Hawaiian dancer won't stop CanWest's removal from benchmark index

CanWest MediaWorks has brought in a Hawaiian dancer and a ukelele player to boost flagging circulation.

One of our reporters, Carlito  Pablo,  spotted the performers at the Broadway/Commercial Drive SkyTrain station this morning. It's the busiest transit station west of Toronto.

They were there as part of a CanWest promotion to give away free copies of the Vancouver Sun.

In its July 10 interim management’s discussion-and-analysis document, CanWest reported a five percent decline in “circulation volume” in the last quarter compared to the same period a year ago.

The promotional giveaway of the Vancouver Sun comes on the same day that Standard & Poor's is removing the parent company, CanWest Global Communications Corp., from the S&P/TSX Composite Index.

S&P spokesperson Tony North told the Straight that this would occur when markets close later today.

"We don't normally comment on why these things happen," North said. "It's a mathematical formula."

Garry Cooper, a strategist at UBS Securities Canada Inc., told the Globe and Mail on September 5 that CanWest's market capitalization appeared to be below the criteria for inclusion.

CanWest's shares are trading at $2.21 today. They traded at $10.63 when the corporation joined forces with Goldman Sachs and Co. on a $2.3-billion takeover of Alliance Atlantis in January, 2007.

CanWest is carrying a $3.7-billion debt.