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Saturday , 25 March 2017

Monthly Archives: May 2015

CMHC proud of its declining mortgage business

Not many corporations would boast that their business was shrinking, but Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is not your typical publicly traded Bay Street entity. CMHC is a Crown corporation, its “shareholders” are the taxpayers of Canada, and it reports to them (us) through Parliament. The corporation released its first quarter financial report today and happily reports that the total amount of insurance-in-force decreased by $4 billion. It expects the decline to continue, gradually, as normal mortgage repayments continue to offset new insurance written. The reason for the satisfaction with the reverse growth is simple. The corporation’s government masters ordered it. The legislated limit to the mortgage insurance that ... Read More »

France passes law forbidding destruction of unsold food

Anyone who has ever been bothered by the vast quantities of food that are wasted every year will be pleased that France has done something about it. A new law, passed unanimously by France’s parliament, makes it illegal for supermarkets and grocery stores to destroy waste food that is still edible. Stores will have to sign contracts with charity organizations which will take the unsold food. Food that is no longer deemed edible by humans must be used for pet food or compost. Non-compliance will result in hefty fines. It will also no longer be legal for stores to pour bleach on food in dumpsters to prevent people from eating ... Read More »

Many more renters in US cities in wake of housing crisis: study

One consequence of the “Great Recession” and the housing market collapse in the United States has been an enormous increase in the number of renters. When millions of Americans lost their homes, or sold them to avoid foreclosure, many of those who could afford to moved into rental accommodation. Since 2006, the number of renters has swelled, says a new study from New York University’s Furman Centre. In the same period, the number of owner-occupied homes shrank in most of the cities studied. However, affordability has become a greater problem, especially for low-income renters, as rents rose more than incomes. The study examined eleven of the biggest cities in America. ... Read More »

Condo Act reforms introduced at Queen’s Park

After a lengthy process that involved numerous public consultation and input from various experts and stakeholders, the government of Ontario has made public its planned changes to the Condominium Act. It’s the first major change to the Act since it was passed in 1998. As the government says, the condo market in Ontario has changed “dramatically” since then. The Consumer Services Minister, David Orazietti, said that the new legislation will help to level the playing field for the average consumer buying a condo. The proposed legislation will address three key areas: consumer protection for condo buyers; improvements to how condos are run and managed; and means to strengthen the financial ... Read More »

Ban on flooring products puts spotlight on phthalates

Two words come to mind when looking into the subject of plasticizing phthalates: topsy-turvy. On the one hand, there’s growing evidence that phthalates are a health risk, especially to children. On the other hand, the market for phthalates is growing; there could be more of them in the many household and personal care products we use every day, not less.  Some products containing phthalates, notably baby bottles, are already banned in Canada, because they are a health risk, but  many others are not. Phthalates themselves are not banned. It’s enough to make a person wonder, are they dangerous or not? A few weeks ago, two of America’s biggest home improvement ... Read More »

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