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Trucks stuck behind fences at Co-op refinery for more than nine hours – News Talk 980 CJME



The lockout at the Co-op refinery turned into a lock-in early Thursday.

Seven trucks that pulled into the facility at around 3 a.m., were locked inside the facility until about 12:30 p.m.

According to a Regina Police Service spokesperson, a sergeant went to the site on Ninth Avenue North to evaluate the situation. After some discussion, the gates were opened and the tanker trucks were allowed to leave.

Earlier Thursday, a truck driver said Unifor members locked him and seven others inside the refinery.

Justin Wright said he got a text early Thursday that entry gates to the refinery were open.

As the owner-operator of a trucking company contracted by Co-op, he got out of bed, called a couple of his drivers and headed to the refinery.

“We came in through a gate that was totally unmanned (on Ninth Avenue North),” Wright told Gormley at about 9:30 a.m. “We all loaded and while we were loading, Unifor actually re-erected the fence, chained it together this time and (now they) have a couple of vehicles and probably a couple dozen picketers outside holding that fence so we can’t get out.”

Wright said seven trucks were stuck inside the refinery gates. An eighth was locked in at Co-op’s McDonald Street Terminal.

Wright said he didn’t have any communication with the picketers who were manning the fence.

“They don’t really like to show their face or speak any words,” he said. “We went right up and I witnessed them putting the chains up.

“I wasn’t really in the mood to talk to anybody, but one of the drivers who was here was like, ‘Really? You’re really going to chain us in?’ There was literally no response from any of the Unifor picketers.”

Blake Ratcliffe was one of the other truckers locked in.

While speaking to a reporter through the chain link fence, a union member in a pickup truck pulled up and started honking the horn in an attempt to silence Ratcliffe.

“As you can tell, Unifor is making our lives pretty miserable here,” Ratcliffe said.

He called Unifor’s tactics “quite scary” and was concerned about the safety of truckers while locked in.

“This place has been closed down for days. They’ve barricaded us (and) blocked us from coming in. We’re just trying to do our job (and) make a living,” Ratcliffe said.

Ratcliffe said he personally made two or three phone calls to police and waited hours for them to show up. It wasn’t until around 12:30 p.m. that the sergeant showed up and the truckers were released.

Wright was one of four owners of trucking companies who were to speak at a rally in downtown Regina on Thursday, but he didn’t make it. Truckers raised concerns about the way the lockout at the refinery is affecting their business and how they’re being treated by picketers.

The union’s actions Thursday left three of the proposed speakers locked in at the refinery.

“I’ve been doing this for 22 years and I literally just want to do my job,” Wright said. “Obviously financially now, it’s not just me but the 15 families (with employees at his company) and our 10 kids.

“I’m trying to get my trucks going so we can all make some money and go buy food.”

In a media release earlier Thursday, the Regina Police Service said it had not opened any of the gates at the refinery.

“Our officers seized 31 vehicles at the refinery complex last night, but our officers did not open any gates. Since last night, other vehicles have been moved in to block gates,” the release said.

Later Thursday afternoon, a group of officers in five police cruisers went gate to gate issuing parking tickets on vehicles along the picket line.

The tickets were for parking on public property other than a public highway.

A parking ticket issued by Regina police along the Co-op refinery picket line on Feb. 6, 2020. (Andrew Shepherd/980 CJME)

“I think it’s just to break us up. They’re obviously trying to intimidate us by issuing tickets,” said a Unifor member from Quebec who didn’t want to give her name.

She said parking tickets aren’t going to deter union members and actually danced the YMCA in front of officers while the tickets were being issued.

She accused police of being petty.

“If they think that issuing tickets is going to break the union, they’ve got a long way to go, man,” she said.

— With files from 980 CJME’s Andrew Shepherd

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Posthaste: Toronto, Vancouver housing markets face deepest decline in 50 years, says RBC – Yahoo Canada Finance





Good Morning!

The toll that rising interest rates are taking across Canada’s housing markets became even more apparent this past week as reports from local real estate boards revealed the downturn was deepening from coast to coast.

“Prices are sliding fast, and the exuberance that permeated these markets earlier this year is being replaced by fear,” wrote RBC assistant chief economist Robert Hogue in a recent note.

“In the Toronto and Vancouver areas, the decline in activity is quickly becoming one of the deepest of the past half a century.”

Apart from the dive housing took in the early COVID-19 lockdown, home sales in Toronto have fallen to the slowest pace in 13 years, Hogue said.

Meanwhile, inventories are climbing quickly, up 58% from a year ago, and buyers are now managing to get “meaningful price concessions” from sellers, he said.

Since March the composite MLS Home Price Index has shed $178,000, or 13%, falling to $1.16 million. In July alone prices declined 3.9% or $47,000.

Toronto is not a buyer’s market yet, according to the sales to new listings ratio, but RBC expects home hunters in the GTA to continue to find better deals, especially in the 905 areas outside of the core where prices soared during the pandemic.

Vancouver, where home sales are down 40% over the past four months, is also experiencing a big chill. July saw an estimated 9% decline.

Home prices have fallen 4.5% since April, or more than $57,000, but RBC thinks the correction here is still in its early stages.

It expects prices to fall more rapidly in coming months, especially in the detached home sector.

The heavy hit to Canada’s two most expensive cities was predictable, but signs of the correction are now cropping up in more affordable cities as well.

“The downturn may be more contained in other markets but unmistaken nonetheless,” wrote Hogue.

Home sales in Montreal this year have been slowing gradually and by July had declined to 17% below pre-pandemic levels. That and a rise in inventories have returned the market to balance, said Hogue.

Previously this had just slowed the growth in prices, but July could be a turning point, with both single-family homes and condo prices actually declining.

“This development took place across the region, suggesting a board-based price correction may be underway,” said Hogue.

Even in Calgary, this year’s real estate star, there are signs the market is softening. Home sales remain at historically high levels, but have calmed since the buying frenzy seen at the beginning of the year.

Higher interest rates are pushing buyers to more affordable options, like condos, and demand for more expensive detached homes is down.

Calgary’s composite MLS HPI peaked in May and has slipped lower since, he said.

A speedy rise to interest rates are the reason for the cross-country correction and with rates expected to go even higher (RBC forecasts another 75 basis by the fall) it will only get worse.

“We expect the downturn to intensify and spread further as buyers take a wait-and-see approach while ascertaining the impact of higher lending rates,” said Hogue.


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THE TEAM BEHIND THE ‘NUMBER’ Canadians are in a historic, inflationary moment — the likes of which some have never seen in their lifetime. The drumbeat of grim, inflation statistics has been steadily pounding for over a year now, pushing the consumer price index to a high of 8.1% in June. But have you ever wondered who calculates “the number” and how they do it? The Financial Post’s Joe O’Connor goes behind the scenes at Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Division and meets economists like Andrew Barclay, above, to get the scoop on the price “nerds.” Photo by Statistics Canada


  • Wayne Eyre, Canada’s chief of the defence staff, will hold a media one-on-one call back on the topic of Arctic security and international collaboration following discussions with representatives from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and the United States regarding the evolving security environment in the Arctic, opportunities for enhanced co-operation as well as Canada’s Arctic defence capabilities and initiatives
    Meeting requested by four members of the Transport, Infrastructure and Communities committee to discuss their request to undertake a study of airport delays and cancellations

  • Vic Fedeli, Ontario minister of economic development, job creation and trade, will make an announcement

  • A fireside chat with Katie Keita, Shopify Inc. senior director of investor relations, at the KeyBanc technology leadership forum in Vail, Colorado

  • Earnings: Barrick Gold, Hudbay Minerals, WSP Global, RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, Curaleaf, Hudbay Minerals





Canada’s job numbers Friday surprised economists who had been expecting a gain in employment. Instead the economy shed almost 31,000 positions after losing 43,000 jobs in June. Many saw this as a sign that the economy is cooling, but don’t think that will stop the Bank of Canada from hiking rates. “For the Bank of Canada, the takeaway will be that while growth is clearly cooling, conditions remain drum-tight and wages are stirring,” wrote BMO chief economist Douglas Porter after the data came out Friday. “We believe this backdrop is consistent with another rate hike at the September meeting, but of a less aggressive nature than the mega 100 bp move in July. We look for a 50 bp hike at that time.”


The rise in food prices is pushing 10% and more than two in five Canadians say they’ve been affected by rising costs.

With inflation impacting the prices of everyday goods, finding ways to save money on your grocery bill is more than welcome.

From planning ahead to buying “ugly food,” our content partner MoneyWise has six strategies to help you lower your costs the next time you go to the grocery store.


Today’s Posthaste was written by Pamela Heaven (@pamheaven), with additional reporting from The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg.

Have a story idea, pitch, embargoed report, or a suggestion for this newsletter? Email us at, or hit reply to send us a note.

Listen to Down to Business for in-depth discussions and insights into the latest in Canadian business, available wherever you get your podcasts. Check out the latest episode below:


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Metrolinx cancels some GO train trips due to staffing issues – CP24



Metrolinx cancelled a number of GO train trips Monday and says more cancellations are possible this week amid staffing shortages.

On its website, Metrolinx attributed the cancellations to staff illnesses and issued an apology.

“We are sorry to advise that due to staff illnesses we will need to cancel some train trips this week,” the company said in a statement. “Please check the service updates page before travelling, check the departure boards at your station, or follow our GO bus and train line Twitter handles for the status of your trip.”

Monday’s cancellations include:

  • The Oshawa GO 07:55 – Union Station 08:55
  • The Kitchener GO 07:15 – Union Station 08:58

While Metrolinx has not provided information on closures past Monday, they say the possibility of cancellations will be ongoing throughout the week.

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Canada continues to have very low unemployment rate | Canada Immigration News – Canada Immigration News



Published on August 7th, 2022 at 08:00am EDT


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Wholesale workers

Wholesale workers

Canada’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.9% in July, matching the record low from the month before.

The total number of unemployed people held steady at one million in July. In addition, 426,000 people wanted a job but did not look for one, and therefore did not meet the definition of unemployed. This was little changed for the sixth consecutive month. The adjusted unemployment rate—which accounts for this source of potential labour supply—remained at 6.8%, the lowest rate since comparable data first became available in 1997.

In addition, employment in Canada decreased by 31,000 jobs, which according to Statistics Canada does not represent a significant change. Canada lost about 74,000 jobs from May to July, but from May 2021 to May 2022, employment had increased by more than one million.

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That being said, July marks the second consecutive month of decreased employment in Canada. Plus, the record-low unemployment coupled with more than one million job vacancies means Canada is still facing a tight labour market.

“Two consecutive months of lower employment indicates that the Canadian labour market is running up against capacity constraints, with little room for upside movement,” writes RBC economist Carrie Freestone in an economic update. “Demand for workers is still very high with job postings still 65% above pre-pandemic levels (though the number of job postings continues to fall), and there are few unemployed Canadians available to fill these vacant positions.”

Employment among public sector employees fell by 51,000 (1.2%) in July, the first decline in the sector in 12 months. The decrease was largely concentrated in Ontario and Quebec. Despite the month-over-month decline, public sector employment was up 5.3% (+215,000) compared to July 2021.

The number of self-employed workers increased by 34,000 (+1.3%) in July after falling by 59,000 (-2.2%) in June. Despite this increase, self-employment remained flat on a year-over-year basis and was 214,000 (-7.4%) below its pre-pandemic February 2020 level.

Employment fell by 53,000 (-0.3%) in the services-producing sector in July. Wholesale and retail trade contributed the most to losses in this sector. The number of people working in wholesale and retail trade fell by 27,000 (-0.9%) in July, the second consecutive monthly decline. The majority of the net decrease took place in Ontario and Quebec.

“Job losses were strangely concentrated in the services sector, including wholesale and retail, education and health,” Andrew Grantham, CIBC told Reuters. “With some of those sectors reporting high vacancy rates; labour supply rather than demand appears to be the main issue. That said, the major difference between today’s report and last month’s is that wage growth unexpectedly decelerated.”

Average hourly wages for employees rose 5.2% (+$1.55 to $31.14) on a year-over-year basis in July, roughly the same year-over-year rate of increase seen in June (+5.2%; +$1.54). For a second consecutive month, average hourly wages grew at a similar pace among part-time (+5.0%; +$1.05) and full-time (+4.9%; +$1.52) employees. Earlier in 2022, wage growth had been faster among full-time employees compared to part-time workers.

The most recent inflation data indicated that the Consumer Price Index rose 8.1% on a year-over-year basis in June, the largest annual change in nearly 40 years.

“The rising cost of living is raising the temperature at the collective bargaining table,” wrote economist Liam Daly in a Conference Board of Canada media release. “Given the rate of inflation, unions argue that typical annual pay rises are simply insufficient. Amid high vacancy rates and a low unemployment rate, workers are negotiating from a strengthened position.”

Doug Porter, BMO economist, said in a statement to Reuters the main takeaway is that the job market is still very tight.

“We’re still dealing with the lowest unemployment rate in at least 50 years, and wages that are running strong,” Porter said. “But from a growth angle the reality is employers are having trouble finding employees, and, so that caps the growth of the economy.”

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