The end of easy money? 3 stocks for Canadians to watch as credit tightens

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Statistics Canada released data on March 15 that revealed debt to income fell in the fourth quarter of 2017. For some analysts, this is an encouraging sign that Canadian households and consumers at large have started to adjust to the new reality of higher interest rates. The total-household-debt service ratio was static at 13.8% and household-credit market debt rose 1.1% to $2.13 trillion.

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The Bank of Canada elected to hold the benchmark interest rate at 1.25% at its most recent meeting, citing trade and housing concerns. However, for the long term, the central bank intends to bring Canada closer to its “neutral” rate, which is now between 2.5% and 3.5%. Some analysts have predicted as little as one more rate hike in 2018, and at the rate the central bank is moving, it could be a while before we see the benchmark move to this target.

In any case, barring a sluggish economic turn, the central bank will proceed with tightening in the coming months and years. Today, we will look at three stocks that could be affected by this policy.

Goeasy Ltd. (TSX:GSY)

Goeasy is a Mississauga-based company that provides alternative financial services, such as the merchandise leasing of household furnishings and other products. The company is specifically geared

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/the-end-of-easy-money-3-stocks-to-watch-as-credit-tightens/ar-BBKjluI?srcref=rss

How many chickens is too many? Victoria property will have 100 as of Saturday



a person standing in front of a fence: Neighbour Chantal Meagher says the chicken coops and the compost bins are located very near the border of her property.


© Liz McArthur
Neighbour Chantal Meagher says the chicken coops and the compost bins are located very near the border of her property.

Residents of an upscale Victoria neighbourhood are bracing for the arrival of approximately 100 chickens on Saturday. 

Wei Tu is the landlord of a 35-room heritage home in Rockland and says she is bringing in the chickens to help feed her tenants. 

She says the building has 45 tenants, with many people sharing a room. 

“About one quarter are on social assistance, and living cheque by cheque is a way of living,” Tu said. 

“It’s my core value to share the responsibility as a whole society, to help those who are in need. 

“So late in January I discussed with my tenants about the possibility to improve our gardens and also set up chicken coops.”

Tu admits it’s a lot of chickens, but says that 100 birds is not an inappropriate number for the 2.2 acres of land. 

Although Tu is not violating any bylaw, the City of Victoria did pass a motion this week to limit the number of hens to 12. However, the motion still needs to be adopted to take effect. 

Tu says no one from the city has contacted her, but maintains that the issue is a legal one. 

“We

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/homeandproperty/how-many-chickens-is-too-many-victoria-property-will-have-100-as-of-saturday/ar-BBKjOZG?srcref=rss

These provinces will be most (and least) hurt if NAFTA is terminated: report

FILE - Justin Trudeau shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump on Nov. 13, 2017.© Adrian Wyld/CP
FILE – Justin Trudeau shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump on Nov. 13, 2017.

With growing fears that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) may be terminated, Moody’s Investors Service took a look at where Canada would hurt the most if the deal is killed.

A report released Thursday highlights that provincial economies are bound to suffer more than the national one.

READ MORE: What happens if NAFTA is killed? RBC looks at Canada’s possible future

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And in Canada, Ontario and New Brunswick would feel negative effects the most.

WATCH: Trudeau discusses time concerns on NAFTA negotiations

Moody’s analyst Michael Yake explained to Global News that the projected impact was measured by the size of export to the U.S. relative to the province’s gross domestic product (GDP). The second factor considered is which industries the province has — certain sectors, such as manufacturing, are more vulnerable.

“It’s not as if after NAFTA is removed that suddenly every export will go up. Each industry, each sector has different tariffs,” Yake said.

Here’s a closer look how provinces will be affected:

Most likely to be hurt if NAFTA is terminated:

New Brunswick

Moody’s reports that exports to the U.S. accounted for 28.5 per cent of New Brunswick’s

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/these-provinces-will-be-most-and-least-hurt-if-nafta-is-terminated-report/ar-BBKjrBd?srcref=rss

How to handle Loblaw’s request for more gift card ID

a sign on the side of a building: iStock© Used with permission of / © Rogers Media Inc. 2018.
iStock

If you’re like me, you likely signed up for your $25 Loblaw gift card shortly after it was announced that the company was offering them in compensation for price-fixing bread products for more than 10 years. Good news for me, I received my gift card in the mail without a hitch—and happily bought my eggs, salmon and raisin bread with it this week.

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The bad news is many people have not been so lucky and they have found themselves being asked to provide additional identification in order to receive their cards. That has raised alarms for privacy experts and class action lawyers who say consumers should not hand over ID information such as driver’s licences because they may put themselves at risk for identity fraud.

Canada’s privacy commission revealed this week that it is investigating Loblaws for sending letters requesting that some customers mail them a copy of their driver’s license or other ID that’s in their name to verify their identity. “This is so outrageous,” says Ann Cavoukian, a privacy expert at the Privacy by Design Centre of Excellence at Ryerson University in Toronto. “It’s completely unacceptable for them to ask. You’re adding insult to injury

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/how-to-handle-loblaw%E2%80%99s-request-for-more-gift-card-id/ar-BBKgTX9?srcref=rss

‘I don’t think they’re going to survive this,’ analyst says of Toys "R" Us Canada

a group of people walking in front of a building: Toys R Us Canada is working on a deal to find a buyer for the Canadian arm and its 82 stores amid efforts by the U.S. parent company to liquidate.© Eric Gay/Associated Press
Toys “R” Us Canada is working on a deal to find a buyer for the Canadian arm and its 82 stores amid efforts by the U.S. parent company to liquidate.

A California toy maker that owns the Bratz, Little Tikes and Num Nums brands is trying to buy all 82 Canadian locations of Toys “R” Us while the retailer’s U.S. operations are in the midst of liquidating.

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MGA Entertainment Inc. confirmed in an email Wednesday that CEO Isaac Larian has submitted a bid to buy the chain’s Canadian arm.

News broke on Wednesday that  the iconic U.S. toy chain plans to liquidate 740 stores , but the retailer’s Canadian arm is largely unaffected and all Canadian stores “remain open for business in the normal course.”

Toys “R” Us Canada “operates autonomously from U.S. operations, and continues to be a stable and profitable market leader in Canada,” the toy-seller said in a release, adding that the Canadian stores have enough cash to continue funding themselves “without disruption.”

The Canadian chain will continue to pay

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/toy-maker-mga-entertainment-seeks-to-buy-toys-r-us-canada-as-retailer-liquidates/ar-BBKgnAC?srcref=rss

WestJet flight attendants claim they’re paid less than minimum wage

a large passenger jet sitting on an airport runway: Some WestJet flight attendants are claiming the airline routinely pays its cabin crew less than minimum wage because employees are compensated for how many hours they spend in the air, not the length of their shift.© Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press
Some WestJet flight attendants are claiming the airline routinely pays its cabin crew less than minimum wage because employees are compensated for how many hours they spend in the air, not the length of their shift.

Some  WestJet  flight attendants are claiming the airline routinely pays its cabin crew less than minimum wage, since they are only paid for the amount of time they spend in the air, not their time at work.

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It’s industry standard for flight attendants’ pay to be based on the time from wheels up to wheels down, although most airlines also provide some compensation for the time flight attendants spend at airports before and after flights.  WestJet  does not, and it’s become a sticking point with flight attendants as minimum wages rise across the country. The airline’s compensation for flight attendants could, in fact, be violating federal labour rules, according to one union. 

‘Other airlines have guarantees

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/westjet-flight-attendants-claim-theyre-paid-less-than-minimum-wage/ar-BBKhV0X?srcref=rss

Nike president resigns amid reports of inappropriate behavior



a man wearing sunglasses posing for the camera


© Beck Diefenbach / REUTERS



Sports apparel brand Nike (NKE) says one of its senior executives will step down in August.

Nike did not say why Trevor Edwards, its brand president who had been seen as a possible future CEO, was leaving the company. The Wall Street Journal reported that his resignation was announced to Nike employees in an internal memo that said the company had received complaints about inappropriate workplace behavior.

The Journal said the internal memo from CEO Mark Parker didn’t specify the nature of the complaints or whether they involved Edwards or other executives. Edwards, who joined Nike in 1992, was the No. 2 executive at Nike. With Edwards’ departure, Parker said he now plans to remain in his current role through 2020, according to the report. 

The growth of the “#MeToo” movement, initially a hashtag to denote the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace and other areas of life, has encouraged employees to speak out. Many companies are taking reports more seriously in the wake of the movement.

Nike Inc. representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Beaverton, Oregon-based company said in a news release that Parker will remain as chairman, president and CEO beyond 2020, and detailed other executive changes.

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/companies/nike-president-resigns-amid-reports-of-inappropriate-behavior/ar-BBKj6ul?srcref=rss

Complaints about Canadian banks increased 28% last year, ombudsman says

a close up of a computer: The Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI), which handles complaints about banks, received 28 per cent more of them this year.© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
The Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI), which handles complaints about banks, received 28 per cent more of them this year.

Canadians had 28 per cent more gripes about their banks last year than they did in 2016, according to a new report from the ombudsman overseeing the industry, with bogus credit card charges a particular thorn in the side of many customers.

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According to the annual report of the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI), the office opened 370 investigations into banking-related complaints from Canadian consumers last year. That’s a little more than one per day. The previous year, OBSI opened 290 new files about banks.

More than half of those cases came from people in Ontario.

OBSI only gets involved once cases have escalated to the level where customers and their banks haven’t been able to sort out their differences on their own or through other dispute resolution channels.

OBSI doesn’t even govern the entire industry in Canada, as the two biggest banks in the country — Royal Bank and Toronto-Dominion Bank — opt to handle their

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/complaints-about-canadian-banks-increased-28percent-last-year-ombudsman-says/ar-BBKiWM5?srcref=rss