A Canadian delegation failed to sway European Community officials who are demanding that Canada open its market for farm products to wider international competition. Some 30,000 farmers demonstrated in Ottawa to underscore the urgency of their demands for continued protection, a position for which Prime Minister Brian Mulroney expressed “some sympathy.”
INFLATION HITS NEW LOW
Statistics Canada reported that Canada’s annual inflation rate hit a 21-year low of 1.6 per cent in January—down from 3.8 per cent in December and 6.8 per cent in January, 1991. The agency said that the low figure reflects a weak economy and the working-through of the effects of the introduction of the GST last year.
WAGE HIKES SLIP
Economists pointed to high unemployment and low inflation as reasons for nearrecord-low wage settlements last year. Federal labor department officials said that wages rose by an average of 3.6 per cent under 1991 contracts, slipping to 2.5 per cent in the last quarter of the year.
FABRIOMAKER SHEARS JOBS
A spokesman for Canada’s largest textile manufacturer, Dominion Textile Inc. of Montreal, announced that it will close two mills over the next six months at Long Sault, Ont., and St-Timothée, Que., eliminating 624 jobs. Domtex, which lost $128.8 million for the year that ended on June 30,1991, blamed the closures on the slump in Canadian retail sales.
AIR CANADA HIRES AMERICAN
Air Canada chairman Claude Taylor announced the appointment of U.S. airline executive Hollis Harris to replace him as president and chief executive officer. Harris, 60, is a former chairman of nowbankrupt Continental Airlines and a former president of Delta Air Lines. At the same time, Air Canada announced a $218million loss for 1991.
A PROFITABLE WAR
The Persian Gulf War generated at least $100 million in export sales for Canadian companies and merchants, according to a newly published study by Jocelyn Coulon, foreign affairs editor of the Montreal daily newspaper Le Devoir. The federal government’s Canadian Commercial Corp. often acted as broker in sales of a wide range of products with both military and non-military applications—from laser systems to sandbags—Coulon reports.
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