Archive | Society

Home construction on pace for its best year since recession

Posted on 17 August 2017 by admin

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. says work began on an annualized 222,324 homes in July, the third-fastest monthly pace since 2012.

 OTTAWA—Canadian home construction is on pace for its best year since the 2008-2009 recession, with builders showing no sign of being slowed by rising interest rates or fears of a housing correction.

Home construction picked up last month, driven by British Columbia and Alberta.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts rose to 222,324 units in July, up from 212,948 in June, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Wednesday.

The ramp-up likely reflects strong demand for new housing from the end of last year into the start of this year, TD Bank economist Diana Petramala said, adding that the new construction market tends to lag real estate demand, which has started to fall.

Petramala said regulatory changes over the past year including tougher mortgage qualification rules have prompted a shift for some first-time homebuyers from existing homes to cheaper, newly built dwellings.

 “Some of the momentum could potentially carry forward into the second half of the year before new home construction eases along with the existing home market next year,” she said.

Last month, the Canadian Real Estate Association reported that national home sales figures in June posted their largest monthly drop in seven years. CREA is expected to release July sales data next week.

The annual pace of urban home construction increased by 5.5 per cent last month to 206,122 units, driven by a rise in multiple urban starts — generally apartment buildings, townhouses and condominiums — while single, detached home starts slowed.

Multiple urban starts increased by 10.4 per cent to 141,950 while single-detached urban starts fell by 3.9 per cent to 64,172. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,202 units.

Regionally, the annual pace of housing starts in B.C. surged 20 per cent compared with June while Alberta saw an eight per cent increase. The annual pace of starts in Ontario was up one per cent.

“Much of the recent strength has been concentrated in B.C., where starts have rebounded back close to record highs after slowing late last year,” Royal Bank senior economist Nathan Janzen wrote in a report.

The housing start data came as Statistics Canada also reported the value of building permits issued in June rose to $8.1 billion, up 2.5 per cent from May and the second highest value on record.

The overall increase came despite a 0.9 per cent drop to $5 billion in the value of residential building permits in June. The value of permits for single-family dwellings fell 12.5 per cent, while plans for multi-family dwellings rose 12.5 per cent in June to $2.7 billion.

The value of building permits for non-residential structures in June rose 8.8 per cent to $3 billion.

Comments (0)

Canada’s unemployment rate falls to lowest in nearly nine years

Posted on 17 August 2017 by admin

Canada’s economy added jobs in July, the eighth consecutive month of growth.

OTTAWA—The economy extended its winning streak in July, posting its eighth consecutive month of job growth while the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point since the start of the financial crisis nearly nine years ago.

The unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 6.3 per cent, a level not seen since October 2008, as the number of people looking for work declined, Statistics Canada reported Friday.

The decrease came as the economy pumped out 10,900 net new jobs for the month. That followed staggering employment growth of 45,300 in June and 54,500 in May.

“We can forgive the economy for taking a bit of a breather on job gains in July, given how torrid the pace has been in the prior two months,” Avery Shenfeld, chief economist of CIBC Capital Markets, said in a note to clients.

The July data was fuelled by the addition of 35,100 full-time jobs, offset by the loss of 24,300 part-time positions.

Compared with a year ago, the number of jobs has increased by 388,000, driven by a surge in 354,000 full-time positions.

However, the positive job figures were dampened by the latest numbers on Canada’s trade deficit, which ballooned to $3.6 billion in June from a shortfall of $1.4 billion the previous month.

Benjamin Reitzes, Canadian rates and macro strategist at BMO Capital Markets, said there were some one-time factors affecting the trade numbers.

 “You had some very large declines in exports of metals, gold in particular,” he said, noting that oil prices have also fallen.

“That weighed very heavily on the number.”

Statistics Canada said exports fell 4.3 per cent to $46.5 billion. Shipments of metal and non-metallic mineral products plummeted by 14.9 per cent to $5.3 billion in June after a 12.4 per cent increase in May. Exports of energy products were down 9.2 per cent to $7.3 billion.

On the other side of the ledger, imports gained 0.3 per cent to $50.1 billion. Trade in metal ores, non-metallic minerals, aircraft and other transportation and parts hit record highs.

The latest economic data follows a decision by the Bank of Canada last month to raise its key interest rate target to 0.75 per cent, its first increase in almost seven years.

Reitzes said BMO continues to expect the central bank to wait until October before it raises the rate again, noting that there is still plenty of economic figures to come before the decision.

“It’s tough to see anything really derailing them outside of broadly weaker numbers for October,” he said. “They’ve been clear they want to take back the 50 basis points of easing they put in in 2015, so a hike in October would do that.”

Breaking down the jobs report, the wholesale and retail trade sector gained 22,000 jobs, information, culture and recreation added 18,000 and manufacturing saw an increase of 14,000. About 32,000 jobs in educational services were lost, mainly in Ontario and Alberta.

Regionally, employment in Ontario and Manitoba rose by 26,000 and 4,800, respectively. Alberta lost 14,000 jobs, Newfoundland and Labrador shed 5,300 positions and Prince Edward Island dropped by 1,000.

At Queen’s Park, Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid said the numbers show Ontario’s economy continues to grow “at an impressive rate.”

“We continue to be on a very positive trend,” he told reporters, noting about two-thirds of the 25,500 net new jobs created in the province last month were full-time.

The unemployment rate in Ontario fell to 6.1 per cent from ‎6.4 per cent and has now been below the national average for 28 months, Duguid added.

“It’s one of the lowest we’ve seen in the last two decades.”

Comments (0)

After Pahlaj Nihalani gets sacked, Vidya Balan joins CBFC headed by Prasoon Joshi

Posted on 17 August 2017 by admin

Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Chief Pahlaj Nihalani was sacked on Friday and was replaced by noted Bollywood lyricist-screenwriter and ad guru Prasoon Joshi. Prasoon Joshi has been appointed as the Chairperson in an honorary capacity from 11th August 2017 for a period of three years or until further orders.

Joining Prasoon Joshi’s team as part of the reconstituted Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is none other than National award winning actress Vidya Balan. In a statement released by Vidya Balan post her new job appointment, she said, “I am very happy to join the CBFC and I hope to fulfill my responsibilities as a member to the best of my abilities. I look forward to this new and exciting phase where our cinema will be allowed to reflect the sensibilities, realities and complexities of the society we are living in today.”

Vidya Balan will be joined by Gautami Tadimalla, Narendra Kohli, Naresh Chandra Lal, Neil Herbert Nongkynrih, Vivek Agnihotri, Waman Kendre, T.S. Nagabharana, Ramesh Patange, Vani Tripati Tikoo, Jeevitha Rajasekhar and Mihir Bhuta.

Comments (0)

Aishwarya, Aaradhya hoist National flag in Melbourne

Posted on 17 August 2017 by admin

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and daughter Aaradhya Bachchan hoisted the National flag in Melbourne this morning.

Aishwarya gets emotional and gave a heartfelt speech in Hindi, post the flag hoisting ceremony. She said, “I am feeling so proud right now. I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for giving me this lifetime experience. Me along with my loving daughter Aaradhya will remember this day all our lives. Thank you so much Melbourne. Thank you all for giving us such a moment of pride and happiness with so much love involved. Celebrating our 70th year of independence!”

The actress and the former beauty queen first spoke in Hindi and then translates her words into English for the non-Hindi speaking people.

The mother-daughter duo was dressed in colour co-ordinated in white. Aaradhya looked quite adorable as she stands on the podium with her mom and saluting the National flag.

When director of IFFM was asked to comment about Aishwarya, he had said, ” IFFM is proud to welcome one of India’s most loved and iconic actors – Aishwarya Rai Bachchan – to the festival and look forward to celebrating Indian cinema in Australia.”

At the event, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was awarded with the Westpac IFFM Excellence in Global Cinema award, presented by The Victorian Premier

Speaking about her big win, highly delighted Aishwarya said, “I’m so humbled and filed with gratitude to be given this award. We as creative people always wish to do more and I’m far far away from resting. As an artist I have so much more to explore but it’s great to have this honour. But above all I must thank the fans, who have loved me so immensely and it’s because of you we get to live our dream, our passion “.

Comments (0)

Neha Dhupia meets with a road accident; onlookers ask for selfies, autographs

Posted on 17 August 2017 by admin

At one point, whenever a road accident would take place, the onlookers would instantly try to help the injured and call for help. Yes, there would be some who would simply observe and not move even an inch. But in today’s times, the number of people landing up at an accident site and not helping has increased. And the reason for not helping is because they are busy taking pictures and uploading them on their social media accounts.

There have been several such instances where people have preferred to take pictures first instead of calling the police. But what happened with Neha Dhupia recently has left everyone shocked. The actress is in Chandigarh for promotions. While she was on her way to the airport to catch a flight, her car met with an accident. As a result, the traffic came to a standstill and Neha Dhupia was stalled on the road for an hour. Thankfully, neither her nor her team suffered major injuries. But what left Neha Dhupia stunned was the behaviour of the onlookers. Instead of helping the actress, the people on the road were more interested in asking for selfies and even autographs!

 

Comments (0)

Saif, Kareena, Taimur return from Swiss vacation

Posted on 17 August 2017 by admin

After a weeklong vacation in Switzerland, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan returns with baby Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi. The three were captured by the paparazzi while the happy family were making their way out of the airport. The cutest star baby looked very adorable and he glared to the paparazzi as he was clicked.

The proud dad carried his son while Kareena walked along. Before leaving for her vacation, Kareena spoke to Mumbai Mirror all about her favourite holiday destination. She said, “If you hold a gun to my head and ask for my last wish, I’d want one last holiday in Gstaad. It’s the most beautiful and romantic place in the world.”

Kareena added, “I’m not a back-packer; I’m a luxury traveller. I like to relax and shop when on vacation and am completely cut off from the city.”

They left for the vacation on July 25 and reportedly stayed at an executive suite at the Royal Palace in Gstaad, a resort town tucked in the Swiss Alps.

Their vacation was fun-filled and they returned home with lots of sweet memories.

Kareena and saif’s son is a cute baby and the pretty mom once said that she kisses Taimur 20,000 times a day and it irritates him a lot.

“Taimur is always chilled out. He is so gorgeous. The only thing he doesn’t like about me is that I kiss him about 20,000 times a day,” she reveals. Neither Taimur nor Saif are very happy about this though. Kareena adds, “And he (Taimur) keeps pushing me off. Saif says why are you doing this. But I always feel like hugging him.”

On the work front, Saif had wrapped up shooting of ‘Kaalakaandi’, ‘Chef’ and ‘Baazaar’ before heading to the vacation.

While Kareena will start shooting for Rhea Kapoor’s ‘Veera Di Wedding’.

 

Comments (0)

Toronto woman warns others about photos surfacing on anonymous image-sharing site

Posted on 12 August 2017 by admin

Roxanne, 24, has messaged more than two dozen Ontario women on Facebook to warn them that their photos had surfaced on the image-sharing site Anon-IB.

In the past month, Roxanne messaged more than two dozen Ontario women on Facebook to warn them that their photos had surfaced on the image-sharing site Anon-IB.

It’s something the Toronto resident has been doing on and off since she learned four years ago that her own photos had cropped up on the site — a place where users gather to share images, many of which are sexually explicit.

“Part of me felt like a little bit of a creep doing this,” said Roxanne, who didn’t want her full name published out of concern her experience would affect her career in social work. “But … if I can track them down this easily, somebody with a worse motive can too.”

Roxanne, 24, typically finds the women she warns by searching on Facebook for their first names, the first letter of their last name and the community they’re believed to live in — all information that accompanies the photos posted on Anon-IB, which boasts the tag line “Best Anonymous Image Board.”

The site — which did not respond to a request for an interview — has sections for various countries, including Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., and pages specific to cities and even universities. The level of detail can allow users to come across images of people they may actually know.

The Canada forum on Anon-IB is currently 15 pages long, with threads for women at various universities and more than 30 Ontario communities.

The website has rules prohibiting the posting of images of minors and a ban on the posting of “personal details like addresses, telephone numbers, social networks links, or last names.” But some users work around the rules by posting messages like, “(first name) L anyone? Surname rhymes with mammoth.”

The photos of Roxanne that appeared on the site in 2013 were taken in 2011, she said. She had sent two photographs — taken in a crop top and underwear — to someone who befriended her on Facebook.

Roxanne thought the person was a woman named Mary, who described herself as a queer feminist, a survivor of sexual violence and a women’s studies student. But when she began badgering Roxanne for explicit photos, Roxanne said she grew suspicious. After an internet search revealed that Mary’s profile photo appeared to be that of a pornography performer, Roxanne blocked the person.

Nearly two years later, Roxanne said the photographs she sent to that person appeared in the Ontario sub-forum on Anon-IB, where users were specifically requesting “wins” — slang for nude photos — of her.

Roxanne said she found out about the images only after an acquaintance pointed them out. The photos had been up for two days by that point, she said.

“I (was) in shock,” she said. “Then terror and a sense of dread set in.”

Roxanne tried to get her photos taken down by filling out a form on the website, but said her request was ignored.

Under the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, it’s a crime to post or distribute an “intimate image” of another person without their consent.

Roxanne decided to go to York regional police in Newmarket, Ont., a month after learning of her photos on Anon-IB.

She knew it was unlikely they could get the images removed but she wanted to have a police record in case the matter escalated. She also wanted police to look into what she said were images of underage girls on the website.

“The (officer) just looked bewildered,” she said.

York regional police said they are aware of Roxanne’s case, that her file is still under investigation and no charges have been laid.

Other police forces have also received the occasional complaint related to the website — RCMP in Antigonish, N.S., said they’ve been conducting an investigation related to Anon-IB since April, and police in Peterborough, Ont., said they became aware of the site after one complaint in the last two years. In both cases, no charges have been laid. Hamilton police said they had one investigation that involved the website but not a direct complaint against it.

Ontario provincial police, Toronto police and Ottawa police said they have not received complaints about Anon-IB.

Toronto lawyer Gil Zvulony said Roxanne’s photographs would not be considered “intimate” under the Criminal Code because they do not appear to depict any explicit sexual activity or nudity. He said women who find themselves on Anon-IB should still go to the police but noted that it’s unlikely charges would be laid if those who post the images remain anonymous on the website.

Roxanne’s photos stayed on the site for about a year, she said, until it went offline briefly in 2014. When the site came back online, her images were gone.

After her experience, Roxanne continued to think about what happened to her.

“My coping mechanism was to go back on the website, find as many girls as I could, tip them off and go to bed,” she said.

Katelyn, 23, was one of the women Roxanne messaged. She said she was 16 and 17 in most of the photos that she learned were on the site in August 2013.

Katelyn said she has no idea who took photos from her Facebook and Plenty of Fish dating profile and edited them to make her shirts appear see-through, which was possible because she was wearing light-coloured tops without a bra, she said.

After learning about her images, she asked the site to take them down. The photos were removed within 24 hours, she said, which is why she didn’t go to police.

“I’m grateful that Roxanne reached out to me,” she said. “It’s important for women to keep mobilizing and looking out for one another.”

Comments (0)

Should police always be called when a student reports a sex assault to a university or college?

Posted on 12 August 2017 by admin

Mandatory policies about how Ontario’s colleges and universities deal with allegations of sexual assault will be in place this fall. Advocates say the guidelines fall short, while critics insist it’s a job better left to the police.

In a few weeks, thousands of Ontario university and college students will start their first full academic year since the province made it mandatory for post-secondary schools to have protocols in place for dealing with allegations of sexual assault.

That legislation was prompted by complex and sometimes fierce debate over the right to decide who knows about a sex assault allegation, the schools’ legal and ethical responsibilities to keep their communities safe and the fairness and adequacy of on-campus investigations.

Even now, with the new policies in place, that debate continues as sexual assault survivors say the guidelines for reporting, investigating and disciplining sexual assaults have fallen short, while critics insist campus officials are unqualified to take on the roles of police and the courts.

“It’s a good start, but it doesn’t go far enough to guarantee anything that would really change the situation for survivors,” said Tamsyn Riddle, a University of Toronto student who reported her alleged sexual assault to school officials in 2015 and thinks Ontario’s legislation is too vague.

“U of T now has a new policy, but . . . it doesn’t change anything in terms of guaranteeing that survivors will be taken seriously or that their cases will be dealt with quickly or that perpetrators will be punished.”

Colleges and universities are required to have policies and offer training to staff, but the province does not specify what those policies are or what training should include.

Comments (0)

As Toronto rents near Brooklyn-level prices, tenants grow desperate

Posted on 12 August 2017 by admin

Apartment-seekers are driving the streets looking for rentals and creating web profiles, similar to dating bios, to attract landlords.

Trying to find an apartment in Toronto is a lot like online dating, only more demoralizing.

Ask Kin Lau. Normally, landlords would be swiping right on him. He’s got a perfect credit score and a good job. But last week he drove 40 minutes to check out a one-bedroom — only to discover another suitor had snapped it up first.

“Do people just not go to see the place before renting?” said Lau, a 25-year-old accountant.

He just wants an apartment viewing. Is that too much to ask?

Renting in Toronto is the hardest it’s ever been. Home prices have doubled since 2008, so buying is out of reach for many people. That’s pushed Toronto rents to record highs, approaching those in Brooklyn and London. Potential tenants are so desperate they’re driving the streets looking for rentals and creating web profiles, similar to dating bios, to attract landlords. And prices are likely to keep rising given new laws that builders say discourage construction.

“I can’t take clients with mediocre credit anymore, because landlords don’t even look at them,” said Conrad Rygier, a broker at Keller Williams Realty Inc. “I’ve seen a lot of frustration. Downtown is just absolute craziness.”

Investors, lenders and Canadians looking for places to live are wondering how much longer the home-price boom can last. Although values have fallen 17 per cent since March, compared with a 3-per-cent gain in the same period last year, the average price of a detached home in Toronto is still near a record at $1.39 million.

Rental supply is down to two weeks, meaning it would take that long to rent everything in town, and average rents have hit an all-time high.

Toronto mostly has three types of rental properties: privately owned condominium suites, rental buildings with a central landlord, and space in a private home. Supplies of all three are squeezed.

There are 1,125 condominium units available for rent in the city, down 13 per cent from last year, according to second-quarter data from Urbanation Inc. It’s also a record low for the period in Toronto.

Rents jumped 11 per cent in the last year, blowing past the $2,000-a-month threshold for the first time, to $2,073 (about $1,644 U.S.), and nearing Brooklyn-level prices. In the Crown Heights section of the New York City borough, landlords ask an average $2,089 (U.S.) for a one-bedroom, according to June data from Brooklyn brokerage MNS Brands Inc. In greater London, average rent for new units in May fell to £1,502 ($1,960 U.S.), according to HomeLet.

For newer rental-only towers, the vacancy rate reached a low of 0.1 per cent in the second quarter. In April the province of Ontario introduced the most sweeping rental rules in a quarter century. They cap rent increases at 2.5 per cent and extend rent controls to apartments built after 1991, which builders say will constrict new construction. It will likely keep renters climbing over one another to get a date with a landlord. Lau, the accountant, said he had four landlords cancel on him in two days.

As for basement apartments and other unofficial listings, a segment of the market not actively tracked, good luck.

Horror stories abound. Stephanie and Stephane Leonard spent more than a month checking online listings and cruising the city streets in their silver Audi, hunting for “For Lease” signs in house windows. In desperation, they posted an advertisement online that reads like a dating profile: charming, dependable and mature. Seeking: a one-bedroom rental. They joined dozens of others posting similar online ads.

“It got to the point where I would monitor Kijiji for properties as soon as they popped up, and even then we couldn’t always get a showing,” said Stephanie Leonard, a 47-year-old training-manual writer, referring to the popular classifieds website. “I’ve moved around a lot in my life, and this is the hardest time I’ve ever had finding a place.”

The Leonards ended up renting one floor of a house in Mimico, an emerging neighbourhood along the water about a 30-minute drive from Toronto, with two other tenants living on the other floors. It wasn’t a perfect match, but it works for now.

Others aren’t so lucky. Dayna and Theo Block have to move to the city by Sept. 7, when Theo starts classes at the University of Toronto, joining the 100,000 other people migrating to the city each year. Their online ad, with a photo of the pair in a meadow by a wood fence, describes the 21-year-olds as a young, polite couple seeking to spend no more than C$825 a month. They’re getting more emails from scam artists asking for money than from landlords.

“I want to tell people, ‘You don’t understand. We just need a place to live. The bare minimum,’” Dayna Block said by phone from their basement apartment in the western province of Alberta, Canada’s oil-producing region. The couple have even offered to pay rent for August despite not living in the city.

Landlords are ecstatic at their good fortune. Jeff Medley listed his downtown Toronto “nothing special” 600-square-foot (56-square-meter) condo on a Wednesday. On Thursday, the winner of a bidding war agreed to pay C$1,850 a month for the place he’d offered for C$1,800.

“Each time I’ve rented it, I’ve got more,” Medley said. “Nothing has changed about the unit.”

Unless there’s an influx of supply or a slowing of demand, the market will only become more unhinged, said Rygier, the Keller Williams broker.

“I was going to say, ‘If it’s a reasonably priced suite,’” he said. “But that’s an oxymoron these days.”

Comments (0)

Pooja Bhatt’s Jism 3 will be bold love quadrangle starring three men and a woman

Posted on 12 August 2017 by admin

Actress- filmmaker Pooja Bhatt is ready to get back in the game and begin the third instalment of Jism franchise. Pooja Bhatt has revealed that she is ready to make Jism 3 and promises it to be bolder than ever.

In a candid interview with a leading tabloid, Pooja Bhatt revealed that she is ready with the first draft of Jism 3. Her plan is to make to third instalment bolder and hotter than the previous films. She further revealed the film will be a love quadrangle with three men and a woman. Two of the male actors and the actress will be known faces whereas third male actor will be a newcomer just like Sunny Leone and John Abraham in previous installments. She wants the cast to be diverse.

Pooja Bhatt further informed that in few weeks, they will be ready with the second draft of Jism 3. Post that, they will have an idea and will start approaching the suitable actors. She has an actress in mind for the role but she is yet to approach her. Speaking of the story, Jism 3 will have a strong female character who has all the three lead men wrapped around her finger and will be floored because of her beauty, intelligence and dept.

Jism 3 is being written by Kaustav Narayaṇ Niyogi and screenplay is by Digvijay Sisodia and Sunayna Kumari. It will be directed by Pooja Bhatt. Besides this, Pooja Bhatt is also planning to make her comeback as an actress with City of Death.

Comments (0)

Advertise Here
Advertise Here