Your Rogers VIP Points will be Worthless Soon

Not that they were worth that much to begin with, but a while back Rogers pointed out that they will be shuttering their Rogers First Rewards program in June 2016. It is pretty sad when the program will have a life of less than 3 years, but so be it, maybe they will come up with something much better? 😂

Customer Retention

With no Reward System?

For folks like me who have their Internet and TV with Rogers (for the moment, once I get a hold of the customer retention team I will need to get a better deal or leave) have a fair amount of points built up over the past while, so we should make sure that we spend the darn things, so me and the Mrs. will be watching the movie network for free for a few months (since we don’t have enough points to get a cash back reward on our bills).

I am confident that Rogers will come up with a much better and much more exciting rewards system (sarcasm) for their valued customers.


Cheques, Cameras and Banking Apps

My loathing of having to go to my local bank branch has caused me to review one of my rules about doing on-line banking on wireless devices (and using wireless phone networks). Pretty much every bank now offers “free cheque” deposit using your phone or tablet, (and their ATM machines are effectively doing the same thing i.e. photographing your cheque and clearing it that way).

You simply take a picture of the front and the back of the cheque, with your mobile phone (inside of your banks mobile banking app), input in the app how much the cheque is for (with a note to associate with it as well), note on the actual cheque that you have done the deposit (and when), keep the cheque for 10 days (to make sure it clears) and once it clears, shred the cheque (TD offers this, as does Tangerine and a few other banks).

Secure Wi Fi

Only Work in a Secure Wi Fi Environment

Previously I have ranted about the insecurity of doing your on-line banking over a wireless network (it’s also incredibly bad to do your on-line banking in an Internet Cafe or on any computer that you don’t control (even the one in your office, assuming your place of work is safe can be a dangerous assumption)), however, given using this new service means I don’t have to go to my “brick and mortar” bank, I will qualify my rant about wireless on-line banking.

  • Surprisingly it is better to use this on your a cellular data network (the security on those networks is much better than you might think), so if you are going to use this service and you are not at home don’t use public wi-fi or any stuff like that, use your cellular data network.
  • Don’t use Public Wi-Fi, Restaurant Wi-Fi, or “Hey look I found open Wi-Fi”, for anything, but especially not for Internet Banking, seriously, you aren’t doing that, are you?
  • If you have a home Wi-Fi Network and it is not open (i.e. you use WPA2, WPA or WEP protocols) then you can use your home Wi-Fi (also don’t broadcast your SSID either) for on-line banking.

An interesting issue can arise (that I read about on this Reddit Thread) that if you try to deposit a post dated cheque early (using your camera and your mobile phone app), you are going to end up being in a bit of a mess. To sum it up, the bank will negate the deposit, and the cheque you have will be useless, as it has been refused by a bank, so whomever wrote you the cheque will have to write you a new one (this is why it is well worthwhile reading the /r/PersonalFinanceCanada Reddit sub).


Remembrance Day passed Wednesday, for some it is a solemn day of reflection, for others a day off. As I have mentioned before, I work with former military folks, and I certainly thank them for their service to the country. I was also glad that it didn’t rain on the folks in downtown Ottawa.

It is Friday the 13th today, so for those concerned about bad karma or bad luck, tread carefully and hopefully the day will pass with little or few major catastrophes. For those of you still buoyed by the election results here is something to put things in perspective from MacLean’s Magazine Chart of the day: How much do MPs earn? They don’t include their expense accounts either.

Remember that November is financial literacy month and you should be looking for posts and tweets with the hash tags #FLM2015 and #CountMeInCA on them. There has been some great stuff already posted, so keep watching and see what other useful things you can learn about money and finances.

My Writings for Week Ending November 13th

I did write something this week that is important, and that is about the Disability Tax Credit Certificate, and how to reapply, please make sure you pass this info on to anyone who you think might need advice in that area:

Facebook Post of the Week

Remember that Vanguard really is one of the 800 pound gorillas that the market is going to listen to if they start flexing their collective might in the board room, but how do they represent their ETF shareholders best interests? Interesting quandary.

For more great financial analysis and articles click here 👇


Let me preface this post with a thank you to Milburn Drysdale at (or Autism Funding in BC for Dummies) his documentation is what we based most of this work on, and if anyone asks you, they should check out his site before you read anything over here about Registered Disability Savings Plans for Disability Tax Credits. I’d also like to thank my wife who has fact checked my statements. 

As I have mentioned my son’s disability was “verified” (for lack of a better term) by the CRA in 2009, and at the time it was a “conditional” verification, and the CRA said that he would need to have his disability re-assessed in 10 years (i.e. back dated to 2005).

I thought no more about it until a few months ago, when we received a child disability benefit notice from the CRA saying, the DTCC (Disability Tax Credit Certificate) would “expire” in December 2015 , which took me unawares, but that is only because I hadn’t thought about the fact that my son’s disability was viewed as a disability from birth, so the CRA credited me back taxes from when he was born. This means that his disability tax credit period started from birth, and given my son has turned ten this year, it is logical that the CRA is now asking for a reassessment.

So the first steps towards re-applying for the DTCC for my son’s disability (again not sure that is the right phraseology) is to go see our Pediatrician and have him fill out the T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate. That is actually me being presumptuous, because our Pediatrician could haved turned around and said, “No I won’t fill in the forms for you because in my opinion your son is no longer disabled”, or something like that, however, that was not the case.

We then added to this documentation, a report from my son’s Occupational Therapist and a Speech Pathologist (Effect of Impairment Document), to help reaffirm my son’s disability diagnosis for the reapplication as well.

Is the reapplication a “slam dunk”? No, not by any means, we need to make sure that we have all supporting documentation done, and it still relies on the CRA to decide whether that documentation is sufficient or not. What if the CRA denies the reapplication for my son? A few things happen:

  • No more tax deduction associated with my sons disability line 318 on my tax return.
  • I would be unable to claim my son’s school and Occupational Therapy as a Medical Expense (any longer).
  • Collapsing my son’s RDSP, which would entail paying back the CDSG and the CDSB that might have accumulated in that account.
  • The Disabled Child Tax Credit would stop being paid
  • The child disability portion of the Child Care Benefit will stop as well.

The advice we got from our Pediatrician (who I think I view as a subject matter expert, as he has done many of these) is you can never have too much documentation, and you must make sure the information is easy to follow for the CRA folks that will be making the decision. As with all reports, if it is well read, it will be well understood and your point will be made (as opposed to this article, which is a little confusing).

Some other notes from my wife, that I am not sure I completely grock, but here they are:

  • There is a list of qualified practitioners on the forms (T2201). I get asked that question a lot, but this information is on the forms, supporting documentation can be from other folks, but you need a specific professional to sign the forms or the CRA will return it to you.
  • Make sure you get your pediatrician or Doctor to fill in the right sections of the forms, nothing worse than doing all this work and have the CRA return the forms with a note saying, “You forgot to fill in the following sections:….”

The forms are signed, and have been mailed (certified mail) to the CRA and now we wait to see whether the Disability Tax Credit will continue for us.

RDSP Graphic

An Excellent Graphic from our friends at Moneysense about the RDSP benefits



Stats Canada published their Labour Survey for October 2015, and after some fairly bland numbers for the past little while, thanks to the Liberal victory there are 44,000 more jobs in the economy! Yes, that is me being a smart-ass, the Liberals had little or nothing to do with it.

The exact quote from the report was:

After four months of little change, employment increased by 44,000 (+0.2%) in October, bringing the number of people employed in Canada to over 18 million for the first time. The unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage points to 7.0%.

Is this a vindication for Mr. Harper? I have no idea, but it is nice to have some positive numbers to talk about for once. Unemployment dropping is a good thing.

Canadian Unemployment Graph

Unemployment for Past 5 years

I stole my headline directly from the report with, specifically:

In October, employment increased by 44,000 for women aged 55 and older and their unemployment rate fell from 5.4% to 5.0%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment for this group was up 92,000 (+5.8%), partly the result of growth in their population.

Congratulations ladies! The statement that there are more women over age 55 is simply reflecting the baby boomers getting older.

The only concerning detail I read was that there were 32000 more jobs in Public Administration, thus the public service continues to grow?

A more optimistic looking curve is the following:

Employment in Canada for Past 5 years

Employment for the past 5 years

If you want even more data from Stats Canada check out these tables of all the data available:

Labour News for 2015

Here are some of the posts about jobs from this past year:

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