MACLEAN'S asks: If canada's economy is booming, why do we feel so poor?



    Unemployment is at a 33-year low, the dollar is soaring, and the economy
    is hotter than it's been for years. So why are so many of us struggling
    to get by? Also in the issue of Maclean's hitting newsstands this week:
    Polygamy - Legal in Canada?

    TORONTO, June 14 /CNW/ - You know Canada's economy is on a tear when
house prices in Saskatoon skyrocket nearly 50 per cent in six months; when
even northern outposts like Sudbury, Ont., are joining in the real estate
mania; when former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna heralds that province,
with its suddenly robust job market, as "Alberta with a view"; and when, back
in the land where it all started, folks in Fort McMurray, Alta., still can't
find anyone willing to dress up as mascot Buddy the Buffalo for $25 an hour.
    The boom is on. Analysts and business journalists have had to reach back
in time for touchstones to illustrate just how great the country is doing. Was
it Joe Clark or Pierre Trudeau who was prime minister last time the dollar was
this high and unemployment so low? Suffice to say it's been 30 years since
Canada looked this good. Jobs are plentiful while more and more economists are
predicting the unthinkable-that the loonie could reach parity with the U.S. 
greenback by year's end. On the world stage, Canada's vast bounty of natural
resources is fuelling an epic-scale global expansion.
    "So why, then," asks Maclean's, "do we feel so poor?" The boom has
undoubtedly made Canadians better off on paper, but for many people it has
failed to translate into any real sense of affluence. One big reason? Even
though the loonie has reached a 30-year-high against the U.S. Dollar, prices
for everything from cars and clothes to electronics and furniture have not
been adjusted, and Canadians are paying more than they should. Read more, in
this week's Maclean's.

    Polygamy: Legal in Canada

    Laws against plural marriages are so rarely prosecuted that a strong case
can be made that polygamy is already de facto legal. More and more legal
experts say the Charter of Rights protects those with multiple spouses, and
polygamy seems to be spreading. The man in the centre of the storm is B.C. 
Attorney General Wally Oppal, who has to decide whether to lay criminal
charges against those in Bountiful--a polygamous community outside Creston,
B.C. He thinks the law still has some teeth, but a lot of legal experts
disagree. "Without really trying, we've reinvented marriage again, with help
from the Charter," writes Maclean's B.C. bureau chief, Ken MacQueen in the
issue on newsstands today.

    About Maclean's:

    Maclean's is Canada's only national weekly current affairs magazine.
Maclean's enlightens, engages and entertains 2.9 million readers with strong
investigative reporting and exclusive stories from leading journalists in the
fields of international affairs, social issues, national politics, business
and culture. Visit www.macleans.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Jacqueline Segal,
Jacqueline.segal@rci.rogers.com

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