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Wednesday , 22 February 2017

Monthly Archives: June 2016

New sustainability standard announced for home clothes dryers

There is no doubt that doing the laundry is one of the most resource-wasting activities we do. Washing and drying clothes at home (in the US) consumes about 850 billion gallons of water, 241,000 GWh of electricity, and produces 179 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions, according to study by the Duke University Centre for Sustainability and Commerce. Americans, the study said, could remove the equivalent of 12.1 per cent of passenger cars from the country’s roads simply by using front-load washers and dryers, washing in cold water, and hanging clothes out to dry half of the time instead of always using the dryer. It’s a little bit perplexing, given ... Read More »

Toronto poised to become the world’s next tech startup hub

Will Toronto be the world’s next great producer of tech startups? There are plenty of reasons why it could be, and should be, and few reasons why not, at least according to the newest entrepreneur-mentoring endeavour in the city. StartUp Here Toronto, which is a partnership with another Toronto startup, Ten Thousand Coffees, is meant to provide mentoring help for entrepreneurs trying to grow new businesses in the GTA. The StartUp Here Toronto Café has links to dozens of existing startups, incubators, accelerators, funders and educational institutions to help visionaries and inventors turn a great idea into a successful business. Anyone interested in meeting up with someone to talk about ... Read More »

BC real estate industry lacks ethics, transparency; higher fines recommended

It’s a serious thing when a self-regulating body that handles billions of dollars of public money loses the trust of that public. That is what has happened with British Columbia’s real estate industry, according to an Independent Advisory Group (IAG) appointed by the government to look into the industry. Alleged misconduct, the report states, combined with the perception that the Real Estate Council is unable or unwilling to take strong action to address it, has resulted in a loss of public trust. Based on its investigations, the IAG makes twenty-eight recommendations, most strikingly that fines for misconduct by individual real estate agents be increased from the existing $10,000 maximum to ... Read More »

Volkswagen to pay $14.7 billion to repair, buy back diesel cars from US owners

Volkswagen drivers in the United States now know what they can expect to get in the way of compensation from the carmaker, which was prosecuted under the Clean Air Act for cheating on its diesel emissions claims. Volkswagen is required to repair or buy back every one of the approximately half-million diesel cars, mostly model years 2009–2015, that it sold in the US, at a cost of US $14.7 billion. Canada is not included in the settlement terms announced today in the US, but Volkswagen has said it hopes to provide remedies to Canadians “on pace with” US customers. Car owners in the US will have the option of keeping ... Read More »

Mortgage professionals urge government to proceed with caution in housing market

Canada’s mortgage professionals caution that the federal government should avoid doing damage to the country’s housing market by further tightening mortgage lending conditions. The chief economist for Mortgage Professionals Canada, Will Dunning, dismisses the notion that bubble conditions exist in Canada’s housing markets, which would require government intervention. On the contrary, housing activity is a “primary driver” of the economy, and any steps that would take people out of the market could have adverse effects, he warns. The calls for “macro-prudential” measures to deal with the overheated housing markets are rising again, says the economist. While he acknowledges that Toronto and Vancouver are hot markets, he argues that the real ... Read More »

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