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Quebec denies a French citizen—who completed a PhD in a French-language university—residency for failing to show command of the French language

Leyland Cecco, writing in The Guardian »

A French doctoral student has been denied residency in Quebec after officials in Canada’s francophone province ruled that she had an inadequate command of her mother tongue.

Emilie Dubois, a graphic designer who has lived and studied in Quebec City for eight years, was stunned to find her recent residency application denied on the grounds that she failed to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of French.

CBC » Quebec denies French citizen’s immigration application because chapter of thesis was in English

Émilie Dubois, a French citizen, applied to settle in Quebec after completing a PhD at a French-language university, but the province turned her down because part of her thesis was in English.

More »

NY Times » For Quebec, a French Woman May Not Be French Enough


Canadian GDP grew 2.0% in 2018

Statistics Canada is reporting that in 2018 real gross domestic product (GDP) rose in all provinces and territories except Newfoundland and Labrador.

Nationally, real GDP grew 2.0%, after increasing 3.2% in 2017.

Increased exports from most regions and a modest rise in household spending contributed to the growth. These increases were partly offset by declines in business investment in non-residential construction resulting from the completion of major construction projects in several provinces and territories. This coincided with downward pressure on housing activity following the implementation of tightened mortgage rules and higher interest rates.

Full report is available from Statistics Canada »

Lights to go out on Little Bay Islands as locals agree to resettle

Tracey Lindeman, writing in The Guardian »

By New Year’s Day, Mike and Georgina Parsons – and their dog – will be the only permanent residents of Little Bay Islands. At 53 and 44 respectively, they are the island’s youngest full-time residents.

They moved to the community a few years back, attracted to the idea of living off the grid in Mike’s hometown, and have spent the last couple of years preparing for a life of solitude on the edge of the Atlantic.

As winter draws near residents have been slowly filing out, each weekend bringing more farewells. At least half the numbers in the phone directory have been disconnected. Many residents intend to return to their homes in the summers, but for others this may be goodbye.

Watching his parents and other residents pack up and go is tough, said Parsons. “In spite of the fact that 100% of the permanent residents here voted to leave, I know that to actually do it, to pack up their things and leave, is just heartbreaking.”

Read more »

Liberal Party under leadership of Justin Trudeau re-elected for a second term » However results reflect a divided nation

Chantal Hébert, in the Hamilton Spectator »

Under the guise of a minority victory for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, Canadians have given themselves a Parliament that better reflects their deepening divisions than a common national purpose.

If anything, the election stands to exacerbate rising tensions between parts of the federation.

In each and every case the capacity of Canada’s main parties to speak for the country has been diminished.


On the morning after the 2015 election, many progressive swing voters celebrated Trudeau’s accession to power. This year, most of them are first and foremost celebrating Andrew Scheer’s defeat.

As expected, Prairie voters massively deserted the Liberals. With no Liberal seat in Alberta, that province will spend the next few years looking on federal power from the opposition benches.


If there is one issue that is not going off the radar over the next months and years, it is climate change.

The Conservatives have spent the past two years all but inviting voters who worry about the planet’s top-of-mind environmental issue to shop elsewhere.

Read the whole article in the Hamilton Spectator »

Same article in the Toronto Star »

More » CBC » Trudeau’s to-do list: calm rising regional tensions, heal rifts with premiers

Bank of Canada Report » Business outlook edging higher

The Canadian Press via the CBC »

A new survey by the Bank of Canada suggested that business sentiment in the country has edged higher, but differences between the Prairies, hard hit by the turmoil in the energy sector, and Central Canada have grown more pronounced.

The central bank’s survey of senior management at roughly 100 firms suggested “a slight improvement” in overall business sentiment as businesses expected moderate sales growth in the year to come.

However, due to ongoing challenges in the energy sector, the Bank of Canada said overall sentiment was negative in the Prairies.

Read more at the CBC »

Canada’s economy is humming

Matthew A. Winkler, writing for Bloomberg (paywall) »

Unemployment fell faster than in any developed nation during the 40 months that ended in May, to its lowest level since 1976. Gross domestic product accelerated to a pace second only to the U.S. rate. The stock and bond markets proved world beaters with the best returns and most stability.

Behind the robust health are data showing Canada transitioning to a technology juggernaut from a country defined by its dependence on fossil fuels. While the government continues to subsidize coal, gas and oil, which account for 77% of the nation’s energy needs, the correlation between the price of oil and Canadian stocks has all but disappeared since Trudeau became prime minister, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The traditional interdependence of stocks and oil prevailed during the 10 years preceding his election.


The Canadian election on Monday may be too close to call. But no one can say Canada hasn’t changed for the better in the past four years.

Read the whole article at Bloomberg (paywall) »

One year ago » The Government of Canada legalized the production and sale of cannabis for non-medical purposes on October 17, 2018.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau receives endorsement from President Barack Obama

Canadian and European health departments are sharing study results on new drugs and treatments online. Transparency advocates elsewhere want the same.

Barbara Mantel

This past March, Canada’s department of health changed the way it handles the huge amount of data that companies submit when seeking approval for a new drug, biological treatment, or medical device — or a new use for an existing one. For the first time, Health Canada is making large chunks of this information publicly available after it approves or rejects applications.

Within 120 days of a decision, Health Canada will post clinical study reports on a new government online portal, starting with drugs that contain novel active ingredients and adding devices and other drugs over a four-year phase-in period. These company-generated documents, often running more than 1,000 pages, summarize the methods, goals, and results of clinical trials, which test the safety and efficacy of promising medical interventions. The reports play an important role in helping regulators make their decisions, along with other information, such as raw data about individual patients in clinical trials.

So far, Health Canada has posted reports for four newly approved drugs — one to treat plaque psoriasis in adults, two to treat two different types of skin cancer, and the fourth for advanced hormone-related breast cancer — and is preparing to release reports for another 13 drugs and three medical devices approved or rejected since March. Continue reading

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