New mortgage rules requiring financial stress test for uninsured borrowers in 2018

Photographer: Brian Babb

Photographer: Brian Babb

 

“Canada’s top banking regulator has published the final version of its new mortgage rules, which include a requirement to “stress test” borrowers with uninsured loans to ensure they could withstand higher interest rates,” wrote Pete Evans for CBC News on October 17, 2017.

Evans continued, “The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) released new guidelines for the mortgage industry on Tuesday. The regulator floated a similar version of these rules earlier this summer in draft form, but Tuesday’s release makes them official as of Jan. 1. 

Among the major new rules is a requirement to stress test uninsured borrowers. Previously, only insured borrowers had to undergo such a test.

By law, borrowers with a down payment of under 20 per cent for a home must purchase mortgage insurance. Borrowers pay an insurance premium, but the beneficiary is actually the lender, because the insurance protects the loan giver in the event the borrower defaults on the loan.”

Read the full article here. 

Canadian retail workers could face new taxes on employee discounts

Photographer: Matthew Henry

Photographer: Matthew Henry

 

“The national revenue minister says she is not looking to target the country’s retail workers, even after the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) issued guidelines to business owners that could pave the way for new taxes on merchandise purchased with an employee discount,” wrote John Paul Tasker and Karina Roman for CBC News on October 10, 2017.

Tasker and Roman continued, “The CRA said in a document posted on its website that discounts for merchandise should be treated as a taxable benefit. The tax collector said that when an employee receives a discount on merchandise — as a benefit of their employment — the value of the discount should be included in the employee’s income at tax time.

“However, no amount is included in the employee’s income if the discount is also available to the general public or to specific public groups,” CRA said in its “folio,” a document written in plain language and disseminated to employers to help them interpret the tax code.

The onus would largely be on the employer to keep track of how much an employee saved with discounts in a given year, as they typically file T4s (a statement of remuneration paid) with the CRA for each of their workers.”

Read the full article here. 

Morneau receives earful from large critical crowd

Photographer: Rawpixel.com

Photographer: Rawpixel.com

 

“Finance Minister Bill Morneau received an earful on the Liberals’ proposed tax changes and was often drowned out by a largely critical crowd during a town hall meeting in Oakville, Ont., on Friday morning,” wrote CBC News on September 29, 2017.

CBC News continued, “The so-called “listening tour” event, which was moderated by the Democratic Institutions Minister and Burlington MP Karina Gould, was the last town hall event before the consultation period over the tax reforms ends Monday.

The event got off to a rocky start when Morneau was cut off during his opening remarks.

“You kept us waiting half an hour,” yelled one man.”

Read the full article here. 

Trudeau may hear more grief from premiers over proposed tax changes

Photographer: Nick Le

Photographer: Nick Le

“When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sits down with the premiers next week, it’s likely he will get more grief on a topic he’s heard a lot about lately — his government’s proposed changes to the small business tax regime,” wrote Susan Lunn for CBC News on September 28, 2017.

Lunn continued, “Premiers have publicly expressed concerns with those changes recently, including leaders from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and British Columbia.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says the final agenda for the premier’s meeting with Trudeau has yet to be agreed upon, and said he expects the issue of the corporate tax reforms to come up.

McNeil told reporters in Halifax Wednesday that one of the real-world issues around not allowing private corporations to retain passive investments is how such a move would affect doctors who use that tax vehicle to save for retirement.”

Read the full article here. 

Yellen determined to avoid disaster in financial markets

Photographer: energepic.com

Photographer: energepic.com

 

“With deadly earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and fires, this seems like a season of disasters,” wrote Don Pittis for CBC News on September 21, 2017.

Pittis continued, “Yesterday the world’s most powerful central banker, Janet Yellen, demonstrated that she is determined not to create another disaster in financial markets in spite of a dramatic change in course.

Yellen threw the switch on a plan to reverse one of the two methods central banks have used to recharge an economy battered by the 2008 financial storm.

Yellen, the U.S. Federal Reserve chair, has now formally asserted that she will withdraw both those kinds of monetary boosts to the economy, the stimulus of low rates and the slightly more complex stimulus of buying up bonds.

Nerve-racking peak

And rather than creating a shock wave likely to tumble stock markets, now trembling near a nerve-racking peak, it appears  the cautious Yellen has once again proved her worth as a safe pair of hands.”

Read the full article here. 

Canadians impacted by Equifax cybersecurity breach

Photographer: Jeffrey Betts

Photographer: Jeffrey Betts

 

“Equifax Canada said a massive cybersecurity breach at the company may have exposed the personal information of about 100,000 Canadian consumers,” wrote CBC News on September 19, 2017.

CBC News continued, “Equifax is a consumer information company that provides, among other services, credit information and credit ratings on individuals.

The company disclosed on Sept. 7 that the cybersecurity breach exposed the personal data of about 143 million Americans but, at that time, did not reveal the number of Canadians involved. 

Equifax Canada said the information includes names, addresses, social insurance numbers (SIN) and, in limited cases, credit card numbers.

“We apologize to Canadian consumers who have been impacted by this incident,” said Lisa Nelson, president and general manager of Equifax Canada.”

Read the full article here. 

 

Officials say no life threatening injuries from London train bombing

Photographer: Osman Rana

Photographer: Osman Rana

“Hundreds of London police embarked on a massive search Friday, racing to find out who placed a homemade bomb on a packed London subway train during the morning rush hour. The explosion wounded 29 people and ignited a panicked stampede to safety,” wrote The Associated Press for CBC News on September 15, 2017.

The Associated Press continued, “Witnesses described seeing a “wall of fire” as the bomb — hidden in a plastic bucket inside a supermarket freezer bag — went off about 8:20 a.m. while the train was at the Parsons Green station in southwest London.

It was not a large explosion, and British police and health officials said none of the injured was thought to be seriously hurt. Yet police said it was a terrorist attack, the sixth in Britain this year.

Experts said London may have escaped far worse carnage because it appeared that the bomb only partially exploded.

“Clearly, this was a device that was intended to cause significant harm,” U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said after chairing a meeting of the government’s COBRA emergency committee.  

Hours later, the Metropolitan Police force said there had been no arrests, but hundreds of detectives, aided by intelligence agents, were looking at surveillance camera footage in the subway, carrying out forensic work and speaking to witnesses.”

Read the full article here. 

Trudeau’s pricey Bahamas vacation

Photographer: Zukiman Mohamad

Photographer: Zukiman Mohamad

 

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s controversial Bahamas vacation cost Canadian taxpayers over $215,000 — far more than initially disclosed to Parliament, CBC News has learned,” wrote Elizabeth Thompson for CBC News on September 13, 2017.

Thompson continued, “A document obtained by CBC News under the Access to Information Act reveals the RCMP spent more than twice the amount it initially listed in its response to a question posed by a member of Parliament earlier this year.

The new figures from the RCMP bring the cost to the Canadian government of Trudeau’s stay as a guest of the Aga Khan on Bell Island to $215,398. That amount, which covers the RCMP, DND, Global Affairs Canada and the Privy Council’s costs, is 70 per cent higher than the $127,187 tab first tabled in Parliament.

The news that the trip cost more than initially believed comes as Trudeau is under investigation by Parliament’s ethics watchdog and already under opposition fire for the cost of the Christmas holiday trip in 2016 to an exclusive private island in the Bahamas.

In its response to Parliament in March, the RCMP said the trip had cost it $71,988 — $18,735 for overtime and shift differentials plus $53,253 in “travel, accommodation and per diem” costs.”

Read the full article here. 

Trudeau open to tweaks on tax changes

Photographer: Ryan Plomp

Photographer: Ryan Plomp

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signalled Wednesday he is open to compromise on his government’s plan to tighten the small business tax regime, but he pledged to largely stay the course as he looks to collect more revenue from some of the wealthiest Canadians,” wrote John Paul Tasker for CBC News on September 6, 2017.

Tasker continued, “In his opening address to Liberal MPs assembled in Kelowna, B.C., for a national caucus meeting, Trudeau said he believes in the plan to close tax “loopholes” some proprietors now enjoy but could be willing to alter its rollout to satisfy growing demand for tweaks to the proposals.

The current plan would curtail “income sprinkling” and end tax advantages for those who hold passive investments, such as stocks and real estate, in their small businesses.

“Speaking of tax changes, I want to be clear: people who make $50,000 a year should not pay higher taxes than people who make $250,000 a year. We are always open to better ways to fix that problem, but we are going to fix that problem,” Trudeau said.

A Liberal who was inside the caucus room said “a lot” of MPs stood up during the morning session to question Finance Minister Bill Morneau about the changes and to air their concerns. Morneau fielded questions on the proposals for more than an hour, the Liberal said.”

Read the full article here. 

Scotiabank’s record-setting $800 million deal

Photographer: Priscilla Westra

Photographer: Priscilla Westra

 

“Scotiabank’s record-setting $800 million deal for the naming rights to the building that houses Toronto’s Maple Leafs and Raptors is a major move that shifts the sports marketing landscape, but it isn’t without risks, experts say,” wrote Pete Evans for CBC News on September 4, 2017.

Evans continued, “Under terms of the deal announced last week, the bank will pay a reported $40 million a year for the next 20 years to rename the building known as the Air Canada Centre to the Scotiabank Arena.

The price tag is enormous — more than 10 times what Air Canada paid for the inaugural rights nearly two decades ago — and head and shoulders above similar deals elsewhere in the country.

But it’s a premium price for a premium product, branding and marketing expert Tony Chapman said in an interview with CBC News. “I’m a big fan of this deal,” he said. “Sports is one of the last remaining franchises for live eyeballs, and people pay a big premium to be attached to any kind of sport — especially something like hockey in Canada.”

Scotiabank has been tying its brand to hockey for several years, with sponsorships of kids’ hockey programs, a presence with Hockey Night in Canada, and other naming deals with NHL barns in Ottawa and Calgary.”

Read the full article here. 

Subscribe to: Posts (RSS2)