Simcoe North “important battleground in the next election”

When Liberal party member Ryan Barber announced that he would be running to lead the Simcoe North Liberals, my family were very proud to support him. For the first time I signed up to be a member of the Liberal party, and the passion for the position and trust of character Barber exudes made it an easy choice for others to join as well, if only for the ability to vote Barber in to the role. Barber, who has volunteered for the party for the last 20 years, was on the local Liberal executive for 18 years, and served as President of the association for 6 years, has taken on the challenge of running for the official Liberal candidate in Simcoe North, and thereafter to be the Member of Parliament for Simcoe North. My family and I had the pleasure of listening to and meeting the Liberal leader, Justin Trudeau, back in the winter of 2012 (around the time that he was running for the top position of his party – which he later secured in the spring of 2013) when he came to our blossoming town for a speech at the Royal Canadian Legion. The parallels of Barber and Trudeau play on my mind. Now in 2015 Trudeau’s campaigning has turned towards uprooting the Conservatives and Stephen Harper, with the hopes of bringing Liberal values and policy back to helm of Canada’s house of parliament. Both young men, Barber and Trudeau, have taken a leap of faith and thrown their hats in to the ring with no guarantee of victory – but strong will and support surely give them the fuel for the fight. They are putting their political beliefs and years of experience to use, with the ambitious plan of making a difference for their country. Also, both are working to knock the Conservatives from their post (Simcoe North has had Conservative Bruce Stanton representing as MP since 2006, prior to that the riding has been lead by the now dissolved PC party stretching back farther than some care to remember, while Stephen Harper has been PM since the winter of 2006). “Simcoe North will be an important battleground in the next election. As a swing riding for the last 30 years, the outcome of the vote in ridings like Simcoe North may tip the balance of power in parliament between the Trudeau Liberals and the Harper Conservatives in a close election,” Ryan Barber wrote in an online interview. “Justin [Trudeau] has been an inspirational figure that’s making people question what kind of country they want to live in,” Barber says. “The idea that we can build something great by being proactive, through hard work, is a far more appealing vision for Canada that encourages people to be bold and create opportunities for themselves and each other. If Justin can continue to get people onside with this message not only can he win the next election, but hopefully he can get people in the mindset to do great things again and usher in another great chapter in Canadian history,” Barber continued. There is something about Harper’s Conservative party that has not been sitting right with a lot of Canadians and it has become apparent over the last several months, most notably and recently with the crossing of the floor of Eve Adams from Conservative to Liberal. Though not as scandalous as some make it out to be – Winston Churchill left his Conservative party for the Liberals in 1904 before crossing back in 1924 – Adam’s shift does shine a light on what may be happening within Harper’s strictly controlled government. “Eve [Adams] says she crossed the floor because she couldn’t stay under the heavy handed direction of Stephen Harper, and that’s believable. What’s more, she’s not the only one. While her floor crossing has been big news the bigger story are the 25 Conservative MP’s that have announced they will not be running for re-election, most recent among them John Baird,” Barber says. At 30 years old I consider myself a young voter. I haven’t been interested in politics until very recently. I credit friends like Barber and positive leaders like Trudeau for the new found interest and the feeling that I, along with my fellow citizens, actually have a say. Ashley Matt Editor-at-Large, Online Producer @the_ontarian

The taxman and your TFSA

“When you’ve been hanging around the financial services world as long as I have, you inevitably come to understand the many ways that people can make money. Some stories are as improbable as, say, an adult accidentally swallowing a toothbrush (it’s rare but it happens; just ask British student Georgie Smith, now 21, who, to the best of my knowledge, is the latest person to do this). Take, for example, the improbability that your tax-free savings account (TFSA) today might be worth many hundreds of thousands of dollars – perhaps even millions. The fact is, there are more Canadians in this boat than you might think. And the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) isn’t happy about it.” writes Tim Cestnick for The Globe and Mail. Cestnick continued, “In my recent discussions with the CRA, it’s clear that rumours of a tax-audit project focusing on TFSAs are true. The CRA seems to be focusing on TFSAs that have a very significant value. And perhaps this should be no surprise, because those dollars will one day be withdrawn tax-free. It’s not clear what dollar value in a TFSA might create a red flag for the taxman”. Read the full article here. Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

Canadian marine ecologist warns of planet’s future

Corporate Solutions was very proud to be able to sponsor an event in Midland, Ontario last night, one in a series of events hosted by well-respected local Fred Hacker.   At the Midland Cultural Centre myself and my business partner Aaron Ledlie joined a room full of guests for Hacker’s interview with Canadian marine ecologist Dr. Peter Sale as part of the A Day in the Life series.   Sale spoke of his decades-long work in the field marine ecology, specifically tropical coastal ecosystems, and of his book Our Dying Planet: An Ecologist’s View of the Crisis We Face. There were many points explored during the evening: deforestation, our warming planet, over-fishing and an increasing population. Sale shared his view of the potentially dyer situation we face but also offered practical insights in to what our international community is doing to help, lest politics gets in the way of science. In the past Sale has spoken of similar ideas, one of which was for Nippising University’s TEDx series.

New rules and their impact on the career choices of future financial planners

“Greg Newman doesn’t regret becoming a financial adviser instead of a lawyer. Since graduating from law school in the mid-’90s, he’s carved out a comfortable life as an associate portfolio manager and director of The Newman Group, a Toronto-based affiliate of Scotia McLeod, and still feels good going to work most days.  But if he had to do it all over again starting now, he’s not entirely sure he’d make the same career choice. Many others likely share that thought,” wrote David Pett on January 30th, 2015 for the Financial Post. Pett continued, “New industry regulations, shifting demographics and ongoing product and technology innovations are threatening the status quo of what was once one of the country’s most secure, if not sure-thing, professions.  “When I made the call 18 years ago, I knew I had a good chance to be successful,” Mr. Newman said. “But the business is changing. It’s so much harder to start from scratch now than it was back then.”  Sweeping reforms being both enacted and contemplated by the country’s regulators in order to establish greater transparency between advisers and their clients are one big reason for that.” Read the full article hereRaymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS  

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