2015 Isn’t Going Well for Canada

Posted on March 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

Harper and Joe Oliver must’ve seen some pretty nasty stats since they pulled the trigger on surprise rate cuts. Economics 101, governments cut rates when they see the economy is in trouble, or needing a lift. Canada has been trying to do this for a decade, and the effects are wearing off. We call that diminishing marginal returns in the geek worlds of finance and stats. That’s geek talk for, “the more you do it, the less it works.” And it holds true every time, a fact Stephen Harper is seeing in livid colour these days.

His game plan is to try to hold the fort together long enough to attempt an election win in the fall, but my gut tells me he won’t make it that far without something big and ugly blowing up in his face. After all, it’s not like he has all kinds of levers left to pull, he’s plumb out of levers and down to trying to keep the real estate bubble rising for another 9 months, so he’ll try that.

In the land of oil, Calgary is in full blown panic mode, Fort Mac has imploded entirely, but don’t wait for the news to tell you that, it went dark the last 3 weeks. They’re only too happy to declare the end of the world when it isn’t, but the scare is in and the story sells well, but when it actually gets real, like it is now, the lights go out and the story is buried. You won’t hear much about Fort Mac for a long time, it’s now the failed state that needs to be kept under wraps, you know, the handicapped child born to royalty that ends up in some orphan home where nobody knows who the child belongs to. Sad really, we don’t help our weak, we hide them.

And in Vancouver, the party rolls on, at least in real estate, where the partygoers are mad drunk and getting drunker by the day on the elixir of Joe Oliver’s cheap money for the masses. Nobody cares what anything costs, they only care what it costs per month. A friend works in car sales, he tells me the dealers now try to get buyers to tie all their debts into one payment the dealer arranges through its finance company. Yeah, debt is the real industry in Canada, not cars, or anything else, because it pays extremely well.

In keeping with that thought, a quick contemplation of high paying jobs and industries will confirm that talking people into exorbitant amounts of debt usually makes you a lot of money, or at least a comfortable living. Consider car real estate agents, mortgage brokers, financing companies, and even car salesmen(successful, who sell lots of cars), and big ticket item sales. Yes, getting people to buy things they can’t afford does pay well, because it keeps the economy growing beyond its means, and that’s critical at this juncture because if we had to live within our means, the system would collapse overnight.

Which brings me to my topic, Canada isn’t having a great 2015 so far. It’s done its best to indebt the people to the hilt, and succeeded wildly, but now the party is ending, one city at a time. First it was the smaller towns, then mid size cities, and then larger cities like Montreal and Ottawa, and now we’re down to only two, the big two, Vancouver and Toronto. Of course, everyone assumes they’ll stand forever, but they won’t, they’re just the last to fall.

Top 5 Cleanest Cities in Canada

Posted on March 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

Canada has a number of world-recognized clean and green cities. Its major cities pride themselves on efficient waste management services, enviro-educational programs and community spirit. The cities offer the green and blue bin solutions to ensure waste is managed. Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto are considered the cleanest cities in Canada.

Calgary – The railway of the future. Calgary may be known for its natural resources, but its Light Rail Transportation system sets it apart from its other Canadian cousins. A well-planned, grid-like structure, the system is compact and environmentally friendly.

Though residents are actively encouraged to recycle, Calgary’s innovative waste management program has been implemented to sort biodegradable and recyclable material that people may have missed. Such conscientious action by the council has led to the creation of the Clean Calgary Association, which aims to instill a green ethos in the city’s residents. Interested participants can attend environmental education workshops, which provide excellent networking opportunities to strengthen business and community relationships. Phone 403-230-1443 ext. 222 to register.

What makes Calgary the cleanest city in Canada? Residents are given the impetus to act locally while thinking globally; that is, they are encouraged to spread the eco-message further afield.

Ottawa – A world leader in Spring Cleaning More than 65,000 Ottawa residents joined forces to make Spring Cleaning the Capital 2009 the most successful campaign to-date! Earlier this year community volunteers united to clean up 1,000 of Ottawa’s parks, roadways and green spaces. Participants helped collect almost 112,500kg of waste from these areas, restoring them to near pristine condition. Ottawa council invests $7.9 million each year in cleaning up litter – that’s a lotta cash! Ottawa council also recognizes the importance of keeping cars off the road by encouraging people to skate to work in the winter.

Montreal – A city under clear skies. Recognizing the importance of clear skies, Montreal has implemented a significant smog-reduction program. The program is largely aimed at motorists and encourages them to leave their cars at home, or to make changes to the way they drive in order to positively affect the air environment. They also encourage residents to make their homes energy efficient by reducing the unnecessary use of appliances, using fluorescent lights, and reducing the use of toxic chemicals.

Vancouver – a green leader Vancouver is one of the few Canadian cities without a major freeway running within its CBD. It is famously regarded for its green ethos, as it encourages its roof-top gardens and use of public transport. In February 2009 mayor Gregor Robertson launched rebates on car share initiatives and sustainable commuting in an effort to make Vancouver the greenest city in the world. We salute you Vancouver.

Toronto – Clean Canada in 2010. Recent industrial action has forced Toronto residents to carefully consider their waste management plans. Undeterred by the recent strikes, the city will be in the national spotlight in 2010 when it hosts the Clean Canada expo. The expo will feature a wide variety of exhibitors offering waste and green solutions for businesses and homes.

Toronto encourages its residents to compost, providing them with extensive training in how to effectively reduce household waste. The city also offers the Green and Blue Bin solutions to ensure all waste is effectively managed.

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Do You Need a Permit in Canada For Storage Buildings and Sheds on Your Property?

Posted on March 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

Adding storage buildings and sheds on your property can increase the value of your property and provide extra storage space. Whether you want to store tools, paints, lawn gear, or clutter from the home, a shed or storage building can be used to hold just about anything. When adding a building to your property you have to be aware of governmental guidelines.

When preparing to add or build a shed or storage building, you need to consider the location and size. The best thing to do is to check with your local permit office to learn about the necessary pemits that you will require before you install the building. Generally speaking, if a building is under 100 sq.ft., you will not need a building permit. Any size above 100 sq.ft., a permit is needed.

Permits are normally set by the provincial building code, but enforced by municipalities. Permits are required to ensure that zoning requirements for the town or city are met and that safety and fire codes are also met. Zoning regulations can usually be found in the town or cities zoning by-laws. Municipalities and towns may add specific zoning requirements for their area. Any structure being added to a property requires a permit that not only meet municipality and provincial regulations, but must also comply with the National Building Code of Canada

The location of the structure is very important. It cannot impact septic tanks, property lines, easements, utility lines, water, or drainage systems. In some places, there may be rules regarding where the building can be placed. For instance, there may be a by-law stating that one cannot place a structure within so many feet of a public road. As well, if you live in a subdivision or gated community, the propety association may have their own regulations that must be adhered to. For instance, the shed may have to be a specific size or color. Some subdivisions may not even allow a shed to be constructed.

When submitting an application, you may have to provide a diagram illustrating the location of the building. Included will be the location of water lines, power lines, septic tanks, and property lines.

The two most basic permits you might need are the development permit and building permit:

Development Permits: Development permits are associated with the design and appearance of the proposed building. It is usually regulated by a town, city, or municipality land use by-law.

Building Permits: Smaller shed or storage building projects may require a building permit. These permits are much simpler. If you require a building permit, you may also need additional permits such as electrical, plumbing and gas permits.

When constructing a large storage building, construction plans are required to obtain building and development permits, which may include:

–  A plan showing the dimensions of the planned building.

–  Cross-section building plan showing the material used for the roof, walls, and floor.

Depending on where you live, you may require an inspection through the building inspection department. As well, approval time depends on where you live. It could take a day or up to 10 days. Payment varys and is required when the application is submitted.

Sheds and storage buildings are a great way to increase storage space. Knowing the steps to securing a permit will make the installation process much quicker and easier.

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