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Bank of Canada says economy won’t be fully back til 2023

These losses remain concentrated among the most vulnerable, low-wage workers who are disproportionately women and youth.




Tiff Macklem, Governor of the Bank of Canada, says it won’t be until 2023 that the country’s economy is back on track.

Macklem spoke to the economic realities faced by businesses in Calgary and across the country, which led to an economic downturn “unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

“The pandemic is first and foremost a human tragedy. It’s taken the lives of over 20,000 Canadians, and it’s not over,” said Macklem.

“We’ve already climbed a long way back from the bottomless economic hole we were in last spring, a burden felt especially hard in facing the double blow of lockdowns and low oil prices.

“At the start of 2020, the unemployment rate had fallen to near 40-year lows, and participation rates increased for all age groups. Wage growth rose, and the quality of jobs was improving. But in just two months, March and April, roughly 3 million jobs disappeared.”

The Bank of Canada’s latest forecast doesn’t anticipate economic slack to be fully absorbed until well into 2023, as COVID-19 hammered much of the service sectors.

Macklem argues once Canada achieves widespread vaccinations, high contact service industries should resume close to entire operations, which means strong job growth, especially for hard-hit demographics like working mothers.

“Alberta, like much of the rest of Canada, emerged from the latest round of containment measures where we can expect a solid rebound in the immediate months ahead,” he said.

“However, the degree to which the economy can reopen depends on the path of the virus, including new variants. But with vaccinations expected to ramp up, we can be more confident in sustained strong growth through the second half of this year and into next year.”

He warned Canada would not return to the same economy before the pandemic because it adapts to “structural changes”, including resource-related jobs phased out by technological advancement.

“Today, a healthy labour market remains a long way off, as the economy is down more than 850,000 jobs from before the pandemic,” said Macklem.

“These losses remain concentrated among the most vulnerable, low-wage workers who are disproportionately women and youth.”

The Alberta government announced in late-2019, $10 million in funding over the next four years to boost women’s skilled trades in partnership with local non-profit Women Building Futures (WBF).

The province also pledged to increase investments in 2019 to the CAREERS: The Next Generation program to connect students with employers through paid internships and apprenticeship programs in the skilled trades.

Premier Jason Kenney said his government plans to triple program funding to $6 million a year by 2022/2023.

“A young, well-trained and mobile workforce will be key to our future success,” Kenney said, with nearly 45,000 skilled trade workers expected to retire in the next ten years.

The investment will double the number of schools involved with CAREERS and help provide 6,000 students access to paid internships and training each year, helping 27,000 youth receive trades-related employment since 1997.

Macklem said some workers would need to shift to jobs in faster-growing sectors of the economy with the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s growing advancement.

“Companies will find ways to become more efficient and create new types of jobs using innovative technologies. We’ve seen this process play out repeatedly, driving progress here in Canada and around the world,” he said.

“The restructuring caused by digitalization and automation was already well underway before the pandemic, and COVID accelerated the process. Like earlier technological advances, digitalization and automation will bring substantial economic benefits, including higher productivity and eventually higher-wage jobs.

He also cautioned the importance of universities and colleges in building digital skills across all disciplines.

“Primary and secondary schools also need greater emphasis on digital literacy,” said Macklem.

“This isn’t about training children for particular jobs. It’s about preparing children for a digital future, where they are giving them the skills the digital skills they’ll need to master in whatever career they choose.”

The Alberta Jobs Now program provides grants to eligible employers to upskill or reskill workers for emerging sectors, including technology-related fields. Underrepresented groups and workers likely get priority access to the reskilling services.

Though crucial details like eligibility and launch date have yet to be determined, Alberta Jobs Now — funded partially by the federal government — will receive $136 million over the next three years.

Budget 2021 stipulates the program costs are subject to federal approval, with the province awaiting permission to funnel money not spent the last fiscal into the coming year.

Dhaliwal is the Western Standard’s Edmonton reporter.


Jivraj admits planting fake stories with Press Progress, CBC

Under oath, Jivraj admitted he was a long-time informant for Press Progress, the de facto media arm of the NDP.




Western Standard News editor Dave Naylor has spent two weeks investigating the story of Caylan Ford. Ford seemed a rising political star – intelligent, photogenic and a working mother. She was recruited by Jason Kenney to run provincial for the UCP.

Ford seemed to be on the path to stardom when she was shot down in flames by rumours and planted news stories in a NDP-linked news site.

Ford blames one man for her downfall – Kiram Javrij. 

Over the next week, Naylor will tell their story backed with court documentation and interviews.

Karim Jivraj, under testimony during a deposition, detailed just how complex his undercover harassment of UCP candidate Caylan Ford, and other women was.

Under withering questioning by Ford’s Lawyer, R.E. Harrison, Javrij admitted to planting fake stories with the NDP-linked Press Progress and the CBC.

In October 2018, Jivraj wrote a letter accusing Ford of committing “residency fraud” and claimed she was ineligible to stand as a candidate for election in the riding of Calgary Mountainview.

“He asked nine members of my constituency association board to sign the letter, but did not sign it himself,” said Ford in an exclusive interview with the Western Standard.

“Then he sent it to the media, and invited journalists to report on his allegations. Press Progress did.”

The following is a portion of the Q and A between Harrison and Jivraj.

Harrison: You say that you helped author the letter?
A: Yes.

Harrison then ask Jivraj who else on the board helped author the letter to then UCP Executive Director Janice Harrington.

Q: Now, after authoring the letter, you circulated it to the other board directors to seek their signatures?

A: Yes. I — I and others circulated it.

Read Javrij’s letter to the Mountainview board

Harrison then got Jivraj to admit he didn’t sign the letter he letter. Jivraj then detailed how he was the one who sent the letter to the NDP-linked news website, Press Progress.

Q: The October 13, 2018, article from Press Progress is entitled “UCP Constituency Association Accuses Jason Kenney’s Handpicked ‘Parachute Candidate’ of Breaking Party Rules.” Do you see that.

A: Yeah.

Q: Do you recognize this article?

A: Yes.

Q: Now, do you know who sent the October 1, 2018, letter to Press Progress?

A: I believe I did.

In November 2018, Jivraj purchased Google attack ads on searches of Ford’s name. These ads included a fabricated quotation, which Jivraj attributed to Ford. Harrison asked Jivraj who bought them.

A: I’m not sure if “purchase” is the right word. I received a free $50 budget on Google Ads, and so that was used for this. So there was no monetary investment.”

Q: Okay. So these ads were posted by you?

A: Yes.

In November 2018, Jivraj used a pseudonymous email account to send defamatory statements about Ford to 1,300 of her electors. The emails included another fabricated quotation which he attributed to Ford.

Q: You see the last attack ad has a quote: “My family has lived in southwest Calgary for generations. I could never live in north Calgary. Anywhere above the Bow is basically a suburb.” Do you see that quotation?

A: Yes

Q: Did you create that quotation?

A: I don’t believe so.

Q: Where did you get that quotation from?

A: I’m not sure. I think Ms. Ford may have said something along those lines when I was looking for a place in Calgary.

Q: You’re aware that Ms. Ford has lived in the neighbourhood of Sunnyside?

A: I became aware of that afterward.

Q: And why did these attack — why did these ads link to Press Progress?

A : That’s a good question. I don’t know.

Under oath, Jivraj admitted he was a long-time informant for Press Progress, the de facto media arm for the NDP.

Q: Did you email or call PressProgress to disclose this conversation?

A: I can’t recall. I don’t — I can’t recall if I reached out directly to Press Progress. I think the — what initiated the cycle of events was my meeting, my physical meeting at (Calgary coffee shop) Vendome.

Q: What I want to know is whether you phoned Press Progress to provide them with the contents of the conversation or provide them information

A: I can’t recall.

Q: Why did Press Progress call you out of the blue as you’ve insinuated.

Jivraj admits he has been in contact with Press Progress previously to discuss provincial and federal politics.

Q: OK, How many times would you have spoken with Press Progress previously to their phone call to you?

A: Again, I don’t want to guess, but several, several times.

Jivraj admits he has been in contact with Press progress since 2015. Ford herself then jumps into the questioning, asking Jivraj about his dealings with the CBC.

CBC Logo (photo credit CBC)

Ford: Did you disclose additional private messages between yourself and me to the CBC?

A: Yes

Ford: Have you created any other pseudonymous Twitter accounts?

A: Yeah. In my various political activities, yes, I’ve created many.

Ford is suing Jivraj, Press Progress and several media outlets for a total of $7 million.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

The saga of Karim Jivraj’s campaign against Ford and other conservative women is just too incredible to be told in a single feature article.

That’s why the Western Standard decided to break it down into a series, which will dive into several of the actions taken by Jivraj. It’s a story we did not believe until we obtained the evidence.

COMING NEXT: Tap on back leads to assault allegations from Rivraj against Ford

How a Conservative candidate worked with the NDP to bring down star UCP candidate
Tory candidate admits using a fake Twitter account to spread false sexual rumours
Jivraj admits to undercover online campaigns against women

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EXCLUSIVE: UCP MLA says Shandro approved barricading GraceLife Church

But a spokesman for Shandro denied any involvement by the minister.




Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro personally approved the AHS-RCMP raid and barricading of the Grace Life Church according to a UCP MLA that spoke to the Western Standard on condition of anonymity.

RCMP and Alberta Health Services conducted a Wednesday dawn raid on the church in Spruce Grove, Alberta after it repeatedly refused to comply to lockdown and capacity orders from the government.

“Shandro directly signed off on the raid,” said the MLA.

The MLA said the public backlash against the raid has rocked the government, and they are considering removing the wall before an expected large service is held there Sunday.

But a spokesman for Shandro denied any involvement by the minister.

“Minister Shandro did not direct or sign off this action. The law gives AHS independent authority to carry out such an action. The Minister is not required to sign off on enforcement activity such as seen at GraceLife, nor did he sign off. “

The move against the church came the day after Alberta Premier Jason Kenney threw the province back into a COVID-19 lockdown for the third time, discarding the policy of phased reopening based on measurable targets.

The move infuriated even members of his own caucus, with 17 UCP MLAs signing a public letter denouncing Kenney.

Another UCP MLA told the Western Standard they are “100% certain” Kenney will be the subject of an early party leadership review.

“Caucus is in total chaos,” said the MLA, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity.

A new Angus Reid poll this week showed a whopping 75% of Albertans oppose Kenney’s handling of the pandemic, including those that believe he has gone too far in restrictions, and those who believe that he hasn’t gone far enough.

Former federal Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day the Alberta government for barricading the GraceLife Church, saying it would bring “gleeful howls” from dictators around the world.

The church’s pastor, James Coates recently spent 35 days in the Edmonton Remand Centre after refused to agree to stop preaching as a condition of his bail.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

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Kenney urges GraceLife protesters to wear masks

“I call on those who believe in the sanctity of life, to act accordingly,” he said.




Premier Jason Kenney is warning anyone planning to take part in Spruce Grove’s GraceLife Church protest Sunday to practice COVID-Alberta Health Services (AHS) safety protocols.

Kenney said it would be “tragic” if the protest “lead to a super-spreader event.”

On Tuesday the AHS, aided by the RCMP, raided the GraceLife Church and built a wall around it.

People outraged by the move are planning to protest outside the barricades on Sunday and perhaps even hold a service.

The church’s pastor, James Coates was jailed for more than a month for repeatedly holding packed Sunday services that exceeded the COVID-19 limit.

Asked at a Saturday press conference what he’d say to the protesters, Kenney replied: “I would tell them to take COVID seriously…to keep people safe.”

“I call on those who believe in the sanctity of life, to act accordingly,” he said.”If people are going to gather, please do social distancing and wear a mask.”

Kenney claimed Alberta had the most freedom of religion in the entire country, noting the province hasn’t closed places of worship like they’ve done in other jurisdictions.

“Thank you to those faith communities (who have followed the law) for respecting the sanctity of life.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

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