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Premier Wynne Delivers Historic Address to the Québec National Assembly

Posted on 21 September 2017 by admin

  

Statement.

Premier Wynne Delivers Historic Address to the Québec National Assembly.

September 21, 2017.

 

Premier Kathleen Wynne released the following statement today, following her speech in the Québec National Assembly:

"Today I had the honour of being the first Canadian Premier from outside Québec to address the province's National Assembly. It is a testament to the strength of the relationship between our two provinces and the way our collaborations in Central Canada are building a stronger Québec, a stronger Ontario and a stronger country.

In my speech, I talked about how today's partnership between Ontario and Québec is grounded in a rich history and in our vision of a fairer, better tomorrow. As founding partners in Confederation, we understand that our cultural and linguistic differences do not diminish our union, they enhance it. Diversity is the essential character of Canada. On the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Government of Québec has invited all of Canada into an open and democratic dialogue about the diversity of our country and the importance of Québec's place within Canada. Ontario looks forward to continuing to contribute to this discussion. Together, French and English helped build this country, and together, Québec and Ontario can continue to keep it strong.

Sometimes independently, sometimes working together, we are responding to the challenges of a volatile world. Instead of withdrawing, we are being bold, active and innovative. Above all, we are striving to ensure fairness. We in Central Canada understand that in this time of turmoil, we must work harder than ever to build and preserve a fair society. Where our approach differs, it is always grounded in these shared values of equality, fairness and respect for diversity.

Premier Couillard and I are strongly aligned on many issues that affect the people of our provinces, our economies and our climate. We share common ground in our belief that government can be a force for good. And we both believe that if we make the right choices now, we can navigate the turbulence of today's world in a way that helps our people get ahead and puts our provinces on a course towards long-term success.

Tomorrow, Québec will host the seventh joint meeting of our Cabinet ministers. These meetings enable us to work together to address our shared opportunities and challenges. We will engage in a candid dialogue on the current state of Canada-U.S. relations, and we will explore ways we can continue to bolster Ontario and Québec's position as leaders in the innovation economy. This year we will also welcome Governor Jerry Brown of California, and further our common commitment to fighting climate change.

My address to the National Assembly represents a milestone in the relationship between our two provinces. Ontario and Québec are natural allies — our relationship predates Confederation and continues to create opportunities for our people and drive greater prosperity across Canada. I look forward to everything we will do together to grow the economy and create greater fairness and opportunity for people in the days and months ahead."

 

 

 

  

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Ontarians living pay cheque to pay cheque, Canadian Payroll Association’s 2017 Survey finds

Posted on 06 September 2017 by admin

Ontario employees challenged by debt, not saving enough for retirement, pessimistic about local economy.

TORONTO, Sept. 6, 2017 /CNW/ – Even though there have been some signs of economic improvement over the past year, most employed Canadians, including those in Ontario, are no better off when it comes to their retirement prospects.

High Levels of Spending, Low Rates of Savings

According to the Canadian Payroll Association's ninth annual survey, released today, 47% of working Canadians report it would be difficult to meet their financial obligations if their pay cheque was delayed by even a single week. The numbers are even higher for millennials in their 30s (55% would have difficulty) and Gen Xs in their 40s (51%). In Ontario, 49% live pay cheque to pay cheque.

The survey also shows that 41% of employees nationally, and 42% in Ontario, spend all of or more than their net pay. The number-one reason given for increased spending is higher living costs.

Forty-two per cent of survey respondents (and 43% of Ontario employees) said they save 5% or less of their earnings, below the 10% savings level generally recommended by financial planning experts.

Illustrating just how strapped some employees are, 22% nationally and in Ontario (nearly 1 in 4) say they could not come up with just $2,000 within a month for an emergency expense.

High Debt Levels

Debt levels of working Canadians continue to remain high. Over one-third (35%) of working Canadians and 37% of Ontarians feel overwhelmed by their level of debt.

Nearly one-third (31%) of respondents nationally (32% in Ontario) say their debt load increased over the year.

Canada-wide, those who believe it will take more than 10 years to pay down their debt has risen to 42% (versus 36% in 2016). Fully 12% believe they will never be debt free. 

As in past years, 94% of Canadians carry debt, with the most common debt being mortgages (28%), credit cards (17%), car loans (18%) and lines of credit (17%). Not surprisingly, given the high cost of real-estate in some areas, more respondents than ever find mortgages on principal residences the most difficult debt to pay down, with 32% of respondents selecting this option. For the first time in the survey's nine year history, mortgages surpassed credit card debt (23%) as the most difficult to pay down.

Results indicate that the primary reason for increased debt is higher overall spending. The major reasons for increased spending are higher living expenses (32%) and unexpected expenses (25%). Despite their precarious financial situation, 26% of working Canadians feel that earning more is their best way to financial well-being, versus just 19% who think spending less is the ticket to financial security.

"Half of Ontarians live pay cheque to pay cheque, further underscoring the need to spend less and save more every day, for emergencies and for retirement," says Janice MacLellan, the Canadian Payroll Association's Vice-President of Operations. "The survey results also show that it is very difficult for people to change or reduce their spending patterns. By Paying Yourself First through automatic payroll deductions, you are diverting money into a retirement or savings account before you have the opportunity to think about spending it."

Retirement Delayed for Many

Almost half of working Canadians (46%) say they will now have to work longer than they planned five years ago, and the top reason cited is they are "not saving enough".

This is corroborated by another result indicating that 74%, nationally and in Ontario, have saved only a quarter or less of what they feel they will need to retire. And even among those Canadians closer to retirement (50 and older), a disturbing 47% are still less than a quarter of the way to their retirement savings goal.

The average Canadian's target retirement age is now about 61 (62 in Ontario), and half (46%) think they will need a retirement nest-egg of at least $1 million. Ontario residents are setting the bar slightly higher, with 53% feeling they will need at least $1 million to retire.

Economic Outlook

Canada-wide, there were a few positive indicators, most notably a 5% increase in the number of employees with total household incomes of over $125K, and a slight rise (2%) in full time employment to 89%.

However, most working Canadians see little to cheer about, with only 39% (37% in Ontario) expecting the economy in their city or town to improve. While national optimism is up 3% over last year, it is down by 27% from the first survey done in 2009.

What to Do

With many Canadians challenged by debt, cost of living worries, and insufficient retirement savings, the Canadian Payroll Association recommends you Pay Yourself First by saving 10% of your net pay. 

If you want to learn more about automatic savings – and how you can Pay Yourself First – talk to your payroll professional.

"The Canadian Payroll Association's Research Survey of Employed Canadians is conducted each year to support National Payroll Week," says Frank Lilley, CPA, CGA and Chair of the Canadian Payroll Association's Board of Directors. "National Payroll Week recognizes the contributions of payroll professionals in delivering $928 billion annually in wages and benefits on behalf of employers and in helping Canadians Pay Themselves First."

Regional survey findings are available. Go to www.payroll.ca → Media Room for provincial/regional news releases and infographics.

Canadian Payroll Association spokespersons are available across Canada for interviews.

Canadian Payroll Association 2017 Survey of Employed Canadians
A total of 4,766 employees from across Canada, and from a wide range of industry sectors, responded to an online research survey between Monday, June 27th, 2017 and Friday, August 5th, 2017, using a convenience sampling methodology. The survey was developed by the Canadian Payroll Association and conducted by Framework Partners. The survey is consistent with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.3% 19 times out of 20, but as a non-probabilistic methodology was used, a definitive margin of error cannot be expressed. 

Payroll Professionals – Keeping Canada Paid™
Canada's 1.5 million employers rely on payroll practitioners to ensure the timely and accurate annual payment of $928 billion in wages, $313 billion in statutory remittances to the federal and provincial governments, and $177 billion in health and retirement benefits, while complying with more than 200 federal and provincial regulatory requirements. Since 1978, the Canadian Payroll Association has annually influenced the payroll compliance practices and processes of over five hundred thousand organizational payrolls. As the authoritative source of Canadian payroll knowledge, the Canadian Payroll Association promotes payroll compliance through education and advocacy.

SOURCE Canadian Payroll Association 

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Landlords can no longer evict tenants without compensation

Posted on 05 September 2017 by admin

Ontario tenants will have additional protection from eviction starting Friday; when a landlord ends a tenancy to have family members move in, people evicted must receive compensation.

By ROBERT BENZIEQueen's Park Bureau Chief (Courtesy: The Toronto Star).

Thu., Aug. 31, 2017.

Ontario tenants will have more protection from eviction starting Friday.

That’s when new measures aimed at stopping landlords from turfing people from their rental units will take effect.

Effective Friday, when a landlord ends a tenancy to have family members move in, people evicted must receive compensation.

“When a tenant is evicted through no fault of their own, they are forced to scramble to find new accommodations and cover the costs of a sudden move,” Housing Minister Peter Milczyn said in a statement.

Landlords will have to pay one month’s rent to the evicted tenant or offer him or her another comparable rental unit.

There will also be a new measure in place to ensure that an apartment isn’t vacated, ostensibly for a relative, and, less than one year later, rented out to someone else.

“If the landlord advertises, re-rents or demolishes/converts the unit within one year, she or he will be considered to have acted in bad faith, unless they can prove otherwise and could face a fine of up to $25,000,” the government says.

“The new measures will help protect tenants by discouraging landlords from unlawfully evicting them, whether for conversion of the unit into a short-term rental or immediately re-renting it at a higher rate.”

Milczyn, who is also the minister responsible for Ontario’s poverty-reduction strategy, said the aim is to help “make that transition easier” for tenants forced to move.

The minister said, in some cases, it could “prevent it from happening at all, by curbing unlawful evictions.”

Friday’s changes are part of sweeping tenant-protection protections imposed this year.

Residential rent increases are capped at 1.8 per cent next year unless landlords apply to housing authorities for more.

But those who renovate their units can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for increases based on the amount of money spent on improvements.

Rent controls were expanded by Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government in April.

In all, there are about 1.2 million private rental units in Ontario.

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Delivering Value to Ontarians – LCBO Highlights 2016-17 Fiscal Year Results

Posted on 17 August 2017 by admin

Delivering Value to Ontarians – LCBO Highlights 2016-17 Fiscal Year Results!

 

  • Dividend of over $2 billion to pay for important government priorities
  • Sales across all categories, e-commerce, and wholesale drive increase in revenue
  • Customer donations and employee fundraising raised a record-breaking $13.3 million

 

Full details available at:www.lcbo.com/year-in-review

 

TORONTO, Aug. 17, 2017 /CNW/ – The yearly dividend returned by the LCBO to the Province of Ontario goes toward improving our communities, including through investments in health care, education, and infrastructure. With financial revenues of $5.89 billion, marking net sales growth of 5.8 per cent, the LCBO transferred a dividend of $2.06 billion* to the Ontario government for the 2016-17 fiscal year – an increase of $125 million from fiscal year 2015-16.

"We are proud that the significant dividend we transfer to the provincial government is invested in services that improve the lives of all Ontarians like hospitals and schools, the building of bridges and roads, and to connecting businesses and communities across the province," said LCBO President & CEO George Soleas. "LCBO's strong fiscal year results highlight our commitment to excellence in the customer experience, support of local producers, and our focus on social responsibility. Moving forward we will continue to drive progress in our strategy to succeed in a more competitive marketplace so that we continue to deliver value for the people of Ontario."

Additional information on the LCBO's fiscal 2016-17 year in review can be found at www.lcbo.com/year-in-review Highlights by category include:

Overall sales

  • Key net sales figures by category (excluding Private Ordering) were:

    • Spirits $ 2.24 billion, up 5.1 per cent
    • Beer & Cider $ 1.29 billion, up 9.9 per cent
    • Wine including VINTAGES $ 2.04 billion, up 3.9 per cent
    • Gift Cards $ 105.1 million up 11.9 per cent
  • e-commerce: Sales through this new channel in the first eight months starting in July 2016, totaled $4.4 million.
  • Grocery: Sales from the wholesale supply of beer, wine and cider to grocery stores totaled $65 million, a figure expected to grow alongside the number of grocers licensed for sales.

 

Support of local producers

  • Net sales of Ontario wine through LCBO wines and Vintages were $483 million, an increase of 5.9 per cent.
  • Locally produced craft cider increased 39 per cent to $7.1 million.
  • Sales of local craft beer were $88.5 million, up more than 27.6 per cent over the previous year.
  • Ontario small distillers continue to see sales growth, up 62 per cent to $6.3 million.

 

Social Responsibility
The LCBO is recognized by Ontarians for actions that support responsible retailing and for promoting a culture of moderation; product quality and safety; environmental sustainability and community involvement and fundraising.

  • LCBO retail staff challenged more than 14.4 million people who appeared underage, intoxicated or were suspected of purchasing for an underage or intoxicated person. 258,628 individuals were refused service; 82 per cent for reasons of age.
  • LCBO's Quality Assurance department conducted 633,000 laboratory tests to confirm products are safe to consume, are authentic and meet federal and provincial compositional, packaging and labeling standards.
  • Through the LCBO's funding of the Ontario Deposit Return Program (ODRP) and municipal curbside Blue Box programs, more than 93 per cent of the bottles and cans we generate are recycled and kept away from landfill. There were approximately 350 million beverage alcohol containers returned through the ODRP in 2016-17.
  • Customer donations at LCBO checkouts and employee fundraising efforts raised a record-breaking $13.3 million for worthy causes, an increase of 22 per cent over last year. Charitable organizations that benefit include the United Way, Ontario's four children's hospitals, MADD Canada, and numerous other provincial and local charities. Like many retailers, LCBO participated in a prompted donation campaign in response to the Alberta wild fires, raising $2.95 million dollars for the Red Cross.

*excludes HST and $246 million from the land sale of LCBO's Head Office.  

 

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New Wait Times Data Now Available for Surgeries and Procedures Across Ontario

Posted on 10 August 2017 by admin

By: Upali Obeyesekere – Editor, The Times of Sri Lanka.

Wait times at hospital across the province of Ontario has been much in the news for quite some time. Some Quick Facts on the subject matter is shown below.

QUICK FACTS

  • Through the 2017 Budget, Ontario is investing $245 million over the next three years to improve patient access to specialists, including new digital solutions to streamline consultations and eReferrals.
  • The province is investing $12.9 million over two years to support the expansion of eReferral systems in eight Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). The LHINs are: Waterloo-Wellington, Champlain, South East, Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant, South West, Erie St. Clair, North East, and North West.
  • An estimated 184,600 patients currently receive virtual care each year through digital self-care programs such as telehomecare and nearly 650,000 virtual care visits, and these numbers are growing rapidly.
  • Ontario.ca/health is a joint project between the Ontario Digital Service and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. 

Following is a News Release issued today.

News Release

August 10, 2017

Province Investing in New Online Tools to Improve Patient Experience

Ontario has launched a new online tool to help people find wait times information for surgeries and procedures at hospitals across the province, and is providing more digital tools to help improve the patient experience.

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, and Hillary Hartley, Chief Digital Officer, were at OneEleven innovation hub in Toronto to announce a number of new digital tools for patients, including:

  • Enhanced wait times information: developed in collaboration with Health Quality Ontario (HQO), the new, easy-to-use wait times tool now includes the length of time between a referral received from a family physician or nurse practitioner and the patient's first appointment with a specialist or surgeon, in addition to the time between the decision on a procedure and the date the procedure is performed. Data is available down to the hospital-level, and will help patients better understand what to expect and allow them to make more informed choices about their health care needs, including being able to talk with the referring physician about options to reduce their wait times.
  • Ontari o.ca/health: a user-focused, mobile-friendly and trusted source for information about a wide variety of health services in Ontario, including how to renew health cards, find health services in your community and get dental care for children. The website will be continually refined based on users' experience and feedback. People are invited to complete the first user survey before Sept. 1, 2017.
  • Expansion of the innovative, online eReferral system in Waterloo-Wellington Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and seven more LHINs. eReferral helps reduce wait times by connecting patients and primary care providers to specialists and other health care services in their community faster.

The province is continuing to develop other electronic tools that are increasing access to ca re for people, such as an electronic version of the immunization card and digital self-care and virtual home visits.

Ontario is increasing access to care, reducing wait times and improving the patient experience through its Patients First Action Plan for Health Care and OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare – protecting health care today and into the future.

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Ontario Reaches Major Milestone on Eglinton Crosstown LRT Construction

Posted on 09 August 2017 by admin

By: Upali Obeyesekere – Editor, TSL.

Some quick facts on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT Construction.

  • Construction crews installed a “turnout track” — part of the 8.5 kilometre track system that will move vehicles through Mount Dennis Station and adjoining maintenance and storage facility. The facility is the first major component of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project scheduled for completion and will be finished in 2018.
  • Ontario is fully funding the Eglinton Crosstown LRT to expand transit in the City of Toronto, with an investment of $5.3 billion.
  • The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is being delivered as an Alternative Financial and Procurement (AFP) project, using the design-build-finance-maintain model.  

News Release

August 9, 2017

Province Building More Transit for Commuters and Families in Toronto.

Ontario is one step closer to bringing better transit to people across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) with the first piece of track for the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) project now installed. 

Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation and Laura Albanese, MPP for York South-Weston were at the future site of Mount Dennis Station and the LRT maintenance and storage facility today to mark the milestone.

The 19-kilometre Eglinton Crosstown LRT, which will open in 2021, will connect Mount Dennis Station in the west with Kennedy Station in the east, and includes a 10-kilometre underground portion between Keele Street and Laird Drive, and 25 stations and stops that will link to bus routes, three subway stations, three GO Transit lines, and the Union Pearson Express.

When fully operational, the LRT will carry an estimated 5,500 passengers per hour in the peak direction, speeding up commutes and helping people get where they need to go faster and with greater convenience.

Ontario is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, public transit, roads and bridges in the province's history. To learn more about what's happening in your community, go to Ontario.ca/BuildON.

Building more rapid transit for commuters and families is part of our plan to create jobs, grow the economy and help people in their everyday lives.

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Brampton’s New $1.7m Soccer Facility to Open Next Week

Posted on 09 August 2017 by admin

BRAMPTON, ON, Aug. 9th, 2017 /CNW/ – Brampton soccer players will have a new state-of-the-art soccer facility available to them with the August completion of the brand new artificial turf sports field and running track on Conestoga Drive.

The outdoor sports field features Fieldturf's premium "Revolution 360" turf, the same turf chosen for many NFL and MLS team stadiums including the New England Patriots, Seattle Sounders and Atlanta Falcons. The full-size sports field will be marked for soccer, rugby and lacrosse and is equipped with a removable divider net system to sub-divide it into 4 smaller 60m x 30m 7v7 soccer fields. A new 6-lane 400m athletics track will also be installed. The field and track will be available for evening use with the addition of a new LED-lighting system.

The facility is located at Heart Lake Secondary School at 296 Conestoga Drive in Brampton and was built following a joint agreement between Footy Sevens soccer leagues and the Peel District School Board

During the school day, the school and PDSB have exclusive use of the field and track facilities.

In the evenings and on weekends, Footy Sevens will be organising adult recreational 7v7 soccer leagues as well as their Footy For All children's soccer programs. The fields will be available for rental by other sports organisations and community groups.

About Footy Sevens

Footy Sevens has a well-established adult recreational soccer league program in Ottawa with around 1,000 teams participating in their 7v7 soccer leagues each year. With the completion of the new Brampton facility, they will be launching a similar soccer league program in Brampton. Beginning in fall 2017, men's, coed and women's 7v7 soccer leagues will be available for team or individual registration for players of all levels. Footy For All kids and youth soccer programming will also be available in evenings and weekends for younger players. They have also committed to raising $25,000 over the next 5 years for cancer treatment in Brampton for the WOHS Foundation's oncology units. The Kicking Cancer's Butt charity soccer tournament is an annual one day tournament taking place on Saturday, August 26th.

 

SOURCE Footy Sevens 

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Chris Ballard Ontario’s New Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

Posted on 31 July 2017 by admin

News Release.

July 31, 2017.

Peter Milczyn Promoted to Cabinet as Minister of Housing.

Minister Chris Ballard

Premier Kathleen Wynne announced changes today to her cabinet, following the resignation of Glen Murray as Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.

Chris Ballard moves from Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy to become the new Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, leading Ontario's fight against climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and overseeing the province's transition to a low-carbon economy.

Peter Milczyn, MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, is promoted to cabinet, appointed as the new Minister of Housing. He will also take over as Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy. In these roles, Milczyn will oversee and build on Ontario's Fair Housing Plan, making sure that people across Ontario are able to find a safe, affordable home. He will also work alongside Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services, on implementing Ontario's Basic Income Pilot and supporting people in Ontario to get ahead, find income security and break the cycle of poverty, particularly for children and youth. 

In addition, the Office of Francophone Affairs for Ontario will become a standalone ministry, reflecting the importance of Ontario's Francophone population to the province's economic prosperity and its diverse, vibrant cultural fabric. Marie-France Lalonde will continue in her role as Minister of Francophone Affairs and Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

Glen Murray will remain as MPP for Toronto Centre.

The changes announced today maintain the size of Ontario's cabinet at 29 ministers. A swearing-in ceremony was held at Queen's Park this morning.

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Twenty-six extraordinary Ontarians will be invested into the Order of Ontario

Posted on 27 June 2017 by admin

By: Upali Obeyesekere – Editor, The Times of Sri Lanka.

The Order of Ontario is the province’s highest honour. An Ontarian who has shown outstanding qualities of individual excellence and achievement in any field is eligible to be appointed.

The Order of Ontario is the most prestigious official honour in the Canadian province of Ontario. Instituted in 1986 by Lieutenant Governor Lincoln Alexander,  on the advice of the Cabinet under Premier David Peterson, the civilian order is administered by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council and is intended to honour current or former Ontario residents for conspicuous achievement in any field. 

 

The Order of Ontario is intended to honour any current or former longtime resident of Ontario who has demonstrated a high level of individual excellence and achievement in any field, demonstrating "the best of Ontario's caring and diverse society and [whose] lives have benefited society in Ontario and elsewhere."Canadian citizenship is not a requirement and elected or appointed members of a governmental body are ineligible as long as they hold office. There are no limits on how many can belong to the order or be invested at one time, though the average number of new members stands at 24 per year

The process of finding qualified individuals begins with submissions from the public to the Ontario Honours and Awards Secretariat, which consists of the Chief Justice of Ontario (who serves as the chairperson), the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the Secretary of the Cabinet, and up to six members of the Order of Ontario. This committee then meets once or twice yearly to make its selected recommendations to the Cabinet and works with that body in narrowing down the potential appointees to a list that will be submitted to the lieutenant governor. Since appointments to the Order of Ontario rely in part on ministerial advice, records of such proceedings are not publicly revealed, as affirmed in court proceedings undertaken in 2002 by an individual who had been mistakenly informed that she had been appointed to the order. Posthumous nominations are not accepted, though an individual who dies after his or her name was submitted to the Honours and Awards Secretariat can still be retroactively made a Member of the Order of Ontario. The lieutenant governor, ex-officioa Member and the Chancellor of the Order of Ontario, then makes all appointments into the fellowship's single grade of membership by an Order in Council that bears the viceroyal sign-manual and the Great Seal of the province, thereafter, the new Members are entitled to use the post-nominal letters OOnt.

On Wednesday, June 28th twenty-six extraordinary Ontarians will be invested into the Order of Ontario, the province's highest honour, by the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. In 2017, as we celebrate Canada and Ontario's 150th anniversaries and 30 years since the first Order of Ontario investiture ceremony, we are reminded of the important contributions made by Order appointees to Ontario, Canada and the world.    

In honour of the 30th anniversary of the Order of Ontario, the CN Tower will be lit up in green and white on the evening of June 28.

 

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Toronto Real Estate – “What goes up must come down.” – Quote from Isaac Newton

Posted on 24 June 2017 by admin


By: Upali Obeyesekere – Editor, TSL – Is the Toronto Housing Market cooling off? It certainly is from what we see in the open market. There are five houses in Victoria Village that have been on the market for over 2-weeks, The recent intervention by the Ontario government to cool the Toronto-area’s hot housing market is already having an impact on sellers and buyers plans for the year, according to a new poll. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne introduced a 16-point Fair Housing Plan in April to tame the Greater Toronto Area's expensive real estate market, including measures such as expanded rent control and a foreign buyer's tax. This announcement has impacted the housing market and slowed it down slowly but surely. This is good news for the buyers while not so good news for the sellers. But the sale prices of real estate in the GTA had reached unrealistic levels and needed some restrain at some point.

Appended below is an article authored by Bloomberg that expalins in more detail a status update on the Toronto Real Estate Market.

Toronto home prices haven’t fallen yet, but a major market indicator says they will soon!

The last time the sales to listing ratio fell this sharply was in the late 1980s, followed by a record price drop that took two years to play out.

The latest data on Toronto housing show a sharp decline in sales in Canada’s biggest city has yet to trigger a drop in prices. A major indicator of market conditions suggests it will soon enough. The ratio of Toronto sales to new listings slumped to 41 per cent in May, according to Canadian Real Estate Association data Thursday. That’s the lowest since 2008 and near the bottom of the range for what economists generally consider a balanced market. The gauge is a pretty good predictor of home prices and what it’s showing — based on the typical historical relationship between the two variables — is that a modest price decline is probably in the cards.

According to Bloomberg calculations, the 3-month moving average of the sales to new listings ratio explains almost 60 per cent of the variation in Toronto benchmark home prices five months later. A sustained ratio of 40 per cent implies small, single-digit annual price declines in about half a year.

Just such a soft landing is the prevailing view of most economists, as well as the Bank of Canada. Home prices in the country’s financial capital after all have been climbing steadily for years, and the recent run of annual gains in excess of 30 per cent was bound to end. Even amid the sales decline in May, Toronto benchmark prices were up 1.2 per cent last month.

The soft landing predicted by the model however assumes a smooth and orderly correction, whereas Toronto housing dynamics seem out of control. Predictions based on historical relationships are less robust in more extreme situations.

So, will the landing be soft or hard?

SOFT LANDING CASE

In its semi-annual financial system review last week, the central bank said a sharp price correction in Toronto and Vancouver is unlikely because strong underlying fundamentals “support the idea that a downturn in prices would be limited.”

That view was given additional credence this week when Governor Stephen Poloz and his Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins jolted markets by suggesting the economy may have firmed enough to withstand a gradual withdrawal of stimulus. In effect, the policy makers are saying they’re comfortable enough with the situation in Toronto and Vancouver real estate to risk the potential fallout from higher borrowing costs.

Here are some further arguments for a soft landing:

As the central bank pointed out, about 40 per cent of the 300,000 immigrants who settled in Canada last year moved to Ontario. That bolsters demand. And land-use regulations are often cited as a constraint that will prevent excessive supply from coming on the market. The “world-class city” argument stipulates Toronto should be compared with London and Tokyo rather than Ottawa when it comes to real estate valuations, given its status as a major metropolis and North America’s third-largest financial center. Vancouver’s recent experience is easing some concern that the market is vulnerable. The imposition of a tax on foreign buyers in the Pacific Coast city last summer spurred declines in sales and prices, but the latest data indicate those are rebounding.

HARD LANDING

In January, sales as a share of new listings rose above 90 per cent, smashing a record. The decline in that metric since then has been over 50 percentage points, which is the largest and the sharpest in data back to 1988. The only comparable decline in the metric was in the late 1980s, when it fell from 71 per cent to 30 per cent. And that move, which was followed by a record price drop, took two years to play out.

Much will depend on whether the sales to listings ratio continues falling.

Market psychology is key. There’s been plenty of speculative demand in the market, and any fear of a correction could send investors running for the exits. And a wave of new construction is about to hit the market. Data this month from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. showed year-to-date single family completions in Toronto rose to 4,937 units in May — the most since 2008 and up 19 per cent from 2016.

Even the conventional model suggests that in the event the sales to listings ratio starts hovering at about 30 per cent, price declines could start hitting double digits.

Bloomberg.com (Courtesy)

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