Taxes Due Today!!!

For those of you like me who have procrastinated about getting their Tax payment in today is the day in Canada (unless you want to pay interest and have the CRA come and look closer into your lives).

Go buy Quicktax and get it done!

Unemployment Car Insurance Discount?

I phoned up my Car Insurance company to tell ask a question or two about my insurance and to add my daughter who is learning to drive on to the policy. The second question asked was, “… are you still employed at…” to which I answered no I was not, which caused an interesting sequence of events.

  1. Adding a driver who only has their G1 in Ontario with this insurance company costs nothing, because they are not allowed to be driving without another licensed driver in the car, so that was nice. When she gets her G2, then it is going to cost me some money, but that is a few months away.
  2. Since I am no longer commuting to work (i.e. Unemployed) I get a $23 a year discount because I am not driving my car to work. Interesting!

I had not thought about (2) but they did have down on my policy that I commuted in my car to work, so the discount does actually make sense. If I return to work and drive there, the discount no longer applies, unless of course, I take the bus to work (in Ottawa that is a stretch, unless I am working downtown).

iPhone, iPod, Android and Blackberry Readers

If you fit that category go on over to my working site How Not to Make a Fortune on the Web, and try out the new theme for mobile users and tell me what you think. I am testing it over there and may bring it over here some time in the near future, if it seems to be working ok. It’s kind of slick and I like it, but I am also a very bad judge of what other folks like and dislike.

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EI Claims are Up

Not that the information itself is that surprising, given the unemployment numbers that have already been published, but another interesting question about how well funded the social safety net is funded

In February, the number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits increased by 44,300 or 7.8% from January. Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan experienced the strongest increases.

Another obvious but interesting point is:

Regional data and data by sex and age on Employment Insurance are not seasonally adjusted and therefore should only be compared on a year-over-year basis.

Between February 2008 and February 2009, there was a larger increase in the number of men receiving regular benefits (+36.7%) compared with women (+20.6%).

More men than women getting on “the dole”? Not sure that is significant, but it does seem to be a topic that the media is harping on, about how this is a “Male Recession”, not sure I buy it, but it is an interesting point.

In previous years the government has used EI overruns as a crutch to help pay off debt, wonder what is going to happen now?

 

EI Claims Up Sharply

EI Claims Up Sharply

 

 

By Metropolitan Area

The Stats Canada report is quite thorough (as usual, but this table really does tweek my interest):

  February 2008 February 2009p February 2008 to February 2009 February 2008 to February 2009
  Unadjusted for seasonality
  number change in number % change
Newfoundland and Labrador        
St. John’s 5,330 6,030 700 13.1
Nova Scotia        
Halifax 5,290 6,570 1,280 24.2
New Brunswick        
Saint John 2,330 2,560 230 9.9
Quebec        
Saguenay 6,280 6,640 360 5.7
Québec 12,700 15,110 2,410 19.0
Sherbrooke 3,750 4,560 810 21.6
Trois-Rivières 4,380 4,790 410 9.4
Montréal 62,750 74,380 11,630 18.5
Ottawa-Gatineau, Gatineau part 3,780 4,340 560 14.8
Ontario        
Ottawa-Gatineau, Ottawa part 5,980 7,290 1,310 21.9
Kingston 1,540 1,940 400 26.0
Oshawa 5,290 6,470 1,180 22.3
Toronto 54,460 87,440 32,980 60.6
Hamilton 7,270 13,330 6,060 83.4
St. Catharines-Niagara 7,870 10,980 3,110 39.5
Kitchener 5,240 10,270 5,030 96.0
London 5,450 9,970 4,520 82.9
Windsor 5,720 11,660 5,940 103.8
Greater Sudbury 2,470 3,690 1,220 49.4
Thunder Bay 2,540 2,940 400 15.7
Manitoba        
Winnipeg 5,370 7,380 2,010 37.4
Saskatchewan        
Regina 1,220 1,350 130 10.7
Saskatoon 1,510 2,360 850 56.3
Alberta        
Calgary 5,460 11,690 6,230 114.1
Edmonton 5,540 10,880 5,340 96.4
British Columbia        
Abbotsford 2,210 3,380 1,170 52.9
Vancouver 16,290 28,550 12,260 75.3
Victoria 1,870 3,530 1,660 88.8
preliminary
Note(s):
Number of beneficiaries receiving regular benefits excludes claimants receiving training, job creation and self-employment benefits as well as other employment and support measures benefits.

You might have guessed that Windsor might be taking a beating as well as around Toronto and such but Calgary is taking a beating too (for claimants at least). Kitchener and Vancouver’s numbers are quite concerning as well.

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Nothing Like a Pandemic…

… to make the financial markets even more jittery. The WHO has now moved up their scale for the pandemic to 4 out of 6 and that may mean more jitters in the financial markets.

This will make for some very interesting trade decisions in the next few days, is my guess, since a lot of produce and such come from Mexico, will we see an embargo? Will this drive up food prices (which are already sky rocketing)? Inflation, did you order Inflation with your Global Financial Apocalypse? Sorry, it comes with the deal.

Kiss the Mexican tourism trade good bye for a while, not many folks will be wanting to go Loco down in Acapulco.

Swine Flu again? I’m sure Maple Leaf is deliriously happy to give consumers ANOTHER reason not to buy their products. Stay away from pig farms would be the best advice for now.

?

Let’s hope this ill wind does not kill off any kind of rally.

Tax Day - 2

Yup remember Thursday at midnight you’ll need to have filed and PAID for your tax bill if you live in Canada. Not sure if they are giving Swine Flu dispensations yet, but get it done folks.

Server Issues Return

My site was down for a good portion of yesterday, my apologies to my readers, seems my server went down for the count, but I have been told that evidently the problem is resolved for now. Might have been Swine Flu in the disk drives, not sure.

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Weekend Video

Frank the Wrabbit is an interesting bit of animation from the NFB that can make you think and wonder about our financial industry.

Watch this animation and ask yourself does this story not sound familiar? Something like our current financial mess? Maybe not, but still an interesting little tale to enjoy on your weekend.

Would twere that we were all as smart as a Wrabbit, and even moreso, as quiet as one?

That one didn’t tickle your fancy, how about Special Delivery? This is an Oscar winner.

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Random Thoughts: Spring/Summer Begins

With Spring starting and now summer hitting this weekend in Ottawa with ridiculously high temperatures (for April), remember the importance of getting your snow tires off quickly. Driving on your snow tires in temperatures higher than 10 degrees celsius is wearing those tires out very quickly. The exciting part is trying to get in to see a mechanic to get the tires on and off (I got in, but I had to do some quick talking to get in). Get those snow tires off (unless you live in Timmins or Sudbury, maybe wait a week or two more there).

Random Spring Thoughts

The bloggers have been busy the past little while, and there are some very interesting posts you should be keeping up with:

  • No Debt Plan writes a no nonsense post about Get Out of Debt: Give Up Your Favorites pointing out that while it might have been fun getting into debt, it may not be as much fun if you really want to get out of it.
  • All About Nortel quotes the Ottawa Citizen about No Relief for Ontario Pensioners pointing out that the Ontario Pension safety net may not be solvent soon, thanks to the Auto Makers AND Nortel’s pension issues. 
  • A tax tip from the Canadian Capitalist Beware of CRA’s defintion of Foreign Property, since it isn’t just foreign land holdings they mean.
  • Where Does All My Money Go pointed out there is a new web site you should check out in The Money Belt Web Site, with some useful tools too.
  • Michael James points out that sometimes folks really don’t want to hear his good advice in Investing Paralysis
  • Just Threaten to Leave is good advice from Ellen Roseman when it comes to dealing with most service companies. The consumer has a great deal of power BEFORE they sign a contract.
  • Speaking as someone who thinks hyper-inflation is just around the corner I enjoyed reading Larry MacDonald’s Inflation Fears Misplaced? post.  The Bank of Canada is about to print a whole bunch more money, does that not spell inflation?
  • For those lovers of Twitter have a look for the BigCajunMan on there and follow me if you wish, no I do not update much, I have a hard enough time getting a daily post together, when I have my bowel movements can’t be that exciting either.

Watch for the Video on the weekend, and I may not be around Monday AM due to a ridiculously busy weekend, but you guys have a great one!

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