And a very happy morn to you, lovely readers. Shari Kulha here, offering up a “T”-themed day since it’s Thursday. Today’s topics on tap: Trudeau, Toronto, taxes, toys and, erm, trouble (in China). Tantalized? Terrific!
ARE YOU SITTING DOWN?
We’ve finally been told what Trudeau’s carbon tax will cost us. Households in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia will be hit with more than $1,000 of carbon tax per year, while those in British Columbia, Quebec and Manitoba will pay around $650. And we had to hear it from an economics professor, not someone in government.
DON’T BLAME THE OUTSIDERS
Canadians think foreign buyers are driving up home prices — but they’re not. A CMHC study says 68% of respondents in Vancouver, Toronto (48%) and Montreal (42%) believe foreign buyers are having “a lot of influence” on their markets. But it also reveals that 55% of homebuyers in Toronto and Vancouver were in bidding wars — and 48% went over budget. You may be surprised at the real number of foreign owners we actually have.
A WONKY BALANCE
The Liberals have stuck Alberta with another raw deal. Its residents pay a fifth of the cost of equalization, or about $3.5 billion, through their federal taxes. However, as Jack Mintz points out, the province’s contribution to the rest of Canada is far larger than that — and yet they receive no equalization payments. Meanwhile, Quebec gets more than 60% of the total — even though it fought to get Energy East cancelled. And Ottawa has elected not to change the system for five years.
GET ‘EM BEFORE AGE 12
Toys ‘R’ Us Canada is alive and well after eight months of bankruptcy protection — and is ready for its makeover, Hollie Shaw reports. With more than $1 billion a year in sales, the retailer is looking to cement its success by refreshing stores with interactive play areas and maybe even in-store birthday parties. The aim is to bolster traffic of kids under 12 — before they outgrow toys and head for Best Buy.
DON’T PANIC, BUT …
A leaked report from a Chinese think tank warns of “financial panic” in the world’s second-biggest economy, with bond defaults, liquidity shortages and plunging markets. Leveraged purchases of shares are at 2015 levels — when the stock market fell by a third, wiping out US$5 trillion. “Preventing (the panic) should be the top priority for our financial and macroeconomic regulators over the next few years,” said the study from the government-backed National Institution for Finance & Development; the report was online only briefly before being taken down.