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Did You Know?

The EU is the largest market in the world, with 500 million consumers.

With 28 member states (as of July 1, 2013), 500 million people and annual economic activity of almost $17 trillion, the EU is the world’s largest economy.

The EU is the second-largest foreign investor in Canada.

The EU services economy, worth approximately $12.1 trillion in GDP terms in 2012, is among the largest in the world.

Nearly 100 percent of all EU tariff lines on non-agricultural products will be duty-free on the first day CETA comes into force.

CETA gives Canadian companies access to the world’s largest procurement market—the EU—which was worth $2.7 trillion in 2012.

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Breaking down the Canada/EU trade deal
The Bottom Line panel looks at the details of CETA, and how it will affect Canada and its consumers.

 

 

Opposing CETA and the Canada-European Union
 

 
Out of Equilibrium: The Impact of Canada-European Union Free Trade in the Real World
 


 

Out of Equilibrium
The Impact of EU-Canada Free Trade on the Real Economy
Canada already has a large bilateral trade deficit with the EU—$15 billion in goods and close to $4 billion in services, and loses some 70,000 jobs as a result. This study finds a free trade agreement would make that imbalance worse.

 

Canada-EU Free Trade Deal: What You Need To Know

It’s Not A Done Deal Yet
The trade pact needs the consent of Canada’s provinces and EU member states to become law. So far, it’s looking good on the provincial front: Quebec, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Saskatchewan’s leaders have all praised the deal, and Ontario seems open to it assuming it can get compensation for some of its industries that will be harmed by the deal.

Drug Patents
Canada will partially extend patent protection for brand-name drugs, which would delay the introduction of cheaper generics by up to two years. Officials say it will be eight years before any impact of these changes show up as higher costs for provincial drug plans.

Earlier reports have suggested the cost to the health care system of extended drug patents could run between $1 billion and $3 billion annually.

Jim Keon, president of the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association: The EU trade deal will “delay market entry of cost-saving generic prescription medicines in Canada in the future, increasing health-care costs for provinces, employers that sponsor drug plans for their employees and Canadians who pay for their prescription medicines out-of-pocket.”

The federal government has suggested it will compensate provinces for higher costs as a result of the agreement.

Automotive
Domestic car producers will be able to increase sales into Europe to 100,000 units from about 10,000 today under relaxed rules. The EU will phase out its 10-per-cent tariff on imports, and Canada will phase out a 6-per-cent tariff on European car imports.

That could be good news for Canadian fans of European luxury cars, as those vehicles will be cheaper. But that, in turn, could be bad news for Canadian auto manufacturers.

Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Auto Analysts: “I don’t think anyone can definitively know what the impact of the current EU Agreement will be on the automotive sector. … The [Canadian] industry peaked in the year 2000 and has been struggling since and, indeed, just finished one of its worse decades in history and continues to deteriorate. Was this the long term result of FTA and NAFTA? We don’t know but it could be.”

Agriculture
Canadian beef farmers increase their quota by 50,000 tonnes, in addition to 15,000 tonnes for high-quality beef. Pork farmers will see their quota rise to 80,000 tonnes from the current 6,000. But producers will have to convert to hormone-free product for the European market, which experts say can add about 15 per cent to costs.

Martin Unrau, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association: “The removal of long-standing barriers in this agreement, such as high tariffs, finally enables Canadian beef producers to benefit from the high value that the European beef market represents.”

Dairy Farmers of Ontario: “It will take income from Canadian dairy farmers and their communities and give it to the European industry.”

Government Contracts
Companies will be allowed to bid on major government procurement contracts right down to the municipal level. A joint study showed the new access will give European companies leeway to bid on federal contracts worth between $15 billion and $19 billion an year, and municipal contracts worth $112 billion a year.

Critics say that, because of the common practice of “hiring Canadian” in government contracts, EU access to them could mean job losses in Canada.

Trade Justice Network: “Canadian governments would lose a powerful tool for spurring job creation and economic development.”

Foreign Investment
Foreign takeovers of Canadian firms now require a formal federal government review if the deal is worth $1 billion or more, but this agreement will raise that to $1.5 billion.

Water For Profit?
Labour and consumer groups fear CETA could lead to the privatization of Canada’s water supply and infrastructure. According to early leaks from the negotiations, Canada did not try to protect water resources as part of the trade deal.

The Council of Canadians writes: “This deal will give French companies Suez and Veolia, the two biggest private water operations in the world, access to run our water services for profit. Under a recent edict, the Harper government has tied federal funding of municipal water infrastructure construction or upgrading to privatization of water services. Private water operators charge far higher rates than public operators and cut corners when it comes to source protection.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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World’s Tallest Totem Pole in Alert Bay

Head to Alert Bay, on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, for some incredible First Nations history. Aside from being home to the world’s tallest totem pole (173 ft.), Alert Bay also boasts the gorgeous Big House, the ceremonial meeting place of the ‘Namgis. And be sure to check out the collection of memorials and totem poles in the Old ‘Namgis Burial Ground (but out of respect, stay off of the grass).

BC ROAD TRIP 61

World’s Tallest Totem Pole in Alert Bay

BC ROAD TRIP 62

BC ROAD TRIP 63

BC ROAD TRIP 64

BC ROAD TRIP 65

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

WATERMELON 1

Grow your own square watermelon in 9 steps:
Grow a square watermelon

The square watermelons are grown in Japan in tempered glass boxes, and checked several times a day. They were designed to be easier to stack and store than the round shape nature intended.

Because of the labour intensive process, only a few hundred are produced in Japan annually. Contrary to popular belief, they are not genetically modified.

About 10 years ago, Urban Fare imported the fruit to Vancouver and sold them for $99. They’ve now risen in price to $199.

Square watermelons are actually bitter!

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Revenue down, spending up
– The deficit is expected to rise to $12.5 billion next year from $11.3 billion in 2013-14, before falling to $8.9 billion in 2015-16. The Liberals say they still plan to balance the books by 2017-18.
– Revenues are down almost $1.2 billion from the budget projections for 2013-14 to an estimated $115.6 billion.
– Program spending will grow next year by almost $3 billion.
– Net debt ballooned to $269.2 billion for the year ending March 31 from $252.1 billion the previous year, leaving a debt-to-GDP ratio of 38.9 per cent, which is expected to grow to 40.3 per cent next year.

Tax hike for the well off
There will be a new tax rate of 12.16 per cent on income between $150,000 and $220,000. The 13.16 per cent tax rate for incomes above $514,000 will now apply to incomes above $220,000.

Tobacco tax hike
The budget increases the tobacco tax from 12.35 cents a cigarette to 13.975 cents or $3.25 on a carton of 200, but the tax rate on cigars remains unchanged at 56.6 per cent.

A new retirement plan
– The budget proposes a new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan for people without a workplace pension will require contributions from employers and workers of 1.9 per cent of salary. Someone earning $70.000 a year would pay $1,263 into the pension plan and their employer would match that amount. The new plan would be introduced in 2017.

An aviation fuel tax hike
Pricier flights? They could be on the way.

– The budget would hike the provincial tax on aviation fuel by four cents a litre over four years.

Lots of spending – Here’s the big stuff
The budget has lots of new spending.

– $29 billion over 10 years for public transit, roads, bridges and infrastructure.
– $11.4 billion over 10 years for hospital expansion and redevelopment projects.
– $11 billion over 10 years to repair, upgrade and build new elementary and high schools.
– $2.5 billion over 10 years for a new jobs fund which would give grants to corporations.
– $1 billion to help build a road to the remote Ring of Fire mineral deposit in northern Ontario, but the money is contingent on getting matching funds from the federal government.

The spending: the smaller stuff
Here are some of the smaller spending initiatives in the budget.

– $810 million over three years for community supports for adults with developmental disabilities.
– $294 million for a program that helps prevent homelessness.
– $32 million to expand school breakfast and lunch programs.
– Replace the Northern Allowance for people on social assistance with a Remote Communities Allowance adding $50 a month for the first person and $25 a month for each additional family member.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Canadian Business looked at how much tax some of Canada’s biggest companies pay. By exploiting government loopholes, some of these companies have managed to pay close to no taxes.

TAX AVOIDANCE 1
First Capital Realty
First Capital Realty owns and manages retail spaces across Canada.
More on this company from Canadian Business.

Net income before taxes (Last 10 years, in millions): $1,791

Tax paid in cash (Last 10 years, in millions): $22

Canadian Pacific Railway
CP Rail is one of Canada’s largest rail companies. Find out why it’s paying so little in tax.

Net income before taxes (Last 10 years, in millions): $7,726

Tax paid in cash (Last 10 years, in millions): $139

Percentage of income paid in taxes (Last 10 years): 1.80%

MTS
MTS is one of the largest telecom providers in Manitoba. How did this company dodge the tax man?

Net income before taxes (Last 10 years, in millions): $2,420

Tax paid in cash (Last 10 years, in millions): $100

Percentage of income paid in taxes (Last 10 years): 4.14%

BCE
BCE is a significant player in cable, telecommunications and media.

Net income before taxes (Last 10 years, in millions): $29,527

Tax paid in cash (Last 10 years, in millions): $1,338

Percentage of income paid in taxes (Last 10 years): 4.53%

Gildan
Gildan manufactures clothing like t-shirts, underwear and sportswear. Read more about the company.

Net income before taxes (Last 10 years, in millions): $1,543

Tax paid in cash (Last 10 years, in millions): $85

Percentage of income paid in taxes (Last 10 years): 5.52%

MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates Ltd
MD & A is a leading Canadian aerospace company.

Net income before taxes (Last 10 years, in millions): $1,073

Tax paid in cash (Last 10 years, in millions): $111

Percentage of income paid in taxes (Last 10 years): 10.30%

Brookfield Asset Management
Brookfield is one of Canada’s largest landlords and has significant properties in Canada and abroad. Read CB’s investigation on their tax practices.

Net income before taxes (Last 10 years, in millions): $10,471

Tax paid in cash (Last 10 years, in millions): $1,350

Percentage of income paid in taxes (Last 10 years): 12.89%

Canadian Natural Resources
CNR is a oil and natural gas producer in Canada and abroad.

Net income before taxes (Last 10 years, in millions): $30,960

Tax paid in cash (Last 10 years, in millions): $4,204

Percentage of income paid in taxes (Last 10 years): 13.58%

Enbridge
Enbridge is an energy company specializing in transportation of oil and natural gas.

Net income before taxes (Last 10 years, in millions): $12,117

Tax paid in cash (Last 10 years, in millions): $1,725

Percentage of income paid in taxes (Last 10 years): 14.24%

Read More
Go to Canadian Business for more on corporate taxes.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
World’s first photo of a hockey team; the McGill University team in Montreal, 1881

 
 

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Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is one of Vancouver, British Columbia’s most popular tourist attractions. The reason is simple, there are so many things to see and do! Just minutes from the bustle of downtown Vancouver.
 

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Banff

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
1.   Vulcan, Alberta
Vulcan is a town in the prairies of southern Alberta, Canada within Vulcan County.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulcan,_Alberta
 
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vulcan

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2.   Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Alberta
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a buffalo jump located where the foothills of the Rocky Mountains begin to rise from the prairie 18 km northwest of Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada on highway 785. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home of a museum of Blackfoot culture.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-Smashed-In_Buffalo_Jump
http://history.alberta.ca/headsmashedin/

 
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3.   Climax, Saskatchewan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climax,_Saskatchewan

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4.   Finger, Manitoba

finger

http://www.roadsidethoughts.com/mb/finger-profile.htm

 
5.   Cranberry Portage, Manitoba
Cranberry Portage, located in the Rural Municipality of Kelsey, Manitoba, was an important part of the pre-European contact trade routes of the Cree and Assiniboine peoples.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cranberry_Portage,_Manitoba

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6.   Moosehorn, Manitoba

 
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7.   Flin Flon, Manitoba

 
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The origin of the town’s name is from the lead character in a paperback novel, The Sunless City by J. E. Preston Muddock. The character’s name was Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin. A copy of the book was allegedly found and read by prospector Tom Creighton.

 
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8.   Adanac, Saskatchewan
Adanac (Canada spelled backwards) is a small farming hamlet in Round Valley No. 410, Saskatchewan, Canada.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adanac,_Saskatchewan

 
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9.   Big Beaver, Saskatchewan
Big Beaver is a hamlet in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Beaver,_Saskatchewan
 
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10.   Milk River, Alberta

 
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11.   Cadillac, Saskatchewan

 
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12.   Fertile, Saskatchewan
Fertile is a small farming hamlet in southeastern Saskatchewan, Canada, located 3 miles west of the Manitoba border and 40 miles north of the U.S border in the rural municipality # 31.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertile,_Saskatchewan

 
13.   Snowflake, Manitoba
Snowflake is a small community in the Rural Municipality of Pembina in Manitoba.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowflake,_Manitoba

 
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14.   Bacon Ridge, Manitoba

 
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15.   Carrot River, Saskatchewan

 
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16.   Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

 
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17.   Drinkwater Saskatchewan

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18.   Eyebrow Saskatchewan

The village gets its name from an eyebrow shaped hill above Eyebrow Lake.

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19.   Gods Lake Manitoba

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20.   Fairy Glen Saskatchewan

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21.   Sceptre Saskatchewan

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22.   Smuts Saskatchewan
It’s a ghost town.
List of ghost towns in Saskatchewan

 

23.   Acme Alberta

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24.   Primate Saskatchewan
Primate is a hamlet in Eye Hill Rural Municipality No. 382, Saskatchewan, Canada.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primate,_Saskatchewan

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25.   Czar Alberta

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26.   Entrance Alberta

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27.   John D’Or Prairie Alberta
John D’Or Prairie is a First Nations settlement within the John D’Or Prairie 215 Indian reserve in northern Alberta, Canada. It is located on the Lawrence River, upstream from the Peace River, and south of the Caribou Mountains. It has an elevation of 290 metres (950 ft).
The settlement is located in census division No. 17 and in the federal riding of Peace River. The settlement and the Indian reserve are part of the Little Red River Cree Nation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_D’Or_Prairie,_Alberta

 

28.   Keg River Alberta
Keg River is an unincorporated community in northern Alberta, Canada. It is located west of Highway 35 (also known as the Mackenzie Highway) approximately midway between Manning to the south and High Level to the north. It has an elevation of 420 metres (1,380 ft).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keg_River,_Alberta

 
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29.   Mirror Alberta

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30.   Standoff Alberta

 

31.   Pelican Narrows Alberta
Pelican Narrows is a summer village in Alberta, Canada. It is located on the western shore of Moose Lake, south of Moose Lake Provincial Park. It is connected to Bonnyville by Highway 28.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelican_Narrows,_Alberta

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32.   Westward Ho Alberta
Westward Ho is an unincorporated community in Alberta, Canada within Mountain View County. It is located approximately 50 kilometers northwest of Calgary at the intersections of Highway 22 and Highway 27 between Olds and Sundre. There is a general store with a gas bar also located here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westward_Ho,_Alberta

 

33.   Cereal Alberta
Cereal is a village in central Alberta east of Drumheller. It was named after the post office that was established in the area in 1910.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cereal,_Alberta

cereal

cereal

 

34.   Lucifer Mountain Alberta

alberta
 

35.   Forget Saskatchewan

forget

 

36.   Xena Saskatchewan

xena

 

37.   Uranium City Saskatchewan
Uranium City is a settlement in northern Saskatchewan, Canada. Located on the northern shores of Lake Athabasca near the border of the Northwest Territories it is 230 m (750 ft) above sea level.

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38.   Ebb and Flow Reserve Manitoba
Ebb and Flow First Nation is located on Ebb and Flow Lake after which it is named. It is about 180 km from Winnipeg, and lies on the west side of Lake Manitoba
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebb_and_Flow_First_Nation
 

39.   Red Sucker Lake Manitoba
Red Sucker Lake is an Oji-Cree First Nation in Manitoba, Canada.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Sucker_Lake_First_Nation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Sucker_Lake,_Manitoba