• While Nepal reels from the 7.8-maginitude earthquake that crippled the mountainous nation this weekend, killing more than 3,700, relief organizations are mobilizing to offer their support to the region. But amidst the rubble and humanitarian rush, concerned Canadians should be weary of misinformation and sham charities looking to take advantage of your goodwill.

    “The reality is, that period of immediate disaster relief usually is only the first few days, and I don’t think that money given now is actually going to go for that,” says Mark Blumberg, a lawyer at Blumberg Segal LLP focused on non-profit and charity law who also maintains www.SmartGiving.ca.

    Last year, Canadians gave $70 million to scammers with emotional scams ranking second on the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s list.

    “Where there’s a major disaster and a lot of media attention, you end up (with people) setting up a website or Facebook pages to help collect funds,” says Blumberg. “In some cases it’s not that they’re being

    Read More »from How to avoid Nepal earthquake relief scams
  • Apple is no bellwether for the market

    It’s the biggest stock in the world, but don’t call it a bellwether. Apple (AAPL) is worth more than any company in history, at more than $750 billion. It is followed by more analysts and showered with more hype than all the Republican presidential contenders combined.

    Yet when Apple reports its hotly anticipated results for its fiscal second quarter, the numbers will tell us almost nothing about the state of the economy, and its stock reaction will deliver no clues about the broad market’s prospects. That’s because the Apple economy is a singular thing, operating within the global market for goods and services but only marginally dependent on them.

    And Apple shares have shown a stark tendency to remain out of step with the stock market as a whole. Which means that when the company reports what are almost certain to be powerfully strong profits after the close today, it won’t tell us much at all about the condition of the tech industry or the rest of the business world.

    Consider what

    Read More »from Apple is no bellwether for the market
  • With the annual income tax deadline just a few days away, Canadians can be forgiven for being a bit more irritable.

    Whether you do your own taxes, or hand over a shoebox filled with receipts to an accountant, many would argue the tax system is becoming increasingly complicated.

    A new report shows the system isn’t just more complex, but says it’s also costing filers more money.  

    “Canadian families and businesses incur significant costs complying with the tax system,” states the Fraser Institute report called Measuring Tax Complexity in Canada.

    “Those costs include direct spending on items such as accountants, lawyers, and computer software, as well as the financial cost of the time it takes to compile the materials and complete the forms. Governments also incur costs to administer and collect taxes.”

    The think tank is calling on the federal government to start simplifying the tax system to save filers both time and money. It may even have the added benefit of helping to reduce some

    Read More »from Canada’s complicated income tax system costing Canadians: report
  • Meds by mail (Thinkstock/Ackab)Meds by mail (Thinkstock/Ackab)

    A mother in Britain is mourning the loss of her 21-year-old daughter after the woman consumed diet pills she’d purchased online.

    Eloise Aimee Parry accidentally overdosed on pills that contained the toxic ingredient dinitrophenol (DNP). A lethal dose is two tablets; Parry had taken eight.

    The tragedy prompted police to remind people about the dangers of buying slimming pills or other medicines or supplements over the Internet.  “Substances from unregistered websites could put your health at risk, as they could be extremely harmful, out of date, or fake,” Chief Inspector Jennifer Mattinson told the Guardian.  

    Diet pills are just one item to avoid buying online. Here are a few other products that you’re better off buying at a bricks-and-mortar store after consulting a qualified health professional.

    Prescription drugs without a prescription

    There are legitimate pharmacies out there, but also many that are not. Referred to as rogue websites, they may sell controlled substances such as

    Read More »from Buyer beware: The most dangerous products to order online
  • The flag of Canada at Parliament Hill in Ottawa.The flag of Canada at Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

    When Mehmet Gulec looks back on the days and weeks following his family’s arrival in Canada from Turkey in December 2013, he says he’s still amazed by everything the foursome overcame in fleeing their homeland. It wasn’t just the severe ice storm that hit Burlington, Ontario, three days after they landed there that they found challenging. So too was getting settled in their new country with extremely limited means.

    “We came – four people – with $1,000 Canadian cash,” Gulec says of his wife and two sons. “We survived, and when I turn back even myself I cannot understand how we did it. It was because we were not alone: Canadians are unbelievable people.”

    Gulec, who worked for 20 years as a production manager in the automotive industry in Turkey, says several organizations helped the family get established, including the Centre for Skills Development & Training, which offers a program called Enhanced Language Training to help immigrants who are beginning their careers in Canada. Gulec is

    Read More »from New immigrants to Canada face unexpected costs
  • Social media is a great place to post pictures of your food or prove that you’re the only one with an opinion on Jay-Z’s failing Tidal music streaming service.

    It is not, however, a good place to boast about your recent flirtation with tax evasion.

    “You’re seeing some stock brokers bragging on social media about how successful they’ve been taking the $10,000 or whatever they’ve put into TFSAs and turning it into $100,000 based on speculative stock trades and I think to myself – you idiots!” says James Rhodes, a Waterloo-based tax lawyer. “If I was an auditor I’d be printing their comments out and using it to create an audit link and send an auditor on them.”

    The catch is – the Canada Revenue Agency can do just that. After all, anything in the public record is fair play, CRA spokesperson Jelica Zdero told Yahoo Canada in an email response.

    “The Canada Revenue Agency does not disclose the specific tools and methods used during an audit or criminal investigation,” she writes. “However,

    Read More »from Can the CRA use your social media accounts against you?
  • Commuters are getting a long-term promise of better transit and roadways through increased infrastructure spending and some special interest groups will see their funding continue, but there were no major incentives in the Ontario budget for everyday citizens living in Canada’s largest province.

    There is another way to look at it though: There were no personal tax increases (unless you count the new beer charge), which means the broader public was spared what could’ve been a more painful path to balance the books.

    Economists say it wouldn’t have been prudent for the Ontario government to provide broader perks to people in the province, given its balancing act between reducing the deficit and trying to capitalize on economic growth.

    “With a return to balance the priority, there was limited fiscal room for new initiatives in this budget,” said TD economists Leslie Preston and Jonathan Bendiner in a note after the budget was tabled on Thursday. TD described the budget as a “progress

    Read More »from Mixed bag for consumers in Ontario budget
  • Canada’s banks have been ranked the strongest in the world for seven straight years and recently reported first quarter profits that topped $8 billion for the group. And to be clear, that’s $8 billion for five banks over three months.

    So, time for a hiring spree, right? Not quite. To look at the recent headlines, you’d think it’s tough times for the big lenders.

    According to reports this week, Bank of Montreal has cut some 50 jobs on its capital markets side, and Toronto-Dominion is paring jobs from several departments. This follows Scotiabank’s announcement in the fall that it will cut 1,500 jobs, most of them in Canada.

    Of course, the big banks each employ tens of thousands, so these aren’t exactly mass layoffs. But the banks are clearly in a cost-cutting mindset, and their quarterly reports show headcounts lower this year than last.

    “2015 is going to be a bad year for Canadian banks,” says Ian Lee, a former banker and current business professor at Carleton University.

    Now, it should

    Read More »from Jobs cut as tough times loom for Canada’s billionaire banks
  • The new Clear appThe new Clear app

    A new app offers a spring-cleaning service which instantly turns you from a foul-mouthed, offensive layabout into a hot employment prospect.

    Well, on Facebook and Twitter at least.

    The app, Clear, is available on iTunes now, in an early test version which will automatically spruce up both Twitter and Facebook accounts.

    It was created by Ethan Czahor, after he was fired from a top job in politics for offensive Facebook posts - and automatically scans for generalisations such as ‘gay’ as well as swearwords.

    The app flags potentially offensive messages - it also scans your language for negative-sounding or angry posts - and you can opt to delete them directly within the app.

    It also works with Instagram and Twitter. It’s in testing at the moment at this site.

        [ Robotic Chef Can Cook Michelin Star Food In Your Kitchen By Mimicking World's Best Cooks ]

    ‘'The most challenging part of this is determining which tweets are actually offensive, and that’s something that will take a while to get

    Read More »from New App Instantly 'Cleans Up' Your Facebook Account For Job Interviews
  • Canadians are reluctant to give up cash in their portfolios and see home ownership as the best investment, according to a newly released investor sentiment survey from Manulife Financial.

    The survey shows Canadians are more conservative than Americans in their investments, which makes sense given the difference in economic growth outlooks between the two nations. Canada’s economic growth is picking up, but not as quickly as many economists expect, research shows, while the U.S. economy is rebounding more strongly. Canada’s main stock index has also underperformed the main U.S. indexes over the past year.

    About one-third (34 per cent) of Canadians surveyed by Manulife said now is a good time to hold on to cash, compared to 13 per cent of Americans. Canadians aren’t avoiding equities, but the survey shows only 44 per cent said it was a good time to invest in stocks, compared to 60 per cent of Americans.

    The results are similar to a survey Manulife released earlier this year showing 

    Read More »from Canadians continue to see home ownership as the best investment: survey
  • Small businesses, seniors and Canadians with extra money to sock away will benefit most from the federal government’s pre-election budget.

    There were few surprises in the document released on Tuesday, given much of the contents were already reported leading up to budget day, helping the government gain momentum for its policies as it readies to meet voters this fall.

    “It’s obviously an election-year budget,” said Deb MacPherson, national leader of KPMG’s Enterprise Tax practice, and a partner in the company’s Calgary office.

    Measures such as increasing the contribution level Canadians can make to their Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) — to $10,000 from $5,500 starting this year — and reducing the small business tax rate to 9 per cent from 11 per cent by 2019, are some of the goodies.

    MacPherson said both are beneficial, but taxpayers should consider them in the context of their own personal or business situations.

    She said a higher TFSA limit is only good news if you have another $4,500

    Read More »from Budget can help retirement savings, small businesses, but not all will benefit
  • After years of teasing and poking Canada’s real estate market in its bloated and overvalued gut, British periodical – The Economist – has finally given us top honours, pegging Canada’s housing market as the most overvalued in the world compared to rental rates, at 89 per cent, and third when compared to incomes at 35 per cent.

    All in, of the 26 markets examined by the magazine, seven had housing prices more than 25 per cent overvalued including Australia, France, Britain and Sweden. Belgium was the highest, with house prices 50 per cent overvalued when compared to income.

    The catalyst of the “off kilter” housing market, is cheap borrowing meant to stimulate the economy and propel us out of the recession, which ultimately encouraged homebuyers to get into the market. Increased demand boosted prices, creating a bubble where prices outpaced incomes and rental costs.

    The Economist joins a chorus of voices all harmonizing around overvaluation  including the Deutsche Bank, which put the

    Read More »from Economists split over Canada’s overvalued housing market
  • Vancouver may have milder weather and picturesque mountains, and Toronto a wider range of higher-paying jobs, but people in smaller cities across Canada are happier, a new study suggests.

    The report, released through Statistics Canada, shows people in cities such as Saguenay and Trois-Rivieres, Que., St. John’s, Nfld. and Sudbury, Ont. have some of the highest life satisfaction levels in Canada, while Toronto and Vancouver are among the lowest.

    While the study doesn’t offer an explanation as to why small-city Canada is more content, experts believe it’s the closer connection to and support from their communities.

    “Part of it is because modern cities are less able automatically to provide social connections such as trust, friendly reception and ability and ease of putting down your roots, which small towns provide more quickly,” said John Helliwell, a senior fellow at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) and professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia.

    Read More »from Vancouver is unhappiest city in Canada: study
  • It’s no secret that the plunge in oil prices is wreaking havoc in Canada’s oil-producing provinces, but economists had expected that to be partially offset by an improvement in other parts of the economy that benefit from cheaper energy.

    According to a report by the Conference Board of Canada, it isn’t playing out that way.

    In a “primer” ahead of the release of the federal budget next week, the Conference Board says, in so many words, that Canada is getting the sour, but missing out on the sweet.

    “You’d think (weak oil) would have a positive effect, that low gasoline prices would boost the consumer and that would have a positive effect on retail and then hopefully business investment,” says Matthew Stewart, associate director of the Conference Board’s National Forecast. “That hasn’t really happened.”

    To be sure, consensus is that the overall impact of falling oil is bad for the economy, and Stewart estimates oil producing firms will cut their budgets by about one-third, which is major

    Read More »from With budget looming, non-oil provinces not seeing benefit of cheap energy: report
  • Immigrants come to Canada with an average of $47,000 saved up to start their new life, then spend more than half of it getting settled, a new survey shows. 

    About one-fifth of immigrants arrive without any savings, looking to build some wealth in Canada.

    The report from BMO Wealth Management paints a picture of eager new Canadians looking for a safe, stable country in which to live, although some may be unprepared for the higher cost of living in some parts of the country.

    Immigrants came to Alberta with less money than other provinces, or an average of $28,784, and were left with just $9,800 after the move, according to the survey. It includes responses from people who moved to Canada in the past decade. 

    In Quebec, immigrants arrive with an average of $36,527 and were left with $7,388 after getting settled. It appears cheaper to get started in Ontario, where an average of $27,579 was left from an average of $51,847 in savings brought to Canada.

    Immigrants were prepared for the high

    Read More »from One-fifth of immigrants to Canada arrive with no savings: BMO
  • December 2015 is shaping up to be a heckuva month. First, we’re getting a new Star Wars movie. And the ways things are looking, you’ll be able to stop at the supermarket on the way home for a post-movie 6-pack.

    Yes, Kathleen Wynne has confirmed what we already knew: that she’s more politically savvy than anyone thought two years ago (Gas plants? What gas plants?), announcing that beer will be available in supermarkets as early as this Christmas.

    “The days of the status quo are over and the days of monopoly are done,” Wynne says.

    In the spirit of open markets, here’s a primer of what’s to come:

    1.     Eggs, cereal, and milk in one trip!

    You know that panic when you’re finishing up the shopping and you realize you don’t have time to stop for beer on the way home? That ends soon. The government is selling up to 450 licenses for supermarket sales, which means there should eventually be as many private sellers as there currently are beer stores. There will be rules, such as restricted

    Read More »from Top five things to know about Ontario’s beer revolution
  • When financial times are good, Canadians eat out, often dining amongst the romantic fluorescent lighting of chain restaurants.

    In 2014, it was pre-oil crash Albertans who trumped the rest of their Canadians peers by spending $2,137 per capita, representing the largest commercial foodservice sales last year, according to GE Capital’s annual Canadian Chain Restaurant Industry Review

    “Usually, whatever economic area is doing well you see restaurants also doing the best,” James Rilett, vice president of Ontario for the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) told Yahoo Canada Finance. “For now we are seeing positive growth and a lot of it is (attributed) to the lower dollar, which gives more household income and free money to spend.”

    Overall, Canadians spent more than $57.5 billion at restaurants last year – which is about four per cent of the overall GDP. It’s also a 4.9 per cent increase on 2013. GE Capital expects that number to grow to $59.8 billion in 2015.


    Read More »from Canadians spending more at chain restaurants: report
  • The federal government has a number of programs to support entrepreneurship in Canada, but a new report shows the rate of business start-ups has been falling and proposes a major policy change to fix the problem.

    The Fraser Institute is calling for an overhaul of Canada’s capital gains tax, which includes an idea of scrapping it altogether.

    It says benefits of the tax are slim for government, but come at a “considerable economic cost” for entrepreneurs.

    The tax reduces the return both entrepreneurs and investors receive from the sale of a business, “which is the return to them for risk-taking, innovation, hard work, and low early stage compensation,” the report states. 

    That discourages the creation of new ventures, which in turn hampers economic growth across Canada.

    The report says Canada has an opportunity to “supercharge its entrepreneurial environment” by reducing the capital gains tax rate, creating a rollover similar to what happens in the U.S., or dropping the tax entirely.


    Read More »from Canada’s aging population, capital gains tax stiffing entrepreneurship: report
  • Taxes aren’t fun to deal with at the best of times, but you may find yourself even more irked if you get a T4 amendment in the mail.

    The good news is that it’s not uncommon to receive such a notice.

    “Amended T4s are generally sent out to correct errors,” says James Bell, director of Tax Solutions Canada, who worked at the Canada Revenue Agency for 22 years before starting his company in 2013. Those errors are on behalf of the employer, which means there’s nothing you can do to prevent getting one.

    “T4s get amended because of an oversight on the part of the employer,” Bell says. “It’s a routine occurrence,” he adds. “It happens all the time.”

    Reasons a “Statement of Remuneration Paid” could be amended are wide-ranging; examples include improper classification of an amount (such as the under- or over-reporting of income), improper calculation of benefits to employees who participate in a stock-purchase plan, or the lack of inclusion of other taxable benefits or an incorrect tally of those

    Read More »from Tax error? What to do when you have to refile
  • Well, the eaves have been cleaned, the baseboards scrubbed and that nagging armpit hole in your favourite cardigan is all stitched up. Then there’s those four leaked Game of Throne episodes – obviously you’ve made time to binge watch them. Yep, nothing else to do right? I mean, certainly not taxes. This early? There are still a couple weeks to deadline and well, there’s cutlery to reorganize in the drawer and is that painting off kilter? It looks off-kilter.

    Besides, no one else seems to be in a hurry. According to the Canada Revenue Agency’s latest figures, as of April 6 only 11 million returns have been processed – which isn’t even half of the 28.2 million returns filled last year.

    But procrastination, as endorphin releasing as it can be, can inhibit your ability to get your proverbial “stuff” together in time. The result, says Kirby Dickson, a tax professional at H&R Block in Toronto, is often skipped over tax credits and missed deductions.

    “The sooner you get your stuff in, the

    Read More »from Canadians procrastinating on taxes and it could cost them
  • Strong markets have given Canadians high hopes for their portfolios, but a new study suggests investors might be prone to making knee-jerk decisions in the face of a market disruption, such as a sharp drop in the price of oil that takes a bite out of their holdings.

    According to Paris-based asset management giant Natixis, 54 per cent of respondents worry about further declines in the price of the commodity. But even with that awareness, investors also seem rather, ahem, optimistic about their future overall returns in the current market.

    The study shows investors believe they need an average annual return of 9.3 per cent over and above inflation to cover their costs in retirement, and that 80 per cent believe this goal is achievable. Eighty-seven per cent, meanwhile, expect their returns this year will be the same or stronger than last year.

    At the same time, however, 60 per cent say they struggle to avoid making emotional decisions during market shocks.

    According to Natixis, what this

    Read More »from Canadian investors have high expectations, but may be prone to panic: study
  • Despite a 20 per cent increase in Toronto housing starts in March, TD Economics thinks the Greater Toronto Area’s building boom is coming to an end according to a recent report

    New home construction is far removed from its peak in 2012 hovering near 2008/2009 recessionary levels on a six month moving average with completions accelerating, according to the report, hitting three times their historical average in the first two months of 2015.

    “The completions data we’re watching going forward, as growing excess supply of condos remains the greatest near-term risk facing the market,” says the report. “While new and resale condo sales remain strong (up 13 per cent year-over-year), there are already three condos available on the market for each one sold, compared to the detached home market where there are only 1.5 listings for every sale.”

    Ultimately, condo prices have flat-lined with resale condo prices rising three per cent year-over-year, but TD suspects the kickback from overbuilding

    Read More »from End of GTA building boom overplayed: experts
  • Periscope Threatens to Ban Accounts That Broadcasted ‘Game of Thrones’ Premiere

    It didn’t take long for the Internet to use Periscope, the new Twitter-owned mobile video streaming app, for some skeezy and illegal activity.

    On Sunday, there were reports that Periscopers were sending out live personal broadcasts of the season premiere of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones,’ by pointing their iPhones at the television or computer screen and pressing record. This, in turn, prompted threats of account closures from Periscope.

    A Twitter spokesperson told Mashable that Periscope prohibits the streaming of copyrighted materials, and pointed to the app’s terms of service which give the right to “terminate a user’s account if the user is determined to be a repeat infringer.”

    As GoT remains the most illegally downloaded television show around, low-quality Periscope streams of peoples’ TV screens were used Sunday night as a way for those impatient pirates to catch the show live as it broadcast at 9 PM ET. HD torrents of popular shows are generally captured and placed online for illegal

    Read More »from Periscope Threatens to Ban Accounts That Broadcasted ‘Game of Thrones’ Premiere
  • Instant Coffee No More: Italian Astronaut Gets Espresso Machine on Space Station

    A prototype of Lavazza and Argotec’s “ISSpresso” machine. (AP Photo/Lavazza)

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Mornings are about to improve for the Italian astronaut who’s been suffering through instant coffee at the International Space Station since fall. An espresso machine is on the supply capsule scheduled for launch Monday.

    The specially designed, Italian-made espresso maker is intended for Samantha Cristoforetti, who arrived last November. It was supposed to fly in January, but ended up on backlog following another company’s launch explosion last year.

    The espresso maker is dubbed ISSpresso — ISS standing for International Space Station. Italian coffee giant Lavazza joined forces with the Turin-based engineering company Argotec and the Italian Space Agency to provide a specially designed machine for use off the planet. NASA certified its safety.


    A prototype of Lavazza and Argotec’s “ISSpresso” machine. (AP photo/Lavazza)

    NASA’s space station program deputy manager, Dan Hartman,

    Read More »from Instant Coffee No More: Italian Astronaut Gets Espresso Machine on Space Station
  • Ontario and B.C. shouldn’t get too smug: Alberta may have lost its economic might thanks to falling oil prices, but some economists say the province, alongside neighbouring Saskatchewan, will get its groove back in the not-too-distant future.  

    “West is still best,” says the headline of a TD Economics report, which says Alberta and Saskatchewan “still have the edge,” from a long-term economic growth perspective.

    When oil prices do eventually recover, which TD says isn’t too far away, the young and growing populations in the two provinces will play a big role in increasing Canada’s productivity, and in turn economic growth.

    “Much hay has been made about the fall from grace of Canada’s seemingly perennial growth leaders, Alberta and Saskatchewan, who have been replaced at the upper end of the leaderboard by oil-importing regions such as Ontario and British Columbia, “ TD economists Randall Bartlett, Jonathan Bendiner and Admir Kolaj write in their report.

    “Our long-term view has not been

    Read More »from Canada’s West is still the best: TD Economics
  • Recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions around aboriginal rights and title are creating economic barriers for First Nation communities, and Canada as a whole, argues a new report from the Fraser Institute.

    While the decisions have created a new range of property rights, the report says they are difficult to use in Canada’s market economy. It also claims the Court rulings create “opaque and unpredictable rules" for making land use decisions.

    “Aboriginal peoples are thus in the paradoxical position of receiving new property rights that they will find difficult to use. This is an unfortunate situation both for them and for the wider Canadian economy,” says the report, written by political scientist and advisor Tom Flanagan.

    At least one First Nations leader says the report misrepresents the values of Canada’s indigenous peoples, and misses the point about what they’re fighting for when it comes to protecting their traditional territories.

    To drive home its point, the Fraser Institute cites

    Read More »from Supreme Court decisions causing economic barriers for Canadian Aboriginals: Fraser Institute
  • Canadian cities looking for ways to jumpstart economic growth should maybe take a lesson from Nanaimo, B.C., which says it is reaping the benefits of a growing medical marijuana plant that opened last year.

    It’s nice to have options when the local Target or Future Shop closes it’s doors, and you’ve have to think the packing room at the Tilray plant in Nanaimo has a more convivial scent than traditional retail.  Okay, cheap pot joke there, but city officials say that Tilray, which started production last April, does a lot more than just serve as a punch line.

    According to a report by the city’s economic development corporation, Tilray is already one of the top employers in town, with about 140 workers, and has supported a total of 395 direct and indirect jobs through its construction and operation so far.

    “The employment positions created by Tilray include PhD research scientists, patients advocates, security personnel filled by former RCMP officers, professional managers, manufacturing

    Read More »from Nanaimo, B.C., gets a boost from the next big thing: medical marijuana
  • Forget wrinkles and sagging skin, running out of money in retirement is one of the biggest fears working women have these days, and it’s not completely irrational, experts say.

    So-called “bag lady syndrome,” or becoming pathetic like Cate Blanchett’s character in the film Blue Jasmine, is more of a fear for women because they earn less than men, live longer than men and usually spend more time out of the workforce then men while caring for children and elderly parents. 

    That combination curbs their earning power over the years, especially when they likely need to stretch out their savings longer than most men.

    “Women of all economic walks of life have a shared fear – and that’s the fear running out of money,” says Caroline Dabu, vice president and head of the BMO Wealth Planning Group.

    She cites statistics showing 80 per cent of men die married, while 80 per cent of women die single. Divorce is also on the rise, and more women are choosing to be single.

    “The incidents of women spending

    Read More »from Lower earnings, longevity put Canadian women at risk for ‘bag lady syndrome’
  • People look at boards displaying flight information in Barcelona's airport, August 8, 2014. (Reuters)People look at boards displaying flight information in Barcelona's airport, August 8, 2014. (Reuters)

    It’s become a common refrain among travellers trying to book flights on points: they can’t get seats because airplanes are all packed or because of blackout dates.

    Two Aeroplan members recently went to CBC’s Go Public after finding it nearly impossible to use their points to book certain flights. Toronto’s Michael Finkelstein, who’s been collecting points since 1992, told the public broadcaster he tried using his miles to book a trip for himself and his wife to Europe. He started looking in February of this year; nothing was available until March 2016.

    Finkelstein claimed that a supervisor told him that the company has grown so much that it can’t get the space allocation from airlines, thereby finding itself unable to meet customer demand.

    Ian Gill from Huntingdon, Que., meanwhile, complained that he couldn’t find business class seats 11 months in advance and that the Aeroplan fees associated with an Air Canada flight  were exorbitant.

    With more than 80 travel reward credit cards

    Read More »from Canada’s best travel rewards credit cards
  • Millennials are changing the definition of ballin’, foregoing the ritzy neighbourhoods and suburbs in favour of classy condos close to the downtown core, according to a report by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.

    “Generation Y is willing to sacrifice space in favour of a trendy and urban location, treating neighbourhoods as a direct extension of their personal living space,” says the report. “Changing generational values are redefining top-tier neighbourhoods as urban, eclectic, emerging areas with socio-economic, ethnic and linguistic diversity.”

    First-time luxury condo buyers in Vancouver predominantly lean towards a minimum of 800-square-feet, with 90 per cent of Vancouver’s Millennial one percenters buying within 5 km of downtown. In Montreal, they’re chiefly choosing 850-square-feet condos, with 95 per cent also buying within 5 km of downtown. While Toronto’s high-net worth Millennials are after 900-square-feet, they’re willing to stray a little further from downtown with 85

    Read More »from How Millennials are redefining Canada’s luxury home market


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