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Les prix de l’essence seront volatils en 2019, selon des experts

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La baisse des prix mondiaux du pétrole a provoqué une réduction des prix de l’essence dans la plupart des régions du Canada juste à temps pour le temps des Fêtes, mais selon des experts spécialisés dans ce marché, les prix à la pompe seront plus volatils en 2019 et les automobilistes pourraient en payer le prix.

Dan McTeague, analyste principal du secteur pétrolier pour le site spécialisé GasBuddy.com, croit que les automobilistes doivent faire le plein de carburant avant la fin de l’année puisque tout porte à croire, selon lui, à des hausses pour 2019.

Il note qu’en ce moment, les prix de l’essence sont à leur plus bas depuis 18 mois en raison des prix mondiaux du pétrole qui ont chuté au cours des dernières semaines.

Selon lui, de nombreux facteurs sur la scène internationale, notamment la dispute commerciale entre la Chine et les États-Unis, ont une influence sur les bas prix à la pompe.

Un autre analyste, Michael Ervin du Kent Group Ltd, croit pour sa part que la surabondance de carburant sur le marché nord-américain est causée par une demande plus faible que prévu. Il croit également que l’obligation pour certaines raffineries de produire de l’essence en excès afin de fabriquer du diesel, un sous-produit de l’essence très demandé, joue aussi dans la balance.

Ce n’est pas spécifique à l’économie albertaine, ni à l’économie canadienne, mais bien à la quantité d’essence disponible actuellement dans le contexte nord-américain, explique M. Erwin.

Malgré une brève reprise du marché mercredi, les prix moyens de l’essence ordinaire restent en deçà des prix qui étaient affichés à pareille date l’an dernier.

Comparativement à pareille date l’an dernier :

  • 17 cents de moins le litre en Alberta et en Ontario;
  • 12 cents de moins au Manitoba;
  • 6 cents de moins au Québec;
  • 11 cents de moins en Nouvelle-Écosse;
  • 3 cents de moins à Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador;
  • 7 cents de moins à l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard.

Dan McTeague note qu’en ce moment les prix en Colombie-Britannique sont en hausse en moyenne de deux à six cents le litre par rapport à la même période l’an dernier. Il ajoute cependant que les prix seraient plus bas sans l’effet de l’interruption de l’importation de carburant en provenance de l’État de Washington, causé en raison de l’arrêt à la mi-décembre d’un pipeline qui relie les deux juridictions.

L’indice de référence américain West Texas Intermediate a plongé à 42,53 dollars américains le baril la veille de Noël, en baisse de 44 % par rapport à 76,41 dollars américains le baril le 3 octobre. L’indice a tout de même rebondi à 46,22 dollars américains mercredi, mais la tendance était à la baisse jeudi à la fermeture des marchés.

Selon M. McTeague, la « volatilité extrême » des marchés pétroliers devrait continuer à faire influencer grandement les prix de l’essence au Canada au début de 2019.

M. Erwin pense quant à lui que les prix resteront bas jusqu’à ce que la demande augmente au printemps.

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Ottawa unveils funding for poultry and egg farmers hurt by free-trade deals

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Canadian egg and poultry farmers who’ve lost domestic market share due to two recent free-trade agreements will soon have access to $691 million in federal cash, Canada’s agriculture minister announced Saturday.

Marie-Claude Bibeau shared details of the long-awaited funds in a virtual news conference.

“Today we position our young farmers for growth and success tomorrow,” she said.

The money follows a previously announced $1.75 billion for the dairy sector linked to free-trade deals with Europe and countries on the Pacific Rim, one that came into effect in 2017 and the other in 2018.

The dairy sector funds were to flow over eight years, and the first $345 million payment was sent out last year.

But on Saturday, Bibeau announced a schedule for the remaining payments that will see the money flow over three years — beginning with $468 million in 2020-21, $469 million in 2021-22 and $468 million in 2022-23.

Bibeau said the most recently announced funds for dairy farmers amount to an average farm of 80 cows receiving a direct payment of $38,000 in the first year.

Payments based on formulas

David Wiens, vice-president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada, said the money will help farms make investments for the future.

“I think particularly for the younger farmers who have really struggled since these agreements have been ratified, they can actually now see opportunities, how they can continue to make those investments on the farm so that they can continue on,” he said.

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Employee of Ottawa Metro store tests positive for COVID-19

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Metro says an employee of its grocery store on Beechwood Avenue in Ottawa has tested positive for COVID-19.

The company says the employee’s positive test result was reported on Nov. 25. The employee had last been at work at the Metro at 50 Beechwood Ave. on Nov. 19.

Earlier this month, Metro reported several cases of COVID-19 at its warehouse on Old Innes Road.

Positive test results were reported on Nov. 2, Nov. 6, Nov. 11, and Nov. 19. The first two employees worked at the produce warehouse at 1184 Old Innes Rd. The other two worked at the distribution centre at the same address.

Metro lists cases of COVID-19 in employees of its stores and warehouses on its website

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Tinseltown: Where 50-year-old ‘tough guys’ become youngsters again

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Audy Czigler wears glitter like a Pennsylvania miner wears coal dust. It’s on his face and hands, in his hair and on his clothing. It’s an occupational hazard that he says he just can’t get rid of.

And when he’s sifting through job applications from people wanting to work at his Tinseltown Christmas Emporium on Somerset Street W. in Hintonburg, the glitter is a consideration. For he’s not looking for people who can simply endure it; no, he’s screening for people who revel and carouse in glitter, for those for whom the 10,000th playing of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus is as refreshing as the first, for those who believe that the 12 days of Christmas last 365 days a year. The believers.

Sure, he has heard the voices of skeptical passersby on the sidewalk outside his shop, especially in the summer months when visions of sugarplums have receded from many people’s minds.

“I hear them out there a few times a day,” he says, “wondering how a Christmas store can possibly survive year-round.

“I want to go out and tell them,” he adds, but his voice trails off as a customer approaches and asks about an ornament she saw there recently, of a red cardinal in a white heart. Where is it?

There’s scant room for sidewalk skeptics now, crowded out by the dozens of shoppers who, since October, have regularly lined up outside the store, patiently biding their time (and flocks) as pandemic-induced regulations limit the shop to 18 customers at a time.

Once inside, visitors will be forgiven for not first noticing the glitter, or even the rendition of Baby, It’s Cold Outside playing on the speakers. For there’s no specific “first thing” you notice. The first thing you notice is EVERYTHING — a floor-to-ceiling cornucopia of festivity, reminiscent perhaps of how the blind man in the Gospel of John may have felt when Jesus rubbed spit and mud in his eyes and gave him sight for the first time.

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/tinseltown-where-50-year-old-tough-guys-become-youngsters-again

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