The biggest threat to Canada’s fragile economic recovery isn’t oil – National

As recessions go, Canada just experienced about as mild of a downturn as it gets in the first half of the year, and is once again in growth mode, economists from TD Bank said in a new forecast on Monday.

“The weakness in the first half of the year is in the rear-view mirror and the Canadian economy stands ready to resume growth,” the new report said.

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The country’s economy will expand by 1.2 per cent for the whole year, according to TD, but “the annual figure masks a rebound in the second half of the year” as growth kicks back into gear at an annualized clip of 2.5 per cent.

Not great most economists would say, but not bad either.

MORE: ‘Best. Recession. Ever.’

A lower loonie and rising U.S. demand means exports are finally “back in the game,” as evidenced by strong trade numbers in June and July, the latest data available. A discounted Canadian dollar – which TD now sees dropping to as low at 73 cents US – is also fueling the second-half rebound through increased tourism, with foreigners taking advantage of the currency drop.

Low interest rates should keep households in the spending mood, too, buoyed by “modest” employment and income gains, TD said, “resulting in steady, if unremarkable, consumption growth.” All told, the economy will grow just over 2 per cent next year through 2017.

That’s if all goes to plan. But as always, there are risks.

MORE: 5 things to know about the economy ahead of federal leaders debate

“While we consider this the most likely outcome, we cannot ignore a number of prominent downside risks to the outlook,” TD chief economist Beata Caranci, deputy chief economist Derek Burleton and economist Brian DePratto, said.

‘Largest risk’

The biggest potential disruption to Canada’s growth plans is admittedly a broad one consisting of several components, the biggest being China and the slowdown now gripping the world’s second-biggest economy.

A slowdown abroad, led by China, poses a bigger threat than a housing bust or debt bubble among Canadian households, TD said.

What happens in China matters to Canada, which is a net exporter of commodities. China accounts for as much as 80 per cent of new metal demand at any given time, and a third of worldwide oil demand, according to TD’s economists.

“China is a major driver of global [commodity] prices,” they said.

MORE: 5 reasons why China’s ‘new normal’ is rattling world markets

While U.S.-bound exports are poised to rise, it remains uncertain what the slowdown in China will mean for exported goods and materials headed for it as well as other regions – a Chinese slowdown is symptomatic of a slowing global economy, experts say.

TD’s 2016 outlook “depends” on a Canadian export boom next year for more than a quarter of the bank’s estimated GDP growth. “Any disappointment in exports presents a key risk to our outlook,” the economists said.

Here’s how TD sees Canada’s economic growth quarter by quarter over the next couple of years:

WATCH: With Canada in a recession, the economy is going to be top of mind for voters. Here’s a quick explainer on how we got into a recession and what it means to Canadians.

Soap star blasts Viola Davis’ Emmy win on Twitter – National

Viola Davis’ history-making Emmy win and call for more diversity on TV thrilled most viewers of Sunday’s Emmycast.

But not soap star Nancy Lee Grahn. Instead, the long-time cast member of General Hospital had a 桑拿会所 fit.

“Emmys not venue 4 racial opportunity,” she declared in a tweet later deleted.

This was followed by a tweet hailing Davis, the star of ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder who became the first African-American to win a best actress Emmy, as “the bees knees.” But Grahn said Davis has never been discriminated against.

WATCH: ‘It doesn’t end here,’ says Viola Davis after historic Emmy win

Before long, Grahn seemed to cool off, tweeting that Davis is “a goddess.”

Finally came a string of apologies.

“Color me heartbroken,” tweeted Grahn, observing, “桑拿会所 can bring out the best & sadly tonight the worst of us.”

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©2015The Canadian Press

Suncor increases stake in Fort Hills

CALGARY – Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) is tightening its grip on the Fort Hills oilsands project by paying $310 million to take an additional 10 per cent stake off one of its partners hands.

The seller is Total E&P Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Paris-based Total SA, which will retain a 29.2 per cent interest — remaining the second-largest partner after Suncor.

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Once the transaction closes, Suncor will own 50.8 per cent of the $15-billion project and 20 per cent will be owned by Teck Resources Ltd. (TSX:TCK.B), which has waived its right to increase its share proportionately.

The deal comes as U.S. crude prices hover at around US$46 a barrel — around half of where they were a year ago — with no end to the doldrums in sight.

In a release, Total said it had weighed how its global assets stack up in the context of low oil prices and decided to reduce exposure to Canada’s oilsands.

Despite the gloomy outlook, Suncor CEO Steve Williams said the purchase makes sense in the long term.

“This opportunity to acquire an additional interest at a discounted price underscores Suncor’s confidence in its position within the oilsands,” he said in a release.

“We consider this project to be one of the best opportunities for long-term sustainable growth in the industry today, thanks to the exceptional quality of the resource and our disciplined project execution.”

Suncor said the transaction can be undertaken within its current 2015 capital budget of between $5.8 billion and $6.4 billion. Engineering is over 90 per cent complete and construction is more than 40 per cent complete.

The mine, north of Fort McMurray, Alta., is expected to start producing oil in late 2017, eventually ramping up to 180,000 barrels a day.

Desjardins Capital Markets analyst Justin Bouchard said there’s a strategic element to the deal, as Suncor now has majority control of Fort Hills.

“We believe this reduces the operational risk of the project,” he wrote in a research note. “For items that require majority approval, Suncor now has the ability to move ahead without its partners (if needed).”

In all, Suncor’s capital spending increase at Fort Hills is estimated at just over $1 billion, when both the acquisition and $700 million in future spending is taken into account.

In a research note, CIBC analyst Arthur Grayfer said Suncor is getting a good deal for the price — the increased stake means an additional 18,000 barrels of day of production that won’t decline for 50 years.

Assuming prices improve, Grayfer said Fort Hills will be the “free cash flow engine for all growth initiatives for the next decade.”

Follow @LaurenKrugel on 桑拿会所.

The best looks from the Emmys red carpet – National

Taraji P. Henson wowed in a custom lace Alexander Wang gown in black with bike-chain straps, and Amy Schumer stepped up her fashion game in a strapless blue-grey Zac Posen as the Emmys parade of pretty kicked off Sunday in Los Angeles.

Henson paired her edgy look that had a tiny, triangular cutout below the breast with a bob and minimal jewelry. Of the designer, Henson said: “He was my first date to the Met ball so I thought he should shine tonight.”

READ MORE: Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls movement wins the Emmys 2015 red carpet

If two is a trend then count Claire Danes with Henson as she, too, went for chunky chain details, her look a purple sequin Prada with gold links at the shoulders and sides.

“It IS a little rock star-esque,” she said.

Schumer did a little dance as she walked with her sister in her busty full gown. “We feel like the evil stepsisters,” she said. “We’re pretty psyched.”

Joanna Newsom went way outside the box as she walked the red carpet with hubby and the evening’s host, Andy Samberg, in a strapless Delpozo creation that had a huge oval applique with seashells on it, choosing a back ‘do with a severe middle part that hid her ears. She appeared more kicky nun than wow.

Some adored Heidi Klum’s Atelier Versace silk chiffon confection with one long, flowing sleeve and a skinny strap on the other side. Sheer to the upper thigh and dotted with crystals, it was busily adorned with petals.

“I called Donatella (Versace) and I said, ‘I have to have this canary yellow dress,’ and here it is,” Klum explained.

One of the early ladies in red was youthful Sarah Hyland, in a fitted maroon Zac Posen with an elegant neckline and a dainty strap falling to the shoulders and encircling her back. She rocked a wavy bob and sexy side part.

“I’m so sweaty,” she said. Styled by Brad Goreski, she wore long drop earrings and a jewel-encrusted cuff of the same colour.

Mindy Kaling, Padma Lakshmi, Taylor Schilling and Dascha Polanco joined the yellow patrol. It wasn’t possible for Lakshmi to be any sexier in her bombshell Romona Keveza in chartreuse. The strapless gown featured a draped silk sweetheart bodice and showed off her curves.

“It fits me, which is impressive,” the beauty smiled.

Jaimie Alexander of NBC’s Blindspot glistened from neck to toe in a body-hugging, blue, purple and red Armani Prive she wore with a slicked-back ‘do and delicate purple crystal earrings from Baccarat.

“It covers all the leftover tattoo residual stuff I have on my body right now,” she said of her high neckline and long sleeves.

In the all-about-the-pattern department, Zoe Kazan was part peppermint, part test pattern in her swirly striped Miu Miu gown. And that’s just fine with her. She said she picked it because it looked like a candy cane. And it did.

Kazan said she’s a great admirer of designer Miuccia Prada.

Kiernan Shipka, quite the little fashion darling with her regular attendance at New York Fashion Week, earned raves from style maven Nina Garcia on 桑拿会所 for a yellow Dior Haute Couture cut-off ball gown that was embroidered yellow with a sheer panel on top, paired with black wool cigarette pants and simple black heeled pumps.

Garcia tweeted that it was “fun, fashion forward, different & chic.” Others also praised Shipka’s look, but designer Michael Costello, who appeared on Project Runway and now designs his own lines, wasn’t a fan.

“It’s the Emmys and I think you shouldn’t show up looking like you’re wearing two different outfits,” he said. “That was just a fashion disaster.”

Costello loved Schumer’s curvy gown. In fact, he loved all the curves on the red carpet.

“That colour on Amy was absolutely beautiful. She was old Hollywood glamour, but we’re used to seeing that in sizes 2, 4 and 6,” he said. “It’s nice we’re now seeing it in 8, 10 and 12.”

Ellie Kemper in a sleeveless, multicolored Naeem Kahn that had a sparkly, striped design earned accolades. She also wore a big smile, with her hair slicked back in a middle part.

Always the bombshell, Laverne Cox showed up at the Microsoft Theater in a custom Calvin Klein Collection silk crepe dress in teal. It had a cut-out back and was designed by Francisco Costa.

The evening’s bright pop of pink came courtesy of Christine Baranski, worn with golden pearl drop earrings with diamonds from Chopard. Gina Rodriguez dazzled in a strapless paler shade of pink. It was a beaded silk tulle gown by Lorena Sarbu.

Kerry Washington walked in a silver-encrusted Marc Jacobs fresh off the New York Fashion Week runway and falling to the mid-calf with a side slit.

January Jones went for a teal green but in a strapless jumpsuit with a sweetheart neck.

Julianne Hough attended Marchesa’s fashion week show in New York and grabbed Look No. 1 for herself, a strappy black sheer praised by some but criticized by others as a bit too Frederick’s of Hollywood.

And then there was Sofia Vergara, in her usual wow mode. This time, she picked Italian gold lame, a custom gown encrusted with Swarovski stones and designed by St. John with a softly flared train and a curved strapless neckline.

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Rogers Centre flooded after urinal ripped from wall at Friday’s Blue Jays game

TORONTO – In the past, Toronto Blue Jays fans have been called wild and unruly — more than two decades without playoff ball can do that.

Running on the field scaling the outfield walls, vomiting in the stands, and fisticuffs all come to mind. (Yes, this all happened in one season in 2013.)

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But with this year’s team on the cusp of a post-season berth, the first since 1993, one might expect a more gracious or perhaps cordial crowd.

That wasn’t the case at Friday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox when a fan managed to rip a urinal from a bathroom wall around the sixth inning, causing water to flood the concourse level.

READ MORE: Stroman shines in 2015 home debut, holds Red Sox in check as Jays win 6-1

Blue Jays spokesperson Jay Stenhouse confirmed the Herculean feat did take place but could not elaborate on where exactly it happened.

VIDEO: (Tue, Apr 23, 2013): Some have said the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays fans were the most obnoxious ever. Carey Marsden reports.

It didn’t take long though for fans to chime in as several witnesses in attendance were shocked over the incident.

According to the Globe and Mail, water from the cracked pipe flooded the 500 Level concourse and made its way into the Jays’ 400 Level offices disabling an elevator car.

READ MORE: Blue Jays fans make hilarious parody of Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’

Meanwhile, the alleged perpetrator was apparently “half-dressed” during the incident and some on social media suggested he was asleep when conducting his business.

There’s no word yet on the cost of the damages or if the alleged urinal destroyer will be allowed back at future Blue Jays games.