Daily Archives:December 12, 2017

New Liberal MP Gordie Hogg plays down federal implications of by-election win

12 Dec 17
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Even as Gordie Hogg prepares to go to Ottawa as South Surrey-White Rock’s new Liberal MP, he is warning his party against drawing assumptions from his milestone by-election win about its prospects of holding or bolstering its B.C. ranks in the next federal election in 2019.

“No doubt it’s a positive statement,” Mr. Hogg said of his win by about 1,600 votes over Conservative Kerry-Lynne Findlay, a national revenue minister under former prime minister Stephen Harper. “What that means in terms of the future? I don’t know the answer to that.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Hogg was crediting his personal profile, campaign team, shifting demographics and two campaign visits by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for tipping things the Liberal way in an area of the Lower Mainland that has not elected Liberals in decades. The South Surrey-White Rock area has tended to send conservative-minded politicians to Ottawa, most recently former Conservative MP Dianne Watts.

Among the four federal by-elections across Canada held Monday, the South Surrey-White Rock race was a notable wild card because it was close in 2015 when Ms. Watts won by about 1,500 votes over the Liberal candidate.

That narrow 2015 win meant an all-out fight this year when Ms. Watts precipitated a by-election by quitting the seat to seek the leadership of the BC Liberals. Mr. Hogg was a cabinet minister in governments of the BC Liberals, who have no connections with their federal namesake.

Mr. Trudeau and federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, each visited the riding twice for campaign events. With the NDP coming in a distant third in 2015, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh did not visit to make the case for the NDP candidate.

While Mr. Hogg was wary about grand forecasts, the Liberals and Conservatives seized on the outcome of the by-election, with its turnout of about 38 per cent, to speculate on its significance.

Braeden Caley, senior federal Liberal communications director, said in a statement that B.C. is now represented by 18 Liberal MPs – out of 42 seats – as a result of the work of party volunteers, “and that hard work to keep earning the support of British Columbians and all Canadians will continue in earnest on the road to the next election in 2019.”

Cory Hann, communications director for the Tories, said in his own statement that the party knew it was facing a tough fight in South Surrey-White Rock given the 2015 results.

“The Conservative Party was the only party to make gains nationwide, and like any good hockey team, Conservatives know that going down a goal in the first period just means we have to work even harder going forward.”

On Tuesday, Ms. Findlay declined an interview.

Mr. Hogg, 71, said his local profile likely helped clinch the seat. In addition to his work in provincial politics, he is also known for being a councillor in White Rock as well as serving as mayor of the seaside community. “One of the things for this riding that was quite meaningful for me was a number of people who were supporting me as opposed to political parties,” he said.

Political scientist Hamish Telford said Mr. Hogg was making a valid point.

“But I think it also has something to do with Trudeau just being much better known than Andrew Scheer and still, evidently, well liked,” said Mr. Telford, an academic at the University of the Fraser Valley.

Mr. Telford said it does not appear that scandals around, for example, Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s management of his personal assets, hurt. “Voters seemed to have been tuning out the scandals. It’s all inside Ottawa.”

He said it’s clear, from the by-election, that there’s a lesson for Mr. Scheer. “If he didn’t know it already, he has his work cut out for him. Certainly back in 2015, the Conservatives underestimated Justin Trudeau. They still love to mock him and there still might be some underestimating him as a leader and as a campaigner.”

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

December 22 and 23 2017 may be busiest supermarket days

12 Dec 17
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  • Friday and Saturday before Christmas may be record breaking for supermarkets
  • Kantar Worldpanel estimates £1.5bn to be spent in supermarkets in two days
  • Data also shows that Britons now have a taste for ‘premium’ alcohol 
  • Aldi is fastest growing supermarket in the last three months 

The Friday and Saturday before Christmas could be the busiest supermarket shopping days in history, according to consumer panel Kantar Worldpanel.

Christmas Day falls on a Monday this year and the last time that happened, in 2006, the Friday before was the most popular day for grocery shopping that year.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, says that if we see a similar pattern in 2017, Friday 22 December is likely to win out as the ‘grocers enjoy not only the biggest shopping day of 2017, but the most successful ever recorded.’

He adds: ‘Over Friday 22 and Saturday 23 December, we expect shoppers to part with an eye-watering £1.5billion as they fill their trollies ahead of Christmas Day.’

Christmas dash: It is estimated £1.5bn will be spent on 22 and 23 December - while data shows Aldi is once again the fastest growing supermarket

Christmas dash: It is estimated £1.5bn will be spent on 22 and 23 December – while data shows Aldi is once again the fastest growing supermarket

Meanwhile, its data shows shoppers have splashed out £172million more on alcohol in the last 12 weeks compared to last year, as Britons turn their attentions to upmarket tipples.

Latest supermarket figures show that the growth is mainly a result of shoppers choosing more expensive ‘premium’ alcohol, although the volume of sales has also increased.

Sales of gin are up 26 per cent, whisky 10 per cent and sparkling wine seven per cent – while a big seller this year is non-alcoholic beer, with sales up 27 per cent to the 12 weeks to 3 December 2017.

The figures show supermarket sales have increased 3.1 per cent annually, despite like-for-like grocery inflation of 3.6 per cent – the highest level since 2013.

It comes following a period of grocery price deflation which ran for 30 consecutive periods from September 2014 to December 2016. It’s based on 75,000 products.

Kantar says the price of butter, fish and fresh pork continue to rise, while only a few products are seeing prices fall, such as fresh poultry and crisps.

Market share: Tesco continues to be miles ahead of its rivals - while Aldi continues to make ground on Morrisons

Market share: Tesco continues to be miles ahead of its rivals – while Aldi continues to make ground on Morrisons

Aldi fastest growing supermarket 

Meanwhile, Aldi has reclaimed its crown as Britain’s fastest growing supermarket in the last three months, with sales up 15.1 per cent annually.

This compares to 14.5 per cent at its German rival Lidl.

Fraser McKevitt said: ‘Aldi saw notable successes in the chilled aisle, increasing sales of convenience products like ready meals and desserts by an impressive 40 per cent year-on-year.


The German discounter has seen a surge in popularity in the last 18 months as it appears more shoppers are willing to give it a go.

Earlier in the year, This is Money went behind the scenes to see the secrets of its growing success, including using the same suppliers as upmarket rivals and the cunning strategy behind the ‘special buy’ middle aisles.

You can read the full feature here: Behind the scenes at Aldi – 17 secrets of its success 


‘Aldi’s Specially Selected line was the UK’s fastest growing premium own label brand during the past 12 weeks, enjoying a healthy sales increase of 25 per cent.

‘Meanwhile Lidl’s market share increased by 0.5 percentage points to stand at 5.1 per cent. 

‘This was helped by a strong performance from well-known brands, which currently account for 11 per cent of the retailer’s sales.’

The biggest four grocers saw collective growth of 1.9 per cent during the past 12 weeks, making this the ninth consecutive period of increasing sales for the UK’s largest retailers.

Tesco – with sales up 2.5 per cent compared to this time last year – was the fastest growing of the four.

Despite its market share falling by 0.1 percentage points to 28.2 per cent, Tesco remains Britain’s most-visited retailer – welcoming a huge 21million households during the last three months.

Sainsbury’s grew sales by two per cent, with its market share falling to 16.3 per cent. Meanwhile Morrisons’ market share fell to 10.6 per cent, despite an annual sales boost of 1.4 per cent year, showing just how much the German discounters are denting market share.

Sales also grew at Asda – up 1.2 per cent – with market share down by 0.3 percentage points.

Comparison: Almost all supermarkets have seen spend up - only Co-op bucks the trend

Comparison: Almost all supermarkets have seen spend up – only Co-op bucks the trend

Waitrose and Iceland both increased sales, up by 1.6 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively. 

Co-op’s sales fell by 1.5 per cent, taking market share down 0.3 percentage points to six per cent.

The data also shows that online supermarket sales growth has slowed considerably to just 2.8 per cent in the last 12 weeks – but it is still likely to be a record December for grocery e-commerce. 

Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

Liberals retain two safe seats, Conservatives keep another in federal byelections

12 Dec 17
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The federal Liberals held on to a pair of safe seats and the Conservatives hung onto a safe seat of their own in three of four federal byelections held Monday night.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Liberals easily retained Bonavista-Burin-Trinity, the safest Liberal seat in the country.

Liberal Churence Rogers took 69.2 per cent of the vote — 46 percentage points ahead of his nearest competitor, Conservative Mike Windsor, who did manage to double his share of the vote from the 2015 general election.

Roger will replace popular Liberal predecessor, Judy Foote, who retired from cabinet and federal politics due to family health concerns.

In Toronto’s Scarborough-Agincourt riding, Liberal Jean Yip was leading with 49.6 per cent of the vote with 155 of 197 polls reporting.

The riding was left vacant by the death of her husband, Arnold Chan.

With 110 of 138 polls reporting in the safe Tory riding of Battlefords-Lloydminster in Saskatchewan, Conservative Rosemarie Falk enjoyed a strong lead with 69 per cent of the vote — more than 55 points ahead of any of her competitors.

The B-C contest in South Surrey-White Rock is the only one of the four byelections where the seat could change hands.

With 75 of 199 polls reporting, that contest was still too close to call.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail