TeranetNational Bank home price index rises 135 per cent the largest March

TORONTO — The Hamilton, Toronto, Victoria and Vancouver markets helped push Canadian home prices higher last month, resulting in the largest March rise in a decade, according to a new report.The Teranet-National Bank national composite house price index gained 0.9 per cent for the month.Compared with a year ago, the composite index was up 13.5 per cent, the largest 12-month rise since November 2006.Toronto climbed a record 24.8 per cent, while Hamilton increased 21.5 per cent, also a record. Victoria gained 18.0 per cent, while Vancouver added 12.2 per cent.Hamilton and Toronto posted record gains for the month as they increased 2.1 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively. Victoria climbed 1.0 per cent and Vancouver added 0.9 per cent.However, five of the 11 markets tracked showed a monthly drop in the index. Ottawa-Gatineau, Calgary, Halifax, Edmonton and Quebec City all took a step back.Seven ways to cool Toronto’s red-hot housing market without hurting everyone else read more

Shopify sees big uptick in US job applicants after Trumps election CEO

TORONTO — It’s a great time for Canadian startups to attract top talent from south of the border as the U.S. government is creating an unwelcoming environment, the chief executive of Shopify says.“The Americans are doing a really great job of uninviting a lot of kinds of people who otherwise would go there,” said Tobias Lutke, who founded the e-commerce platform firm in 2004.Since U.S. President Donald Trump assumed office in January, he’s signed a number of controversial executive orders, including a ban on travel to the U.S. from several predominantly Muslim countries, and other measures, such as withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement.Lutke said Shopify (TSX:SHOP) has been receiving many more applications from job seekers in the U.S. than before the 2016 presidential election.“I think it’s as good right now as it ever has been,” he said of Shopify and other tech companies’ ability to bring talent up north.Previously, Shopify had to court talent for years to develop a relationship and convince potential employees to move to Canada, he said, but now it’s receiving unsolicited applications from all over the U.S.Lutke, who has criticized Canadian government policy in the past for seemingly hampering firms’ ability to attract international workers, said Ottawa is creating good awareness around Canada’s value of multiculturalism.Shopify provides services to more than 377,500 merchants from about 175 countries as the end of 2016, according to its most recent annual report.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter. read more

Users transferring between TTC and GO Transit to receive reduced cofare

TORONTO — Commuters in Toronto who use both GO Transit and the city’s public transportation network will be getting a discount on their fares.A spokesman for Toronto Mayor John Tory says that when the co-fares come into effect, people who ride the Toronto Transit Commission and transfer to GO will receive $1.50 off of their GO fare when they use a Presto card.If they transfer from GO to the TTC with their Presto card, the same discount will be taken from their TTC fare.Don Peat says the change will likely come into effect by the end of this year or early next year.He says the province has agreed to reimburse the Toronto Transit Commission for the cost of the reduced fares.Anne Marie Aikin, a spokeswoman for Metrolinx, says GO already has co-fares with 12 transit agencies in the province. read more

CCD detains journalists

Aravinda and Chinthaka were later detained and their equipment including mobile phones were also taken away by CCD officers.However after several minutes Aravinda demanded to speak to police spokesman Ajith Rohana.A complaint was later lodged with the police spokesman over the incident and the CCD subsequently released  Aravinda and Chinthaka. Aravinda and Chinthaka had however explained that they were only taking visuals of the Randiva newspaper Editor and journalist entering the CCD office to give their statements on the Hirunika Premachandra case and that as journalists they had every right to do so.However the CCD officers had said that they had no right to take visuals of anyone entering the CCD building. Meanwhile statements were recorded from the Randiva newspaper Editor and a journalist from the newspaper over an article which had appeared in the newspaper claiming that the life of Hirunika Premachandra was at risk. Aravinda and Chinthaka were taking visuals of the Randiva newspaper Editor and journalist entering the CCD building to give their statements when CCD officers detained Aravinda and Chinthaka. The CCD officers had said that they were given instructions to detain them for taking pictures and visuals of the CCD building. The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) detained two journalists this morning for taking visuals and images outside the CCD office in Dematagoda.Swarnavahini video cameraman/journalist Indika Sri Aravinda and Randiva newspaper photographer Sajeewa Chinthaka were on duty covering the CCD attempting to quiz the Randiva newspaper Editor and a journalist from the newspaper over a death threat to Hirunika Premachandra, daughter of slain politician Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra. Hirunika Premachandra had lodged a complaint with the police after the newspaper article was published.  (Colombo Gazette) read more

Lanka says training to continue in India

The External Affairs Ministry said that Sri Lanka air force personnel will continue to receive training in India despite objections raised by political groups in southern Tamil Nadu.In an urgent statement the External Affairs Ministry said that reports about a group of Sri Lankan Airmen under training in Chennai being sent back to Sri Lanka is incorrect. “All Sri Lankan trainees are being sent off today from this station as per instruction of the ministry of defence,” a brief Indian defence ministry statement said on Friday. The Indian media had earlier reported that following pressure from politicians in Tamil Nadu, the Indian defence ministry decided to send back Sri Lankan air force personnel who were undergoing training at the Tambaram airbase in Chennai, India. “They will continue their training in another location in India without any hindrance to their training programme,” the External Affairs Ministry said. read more

Saudi Arabia orders Rizanas execution

Meanwhile Amnesty International said that after exhausting all of her appeals, Rizana Nafeek is at imminent risk of execution in Saudi Arabia for a crime she allegedly committed while under the age of 18.Amnesty International urged the Saudi King to commute her death sentence, particularly given Saudi Arabia’s obligations as a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and taking into account the uncertainty over Rizana Nafeek’s age. (Colombo Gazette)Related story: http://colombogazette.com/mr-makes-urgent-appeal-for-rizana/ Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry under Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz has issued instructions for Rizana Nafeek’s execution, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said today.HRW however said that under the system of qisas (retaliation) that governs murder cases in Saudi Arabia, the baby’s parents may still grant Nafeek a pardon or seek blood money in compensation. President Mahinda Rajapaksa sent an appeal to King Abdullah on January 6, 2013, requesting a stay of the execution until a settlement can be reached between the baby’s family and a Saudi reconciliation committee. Nafeek had been working in Saudi Arabia for two weeks in 2005 when the ‘Utaibi family’s 4-month-old baby died in her care. Nafeek retracted a confession that she said was made under duress, and says that the baby died in a choking accident while drinking from a bottle. Authorities have incarcerated Nafeek in Dawadmi prison since 2005.Past Human Rights Watch interviews with Sri Lankan embassy officials and reporting from Arab News found serious problems with Nafeek’s access to lawyers and competent interpreters during her interrogation and trial. Nafeek had no access to legal counsel until after a court in Dawadmi sentenced her to death by beheading in 2007. “The Saudi king and interior minister should immediately cancel the execution orders against Rizana Nafeek,” said Nisha Varia, senior women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Saudi officials should then meet with the baby’s family and Sri Lankan authorities to make sure the death penalty won’t be considered again.” read more

Madras Court to hear case on LTTE ban

No order could be passed without hearing a person if it entailed civil consequences.Mr. Vaiko said that the LTTE’s objective was not for establishing an independent sovereign State for all Tamils living in the entire world, but only for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. The First Bench of Acting Chief Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice Aruna Jagadeesan posted the matter for further hearing after four weeks. In the petition, Mr. Vaiko stated that the tribunal’s order was contrary to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, opposed to principles of natural justice and vitiated by error of law on the face of the record and liable to be quashed. The Madras High Court on Monday ordered notice on a writ petition by MDMK general secretary Vaiko, challenging an order of the Tribunal under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act confirming the Centre’s notification declaring the LTTE as an unlawful association.He also challenged the publication of the tribunal’s decision in the Tamil Nadu Government Gazette dated January 4, 2013. The organisation’s objective was, of course, secession of a part of Sri Lanka which was not part of the Indian territory. Therefore, there was no threat to the sovereignty or territorial integrity of India from the LTTE. (The Hindu) read more

Resolution at NPC by Sivaji blocked by chair

However Sivagnanam had then wanted to have the debate on another date but the chairman had not responded positively. A resolution which was submitted at the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) today by Tamil National Alliance (TNA) member M K Shivajilingam was blocked by the chairman of the council CVK Sivagnanam.Shivajilingam said that the resolution calls for an independent international investigation into the war in Sri Lanka. Sivagnanam had told the TNA member that the resolution cannot be debated today as it did not have the support of the council. Shivajilingam told the Colombo Gazette that the stand of the TNA is that the investigation on the war should not be a domestic process.He said that he and the TNA will continue to push for an international investigation to ensure the Tamils get justice. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Australia confirms it sent back Sri Lankans despite opposition

“They were in a good state – they had made the journey down and they quickly made the journey back,” Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told reporters in Brisbane on Monday, AAP reported. The Australian Government has confirmed it returned a group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers who arrived near Cocos Islands last week.A group of 12 men, women and children from Sri Lanka arrived near the Cocos (Keeling) Islands last week and returned on May 6. A Labor spokeswoman said the party stood by its policy, endorsed at the 2015 national conference, to support boat turnbacks where it is safe to do so and put in place a UN-oversighted regional processing system. Dutton said he was not obliged to brief Labor on Operation Sovereign Borders despite the government being in caretaker mode during the eight-week election campaign.“There’s no requirement under the caretaker convention,” he said. The returns showed asylum seekers could not seek the help of criminal people-smugglers and expect to get to Australia, he said. The minister took aim at Labor after a number of candidates spoke out against boat turnbacks.The latest was the ALP’s Melbourne candidate Sophie Ismail, who told Fairfax: “I have concerns about turnbacks. I don’t think they should be on the table.”“Labor is divided when it comes to border protection,” Mr Dutton said. Meanwhile, Mr Dutton said talks with Papua New Guinea to resolve the Manus Island situation would stretch beyond the election.The immigration centre’s future was cast into doubt by a PNG Supreme Court ruling it was illegal.“We will have what I think will be detailed and long-run discussions with PNG to help them in relation to this particular issue,” Mr Dutton said. (Colombo Gazette) read more

President in Thailand to attend Asia Corporation Dialogue

The ACD is a forum for nations in the region to deliberate on matters concerning the region. President will address the ACD summit on the 9th. (Colombo Gazette) Apart from attending the conference, President Sirisena will hold several bilateral meetings with leaders of states, including the Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha. President Maithripala Sirisena left for Bangkok to attend the Asia Corporation Dialogue Summi, that brings together 34 nations in the Asian region. The President was accompanied by First Lady Jayanthi Sirisena.The Dialogue Summit will take place from the 8th to the 10th of October in Bangkok. Sri Lanka joined the Asia Corporation Dialogue (ACD) in 2003. President Maithripala Sirisena attends this august conference for the first time as President of Sri Lanka.

State Minister Piyankara Jayaratne resigns from his post

State Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils Piyankara Jayaratne has tendered his resignation from his post.Jayaratne has sent his resignation letter to President Maithripala Sirisena.

Several new secretaries appointed to key Ministries

New secretaries have been appointed to key Ministries, the President’s Media Division said.The President’s Media Division said that HM Gamini Senaviratne has been appointed as the Secretary of Foreign Employment, Jayantha Wijerathna as the Secretary to the Ministry of Sports, Sisira Kumara Secretary to the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources Management and Neil Ranjith Ashoka Secretary to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. (Colombo Gazette)

Malaysian Prime Minister to hold talks with Wigneswaran

The Prime Minister will be accompanied by his wife, Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor; Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Minister and senior officials from the Government of Malaysia. The Prime Minister will attend a roundtable meeting with Sri Lankan businessmen and will also meet with Malaysian diaspora in Sri Lanka. The Prime Minster of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe is hosting a working lunch in honour of the Prime Minister on the following day.The Prime Minister’s visit to Sri Lanka will provide an opportunity for both countries to discuss various areas of cooperation including trade and investment, education, tourism, health and human resource as well as issues of interest in regional and international cooperation. (Colombo Gazette) The Prime Minister of Malaysia will undertake an Official Visit to Sri Lanka from 17 to 19 December 2017, and to Maldives from 19 to 20 December 2017, at the invitations of the President Maithripala Sirisena and the President of the Republic of Maldives, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. This year also marks the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations between Malaysia and Sri Lanka. The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak will hold talks with Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran during his three day visit to Sri Lanka.The Malaysian Foreign Ministry said that a meeting with the Chief Minister of the Northern Province has been arranged. The Prime Minister’s visits underline the significance and importance Malaysia attaches to its relationship with Sri Lanka and Maldives, the Malaysian Foreign Ministry said. These visits are also expected to set Malaysia’s future direction with both countries, covering all areas of cooperation. This will be the first official visit of the Prime Minister to Sri Lanka and Maldives.In Colombo the Prime Minister will be accorded an Official Welcoming Ceremony followed by one-to-one meeting and bilateral meeting with the delegation of both countries. Both leaders will also witness the signing of several Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) and agreements between the two countries in the fields of training, science and technology, communication and bio-economy. An Official Welcoming Luncheon will also be hosted by the President of Sri Lanka in honour of the Prime Minister and wife. read more

Two arrested over death of four people after Wadduwa party

A third person later died while the fourth person also later died. (Colombo Gazette) Two people were arrested today over the death of four people after a party in Wadduwa last weekend.Among those arrested was the publicity officer of the organisers of the party. Four people had been admitted to hospital after attending the party at a hotel in Wadduwa over the weekend.Two people died and another two were in hospital.

Teen arrested after police find flare gun modified to hold ammunition

A Hamilton teen is facing several charges after allegedly modifying a flare gun to hold ammunition. Over the weekend, police say they received information that a man was in possession of a handgun.Officers went to a home and found a flare gun sitting on a coffee table. “Police continued to check out the flare gun and noticed it had been modified to chamber .22 cali ammunition and it was loaded,” said Hamilton police in a news release. Ethan Holdsworth, of Hamilton, is facing multiple firearm-related charges as well as failure to comply with probation.

From hot sauce to pop gloss US products seep into Iran

TEHRAN, Iran — Whether at upscale restaurants or corner stores, American brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi can be seen throughout Iran despite the heightened tensions between the two countries.U.S. sanctions have taken a heavy toll on oil and other major industries in the country of 80 million people, but Western food, movies, music and clothing are still widely available.And 40 years after the Islamic Revolution and the takeover of the U.S. Embassy, despite billboards and rallies declaring “Death to America,” Iranians — particularly the young — embrace U.S. products.Ahmad Rezaee, a 21-year-old student at Tehran University who drained two bottles of Coke while out with a friend, says “the American lifestyle is very attractive.”Jon Gambrell, The Associated Press

Markets Right Now Tech stocks lead US indexes higher

NEW YORK — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):9:35 a.m.Technology stocks were leading indexes higher on Wall Street after the U.S. gave Chinese telecom giant Huawei another 90 days to buy equipment from American suppliers.Chipmakers did especially well in the early going Monday. Nvidia jumped 4.2% and Qualcomm rose 2.5%.Stocks are coming off their third weekly loss in a row as investors try to parse conflicting signals on the U.S. economy and determine whether a recession is on the horizon.Investors were relieved that to see long-term bond yields rising. The yield on 10-year Treasury rose to 1.61% from 1.54% late Friday.The S&P 500 rose 34 points, or 1.2%, to 2,922.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 290, or 1.1%, to 26,172. The Nasdaq rose 119 points, or 1.5%, to 8,014.The Associated Press read more

German industrial production drops again in June

BERLIN — German industrial production declined for a second consecutive month in July in the latest sign that Europe’s biggest economy is headed for a recession in the current quarter.The Economy Ministry said Friday production was 0.6% lower than the previous month, following a 1.1% drop in June. That followed separate data showing factory orders fell 2.7% in July.Germany’s economy contracted 0.1% in the April-June period. It is considered likely to shrink again in the third quarter, placing it in a technical recession, and business confidence recently hit a nearly seven-year low.UniCredit bank economist Andreas Rees argues the extent of pessimism is “an exaggeration” and said “the story is not one of outright collapse in the German industrial sector but of negative spillover effects from manufacturing to internal demand.”The Associated Press read more

Comment invited as proposed Haisla Nation LNG project enters regulatory process

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2019.The Canadian Press VANCOUVER — The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada is inviting comment from the public and Indigenous groups until Oct. 20 on a Haisla Nation proposal to build a floating LNG project near the northern B.C. community of Kitimat.The proposed Cedar LNG project would supercool gas to produce three to four million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year.Construction is proposed to start in 2022 and continue until 2025, contingent on regulatory approvals, First Nations consultation and a final investment decision by the Haisla-owned LNG company.The agency, the new federal regulator created in August, says input will be used to prepare a summary of issues, adding it is also seeking input on a proposal from the province to assume conduct of the environmental impact assessment process.According to a project summary, Cedar LNG would receive gas from a link to the 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline, the same link . that is to supply the $40-billion LNG Canada project now under construction also at Kitimat.The summary says the project would need about 200 megawatts of power, preferably from the BC Hydro transmission grid but potentially self-generated.It says it expects between 40 and 50 LNG carrier vessels would call at the facility each year. read more

Ottawas deficit for the year to come in 2 billion lower than

OTTAWA — The parliamentary budget watchdog is projecting the federal deficit this fiscal year will come in $2.1 billion lower than the Liberals have predicted.Yves Giroux’s office chalks up the change to higher-than-anticipated income-tax revenues that the government has collected this fiscal year, which closes in March.A report out this morning from the parliamentary budget office predicts that this year’s budget deficit will be $16 billion, less than the $18.1 billion the Liberals anticipate. U.S. trade uncertainty is holding back Canadian business investment, Bank of Canada warns Trudeau’s housing strategy is vintage Harper — it was a bad idea then, and it’s a bad idea now Had the economy been weaker or tax revenues lower, the report says, the federal deficit for the 2018-2019 fiscal year could have hit $23.2 billion when taking into account extra spending in Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s fall economic update.More than half the $7.2-billion swing in the projection is due to stronger tax revenues than Giroux predicted in the fall.The report says corporate income-tax revenues are $3 billion higher than the watchdog forecast in October. read more