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Unemployed Indigenous workers disproportionately suffering from COVID-19 economy compared to non-Indigenous – Global News

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A new report from Statistics Canada shows unemployed Indigenous people are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting job losses from businesses being forced to close.

Figures from December 2019 to February 2020 show the Indigenous unemployment rate at 10 per cent while it was just 5.5 per cent for non-Indigenous people.

That jumped more than six percentage points for both groups between February and May.

Indigenous unemployment shot up to 16.6 per cent while non-Indigenous sat at 11.7 per cent.

When businesses started to reopen across the country, unemployment fell for non-Indigenous groups between May and August to 11.2 per cent but rose for Indigenous people to 16.8 per cent.

Read more:
Canada’s unemployment rate reaches record 13.7%

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The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) feels as if Ottawa ignored their concerns, especially a $9-billion funding request at the start of the pandemic only offering a fraction of that.

“When they were announcing COVID-19 relief funds for reopening the economy and things like that, we First Nations were at the bottom of the barrel,” Chief Bobby Cameron told Global News, adding he thought the federal government failed First Nations.

Read more:
StatCan August data reveals unemployment rate higher among visible minorities

Kelly Foley, a University of Saskatchewan economics professor, said disadvantaged people in the labour market disproportionately suffer in this kind of economic climate.

“I do believe they come from a lot of the same structural barriers that were preventing Indigenous people from finding employment even before the pandemic occurred,” Foley said.

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She added those hurdles include education levels, living in remote parts of the country and discrimination.

Read more:
Indigenous people especially ‘vulnerable’ to coronavirus pandemic, WHO warns

Cameron said all stakeholders, including the government, business community and Indigenous leaders, need to be involved in order to address the higher unemployment rates.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Economy

Canadian dollar moves to extend weekly win streak as oil rebounds

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Canadian dollar

The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Friday and was on track for its seventh straight weekly gain as oil prices rose and domestic data added to evidence of robust economic growth in the first quarter.

Canadian factory sales rose 3.5% in March from February, led by the motor vehicle, petroleum and coal, and food product industries, while wholesale trade was up 2.8%, Statistics Canada said.

The price of oil, one of Canada‘s major exports, reversed some of the previous day’s sharp losses as stock markets strengthened, though gains were capped by the coronavirus situation in major oil consumer India and the restart of a fuel pipeline in the United States.

U.S. crude prices rose 1.2% to $64.61 a barrel, while the Canadian dollar was trading 0.6% higher at 1.2093 to the greenback, or 82.69 U.S. cents, moving back in reach of Wednesday’s 6-year peak at 1.2042.

For the week, the loonie was on track to gain 0.3%. It has climbed more than 5% since the start of the year, the biggest gain among G10 currencies, supported by surging commodity prices and a shift last month to a more hawkish stance by the Bank of Canada.

Still, BoC Governor Tiff Macklem said on Thursday if the currency continues to rise, it could create headwinds for exports and business investment as well as affecting monetary policy.

The U.S. dollar fell against a basket of major currencies, pressured by a recovery in risk appetite across markets after Federal Reserve officials helped calm concerns about a quick policy tightening in response to accelerating U.S. inflation.

Canadian government bond yields were lower across much of a flatter curve, with the 10-year down 2 basis points at 1.549%. On Thursday, it touched its highest intraday in eight weeks at 1.624%.

 

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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Economy

Toronto Stock Exchange rises 1.21% to 19,366.69

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Toronto Stock Exchange

* The Toronto Stock Exchange‘s TSX rises 1.21 percent to 19,366.69

* Leading the index were SNC-Lavalin Group Inc <SNC.TO​>, up 16.0%, Village Farms International Inc​, up 9.8%, and Denison Mines Corp​, higher by 9.4%.

* Lagging shares were Aurora Cannabis Inc​​, down 7.2%, Centerra Gold Inc​, down 3.8%, and Canadian National Railway Co​, lower by 3.7%.

* On the TSX 194 issues rose and 35 fell as a 5.5-to-1 ratio favored advancers. There were 25 new highs and no new lows, with total volume of 225.7 million shares.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Enbridge Inc, Manulife Financial Corp and Cenovus Energy Inc.

* The TSX’s energy group rose 3.32 points, or 2.7%, while the financials sector climbed 4.80 points, or 1.3%.

* West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 2.65%, or $1.69, to $65.51 a barrel. Brent crude  rose 2.68%, or $1.8, to $68.85 [O/R]

* The TSX is up 11.1% for the year.

This summary was machine generated May 14 at 21:03 GMT.

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Economy

U.S., Mexico, Canada to hold ‘robust’ talks on trade deal

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The United States, Mexico and Canada will next week hold their first formal talks on their continental trade deal, with particular focus on labor and environmental obligations, the U.S. government said on Friday.

Trade ministers from the three nations are set to meet virtually on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) deal, which took effect in July 2020.

“The ministers will receive updates about work already underway to advance cooperation … and will hold robust discussions about USMCA’s landmark labor and environmental obligations,” the office of U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement.

The United States is also reviewing tariffs which may be leading to inflation in the country, economic adviser Cecilia Rouse told reporters at the White House on Friday, a move that could affect hundreds of billions of dollars in trade.

The United States, testing provisions in the new deal aimed at strengthening Mexican unions, this week asked Mexico to investigate alleged abuses at a General Motors Co factory.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Jonathan Oatis)

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