Asylum seekers and would-be refugees continue “sneaking” across the U.S. border into Canada seeking a better life.
The Mounties say there has been a “pronounced shift” where the migrants are crossing illegally away from the regular Canadian ports of entry.
Data from the Canadian government shows most of those crossing are doing so in the Quebec countryside – a shift from those apprehended before in Manitoba.
Most of those arrested, including many families with young children traveling from Central America, are held briefly and released to await a hearing on whether they will be granted refugee status and entry into Canada.
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Police say they intercepted 884 people who crossed into Canada away from normal border inspection stations last month, up from 742 in May.
Of that number, 781 were caught in Quebec compared with 576 the previous month.
Manitoba’s numbers dropped to 63 people from 106.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale’s office said there were 39 interceptions in British Columbia, one in Alberta and none in New Brunswick, Saskatchewan or Ontario last month.
Economists suggest June’s weak inflation rate is unlikely to change the Bank of Canada’s plan to continue tightening monetary policy at a measured pace.
The annual rate of inflation was at its weakest rate of 1 percent in almost two years while retail sales rose for a third consecutive month.
The central bank’s inflation target is 2 percent and the latest number suggests future interest rates will be gradual.
Bank governor Stephen Poloz announced a 0.25-percent increase in the trendsetting interest rate this month for the first rise in nearly seven years.
There is speculation the bank will raise the rate by a similar amount to 0.75 percent in October.
News in brief
▪ The Canadian government isn’t disclosing a strategy or demands it might take when the North American Free Trade Agreement is reviewed. The first round of negotiations in the revamp initiated by U.S. President Donald Trump starts Aug. 16 in Washington. The U.S. has released an 18-page summary of its objectives, stressing its “Buy American” program.
▪ Heightened security measures affecting flights to the U.S. are now in effect at Canadian airports. Airlines are advising passengers to arrive at airports at least two hours prior to scheduled departures to allow for additional screening. The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security is requiring enhanced checking of personal electronic devices such as tablets and laptops.
Facts and figures
Canada’s dollar is higher at 79.73 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.254 in Canadian funds before exchange fees.
The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is at 0.75 percent while the prime-lending rate at commercial banks is 2.95 percent.
Stock markets are higher, with the Toronto exchange index at 15,183 points while the TSX Venture index is 760 points.
The average price for gas in Canada is higher at $1.054 a liter or $4 (Canadian) for a U.S. gallon.
Lotto 6/49: (July 19) 2, 5, 10, 11, 27 and 39; bonus 48. (July 15) 10, 12, 27, 29, 34 and 48; bonus 39. Lotto Max: (July 14) 2, 4, 11, 17, 26, 41 and 42; bonus 44.
▪ British Columbia’s two-week-old state of emergency due to the wildfires that have displaced 43,000 people is to continue for at least two more weeks. Some residents started heading home this weekend as evacuation orders were downgraded to alerts while 150 forest fires burn across the province. The federal government has sent in 225 soldiers and the Mounties have dispatched another 500 officers to help out.
▪ Canadian-born Irwin Simon who runs a health-food company in New York is one of two U.S. businessmen leading a group that’s been awarded a National Basketball League of Canada franchise. The team for St. John’s, Newfoundland also involves Robert Sabbagh, owner of a Brooklyn-based car dealership, as minority partner in the venture. The NBL was founded in 2011 and has 12 teams.
Jim Fox: canadareport@ hotmail.com