By Staff | March 13, 2008 | Last updated on March 13, 2008
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(March 13, 2008) Politics is making strange bedfellows indeed. The Canadian Federation of Students is siding with the Conservative government in opposing the bill to make RESP contributions tax deductible.

“This bill is a bad use of scarce resources, and it will cost about $1 billion a year,” said Amanda Aziz, national chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “Reducing tuition fees and increasing need-based grants would be a far more equitable way of providing assistance to students.”

The CFS is calling on members of Parliament from all parties to kill the bill, tabled by Liberal MP Dan McTeague. According to Aziz, wealthier families will be the primary beneficiaries of the changes.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers, which represents over 57,000 academic staff at Canadian colleges and universities, is also opposed to the bill.

“We need an increase in core funding for colleges and universities and a renewed investment in basic research through the granting councils,” said James Turk, the executive director of CAUT. “It is very disappointing to see that all of the opposition parties voted for this ill-conceived bill, and we will work with students and other partners to see that it is defeated.”

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Canada’s net foreign debt climbs

(March 13, 2008) Foreign investors poured money into Canadian investments in the fourth quarter of 2007, with foreign direct investment rising by $27.3 billion to $521.1 billion, according to the latest data from StatsCan.

The 5.5% increase over Q3 marks the largest quarterly inflow in eight years. Mergers and acquisitions had the greatest impact, accounting for 68% of the increase. This transfer of stock from Canadian hands to foreign hands cut portfolio liabilities by $7.4 billion in the quarter.

The flood of foreign capital pushed Canada into a net negative position, with foreign direct investment worth $12.5 billion more than Canadian direct investment in foreign enterprises. At the beginning of last year, Canada had been in a net positive position, at $74.4 billion.

Total international liabilities increased to $1.34 trillion, while Canadian holdings of foreign assets climbed to $1.18 trillion, up 1.2%.

Net foreign debt rose by $13.3 billion in Q4 to $156.3 billion at the end of 2007, or 10.0% of GDP. That’s up from 9.1% in the previous quarter.

While the Canadian dollar rose significantly over the year against the currencies of major investors, that appreciation stalled in Q4, which raised net foreign debt by a marginal $300 million.

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Chartered accountants name new vice-chair

(March 13, 2008) The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants has named William A. MacKinnon, FCA, as its new vice-chair, effective September 2008.

“The board is looking forward to having Bill MacKinnon bring his extensive professional experience to the role,” said Alain Benedetti, FCA, CICA board chair. “The knowledge gained throughout his career certainly positions Bill to play a vital role in helping the profession face any challenges that lie ahead.”

For the past nine years MacKinnon has served as CEO of KPMG Canada, where he has been a partner since 1977.

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CFA Institute boss joins Janus board

(March 13, 2008) The president and CEO of the CFA Institute, Jeff Diermeier, has been appointed to the board of Janus Capital Group in New York. His three-year term will commence May 1, 2008.

“With Janus’s commitment to deep fundamental research, Jeff’s leadership at CFA Institute and years of experience in the asset management industry were a perfect fit for our board,” said Steve Scheid, chairman of the Janus Capital Group board of directors.

Diermeier was named president and CEO of the CFA Institute in 2005 and has served on the CFA Institute board of governors since 2002. He was global chief investment officer at UBS Global Asset Management until 2004.

Also appointed to the Janus board were Timothy K. Armour, former managing director of Morningstar Inc., and Lawrence E. Kochard, CFA, CIO of Georgetown University.

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Portfolio Strategies names CWT as trustee

(March 13, 2008) Canadian Western Trust has been appointed as trustee, custodian and record keeper for the registered accounts of Portfolio Strategies Corp. effective March 26, 2008.

“We strive to provide our clients with the structure and flexible support required for long-term investment success,” said Mark Kent, president of Portfolio Strategies. “Adding CWT as our preferred partner for self-directed registered plans allows us to focus on what we do best, helping our clients achieve their long-term financial goals.”

(03/13/08) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.