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  1. http://vancouversun.com/news/politics/bcelection2017-key-battleground-ridings Burnaby North — If the expansion of the contentious Kinder Morgan pipeline becomes an election issue, as many environmental groups believe, then Liberal incumbent Richard T. Lee could face the brunt of the electoral wrath as the only Liberal near the Burnaby pipeline terminus. Lee has held the riding for four terms, but his margin of victory has been small in recent elections. The NDP candidate, Janet Routledge, finished a close second in 2013. The Green candidate, Peter Hallschmid, is an engineer and professor at Simon Fraser University. I think Janet will win this time! Lee was lucky the last few times. Anything can happen from now until May 9th. One of the 10 key ridings
  2. http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-s-working-poor-low-wage-jobs-keep-many-living-paycheque-to-paycheque Katrina Charlton sips tea from the couch of her modest White Rock rental duplex, home from her first job and thrilled that she isn’t scheduled to work her second job later in the evening. “Today is exciting that I only have one job. How crazy is that?” the 52-year-old laughs. “But you’ve got to find the positives. I generally go 21 days without a day off, then take a day off.” She has worked two jobs for the last 20 years, ever since becoming a single mother to her two children. “I stress out about money all the time,” said Charlton. “One cheque pays my ($1,100) rent, so half of my money is gone just like that, and the other cheque goes to pay the bills. … When my kids were younger it was very, very hard, so I always had to have more money coming in from somewhere.” Charlton’s first job, as an education assistant at a local school district, pays well at $26 per hour, but she can only get 29 hours of work each week. At night and on weekends, she works as a server for less than minimum wage — with tips, she earns about $16 an hour. “I’ve worked $15 an hour and I don’t think that’s livable. I would say $20 minimum for people to live a lifestyle where they are not stressed about everything,” she said. “I find when you are stressed like that you are running on the hamster wheel and all you are doing is working and surviving. You don’t have time to think about any of the other necessities in life, or how you can get out of the situation you are in.” Anti-poverty advocates are calling on the provincial government to support sectors that will create full-time, good-paying jobs; pass laws to improve job security; and raise the minimum wage of $10.85 an hour to a so-called “living wage” (which in Metro Vancouver has been estimated at $20.64). The majority of jobs are full-time in B.C., which leads the country with a low unemployment rate and a record number of residents working. But an analysis of the federal labour force survey shows the share of part-time jobs has steadily grown here, from 15 per cent in 1976 to nearly a quarter of all jobs in 2016. In fact, Statistics Canada data shows, of the 72,000 new jobs created in 2016, more than half were part-time. When asked about the recent rise of part-time work, Jobs Minister Shirley Bond said B.C.’s job-creation plan is a “long-term strategy ” — and argued the vast majority of the 200,000 jobs created over the last six years are full-time. “We recognize that there is always more that can be done,” Bond said, but added her government’s focus is to “grow the economy and create better, well-paying jobs for as many people as possible.” The government’s jobs plan, she added, has propelled the province to lead the country in employment growth. “We recognize that some people are struggling, but our plan is delivering results and we’re going to continue on with that plan so we build opportunities for British Columbians.” Bond said there is a declining number of people making minimum wage, and that half of them are students living with their parents. She also said the average wage being paid in B.C. right now is $25 an hour for adults. NDP leader John Horgan claims that since the recent recession, most of the jobs created have been temporary, low-paying jobs and part-time jobs. “In Metro Vancouver, which is driving the low overall numbers in terms of unemployment, that belies the issues that are happening in rural British Columbia, where resource communities are struggling because of the downturn in commodity prices, but also by the closure of forest operations,” Horgan said. But even the reality in big cities is not so rosy. “Metro Vancouver’s booming economy relies on a large group of low-paid workers to provide security, catering, cleaning, administration and other services,” says a 2016 working poverty report by Iglika Ivanova of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Ivanova’s report also found the majority of people in B.C. living in poverty are not on welfare — of the 14 per cent of British Columbians who live in poverty, just four per cent receive social assistance. Nearly one in 10 people living in Metro Vancouver is “working poor.” The NDP has said it would boost the minimum wage to $15 if elected. The Liberals are raising it to $11.35 in September. B.C. business groups say that being forced to suddenly pay much higher wages would harm small companies, lead to lost jobs and cuts in hours for employees. “For B.C. businesses that employ low-wage employees, moving quickly to a $15-per-hour minimum wage would amount to at least a 40-per-cent increase in labour costs, likely creating a shock to the labour market and causing many smaller firms to scale back their demand for entry-level workers in particular,” said Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president and chief policy officer at the Business Council of B.C. More than half of B.C. workers, though, say they live paycheque to paycheque, and feel overwhelmed by debt, a Canadian Payroll Association Survey found last September. That is true of Charlton, who has not been able to save for her retirement. “I really worry what will happen to me if I can’t work my second job, because I have nothing to live off,” she said. The modest White Rock duplex she rents is near where she works and close to her three young grandchildren, who she helps to look after. But the property is now for sale, leaving her worried about finding another affordable place in the area to rent. “A lot of people my age have to go back to sharing like when they were kids,” she said. “I’ve had roommates to get me through the summer (when she doesn’t get paid for her education job) and it’s not ideal. But it would be a way to get by, if you had to.” Charlton is not a complainer, and is grateful for the good things in her life. But she believes the government should put more priority on affordable rental housing and on increasing wages. “I have a good life here, but I’ve worked very very very hard,” she added. “I think B.C. is a very tough place to make it.” Job security is another concern. Jennifer Whiteside, business manager for the Hospital Employees Union, said employees such as care aides can be fired and replaced by lower-wage workers. At one home on the Sunshine Coast, workers were earning $21.54 an hour when their contract was flipped in 2014. Today, those jobs have been contracted out for $17.50 an hour. Sam Lindsay, 47, was one of the care aides at that home. She had been there for six years, working closely every day with seniors doing everything from helping them bathe to putting on their shoes to making sure they were wearing their glasses or their lipstick. “You’re making a choice. In order to keep your job and work with these amazing people and care for people that you love so much, you’re going to roll my income back,” Lindsay said. “We were heartbroken.” Low wages and precarious jobs are a serious problem, said Irene Lanzinger, president of the B.C. Federation of Labour. Data from the Canadian Labour Congress shows the majority of workers who earn less than $15 an hour work full-time and are mostly between the ages of 25 and 54. “There are many, many people working for less than $15 an hour — single moms, single dads working more than one job trying to support a family,” Lanzinger said. “It is not just kids living in their parents’ basements.”
  3. May 9, 2017, I hoped the NDP will win this time! The liberals broke their promises too many times. 87 seats in total. 44 seats will be the magic number!
  4. Why would the Canucks hire a team doctor without a doctor degree?! https://www.thebeaverton.com/2017/02/canucks-fire-team-doctor-jenny-mccarthy-5-players-contract-mumps/ VANCOUVER – Vancouver Canucks have terminated their agreement with their team doctor, Jenny McCarthy, after 5 players contracted the mumps. The actress, model, and alternative medicine adviser for the NHL team was informed of her dismissal earlier today. McCarthy had advised the team to avoid vaccination and only consult outside medical advice if you agreed with it. “We became concerned after Dr. McCarthy insisted putting Gwyneth Paltrow’s muscle toning cream on Alexander Edler fractured fibula as treatment,” explained Canucks Coach Willie Desjardins. “And the only prescription she gave out was for her book, ‘Louder than Words.’” McCarthy, who apparently has no medical degree, said that she was disappointed that the team was letting her go, but said she had done her job since none of the players contracted autism. According to sources, the Canucks organization intends on replacing the pseudo-physician with one of the many qualified homeopaths available in the Vancouver area.
  5. In the beginning of this season, Willie put Bo in the fourth line. Everyone was shocked, including me. (Why would you Bo in the fourth line? He doesn't deserve to be there. ) Last game, Jacob Markstorm helped the team win the game. He played well. But Willie decided to put Miller for the following game. (That's an irrational decision. You would let the goalie carry the next game since he had a terrific game.)
  6. Did anyone switch over to a different wireless the last few days? I was at Metrotown last night. A huge line up at Fido. The deal was expired yesterday.
  7. I also miss Sami Salo! Is there a d man that also has the heavy accurate shot in the league right now? I wish JB can make a trade and get a much better offensive d man.
  8. But why not Travis Green?! Let's give him a chance.
  9. Anyone think that it would work? Marc Crawford had tried it a few times when it is down by a few goals. It worked! At that moment, we have Trent Klatt, Bertuzzi, Naslund, Morrison. But right now, almost all of our current line up players just can 't score. WD should try to split the Sedins in order to generate some offence.
  10. The federal government has announced new measures to help recent post-secondary graduates manage their student debt. In a press release published Sunday, Employment and Social Development Canada revealed that, as of Nov. 1, Canadians wouldn’t have to repay their Canada Student Loan until they’re earning at least $25,000 a year. Under the Repayment Assistance Plan, students can request help to manage their debt. Depending on their income level and the size of their family, borrowers can apply for reduced monthly payments or no monthly payments at all. According to the 2016 Budget, the increased eligibility for the Repayment Assistance Plan will provide an additional $131.4 billion in student assistance over five years. In the release, Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk stated that the country’s future prosperity depended on young Canadians receiving good education and training for the job market. “As a result of this new measure, students will be better positioned to transition into the workforce after graduation,” Mihychuk said. The government said this financial relief is in addition to the changes to the Canada Student Grants program enacted on Aug. 1. Under those measures, full-time students from low-income families can receive $2,000 to $3,000 a year in support. Canadians from middle-income families are eligible to receive $800 to $1,200 a year and part-time student from low-income families can receive $1,200 to $1,800 in financial aid. The Canada Student Grant amounts have been increased by 50 per cent according to the release. From 2013 to 2014, approximately 750,000 students were repaying Canada Student Loans according to the government. Of those 750,000 borrowers, roughly 234,000 of them benefited from the Repayment Assistance Plan. Students struggling with the burden of debt are encouraged to contact the National Student Loans Service Centre to learn more about what financial assistance options are available to them. Based on the individual’s financial situation, a borrower can apply for a reduced Canada Student Loan monthly payment, or for no payment at all, the government said in the statement.
  11. It has been 3 games already. I notice that the Canucks hasn't upload goal scores on their youtube channel. The Canucks used to upload the goal scores on youtube once any Canucks player scored a goal. Is this going to be permanently? I would be disappointed if the Canucks made this decision. Many Canucks fans like to watch their favorite players to score the goal once again on youtube.
  12. Target in 2015, Sears, Staples, American Apparel , Sony http://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/news-analysis/four-reasons-why-aeropostale-has-lost-its-cool-with-shoppers BY ASSOCIATED PRESSMAY 4, 2016 21:23 Aéropostale Inc., once a popular mall destination for teens, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, becoming the latest victim in the fast-changing retail landscape. Aéropostale joins the ranks of teen retailers looking to reorganise under bankruptcy protection or have been forced to close over the past two years, including Wet Seal Inc., Pacific Sunwear of California and Delia's. And like many of these ailing merchants, Aéropostale had been struggling for several years. The chain, which generated sales of $1.51 billion last year, has racked up three years of annual losses and five straight years of annual sales declines for a key measure. Since the Great Recession, many teen chains have suffered because of fierce competition from the likes of online players and fast-fashion retailers such as Forever 21. But they're also wrestling with seismic changes in shopping behavior. Teens have always been fickle shoppers, but these days they're shopping differently, mirroring broader trends in the retail industry. They're no longer roaming around at the mall but researching deals and fashions on the Web before they go. And they're not looking to be carbon copies of their peers; instead, they're embracing individualistic styles. Aéropostale was a bright spot during the downturn, as shoppers saw it as the cheapest option compared to the two other teen industry stalwarts: American Eagle Outfitters Inc. and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. But as the economy improved, teens went back to more expensive brands, though they still wanted fat discounts. Both American Eagle and Abercrombie have seen their sales improve recently as they have worked hard to reinvent their businesses. American Eagle, for example, has been able to scale back its discounting as it overhauled its fashions, including adding more stretch to its jeans. But Aéropostale has been slow to adapt to these changing times. "It has become increasingly clear that Aéropostale's business model is broken and cannot be fixed without major restructuring," writes Neil Saunders, chief executive officer of retail research firm Conlumino in a report published Wednesday. "In short, Chapter 11 buys Aeropostale time and space to undertake this rethink." But he added, "In itself does not provide a long-term solution." Here are four challenges that Aeropostale has struggled with: 1. Teens Don't Want to Look Like Each Other It used to be that teens wanted to dress exactly like their peers and were fixated on sporting anything with a logo from their favourite brands. Not anymore. Teens, inspired by Instagram and the like, are looking to personalise their looks, and prefer to grab items from different stores. That has been a big problem for Aéropostale, whose sales had been driven by logoed merchandise. Aéropostale started to shed its logoed clothing and began focusing on trendy items about three years ago. It teamed up with names like stylish American video blogger Bethany Mota. But its efforts were too little, too late. The new looks never failed to gain traction with shoppers. 2. Aéropostale Couldn't Wean Shoppers off Promotions: Teens like deals and they like to research online before shopping at the stores. But they're also willing to pay full-price for something they covet. However, Aéropostale was forced to constantly discount the entire store by as much as 70 percent off because they couldn't get shoppers to buy the clothes. "They were too caught up in the promotions," said Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics LLC, a retail research firm. 3. The Changing Mall: Aéropostale and other retailers benefited from being at the epicenter of where teens shop: the mall. But increasingly, kids are shopping on their smartphones and going to the mall for specific items, not just to roam around. And a rash of bankruptcies of mall-based retailers have left some holes and hurt traffic at the shopping centres, says David Tawil at Maglan Capital, a hedge fund that focuses on distressed securities. That's hurt Aeropostale, which is now closing 113 of its 739 US stores, or 20 percent of its store base. As of early January 2014, it had 1,100 stores. Analysts also say Aéropostale hasn't done enough to make their stores more exciting to shop. And some believe Aeropostale will need to close even more stores to restore profitability. 4. Intense Competition: Teens are buying their clothing and accessories at lots of different places, from Forever 21 to off-priced stores like TJ Maxx and online. And the competition is only getting fiercer. Amazon.com is quietly expanding its private-label fashion business, while teen stores face new rivals from overseas. United Kingdom-based Primark, which sells trendy cheap items like seven dollar jeans, made its first foray in the US. By: Anne D'Innocenzio.
  13. But if your income is lower than 20,000, you don t have pay anything for MSP
  14. My friend used to be international student here. He did not pay MSP the remaining months before he graduated. He still could manage to go back to his hometown. What's your thoughts? VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has dug up figures it says proves the BC government has been writing off MSP premiums that haven’t been collected. A Freedom Of Information request put the cost for MSP tax debt at $340 million over the last six years. Finance Minister Mike De Jong wasn’t able to say whether the government will be trying to recoup any of that cash. “We take the obligations seriously, and happily the vast majority of British Columbians take the obligation to remit MSP premiums seriously… now there are circumstances where people find themselves in distress.” De Jong believes MSP has been made as affordable as possible and calls the system fair but admits sometimes people can’t pay. “That can account for a portion but not all; we have obviously increased the premium assistance available to lower income British Columbians and seniors.” Jordan Bateman with the CTF disagrees, pointing out the government can legally try and get the money back, but writing it off in the meantime makes that unlikely. He says the hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid premiums prove the taxes are unfair and inefficient. “Now is the time for some substantial changes to make it fair,” he argues. “The premier herself has called the system antiquated; fortunately she has the power to change it.” The BC government hiked MSP premiums in the latest provincial budget.
  15. What do you guys think about these changes? 1. An increase of 50% to the Canada Student Grant (CSG) amounts: from $2,000 to $3,000 per year for students from low-income families; from $800 to $1,200 per year for students from middle-income families; and 2. For part-time students, the CSG increased from $1,200 to $1,800 In total, these measures will provide assistance of $1.53 billion over five years, starting in 2016–17, and $329 million per year after that. 3. An increase to loan repayment regulations The loan repayment threshold under the Canada Student Loans Program’s Repayment Assistance Plan has been changed to ensure that no student will have to repay their Canada Student Loan until they are earning at least $25,000 per year. Here’s a case study: Steven, a recent post-secondary graduate, earns $23,000 per year at his current job. He is finding it difficult to repay his outstanding Canada Student Loans debt of $12,000. Under the proposed changes to the Repayment Assistance Plan, Steven will not be required to make any immediate payments on his Canada Student Loan since his annual income is below the new $25,000 income threshold for repayment. The Government will cover the interest owing on Steven’s Canada Student Loan until he has the financial flexibility to repay his loan. 4. A new way of assessing eligibility for Canada Student Loans Announcement of a flat-rate student contribution to determine eligibility for Canada Student Loans and Grants to replace the current system of assessing student income and financial assets. This measure will provide assistance of $267.7 million over four years, starting in 2017–18, and $73 million per year thereafter. 5. The elimination of the Education and Textbook Tax Credits This will be effective January 1, 2017. But don’t worry, tax credit amounts carried forward from years prior to 2017 will still be claimable in 2017 and subsequent years.