Nearly half of Canadians are within 200 a month of being unable

CALGARY — A new poll suggests nearly half of Canadians surveyed last month are within $200 per month of being unable to pay for their bills and make their debt payments.[np_storybar title=”The good, the bad and the ugly of Canadian household debt: Should we be worried?” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/investing/outlook-2016/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-of-canadian-household-debt-should-we-be-worried”%5D You might not know it by all the alarming headlines lately, but not all debt is bad. In fact, some debt can work for you just like a RRSP. Read on [/np_storybar]The Ipsos Reid survey also found about one-quarter of the 1,582 people who responded to the poll were already unable to cover their bills and debt payments.The online poll was done between Jan. 27 and Jan. 29 for MNP Debt, which provides licensed trustee services in six provinces, from Quebec to British Columbia.MNP says the poll found that 31 per cent of respondents said any increase in interest rates could move them towards bankruptcy.Ipsos Reid conducted the poll about a week after the Parliamentary Budget Office issued a report on Jan. 19 that said Canada has seen the largest increase in household debt relative to income of any G7 country since 2000.Canadians without company pension plan face uphill battle to stay out of poverty, study findsEquitable Bank is making a splash with its 3% interest rate — here’s how they do itWhen ‘good’ debt goes ‘bad’: Why it can be dangerous to categorize what you oweThe survey also followed Bank of Canada’s decision to keep a key lending rate at a historically low level of 0.5 per cent on Jan. 20, as the central bank lowered economic growth estimates for 2015 and 2016.The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error as they are not a random sample and therefore are not necessarily representative of the whole population. read more

Ban congratulates Malians and presidentelect Keita on successful polls

Earlier today, the Government announced the provisional outcome from the 11 August run-off, but the Constitutional Court still needs to confirm the results. Second-place candidate, Soumaïla Cissé, has already conceded the election. Pending the final decision, Mr. Ban today congratulated Mr. Keita on his election as president, according to a statement attributable to his spokesperson.He also acknowledged Mr. Cissé’s acceptance of the outcome and saluted “his commitment to democratic principles.”The elections are seen as an important step on the path to recovery for Mali. Since early 2012, the country has witnessed a military coup d’état, renewed fighting between Government forces and Tuareg rebels, and the seizure of its northern territory by radical Islamists. In the statement, Mr. Ban reiterated the UN’s commitment to accompany Mali in the next phase of its stabilisation and peace consolidation process, including by supporting inclusive dialogue and reconciliation and the conduct of the national legislative elections. “The United Nations also stands ready to support the re-establishment of State authority in the north of Mali, the protection of human rights and the implementation of key reforms that will lay the foundation for sustainable peace, stability and development to the benefit of all the Malian people,” it added.In addition to humanitarian agencies working in the country, the world body is also providing support through the UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). In accordance with its mandate, the peacekeeping mission provided technical and logistical assistance for the run-off as well as for the first round of voting held on 28 July, in addition to support to the Malian security authorities.MINUSMA’s core task is to support the political process in Mali, in close coordination with the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). read more