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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Moving to Canada website crashes after Trump win

   Canada column for Sunday, Nov. 13/16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   There’s been some unprecedented interest by Americans in moving to Canada since Donald Trump became the U.S. President-elect.
   For some time, numerous celebrities and people have expressed an interest in getting to know Canada better.
   It hasn’t been this way since the era of the Vietnam War when thousands of draft dodgers and resisters fled to their northern neighbor’s country.
  The Canadian immigration website crashed on U.S. election night and until 8:30 a.m. the next day when it couldn’t handle a huge surge in traffic from Americans looking for advice on how to move north.
   There were more than 200,000 users accessing the website, five times higher than usual, said department spokesperson Sonia Lesage.
   Upsetting to some U.S. residents are comments by Trump about deportations of illegal immigrants and reopening international trade agreements.
   Moving company HireAHelper, operating in Lakeland, Florida and other U.S. cities, is advertising “free help loading the truck” for people relocating to Canada and has a guide on how to make the move. hireahelper.com
   Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated Trump on his victory and said “we offer our hand in partnership with our neighbors as friends and allies as they move forward.”


   The Ontario government’s plan for helping first-time home buyers will be detailed in a fall economic statement on Monday.
   Premier Kathleen Wynne spoke of “minor adjustments,” not a major change to address soaring house prices in the Greater Toronto Area.
   A record 9,768 properties were sold last month with prices 21-percent higher than a year ago at an average of $762,975.
   The main problem for home buyers is saving enough for a down payment, she said.
   Ontario isn’t planning anything similar to British Columbia’s new tax on foreign buyers to try to keep prices from soaring there, she added.


   News in brief:
   - There’s a new rule that requires some Canadians with dual citizenship to use a Canadian passport to enter the country. The rule doesn’t apply though to people holding dual Canadian-U.S. citizenship. Passports are being scanned by a new electronic system at airports to verify that passengers boarding flights have the appropriate documents to enter Canada.
   - Montreal-born Leonard Cohen, writer, poet, composer and singer, has died at age 82. His death was announced on his website and said a memorial will be held later in Los Angeles. He recently released a new album “You Want It Darker” that was produced in part by his son, Adam.


   Facts and figures:
   Canada’s dollar has dipped to 73.87 cents U.S., an eight-month low, while the U.S. dollar returns $1.353 Canadian, before exchange fees.
   The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is steady at 0.5 percent while the prime-lending rate is 2.7 percent.
   Stock markets are mixed, with the Toronto exchange index up at 14,567 points while the TSX Venture index is lower at 729 points.
   The average price for gas in Canada has dropped to $1 a liter or $3.80 (Canadian) for a U.S. gallon.
   Lotto 6/49: (Nov. 9) 6, 9, 30, 37, 43 and 49; bonus 18. (Nov. 5) 11, 17, 26, 27, 37 and 48; bonus 31. Lotto Max: (Nov. 4) 4, 23, 29, 36, 39, 44 and 46; bonus 24.


   Regional briefs:
   - A seven-year-old girl was found dead in a house in northeastern Saskatchewan and her father, Jay Eastman’s body was found in a nearby rural area from self-inflicted injuries. Police said an alert was issued in Nipawin after Nia Eastman wasn’t returned to her mother after the father picked her up at school. Neighbors said the father and Nia’s mother, Crystal Eastman, had separated about two months ago.
   - An enterprising man offering weed on wheels has been busted in Victoria. Police said they arrested a 22-year-old man peddling a marijuana cart through the city’s downtown. Similar to an ice cream cart, it was decorated with the name “420 Delivery” that police said is an often-used code term for marijuana use. Police said they seized five ounces of pot.


Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com

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