Concerns about Canadian household debt easing

Accelerating disposable income and slowing mortgage growth are the driving forces behind the recent improvement

Concerns about Canadian household debt easingConcerns about household debt in Canada have come down a notch – the first real signs of easing indebtedness in decades, according to a report by RBC Economic Research. The Focus on Canada’s Household Debt report, by senior economist Robert Hogue, says the first quarter of 2018 experienced the largest quarterly drop in the debt-to-income ratio…

Buy Canadian economics carry a steep cost

While Canadians may embrace buying Canadian food products in retaliation for the trade dispute with the U.S., it won't come cheap

Buy Canadian economics carry a steep costCanadians are encouraging one another to go “Trump-free” – that is, to shop for groceries without buying a single American product. Even restaurants are jumping on the bandwagon by serving “Trump-free” dishes. These are interesting reactions in the face of Washington’s somewhat contradictory foreign trade policies. In a nutshell, here’s what happened following the G7…

Deficit spending is no free lunch; it’s a bill to future taxpayers

The government should stop kicking the can down the road and reduce federal spending now to avoid future tax increases

Deficit spending is no free lunch; it’s a bill to future taxpayersBy Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute The federal government ran a $19.4-billion budget deficit in 2017-18, according its fiscal monitor. And this government’s appetite for deficit spending shows no signs of relenting. In fact, there’s no plan to balance the federal budget for the next three decades. With deficits becoming common again,…

CPP’s perpetual head start

Private pensions face regulatory burdens that the Canada Pension Plan does not

CPP’s perpetual head startBy Moin A. Yahya and Charles Lammam The Fraser Institute In 2016, in fulfillment of a campaign promise, the federal government reached an agreement with the provinces to expand the Canada Pension Plan. Consequently, mandatory CPP contributions from working Canadians will increase steadily between January 2019 and 2025. Expansion proponents have used many faulty claims…

Save money, avoid outrageous phone bills when travelling abroad

New CRTC rules mean Canadian providers must now unlock your phone, making it easier to use a different SIM card

Save money, avoid outrageous phone bills when travelling abroadFor many people, smartphones have become 24/7 appendages. However, worried about outrageous phone, data and roaming fees, many people reach for the off switch when travelling. This is particularly true when going out of country or overseas. No one wants to return home to massive cellphone bills. But rules and regulations are starting to change,…

Is cash doomed to extinction?

Yes, but probably not for at least another 20 to 30 years

Is cash doomed to extinction?Eliminating cash has huge potential benefits including convenience, security, and cost reduction for retailers, banks, and governments. For customers, there is the benefit of flexibility – a priority increasingly driven by younger generations more comfortable with digital technology and the online world. The combination of these forces means the need for cash has reduced significantly.…

Shrinkflation: to control costs, food companies shrinking packaging

When costs rise, a food company has three options: raise the price, make smaller packages or change the ingredients

Shrinkflation: to control costs, food companies shrinking packagingRough estimates suggest that anywhere from 15 to 20 per cent of packaged food products in Canada have shrunk over the last five years. Consumers find this irritating, but given the economics of the food industry, the industry can hardly be blamed. Most consumers worry about the cost of food. We constantly look for bargains…

‘Bad things happen to good people’

Debt woes began with 2013 flood, followed by her husband’s unexpected death

‘Bad things happen to good people’Special Report Part 5 in our five-part series Back in Balance Name: Linda Penney Age: 59 Occupation: Dining room supervisor at a facility for senior citizens, part-time tax preparer, part-time insurance sales Two brutal years of turmoil began for Linda Penny in 2013. She was forced out of her home, her dream of opening a new…

Fraudster ruined woman’s plans for early retirement

Troy Media talks to everyday Albertans who are working to become debt free

Fraudster ruined woman’s plans for early retirementSpecial Report Part 4 in our five-part series Back in Balance Name: Sandra (not her real name) Occupation: Federal public service employee Age: 58 Sandra was lonely, depressed and anxious after the painful separation from and then death of her former husband. Her friends suggested she look for a companion on a dating website, someone who could her…

Injury and job losses push Calgarians to live off credit cards

As people dig out from Alberta’s worst recession in three decades, Troy Media talks to everyday Albertans who are working to become debt free

Injury and job losses push Calgarians to live off credit cardsSpecial Report Part 3 in our five-part series Back in Balance Name: Linda Pierce Age: 53 Residence: Calgary Occupation: Office administrator At one of the lowest points in Linda Pierce’s 10-plus-year debt roller-coaster ride, she worked three part-time jobs while raising three teenage daughters. Amid it all, she suffered an ankle injury that required surgery, a…

Surprise tax bill in the mail was the final straw

Four Albertans rebounding from debt: ‘I was losing sleep and avoiding phone calls from unknown numbers’

Surprise tax bill in the mail was the final strawSpecial Report Part 2 in our five-part series Back in Balance Name: Amy Mahon Occupation: Mother of four children, full-time administrative assistant for Alberta Health Services Age: 41 Amy Mahon remembers her breaking point. It was the day she opened a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency and read that she owed $5,000 in back taxes.…

The stories of four Albertans working to slay their debt demons

Albertans are racking up debt in record levels but help is available

The stories of four Albertans working to slay their debt demonsSpecial Report Part 1 in our 5-part series Back in Balance Albertans are drowning in debt and many don’t even realize it until the creditors come knocking. Almost every week, another distressing report emerges about Canadians’ rising household debt. Albertans consistently sit at the top of the in-the-red list. This province has just come through…

The hard truth about CPP’s failures

Canadians receive meagre rates of return on CPP contributions and the program has other key shortcomings

The hard truth about CPP’s failuresBy Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute Misperceptions plague the public’s view of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), despite efforts to provide some clarity. Mark Machin, chief executive officer of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) – the organization tasked with investing CPP contributions – recently hit the road in a cross-country…

Lofty valuations, volatile markets leave investors anxious

It seems as if investors have forgotten how to gauge market uncertainty. Any potential bad news has them panicking

Lofty valuations, volatile markets leave investors anxiousBy Kenneth Kaczkowski and Isaac Maresky Troy Media exclusive The start of 2018 has seen markets flashing red, with investors questioning the stability of the market. February’s meltdown led to a significant market correction of over 10 per cent. Volatility has become just one of several fears, with the recent technology selloff and fears of…

Investing with your conscience – and with common sense

Ethical investing is a bit broader than donating, since the benefits extend beyond supporting a cause to also expecting a financial return

Investing with your conscience – and with common senseMany financial new-age thinkers encourage people to invest ‘ethically,’ based on the notion that your money should be invested in things that do good – for your community, your country or humanity more broadly – instead of just creating financial returns. We’ve been programmed to consider return and risk as the primary (if not only)…