Why keeping your phone on you may be a good idea

Photographer: Ilya Yakover

Photographer: Ilya Yakover


“Imagine you’re at an ATM. You go through the motions, hitting the appropriate buttons to complete your transaction, and collect your cash. Just as you turn to leave, you spot a piece of paper slide through the receipt slot with what appears to be a note scrawled on it. You grab it to see what it says,” wrote Trevor Mogg for Digital Trends on July 14, 2017.

Mogg continued, ” “Please help. I’m stuck in here and I don’t have my phone. Please call my boss on …”

You’re probably going to react in one of several ways. You might take a quick look around to check there isn’t some YouTube prankster filming you from afar. Or you might consider visiting the doc for a full health check. Then again, you might actually believe that there’s someone trapped inside the machine and decide to call the number.


The ATM user in Corpus Christi, Texas who recently experienced the above scenario opted for none of the above, instead choosing to grab the attention of a passing cop.

The pair approached the ATM, leaning in to confirm whether or not there really was someone stuck inside. To their surprise, they could hear “a little voice” coming from within.”

Read the full article here. 

Morneau proposes new tax changes

Photographer: Drew Coffman

Photographer: Drew Coffman

“Finance Minister Bill Morneau is proposing to close loopholes that allow wealthy Canadians to avoid higher tax rates, largely by targeting people who incorporate themselves and then draw income from their businesses while paying lower corporate taxes,” wrote John Paul Tasker for CBC News on July 18, 2017.

Tasker continued, “There has been an eight-fold increase in the number of corporations in Canada since the 1970s, while the gap between personal tax and business tax rates has grown significantly. As of 2017, there is a 37.2 per cent gap, meaning income derived from a business faces a much lower tax burden.

Morneau wants to curtail so-called “income sprinkling,” a tax move that allows business owners — often professionals like doctors and lawyers — to distribute money to family members who earn less, allowing income to be taxed at a lower rate.

Morneau plans to impose a “reasonableness” test so this does not punish legitimate family businesses. That test will determine just how much work a family member actually does at a business, and if they can really lay claim to profits. Approximately 50,000 Canadian families will be affected by this change, Finance Canada estimates.

The measure is meant to level the playing field, and to avoid advantages business owners have over employees who earn money from a salary.

A business owner earning $220,000 a year can pay up to $35,000 less in taxes by using sprinkling tactics and distributing income to family members. The government will extend income splitting rules that currently apply to minors — colloquially called the “kiddie tax” — to adults in certain circumstances.”

Read the full article here. 

Health risks from wire-bristle BBQ brushes

Photographer: Jamie Hamel-Smith

Photographer: Jamie Hamel-Smith

“After years of safety warnings and reports of injuries from wire-bristle brushes used to clean barbecue grills, Health Canada has begun a risk assessment that could potentially stop the sale of the brushes,” wrote Vera-Lynn Kubinec for CBC News on July 17, 2017.

Kubinec continued, “The risk assessment follows nine incident reports Health Canada has received since 2011 about different brands of barbecue brushes, CBC News has learned.

The problem is that sharp wire bristles can come off the brushes, become stuck in food cooked on the grills and cause injury when they’re accidentally ingested.

Incident reports, along with increased awareness around the issue, prompted the risk assessment, which began in April and is expected to be finished by late summer, said Health Canada spokesperson Eric Morrissette.

“Health Canada will evaluate the results of the risk assessment, as well as all other relevant information, to determine what compliance action, if any, should be undertaken,” Morrissette said by email.

“Recall of the product is one of several possible compliance actions.”

Under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, Health Canada can take a range of enforcement or corrective measures if a product poses a danger to human health or safety, Morrissette said.”

Read the full article here. 


B.C. wildfires could spread this weekend

Photographer:  Johannes Plenio

Photographer: Johannes Plenio

“Gusty winds forecast for the B.C. Interior this weekend could spread wildfires to new parts of the province, an official warns as thousands already are unable to return to their homes,” wrote Mike Laanela for CBC News on July 13, 2017.

Laanela continued, “”Definitely toward the weekend some cold fronts are coming in and bringing some stronger wind patterns,” said Darren Campbell, director of the Emergency Operations Centre for the Cariboo Regional District 

“Most of those weather patterns seem to be in the western part of the region, over in the Chilcotin and the north Cariboo, in areas that have not seen a lot of activity to date,” he said.

“We might be dealing with some new situations in some new areas.”

Campbell said officials are already preparing for any potential issues.

“Certainly we have a window of opportunity over the next few days to prepare any new areas that might become a problem over the weekend,” Campbell.”

Read the full article here. 

Borrowing like no tomorrow

Photographer: Hermes Rivera

Photographer: Hermes Rivera


“”Kids nowadays just don’t know the value of money” is a classic parental complaint.

A decade of low interest rates has made that curmudgeonly folk wisdom truer than ever. And it’s not just kids,” wrote Don Pittis for CBC News on July 11, 2017.

Pittis continued, “Now that Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz has all but announced he is raising interest rates this week, the number of otherwise moderate voices that seem angry may be evidence how true that chestnut is.

“When you are driving towards a red stoplight, you ease up on the accelerator well before you get there instead of waiting for the last second to stop,” Poloz said in a German interview last week.

Essentially the bank governor’s justification for raising rates seems to be that an economy on the go means inflation is just around the corner and that slamming on the interest-rate brakes at the last minute is a bad plan.

That may be true, but there could more to it. As usual, interpreting the words and actions of central bankers is far from simple.

As Poloz has said repeatedly, the bank’s main goal is to keep inflation in check.”

Read the full article here. 

Millennials starting to look at buying outside of cities

Photographer: Kate Tandy

Photographer: Kate Tandy

“With the high cost of real estate in Toronto pricing many first-time homebuyers out of the market, millennials are starting to look outside the city — way outside,” wrote Alexandra Sienkiewicz for CBC News on July 1, 2017.

Sienkiewicz continued, “They’re not looking with the intention of buying a home, but rather buying a recreational property like a cottage, cabin or ski chalet.

A report released this week by RE/MAX and Leger said almost two-thirds of Canadian millennials would consider buying a recreational property in the next 10 years.

Adrienne Atkins, 29, falls into this group, having just recently bought a property in Grand Bend. 

“It’s really unaffordable in the city, I wanted a bit more bang for my buck,” Atkins said. The Yonge and Eglinton resident doesn’t yet know if she’ll make Grand Bend her forever home, but said she would consider moving if she could find flexible work.”

Read the full article here. 

Preventing shingles & heart related problems

Photographer: Jesse Orrico

Photographer: Jesse Orrico


“Getting shingles may increase your risk of a heart attack, stroke or other heart problems by as much as 40 per cent, according to Korean researchers,” wrote Thomson Reuters for CBC News on July 3, 2017.

Reuters continued, “But vaccination can help prevent shingles, which is caused by herpes zoster — the same virus that causes chickenpox, study author Dr. Sung-Han Kim of Asan Medical Center in Seoul said in an email.

Individuals should talk with their doctors about preventing shingles “until further studies elucidate the effect of vaccination on cardiovascular outcomes,” Kim said.

Kim and his colleagues analyzed the medical records of more than 23,000 shingles patients between 2003 and 2013, and compared them with the same number of patients who didn’t get shingles. People who got shingles were more likely to be female and have common heart risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and older age, the study found.

But they also were less likely to smoke and they drank less alcohol, got more exercise and were in a higher socioeconomic class, according to the report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.”

Read the full article here. 

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