Archive | March, 2017

Artist Gives Disney Characters A South Asian Flair

Posted on 23 March 2017 by admin

Thusyanthe Srisachiananthadasan, an artist based in Germany is known for taking well known Disney characters like Aladdin and Princess Jasmine and giving them a traditional South Asian look.

Art has been a passion for her since a young age:

“Since the age of 16 I have always loved painting and knew it was my passion. Hence why I enrolled into Croydon college and studied art and design to further improve my skills and knowledge. It also let me learn more about myself and what I desired in life, which is when I decided that my path in life was to become an artist.”

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Precarious jobs scar employees’ mental health

Posted on 23 March 2017 by admin

It’s a well known trope that millenials are permanently attached to their phones.

Stress, unhappiness and an unhealthy home life are the biggest consequences of unstable employment, according to a new survey of more than 4,000 workers by the Ontario Federation of Labour.

While financial insecurity was flagged as a cause for concern, respondents identified anxiety as the single most important repercussion of precarious jobs.

“I’m not surprised because it’s been happening for so long here in this province,” said OFL president Chris Buckley.

“My heart aches for people who are in this situation, because you can’t plan your day-to-day life. You can’t plan your future. You can’t plan anything.”

Some 31 per cent of survey respondents singled out their emotional health as the most significant casualty of precarious work.

An unreliable income made up the next biggest share of answers at 28 per cent.

A further 22 per cent said precarious work compromised their inability to plan ahead.

Respondents said other negative side-effects included lack of benefits, low wages and debt.

Some 52 per cent of workers in the GTA now experience some form of insecurity in their jobs.

Half of the respondents to the OFL’s survey of its members said they had been precariously employed in the past, and more than a quarter said they defined their current job as precarious.

Existing research conducted by United Way and McMaster University shows precarious workers are twice as likely as those in stable employment to report having mental health problems.

Indeed, low-income workers in stable jobs were found to report better mental health than higher-earning individuals in precarious jobs.

A 2012 University of Michigan study showed precarious workers in that state were five times more likely than those in secure jobs to be at risk of major or minor depression and three times more likely to report having an anxiety attack in the past month. Research from Sweden suggests precarious work has a “scarring effect” on young people’s long-term mental health.

The Ontario government is currently reviewing its employment and labour laws with an eye to providing better protection for vulnerable workers.

“Right off the hop, workers should have their schedule at least two weeks in advance. They should be able to plan their lives at least two weeks out instead of sitting by the phone. The number of temporary jobs in Ontario has grown by 45 per cent since the year 2000,” Buckley said.

“I think the government has a real opportunity to make changes here, and I just hope that they’re listening to people.”

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Canadian Workers Need A Government Willing To Stand Up For Them

Posted on 23 March 2017 by admin

The Hon. Charlie Angus

For decades, Liberal and Conservative politicians have argued that free trade is the panacea for all our economic ills. That they negotiate our trade deals in backrooms not for themselves, but for all of us.

Most recently Liberals were spinning and waxing on about how their multilateral trade deals were done for Winnipeg mukluk producers and Nova Scotia blueberry pickers. The free-trade ideology has been given a free ride for so long that we don’t even roll our eyes to such ridiculous claims. Even worse, it’s led us to pretend like no one loses out because of these deals.

That’s bunk, of course. Just take a look at our manufacturing base and you can see that these trade deals leave too many Canadians worse off. Last week I visited with workers from the CAMI plant in Ingersoll to see it firsthand.

The CAMI plant has been repeatedly voted the most efficient auto manufacturing plant in all of North America. It is so profitable that GM forces the workers to work six days a week so they can maximize the bottom line.

But running the most efficient plant at a significant profit isn’t good enough, so they are going to ship out production of the Terrain to Mexico, costing 625 people their jobs .

This is the face of Canada’s trade orthodoxy no one wants to talk about: it doesn’t matter how hard you work, how many concessions you give or how profitable the plant, you can be sold out.

And rest assured that if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t going to stand up for jobs at a plant as important to the economy as CAMI, he sure as hell isn’t going to stand up for you if you are working in a contract or temp job someplace else.

While Liberals continue with their failed Bobby McFerrin “Don’t worry be happy” economic mantra, the data paints a different picture. In 2009 the number of Canadians who considered themselves working class or poor was 29 per cent. That number has since jumped to a stunning 44 per cent.

The disintegration of the middle-class dream is happening before our eyes and the Liberals’ only solution has been to keep on with their failed trickle-down economics, giving bigger tax breaks to the upper management types who oversee the bleed-off of stable Canadian employment.

But just pointing to the problem won’t cut it, so what practical steps can we start taking to ensure the federal government plays its role in sharing gains broadly?

First, with Donald Trump putting NAFTA on the negotiation table, we have an enormous opportunity to fight like hell for Canadian workers like those being ripped off by GM’s move to Mexico. So far public discussions have only been about expected concessions from softwood and beef, to auto parts and dairy. This negotiation should be about ways to redress the trade imbalance.

Secondly, let’s talk about a simple job pledge for Canadian investment. GM was given massive concessions and bailouts during the 2008 economic crisis. Now that the good times have returned, it’s not acceptable that they give us the pink slip. What goes for GM would go for Bombardier, Irving or any other company. Any company that expects money and support from the Canadian government must commit to a job pledge — proving that handouts are clearly linked to jobs.

Finally, specific to the auto sector we need to get serious about a proactive industrial strategy. Rather than sitting back and watching it be moved job by job to Mexico, my colleague MP Brian Masse (Windsor West) has spoken for years about the need to have the government working as a positive partner with industry, labour, auto dealers and the communities to strengthen the manufacturing economy.

And this is just a start. Simply put, it is the federal government’s job to work with the corporate sector to share gains broadly and rebuild the Canadian middle class.

The workers at CAMI, like Canadian workers across this country, deserve a government that is willing to have their back. That’s exactly why I am running for leader of the NDP, and that is my pledge.

Charlie Angus is running for the Leadership of the New Democratic Party. http://www.charlieangusndp.ca

 

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Daughter diplomacy: Trudeau’s unorthodox play for Donald Trump’s approval

Posted on 23 March 2017 by admin

 businesswoman whose lifestyle brand is struggling with liberals. A liberal-multilateralist prime minister who needs an in with a conservative-nationalist president.

Diplomacy is rooted in interests. And Ivanka Trump and Justin Trudeau both have an interest in hanging out with each other.

The prime minister sat with the president’s daughter last week at the Broadway musical Come From Away, the Canadian show about the Newfoundland town that took in stranded Americans on Sept. 11, 2001. It was his second olive branch to her in just over a month.

Some U.S. news outlets suggested Trudeau had been sending a kind of passive-aggressive message: “Justin Trudeau brought Ivanka Trump to a Broadway show that celebrates generosity towards foreigners in need,” the New York Times tweeted to its 34 million followers. Whether or not that was true, he was also offering a kind of cashless donation to her company.

Trudeau joked of his “bromance” with former president Barack Obama. Shared youth and mutual interest in women’s issues notwithstanding, his new bilateral bestiehood appears much more a marriage of convenience.

“It is just so Game of Thrones‎,” said John Higginbotham, a former Canadian diplomat in Washington, referring to the television show in which warring family dynasties strike strategic alliances in ruthless pursuit of power.

Like Donald Trump before her, Ivanka Trump has made a brand out of her name. Her name has been tarnished, in the eyes of millions of progressive American consumers, by her father’s xenophobia and sexism. Who better to be seen with than the fashionable foreign progressive feminist who hugs refugees?

For Trudeau, daughter diplomacy offers the prospect of a lifeline to a president who shares almost none of his principles but who often appears to value personal relationships over ideology and policy — and who appreciates a political gift. Donald Trump has lavished praise upon chief executives who have let him take undeserved credit for their investments.

“It looks as if foreign leaders think the way to approach Trump is by direct or indirect appeals to his ego and personality, rather than in terms of national interests,” said Charles Stevenson, a former State Department policy planner who teaches foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University. “Business leaders have already discovered this, so they bring their announcements of job creation as if they had birthday presents for the king.”

Donald Trump, not Ivanka Trump, was Trudeau’s original invitee to the play, communications director Kate Purchase said. Trump told Trudeau he couldn’t make it, Purchase said, “but suggested that perhaps Ivanka Trump could join instead.”

“We were happy to arrange that,” she said.

“We’re friends and neighbours, partners and allies. We are committed to continuing to build on that relationship in a positive, constructive way. That means talking to U.S. senators, members of Congress, governors, Cabinet secretaries, business leaders, and importantly: the president and those close to him.”

Trudeau’s early work with Ivanka Trump has paid at least superficial dividends. Trump boasted in his high-profile address to Congress of the new Canada-U.S. council on women in business; Trudeau was the only foreign leader he mentioned by name.

The council was an invention of Trudeau’s office designed specifically to include Ivanka Trump. She sat next to him at the inaugural meeting at the White House in February, cameras clicking away. Their Broadway appearance made new international headlines — some of the stories wrongly framing it as a quasi-date, omitting the presence of Trudeau’s wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau.

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Automation Will Take Millions Of Canadian Jobs, Ottawa Warned

Posted on 23 March 2017 by admin

Federal officials were warned over the summer that machines are going to replace more jobs in the workforce in the coming years and that will require a rethink of how government helps the unemployed.

Documents prepared for top officials at Employment and Social Development Canada don’t hint at how federal policy will have to adapt to increased automation in the workforce, noting that predicting the future is a risky proposition.

Experts say what’s missing from the documents is any hint of concern that the rise of the machines is an immediate concern that the government must quickly address.

“Many of the trends that may concern us about technology and automation in terms of what their impacts could be on workers are already happening and that’s, I think, the missing piece here,” said Sunil Johal, policy director with the Mowat Centre at the University of Toronto.

“People are projecting this into, well, in 10 years we may be in a difficult situation. The reality is many Canadians are already ill-served by government policies when it comes to skills training, when it comes to employment insurance, when it comes to the broader suite of public services to support Canadians.”

Depending on the methodology used, the Canadian economy could lose between 1.5 million and 7.5 million jobs in the coming years due to automation.

The jobs at the most risk are those that require repetitive activities like an automotive assembly line, although even some high-skilled workers, such as financial advisers, are already being replaced by software programs. The documents also note that journalists could see themselves increasingly replaced by robots.

One industry source, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss private conversations, said senior government officials acknowledge automation is something they have to deal with, but likely not for decades. The source said that senior officials believe new jobs will be created to keep people working.

The documents say new jobs will be created because that’s just the way the economy works: As technology kills jobs, it also creates new ones. The issue, the documents say, is that no one knows if enough jobs will be created to replace those lost, nor if they will all be as well-paid.

“Predicting the future brings significant risk,” reads part of a presentation released to The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

“We cannot know what future jobs will be created or whether enough of them will be created to offset displaced workers or whether automation will offset the pressures arising from slowing labour force growth.”

The rest of the slide has been blacked out because it contains sensitive advice on future policy paths.

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Pak-Afghan relations shaky after terrorists use Afghanistan as safe haven

Posted on 23 March 2017 by admin

 Dr. Hasan Askari

 Pakistan’s Adviser on Foreign Policy, Sartaj Aziz, and Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser, Haneef Atmar, met in London on March 15 and 16 on the invitation of the British government. They discussed ways and means to overcome current difficulties in the relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The major desire of the Afghan government is to seek the reopening of the Pakistan-Afghan border and restart bilateral and transit trade between the two countries.

 Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to adopt measures to improve confidence between the two countries as the first move towards restoration of full interaction between the two countries, including the reopening of the border. It is in the interest of both countries to pursue normal diplomatic, economic and trade interaction between them. However, as the distrust between Pakistan and Afghanistan increased over the last one year normal interaction could not be pursued. Both sides have developed complaints against each other.

 The current crisis in the Pakistan-Afghanistan relations developed in February this year. There were several terrorist attacks in different parts of Pakistan in early February whose attackers were traced to the Pakistani Taliban groups based in Afghanistan. These Pakistani Taliban groups also attacked Pakistani border posts from time to time. Pakistan asked the Afghan government not to let these groups use its territory for terrorist activity in Pakistan.

 As Afghanistan did not do anything, Pakistan Army bombed their camps with long range guns without entering Afghanistan territory. Rather than removing the camps of Pakistani Taliban and their allies from Afghanistan, the Afghan government protested against bombing into Afghan territory. Pakistan gave a list of 76 wanted people to the Afghan government that were based in Afghanistan. The Afghan Foreign Office responded by giving a list of 85 wanted people to Pakistan who were said to be living in Pakistan.

 On February 17, Pakistan closed all three crossing points on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border which stopped bilateral trade as well as the transit of foreign goods that Afghanistan gets through the Karachi seaport. This border was opened for two days on March 7 and 8, to enable Pakistanis and Afghans stranded in each other’s country to return home.

 The complete closure of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border has created serious problems for Afghanistan because Afghanistan gets a large part of goods of daily use, including wheat, rice, and other kitchen and household products from Pakistan. As Afghanistan does not have any direct sea access. A large part of its international trade takes place through the Karachi seaport and these goods go to Afghanistan via trucks from Karachi. All this has stopped now, causing problems to the Kabul government.

The Afghan trading community favors good relations with Pakistan because their business interests are tied to Pakistan. Similarly, Pakistani business and transport community, especially from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, also wants to the border to be opened so that the trade restarts. The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa business community has suffered heavy financial losses due to the closure of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Further, the closure of the border is also causing problems to ordinary Afghans who visit Peshawar for a number of reasons, including small business, getting of goods for personal use, medical treatment or for meeting with their relations. All of them favor the resumption of movement of goods, services and people across the border.

 The most serious obstacle to improving the relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan is mutual distrust that has developed since the assumption of power by the first post-Taliban government led by Hamid Karzai late December 2001. The governments of Hamid Karzai and the present government of Ashraf Ghani accuse Pakistan of sheltering Afghan Taliban leaders and activists who go the Afghanistan to challenge the Kabul government through violent activity. As the Kabul government is unable to cope with the Afghan Taliban pressure, it blames Pakistan for all violent activity in Afghanistan. It tries to create the impression that everything is fine in Afghanistan and that the trouble is caused by the people coming from Pakistan. This is far away from the reality that most of Taliban are based in Afghanistan. Now, Daish (Islamic State) is establishing itself in Afghanistan.

 The Kabul government is not willing to cooperate with Pakistan for border control so that unauthorized movement of people across the border is checked. It only wants that Pakistan military should fight out Afghan Taliban inside Pakistani territory.

 Pakistan’s major complaint against the Kabul government is its anti-Pakistan disposition and that it pursue anti-Pakistan propaganda inside Afghanistan and abroad. Pakistan also expresses strong concern about Afghanistan’s strong leanings towards India and giving ample opportunity to India’s intelligence agency to engage in anti-Pakistan activity from Afghan soil. Pakistan claims that India’s intelligence agency provides funds to Pakistani Taliban and Baloch dissident groups. Pakistan is also unhappy that the Afghan government is unable to acknowledge Pakistan’s contribution to hosting Afghan refugees.

 Pakistan is now devoting attention to unilaterally strengthening the monitoring and security of the Afghan border to check unauthorized movement of people. While strengthening border control, there is a need to reopen the border for human movement and trade. The closure of the border is causing a lot of inconvenience to ordinary people and independent business people on both sides. While pursuing a tough policy towards the Kabul government, Pakistan should not lose the goodwill of the common people in Afghanistan who want this border to reopen for travelling.

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40% Of Canadian Workers Would Take A Pay Cut For Career Growth

Posted on 23 March 2017 by admin

It’s not all about the money, apparently.

According to a new ADP Sentiment Survey, 40 per cent of Canadian workers would take a pay cut at a new job in order to overcome a “growth gap” — a lack of career development opportunities from their current employers.

Of the 828 working Canadians surveyed, 23 per cent said they would take a five per cent pay cut, 12 per cent of employees would take a 10 per cent decrease, and four per cent would take a hit of more than 15 per cent.

One-third of Canadians said their employers didn’t offer support such as skills development programs, training, and career mentoring. Others (19 per cent) said they haven’t asked for support, while nine per cent said their bosses don’t have time for their concerns.

“The paradox of a growth gap is that while many employers say they need workers to be increasingly adaptable to new tasks and responsibilities, many workers are saying they lack the development support to deliver on these expectations,” Sooky Lee of ADP Canada said in a press release Wednesday.

The survey says Canadians facing a “growth gap” can be divided into three categories: “The Ready,” “The Resigned,” and “The Relaxed.”

“The Ready,” are employees who are eager for growth, but feel their company isn’t investing in their careers. This makes up 65 per cent of Canadian workers. Employees who want progress, but have given up on their company are labelled, “The Resigned,” and represent 53 per cent of Canadians. The last group, “The Relaxed,” are those who say career advancement would be nice (21 per cent), but it is not that important.

“Whether the under-developed employees in your organization are ready, resigned or relaxed, this study should be a wake-up call for any employer that cares about employee retention and productivity,” said Lee.

Mentoring costly and time-consuming

While employees may face frustration in dealing with a growth gap, managers aren’t always able to satisfy their needs. A 2012 Forbes article said many managers recognize the importance of mentoring and training, but they are costly and time-consuming tasks.

“Companies must either come up with the resources to meet up the expectations of their talented employees or be constantly in the market to replenish them,” the article read.

How can companies make workers stay?

Companies that provide workers with new job titles and a clear path forward are more likely to retain them, a February study by Glassdoor found.

“Every additional 10 months an employee stagnates in a role makes them one per cent more likely to leave the company when they finally move on to their next position,” according to the job recruitment company.

The study went on to say that employees won’t stay for job titles alone. Pay increases and a healthy workplace culture are also important.

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Buying a condo, though cheaper, comes with its own costs

Posted on 23 March 2017 by admin

Buying a condominium may be an affordable way for many first-time homebuyers in Canada’s big cities to enter the real estate market.

But the condo market comes with its own set of costs.

Purchasing a condo should start with finding a realtor who specializes in the neighbourhoods you’re interested in and knows the buildings, Vancouver realtor Mike Stewart says.

An experienced agent, he says, will be able to steer people away from problem buildings where a bargain price may be cheap for a reason.

“You never want to buy the best unit in the worst building because an individual property owner can do nothing effectively to change what’s happening overall in a building,” Stewart says.

“But the inverse is true. If you buy the worst unit in the best building, you can always fix your unit. But you can’t fix the building.”

Condos are generally cheaper than houses and, in markets like Vancouver and Toronto, may be the only option for a first-time buyer.

There may not be the same maintenance chores with a condo that come with owning a house, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a cost. Condo owners may not have to fix minor problems around the building themselves, but somebody does and they need to be paid.

Stewart says all buildings have issues, so what is important is that the condo’s strata council, which manages the building, is transparent and proactive about dealing with the problems.

“Good maintenance and timely repairs maintain the value of the property, which is the value of everybody’s investment,” he said.

Monthly condo fees are generally related to the size of the unit. They may sometimes also be based on non-square-footage features that affect the value of a unit, such as what floor it is on.

For those buying a condo, they need to understand the monthly maintenance fees, what they cover and how much they are expected to increase.

Ottawa lawyer Leslie Kirk, who specializes in real estate, says it is important to review the condo documents so people understand the financial health of the building and ensure the strata council is meeting its required obligations.

An inadequate reserve fund could mean owners might have to cough up cash for a special assessment to pay for things like windows being replaced or major repairs to common elements of the building.

Those living in a house may be able to put something off until they have the money, but not so for condo owners.

“You don’t necessarily get to choose when you’re going to make a major repair in a condo,” Kirk said.

Condos may also have rules about what people can and cannot do, such as restrictions on the size and number of pets, whether or not they can install hardwood floors or if they can put a barbecue on the balcony.

“There’s also some condos now that ban smoking everywhere, including inside the units,” Kirk said.

Ottawa real estate sales representative Tammy Laverty says choosing a condo is about what is best for you.

“If you have a big family and you want a big yard . . . then a condo is probably not for you,” she said.

“But maybe if you’re a first-time homebuyer and buying a brand new home is overwhelming or you want to downsize or you’re really busy, a condominium is probably going to be a really great choice for you.”

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Panama Papers have helped fuel ‘a more aggressive CRA’

Posted on 23 March 2017 by admin

For the Canada Revenue Agency, the Panama Papers was a line in the sand.

Unlike those exposed by previous leaks, tax cheats named in the massive database won’t be offered amnesty; instead, they’re more likely to end up doing hard time.

“This is a more aggressive CRA,” said assistant commissioner Ted Gallivan in an interview with the Star. “There are some actors who need that threat of a jail term to stop, or they actually physically have to be locked up in jail to get them to discontinue their activities.”

Tax fraudsters identified in the Panama Papers will not be allowed to clear their name by declaring their hidden assets and paying back taxes and interest, a process called voluntary disclosure.

“(The Panama Papers) allows us to showcase how the CRA has changed,” Gallivan said. “There’s a bit of a paradigm shift for us: no voluntary disclosures and a lot more criminal investigations. That reflects a shift to more severe consequences for people who are participating in aggressive tax avoidance or tax evasion.”

From now on, the CRA will also fingerprint anyone charged with tax evasion, which could affect their ability to travel abroad.

“It’s about more than revenue,” said Gallivan. “It sends the message that it’s not just tax evasion, it’s not just white collar crime, it’s a serious criminal offence and it comes with serious criminal consequences.”

Internationally, Canada has long been considered lax on white collar crime, with few prosecutions and prison sentences measured in months, not years. But after the Panama Papers were made public last April, the new Liberal government quickly announced a nearly $500-million investment in the CRA to bolster tax enforcement.

Early results reflect an ongoing reorientation toward fewer, high-value tax cheats and a focus on multinational corporations.

The number of criminal convictions for tax evasion has dropped dramatically from 137 in 2011-12 to only 17 so far in 2016-17, yet the criminal fines imposed have almost tripled from an average of about $46,000 to over $123,000 for each offender.

Sentences are up, too, from an average of 18 months in 2011-12 to 26.5 months this year, according to numbers provided by the CRA.

Additional tax collected by CRA audits has increased almost 45 per cent over the last six years from $8.7 billion in 2011-12 to $12.6 billion in 2015-16. More and more of these audits target large and multinational corporations, producing tax assessments that have more than doubled in the last three years from $6.1 billion in 2013-14 to a projected $13 billion this year.

In order to move more quickly from investigation to prosecution, in the last year 230 people have been added to the compliance department and lawyers are now being embedded in investigating teams.

The Panama Papers even spawned a new branch of the CRA, known as International, Large Business and Criminal Investigations, which operates under Gallivan’s personal watch. This branch, which has 100 specialized auditors, will be taking on the most complex, big-ticket cases that often have an offshore component and involve sophisticated tax professionals, the enablers of tax evasion.

“The new thinking of the new branch is in addition to finding the taxpayers, we need to find the promoter, the head, and go after the head that’s driving this behaviour and put them out of business,” Gallivan said.

In the 2016-17 fiscal year so far, tax professionals have been fined $44.3 million for their role in facilitating tax evasion — a huge increase over the $200,000 handed down last year — and the information gleaned from the Panama Papers promises an uptick in years to come.

It helps that the CRA obtained parts of the leak before it was made public and got the ball rolling early.

“It gave us the advantage of timing. By the time the public took interest in this, we were already fairly well advanced in our work,” said Gallivan.

But the gears of justice move slowly. Almost a year later, there are 75 audits and several criminal investigations underway, but no charges have been laid.

Investigators, Gallivan acknowledged, have had difficulty finding the individuals behind shell companies used to defraud the tax collector, a phenomenon highlighted by the Star’s Canada Papers investigation.

“Some actual people have multiple corporations with millions of dollars and millions of dollars of non-compliance,” he said. “Taxpayers who are conducting these things certainly go to great lengths to obscure them.”

Last year, an international evaluation of Canada’s financial system flagged lack of transparency in corporate ownership as an impediment to law enforcement.

But Canadian enforcement efforts are only a small part of the solution. The post-Panama Papers world is about to get much more complicated for wealthy individuals who hide their money offshore and multinationals that shelter their profits in tax havens.

The EU and G20 are set to publish a new black list of unco-operative tax havens this summer, shortly after the first global system of tax information sharing becomes operational. The OECD’s “automatic exchange” system will allow tax auditors in one country to see what their citizens are declaring in another. There are 54 participating countries in 2017 and next year Canada will start sharing its tax information, along with 46 more countries.

For the 2016 tax year, Canadian multinational corporations with more than $1 billion in annual revenue will have to report to the CRA their profits, sales, employees, assets and taxes paid on a country-by-country basis. This information will then be fed into the international sharing system, creating a web of tax oversight that will be much more difficult to escape.

To prepare for this new “big data” era in tax collection, the CRA is ramping up its use of computer analysis to troll the information looking for red flags suggesting suspicious activity.

Instead of just checking the math on people’s tax returns, the CRA is developing algorithms to cross reference outside data — including real estate transactions and luxury purchases — with what people claim to be making.

“The agency knows that people who are trying to avoid paying taxes often manipulate their tax return so they look like they’re low income,” said Gallivan. “The system will flag that despite somebody’s low income on their tax return, they have a lot of money. When we see that flag, we dig deeper.”

The CRA recently started receiving real time data of all international electronic money transfers and is building a computer system to monitor more than 1 million transfers each month in real time.

Because it could take two or three years to get the system up and running, auditors are currently going through them manually, Gallivan said, having flagged more than 41,000 transactions worth $12 billion last year. The manual review will ramp up to looking at 100,000 transfers this year.

“The money flow is exactly where our focus is now,” he said. “We do have to be accountable for results.”

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You are what you eat: Surveen Chawla

Posted on 23 March 2017 by admin

Actress Surveen Chawla, last seen in Jhalak Dikhla Jaa 9 and 24 (Season 2), was seen last evening at The Femina Beauty Awards. She wore fashion designer Samant Chauhan’s Kinnaur Queen II collection’s white gown.

Surveen’s gown was styled by Sanam Ratansi. A happy Surveen quoted, “I feel very beautiful, and Femina is all about feeling beautiful. For me I don’t think Diamond would be a girl’s best friend, but Femina surely is. It’s got everything that a woman needs to know about, beauty and sometimes life too. It’s informative and a cool take-away for when you’re traveling or at the airport and feel like reading something and hence I say, Femina is a girl’s best friend.”

When asked about her secret to her beauty she said, “Everything that you eat actually becomes who you are. Eat that food that radiate a lot of colour and brings them into your life too. A lot of meditation also helps radiate the skin. First thing in the morning that I need is lots of water and it has to be warm. Water is very essential. Also some moisturizing for the skin and masks for the hair.”

Her final statement on beauty was “You are what you eat.”

 

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