Take stock – May 26

The federal government is re-introducing legislation to stop unwanted spam on computers and cell phones and guard against identity theft.

Anti-spam law could be in place by end of the year

OTTAWA — The federal government is re-introducing legislation to stop unwanted spam on computers and cell phones and guard against identity theft. Industry Minister Tony Clement says if all goes well the legislation could be in force by the end of the year. Clement says Canada is an outlier among advanced nations for the lack of effective laws against spam, unwanted solicitations or even threats over computers and other wireless devices. That has allowed spammers to set up shop in Canada and victimize individuals not only here, but around the world. The government intends to create a spam-reporting centre to work with government enforcement agencies with the power to shut down sites. Charities, political parties, pollsters and businesses with an established relationship with a recipient would be exempt from the controls.


Most industries recovering from slump

OTTAWA — The Conference Board is expecting most industries in Canada to recover from recessionary levels, and some very quickly.

The Ottawa-based private-sector forecaster says professional services and commodity-based industries, notably oil and gas support activities, will post the fastest rebounds.

Manufacturing, however, will struggle to return to pre-recession levels —particularly producers who supply components for other manufacturers.

That is because of the still-high Canadian dollar and large excess factory capacity. The projections were completed about a month ago before the European debt crisis began roiling markets and slicing about seven per cent off the Canadian dollar’s value versus the U.S. currency. But the Conference Board’s Michael Burt said Tuesday the long-term forecast for commodity prices and the loonie remain strong.

The economic think-tank’s report forecasts industries that support the oil and gas will more than double profits this year.