Interest rates going up
The Bank of Canada is expected to increase its prime lending rate today, as it battles the highest inflation levels we’ve seen in 30 years.
Analysts expect a half-point hike in the rate, pushing up the costs of mortgages, lines of credit, and other debt at the chartered banks.
Canada’s annual inflation rate stood at 6.8 percent as of April.
The cost of a basket of groceries has jumped 9.7 percent in the past year, the greatest increase since 1981 while the price of gas has increased by more than 36 per cent over the past year.
It is the last day of campaigning before tomorrow’s Ontario election.
The four main political party leaders are making one last sweep through ridings they think they can win from their opponents.
The polls are open from 9 am to 9 pm.
More than one million people have already cast their votes in advance polls.
Elections Ontario says another 125-thousand requested mail-in ballots.
Recovering slowly from the pandemic
Statistics Canada reports sales at bars and restaurants across the country have surpassed their pre-COVID-19 numbers for the first time since the pandemic began.
The agency says total sales reached 6.8-billion dollars as of March.
That’s 4.9 percent higher than recorded in March of 2019.
But the industry group, Restaurants Canada, notes many of those in the food services sector are carrying high levels of debt, taken on during the pandemic to stay afloat.
It wants governments to extend the deadlines for repaying financial assistance.
Ukrainian officials admit that Russia is now in control of most of the eastern city of Severodonetsk.
It’s the last major urban area in the province of Luhansk in the Donbas region, still under Ukrainian control.
Meantime, U-S President Joe Biden says his country will be sending longer-range missiles to Ukraine, after assurances that the country will not use them to attack Russia itself.
The high-precision rockets will help Ukraine counter the overwhelming advantage Russia has in artillery.
Biden adds that, despite some sabre-rattling, there are no signs Russia is about to employ nuclear weapons.
But he warns their use will mean severe consequences.