Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 15th 2015 Contents TORONTO---Canada has posted a
budget surplus after six straight years
The government announced Monday
a $1.9 billion Canadian (US$1.4 billion)
surplus for last year. It had been
predicting a $2 billion Canadian (US$1.5
billion) deficit with expectations for a
surplus this year.
The good news for Conservative
Prime Minister Stephen Harper comes
as he seeks a rare fourth term in the
October 19 election.
Canada fell into a recession in the first
six months of the year, dragged down
by falling energy prices and economic
troubles in China.
"In spite of all the problems of the
world this country has a balanced
budget. This is incredibly good news,"
Harper said at a campaign event in
The Canadian economy retreated at
an annual pace of 0.5 per cent from
April through June after sliding 0.8 per
cent the first three months of the year,
Statistics Canada reported earlier this
month. Canada is the world's 11th-
biggest economy and the United States'
biggest trading partner.
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
Canada posts surplus after six years of deficits
Garth Baptiste, director of Prop-
erties and Projects at Unicomer Ltd,
said more floor space has been
added at the Courts Megastore in
El Socorro to help the furniture
retailer maintain its competitive
edge in the T&T market.
"We moved some of our service
areas and we relocated them on the
outside of the Mega Store building.
We have a 3,000 or 4,000 square
foot storage facility on the outside.
We have our service centre, which is
equipped to handle all repairs
throughout the country and we also
have our service centre at Santa Rosa.
These were already in house so what
we have done is taken away that space
and freed it up so we have freed up
about 4,000 square feet in store. It
is a bigger and better Megastore now,"
he said yesterday at Court s relaunch
at its Megastore.
Baptiste said in addition to more
floor space there are several enhance-
ments throughout the store.
"It is more of an experience
rather than just coming in to just
shop," he said, adding that prices
and quality products keeps them
as a market leader.
"This is where we add value to
your home. Here at Courts we believe
that you will get the best value for
your price and so we have a price
range and so it is not just for the high
end. We also have middle income
type items so you have a nice price
range for your pocket. It is what we
offer customers and they get good
value. In the market we are still hold-
ing our own at number one," he said.
Commenting on the impact of by
online shopping, Baptiste said: "If
you look at the market surveys you
will see that online sales are increas-
ing. However, furniture has always
been a brick and mortar type busi-
ness. People want to come in and sit
on a sofa, they want to come in and
see a dining room table. That is where
the experience of a megastore comes
in and it beats any online experience
you can have."
Director at Unicomer Trinidad Ltd Gillian Matthews, centre, distributes
tokens to customers at the relaunch of the Courts Megastore in El Socorro
yesterday. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Newly appointed Agriculture
Minister Clarence Rambharat is
starting off his first full week in
the position by meeting with key
stakeholders in the sector. He
said in an interview that he will
he holding talks with officials
the Agricultural Society of TT
(ASTT), the Tableland Farmers
Pineapple Association and the
Sheep and Goat Farmers Asso-
The minister said he has plans
to push the sector forward and
wants to touch base with agri-
cultural organizations to find out,
among other things, the extent to
which they use technology and
modern procedures to conduct
Contacted for comment,
spokespersons for some of the
group s Rambharat will be meet-
ing with over the next few days
had their own wish lists they
wanted to share with the Minis-
ter.Shiraz Khan, head of T&T
Farmers Union, said he wants the
new minister to address the issues
of leases. Khan said many farmers
are without leases---some have
not received leases while others
have not had their leases renewed.
He said their is also need for a
clear land use policy to promote
agriculture, enhance food security
and reduce the food import bill.
Ramash Ramsumair, chairman
of the Table Pineapple Framers
Association, wants to see more
initiatives aimed at educating cit-
izens to take an active role in agri-
culture. He said he wants to see
every household involved in some
level of food production as a
means of reducing T&T s high
food import bill.
He also plans to speak to the
minister about declining pineapple
production. Ramsumair said a few
years ago 2000 acres of land under
pineapple production but the fig-
ure dropped by 75 per cent over
the past few years.
ASTT president Dhano Sookoo
said she wants the new minister
to look at realigning all of the insti-
tutions in the ministry and the
sector because there are too many
"square pegs in round holes." She
said urgent steps should be taken
to develop the sector using modern
"An aggressive drive is needed
to encourage the export of local
produce to fill the demand of the
West Indian diaspora in North
America, Europe and regional
market," Sookoo said.
Courts adds more
New minister meets
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