

In comparison, U.S. Republicans and Democrats are still at loggerheads over additional economic stimulus, which analysts said is another reason to favour the euro over the dollar.

Elsewhere in currencies, the Australian dollar edged up to $0.7202, while the New Zealand dollar held steady at $0.6539.

(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald weighs in on rebuilding Canada's economy – CBC.ca

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Last week’s speech from the throne was a chance for the federal government to set up its vision for the future, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald was listening closely.

It’s her job to work with the provincial and federal governments on issues relevant to local First Nations, and she says more concrete action is needed to ensure governments meet their reconciliation commitments.

“I heard a couple of things that I thought were hopeful and certainly could apply to First Nations. And those were the announcements around women in the economy and further investments in youth employment. So those things I thought were very positive,” Archibald said.

But she said she was greatly disappointed by the lack of attention to boil water advisories.

“In Ontario, we have 66 communities under boil water advisories and we have four that have do-not-consume orders. And that’s half of our communities. We have 133 First Nations in Ontario. And so that, to me, is not acceptable,” she said.

While the throne speech in 2019 set a clear target date of March 2021 to eliminate the long-term advisories, this year’s speech from the throne made no reference to that deadline. The federal government is apparently less comfortable with that goal, due to the pandemic, CBC learned from a senior government source. 

Indigenous Services Canada published this update on the progress of its commitment to end long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations communities on Feb. 15, 2020. (Indigenous Services Canada)

“The fact that the date of March 2021 was dropped from their original target date also speaks to the ability that they’re not going to meet their target date. We are still waiting for clean drinking water, a basic human right for First Nations,” said Archibald. 

The pandemic has also made it more difficult to get construction workers into communities.

There have been enough delays, says Archibald. “What we really need now, moving forward, is accelerated funding and accelerated action.”

“If these were 66 non-native communities, 66 municipalities, it would not be acceptable. There would be billions and billions of dollars and really swift action taken. And to me, that speaks to the systemic racism within government and within the whole system. And that has to change. We have to move beyond that. We have to come out of this pandemic in a better, better space than when we went in.”

Ontario First Nations facing big deficits

Archibald says if government wants an example of what swift, decisive action looks like, it should look to how Indigenous leaders have handled the pandemic in their communities. 

“Many of them lock down their communities. They took a harder line than, say, surrounding municipalities, on how to protect citizens, because they know that the health system within their community in many cases is non-existent or if it does exist there, it’s inadequate,” she said.

Community leaders were forced to make these hard choices because of a lack of government-provided infrastructure, said Archibald. For that, she says chiefs and councils across Ontario really deserve recognition for their “strong leadership.”

“They know that they don’t have clean drinking water, many of them. So how can they wash their hands with soap and water? They know that they are in a great disadvantage going into the pandemic and therefore had to take harder action,” she said.

“So if anybody’s really made a difference on the pandemic, it’s been First Nations and they’ve done so because of the chronic under funding by governments for their communities.”

Archibald acknowledges that, like all levels of government, First Nations are going to come out of the pandemic with serious deficits.

“Every government is going into debt right now in order to respond to the pandemic and First Nations are no different. The difference is the ability to recover,” said Archibald. 

Windsor Morning7:13Throne speech response

Hear from Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald about last week’s throne speech — and what the federal government needs to do going forward, to continue the work of reconciliation. 7:13

The difference, she said, is First Nations’ communities don’t have the same tools other levels of government have to stimulate recovery when the dust settles. 

“The government of Canada, or even the government of Ontario, they have the ability to borrow [and] repay because they can rebuild their economies. And what are their economies based on? The land that everybody lives on, and that is treaty land.”

Everyone in Canada is a treaty holder, Archibald said.

“And when we think about rebuilding the wealth of Canada and rebuilding the wealth of Ontario — that is coming from First Nations, and we need to be a part of that.”

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Hiring marginalized workers could aid Canada’s economy after coronavirus: report – Global News

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The federal Green party accidentally kept donations that were meant to support the leadership campaign of Glen Murray, it said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

Contributions meant for the former Winnipeg mayor and Ontario Liberal cabinet minister were incorrectly treated as general donations and kept in party coffers rather than being passed on.

Read more:
Greens reinstate leadership candidate expelled over tweet critical of provincial party

Donations to the Green leadership candidates have been routed through the party, which processed them and passed 75 per cent of each contribution on to the campaign that raised the money.

Murray said in an interview that his campaign discovered proof of the problem last week, after spotting that donations his team received and passed on to the party office never came back for the campaign to use.

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“We know it’s a very significant proportion of the funding we raised,” he said, likely tens of thousands of dollars.






2:33
Elizabeth May says throne speech needs to include climate action or Greens won’t vote confidence


Elizabeth May says throne speech needs to include climate action or Greens won’t vote confidence

Officially, the Murray campaign’s last fundraising report said it had brought in $59,650.20, making a discrepancy on that scale very significant.

Besides making his fundraising look weaker than it was, the mistake meant Murray couldn’t afford to do all the campaigning he would have liked.

“It really gummed up our planning,” he said.

The Greens’ interim leader Jo-Ann Roberts said that the party is still determining just how much money was improperly withheld. But it would make the top fundraisers’ tallies “much closer.”

Read more:
Green party nearly doubles membership list ahead of leadership race

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The party also said restitution to the Murray campaign will be made “as quickly as possible.”

Voting for the party leadership has been underway since Saturday, with the winner to be announced Oct. 3.

This week, Murray said, his volunteers are torn between trying to track down misdirected contributions and doing what a campaign normally does in the final phase of a race: contacting supporters to make sure they’ve voted.

Murray said he doesn’t know whether the situation can be put right this late in the game.

“Heartbreakingly, I don’t know what they can do now,” he said.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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Hiring marginalized workers could jump-start economy, boost incomes by $5K: Deloitte – Chilliwack Progress

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Canada’s economy was headed for slowing growth in the next decade even if COVID-19 had never hit, according to a new report by Deloitte Canada.

The report, which looks at more than 1,000 variables to predict how Canada’s economy will look in 2030, suggests that the country will need more workers — with greater productivity — to get the economy chugging at a fast enough pace to pay for climate change initiatives and government investments without raising taxes.

“We believe Canada is the best place in the world to live and work and do industry. If we continue on our current path, that is compromised or in jeopardy,” said Deloitte Canada chief executive Anthony Viel.

The consulting and audit firm’s report comes as the government is laying out ambitious plans to spur the economy forward after the COVID-19 pandemic — and ensuing lockdown — left a record number of Canadians jobless. Last week’s speech from the throne suggested that the government will look toward clean energy investments, as well as disability and jobless supports, in its recovery plan.

Deloitte Canada did not directly address the throne speech in its report. But the firm predicts even a complete return to pre-pandemic “normal” would cause economic growth to slow to 1.7 per cent per year in the next decade. That’s below the past decade’s average of 2.2 per cent growth — which was already lower than the 3.2 per cent growth in the decade leading to the 2008 and 2009 recession.

Amid a low fertility rate — at a time when the share of Canadians over age 65 is expected to nearly double — Canada needs to be more inclusive of groups that are underemployed in the economy, the report found. Getting marginalized groups better integrated in the workforce can grow the tax base and help the government avoid raising tax rates, said Georgina Black, Deloitte Canada’s managing partner of government and public services.

Deloitte’s forecast suggests that the country could replace its retiring workforce by improving employment options for 88,500 women; 377,300 Canadians over age 65; 700,000 immigrants; 517,657 people with disabilities; and between 38,000 and 59,000 Indigenous Canadians.

The theory, Deloitte’s report said, is that boosting the number of hours worked in the economy would lift the pace of yearly economic growth by 50 per cent, adding $4,900 to Canadians’ average annual income by 2030, Deloitte estimated.

For instance, Deloitte cited a survey suggesting that more than 600,000 Canadians with disabilities said they would look for work if minor workplace barriers were removed.

“Many of these inequalities have worsened during the pandemic, with women and under-represented groups far more likely to become unemployed than men or non-racialized groups,” the report said.

Deloitte suggests companies need better disability accommodations and workplace inclusion policies, and should add childcare as a benefit package, noting that during COVID-19, women’s workforce participation dipped to 55 per cent for the first time since the mid-1980s as childcare options dwindled.

In Deloitte’s ideal recovery scenario, schools would offer better apprenticeship options and retraining programs for older workers in shrinking industries, and governments would invest in rural internet infrastructure and childcare for working parents. Regulators would step in under Deloitte’s plan and allow skilled immigrants to use their foreign credentials and degrees. Canada loses as much as $50 billion each year that could be contributed by underemployed immigrants, the firm said.

Despite requiring the government to spend money and set incentives for employers, Deloitte claims that its proposal would boost government revenues by nine per cent without raising taxes.

“More workers and more incomes means more taxes and more investment,” said Viel.

Canadian businesses also need to invest more in technology and late-stage startups, and Deloitte suggested investments should be focused on a few high-growth industries where Canada can be a leader, such as construction, medical equipment and computer system design.

“Government and business (need to) create the conditions where companies want to invest here and not in another country, ” said Black.

Anita Balakrishnan, The Canadian Press

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