Not great signs of the times

-A gypsum quarry operating in NS is being mothballed due to lack of demand for wallboard in the US. It had been operating since 1924.

-Magna, a Canadian company and one of the largest auto parts makers, has announced a new plant for…Mexico. It also said that it plans to be moving more operations out of Canada.

With Mexican minimum wages running about $4.40/day and Canadian minimum wages at roughly $9.00/hour, Dropping corporate taxes to ZERO isn’t going to help this situation!

So good job reporting Brian,now tell us what to do.

The greatest minds of Wall / Bay Street (in Canada) and government don’t seem to have an answer. I can’t tell you how this will be stopped/changed. Maybe we have to stop being a consumer society which requires lots of $$$$ and reduce our expectations so that we can live on less $$$$ (no Hummers, less cars in families/more mass transit, not so many expensive toys (ATV’s/$30,000 bikes), vacations around the world, cottages/camps/boats, etc, etc, etc).

For myself, I already did that around 1971-2 when I had a change of philosophy about our lifestyle and the environmental degradation going on. I actually changed courses in university from engineering to biology…worked for the Canadian Wildlife Service for a while and eventually ended up in residential energy efficiency and conservation by 1977.

So I moved rurally and learned to grow an organic garden, burn wood for heat *(1975 while still in university and still do…so far this winter my heating fuel costs are about $100 for a 2,600 sq ft house), harvest some local foods sustainably, etc. Learned some carpentry/mechanical/plumbing/electrical skills by working for local farmers/contractors as I started to become more self-suffcient in house repairs, etc…if you can do it, you don’t have to call in the pros which costs $$$$.

About 33-35 years ago, I also saw what was happening on a global scale with manufacturing being moved to Asia (Sneakers, clothing) and local manufacturing being shut down…IMHO…that’s a problem of lack of conscience by capital of the conditions in those countries with little/no labour and environmental laws. We are not playing on a level field with those nations and are suffering for it…so much for the “free trade” pushed by conservatives…they only saw the $$$$$…not the consequences!! Now they have to find a way to fix this problem of “free trade on unlevel playing fields”. We are becoming hooked on the cheap goods from China, etc to the detriment of our own companies!

PS…AS you have seen first hand, capital needs more controls on it…You folks have what’s called a $700 billions mortgage fraud on your hands that has wreaked havoc around the world financial markets.

Why did you make this statement

I thought you where in favor free enterprise .
Do you like the idea of a dictatorship .
Should companies not be allowed to expand where they please .
Back to Magna to build big plant in Mexico Magna to build big plant in Mexico

January 27, 2011
Tony Van Alphen

Magna International says it will invest more than $100 million to build a major auto parts stamping plant in central Mexico that will employ a maximum of about 700 workers at full operation.
The Aurora-based auto parts giant, which pulled out of the deep recession in strong financial shape, announced Thursday that the 300,000-square-foot plant in the state of San Luis Potosi will open in June 2012 and could eventually expand by another 50 per cent.
Magna said it will receive financial support from federal, state and municipal governments in Mexico but the company did not disclose the amount of that aid or in what form.
It will be Magna’s 30th manufacturing plant in Mexico. The company also has two engineering and sales offices in the country. Magna’s total current employment in Mexico is almost 16,000.
The plant, which will operate under Magna’s Cosmo International division, will make numerous stamped and welded assemblies for unidentified automakers.
General Motors operates an assembly plant that builds the Chevrolet Aveo subcompact in the region. Other automakers have also located assembly plants in Mexico in recent years because of low labour costs and lucrative government incentives.
In the last decade, Magna has built many new operations closer to the assembly plants of automakers around the world in efforts to become more efficient and competitive.
At the same time, that has reduced the percentage of the company’s global workforce and production from Canada. Magna currently employs about 17,000 workers here.
Magna formally announced the project after a meeting between chief executive officer Don Walker and Mexico president Felipe Calderon at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“The strategic decision to expand operations in Mexico is part of our long-term global strategy of developing in key growth markets,” Walker said in a statement.
Carlos Guzman, chief executive of ProMexico, the country’s trade and investment agency, said his agency has focused on supporting Magna in taking advantage of business opportunities there.
Magna is already one of the world’s biggest auto parts makers with sales of about $23.5 billion last year and has indicated it wants to buy more companies.
The company, whose stock price has doubled within the last year to more than $60 a share, employs more than 92,000 employees in 248 manufacturing operations and 81 product development, engineering and sales centers in 25 countries.

It’s called wage arbitrage and it is occurring all over the world.

Until countries protect themselves by instituting appropriate tariffs to combat product produce with near slave labor, it will continue.

Brian may not like consumerism and capitalism but it has brought us a very long way from the stone age.

As Michael says . . . .

How can our industries compete with ‘off shore’ industries that have no environmental controls; that receive huge government subsidies in the form of low / no taxes; who’s labour force works for peanuts; who’s currency is kept at an artificially low value?

They can’t of course and if we are to live by the rule of free trade then we must also live by the rule of a level playing field. And as long as foreign industries enjoy these unfair advantages the playing field is no longer level.

I for one will gladly pay more for my G.M. if it was made in Canada / U.S.A. ( ok I drive an Equinox and it is made in Canada so I am using this example as an illustration only :wink: ) to keep my neighbours employed. Maybe it is time that we took a look at all foreign industries and levied some kind of make-up tariff on imported goods to level that playing field.

Before it is too late.

George I can remember when all our food was produced, processed and sold by Canadians. Now when you look at the food label all you get is some statement that it was imported by some multinational and there is no information what so ever where the product came from.
Our governments have completely abandoned their responsibility and have become rubber stamps for the multinational.
PS giving tax breaks to foreign owned companies does nothing for us except export more money.

Back to Higher food prices coming, retailer says Higher food prices coming, retailer says

January 28, 2011
Dana Flavelle

Among the discount supermarkets, No Frills, Food Basics and Price Chopper, the food price war is in high gear
Some of this week’s flyers feature fresh pineapple, grape tomatoes and whole grain bread for as little as $1.
Others are touting brand name orange juice, cheese and pasta sauce at a third of their regular price or less.
Sparked by Wal-Mart’s continuing expansion into grocery – 40 more stores are coming this year – this kind of retail competition, along with a higher Canadian dollar, has so far spared Canadian consumers the kind of food price inflation that threatens to erupt in violence in other parts of the world.
But Canadians can expect to see more food price increases in supermarkets soon, the country’s third-largest food retailer predicted this week.
“We do expect some cost increases to be processed through the system starting in February,” Eric La Flèche, president and chief executive officer of Metro Inc., told analysts on a conference call on Wednesday.
“In certain categories we’re expecting some pretty significant increases, La Flèche added, citing pasta and bread.
The increases will occur across the food industry, he predicted. Metro operates what used to be the Dominion store chain in Ontario, as well as stores under the Metro name in Quebec.
Starbucks Corp. and Kraft Canada have already announced some price increases on coffee.
Other multinational food processors and restaurant operators, from General Mills to McDonald’s Corp., have warned price increases are coming as their costs rise.
Grains, oilseeds and sugar are all higher, in some cases near levels last seen during the food crises in 2008, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
The FAO’s overall Food Price Index for December surpassed its peak in June 2008, the agency said this month, citing its closely-watched measure of international food prices.
The basket of food basics reached nearly 215 points last month, up 25 per cent since a year ago, as demand rose in China while Russia’s grain crop suffered its worst drought in half a century.
The impact on Canada, so far, has been modest by global standards.
The food price index in Canada is up a mere 1.7 per cent over last year, Statistics Canada said this week.
That’s a fraction of the pace in countries like India, where food prices are up 15 per cent, and China, where they’re up 9 per cent, and where food accounts for a much larger share of consumer spending
In Canada, food accounts for just 17 per cent of all items in the index, behind shelter and transportation, but ahead of recreation, clothing and alcohol.
In comparison, in India, food accounts for nearly half (47 per cent) the overall consumer price index. In China, it’s more than a third (34 per cent.)
“As consumers, we haven’t really seen it yet,” said Kevin Grier, an analyst with the George Morris Centre, a food policy think tank, in Guelph.
“Competition in grocery is starting to peak a bit. You’ve got Wal-Mart going into Quebec. Target coming into Canada. And because of that we’re not seeing the price increases as much as we’d expect,” Grier said.
U.S.-based Target, a discount department store that also sells groceries, plans to open up to 150 stores in Canada by 2014.
A higher Canadian dollar has also helped, making imported fruit and vegetables cheaper for supermarkets, Grier said.
In other parts of the world, such as Tunisia and Egypt, rising food prices have already been partly blamed for violent protests.
The chairman of Nestle, the world’s largest food group, warned this week that higher food prices could become permanent.
Saying the financial crisis of 2008 provided a brief respite, Peter Brabeck said one of the long-term problems is growing competition for agriculture land from biofuels.
The wholesale price of corn is now $6.60 U.S. a bushel, after trading between $3.50 and $4 for most of last year.
But while global leaders fret over the impact of food price inflation on the world’s fragile economic recovery, Canadians remain relatively insulated.
Indeed, the country stands to benefit as a supplier of major commodities to the rest of the world.
Shares of Saskatchewan-based fertilizer giant Potash Corp. hit a 28-month high on Thursday after reporting higher quarterly sales and profit, doubling its dividend and announcing a plan to split its stock.
“With global food demand as the powerful engine, we believe we have moved into the next stage of growth for our business,” said president and chief executive officer Bill Doyle.
Within its stores, Metro says food prices fell 1 per cent in the latest quarter as a stronger loonie helped keep some costs down.
Shoppers loaded up on specials and lower-priced private label brands, particularly in its discount chain, Food Basics, the company said.
“The consumer remains cautious,” La Flèche said. “As retailers we’re feeling that because we’re giving them a lot of promotions. They have opportunities to cherry pick.
“With high unemployment, high debt levels, people are trying to save every which way they can.”
Despite consumers’ sentiment and the added competition from new entrants, food industry analysts believe Canada’s supermarket operators will be able to pass some cost increases on to customers.
“Two-thirds of the grocery market in Canada is controlled by three companies and they have a very strong position in each of their respective areas, which gives them some pricing power,” said Donald Marleau, an analyst with Standard & Poor’s Canada.


So you where not in favor of stopping the sale of the potash Mine and you are not in Favor of Magna setting up a plant in Mexico.
So does that Make you a mugwump or what.
You are not In Favor of our elected government .
Sorry I give up you can do your thing I will leave you alone till you again attack NACHI or our Home inspection industry …

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