Canada’s Navy Blues

CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 2-week low on U.S. fears; posts Q3 gain

We are always looking for ways to create a better user experience for you and wanted to try out a new functionality that provides you with a reading experience in which the words and fonts take centre stage. We believe you’ll appreciate the clean, white layout as you read our feature articles. But we don’t want to force it on you and it’s completely optional. Click “View in Clean Reading Mode” on any article if you want to try it out. Once there, you can click “Go back to regular view” at the top or bottom of the article to return to the regular layout. HMCS Winnipeg never had a chance. The frigate was docked at CFB Esquimalts C Jetty at the Pacific naval base on Vancouver Island, during a calm morning in April, when an out-of-control fishing trawler, American Dynasty, slammed into her port side and sent a wall of water over her bow. Six maintenance crew, all civilians, were injured, and the cost of repairs is being kept a mysterythe same way a coach wont say much about a players injury during the playoffs. The frigate was on its way from a massive, $250-million refit, a new lease on life that gave the ship more muscle on the high seas. Instead, the incident with the American trawler stopped HMCS Winnipegs revival in its tracks. Now, the ship is in dry dock for repairs. The incident defines the Navys streak of bad luck, particularly among a West Coast fleet that cant catch a break. Last month, the destroyer HMCS Algonquin and the supply ship HMCS Protecteur collided during towing manoeuvres on the way to Hawaii. The Navy is now without a destroyer on the West Coast and, in the 10 days it took to repair the Protecteur, the Navy was left without a supply ship.

“There is some nervousness as we approach the shutdown deadline, but there are no signs of panic yet,” said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver, adding that the Canadian market is viewing the debt crisis as a U.S. issue. “Investors believe that there will be a resolution to this problem,” he added. “It may not occur today or tomorrow, but it’s certainly what they’re hoping for.” The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed down 56.89 points, or 0.44 percent, at 12,787.19, after falling s low as 12,734.71, its lowest since Sept. 16. All of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red. For the third quarter, the TSX advanced 5.4 percent, compared with a 4.7 percent gain by the S&P 500. Helped by a rebound in appetite for commodities, the benchmark Canadian index has been regaining ground lost in the first half of the year. “I doubt if we’ve seen the highs for the year for the TSX,” Picardo said. “I still think there are more legs to the rally.” Tracking a drop in the price of oil, shares of energy producers shed 0.5 percent. In the group, Suncor Energy Inc was down 1.3 percent at C$36.83, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd gave back 0.2 percent to C$32.37. Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, fell 0.6 percent.

Don Cayo: Canada’s airports still falling short of their potential

The airport and associated businesses employ 23,600 people, and YVR itself contributes $608 million a year in taxes to the federal and provincial governments, the City of Richmond and TransLink. User-pay policies implemented when the feds turned airports over to local authorities are no doubt a factor in the high cost of flying into and out of Canadian destinations, and this no doubt helps give American airports their edge. But the Conference Board notes the money these policies raise pays for upgrading and renewal of Canadaas facilities a something that isnat happening in the States. The analysis does call for a permanent federal program to fund infrastructure upgrades related to safety and security at smaller airports, and for better land rental arrangements to facilitate growth of non-aeronautical revenue-generating activities. But most of its recommendations deal with things that need not cost much. A major one is to fix the kind of visa problems this column delved into in early September. It called for streamlined visa application processes with electronic authorizations to be used in appropriate countries, enhanced programs to let transiting passengers pass through without visas, and expansion of trusted traveller programs that pre-screen eligible visitors. It also called for Ottawa to pursue liberalization of international air cargo markets, and to improve border and security processing. Only one recommendation was aimed primarily at the provinces. It is to stop taxing jet fuel a something seen as a deterrent for international carriers contemplating new airports to add to their schedule. The good news for YVR is that B.C. already did this in 2012. The provincial finance ministry said at the time that dropping the tax would cost it about $12 million a year in forgone revenue.