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  • Dec 18- Unifor, Canada's largest private sector workers' union, said it was unable to reach agreement with Canadian National Railway Co after months of negotiations. Unifor, which has five collective agreements with CN Rail, had opened talks in September on contracts for about 5,000 workers across the country. "CN remains optimistic that it can reach an agreement...

  • UPDATE 2-Canada unveils major wireless spectrum plan Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 5:18 PM ET

    By that point, a quarter of all wireless spectrum will be held by companies other than the three dominant national wireless providers- Rogers Communications Inc, Telus Corp and BCE Inc's Bell- that had previously controlled some 97 percent of the airwaves, Industry Minister James Moore said at an event in Vancouver. The plan, which includes blocking those three...

  • The greenback hit a 28- month high against the Swiss franc at 0.9847 franc after the Swiss National Bank said it would impose an interest rate of -0.25 percent on some large deposits held by investors in francs, as it seeks to discourage buying of the currency as a safe haven. The euro hit its lowest level against the dollar since Dec. 8, at $1.2266, while the dollar...

  • Questions and answers about traveling to Cuba Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 2:51 PM ET

    While the U.S. plans to restore diplomatic ties with the Caribbean island nation, globe-trotting tourists won't be able to hop on a plane to Havana anytime soon. Still, travel companies are salivating at the chance to set up shop in Cuba. Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International and the Carnival Corp. all expressed interest this...

  • That is about to change with more Americans being allowed to travel to Cuba after President Barack Obama moved this week to restore diplomatic relations, even though tourism remains restricted. "Right now we come to Cuba and.. things are pretty much as they were," Dugald Wells, chief executive officer of Cuba Cruise said from Toronto. Canada, which has had diplomatic...

  • TORONTO, Dec 18- Europe, Russia and the Ukraine have a common interest in finding a solution to the region's recent problems and Russia should be viewed as part of Europe, the chief executive of Societe Generale said on Thursday. "Just keep in mind that Russia is part of Europe," he told a business audience in Toronto. Europe, Ukraine, Russia have a common interest to find...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 18- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting the labor market continued to strengthen. "The economy continues to run hard as it finishes out the year," said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits...

  • Aer Lingus rejects bid by British Airways parent Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 11:24 AM ET

    DUBLIN— Irish airline Aer Lingus has rejected a takeover bid by the International Consolidated Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways and Spain's Iberia. Those gains were sharply pared after IAG issued a statement confirming its proposal had been rejected by the Aer Lingus board, but the stock still finished Dublin trading up 9 percent at a...

  • Canada man finds woman for free trip around world Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 7:59 AM ET

    TORONTO— A Toronto man who made headlines last month by offering a free round-the-world air ticket to a woman with the same name as his ex-girlfriend has found Ms. Jordan Axani, 28, and his then girlfriend, named Elizabeth Gallagher, booked heavily discounted round-the-world air tickets in May, but their relationship ended and he didn't want her ticket to go to...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- A tiny mutual fund based in Miami, a clutch of cruise line operators and a Canadian natural resources company rank among the early winners in the Obama administration's surprise move on Wednesday to thaw relations with Cuba. While the Cuban economy is small, with gross domestic product of roughly $70 billion, according to the World Bank,...

  • CALGARY, Alberta, Dec 17- Chevron Corp is putting a plan to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea in Canada's Arctic on hold indefinitely because of what it called "economic uncertainty in the industry" as oil prices fall. In a letter to Canada's National Energy Board on Wednesday, the company withdrew from a hearing on Arctic drilling rules because it has walked away...

  • VANCOUVER, Dec 17- Canada is looking for 50 wealthy foreigners to join a pilot run of an immigration program for millionaires, although applicants will have to be far richer than those who entered under a previous scheme and will also need language skills to get in. The federal government, which scrapped its previous investor class visa earlier this year amid...

  • Alaska ferry project caught in flap over US steel Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 4:38 PM ET

    JUNEAU, Alaska— A U.S. requirement that American steel be used to update an Alaska ferry terminal is causing some tension with Canadian officials, potentially threatening the project. The terminal is on Canadian soil, in British Columbia, but the land is leased to the state of Alaska. In these tough economic times, Canada and Alaska should be working together to...

  • Canadian chain postpones 'The Interview' showings Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 3:46 PM ET

    TORONTO— Canada's dominant theater chain has postponed its planning showings of the film "The Interview." Cineplex joins other top theater chains in North America that have changed their plans after hackers threatened terrorist attacks at theaters showing the comedy. Pat Marshall, a spokeswoman for Cineplex, said Wednesday that "Cineplex takes seriously its...

  • Dec 17- The United States move to normalize relations with Cuba could pave the way for Sherritt International Corp to export nickel and cobalt to one of the biggest markets in the world, the miner's Chief Executive David Pathe told Reuters. Sherritt shares jumped as much as 36 percent on Wednesday after President Barack Obama moved to thaw a five-decade freeze...

  • OTTAWA, Dec 17- Canada's decision to host secret talks between the United States and Cuba on normalizing relations allowed the two countries the discretion they needed, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Wednesday. In a brief statement, Harper congratulated the two on their successful dialogue and said Canada supported a future for Cuba that fully...

  • NEW YORK/ TORONTO, Dec 17- BlackBerry Ltd launched its long-awaited Classic on Wednesday, a smartphone it hopes will help it win back market share and woo those still using older versions of its physical keyboard devices. "The conversation about BlackBerry has changed in the last year," Chief Executive John Chen said as he launched the Classic at Manhattan's...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- A tiny mutual fund based in Miami, a clutch of cruise line operators and a Canadian natural resources company are the early winners in the Obama administration's surprise move on Wednesday to thaw relations with Cuba. While the Cuban economy is small, with gross domestic product of roughly $70 billion, according to the World Bank, comparable to...

  • EU lawmakers fail to approve tar sands oil veto Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 12:56 PM ET

    BRUSSELS, Dec 17- An attempt by some European politicians to veto the import of tar sands oil failed on Wednesday after a European Parliament vote, giving a boost to Canada but dismaying green campaigners. After years of lobbying from Canada, the European Commission published a new plan in October on reporting the greenhouse gas intensity of transport fuels.

  • Bird flu found in wild birds in Washington state - USDA Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 12:18 PM ET

    Dec 17- Two strains of avian influenza have been confirmed in wild birds in Washington state, near the U.S. border with Canada, but there is no immediate cause for public health concerns, U.S. agriculture officials said on Wednesday. The other strain, H5N8, was found in captive gyrfalcons that were fed hunter-killed wild birds, the USDA said. Neither virus has been...