Archive | Youth

$250M worth of cocaine hidden in cement blocks is the biggest seizure in its history, OPP says

Posted on 01 September 2017 by admin

OPP say three Toronto-area men were responsible for allegedly importing more than 1,000 kilograms of pure cocaine into Canada from Argentina.

A tip from a member of the public has triggered the single largest drug seizure in the history of the Ontario Provincial Police.

The force netted 1,062 kg of 97 per cent pure cocaine which had a wholesale value of $60 million and an estimated street value of $250 million, OPP commissioner Vince Hawkes said Monday at a press conference at OPP headquarters in Orillia.

“This is a massive seizure – bigger than I’ve seen in my 33 years of policing,” Hawkes said.

Armed tactical officers stood guard at the press conference near the wall of multi-coloured cocaine bricks on display. There was a further armed guard at the entranceway to the OPP complex.

That cocaine will be destroyed at a secret location, Hawkes said.

“There’s a lot of drugs out there and drugs are killing people,” Hawkes said.

“It’s an amazing size seizure,” OPP deputy commissioner Rick Barnum said, adding the investigation is ongoing.

The OPP declined to elaborate on the tip that started the massive operation.

 “Good information was received,” Barnum said.

The initial arrests were made after a traffic stop of Highway 410 in May.

The drug would have been cut down to between 30 and 40 per cent purity before it reached the streets, often with particularly deadly additives liken fentanyl, Barnum said.

“With the amount of pure cocaine seized during Project HOPE, we’ve stopped many criminals from causing more harm to our communities while removing a quarter of a billion dollars from the criminals economy,” Hawkes said.

Despite the massive amount of cocaine seized, there hasn’t been a noticeable change in the price of the drugs on the streets, Hawkes said.

Most of the stones containing bricks of cocaine had a kilogram hidden inside. The most found in a single stone was six kilograms, Barnum said.

Some of the stones were seized at a stone supply operation in Stoney Creek.

“Certainly the business was set up to be a front or a cover,” Barnum said, adding it wasn’t known where the cocaine was initially produced.

“There are definitely connections to Mexico and the Mexican cartels,” he said.

The Mexican cartels have members living in the GTA, he said.

The cocaine was smuggled in pallets of building stones.

“Our dogs – CBSA dogs – never detected the cocaine,” Barnum said.

He declined to say who would have distributed the drugs in Canada, except to say they are “extremely high-level organized crime groups.”

The haul was called Project Hope and was in partnership with the Canada Border Services Agency, Peel Regional Police, the FinancialTransactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

The cocaine was loaded onto ships in Argentina, destined for the Port of Montreal and then the GTA, Niagara Region and other parts of Canada, police said.

Luis Enrique Karim-Altamirano, 52, of Vaughan has a bail hearing on Aug. 30. He’s charged with importation of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for the purposes of trafficking and driving while disqualified.

Mauricio Antonio Medina-Gatica, 36, of Brampton, has been freed on bail after being charged May 1 with importation of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for the purposes of trafficking.

Iban Orozco-Lomeli, 45, of Toronto was charged July 10 of importation of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for the purposes of trafficking. He has also been released on bail.


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Year-over-year, average price for homes fell in July: CREA

Posted on 24 August 2017 by admin

The association says the average price for a home sold last month was $478,696, down 0.3 per cent from July 2016.

The plunge in Toronto-region home sales helped push down the average Canadian home price by 0.3 per cent to $478,696 in July — the first year-over-year decline since 2013.

The number of homes sold on the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) also dropped for a fourth consecutive month by 2.1 per cent between June and July, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) reported on Tuesday.

But the Toronto region and local markets in the nearby Greater Golden Horseshoe saw the least precipitous drop since the Ontario government announced its 16-point Fair Housing Plan in April.

That could be because a July rise in interest rates pushed some pre-approved buyers into action, said the association.

 “Sales may be starting to bottom out amid stabilizing housing market sentiment. Time will tell whether that’s indeed the case once the transitory boost by buyers with pre-approved mortgages fades,” said CREA chief economist Gregory Klump in a news release.

The supply of new listings has also slowed. Listings were up 5 per cent year-over-year in the Toronto area last month, compared to a 16 per cent increase in June and a jump of 49 per cent in May.

Listings were also down in Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal and northern British Columbia, which was affected by this summer’s wildfires, said CREA.

In the Toronto region, the number of sales was down 40 per cent year-over-year, although average prices rose 5 per cent in the same period. They were, however, down about 19 per cent between April and July of this year — from a peak of $919,449 to $746,216.

Excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, the national average price was $381,297, up from $365,033 a year ago.

Sales were down in two-thirds of Canadian markets, including Calgary, Halifax and Ottawa, as well as the Toronto area.

Some Toronto-area realtors say they are cautiously optimistic that things will turn around in the fall. Showings are picking up, a positive sign that buyers could be set to jump off the fence where they have sat since the spring, said Toronto realtor John Pasalis, president of Realosophy Realty.

The big unknown, he said, is the volume of listings that will come on the fall market.

“That can skew the market significantly. If we see a significant increase in the number of listings sitting in the market relative to the increase in demand from buyers, we’re going to have a very slow market even if buyers are jumping back in.

“A lot of agents are predicting a very heavy volume of new listings both from the people who couldn’t sell in the summer, and a lot of move-up buyers (who) are probably inclined to sell first before they buy this time,” said Pasalis.

Broker Gurinder Sandhu says he is cautiously optimistic that the psychological pause homebuyers have exercised since the provincial housing announcement, which included a 15 per cent foreign buyers tax and expanded rent controls, will end in the fall and the market will return to normal.

“We haven’t had a normal market in a long time,” said the executive officer/owner of Re/MAX Realty Services.

Economic fundamentals support large-ticket purchases, including housing, he said.

“What we see is the Canadian consumer is still confident in the economy. The economy continues to grow in and around 2-plus per cent. Jobs continue to be created at a healthy rate and unemployment is probably among the healthiest rates we’ve seen in a long time,” said Sandhu.

The return to equilibrium is better for buyers and sellers, but those listing their homes need help recalibrating their expectations, he said.

“We are not in the market we had in the first four months of the year. That was a fantasyland. That was short-lived but now we’re back to a market where houses are not going to sell in a matter of hours,” said Sandhu.

It will take months or weeks in some cases.

Another small rise in interest rates won’t have much impact, he said.

But Pasalis said that a bigger question mark is the possibility that banks will expand mortgage stress testing, something Canada’s bank regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, is considering.

“It would put a lot of buyers on hold as they adjust to these changes,” he said.


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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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Government measures are cooling off the housing market, Morneau says

Posted on 26 July 2017 by admin

The finance minister says the real estate price increases seen in Toronto and Vancouver were “unsustainable.”

OTTAWA—The federal finance minister says steps taken to tame Canada’s hottest housing markets have already helped slow down a sector he believes was moving at an unsustainable clip.

Bill Morneau’s comments Tuesday follow this week’s release of data showing Canada’s home sales for June posted their biggest monthly plunge in seven years. The national figure was led by a drop in the Greater Toronto market.

The new data provided the latest evidence that steps taken at federal, provincial and municipal levels have begun to temper the country’s real estate sector, particularly in the Vancouver and Toronto regions.

 “What we’ve put in place has had some impact — and some impact in having a slight cooling in the market, which of course was our objective,” Morneau told The Canadian Press in an interview at his Ottawa office.

 “We thought that the price increases in Vancouver and Toronto, specifically, were unsustainable.”

Earlier Tuesday, Morneau told a news conference that changes in the housing sector were playing out “largely the way we thought it might.” He also noted, however, that it was “too early” in the emerging situation to draw conclusions.

On a national basis, last month’s housing transactions were down 6.7 per cent compared with May, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Monday. It was the third-straight monthly decrease and the Greater Toronto Area registered a 15.1-per-cent drop.

Compared to May, sales fell last month in 70 per cent of all local markets measured by the association, including the Lower Mainland in B.C., Montreal and Quebec City.

Earlier this year, the Ontario government put in place more than a dozen measures to curb the Toronto market, including a 15-per-cent-tax on foreign buyers. Since then, sales in Canada’s largest city have slowed.

A number of federal measures have also been introduced in recent years to address housing market concerns during the extended period of low interest rates. They’ve included higher minimum down-payment requirements, reduced amortization periods and stress tests on insured mortgages.

Separately, mortgage interest rates have started to rise following last week’s hike in the Bank of Canada’s benchmark interest rate.

The federal banking regulator recently proposed to expand stress tests to include uninsured mortgages as part of the effort to tighten lending rules.

Asked about the recommendation by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Morneau said the measures under consideration are slightly different because they’re clearly aimed at the higher-end part of the market.

In the months ahead, Morneau said the federal government will remain vigilant.

“We’re going to be careful as we do this every step along the way,” he said.

“We need to continue to focus on this market. We’re not going to assume that the measures that we’ve put in place so far have necessarily given us comfort that the market’s exactly where we want it to be.”

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Ontario proposes banning real estate agents from representing both seller and buyer

Posted on 22 July 2017 by admin

Consumers have raised concerns that the financial incentives in double-ended deals might lead to agents engaging in unethical behaviour, officials say.

Ontario is proposing banning the practice of double ending, in which a real estate agent represents both a buyer and a seller in a transaction.

The province’s Liberal government announced a 16-point housing plan earlier this year, with centrepiece planks of a 15 per cent foreign buyer tax and expanded rent controls.

Another plank was reviewing the rules for real estate agents to ensure consumers are fairly represented. The government has now published several proposals for changes to real estate agent rules and penalties, and is seeking public consultation on them.

One of the proposals is to ban — with some limited exceptions — salespeople from representing both the buyer and seller or more than one potential buyer in a trade.

 “The seller will want the highest possible price and most favourable terms they can get, and the buyer will want to pay the lowest price or negotiate the most favourable terms possible,” a government discussion paper says.

“These competing interests may make it challenging for registrants involved in these types of transactions to meet their obligations to their clients or to be able to advocate effectively on behalf of either party.”

Consumers have raised concerns that the financial incentives in double-ended deals might lead to agents engaging in unethical behaviour, the government says in its paper.

 “This divided loyalty and the associated risks may leave some consumers vulnerable even when written consent is obtained and the necessary disclosures … have been made.”

Currently, double ending is allowed if all of the clients the agent is representing give their consent to the arrangement in writing.

Under the government’s proposed changes, different agents from the same brokerage could represent the buyer and the seller in a transaction. The “limited exceptions” to the double-ending ban would be if there is a private arrangement between family members or in a small market where there are very few agents.

Ontario says its proposed new model is similar to how British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Manitoba approach multiple representation in real estate deals. It is looking to those jurisdictions to learn best practices.

The government is also considering increasing the maximum fine for salespeople and brokers who violate a code of ethics from $25,000 to $50,000 and $100,000 for brokerages.

A second and broader phase of reviewing Ontario real estate rules will start in the spring of 2018.

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Foreign real estate buyers in Ontario small in number, figures show

Posted on 13 July 2017 by admin

Non-Canadian citizens made up about 4.7 per cent of real estate transactions in the month after a speculation tax was implemented.

Less than 5 per cent of the 18,282 real estate deals in the Toronto and Golden Horseshoe area involved foreign buyers in the month after a new tax targetting them was introduced, the province reports.

The Liberal government implemented a 15 per cent “non-resident speculation tax” in April, along with a number of other measures to help combat skyrocketing prices amid surging demand.

The figures released Tuesday cover transactions from April 24 to May 26 that could be subject to the new tax. Overall, 4.7 per cent of the 18,282 purchases were made by foreign businesses or buyers who weren’t citizens or permanent Canadian residents.

Tim Hudak, who heads the Ontario Real Estate Association, said the province’s statistics are close to the 4.9 per cent previously reported by the Toronto Real Estate Board, adding the “the ultimate solution to addressing the barriers facing Ontario home buyers is to increase housing supply.

“The best way to increase supply is seeing more of the ‘missing middle’ type homes being built like townhouses, stacked flats or midrise buildings.”

The province released the foreign buyer numbers a day before a housing forum — bringing together experts, economics and community groups — was to meet for the first time in a bid to find ways to make housing more affordable and to address demand.

PC Finance Critic Vic Fedeli said the Liberals finally have some data on the issue, providing “some evidence to finally base their decisions on.”

However, he added, “it’s awkward for the government, they can never know what impact their policies have — all they wanted to do was rush out with an announcement so they could have a photo op” he said of the April announcement.

 “What concerned us the most about this whole thing was the lack of preparedness and lack of data,” he said in a telephone interview. “ … It was very loosely put together and that always worries us.”

Fedeli said rather than raising taxes, the government needs to deal with the regulations and red tape that developers say are slowing down housing projects.

When Ontario’s speculation tax was announced, foreign purchasers were thought to comprise about 5 per cent of buyers. The tax is similar to one in British Columbia, introduced a year ago, and covers Greater Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara, Kitchener-Waterloo, north to Barrie and east to Peterborough.

Refugees, or those whose spouse is a citizen or permanent resident, are among a small group who are exempt from the tax.

The province’s 16-point Fair Housing Plan — which includes the speculation tax, $100 million in land for 2,000 new homes and a doubling of the land transfer tax rebate for those entering the market — “sought to stabilize the market and give more individuals and young families an opportunity to buy a home. Early indicators show that the plan is working,” said Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa.

Indeed, the Canadian Real Estate Association reported a 25.3 per cent drop in sales between April and May in Greater Toronto, calling it the biggest monthly drop in five years.

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Rents in Ontario can be hiked 1.8 per cent in 2018 under new guidelines

Posted on 29 June 2017 by admin

The Ontario Ministry of Housing set the rate Friday based on the provincial consumer price index, which measures inflation.

Tenants will face residential rent increases of no more than 1.8 per cent next year unless their landlords apply to authorities for more.

The Ontario Ministry of Housing set the rate Friday based on the provincial consumer price index, which measures inflation.

Another 250,000 tenants will be protected from “unreasonable” rent increases now that the Liberal government has, as part of housing reforms, extended rent control to buildings constructed since 1991, said MPP Cristina Martins (Davenport), parliamentary secretary to Housing Minister Chris Ballard.

Landlords who make improvements to their rental units can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for larger increases based on the amount of money they have spent, Martins noted.

“We know that a strong rental market in Ontario is one that balanced affordability with tenants with the right conditions for continued investments in rental properties by landlords,” she told reporters Friday.

“That’s why landlords who undertake certain capital repairs will still be able to apply for above guideline rent increases and landlords will still be able to set rent levels for new tenants.”

The rent increase cap does not apply to vacant units, social housing, nursing homes or commercial properties.

Rent controls were expanded by Premier Kathleen Wynne’s administration in April in response to the then-overheated housing market, where house prices and rents on units built after 1991 were skyrocketing.

Some tenants complained of being booted out of their apartments by landlords for personal reasons, such as moving a family member in, and then saw those units rented for hundreds more dollars a month.

Landlords evicting tenants for personal reasons will soon have to pay them a penalty to discourage capricious decisions to force tenants out.

“It will be taking place this summer,” said Martins.

There are about 1.2 million private rental units in Ontario.

Under Ontario law, annual rent increases can be no more than 2.5 per cent.

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Government of Canada launches $50-millioncomputer coding program for young Canadians

Posted on 20 June 2017 by admin

Program will prepare next generation with digital skills for future jobs

Ottawa – Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada

Young Canadians will get the skills they need for the well-paying jobs of the future as a result of a $50-million program that gives them the opportunity to learn computer coding and other digital skills.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development,today launched

CanCode, a new program that, over the next two years,will give 500,000 students from kindergarten to Grade 12 the opportunity to learn the in-demand skills that prepare them for future jobs.

The program aims to encourage more young women, indigenous Canadians and other under-represented groupsto pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. It will also equip 500 teachers across the country with the training and tools to teach digital skills and coding.

Virtually every job today relies on the ability of Canadian workers to solve problems using digital skills. The demand for such skills will only intensify as more businesses become software and data companies, whether they sell music online, or design self-driving cars. That’s why the government is investing in the skills that prepare young Canadians for the jobs of tomorrow.

This program is part of the Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.


“The young Canadians whose creativity is fired up today could be the innovators of tomorrow. That’s why our government is investing in a program that will nurture their lifelong curiosity and passion for learning. Coding teaches young Canadians how to work as a team to solve difficult problems in creative ways. We especially need more women and other under-represented groups to learn the digital skills they need for the jobs of the future. Canada will only succeed if we use everybody’s talents to their full potential.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

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