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Statistics Canada: Inflation increases at fastest rate since February 2003

Inflation exceeded the Bank of Canada’s control range for a sixth straight month, worsened by supply chain bottlenecks that are proving stubbornly persistent.

The consumer price index rose 4.4 per cent in September from a year earlier, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday in Ottawa. That’s the highest reading since February 2003, exceeding consensus expectations of 4.3 per cent in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

On a monthly basis, inflation was up 0.2 per cent in September. Higher food, shelter and transport prices were the main contributors. The average of the central bank’s core measures — often seen as a better gauge of underlying price pressures — ticked up to 2.67 per cent from 2.6 per cent in August.

The hot inflation readings of the last six months are deepening a communications challenge for Governor Tiff Macklem, who maintains the spike in consumer-price gains will be short lived. The data also come as traders in the overnight swaps market bet increasingly against the Bank of Canada’s guidance that policymakers won’t raise interest rates until the second half of next year…read more.

Constitutional challenge mounted against B.C. vaccine passports

A constitutional challenge has been filed in BC Supreme Court challenging the province’s COVID-19 vaccine passport system by two women claiming they cannot receive any vaccines.

The vaccine card orders “ require the petitioners to choose between their own physical health and well being and their civil liberties,” the suit said. “Either choice has negative consequences on their families as well as themselves. The vaccine card orders actively deprive the petitioners of their Charter protected rights and freedoms.”

The suit names B.C.’s attorney general and minister of health as respondents.

Sarah Webb, of both Calgary and Victoria, and Maple Ridge’s Leigh Anne Eliason filed the challenge, saying they have have physical disabilities which require a medical exemption from receiving further vaccines.

Webb, 39, works in hotel management, dividing her time between Victoria and Calgary.

The suit said she received the Moderna vaccine May 2. Six days later, the suit said, she experienced fatigue, cramping, heart arrhythmias, swollen lymphs, severe pain, and a rash which engulfed her arm…read more.

Canada’s ‘tax the rich’ plan leaves big debt risk untouched

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is set to impose higher taxes on Canadians, which will help fund some campaign promises but are not broad enough to also start paying down the country’s record levels of debt, leaving Canada vulnerable to the next economic crisis, analysts say.

This could be a risky strategy for the country, which piled on new debt at a faster pace than any of its Group of Seven peers during the pandemic. The high level of indebtedness could limit Canada’s ability to manage long-term challenges that require massive government funding, like transitioning from a fossil fuel-reliant economy to a green one.

A far higher debt-to-GDP ratio post-pandemic means Canada has far less wiggle room to respond to the next crisis, be it economic, trade, climate or health-related, analysts say.

Essentially, Canada’s large debt burden “does not leave significant fiscal space to offset major new shocks,” said Kelli Bissett-Tom, director of Americas sovereign ratings at rating agency Fitch Ratings.

Fitch has already stripped Canada of a triple-A credit rating, but S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service still give Canadian debt the highest rating…read more.

Mike’s Comment – Oct 16th

You’ve got to hand it to the Build Back Better crowd – the fact that they missed every major financial trend of the last 10 years hasn’t discouraged them from wanting to “reimagine capitalism.”

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CLICK HERE to watch.