Canada’s wholesale and manufacturing sales fell slightly in November: StatsCan

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The Canadian economy showed signs of weakness in November as both wholesale and manufacturing sales fell.

Statistics Canada said Tuesday wholesale trade fell one per cent in November to $63.0 billion, more than offsetting the 0.7 per cent increase in October.

Meanwhile, manufacturing sales fell 1.4 per cent to $57.3 billion in November, the second consecutive monthly decrease.

Economists had expected no change in wholesale sales and a drop of 0.9 per cent in manufacturing sales, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

TD Bank economist Omar Abdelrahman said the data confirms the moderating growth narrative.

‘Temporary shocks’

« Sub-par manufacturing performance is still expected in the near-term, as Alberta’s production curtailment plan starts to reflect in manufacturing sales volumes, » Abdelrahman wrote in a note to clients.

« It is important, however, to note that these are temporary shocks. As these shocks fade, manufacturing sales should receive support from strong economic performance south of the border, a weaker loonie, and expectations of increases in investment spending in the face of elevated capacity constraints. »

Fabricator Mike Caldarino uses a grinder on a steel stairs being manufactured at George Third & Son Steel Fabricators and Erectors, in Burnaby, B.C., on March 29, 2018. Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 1.4% to $57.3 billion in November, the second consecutive monthly decrease. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Royal Bank senior economist Nathan Janzen noted that labour markets still look solid and, notwithstanding recent market volatility, the U.S. industrial sector is continuing to expand.

« We still expect a ‘data-dependent’ Bank of Canada will ultimately view more gradual rate hikes as appropriate this year — but very likely not until confirmation emerges that the expected slow patch over the next couple of quarters is temporary, » Janzen wrote.

Petroleum, coal down 13.8%

Manufacturing sales were down in 13 of 21 industries, representing 45.3 per cent of total manufacturing sales. In volume terms, manufacturing sales fell 0.9 per cent.

The petroleum and coal product industry fell 13.8 per cent due to lower prices for petroleum and coal products as well as maintenance and turnaround work at some refineries and lower production at other refineries.

Partially offsetting the decline was a 1.3 per cent increase in the transportation equipment industry and a 1.5 per cent increase in the food industry.

Meanwhile, wholesale sales were down in five of seven subsectors. In volume terms, wholesale sales fell 1.2 per cent.

The machinery, equipment and supplies subsector fell 2.3 per cent, while sales in the building material and supplies subsector dropped 1.9 per cent.

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Pet pot-bellied pig only slightly scorched after Wetaskiwin mayor saves his bacon

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When Angela Pauls screamed for someone to rescue « her baby » from her burning home in December, firefighters had no idea she was referring to a pet pot-bellied pig.

« They asked if there was anyone still inside. I presume they were asking about people but I was like, ‘Oh, my baby is in there,’ so the firefighter went to the back and helped pull him out. »

The saviour of the swine, named Mr. Pua, was none other than Tyler Gandam, Wetaskiwin’s mayor who also volunteers as a firefighter.

Turns out, it was a tricky procedure to save the bacon of the stubborn, arthritic, 75-pound-porker.

Angela Pauls and her beloved house pig, Mr. Pua. (Angela Pauls/Facebook)

« You try to pick up any pig, the first thing they do is scream and then squirm. Everything is thrashing about and freaking out so you risk dropping them and breaking their legs, » Pauls said from her new home in Pigeon Lake.  

It was about 7 a.m. on Dec. 19, 2018, when Paul, who lived on an acreage in the Millet area, was startled awake by the sound of her neighbour screaming outside.

Her mobile home was on fire, the front porch of the rental was engulfed in flames.

Dressed only in pajamas, Pauls and her husband managed to get their cats, dogs and another pet pig — this one named Matilda — out of the house safely.

But Mr. Pua, their older and much larger house pig, was trapped inside a back bedroom where he sleeps during the cold winter months.

Because of a miscommunication, Paul said, more than an hour passed before firefighters arrived. Panic had begun to set in.

Mr. Pua was a cherished pet. They had nursed him back to health as a piglet and his company — along with a brood of recently acquired farm animals including goats and miniature horses — had helped the couple deal with their new status as empty-nesters.

Pauls’ husband tried again to go back inside their burning home to save Mr. Pua, but it was too dangerous.

« When the fire came in off the deck, it came through our living room, through our kitchen, up into the roof over to our bedrooms, » Pauls said.

« The deck doors were completely on fire … You couldn’t see in front of you. »

Mr Pua has always liked to lounge inside during the winter months. The cold is hard on his arthritic bones. (Angela Pauls/Facebook)

Gandam said it was a strange night on the job.He’d saved cats from trees, a duck out of a sewer, but never a pig.

Gandam had followed one of the other firefighters inside the trailer but couldn’t see him anywhere. Then he heard a loud crash in the back hallway.

Gandam found his fellow first responder in the washroom, wrestling with a pig.

After a moment of disbelief, Gandam got to work saving Mr. Pua.

I wasn’t sure if Mr. Pua was a biter or not.– Tyler Gandam

« Between the two of us, we got it moving in the right direction outside the bathroom and then I used a big water bottle from a water cooler to corral it out of the trailer, » Gandam recalled. « It was pretty reluctant to go so. 

« A person, you can pull out and not have to worry about them biting you. I wasn’t sure if Mr. Pua was a biter or not. » 

Eventually, Gandam found Pauls outside and let her know Mr. Pua was safe. Gandam said her reaction reminded him of why he loves the job. 

« The tears started and she was so thankful, » he said. « I don’t know how heroic I would call it but I was just glad we were able to reunite Mr. Pua and Angela.

« I was still trying to wrap my head around the fact that we had saved a pig from a structure fire. »

The ordeal left Mr. Pua a little singed.

After the fire, Mr. Pua spent a few weeks recuperating in the « cat room » of a luxury pet resort. (Awesome Pawsome/Facebook)

« Of course, the roof is caving in, there is fire and flames and water and chemical going everywhere. He got two burns on his back, his ears and his feet. » 

Hamming it up

After a short stint at the veterinarian, Mr. Pua was offered free accommodations at Awesome Pawsome, a Spruce Grove pet hotel where he quickly became cause célèbre.

« They offered him free room and board while he was healing, so we could find a new home, » Pauls said.

« [They] put him up in the cat room. He had his own private bathroom, his own private sleeping quarters and he apparently became quite the sensation on their Facebook. »

Since then, Mr. Pua has moved into his new pen inside the heated garage of his new family home.

His current status, according to Pauls?

« Oh, he’s lounging. »

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A Slightly Obsessive and Highly Subjective Look at the Best Things We Ate and Drank in 2018

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This may come as a surprise, but here at Bon Appétit we spend a somewhat ridiculous amount of time talking about food. Arguing about it, swooning over it, discussing its pros and cons, analyzing it down to the most granular detail, and of course, eating it. It’s what we do. It’s all we do. Like, I haven’t been to a movie theater in eight months. Instead of dinner-and-a-movie, I just eat dinner twice.

As a result, we consider ourselves pretty adept at figuring out which food trends are all hype and which ones are actually worth eating (or drinking). Rainbow bagels? Meh. Oat milk? Hell to the yes. It’s creamier than actual cream, y’all. Get on this bus.

In that spirit, as this very weird year drew to a close, we gathered together as a staff to compile our official list of 2018’s greatest culinary hits. It’s an eclectic list, yes, and highly subjective to be sure. But it comes from a place of deep, obsessive, highly considered love. Most important of all: Nothing here is not delicious.

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Canada’s jobless rate declines slightly with hike in part-time work

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The job market bounced back last month with a gain of 63,000 positions, edging the unemployment rate lower to 5.9 per cent, Statistics Canada said Friday.

September’s increase in employment was largely driven by gains in part-time work, with part-time jobs up by around 80,000.

September’s gains were also almost entirely in Ontario and British Columbia, largely in construction, with little change in the other provinces.

On a year-over-year basis, Canada has gained 222,000 jobs since September 2017.

Last month’s job gains indicate volatility continues in the jobs market after August saw a decline of more than 51,000 positions, when the unemployment rate was set at 6.0 per cent.

And the labour force survey found all the job gains were made by workers in the core 25 to 54 age range with virtually no change in youth employment.

Statistics Canada says September’s increase in employment was largely driven by gains in part-time work. (Canadian Press)

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