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Newsletter. Issue 07. March 29, 2014

Newsline Canada
News Clips From India
Reunion 2012
The Liberation of Goa
News Clips From Goa
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Newsline Canada
Canada can choose to become a global food super-power

Toronto, March 19, 2014 /CNW/ - Canada could move from being one of the top 20 net food exporting countries in the world to being one of the top five within the next few years— while addressing the legitimate needs of Canadians for safe, healthy and affordable food. The Canadian Food Strategy, unveiled by The Conference Board of Canada at the 3rd Canadian Food Summit 2014, is a blueprint for change in the food sector.

"The food sector already contributes more than 8 per cent of Canada's gross domestic product and is directly responsible for hundreds of thousands of jobs. But it can become even more successful if our producers capture a larger share of the growing international food market, said Michael Bloom, Vice-President, Industry and Business Strategy. "Taken as a whole, the food sector has the potential to be among the foremost export industries for Canada."

The second day of the 3rd Canadian Food Summit: From Strategy to Action begins with a session called Developing a Food Export and Trade Action Plan to Grow Canada's Food Sector.

The Canadian Food Strategy outlines several action items that could make Canada a food-exporting superpower.
  • Expand presence in existing and emerging markets, including new markets.
  • Link aid and trade to address the challenge of global food security.
  • Negotiate multilateral and bilateral free trade agreements to improve exporters' access to international markets.
  • Develop high-quality national, provincial, and regional food brands and product specializations for wide sale internationally.
  • Build a Canada Brand to reinforce food brands and products using positive images of Canada's natural environment and culture and our reputation for product quality and safety.

The Canadian Food Strategy been developed from a conviction that changing our nation's food system is both an opportunity and an imperative. Each of the five elements of the Canadian Food Strategy -- industry prosperity, healthy food, food safety, household food security, and environmental sustainability -- are closely interrelated. For example, increasing Canada's production of food and export levels must be done while minimizing negative impacts on the environment. And improvements in diet and the success of food-related population health efforts will reduce the incidence of chronic disease, which will, in turn, reduce pressure on the health care system.

The Strategy sets out the eight goals and more than 60 desired outcomes, and provides 110 action strategies that can help to achieve them.

To encourage implementation efforts and to track progress, the Conference Board's Centre for Food in Canada intends to continue its work on promoting the Canadian Food Strategy through three initiatives:

  • establish the Canadian Food Observatory to monitor progress in the food sector and measure progress in achieving the goals of the Strategy.
  • produce an Annual Report Card: Food in Canada— Performance and Potential summarizing the progress made in the previous year, using metrics established by the Observatory.
  • undertake further research on new and emerging issues.

Source: Conference Board of Canada

Buying a property solo or with friends or family?

TD advises on specific considerations when taking a less conventional approach to buying property
Toronto, March 25, 2014 /CNW/ - Today's homebuyers don't always look like the traditional nuclear family of the past. As a recent TD survey discovered, a quarter of Canadians who bought a home in the last 24 months - or are planning to in the near future - did so on their own. Furthermore, four in ten Canadians think buying property - whether a primary residence or vacation home - with friends or family members is a great way to get started. With this shift towards non-traditional ways of purchasing property, planning carefully can help avoid potential bumps on the road.

"Whether buying a home on your own or together in partnership with family members or friends, many of the guiding principles remain the same," said Michelle Snow, Associate Vice President, Retail Products at TD. "Start by setting a realistic budget, talking to a mortgage specialist for advice and taking the time to make an informed decision. The real estate market may move fast, but that doesn't mean you have to rush your decision."

Whether buying alone or with someone else, the first step is to decide how much you are comfortable spending, and what the down payment will be. Homebuyers pooling their resources may be able to make a larger down payment on their purchase, and there are benefits to this. For example, homebuyers who put down 20 per cent or more may avoid paying for mortgage default insurance. The premiums for mortgage default insurance are calculated as a percentage of the mortgage and paid up front or by adding it to the principal portion of the mortgage. Eliminating or decreasing this premium can result in significant savings over the lifetime of the mortgage.

"Once homebuyers set their budget and down payment, they can take their prospective monthly mortgage payment for a test-drive and 'pay' into a TFSA or savings account," said Snow. "This two-fold solution allows the homebuyer to see how comfortable the monthly mortgage payment is before locking in, and save for a larger down payment at the same time. For co-purchasers, it opens the line of communication to talk about how these monthly payments will work after the purchase."

While agreeing on a budget and down payment are essential, the conversation shouldn't stop there, Snow advises. Co-purchasers also need to agree on the key characteristics they want in a property, and what they are and are not willing to compromise on. For example, will the primary residence be a house or condominium? If it's a second home to be used as a vacation destination, will it be a cabin in the woods or a cottage by the water? Once these decisions are made, consider how the associated costs, like taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs and maintenance fees will fit into the overall budget.

"The last thing new homeowners want is an unwelcome surprise when they're about to sign on the dotted line," Snow said. "Whether purchasing alone, or with a co-purchaser, a mortgage specialist can help navigate home financing questions well before they've entered the house hunt, so they can make informed decisions that can save money and stress in the long run."

For more information, tools and resources on home ownership,
visit www.tdcanadatrust.com/firsthomee
Sri Lankans protest arrest of Catholic activists under terrorism act
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 12:10

New Delhi- Protests are growing in Sri Lanka over the security forces' arrest of two outspoken Catholic human rights activists under stringent terrorism laws. ... Click here to read more

Ukrainian Catholics fear 'new oppression'
Friday, 14 March 2014 10:49

OXFORD, England -- A Ukrainian Catholic priest in Crimea said church members are alarmed and frightened by the Russian military occupation and fear their communities might be outlawed again if Russian rule becomes permanent... Click here to read more

Jesuit trip immerses s travellers in India
Sunday, 16 March 2014 12:00

Walk through the tea estates of Darjeeling and meet the families who have spent generations harvesting the leaves that may end up steeped in Canadian cups. Meet the children of the lowest caste who, with classical musical instruments, literally play... Click here to read more

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