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Canadian households reach record debt to income level

The ratio of debt to incomerose to 167.8 percent from 166.6 in the first quarter, according to Statistics Canada. This means that for every dollar of income, Canadian households had $1.68 of debt. The Bank of Canada increased interest rates both in July and September. The early September hike was from 0.75 percent to 1 percent.Many economists predict more increases in the future. The debt ratio has been high for some time. In the third quarter of 2016 a record was also reached at 166.9 so the present debt level is not a huge increase.
Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) said: "Certainly it's confirming that debt levels remain high and (are) creeping up a little bit higher. That's been an ongoing vulnerability for the Canadian economy." Ferley thought that the higher interest rates might dampen consumer demand but he thought that most households would be able to cope. However, Scott Hannah of the Credit Counselling Society warned: &…

Vanocouver tech firms offer benefits to attract tech workers

As Vancouver tries to be a base for new tech start-ups it has found that it needs to offer bonuses of various types to attract workers to the city where living costs are high. While Vancouver has already established itself as the cheapest place among fifty markets in North America to establish a new tech start-up, companies in Vancouver realize that to be successful they must attract top tech talent.

The growth of the tech sector in Vancouver is being helped by the fact that large multinationals such as Amazon and Microsoft have recently opened offices in Vancouver. At the same time, Canadian startups such as Hootsuite have begun to obtain international status. Vancouver's high cost of living and the low value of the Canadian loonie relative to the US dollar are two drawbacks that Vancouver has to counter. However, the situation is even worse in some prime high-tech areas such as Silicon Valley in the United States which is notorious for the high cost of living in the Bay area.…

Study shows that tech students may be going to US rather than staying in Canada

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A study by two students at the University of Waterloo shows that in the fast growing tech market many tech graduates are deciding to go to the US rather than stay in Canada.
Atef Chaudary and Joey Loi are graduates of the Systems Design Engineering(SYDE) program at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. The small study of 82 graduating students to which 77 replied showed that many in the program went straight to the US rather than stay in Canada. This appears to show a brain drain from Canada at least in the tech area. However, the two who did the study warned against its being extrapolated. Yet the study does give at least some evidence for a potential brain drain in the restricted area of technology graduates. The tech area is the fastest growing market in North America and so there is fierce competition for graduates. Each student in the SYDE program had to take six co-ops in which they were required to work for companies to obtain experience. These co-op experiences are what drov…

Vancouver a great city to set up a tech company

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A report by Commercial Real Estate Research(CBRE) found that of 50 US and Canadian markets, Vancouver was the cheapest city to start up a new tech company.
CBRE has afull time staff of about 30 researchers spread across Canada. A typical tech company setting up in Vancouver would cost about $24 million a year US to cover both employee salaries and rent in Vancouver. In contrast the same company in the San Francisco Bay area, the most expensive area, would cost $67 million more than twice as much. CBRE, Research Director, Colin Yasukochi said that the lower start up costs in Vancouver are due in part to the lower-priced Canadian dollar, but also more favourable immigration policies, and lower rental rates than many major US tech centers play a significant role. Yasukochi said: "I think there's a better supply demand balance in Canada with regard to the account workforce and the demand for it." The average salary of a tech worker in Vancouver is $79,402 a year which is $34…

Canadian company Bombardier considering options for its train business

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The Quebec-based Canadian company Bombardier says that it is considering `multiple options` for its train business as the unit continues to provide strong profits and sales, enabling the company to break even in its latest quarterly results.
Overall, the Montreal-based company that makes mainly planes and trains used up $570 million US in the quarter that ended June 30. While the company lost $296 million or 13 cents per share this was an improvement over the same period last year when they lost $24 million or 24 cents a share. However, revenue fell 5 percent to $4.09 billion. However if special charges such as employee severance, and also benefits from a tax adjustment are considered, analysts had expected the company to post a one cent loss per share. Instead the company broke even. Investors were actually buoyed by the results with shares up 5.4 percent on Friday AM to $2.54. This is a rise of 63 percent from its low of $1.56 last September. Alain Bellemare the CEO said of the trai…

Two Canadian airports ban ads from Quebec company Flight Claim

The Quebec Company Flight Claim, based in Montreal, in April signed a contract for $73,000 that would allow them to run ads on baggage screens at Montreal's Pierre Elliot Trudeau airport.
The campaign started just last week and lasted only four days before it was abruptly stopped. The promotional ad claimed that passengers could receive up to $1,800 in compensation and to contact the company if they wanted help to fight their case. The ads can be seenhere. The general manager of Flight Claim, Jacob Charbonneau said: "We're just there to protect and help the rights of the passengers, so we feel it's kind of sad that we're not able to publicize in a free market" The company will take on passengers' claims in return for 25 percent of the compensation received. Charbonneau claimed that many passengers are unaware of their rights for delays, cancellations, and overbooked flights. The company website is here. An email sent to Flight Claim by the airport's a…

Canada increases defence spending by 70 percent over next decade

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Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan reveals that the Canadian government will increase defence spending by 70 percent over the next decade.
Canada's defense spending will increase from $18.9 billion now to $32.7 billion. When asked where the money would come from Sajjan would not say but promised it would be there when required. Money spent on defense is money not available for other programs such as medical care, infrastructure improvements, and other expenditures that arguably would be of much greater value to Canadians. Sajjan said that Canada will add hundreds of new elite special forces commandos, wage offensive cyber warfare, and also deploy armed drones to international battlefields as part of its military response to global security threats. No doubt these efforts will relieve some of the burden on the US of being a global policeman. As a recent article notes the secrecy that surrounds all the work of the Canadian special forces, and expansion of cyberattacks "rai…