Archive | Living

Toronto homeowners get inflation-level tax hike as city budget passes

Posted on 22 February 2018 by admin

Councillor Gord Perks tried and failed to boost taxes by 4 per cent, saying he is weary of arguments “that if we increase property taxes (Toronto) will not be affordable.”

Council has approved an $11-billion operating budget that for the fourth year in a row keeps property taxes in line with inflation while rejecting calls to fund more shelter beds, subsidized daycare spaces and other urgent needs.

The budget passed late Monday night was much the same as the one recommended by Mayor John Tory’s executive committee, following his direction to keep taxes low, freeze spending across many divisions and fund new programs from reserve funds. The budget continues to rely on a hot housing market, which city staff and real estate experts have warned against.

Council approved Tory’s 2.1-per-cent hike in a 33-11 vote. The increase climbs to 2.91 per cent including a dedicated levy for transit and social housing. City staff say that translates into an increase of just over $82 on an average Toronto home with an assessed value of $624,418.

“I think this budget moves us forward on every single account,” Tory said at the end of the debate. He spoke repeatedly of the hope people have, including, he said, because for the first time the city will meet its targets on affordable housing.

But according to city staff, the projected number of rental units that will be created by 2020 totalled with those that have already been built will fall far short of the goal — missing the target of 10,000 units by half.

“We have a lot of work to do on addressing a lot of these issues,” Tory said. “And if I believed that simply raising property taxes was going to provide the answer, then I would say so. But I know that that can’t work by itself.”

He blamed the province for earlier blocking the city from implementing road tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway.

A motion from Councillor Josh Matlow to request the province instead share in the harmonized sales tax, passed at council with Tory’s support. But a motion to ask, if that request were refused, the province give the city the ability to implement its own sales tax to fund transit and housing lost in a 19-23 vote, with Tory against.

The motion asked that the funding be spent based on demonstrated need using evidence-based planning.

“I think there’s only one option if we’re going to be leaders,” Matlow said ahead of the vote. “We have this moment in our lives where we could actually make a tangible difference in peoples’ lives.”

The mayor had promoted this budget as a “Goldilocks” plan striking a “just right” balance between spending on services and the fiscal restraint demanded by Torontonians.

On Monday, Councillor Mike Layton called that thinking just “dead wrong.”

“There’s no too hot or not too cold for things like shelters,” Layton said. “The budget’s not ‘just right’ when you have people sleeping outside and waiting for housing.”

The votes Monday came hours after anti-poverty activists temporarily shut down the council meeting, yelling “People are dying!” and “Open 1,000 beds now!” from the public gallery at a stone-faced Tory and his council allies seated below.

Council committed funding to the first year of a plan to create 1,000 new shelter beds over three years, with a first instalment of an additional 281 this year. But advocates say 1,000 beds are desperately needed now, with 500 more needed as soon as possible.

A motion from Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam — who has been at the forefront of a council push for more shelter space — for staff to make efforts to expedite the creation of those 1,000 beds this year carried with Tory’s support.

The practice of setting the tax rate first, and then crafting the budget it funds, was started by then-mayor Rob Ford, and continued by Tory, as a way to limit attempts to add spending. Council then started debating what actually gets funded in the proposed $11-billion spending blueprint — the last before Tory and many of his council colleagues seek re-election in the October municipal election.

His budget chief, Councillor Gary Crawford, touted more than $50 million in new and enhanced spending, including the TTC’s new “hop-on, hop-off” transfer, the TransformTO climate-change plan, 825 new subsidized child-care spaces and 20,000 extra recreation spaces.

“To suggest that we need to raise taxes beyond the rate of inflation to invest in the city, I’m sorry that’s not correct . . . ,” he told council. “For four years in a row we’ve kept the city affordable for residents while at the same time investing millions upon millions in important services.”

But council critics of the latest of years of austerity budgets accused the mayor of pandering to homeowners at the expense of middle- and low-income Torontonians.

Councillor Gord Perks tried and failed to boost property taxes by 4 per cent, saying he is weary of arguments “that if we increase property taxes (Toronto) will not be affordable.”

“That is absolutely 100 per cent backwards, wrong, upside down and incorrect . . . ,” he added. “If my motion passes, the half of Torontonians who are tenants do better financially because child care and transit cost money and if those services aren’t available, you have to do something even more expensive — get a car, rely on private child care. When we spend public money we provide services that save people money.”

Perks noted the city hasn’t foreclosed on any Torontonians unable to pay their taxes, and said the best way to help senior citizen homeowners is to put more money into a program that cancels or postpones tax hikes for those with low incomes.

Other proposals for above-inflation tax hikes were voted down, as was Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti’s bid for a tax freeze.

The annual budget grind came to a dramatic halt soon after the meeting started when members and supporters of Ontario Coalition Against Poverty rose from their seats and began yelling. “Hey John Tory, add more beds or you’ll be sorry!” some chanted as police and security officers moved toward them and started asking people to leave.

While past similar disruptions have seen protesters start to file out after a few minutes, this time they refused to leave, and security order the entire chamber cleared. Some people were dragged out.

A woman who said she is living in a medical facility with no other permanent housing, told reporters that homeless people and advocates are fed up with austerity budgets that keep property taxes low at the expense of social service spending.

“Every successive government has passed this problem onto the next successive government since the early ‘70s, the buck has to stop somewhere,” she said shortly before everyone was ejected. “It’s not that an additional billion dollars for one (Scarborough) subway station is more important than those who are trying to live. No one should struggle on this level every day. It’s inhumane.”

With Tory’s council-supported spending freeze, the budget for most programs and services won’t even keep up with inflation — effectively mandating nearly across-the-board cuts.

Prior to council, OCAP staged a rally and speeches both outside of city hall and in the rotunda, with speakers from the Toronto Overdose Prevention Society and Health Providers Against Poverty. They included Tara Hird, 36, and partner Brian Willett, 51. The couple has been at the Better Living Centre for three weeks and Hird is 35 weeks’ pregnant with their first child together, who they plan to name Greyson.

Both have been without housing or precariously housed for years and met inside the emergency system. OCAP and supporters planned to take them to Tory’s office to demand they be relocated immediately. Willett said the biggest barrier to moving forward with their lives has been a place to call home and with a baby on the way the couple is increasingly worried about their future.

“We need the first and last months rent and an actual apartment. Give us that and I’m sure we’ll surprise you and move on,” with their lives as a family, said Willett.

“That is the hardest part getting that apartment,” said Hird, who described living inside the Better Living Centre, as “scary.”

Comments (0)

T & T supermarket understands South Asian customer needs – Paul Ho, Marketing Manager, T&T Supermarket

Posted on 15 June 2011 by admin

T & T Supermarket has opened its seventh brand new store in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Pictured in the ribbon cutting ceremony are, from left to right: Richmond Hill Councillors Carmine Perrelli, Castro Liu, and Godwin Chan; Mark Van Doodewaard, VP of Loblaw Properties Limited; Reza Moridi, MPP Richmond Hill; Cindy Lee, CEO of T&T Supermarket Inc.; Jack Lee, Founder of T&T Supermarket Inc.; Vito Spatafora, Deputy Mayor and Regional & Local Councillor of Richmond Hill; Madam Zhang Meifang, Deputy Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Toronto; and Richmond Hill Councillors Lynn Foster and Nick Papa.

“This new store is a little bit different than the other T & T supermarkets,” said Paul Ho, Marketing Manager, T&T Supermarket Inc., Eastern Region. It is located at 9625 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill and has a special section for Southeast Asians and European customers.

Among the T&T supermarkets that are widely visited by the South Asian community of the GTA is the location on Steeles Ave. and Middlefinch in Scarborough and the one in Mississauga.

The T & T supermarket in Scarborough has a lot of variety for South Asian customers. The products are imported from South Asian countries like India to give the authentic taste of India to the consumers.  Most T & T supermarkets carry a section of basmati rice from India, spices, seasoning and poultry.

Mr. Ho says that T & T is a unique store in the sense that “it understands its customers  and the customer demand to carry the right product” for them. Additionally the difference between T & T supermarket and the mainstream stores is that “their variety and the selection is not that comprehensive as to what we are doing..and we can do it because we know the source of the supply and have the knowledge..of the region. We are definitely different than the mainstream markets,” Mr. Ho explains to Generation Next.

T&T Supermarket will create close to 200 new jobs, making Asian food products even more

accessible for consumers in the Greater Toronto Area.

The grand opening ceremony at Richmond Hill store featured a spectacular Chinese lion dance where guests were able to interact and play with the three lions. Guests were also delighted with a balloon popping segment that showered 20 lucky guests with a coupon for a free, delectable cake from T&T.


Deputy Mayor and Regional & Local Councillor of Richmond Hill, Mr. Vito Spatafora, attended the event to show his support and bring blessings on behalf of the Mayor. Accompanying him in officiating the opening ceremony were Mr. Reza Moridi, MPP Richmond Hill, Madam Zhang Meifang, Deputy Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Toronto, and Richmond Hill Councillors Mr. Godwin Chan, Ms. Lynn Foster, Mr. Castro Liu, Mr. Nick Papa, and Mr. Carmine Perrelli.


Comments (0)

Thought, Feeling Action

Posted on 07 October 2009 by .

Ques:Hi Neelu
    I have question for you. I am learning stock market I haven’t opened account yet but I will soon. please let me know how do I apply law of attraction to make it work for me. Arun

Answer:It is said “As within so without” or “As you sow so shall you reap” this world is just a reflection of what you are inside, what are your beliefs, according to your belief you will get the results. This world is just a mirror and it reflects whatever thought, feeling you have.


Every person who starts stock trading first believes they are going to be the next millionaire and stops working for someone else and travel and live their life as they wish but it does not happen for all. Statistics is only 95% of the people in this trade are profitable. What you need to understand is what makes those 5 % different from the rest.

Every one has accesses to the same technical and fundamentals , but one thing that makes the difference is the belief system; that is what inspires one to take the winning trade while other ends up taking the loosing trade.

Our beliefs are the thoughts that have become a part of our subconscious mind and we act from those thoughts. If our belief about money are limiting then no matter what we do, we won’t be able to manifest abundance. On the other hand, if you feel money is easy and it flows easily to you then no matter what, you will always lead an abundant life.

Our beliefs are formed early in life. By the age of seven, 80% of our beliefs are formed.

Most of the time we are not aware of what our belief system is and it is very important to know them, bring them to the surface and clear them. This can be done through Reiki or Meditation

Start your day with mediation releasing blockages and becoming a channel for pure positive energy so that you are inspired from within to take the right steps.

Use affirmations (positive statements) like

  • I love the opportunities and the freedom stock market can bring to me
  • The universe or (any god name you strongly believe in) guides me in seeing the right opportunity and entering the trade at the right time with wonderful risk/reward ratio
  • I am a successful and profitable trader

Read these affirmations everyday morning and evening with feeling.

Everyday before starting your day trading Visualize that “ when I see the market I clearly understand the trend, the market motive and are able to successfully analysis the right entry and exit and making profit  everyday”.

Also learn everything you need to learn in order to master the art of trading. Do lot of practice, understand the markets deeply and make sure you profit in paper trading and also don’t forget to keep a log of all your trades so that you will be able to see your weaknesses.

While executing the trades it is very important that we do not deviate from the trading plan and wait for the right trade, for that learning Reiki and Meditation will be most helpful because if you take trades with awareness and patience that will provide you with more profitable trades otherwise you will end up pressing buttons oriented from fear and greed leading to losses.

These steps will take care of the Thought, Feeling and Action and when they are aligned the Universe will definitely answer.

So Arun get aligned and wish you happy trading.

 Ma Prem Neelu

Author: Ma Prem Neelu-is a Osho disciple with mastery in Reiki, Meditation and Law of attraction she will guide you to apply the law of attraction to your desires to make your dreams a reality. You can mail your questionsto

Comments (0)

How Law of Attraction can work for you? Ask Reiki Master Neelu at

Posted on 25 September 2009 by .

You tell me Rohan what do you feel? Can you become a multi-millionaire? The question is not about anyone predicting it for you, but it is about you believing it first, Dreaming alone won’t do. First ask yourself, do I really wish to be a multi millionaire? When I say wish I am not saying wishy washy wishing but is it a burning desire, a desire of doing things differently.


By understanding law of attraction and by applying it you can put the odds on your side.

 Don’t just dream, have a burning desire:

To materialize your dream you need to let this dream sink in deep into your subconscious mind so that every act of yours, feeling and action sends out the message to the universe loud and clear that you deserve being a multi millionaire and the universe will do the rest.

Thank the universe for what you already have:

Start from thanking the wealth you already have; see it everyday, acknowledge it and be thankful for it; things can be small like the comfort of your bed, comfort of having warm water always ready for you, the computer and most important the god given body, perfect hands, legs, eyes just be thankful. When you are thankful the universe gets the message “ I have so much blessings and wealth in my life” and the universe says “So be in it” thus, bringing more your way.

 Make a vision board to remind yourself of your goals:


It is very easy to forget your dreams when you are busy making ends meet and caught in the rat race so it is important to keep reminders around, which act as catalyst. For that make a vision board as to what kind of a life you want, what does being a multi millionaire mean for you, cut and paste the photographs that are a representation of wealth for you. Write affirmations like “Wealth flows easily and abundantly to me,”  “Day by day in every way I am becoming better and better” and place them at places where you can see it easily and frequently. The trick is to say these words with passion and conviction.

Don’t wait, just act on it!

It is important to water this seed of desire everyday and do something to help it grow, everyday do some action regarding reaching your goal, anything that gets you inspired, don’t wait just act on it, universe loves speed, don’t worry you don’t have to see the whole way in one go, the way will show itself as you walk. Doing this act will reinforce your statement to the universe.

These things will take care of the thought, feeling and action part and rest is the role of the universe. If you are persistent and believe in yourself and want something truly and deeply the universe will show you the way and all you have to do is walk on it with conviction, I am reminded of a beautiful line from the alchemist “When you want something all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”

So dear Rohan just believe in your desire, act on it and the answer will flow to you, moreover, the universe is responding to you every moment, and you will surely reach your goal, till then Happy Exploring.

Wishing you Joy,


” know yourself and be free “

Ma Prem Neelu  Author: Ma Prem Neelu-is a Osho disciple with mastery in Reiki, Meditation and Law of attraction she will guide you to apply the law of attraction to your desires to make your dreams a reality. You can mail your questionsto

Comments (58)

Use your credit cards wisely

Posted on 25 September 2009 by .

The life of a common man has changed completely with the advent of plastic money, especially the youth section of the society. They flaunt their cards and use it injudiciously without even knowing the repercussions.



For many people, managing a credit card is harder than getting one. Currently, threatened by the global financial crisis banks are changing credit limits, doing away with interest free periods and charging higher interest rates on the credit borrowed.

Here are certain tips that must be kept in mind:

1. Understand that any time you use a credit card, you are borrowing money.

If you don’t pay off your balance each month, interest will be added to the total amount you owe.

2. Think before getting your first credit card.

Think very carefully before you decide to get your first credit card. Do you really need a credit card or would another option work just as well? Some other options to think about:

  • Getting a debit card, which is connected to your checking or savings account rather than borrowing money for each transaction.
  • Consider sharing a card with your parents and asking them to help you stay on track.
  • Wait and see. Just put off the decision for six months or a year and see how well you might Canadian-dollars_qdo without a credit card.

3. Choose wisely

 When selecting a credit card, you should shop around for the best deal. Compare different cards based on your own situation. Look for the following:

  • A low annual percentage rate (APR). The lower the rate, the less interest you have to pay. Watch out for low introductory rates that are raised after a year or less.
  • The interest calculation method. This affects how much interest you pay, even when the APR is identical.
  • Low or no annual fees. If the issuer charges an annual fee, ask them to waive it.
  • All other charges (i.e., late payment fees, transaction fees, over the limit fees, etc). These can really add to the total cost of your charges.
  • A grace period. Some credit cards charge interest from the day that the charges appear on your account. Other cards offer a grace period for you to pay off your balance before interest charges begin to accrue.
  • The credit limit. Keep your credit limit low (think about $500 or less), to make sure you don’t get in over your head.
  • Wide acceptance. A major credit card is convenient, and easier to manage.
  • Services and features, such as cash rebates, frequent flyer miles, extended warrantees, etc. Think carefully about the true cost of these programs when you consider interest and other charges.

4. Profit from your credit card

Credit cards can be useful when you make a profit out of it! Now, how is that possible? Well, it all depends on the kind of card you purchase, its best to opt for a lifetime free credit card that does not have an annual fee attached.

  • Also get a card that matches your lifestyle. If you shop a lot, see that your card offers a lot of discounts and cash back rewards for the all the shopping you do with a card.
  • If your job allows you to make frequent trips, get a card that gives you several travel friendly schemes on eating out, hotel stays and airline ticket discounts.

5. Minimum Payment Due

The date for the minimum payment due allows you to pay up a small amount upfront and this is usually in place to protect your credit score.

However, as a practice ensure that you pay the total amount due before the minimum payment due date to maintain an impeccable credit score else you will be levied interest on the balance amount pending if you continue to pay the actual amount due in full only after this due date.

If you fail to pay even the minimum amount due you will incur a late payment fee as well. 

6. Limit the number of cards you get.

It will be easier to keep track of your spending.

7. Track your spending.

  • Waiting until your statement arrives once a month to think about your balance can get you into trouble quickly.
  • Check your account online frequently.
  • Save receipts.
  • Maintain a ledger.
  • Consider signing up for balance notices and billing statement notifications from your credit card provider.

8. For each of your cards, keep a record of the following in case your card is lost or stolen.

Keep a photocopy of the front and back of your card in a safe place at home.

  • Account number
  • Issuer’s name
  • Phone number

The bottom line: Don’t spend more than you can afford to pay on a monthly basis. Wise use of your credit cards will help you establish a solid credit rating and avoid financial problems.

Priyunk_agarwal   Author: Priyunk Agarwal

Comments (2)

Advertise Here
Advertise Here