Archive | May, 2014

ONTARIO ELECTIONS

Posted on 28 May 2014 by admin

I am a community activist Gugni Gill – Brampton West

When Gugni Gill knocks on doors in the riding of Brampton West, high auto insurance premiums, long ER wait times and lack of quality jobs is what people tell her are their issues.

Gugni says that Liberals talk about lowering auto insurance premiums however people in the riding of Brampton West are not telling her that. People are worried about high premiums and good drivers complain that they are being penalized for living in a postal code that happens to be in Brampton.

NDP government, she says, will hire 1,000 nurses so that ER wait times are cut into half. NDP will also open 24-hours family health centres so that people do not have to go to ER for non emergency concerns.

Gugni says that NDP will reward job creators by rewarding them with tax credit. Businesses that expand in the province of Ontario will also see tax break.

She also notes that Canada is 53rd in women representation in politics. When she came to Canada 13 years ago after getting married, Gugni recalls that “discrimination against women of colour and ethnic women was very strong.”

Gugni says that she doesn’t have a political background. “I am a community activist.” She says she has seen poverty “very very closely where people were not fortunate enough to have two meals a day.”

Raised in Ethiopia and with a BA from New Delhi, Gugni has worked to raise funds for Stouffville Hospital, Sick Kids, Mount Sinai Hospital. She has been the brand ambassador for Imran Khan’s cancer foundation. However, she has come to realization that ” doing charities, raising food for food banks is not solution .. the solution is to work in the system and to raise voice there.”

She found herself relating to NDP values more and more because “NDP talks about common people, for middle class families who work very hard to make ends meet and they deserve the government that is making sense.”

Because of government’s false promises, she says people and small businesses have hard times meeting ends meet says Gungi Gill who has been in fast food industry.

Kular out to win his old seat back

Dr. Kuldip Kular had lost his Bramalea-Gore-Malton seat to NDP’s Jagmeet Singh in Ontario’s election in 2011. He is out to battle to win his old seat back from NDP.

Dr. Kular immigrated to Canada from the Province of Punjab, India, in 1974. He obtained his medical degree from Guru Nanak Dev University before coming to Canada and doing two years of residency training in pediatrics at the IWK Hospital for Sick Children (Dalhousie University) in Halifax. Dr. Kular worked in the Canadian Armed Forces Hospital in Halifax before moving to Campbellton, New Brunswick, where he spent eight years in family practice until his final move to Brampton in 1986.

Community service has always been a big part of his life. From raising money for important local causes, such as the United Way and the William Osler Foundation, to donating medical services at community sports events and organizing seminars on Canadian health care for new immigrants, Dr. Kular has worked hard with his neighbours to make a difference in Brampton.

Dr. Kular was first elected as a Member of Provincial Parliament for the riding of Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale on October 2, 2003, and served on the Standing Committee on Social Policy, as well as the Cabinet committee for Community Affairs Policy. In addition, he was appointed Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration until September 2004, when he was then appointed Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister Responsible for Democratic Renewal. He was appointed Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on September 1, 2010.

In March 2006, he was appointed Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

In October 2007, Dr. Kular was once again elected by his constituents to serve the riding. With the boundary changes, the riding became “Bramalea-Gore- Malton”.

Dr. Kular has served on the Health, Education and Social Policy Committee, the Legislation and Regulations Committee and the Standing Committee on General Government.

NDP will “speed up” auto insurance rate reductions NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh, Bramalea-Gore-Malton

High auto insurance premiums ” is still the major issue” says NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh of Bramalea-Gore-Malton. After that it’s about jobs, government accountability and health related issues, he tells Generation Next.

NDP MPP says that the Liberal government had “reduced the cost of insurance companies overnight.” However, “when it comes to passing the savings along to the drivers, insurance companies are moving too slowly” and Liberals have not pressed insurance companies hard enough to move swiftly to pass on the savings because insurance companies have been the biggest donors to Liberals.

He says that the NDP has a plan to “speed up” the process so that drivers see the savings now rather than when their insurance premiums’ renewal comes up.

Mr. Singh adds that the NDP will make the process more transparent and will have consumers’ represented at the insurance companies’ table.

NDP MPP says that people are aware that billions have been wasted on gas power plant cancellations, however the issue really is “accountability of the government .. people don’t trust Liberals with their money.”

He says Liberals $2.5 billion fund “gives money away to corporations .. PC wants to get rid of it altogether.” The NDP says ” attach strings to tax breaks so that companies hire new employees, give training to them and expand their businesses .. this is a targeted way to see job growth.”

“People of Brampton want a university,” Mr. Singh tells us. He is encouraged by Sheridan College’s expansion into a university. “That’s an exciting news,” he said.

However he is disappointed that Liberals “have not put any money aside to renovate or rebuild the hospital.”

Mr. Singh tells us that the NDP governments in provinces such as Manitoba have a proven record that NDP can establish healthy trade relations with foreign governments like India where new government is in place now.

 He adds that “if we are going to have international trade, it has to be done in a fair manner .. so that there are fair working conditions for employees and there is no worker exploitation” like we saw in Bangladesh.

Mr. Singh says that if the election outcome is minority Liberal government again, then “I believe in democracy .. we will work with what they [voters] give us and we will respect voters’ decision.”

We will provide real leadership to solve new Canadians’ issuesNDP leader Andrea Horwath

NDP is promising new Canadians that it will provide real leadership in finding solutions so that new Canadians who bring their skills, education and capabilities do not end up driving cabs and are treated unfairly.

In an ethnic teleconference with multicultural media, NDP leader Andrea Horwath said that well educated new Canadians working odd jobs is “a major frustration” for people.

She recalled that back in 2007, the Liberal government created the Office of the Fairness Commissioner. They put their “famous liberal buddy in charge of the fairness commission.” However, seven years later “nothing has been done,” stated the NDP leader.

NDP leader narrated the experience of meeting a doctor who could not pass the medical test because he needed more time to write the test, translating it from English language to his mother tongue and then from his mother tongue to English language.

Ms. Horwath says that this is “not good enough” and Liberal lack of leadership has resulted in wasting talent of new Canadians. When Jason Kenney was Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, he had said a number of times that professions like medicine, engineering, teaching etc are regulated by provinces and the provincial regulatory bodies need to take measures to recognize qualifications of new immigrants who come to Canada.

In response to a question about how NDP will work with the new Indian government to attract investments to Ontario, NDP leader said Ontario has ” a very rich and a very significant Indian community and the South Asian community and we know that people who have chosen Ontario as their homes have friends and family back home .. so we have a natural opportunity .. [of] bringing over the business .. opportunity of trade .. that can be facilitated officially with the Indian government with the fantastic entrepreneurial spirit of that of India and that Indians have.”

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Eight banks agree to no-cost accounts for low-income clients

Posted on 28 May 2014 by admin

The Conservative government has secured a pledge from Canada’s largest banks to offer no-cost banking accounts for an estimated seven million youth, students and low-income seniors.

Canada’s eight largest banks have agreed to voluntarily adopt new rules starting next year that would offer no-cost accounts for low-income senior Canadians that would allow at least 12 debit transactions per month.

The definition of low income would be tied to the existing rules for the Guaranteed Income Supplement, which was paid in 2013 to seniors with incomes under $20,204 (a figure that does not include Old Age Security benefits).

A move in this direction was first hinted at in the October Speech from the Throne. The promise was repeated in the government’s February budget.

The government is also pledging that all Canadians could receive that same level of service in a “low-cost” plan for $4 a month.

The government has been making a series of consumer-focused announcements lately that are targeted on improving financial literacy. In April, the government named its first financial literacy leader, Jane Rooney. That position is expected to be an advocate for clear reporting of private-sector fees and will publish tips for Canadians on how to manage personal expenses and credit cards.

In its submission as part of the consultations on the framework, the Canadian Bankers Association said it believes in fair treatment of the consumer, but expressed some concern with the government’s direction.

“We are concerned about any proposed fundamental shift in policy direction, moving from the current approach where the expectations on banks are clear and implementable to regulating ‘fair treatment of the consumer,’” the CBA said in its submission to the Finance Department. “The experience of other jurisdictions leads us to conclude that regulating ‘fairness,’ while noble in principle, can lead to a series of unintended negative consequences for both consumers and banks – because regulating ‘fairness’ is subject to ambiguity and ongoing interpretation.”

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Rob Ford could return to mayoral campaign from rehab in four to five weeks, Doug Ford says

Posted on 28 May 2014 by admin

Councillor Doug Ford indicated Tuesday that his brother, Mayor Rob Ford, intends to stay in the mayoral race when he returns from addiction treatment.

The councillor, who is also his brother’s campaign manager, suggested the mayor could return from rehab in “the next four or five weeks,” although he added, “I’m not really sure.”

Speaking to reporters outside a meeting of the City’s Executive Committee, Councillor Ford said he saw his brother recently.

“He looks like a champion,” he said.

“Make no mistake, if there’s one thing I learned about Rob Ford, [it's] never count Rob Ford out of a race. It shocks me, it does as his brother. He’s helped tens of thousands of people over the years. And he’s going to continue moving this city forward.”

Mayor Ford, an admitted crack user with an alcohol problem, is undergoing treatment at GreeneStone, a private residential addiction treatment centre in Ontario’s Muskoka region.

Last week, a local woman was arrested and charged with driving under in the influence while in possession of Mayor Ford’s signature black Cadillac Escalade.

Doug Ford said he did not ask his brother how the woman came to have the car or what her relationship is to the mayor.

“I didn’t get into it. I stayed positive… he’s in a positive mind right now. But he’s looking great, sounds great. Just wait until he gets back.”

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The Conservatives Have No Idea How to Fix Their Temporary Foreign Worker Mess

Posted on 28 May 2014 by admin

The Hon. John McCallum

Ottawa

Judging by their recently leaked proposals on how to fix the challenges facing the temporary foreign worker program, the Conservatives have no idea how to fix the mess that they created. They seem inclined to use sledgehammers when scalpels are needed. I will give you two examples of misguided Conservative proposals that simply will not work.

One proposal is to raise substantially the wage that must be paid to foreign workers so that they will end up being paid more than their Canadian co-workers. Imagine you are a Canadian working in a fast food restaurant, and you are told that because of an order from Conservative Minister Jason Kenney, your temporary foreign co-worker, working beside you and doing exactly the same job, has to be paid more than you. Such an order would produce a double backlash – not only a backlash against the Conservative government that ordered such a wage differential, which is not my concern, but also an unwarranted backlash against the temporary foreign workers themselves. In short, this idea is a totally unworkable solution to the mess which the government has created.

A second proposal is that temporary foreign workers be banned except in regions of low unemployment. This is equally unworkable. Suppose I own a small high tech company and I’m in desperate need of a highly specialized worker. I’ve searched long and hard for Canadians and haven’t found anyone qualified to do the job. So I’m an entirely legitimate candidate to hire a foreign worker. But if I happen to be located in a town where unemployment is high because, for example, the main employer, a manufacturing plant, has just gone out of business, then I’ll be denied access to the foreign worker who may be essential to the survival of my business. Same thing if I’m in any Canadian region that, for whatever reason, is subject to high unemployment. So this is another sledgehammer solution that simply will not work.

The answer is that solutions to this mess have to be much better thought out than the simple-minded answers proposed by the Conservatives. The bottom line, however, is that a Conservative mess that took years to create will not be solved by a couple of badly designed, back-of-the-envelope proposals.

John McCallum is the MP for Markham-Unionville and the Liberal Critic for Citizenship & Immigration, Multiculturalism and Seniors.

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A small contribution bringing remarkable positive changes

Posted on 28 May 2014 by admin

Uttam Makaju

Toronto

 Many Canada based organization have their projects launched in Nepal. They have focused in different sectors. Some of the instances: ‘NepalAbility’ has been launching project in western Nepal to bring back their smiles of injured people through rehabilitation health and capacity building .

 ‘Nepal Children Education Project’ has been sponsoring underprivileged children for their education and implementing mentorship programs involving local youth volunteers.

Whereas, ‘WELL Nepal’ has been focusing in empowering local women through literacy and capacity building in southern Nepal.

Similarly, an organization namely ‘Nepali Friends’ has been supporting impoverished children in Nepal for their education, whereas ‘Might Pen’ another organization, has been involving in developing creativity of the children.

 SunFarmer, an organization, has been involved in supporting clean energy installation in school and hospitals in rural areas.

 It is assessed that because of the services provided by these organizations , remarkable positive changes have been felt by the beneficiaries.

 In order to bring those organizations together for networking purpose, Nepalese Embassy, Consulate General Office Toronto and Non -Resident Nepalese organization Canada jointly organized a program in Toronto. Charge d’affaires of Nepalese Embassy in Ottawa His Excellency Mr. Dilip Poudel, Honorary Consul General Dr. Kunjar Sharma, NRN Canada president Mr. Anil Thapa and other speakers shed light about the program spoke about the need of this kind of networking event.

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World Partnership Walk witnesses record attendance

Posted on 28 May 2014 by admin

In 1985, a small team of women in Vancouver voluntarily started raising funds and walking to help end global poverty in their own small but meaningful way. They had come from Asia and Africa and wanted to give back to the communities they left behind. They persuaded 1,000 other walkers to join them in the fight against global poverty and raised $55,000 in donations. 30 years later, the Walk is held in various cities of Canada. In Toronto, it was held on May 25th in Toronto. The Convenor, Fiaz Basaria, reports that “We had a record attendance of over 10,000 walkers.” The funds raised through the TorontoWalk are over $1.7 million, and donations are still coming in. “We are confident of raising over $2 million in the coming weeks,” said Basaria. Last year, close to 40,000 Canadians in 10 cities across Canada participated in the Walk and helped raised more than $7 million. In the past 30 years, Canadians have raised more than $82 million to fight global poverty.

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Sharif government reluctant to launch against Taliban, Military not so much

Posted on 28 May 2014 by admin

Dr. Hasan Askari

Lahore     

  The second round of Afghanistan’s Presidential election will be held in mid-June between Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani. Both have similar views on foreign policy and how to deal with the Taliban. The new Afghan President will sign the Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States that would permit the stay of around ten thousand American troops in Afghanistan. They are expected to maintain the control of two airbases. However, these troops will not be doing any internal security duties. The Afghan National Army and Police will be responsible for internal security and control of the Afghan Taliban.

 The relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan’s new president will be greatly influenced by how the two governments deal with the Taliban challenge. When the Afghan Taliban step up their activities after the withdrawal of American/NATO troop how would the Afghan government deal with them? How far these Afghan Taliban would use Pakistani tribal areas as a refuge place and what would be their relations with Pakistani Taliban?

 On the Pakistani side the issue would be the relations between Pakistan’s federal government and the Pakistani Taliban. Will Pakistan’s security forces establish firm control of the tribal areas, especially North Waziristan? What kind of control Pakistan maintains on the Pakistan-Afghan border to check the movement of militants. It is generally believed that if Pakistan could not increase its control of the tribal areas by the end of 2014, Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban will develop strong organizational relations and they will support each other against their respective governments. This will add to the security problems for Pakistan and Afghanistan.

  Currently, a section of Pakistani Taliban operates from Afghan territory closer to Pakistani border where the Afghan government has a limited control. Mullah Fazlullah, leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban-i-Pakistan, is based in Afghanistan. Similarly, Afghan Taliban cross over to Pakistani tribal areas.

 If, after the withdrawal of US/NATO troops from Afghanistan, the Afghan Taliban posed a serious threat to the Kabul government, it could blame Pakistan of letting these Taliban use Pakistani tribal areas or it could blame Pakistan’s ISI for supporting the Afghan Taliban.

 Pakistan will have its grievances against Afghanistan. The strengthening Afghan Taliban will embolden Pakistani Taliban, especially their leadership based in Afghanistan. They will also increase their challenge to Pakistan’s security forces in the tribal areas with the objective of expelling them out of the tribal areas. They can also invoke their networking with Pakistan’s mainland based militant groups to increase violence in Pakistani cities.

 Pakistan’s problems will increase if the Afghan Taliban threaten the Kabul government and Pakistani Taliban become strong in the tribal areas. A good number of Pakistani madrassas sharing Islamic-Maslak with the Afghan Taliban may start sending volunteers in support of Afghan Taliban with the cooperation of Pakistani Taliban. If Pakistan does not have effective control of the tribal areas it will not be able to control such support activity by some Pakistani madrassas for Afghan Taliban. In the 1996-2001 period, a good number of Pakistani madrassas used to send their students to Afghanistan for support-activities for the Taliban fighting against the Northern Alliance.

 These problems can be dealt with effectively by Pakistan if its civilian and military leaders decide to assert their commanding position in North Waziristan and other tribal areas and reinforce border control on Pakistan-Afghanistan border before the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. If this happens Pakistan’s civilian and military authorities will be better placed to cope with the pressures generated by the increased activity by Afghan Taliban. The Afghan Taliban will not be able to use Pakistani territory for their agenda in Afghanistan. This will also make it difficult for the Afghan based Pakistani Taliban to enter Pakistan freely and engage in violent activity against Pakistani state institutions and people. The control of the tribal areas will weaken the capacity of Pakistani Taliban to engage in violence in Pakistan’s mainland.

  The Pakistan Army top command recognizes the importance of asserting its authority in North Waziristan and other tribal areas. It is also conscious of the need of increasing security control on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The top Army commanders have made up their mind to demonstrate their military power in North Waziristan. They do not want to let this summer pass without any solid action against Pakistani Taliban.

  The major obstacle to any firm and comprehensive military action in North Waziristan is Pakistan’s federal government. Nawaz Sharif and his close advisers are not so far ready to publicly endorse any military action. This is one of the irritants in the federal government’s relations with the Army top commanders.

  So far only one round of talks has been held directly between the federal government and the Taliban which was inconclusive. The Taliban have repeatedly rejected Pakistan’s constitution and law as un-Islamic. However, the federal government continues to hope that some political arrangement is possible with Pakistani Taliban.

 Over the last four weeks the Army and the Air Force have launched air and ground raids on Taliban hideouts in North Waziristan as retaliations to the Taliban attacks on the troops and others.

  An important meeting of Pakistani civilian and military authorities was held on May 20, 2014. The Army top command was said to have expressed the view that the dialogue with the Taliban was dead. A day after this meeting the military took a firm air raid and ground action in North Waziristan.

 It appears that the military will launch a major security operation in the tribal areas before the end of June. If the civil government continued with the current hesitation on the issue, the military could launch the operation by itself. 

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Modi’s political test: managing the diverse groups which enabled his victory

Posted on 28 May 2014 by admin

Unlike the seven prime ministers since 1989 – VP Singh, Chandrashekhar, PV Narasimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, HD Deve Gowda, IK Gujral, and Manmohan Singh – Modi will not need to look over his shoulder and depend on allies.

He has no compulsion of ‘coalition dharma’; he has a mandate that gives him more power than most other executive heads have enjoyed in India for decades; he has an agenda – articulated in the BJP manifesto as well as his campaign speeches — which he can implement; and he has a free hand in picking his team – in the cabinet, in his office and among bureaucrats in key ministries. The Indian electorate has given him precisely what he asked for – 272 plus and a decimated opposition.

But it is precisely this spectacular win, driven by an umbrella social coalition and diverse stakeholders, that creates his biggest political and governance challenges.

Take his two primary sources of support — the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and big corporate India. The RSS-BJP’s traditional base of small shopkeepers is hostile to FDI in retail; the growth proponents see it as essential to the revival of the economy.

The Swadeshi Jagran Manch, during the Vajpayee years, made its aversion to the growing role of the private sector and of foreign multinationals clear; Modi is wedded to the vision of a globally integrated economy with foreign investments.

Or look at the more direct political challenges. The Modi vote is driven by pan-Hindu consolidation in North India, though this is not necessarily a ‘communal vote’ since different segments voted for different reasons. The Sangh will expect returns for its organisational support in mobilising this constituency — be it Ram Mandir, or dropping the cases related to ‘Hindutva’ militant attacks.

But if he does that, will the more moderate Hindu constituency which voted for him accept it? The RSS will push its own loyalists in key government appointments, but will that happen at the cost of the standards Modi has set for institutional roles? The Sangh world view would mean rewriting textbooks, but will the more cosmopolitan middle and upper middle class metropolitan base of Modi want their children to learn what RSS dictates?

Modi has appealed to big capital, eager to see project clearances at break-neck speed, as well as to a substantial segment of the rural poor, at least in North and west India, who will be resistant to reckless land acquisition. Be it infrastructure growth versus environment, fiscal prudence and social welfare expenditure, there are real policy dilemmas which Modi will have to resolve.

Or take foreign policy. The campaign was marked by strong rhetoric against Pakistan, but Modi has already displayed his political dexterity and diplomatic skills in inviting Nawaz Sharif, among other leaders, to his swearing in. But will he be able to stay the course? What happens after the first terror attack?

If Modi responds with restraint, recognising the multiple power centres that operate in Pakistan, there is bound to disappointment among the supporters who voted for him because of his poll rhetoric. But if he does something rash, could it undermine national interest and escalate risks?

While it is too early to speculate if he will succeed in reconciling these contradictions, his governance style and political management offers clues on how he will approach issues.

A top BJP leader told HT, “Modi is well aware that India is not Gujarat. But he also does not see any reason to drop components of the Gujarat political and governance model that have worked so well for him. It is, in fact, a mandate for that.”

This, according to the leader, will translate into an extremely strong PMO “like the Indira Gandhi years”. “Modi will rely on a small group of key bureaucrats, and keep a close eye on all key departments. He understands policy. There will be no A Raja syndrome where every minister is a sovereign republic in himself.” This will give Modi unprecedented authority in taking decisions. “He is his own man and will not let support bases dictate terms.”

When asked if this would lead to excessive concentration of power, the leader responded, “Modi is well aware of criticisms about his style, and you will see he will make an extra effort to allay apprehensions.”

Giving examples, the source said that since Modi was criticised as someone who did not care for the rules of the game, he publicly displayed his respect for the Constitution and Parliament; because he was perceived to be someone who disrespected the old guard, he touched LK Advani’s feet; he was seen as a hawk, but he invited SAARC leaders. “He will surprise everyone and be accommodative, but without compromising on his authority. The buck stops with him.”

And perhaps that statement sums up Modi’s opportunity and threat. It is his moment, but with such power comes enormous responsibility. There are questions about how Modi will specifically address foreign policy and security issues; how he will address economy.

But the big issue is how he will manage the political constituencies of support that have brought him to this position. He has a large support base, with the exception of India’s most sizeable minority group – Muslims. Reconciling the interests of his base, and reaching out to those who did not vote for him, will be critical.

Modi’s governance style will also be a refreshing change for many in Delhi, who are too used to the old ways where political leaders did not keep bureaucrats to account. The governance structure needs efficiency and decision making.

But it will also bring in its set of challenges – there will be costs of bypassing established processes, and institutions; and of treating ministers not as colleagues but as individuals who are beholden to him for their positions, which is a possibility given the nature of the mandate. But it would be only fair to give India’s new PM a chance, and space to implement the mandate the citizens have given him.

Team Modi younger, leaner


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Mortgage Brokers Work with Self-employed Canadians Everyday

Posted on 28 May 2014 by admin

Nitesh Kumar

Brampton

While freelancers, contractors, entrepreneurs and small business owners are considered an excellent and reliable customer group, it’s not always easy for someone who is self-employed to get mortgage financing. Salaried employees prove their income with their T4 slips. The self-employed on the other hand have a much harder time proving their earnings because they use accounting techniques to report lower income so that taxes are reduced as much as possible. This can make it harder to prove to lenders that they can afford to make their mortgage payments.

That’s why professional advice is so important. Based on your situation, your mortgage broker will advise you on the type of information you need to present to improve your options and get the best possible rate, for instance, by showing:

  • documentation to prove income – tax assessments, tax returns, financial statements, contracts
  • proof of a registered or incorporated business
  • good cash flow
  • that you are up to date with your property and income tax payments
  • strong credit history
  • solid net worth
  • savings
  • long job tenure / residential history, and
  • a significant downpayment.

Mortgage brokers also have access to lenders that are not federally regulated and take a less stringent approach when it comes to self-employed borrowers. In fact, your mortgage broker has access to over 50 lenders, including major banks, credit unions, trust and insurance companies, and other national, regional and private lenders.

Re-advanceable mortgages are another option that your broker can review with you. It’s a great way to take advan­tage of increasing equity. As you create equity through mortgage paydown, the line of credit portion of the mortgage is automatically increased by the same amount. This way you can access your equity when needed without having to apply, offering you more convenience and flexibility than a traditional line of credit.

Most of all, working with a mortgage broker allows you to delegate the many time-consuming and frustrating tasks associated with securing a mortgage, so you can stay focused on running your business. And your broker will typically work around your hectic schedule.

If you are self employed, you already know it makes sense to go to a specialist to get the job done. Find an experienced mortgage broker who understands the many issues that can keep you up at night, so that your dream of home ownership is not be one of them!

Nitesh Kumar is a Mortgage Broker with Mortgage Intelligence. He can be reached at 416-419-2566 or visit his website @ www.niteshkumar.com FSCO lic M08001411

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Young academics struggle with the transition from school to work

Posted on 28 May 2014 by admin

A couple of recent studies, The 2013 Canadian Postdoc Survey and Beyond Labs and Libraries: Career Pathways for Doctoral Students, confirm that many graduate students aren’t getting the support they need to prepare for non-academic careers.

The Postdoc Survey, a partnership between the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars and Mitacs (an organization that coordinates industry-university research partnerships, including internships) consulted 1,830 of the estimated 9,000 Ph.D. graduates working as entry-level “postdoctoral researchers” in Canada. They found that their average age was 34 and roughly two-thirds earned less than $45,000 annually, many without benefits. Half reported no exposure to non-academic careers and 87 per cent said they either had no access to career counselling or were uncertain thereof. Nearly seven in 10 said their career goal was to become a professor—despite the odds. While large numbers agreed they wanted training in things like grant or proposal writing and project management, few were getting any. Some of their comments were revealing: one said non-academic careers were seen as “selling out or failing.”

The good news is that most master’s and doctoral graduates who leave the academy eventually find high-paying work. Statistics Canada’s 2013 National Graduates Surveylooked at where the class of 2010 ended up three years later. Among master’s graduates, 90 to 95 per cent were working full-time, depending on the province (the rest were unemployed or not seeking work). Among doctoral graduates, employment rates ranged from 90 to 100 per cent. Median pay was $70,000 for master’s graduates and $75,000 for doctoral graduates, compared to $53,000 for bachelor’s graduates.

The other good news is that a group of Ontario academics is working to develop training to ease the transition. Allison Sekuler, AVP and dean of graduate studies at McMaster University, is part of a project that will, this fall, launch 18 learning modules for graduate students covering everything from resumés to networking. “They have a lot of skills but don’t know how to adapt those for non-academic careers,” she says.

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