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Wednesday , 29 March 2017

Monthly Archives: January 2015

Banks say no rate cuts coming, but do they mean it?

Canada’s banks don’t change their prime lending rate often. The current prime rate of 3 per cent has been in place for more than four years. Now that the country’s central bank has surprised everyone and cut its overnight rate by 25 basis points, to 0.75 per cent, the big question is whether the charter banks will follow suit. The banks have admitted to being blindsided by the Bank of Canada’s move. All talk for the past two years or more had been of an inevitable rate hike. The CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada said in the Financial Post that he, “like the others,” was “completely caught off ... Read More »

Ransomware making the rounds again: back up!

Radio stations forced to go silent as music files are locked and computers frozen. Autopsy and crime scene photos seized. Financial data locked and held from its owners. The dark and lawless side of the Internet reveals itself again, and there is even a sinister-sounding connection to a Russian prison for corrupt policemen and judges. Reflecting the dangerous times we live in, one of the latest Internet threats has been called “ransomware,” and its creators are ruthless. Operating without borders, from Saudia Arabia to India to Canada, the ransomware bandits don’t take human hostages, but they do take humans’ second-most beloved possessions, their computer files. And they demand money if ... Read More »

Ban on organic waste in garbage bins underway in Vancouver

Vancouver has taken the lead in waste recycling efforts by banning kitchen waste in regular garbage. Since January 1 it has been illegal for Vancouverites to throw food scraps and spoiled leftover food in the regular garbage for collection by the city. It must go into the green bin. The city is allowing a six-month grace period for individuals and businesses to gradually adapt to the new law and figure out how to separate food waste from regular garbage. A green bin program is already in place, but participation is no longer optional. During this period of education, which will end on July 1, no penalties will be imposed on ... Read More »

Social, economic upheaval imminent as driverless cars hit the roads: report

If anyone still thinks the driverless car is a mere fantasy, a toy for the rich that is years if not decades from reaching our streets, they should think again. The automated vehicle, or AV, already in advanced development and testing, will be on the roads by 2020, or even sooner. The Conference Board of Canada says that Canada is lagging in preparing for this social upheaval, and its new report on AVs is meant to be a “wake-up call” for policy makers. The first generation of AVs is well underway: Google, NASA, Nissan, Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors as well as numerous governments around the world are working on driverless ... Read More »

Strong housing market translates into good jobs: BILD

The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) is emphasizing the job-creation benefits of Toronto’s current housing market strength. With sales of new low-rise and condo homes reaching close to 40,000 in 2014, the home-building industry created thousands of new jobs and paved the way for job retention “for years to come.” As BILD president Bryan Tuckey put it in a statement, “Sales of homes today translate into the jobs of tomorrow.” According to Tuckey, the major economic engine that is the building and development industry in the region creates “approximately 200,000 well-paying jobs in construction and related fields every year.” To put that in perspective, he said that each ... Read More »

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