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Business News Summary Headlines

Company releases, economic news, and business coverage.

US factory output rose in January for 2nd straight month

WASHINGTON - U.S. manufacturers cranked out more steel, machinery and electronics last month as factories appear to be rebounding after two years of stagnation.

Factory output rose 0.2 per cent in January, its second straight increase, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday . While modest, the gain is equal to the industry's growth in all of 2016.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 09:34 AM

Casting Oscar: Foundry creates each statuette as work of art

ROCK TAVERN, N.Y. - Every Oscar fist-pumped or tearfully cradled by Academy Award winners is first cast, buffed and fussed over at a foundry far from Hollywood.

Workers at the Polich Tallix fine art foundry, about 50 miles north of New York City, began work in late September on the awards to be handed out Feb. 26. Each of the 60 Oscars shipped from the hangar-like production floor is 13 1/2 inches tall with the same distinctive Art Deco features polished to a mirror finish. Each glossy black base lacks only a winner's nameplate, which is added after the ceremony.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 09:28 AM

After Trump, Trudeau to push free trade in Europe with Germany's Merkel

OTTAWA - Justin Trudeau arrives in Europe on Thursday and plans to talk more openly about one of the things he didn't discuss with Donald Trump the merits of free trade in the face of increasingly hostile, populist opposition.

The prime minister is to deliver his pro-trade message in an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France on Thursday a first for a Canadian leader and to top business leaders a day later in Germany.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 09:19 AM

Questions swirl about the effects of the Trudeau-Trump joint declaration

OTTAWA - Even with companies and politicians breathing a little easier after Justin Trudeau's first encounter with U.S. President Donald Trump, it remains to be seen what the two governments actually agreed to.

A day after the Trudeau-Trump tete-a-tete, questions on critical files remained unanswered from trade, to infrastructure, to taxes, to pipelines.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 09:18 AM

B.C. throne speech promises to pay people back as election nears

VICTORIA - The B.C. government says it is time to reap the financial rewards of sustained budget surpluses, promising taxpayers Tuesday that they can expect to see some relief in next week's budget.

Premier Christy Clark said the budget will offer taxpayers help with the fiscal burdens they face, but she wasn't saying much else about what's coming, other than ruling out rebate cheques.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 09:05 AM

B.C. Appeal Court orders province to give up data in smoking lawsuit

VANCOUVER - The British Columbia government must hand over information about patients that tobacco giant Phillip Morris International says it needs to fight the province's efforts to recover health-care costs from tobacco-related diseases.

In a unanimous decision released Tuesday, the B.C. Court of Appeal upheld a lower court order that Phillip Morris be given access to the raw data used by the province in 2001 when it filed its lawsuit against 13 tobacco companies.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 09:04 AM

UBC votes for sustainable investment fund to be free of fossil fuel companies

VANCOUVER - The University of British Columbia will exclude fossil fuel companies from its low-carbon investment fund, a move being applauded by a campus group that has been pushing for divestment.

The university has rejected calls to divest entirely from fossil fuels, but last year it established the $10-million Sustainable Future Fund to invest in companies with low carbon dioxide emissions.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 08:50 AM

B.C. taps former cabinet minister as trade envoy on softwood lumber

VICTORIA - A former federal cabinet minister has been appointed the B.C. government's trade envoy to try and reach a new softwood lumber deal with the United States.

The province says David Emerson will also work with the federal government to get a new agreement.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 08:49 AM

Pick for Medicare post faces questions on Indiana contracts

INDIANAPOLIS - President Donald Trump's pick to oversee Medicare and Medicaid advised Vice-President Mike Pence on health care issues while he was Indiana's governor, a post she maintained amid a web of business arrangements including one that ethics experts say conflicted with her public duties.

A review by The Associated Press found Seema Verma and her small Indianapolis-based firm made millions through consulting agreements with at least nine states while also working under contract for Hewlett Packard. The company holds a financial stake in the health care policies Verma's consulting work helped shape in Indiana and elsewhere.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 08:48 AM

EU financial affairs chief in Athens as bailout talks drag

ATHENS, Greece - Greeks "need to see a light at the end of the austerity tunnel," the European Union's financial affairs chief said Wednesday during a visit to discuss the bailout-dependent country's slow-moving negotiations with its international creditors.

Pierre Moscovici said efforts to reach a compromise would continue in coming days, as he met with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. He said he was "hopeful" about Greece's prospects, and noted that the country's economy had grown modestly recently.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 08:43 AM