By Staff | June 15, 2007 | Last updated on June 15, 2007
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(June 15, 2007) The rising Canadian dollar is not derailing the national economy. Widespread job growth has dwarfed the losses in Canada’s manufacturing sector, which are partly the result of the loonie’s rise, says a new report from CIBC World Markets.

The report notes that a 50% rise in the value of the Canadian dollar in the past five years has hastened the loss of 275,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector but these losses have had little impact on the overall economy.

“What seemed to put parity, or even today’s 93-cent value out of reach was the dire implications those currency levels would pose for the country’s manufacturing sector,” says Jeff Rubin, chief economist at CIBC World Markets. “But what’s recently pushed Canadian dollar short-sellers so offside hasn’t been the lack of pain in manufacturing but how little difference that pain has meant for the overall Canadian economy.”

Rubin expects manufacturing to lose about another 200,000 jobs over the next decade, which will put the sector’s share of total employment at less than 10% and more in line with the current U.S. work force.

“Like factory sectors in other OECD economies, the fate of Canadian manufacturing was sealed a long time ago, when the tariff wall fell and import quotas were withdrawn,” Rubin says. “It’s been downhill since. And that includes the crown jewel of Canadian manufacturing — the auto industry, once the source of half of Canada’s merchandise trade surplus. But both manufacturing employment and the auto trade surplus are rapidly fading benchmarks of a past age that bear little relevance to today’s economy and even less for tomorrow’s.”

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LOMA recognizes top insurer HR programs

(June 15, 2007) LOMA Canada presented Empire Life and Assumption Life with the 2007 National Corporate Awards for Best Practices in Learning and Development at LOMA Canada’s Annual Conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Thursday.

Timo Hytonen, vice-president of human resources and community relations for Empire Life, received the award in the large-company category in recognition for Empire Life’s corporate orientation program. The year-long program includes presentations, workshops, training programs and follow-ups in which all new employees participate. LOMA says there was a direct correlation between the program and improvements in key employee measurements.

Andrea LeBlanc of Assumption Life in Moncton, New Brunswick, accepted the award for the small-company category for Assumption’s Introduction à Assomption Vie program, an e-learning module where new employees have the flexibility in choosing how, when and where to complete the education portion of the program.

“LOMA Canada is pleased to recognize Empire Life and Assumption Life for their innovative employee development programs, which not only ensure that employees retain key business and company information but do so in a flexible and cost-effective manner,” says George Mohacsi, CEO of Foresters and chairman of the LOMA Canada Council.

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Investors Group gets approval on fund mergers

(June 15, 2007) Security-holders of several Investors Group funds approved six fund mergers involving funds with substantially similar investment mandates.

Investors Group says the mergers facilitate more efficient management of the funds, provide better investment diversification opportunities and, in some instances, will result in lower fees.

The mergers are as follows:

The IG AGF Asian Growth Fund and IG AGF Asian Growth Class will merge into Investors Pacific International Class.

The IG Mackenzie Select Managers Canada Fund will merge into the IG Mackenzie Maxxum Canadian Equity Growth Fund.

The IG Mackenzie Select Canadian Managers Canada Class will merge into the IG Mackenzie Maxxum Growth Class.

The Mackenzie Universal U.S. Growth Leaders Fund will merge into the IG Mackenzie Universal U.S. Growth Leaders Class.

The Mackenzie Universal Global Future Fund will merge into IG Mackenzie Universal Global Future Class.

The mergers are expected to occur on or about July 20, 2007.

Investors Group also says that security holders of several Alto and Allegro portfolios voted to approve allocation enhancements and revisions to their fee structures.

The Alto Conservative Portfolio’s equity exposure will move from 25% to 30% of portfolio assets. Alto Monthly Income Portfolio will have its equity exposure move from 27 to 33%. Finally, the Allegro Conservative Portfolio will have its equity exposure move from 25% to 30% of portfolio assets.

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(06/15/07) staff


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