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Sunday, December 18, 2016

"Trump bump" cited for more interest in Canada



   Canada column for Sunday, Dec. 18/16

   THE CANADIAN REPORT
   (c) By Jim Fox

   They’re calling it the “Trump bump” that led to a significant increase in Americans seeking refugee status and seeking information about moving to Canada.
   There has also been a huge spike in online traffic from the U.S. of more than 200,000 users that crashed Canada’s citizenship and immigration website prior to the election.
   As well, Canadian job, real estate and even dating sites have had significant jumps.
   Some dating services suggest that perhaps a quicker way to immigrate to Canada is to marry a Canadian.
   It’s not so easy to be approved as a refugee coming from a democratic country such as the U.S.
   Even so, refugee claims from Americans amounted to 170 in the past 11 months compared with 73 a year earlier.
   It’s not unusual with political changes and concerns, said Toronto immigration attorney Mario Bellissimo.
   “I saw some of this when Bush assumed office (in 2000),” he said.

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   Canadians who have long complained about being unable to watch the blockbuster U.S. ads during the Super Bowl might still be blacked out.
   Liberal Members of Parliament Bob Nault and Wayne Easter want the broadcast regulator to “rethink” a decision to bar Canada’s CTV network from substituting Canadian ads during the football feeds from the U.S.
   The decision will cost the economy tens of millions of dollars and air ads for some products Canadians can’t even buy, they said.
   The NFL sold the Canadian rights for the Feb. 5 game to CTV that fears a $40-million loss as it pays for the game feed by selling domestic ads.
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   News in brief:
   - The Bank of Montreal will compensate clients a total of $49.9 million for collecting “excess fees” on some mutual funds and investment products over eight years.  The bank must also pay $2.1 million to the Ontario Securities Commission and $90,000 for the cost of the investigation. Earlier CIBC returned $73.3 million to its clients and Scotiabank refunded $19.9 million.
   - The Ontario government is being asked to approve a City of Toronto request that it impose road tolls on two major commuter highways. City councillors voted 32-9 to add the fees on the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway. Mayor John Tory said the city needs the money to pay for transit and road infrastructure projects instead of raising property taxes.

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   Facts and figures:
   Canada’s dollar is lower at 74.93 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.334 Canadian, before exchange fees.
   The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate remains at 0.5 percent while the prime-lending rate is 2.7 percent.
   Stock markets are lower, with the Toronto exchange index at 15,250 points while the TSX Venture index is at 731 points.
   The average price for gas in Canada is higher at $1.046 a liter or $3.97 (Canadian) for a U.S. gallon.
   Lotto 6/49: (Dec. 14) 20, 22, 40, 41, 42 and 47; bonus 15. (Dec. 10) 3, 37, 40, 41, 47 and 49; bonus 6. Lotto Max: (Dec. 9) 11, 17, 24, 26, 34, 35 and 39; bonus 16.

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   Regional briefs:
   - Ten people have been killed in three house fires that occurred during frigid weather in southern Ontario.  A father, three young children and a baby were killed when fire destroyed a house on the Oneida Nation of the Thames near London. In Port Colborne, a woman, her mother and two children died in a blaze while a man was killed in a fire in Newmarket.
   - Ontario and Quebec have reached a $1-billion hydroelectricity deal to share power. Over seven years, Ontario will be able to import up to two terawatt hours of electricity annually from Quebec – enough to power a city of 200,000 people. It can also store power behind Quebec’s dams in the deal that’s expected to save Ontario $70 million and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
   - First-time homebuyers in British Columbia will be able to obtain interest and payment-free loans for the first five years. Premier Christy Clark said the maximum will be $37,500 in a 25-year mortgage to cover the down payment on a house costing up to $750,000. “People need a partner in scraping together that first down payment,” she said.

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Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com

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