• 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.

    Ontario

    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.

    It

    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
  • Higher mortgage insurance premiums are another setback for first-time homebuyers, alongside relentlessly rising real estate prices in some of Canada’s largest cities, experts say.

    Despite historically low interest rates, it’s getting increasingly pricey for young Canadians to purchase their first pad.

    Genworth Canada, the country’s largest private residential mortgage insurer, announced this week that its premium rates for homebuyers with less than 10-per-cent down will rise 15 per cent, starting June 1. The move follows a similar premium rate hike made last week by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.  

    Genworth says the increase amounts to $6-a-month hike for homebuyers with a 95 per cent loan-to-value mortgage of $300,000. While that doesn’t seem like much, mortgages can be more than double that in places like Toronto or Vancouver.

    “All that move is doing is hurting first-time home buyers even more,” says TD Bank economist Diana Petramala.

    She believes the policymakers should instead focus

    Read More »from Higher mortgage premiums, soaring prices to squeeze Canada’s first-time buyers
  • With the Conservatives looking to double the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) contribution in the upcoming budget, Canadians will be able to sock away more money that can grow without incurring additional tax. So that’s great, right?

    Well, there are costs, too.

    Finance Minister Joe Oliver suggested in a memo to the Conservative caucus on Tuesday that the upcoming budget will include a doubling of the current annual TFSA limit from $5,500 to $11,000.

    Sounds great if you’ve got the money to sock away. But keep in mind, there’s no free lunch. If someone’s benefiting, someone else is getting stung, and with any policy announced in an election year, sometimes it’s the same people on both ends of the stick.



    A TFSA increase would be good for …

    So who will benefit? Well, investors will (duh). At least, investors who are already maxing out their current TFSA space and are looking to put in more. Remember, a TFSA lets you invests money that then grows without incurring either capital gains tax or

    Read More »from TFSA limits likely to double; should we be happy?
  • It’s looking like a dreamy summer for roadtrippers.

    According to TD Economics’ latest Commodity Price report, oil could hit US$40 a barrel in the second quarter of 2015.

    “While crude oil prices appear to have stabilized over the last two months, more weakness is likely in store,” says the report. “The market is amply supplied, and storage in the U.S. is expected to bump up against full capacity within the next few months, which should lead to another leg down in oil prices.”

    But while the bargain barrel prices won’t hurt the wallet when it comes to filling up the car, long-term effects will be harder to spot says Ambarish Chandra, assistant professor of economics at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

    “Oil is fundamentally volatile, we know that, so I wouldn’t be shocked if it spikes again but if it does stay at this level for awhile, I think of exchange rates first,” says Chandra.

    For starters, Canada will be exporting less oil products and what is exported will bring

    Read More »from What Canada will look like with $40 oil
  • Informatica to be taken private by Permira Advisers and CPPIB

    (Reuters) - Enterprise software provider Informatica Corp said it would be taken private by an consortium comprising Permira Advisers Ltd and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) for about $5.3 billion.

    Informatica shareholders will get $48.75 per share in cash, the company said.

    The company's shares closed at $44.22 on Thursday.

    Informatica's shares rose 4 percent to $45.83 on the Nasdaq on Monday after Reuters reported that both Permira and CPPIB and a partnership of Thoma Bravo LLC and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan had submitted bids for the company.

    Redwood City, California-based Informatica helps companies connect software and enterprise applications and store data.

    It competes in the integration software market with Tibco, which was taken private for $4.3 billion in December by buyout firm Vista Equity Partners.

    Informatica's revenue rose 10.5 percent in 2014 to $1.05 billion, while its pre-tax income jumped 21 percent to $170.3 million.

    Activist hedge fund Elliott

    Read More »from Informatica to be taken private by Permira Advisers and CPPIB
  • Earnings season poised to...disappoint

    First quarter earnings season kicks off in earnest this week and everything from the strong dollar to the low price of oil and turmoil abroad is sure to have had an impact. Christine Short of Estimize says these headwinds could make for a rough set of reports. Her firm is looking for -1.1% growth on the S&P 500 and -1% in revenues. If those estimates became reality it would be the worst earnings season in more than five years.

    “You’re going to see almost every company mention the stronger dollar. We’ve only had 18 companies report up to this point, but almost everyone from Adobe (ADBE) to Nike (NKE) to Oracle (ORCL) – everyone’s mentioning the stronger dollar,” Short says.

    While the dollar was strengthening last quarter lower gas prices and higher consumer spending masked many of the issues that accompany a more dominant U.S currency.

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    “It’s getting harder to offset,” Short notes. “Now, we still have consumer discretionary and

    Read More »from Earnings season poised to...disappoint
  • The ‘Star Wars’-Inspired History of the Iconic THX Audio Logo

    Digital audio engineer James A. Moorer has had an impressive career: He holds multiple patents, has won an Oscar and an Emmy, and was involved in the founding of Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics.

    But his most famous and familiar work is something that came together in just four days back in the early 1980s. You’ve heard it if you’ve gone to the movies since then, and maybe even if you haven’t. It starts quietly, and it doesn’t last long, but it quickly swirls and builds a kind of thundering tone that can’t be ignored.

    It’s the “audio logo” that announces that you’re in a THX-ready theater. It even has a name: Deep Note.

    “My wife and I have a running joke,” Moorer told me in a recent interview, “of me going to my grave being famous for 35 seconds.”

    The backstory is a curious and seldom-told tale. Among other things, while countless people have heard this brief but mighty composition, most nonaudiophiles don’t know what, exactly, THX is.

    As it happens, Deep

    Read More »from The ‘Star Wars’-Inspired History of the Iconic THX Audio Logo
  • The Totally Random Tournament series continues with our Best TV Characters - Comedy bracket. Who did you like better? Parks and Rec’s Leslie Knope or The Office’s Michael Scott? Vote here!The Totally Random Tournament series continues with our Best TV Characters - Comedy bracket. Who did you like better? Parks and Rec’s Leslie Knope or The Office’s Michael Scott? Vote here!


    If you’re sitting in your cubicle right now shooting mind-arrows at your boss, you’re not alone, according to a new survey by Gallup.  Furthermore, you may even be justified in doing so.

    The U.S. poll finds that about half of respondents have left a job at some point in order to get away from a manager. It also finds that only about one-third of managers are actively engaged in their job, and that most lack the skills needed to do it well.

    In other words, unless you’re one of the lucky ones, you’re living in a Dilbert cartoon.

    According to the poll, most managers are simply wrong for their role, and have been promoted based on factors other than their ability to do it well.

    “That’s not to say these people don’t have talent,” says Gallup.

    “But the talent that makes someone a great salesperson, accountant or engineer is not the same talent that makes him or her a great manager.“

    We’ve all seen this happen: the person who is a successful worker bee is suddenly put in charge of the

    Read More »from Workers don’t like their jobs, and managers aren’t very good: Gallup poll
  • If you have a health condition—whether it’s physical or mental—are you obligated to tell your boss? And is your employer ever required to know about your medical issues?

    The questions raise all sorts of issues, touching on everything from employment law to human rights. And while the answers are not black-and-white, there are some generalities when it comes to the need to divulge illness or disability in the workplace.

    For starters, your medical information is private.

    “The privacy of someone’s medical records is deeply enshrined in all of our legal obligations,” says Fred Wynne, a lawyer at Vancouver’s Hamilton Howell Bain and Gould Employment Lawyers. “Disclosure has got to come from the employee; it’s got to be authorized.”

    However, Wynne says that employees often choose to divulge their medical status to their employer because they’re aware that there are certain benefits from doing so, such as protection from discrimination under human rights laws.

    “In my experience, most

    Read More »from Mental health dilemma: What employees need to disclose
  • Albertans are bracing for several more months of bad economic news and belt tightening amid depressed oil prices, but the province won’t fall into a recession as some economists predict, according to a local economic forecast.

    ATB Financial’s second quarter outlook says the Alberta economy will slow to growth of 0.8 per cent this year, due to a rise in unemployment and drop of investment in the province’s key energy sector.

    Fewer people will also move to the province for work,which means less consumer spending, and housing construction will cool off. 

    Still, ATB isn’t forecasting a recession, saying there’s growth in other sectors such as agriculture, forestry and tourism thanks to the depreciating Canadian dollar and the rebounding U.S. economy.

    “Even with the drag set to weigh on the economy, an outright contraction remains somewhat unlikely,” says the report from the largest Alberta-based financial institution.

    ATB Financial chief economist Todd Hirsch says it will be a challenging

    Read More »from What’s next for Alberta’s economy?
  • Corporate profit margins are at their highest point in nearly three decades, propped up in part by a lower Canadian dollar and cheaper labour costs, a new report shows.

    CIBC says average corporate profit margins hit a 27-year high in the fourth quarter of last year and are expected to remain robust despite the recent downturn in the oil patch.

    "By all measures, higher corporate profit margins are here to stay," said Benjamin Tal, CIBC’s deputy chief economist and author of the report.

    The bank said the average profit margin of all non-financial corporations grew to 8.2 per cent of sales in the fourth quarter of 2014. When the embattled energy sector is stripped out, profit margins are at 7.6 per cent, their highest in almost three decades.

    It also noted the gap between non-energy profit margins and real GDP growth is “about as large as in any non-recessionary period in the past 25 years.”

    CIBC said corporate profit margins have averaged about 5 per cent throughout recent history, but

    Read More »from Canada’s corporate profit margins hit 27-year high: CIBC
  • When David Premi was looking to design and build his Hamilton co-working space Seedworks, he bought a 125-year-old buggy whips factory with floor-to-ceiling windows.

    “The walls are almost entirely glass – huge expanses of window – with small brick tiers in between them because, of course, there was no electric light back then and they had to have natural light to operate,” Premi, whose firm David Premi Architects Inc. focuses on sustainability and urban renewal, he tells Yahoo Canada Finance. “We can work without any electric lights in here, on bright days we turn them all off, and it’s just lovely.”

    Premi’s co-working space capitalizes on a growing push towards making office spaces as natural as possible. A recent report called Human Spaces – which examines the global impact of biophilic, natural and environment-conscious design – found that employees working in environments with natural elements have a 15 per cent higher level of well being, are 6 per cent more productive and 15 per

    Read More »from Productivity: The case for au natural offices
  • A growing number of Canadians are calling the bottom of the mortgage-rate market and choosing to lock in monthly payments, a new survey suggests.

    A CIBC poll, conducted byNielsen, says 57 per cent of Canadians aren’t betting on mortgage rates to fall further and would choose a fixed-rate mortgage if they were to acquire, refinance or renew a mortgage today.

    That’s up from 48 per cent of Canadians who said they’d choose fixed rates when the survey was done in 2014 and just 39 per cent in 2011.

    The CIBC poll says 30 per cent of respondents would pick a variable-rate mortgage if they were to acquire, refinance or renew a mortgage today, while 11 per cent weren’t sure.

    "The poll results confirm what many of our clients are telling us, that they don’t expect rates to go any lower and, in today’s housing market, they want the comfort and security of knowing exactly what their mortgage payments will be for the next four or five years," says Barry Gollom, a vice president at CIBC. He also

    Read More »from Borrowers lock in, lenders offer choice in competitive spring housing market
  • Miners Teck, Antofagasta explore merger: report

    (Reuters) - Teck Resources Ltd and Antofagasta Plc denied on Monday that they were in talks about a merger after Bloomberg news reported that the two mining companies were in early stage talks.

    Teck said in statement it was not in discussions with Antofagasta "in relation to any form of transaction."

    Vancouver-based Teck also said there "no other corporate developments that justify any significant movement in its share price." Teck's stock surged 11 percent to close at C$19.45 after the Bloomberg report.

    The news agency, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the matter, earlier reported that Teck and London-listed Antofagasta had explored a merger that would create one of the world's biggest copper producers.

    With a market value of $8.1 billion (5.4 billion pounds), Teck is Canada's largest diversified mining company, with operations including copper, zinc and coal mines in the Americas. It is backed by Canada's Keevil family.

    Chilean copper producer Antofagasta has a market value

    Read More »from Miners Teck, Antofagasta explore merger: report

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