Canadian residents banking information shared with IRS

“The Canadian government has shared more than 1.6 million Canadian banking records with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service since the start of a controversial information-sharing agreement in 2014, CBC News has learned,” wrote Elizabeth Thompson for CBC News on January 23, 2019.

Thompson continued, “In 2016 and again in 2017, the Canada Revenue Agency provided the IRS with information on 600,000 Canadian bank accounts each year. That’s a sharp increase from the 300,000 records shared in 2015 and the 150,000 records shared in 2014, the year the sharing began.

However, that doesn’t necessarily correspond to the number of people affected. Some people may have more than one bank account, while some joint accounts could have more than one account holder — including people who don’t hold U.S. citizenship.

Among the items of Canadian bank account information being shared with the U.S. are the names and addresses of account holders, account numbers, account balances or values, and information about certain payments such as interest, dividends, other income and proceeds of disposition.”

Read the full article here. 

Could more sleep help you lose weight?

Photographer: Jay Mantri

Photographer: Jay Mantri

 

“Ian Patton has struggled with obesity his whole life. He’d lose weight, then put it on, going up and down like a yo-yo,” wrote Duncan McCue for CBC Radio on January 20, 2019.

McCue continued, “When he tries to pinpoint why, sleeplessness stands out.

“I think of times when I had significant re-gain or problems with my weight, it would often be tied to periods where I wasn’t sleeping well,” said Patton.

Patton, 35, says that as a child he was heavy but athletic, competing fiercely as a high school wrestler. Things changed in his university years. While pursuing his PhD in kinesiology, stress began to interfere with his sleep.”

Read the full article here. 

 

Misplaced commas costing companies millions

Photographer: Jeffrey Betts

Photographer: Jeffrey Betts

 

“For most people, a stray comma isn’t the end of the world. But in some cases, the exact placement of a punctuation mark can cost huge sums of money.

We’re bidding farewell to 2018 with some of BBC Capital’s greatest hits from over the last year. With these compelling stories, indispensable tips and expert insight, you’ll be ready to make 2019 the best it can be,” wrote Chris Stokel-Walker for BBC Capital on July 23, 2018.

Stokel-Walker continued, “How much can a misplaced comma cost you?

If you’re texting a loved one or dashing off an email to a colleague, the cost of misplacing a piece of punctuation will be – at worst – a red face and a minor mix-up.

But for some, contentious commas can be a path to the poor house.

A dairy company in the US city of Portland, Maine settled a court case for $5m earlier this year because of a missing comma.”

Read the full article here. 

Scientists suspect chemicals used to sanitize gym weights & machines affect microbes

Photographer: Skitter Photo

Photographer: Skitter Photo

 

“When environmental engineer Erica Hartmann hits the gym, she sees the floor where people lie down to do crunches as the perfect place to test dust for microbes,” wrote CBC News on December 12, 2018.

CBC News continued, “You may think of dust as dead. But dust actually teems with bacteria because it acts as a final resting place for everything drifting through the air.

At a gym, people are often encouraged to wipe down the weights and machines with a sanitizer. One antimicrobial ingredient called triclosan stops the growth of bacteria, fungus and mildew as well as deodorizes.”

Read the full article here. 

Do financial planners get better results?

Photographer: Rawpixel.com

Photographer: Rawpixel.com

 

“A new report from Charles Schwab shows that U.S. investors with self-directed brokerage accounts (SDBAs) who work with advisors see greater portfolio diversity and higher returns than their non-advised counterparts,” wrote Audrey Carleton for The Globe and Mail on December 10, 2018.

Carleton continued, “The SBDA Indicators report, published Nov. 27, sampled 137,000 retirement plan participants who currently have balances between $5,000 and $10-million in their Schwab Personal Choice Retirement Account in the third quarter of 2018.

According to the report, only 19 per cent of SDBA participants chose to use an advisor. But this small percentage saw far better results than non-advised participants. The former category showed an average balance of $449,552 – almost double the average balance of non-advised accounts, which came in at $234,643.”

Read the full article here. 

 

Loblaws testing “shop and scan” technology

Photographer: Rawpixel.com

Photographer: Rawpixel.com

 

“Loblaws is ramping up self-checkout with new technology called “shop and scan” — a system that lets people scan their items with a phone app while shopping, saving time at checkout,” wrote Sophia Harris for CBC News on November 21, 2018.

Harris continued, “On Thursday, Loblaws will begin testing shop and scan at five grocery stores in the Greater Toronto Area, and will expand to three more locations in the region in the coming weeks.

“Customers can now scan, pay and be on their way,” spokesperson Catherine Thomas said in an email.

In the race to streamline the shopping experience and reduce labour costs, retailers are rushing to innovate. But not all new technologies prove successful: Walmart recently tested a similar scanning system, “scan and go,” which failed to catch on with customers.”

Read the full article here. 

E.coli outbreak; warning not to eat romaine lettuce in Ontario & Quebec

Photographer: Alfonso Cenname

Photographer: Alfonso Cenname

 

“The strain of E. coli bacteria that has prompted the Public Health Agency of Canada to warn people not to eat romaine lettuce in Ontario and Quebec is the same one that caused a similar outbreak last year, prompting questions about why the federal government has stopped short of issuing a mandatory recall,” wrote Nicole Ireland for CBC News on November 20, 2018.

Ireland continued, “”Basically it’s lightning striking twice,” said Prof. Keith Warriner, a microbiologist specializing in food safety at the University of Guelph, noting that the strain, E. coli O157, is particularly “virulent,” meaning it makes people sick more often than other forms of the bacteria. 

“It’s worrying that it’s the same strain [of E. coli as last year], which basically means it’s the same source. And that means they never solved the problem,” he said.”

Read the full article here. 

Banks consider legal action against Statscan

Photographer: Rawpixel.com

Photographer: Rawpixel.com

 

“Canada’s banks are considering legal action to prevent Statistics Canada from obtaining their clients’ banking records without consent as the federal agency faced criticism from several fronts Thursday during a special Senate hearing,” wrote Bill Curry for The Globe and Mail on November 8, 2018.

Curry continued, “Statscan’s chief statistician, Anil Arora, pledged during the meeting that the plan will not go ahead until the federal privacy commissioner completes an investigation.

The Senate banking committee also heard Thursday from Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien and privacy and consumer advocates.”

Read the full article here. 

Statscan facing heat for wanting banks to hand over financials

Photographer: Rawpixel.com

Photographer: Rawpixel.com

 

“Statistics Canada is facing heat for its proposal to make Canadian banks hand over the financial information of 500,000 individuals in order to perform an analysis of spending patterns. A Conservative senator said on Thursday that the plan was “almost totalitarian.” The agency’s chief statistician, Anil Arora, has defended the proposal – but not very effectively. Here’s what we think he should say,” wrote Globe editorial for The Globe and Mail on November 8, 2019.

Globe editorial continued, “We have an ambitious plan here, and yes, there are risks. However, we believe these risks can be made smaller than those Canadians accept while banking online every day.

And we believe the benefits greatly outweigh the risks. Statscan uses data about spending habits to create an accurate picture of what’s going on in the economy – for example, the inflation rate. That in turn helps the Bank of Canada set its benchmark interest rate and determines payments from government programs like Old Age Security and the child tax benefit, which are tied to the Consumer Price Index.”

Read the full article here. 

 

 

Canadian lawyers advise against lying about cannabis use at borders

Photographer: Tuur Tisseghem

Photographer: Tuur Tisseghem

 

“Al Larocque says he’s always been truthful when crossing the border,” wrote Guy Quenneville for CBC News on October 30, 2018.

Quenneville continued, “But if the Fruitvale, B.C., resident is asked by U.S. border agents if he’s ever smoked marijuana, he knows what he’s going to do. 

“I’m going to lie,” he said Tuesday.

Larocque lives just north of B.C.’s border with Washington state, a boundary he crosses several times a year to reach his winter home in Arizona.​”
 

Read the full article here. 

Subscribe to: Posts (RSS2)