Canada Stocks-tsx Flat With Eye On U.s. Budget Talks; Golds Weigh

uphill.” After recording its biggest jump in three months in the previous session, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index finished the session down 2.30 points, or 0.02 percent, at 12,892.11. President Barack Obama and congressional Republican leaders worked to end their fiscal impasse on Friday but struggled to strike a deal on the details for a short-term reopening of the government and an increase in the U.S. debt limit. Failure to raise the borrowing limit would have serious repercussions for the fiscal standing of the United States, the world’s biggest economy, and for markets and economies of the United States and other nations worldwide. Investors, who are also looking ahead to the start of the earnings session soon, hesitated to make calls until there was certainty about a resolution to the crisis. “We’re certainly sitting on the sidelines,” said David Cockfield, managing director and portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management. “I just keep my head down for the moment.” “I want to see some actual results before I make up my mind how this is going to turn out,” he added. “I don’t think it’s over until it’s over.” Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher Friday. The financial sector gained 0.4 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada climbing 0.5 percent to C$68.03. Energy shares added nearly 0.5 percent, with TransCanada Corp rising 1.2 percent to C$45.33. Encana Corp added 2.1 percent to C$18.30. The two companies were among the most influential movers on the index. But weakness in the price of bullion weighed on the materials sector, which includes mining stocks.

The case for CanAmerica: Here’s how a U.S.-Canada merger could work

"A merger makes good business sense," says Diane Francis, author of "Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country."

Francis calls it “protectiveness. I think that investing should only be done with one test in mind, and that’s reciprocity. If the Chinese can buy Smithfield Foods, then the Americans can buy the Chinese company that wants to buy Smithfield — but we can’t. It’s all one-way … and they’re doing that everywhere. It’s like, ‘Heads, I win. Tails, you lose.’ ” Ms. Francis imagines a half-dozen ways a merger could take place — how the United States might buy out Canada, Louisiana Purchase-style, or set up resource funds to pay dividends to Canadian citizens. Politically, Canada’s provinces might seek entry as U.S. states — or perhaps as a commonwealth if Quebec wished to preserve a government of its own. They could form a federal union, a la unified Germany, create an overarching council (the Swiss model) or establish a coordinating government (the EU model). Ms. Francis never coins a name for her potential superstate. If Canada’s provinces became U.S. states, then they would simply be absorbed into the United States of America.

Harper’s Canada: Hypocrisy And Double Standards

Canadians are criticizing the Harper government for dismissing UN concerns about the human rights situation in the country.Canada is currently undergoing a Universal Periodic Review at the UN, where members have expressed concern about the plight of the countrys indigenous people. The world is taking note of the ruling Conservatives shameful betrayal of Canadas once admirable reputation as a fair country sincerely working on the world stage to improve the lot of the disadvantaged and suffering. In the UN Human Rights Councils Universal Periodic Review, Canada was criticized to such an extent that the Council decided to send the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, representatives of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to investigate the situation in Canada. Harper learns a lesson in diplomacy However, the talking point in diplomatic circles world over is the hypocrisy and double standards of Harper when he decided to boycott the Commonwealth conference scheduled to be held in Sri Lankas capital Colombo next month.Many Canadians point out that Harper has slipped to the lowest level a leader of any country could fall to.At the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in Bali, Harper was snubbed by the prime ministers of New Zealand and Australia when Harper brought the subject of boycotting the CHOGM in Sri Lanka. They both told Harper, in no uncertain terms, that they would attend the Commonwealth conference in Colombo.Harper learnt a lesson from Tony Abbott, who was only recently elected as the Prime Minister of Australia, when he was told by Abbott how to deal with friends and how to develop friendships. Abbott said he considered Sri Lanka to be a friend. David Cameron snubbed Harper months ago. The Queens decision to send her son Prince Charles to Sri Lanka to represent her is also seen as a new beginning for the Commonwealth. Harper has failed to see that move by the British monarchy. Hugh Segal, one of Harpers men who visited Sri Lanka recently last week, stooped to the lowest level and called a very highly respected former Indian diplomat, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Kamlesh Sharma a stooge.Sources close to Harper say that Segal had the blessings of the Canadian Prime Minister to call Sharma a stooge of the Sri Lankan government. Sources further pointed out that Harper had isolated himself and Canada on the world stage by his foolishness and immaturity. No sense of foreign relations Harper and his highly inexperienced Foreign Minister John Baird have no sense of foreign relations. They have completely ignored the advice given by several senior Canadian diplomats on improving relations with Sri Lanka. Harper and Baird are considered restless and inexperienced and are no match for the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is known to hail from a family involved in politics for over 67 years.The President himself has been in politics for over 45 years and is considered the most successful Sri Lankan President ever. Rajapaksa, unlike his predecessors, has made a name for himself on the world stage for his boldness, strong convictions and his leadership.