Canadian Report | If U.S. goes over fiscal cliff, so does Canada

Canadians could follow the United States in a plunge over the so-called fiscal cliff in January, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney warns.

Extending U.S. tax cuts and spending beyond the end of this year is the “most imminent threat” facing Canada’s economy, the head of the central bank said.

There’s concern by economists that without political cooperation in the U.S. on a new budget arrangement about $600 billion in tax cuts and spending will end abruptly.

This could rob the U.S. economy of about four percentage points in growth and push the country into a recession that the Canadian economy would be sure to follow, said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

Carney and Flaherty have pledged to take action to support the Canadian economy if a shock from the U.S. or Europe again threatens to plunge the country into a recession.

How U.S. policy-makers deal with the threat highlighted concerns among the world’s economic leaders attending the G20 meeting last weekend in Mexico, Flaherty said.

There have been more sanitation problems at XL Foods beef-processing plant in Alberta linked to E. coli contaminated products.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said after the 2,000-worker plant in Brooks was allowed to resume production on Oct. 29 it ordered managers to correct problems of cleanliness and sanitation.

The company was closed on Sept. 27 due to contaminated meat that led to a massive recall and has been linked with illnesses in 17 people.

With the corrections completed, beef again is being shipped to retailers under the watchful supervision by inspectors.

Management of the plant has been taken over by JBS USA, an American subsidiary of a Brazilian company.

News in brief

Facts and figures

Canada’s dollar is hovering around parity with the U.S. currency at 99.93 U.S. cents. The greenback is worth $1.0006 in Canadian funds before bank exchange fees.

The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate remains at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate is 3 percent.

Stock markets are lower, with the Toronto exchange index at 11,811 points and the TSX Venture index at 1,222 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Nov.14) 15, 20, 29, 36, 38 and 42; bonus 27. (Nov. 10) 6, 22, 23, 41, 44 and 49; bonus 48. Lotto Max: (Nov. 9) 8, 9, 11, 22, 24, 42 and 46; bonus 13.

Regional briefs