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Wireless Number Portability

From 2007: Hard to believe but wireless number portability had to be mandated by the CRTC or the Canadian wireless operators would not have complied. For the longest time you could not bring your phone number with you if you changed telecomm suppliers, luckily that changed.

So the CRTC in Canada (the governing communications body), is bringing in a bunch of new rules, which you can read about here, however the most important one, is the fact that if you change your wireless company you can keep your phone number. I quote from the web site:

By March 14, 2007 Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless and the mobility division of TELUS Communications Inc. will be required to provide WNP to their customers in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Qu├ębec. This means that customers in any of these provinces will be able to switch to any service provider in that province (wireline or wireless) and keep their phone number.

Now this does seem to only hold for the MAJOR operators, but still, you can threaten Bell or Rogers with leaving them and still get to keep your phone number. It’s amazing what happens when you threaten to leave a wireless company, suddenly you get free phones, better deals, it’s like you have to threaten to get a better deal (sounds like a good theory of life). Remember however, a threat is only as good as your willingness to follow through on it!

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Rant: Where is my T4?

I really have a bone to pick with my employer. I realize that they don’t legally have to get me my T4 (receipt of employment income) before February “the last” (i.e. the last day of February), but it would be nice to have it before then, so I might be able to top up my RRSPs or whatever if I felt like it (I don’t, but that is not the point). I realize my employer is very busy, and I am grateful of their timely payments of my pay cheque, but I really would like to have a T4 some time real soon (like yesterday)!

This happens every year, where I have all of my receipts by the middle of February but I cannot file my return (or my wife’s return) until I get my T4. I can usually estimate on the basis of my final pay cheque, but inevitably, I miss some benefit that kills the HUGE tax refund I am expecting. Let’s hope it shows up in my mail box some time soon?

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Canadians are getting Lazier

No, I don’t think that really, but it does make for a catchy headline doesn’t it? I read somewhere you need a real catchy headline to capture the reader’s interest, and then really grab them with the first paragraph. OK, so 1 out of 2 isn’t bad on this story.

Man that was a tiring year
He’s not Lazy, just tired!

Our amigos at Stats Canada are saying that Canadian Labour “Quality” declined last year. Out of most of the stats, I did find one very useful question that is asked:

The major question at the moment is not whether a slowdown in output relative to employment is occurring, but whether this slowdown is transitory due to temporary factors (related to events such as weather, other production disruptions, or the sudden shift of resources to new industries and regions), or represents the beginning of a longer-term slump in productivity due to labour shortages, an ageing labour force or structural changes in the economy.

That’s a really good question, and I really don’t have an answer, but again it’s one of those questions to remember and ask yourself the next time you see data in this type of area. I find a lot of the data from Stats Canada causes me to ask more questions rather than answer the questions I already have, but that is ok by me. The more questions you ask, the more you might learn.

So far in the roll up the rim world, I am up 2 free coffees, but they now make you fill in a form for each of your free coffees? WTF? I think Tim Horton’s had a brain fart on that one!

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Growing Government

This study was published in 2007, and the “size” of government continues to grow quite quickly. Tory or Liberal it seems most politicians like their governments plump and happy.

Stats Canada has put out an interesting set of numbers that makes me wonder what “Conservatism” actually means in Canada. My thumbnail sketch would mean smaller government lower taxes (although in Canada that is all relative, I am sure my views border on Communism if I lived in the U.S.). The numbers put out suggest that governments at all levels are still a “growing concern”.

Public sector employment
Third quarter 2005Fourth quarter 2005Third quarter 2006Fourth quarter 2006
thousands
Public sector2,8863,0312,9323,075
Government2,6212,7712,6672,815
General government1,1231,1021,1501,113
Federal370372386380
Provincial and territorial357344359346
Local395385405387

Now the numbers do bounce around a little at the Federal level, but still the Federal government is larger than it was last year at that time, so it is getting bigger. This might explain why there are so many NEW housing developments here in Ottawa.

A more interesting question is what about the aging Civil Service? A great many of them are close to retirement, and the Civil Service Pension Plan is very nice. This begs the question, what happens when all of these folk retire? Will there jobs simply disappear (might be the case in some areas), or will their work be dumped on existing folks (likely too), OR will we suddenly have another “hiring binge” in Ottawa (also possible)? Stay tuned folks.

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Carnivals and Weekly Recap

Personal Business and Finance in India is hosting the Carnival of Money and Finance and they mention my rants about Einstein Finance and the rule of 72 as well as my explanation of Dividend Reinvestment Plans.

An interesting post by Money $mart Life about pay day loans, where he is looking for stories about using pay day loan companies. He is offering $50.00 for the best story, so go on over and have a look.

My Top 3 Posts of the Week are:

  1. Tim Horton’s Savings Plan where I lay out just how much that daily double double can cost.
  2. Looks bad but that is good outlining the importance of having your injury look worse than it is, to get better service?
  3. Inflation only at 1.2% right now, but how much longer will that last?

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