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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Change at the top signals more government control at CMHC

Government-backed mortgage default insurance is a little like universal health care in Canada: we take it for granted, ignore it when we don’t need it, and we want it when we do need it. The difference is that unless you are an actual or potential homeowner, you probably don’t give much thought to mortgage insurance. Everyone, sooner or later, gets sick. The agency responsible for insuring mortgages in Canada is the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. It is even older than our national health care, having been set up in 1946, following legislation enacted in 1944—in the depths of WWII. One of its principal purposes was and is “to assist ... Read More »

Survey shows women making little progress in business leadership roles

We might like to think that the stereotype of the self-satisfied senior male executive, surrounded by other senior male executives, all of whom think that their maledom is a pre-ordained reality in the world of business, is a thing of the past. The Conference Board of Canada finds the opposite to be true. It says that attitudes about the role of women in senior management are “polarized” along gender lines. Those who are least concerned about increasing the numbers of women at the top are men at the top. The issue is more complex than a matter of self-serving upper-management male attitudes, however. The Conference Board report finds that an ... Read More »

National home sales rose 0.6 per cent in April: CREA

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) reports once again that Canada’s housing market remains stable and balanced. Home sales across the country were up slightly in the month of April on a month-over-month basis. Compared to March, there were 0.6 per cent more sales nationwide; compared to April 2012, however, there were 3.1 per cent fewer sales. The monthly improvement in homes sales was seen in more than half of local markets, led, CREA says, by the GTA, Winnipeg, Victoria and Calgary. In Toronto, the month-over-month gain was 26 per cent, with sales of 9,811 in April compared to 7,765 in March (Toronto Real Estate Board figures). The steep rise ... Read More »

Iconic Canadian magazine Chatelaine turns 85

Chatelaine is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, giving away prizes as part of the celebration. The current editor in chief at Chatelaine said that looking through the archives going back all those years had been really fascinating. Here are a few of the other things that were going on in 1928, (some of them may have been covered in its pages). Ironically, the same year that a major women’s magazine was launched in Canada, the Supreme Court ruled that women were not persons. In 1928, in response to the nomination of Emily Murphy for a seat in the senate, the court gave its infamous ruling in what has become ... Read More »

Flood has condo owners looking for new flooring: laminate or hardwood?

You may not be thinking about replacing your perfectly good floors any time soon, but fate could have other plans for you. As it did for the elderly couple whose upstairs neighbours had an unexpected issue with water. That is to say, a pipe burst and the gushing water, obedient to the laws of physics, flowed down and into the elderly couple’s condo. Among other devastation, the floors were ruined. Suddenly the temporarily homeless couple were thinking about replacing their floors. What to buy? Contractors recommended the elderly couple buy laminate flooring rather than replace the original parquet. Here are their reasons. Reasons to consider buying laminate flooring Laminate is ... Read More »

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