Condoholic

coast11

Timothy and Teresa bought a honking big, unbuilt condo in Vancouver a while back. Called The Coast, it was billed as an exclusive enclave of 35 units located on the grounds of the University of BC.

Being Van, they paid a lot for it. Exactly $3.5 million, with 10% down. But they made a few mistakes back in the fall of 2007, chief among them being naive – besides paying way too much, even for a unit with 2,000 square feet and a terrace that big again.

The first time they got to see the place was about a year later, when the condo development was starting to take shape. And they were stunned.

The cozy building had been goosed in size by 30%. A wine room they’d contracted for had disappeared. Worse, the terrace was altered from original plans, offered less privacy and had a compromised view. Soon after, Tim and his wife found there’d been amendments made to the disclosure statement with the developer, and they sued to have the deal erased, and get their $350,000 back.

The developer filed a defence and also took action against the marketing company selling the site – MAC Real Estate Corp. (famous for its ‘condos on sale’ promotions of late) – saying MAC had an obligation to show all purchasers all documents. MAC claimed it never received any such instruction.

Well, kids, it all turned out well for the disappointed buyers. A court has ruled in their favour, and the deal is dead. Money refunded. And one $3.5 million condo – now worth a whole lot less – is back on the market. This now opens a legal door for scores of BC condo buyers whose units plunged in value before closing, and want to get out of their contracts. Many who walked away are being sued by the developers.

So, what can we learn?

* That it’s a totally dumb idea to buy real estate which does not exist. Especially a condo. Anywhere.

* If you are this loopy, make absolutely sure you have a lawyer check out the contract before you sign, and amend any clauses giving the developer a green light to alter plans, reconfigure the building, increase density, change floor plans or delay closing or occupancy. If he refuses, walk.

* Insist on regular site inspections during the construction process. Write it into the offer.

* Never believe what a salesguy tells you in a condo sales centre. Your only protection is the legal document detailing terms and conditions of the sale.

* Get a copy of the floorplan and have it attached to, and form a part of, the contract. Ditto for any sales brochures, artist’s renditions, newspaper ads or web site photos and descriptions. Since you are buying from plans, all of those materials can be used to show a court what you were led to believe the product would be like – in case it is not.

* Don’t pay three mill for a condo unless you are, say, that Balsillie guy.

* Fight for your right to get what you were sold. Suing somebody is easy. Feels good, too.

* Did I mention never to buy any property you can’t see, kick or have a pee in?

In the news:

Canada loses 42,000 jobs.

US loses 345,000 jobs.

82 comments ↓

#1 Flip on 06.05.09 at 12:11 am

wait until things start to go down some more after the current spring fever rally in Edmonchuk and see what all the greater fools who have bought at $650 a foot into this 3000 unit behemoth called Century Park will do once they realise they are upside down:
http://centurypark.ca/

Phase one and two was of course sold during the height of real estate boom two years ago – I think the first batch of suckers (who lined-up overnight for the privilege of buying first) are moving in as we speak…

Somehow the price has been removed from the website now… coincidentally – so is the shedule for the towers and the center pool…

RE Lawyers are going to be busy in the city of Champignons soon…

#2 spork on 06.05.09 at 12:19 am

Hard to root for either side. Developers and flippers are both a bunch of greedy scumbags. I hope they all litigate themselves to financial ruin. Then only the Lawyers will have money…but everyone already knows that they’re parasites.

#3 JoJo on 06.05.09 at 12:21 am

Deflation problem?

Oil price again hit $70, Gold $ 980, and RE avg. prices in Toronto Area again high to the moon.
Stock market railly never,ever been so good in history of TSX.
Yesterday TD Bank reported about Federal deficit could be over 170 billions for the next five years. We are printing money like no tomorrow and Fed. Bank has frozen interest 0.25% at least to June/2010.
Canada is world champion about monetary easing and taxes.
WOW if you see new builders prices in villages Caledon,Oakville,Georgetown over $ 700 k for detach,than in Toronto any detach should be over 2 Mil.
Interest is very good 3%, and Down payment only 5 %.
So, I can’t see any cheaper price from two years ago and again you are talking about deflation?
This year probably we’ll hit over 10% unemployment rate plus 300 K new immigrants plus 300 K new grads.
However, Inflate or die.

#4 Anon on 06.05.09 at 12:27 am

So the latest TREB numbers were in a few days ago. I guess TREB must have been in a huge rush to get out the “good news” that sales were up YOY in May. (“Good” news it seems is published on the 2nd day of the month, vs “Less than good” news is held until about the 6th day of the month.)

At any rate, some numbers were indeed up. However, for the Central district, the average price was still down 3% YOY (-$29,112) but median was only down $2000 YOY.

Date Sales Avg$ Mdn$ %YOY ΔAvg$ ΔMdn$
May09 481 $933,084 $801,410 97 -$29,112 -$2003
Apr09 384 $905,594 $744,017 94 -$61,223 -$53,958
Mar09 237 $774,365 $696,294 85 -$135,007 -$85,328
Feb09 183 $865,454 $742,180 88 -$113,731 -$94,271
Jan09 107 $750,865 $649,757 83 -$156,949 -$95,005
Dec08 105 $961,842 $839,238 91 -$92,141 $22,040
Nov08 142 $950,362 $753,819 102 $16,916 -$58,412
Oct08 183 $807,689 $739,990 85 -$142,952 -$59,773
Sep08 235 $812,416 $700,338 89 -$103,407 -$93,599
Aug08 202 $801,833 $681,663 90 -$88,727 -$63,025
Jul08 281 $857,192 $720,100 93 -$65,197 -$16,746
Jun08 369 $932,625 $768,535 100 -$3,777 $4,176
May08 402 $962,197 $803,413 112 $100,889 $77,528
Apr08 404 $966,817 $797,975 107 $59,887 $51,662
Mar08 216 $909,373 $781,623 111 $92,164 $54,701
Feb08 256 $979,185 $836,452 105 $48,486 $49,264
Jan08 224 $907,813 $744,762 105 $40,408 $28,381

More specifically, of the 14 areas in Central district, half went up and half went down with respect to average YOY price changes. (See below.) Median prices went up in only 4 of the 14 areas.

%Δ $Δavg
C01 107 $41,550
C02 85 -$158,853
CO3 83 -$198,540
C04 95 -$46,481
C06 101 $6,726
C07 87 -$82,544
C08 80 -$249,000
C09 114 $193,209
C10 111 $132,118
C11 103 $28,258
C12 120 $255,701
C13 90 -$62,394
C14 112 $91,674
C15 85 -$102,444

(Again, this is only for detached houses.)

#5 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 06.05.09 at 12:59 am

“. . . But they made a few mistakes back in the fall of 2007, chief among them being naive . . .”

During our short, temporary physical lifecycles, we are supposed to make mistakes in this classroom of a planet, learn from those mistakes and then move on to new adventures. Hence . . .

“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” — Mahatma Gandhi

The main issue is that the couple were able to get out of the deal, and let others fight over this nonsense.

To a large extent, this is a really good lesson for everyone involved, especially after the couple walked and the others were left squabbling among themselves. They were the ones who tried to squeeze every last buck out of the couple, and instead ended up getting their asses roasted.

If those changes were made without the consent and written approval of the buyers, then they should have been voided anyway.

As far as buying an unseen and / or unbuilt tower, look back to Toronto in the late ’80s and learn from those lessons.

Sheeple’s eyes sometimes get too big for their boots. Bbbbaaaahhhh!
——
As before, so again. The Cycle of Nines — 1929 – 2009, so I guess now is around when the train starts falling off the tracks. — http://tinyurl.com/o7qdw6

Along with other reports, US banks may shortly dump zillions of foreclosed homes onto an already-depressed market, which leads to this. — http://tinyurl.com/p3bzgj

And now, for your evening’s viewing pleasure are The Four Horsemen of the Stock Market Apocalypse! — http://tinyurl.com/pfg3ls
——
Garth mentioned (so did I) about US$100 / oil. Seems someone is driving the price up! — http://tinyurl.com/p9fxfc
——
How times change — Democrinks propose a public health care system! — http://tinyurl.com/ryvgkd
——
During the designed economic downturn, who makes the fattest profits? Arms-makers! Militaries use them, throw in plenty of yet-to-be used nukes and bingo! Population reduction achieved! — http://tinyurl.com/pvft44

Figure y’all can guess where Canada will get drones from — it doesn’t matter how much they cost, ‘coz there ain’t no money left to buy them anyway!
——
Individuals in the west can learn plenty from the east. — http://tinyurl.com/q5nzum
——
Now China and Japan are having a ‘friendly’ joust with one another! — http://tinyurl.com/lsrlro

#6 taxpayer like you on 06.05.09 at 1:24 am

Reasons for judegment

http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/SC/09/07/2009BCSC0726.htm

#7 Happy Renter in North Van on 06.05.09 at 1:25 am

Garth’s rules for investing…

“Never believe what a salesguy tells you in a condo sales centre. Your only protection is the legal document detailing terms and conditions of the sale.”

Do you believe the same thing for mutual fund salespeople and a prospectus?

#8 Somebody on 06.05.09 at 1:32 am

Sorry this might be a bit off topic – will this trigger 2nd wave of the global economic crisis?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/5446658/European-banks-in-spotlight-as-Baltic-crisis-hits-Sweden.html

#9 Munch on 06.05.09 at 1:39 am

Great stuff!

Buying “off plan” was a great way to make plenty moola during the go-go years, but like all leverage, a great way to lose money when the puch got spiked.

Munch

#10 David Bakody on 06.05.09 at 6:32 am

Solid sound advice for any major purchase. My last major purchase was a almost new Honda … there was a set of snow tires and rims mentioned in the sale … fine, list them (4) on the contract …. they were not there when I picked the car up …. the salesman said I have some bad news …. He ask me if I was upset … I said “NO” because you can just give me some new ones IAW with the contract ….. case close and it was!

So all you young people start early in all your money deals for the days ahead! Why because there are many shady people waiting in both shirt and tie and fuzzy blue sweaters waiting to deceive.

#11 Canadian Army Guy on 06.05.09 at 6:43 am

A repetitive post, garth…
Running out of topics for this disastrous, unprecedented economic crisis, parallel to 1929-1931?
Your next post: net job gains in canada for May; the numbers are out today.
Oh, wait… that would be too positive… Sorry.
Try writing a post for raccoon and squirrel stew recipe for your followers in your make believe terrible world.

P.S. If the employment numbers are actually down, that should ease the pressure on the loonie and maybe bring it down towards $0.85… Still a win-win.

Job losses in May – 42,000, taking unemployment to the highest level in 11 years. Your callousness with regard to the affected people and families is saddening. — Garth

#12 molson cdn on 06.05.09 at 7:40 am

bravo good advice when buying a condo

#13 Charles T. on 06.05.09 at 7:43 am

A Structural Change in the Global Debt Based Financial and Economic System

#14 David Bakody on 06.05.09 at 7:57 am

#3 Anon on 06.05.09 at 12:27 am

• Please avoid pasting the text of excessively long articles or news stories within your comment — provide a link to the item instead.

#15 Jonathan on 06.05.09 at 8:10 am

Most people are worried about the rise in real estate prices and if they were too late to get in on the market.

Wait and see. Canadians will be more indebted than Britains or Americans by the end of this year. We’ve just formed the basis for our homemade credit crisis. Thing is, this time, the world will not organize low interest rates and stimulus plans around us. That treatment is reserved for other

#16 David Bakody on 06.05.09 at 8:11 am

#10 Canadian Army Guy on 06.05.09 at 6:43 am

Jobless rate climbs to 8.4% from http://www.cbc.ca sorry soldier but their is a real world outside of a fox hole.

The real number is much higher perhaps 12-15% add to this job devaluations from full time, full benefits to part time no benefits and the news gets worst.

I am by no means being unkind but Canadians can handle the truth ….. this blog has done it’s best, but big business to-day is far ahead of the ode snake oil salesman so self education into the world of finance is more important than ever as the new world order drives it’s nails deeper into yesterdays world of employee protections, benefits and middle class wealth coffins.

#17 Gord In Vancouver on 06.05.09 at 8:47 am

#14 Jonathan

…Canadians will be more indebted than Britains or Americans by the end of this year. We’ve just formed the basis for our homemade credit crisis.
_______________________________________

Here in BC, it’s starting to show:

http://www.news1130.com/news/local/more.jsp?content=20090604_212638_5256

#18 Signal Loss on 06.05.09 at 8:54 am

Canadian Army Guy should go back to his desk at NDHQ and work on getting our troops back so that we can buy some F-35s and drones, thus creating aerospace jobs.

#19 Another Albertan on 06.05.09 at 9:13 am

Through a chance encounter, I ended up spending some time on a Calgary restaurant patio with 1 realtor, 1 recently ex-realtor and 1 mortgage broker.

The MB and EX-R were both female and had no interest in talking about anything even remotely realistic, nevermind “negative” (everyone was pining for the good old days), but when they went to freshen up, the realtor did give me his short opinion on Calgary real estate: “After August, we’re done. Done for quite a while, possibly a few years. Things start to drop after August. This is the last gasp.”

What was also interesting was that the realtor’s lease on his fully-loaded Audi A6 was coming up and he was returning the vehicle. His replacement? He was still looking for a used truck (LOTS of those in Alberta right now…) with a ceiling price of $18k with financing. Now that’s a precipitous fall from grace when you’ve been driving an $85k car with $1600/mth lease payments through the boom days and now you’re looking at trying to dicker a $18k truck down to $15k (less than 9 months of the Audi’s lease payments) and finance it.

The realtor quietly continued to get smashed on his gin and tonics.

#20 Canadian Army Guy on 06.05.09 at 9:24 am

#15 David Bakody wrote:

“Jobless rate climbs to 8.4% from http://www.cbc.ca sorry soldier but their is a real world outside of a fox hole.

The real number is much higher perhaps 12-15% add to this job devaluations from full time, full benefits to part time no benefits and the news gets worst.”

If you choose to see the negatives, so be it…
I’m a 1/2 full glass type while you’re obviously a 1/2 empty glass type.
8,4% EI means that 91,6% of folks are still working.
Hardly the big recession here. Nothing to jump off a bridge for. Unless Garth tells you to…

Garth: Those 42,000 new jobless dudes and gals are mainly from Chrysler. An Ontario problem.
Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Sask all got gains in jobs.
But don’t report that. Won’t sell you books, right?

Ontario has lost 234,000 jobs in eight months, mostly in manufacturing. They are Canadians like you. Are you saying they are inferior? — Garth

#21 @Garth 2 on 06.05.09 at 9:36 am

#3 Anon.

Because I can afford to be petty online, I’ll take the time to note that you’ve certainly had to change your tune since attempting to lambaste me over my Toronto mid-March RE market commentary.

Back in March I said the numbers were encouraging and prices would soon reflect the burgeoning sales environment, to which you said:

“Are you serious? What are you talking about? Sales are still down/falling from previous levels, and you state that they are rising fast?”

At the time, my Y-on-Y numbers were:

Date 2009 2008 Y-on-Y-pct
================================
Jan 2670 5075 -47.4%
Feb 4120 6015 -31.5%
Mar(19) 2565 3183 -19.4%

Currently, and despite your forecast of complete disaster we have the following sales numbers (noting that prices are currently down less than 1% on last year):

Date 2009 2008 Y-on-Y-pct
================================
Jan 2670 5075 -47.4%
Feb 4120 6015 -31.5%
March 6171 6631 -6.9%
April 8107 8762 -7.5%
May 9589 9411 +1.9%

At this point, your ranting looks silly. Garth’s own reputation is taking a beating right now, but undoubtedly he will emerge from the ashes in a few years, as Canada’s Harry Dent. ;)

Again, I do not forecast huge price gains in Toronto to follow during the slow summer months, but if we avoid a second broad collapse in equities, I can’t see the unemployment data mattering a damn to the remaining employed yuppies in Toronto. They’ll be dialing up their RRSPs, seeing a recovery and jumping in.

It’s a pity really.

What’s happening has been well explained and discussed here. 3% mortgages are the crack cocaine of real estate. Coming off this will not be pretty. — Garth

#22 Steve on 06.05.09 at 9:48 am

Congratulations Garth. This is the first post you’ve made in very long time that makes any sense.

#23 confused and a little crazed on 06.05.09 at 10:13 am

#19 Canadian army guy,
It’s not all the chrysler labour, currently they are in the courts fighting about the dealership contracts and in the month of May both GM aand Chrysler werre selling more of their vehicles because of deep discounts. We still haven’t really seen the brunt of job losses from those 2 companies

#24 My_View on 06.05.09 at 10:19 am

Garth,

A couple of years ago rates were at 5-6% and the market was on fire. Whats your take now on rates, variable or fixed?

#25 Darryl on 06.05.09 at 10:34 am

Hey Garth .
BNN just mentioned your name as the person that warned the cpp could run out by 2015. Media is on your side dude . Time to run for that seat.

#26 rory on 06.05.09 at 11:04 am

Hilarious …yesterday everyone was so sweet to GT and each other, today it is back to business…must be the topic that makes us so rabid?????

GT, you sure you want to do this public service gig.

#27 Anon on 06.05.09 at 11:05 am

#20 @Garth 2

Please enlighten me: When did I forecast a “complete disaster”?

I am posting numbers that TREB does not. I still believe that prices will continue to fall.

By no means did I ever suggest that this month constitutes a sustainable ‘recovery’.

Are you seriously suggesting that despite everything else that you read about (unemployment, deficits, etc.), that housing prices will rebound or grow?

I am not foolish enough to think that any downward trend would be going south every month. I suspect that there will always be bumps along the ride, but give it a few months and things will continue as they were before. (Sinking not rising.)

And I stand by my original sentiment about the fallacy of your argument – “Sales are rising fast”. If sales are still less than they were this time last year, then sales are still falling. The **RATE** at which they are falling may be changing, but your statements at the time were plain wrong. And just because they happened to be positive for the first time in months, then congratulations. Go sell a house or two to a few greater fools and celebrate with your commission. Or better yet, save it for a few months down the road when you will be needing it.

(Please feel free to keep me abreast of your opinions around this same time every month.)

#28 rory on 06.05.09 at 11:10 am

Ooops …forgot to add this in my last post. Excellent article about the bond market and implications.

Still anyone’s guess which way things will go – deflation or inflation.

http://economicedge.blogspot.com/2009/06/horror-bond-traders-are-white-with.html

#29 Basil Fawlty on 06.05.09 at 11:26 am

“If you choose to see the negatives, so be it…
I’m a 1/2 full glass type while you’re obviously a 1/2 empty glass type.”
The largest credit bubble in world history recently popped and governments are replacing it with the biggest bailout bubble in world history. We are in unprecented economic territory, just north of shit creek and the paddle has gone overboard.
Just what part of this picture are you failing to comprehend General Hand Grenade?

#30 PTDBD on 06.05.09 at 11:37 am

Royal Canadian Mint checking into missing gold and silver

This being a Canadian story, it is being dismissed as “an accounting discrepancy”. Nothing to see here folks, move along. :-) Go forward :-)

Where there any suspicious media characters visiting The Mint lately? Check their teeth! Maybe it was left behind at CTV or a biker boudoir or dumped in error into a local dumpster with Security blueprints, or perhaps shipped backed to Germany. Anyways, it was old gold and totally worthless to anybody and money is being printed to buy more. That’s Canada.

That isotope reactor story….didn’t we harp on that during the last “crisis”? Didn’t we wonder why the Government didn’t have a Plan B for “the way forward” in case it failed again? Sheeeet…nobody cared – only those with terrible illness.

Instead we got busy examining the dirty bellybutton lint of a past Prime Minister. Do you think it’s easy to set priorities?! That’s Canada.

Let’s get back to the imprtant stuff…I hear real estate is taking off, eh.

#31 squeezed taxpayer from toronto on 06.05.09 at 11:45 am

Garth,

I have followed this blog for quite a long time and I totally agree with your points.

In Toronto, unlike US and some other Canadian cities, RE hasn’t really “crashed”. Low interest rates, first time sheeple buyers, lax mortgage terms may all contribute to this.

In some areas, however, house price actually has gone up (around 15%) since 2007. These areas have one thing in common – they have high ranked schools in them.

While the backdrop of RE is bad, do you think these areas are “different”? I understand that it is dangerous to say “It’s different here” – however, this is a very unique market niche, and there must be a reason to explain the current reality.

IMHO, Toronto is a multi-cultural environment. Chinese people, for instances, have a higher saving rate. The per capita average debt estimate may not apply to them in general.

And, generally, they would pay a lot to secure “quality” education for their children. Many RE in areas that I mentioned above are being purchased with a large cash down. Many of these purchaser are seasoned investors – they are not flipping for a “cap gain” – but buying with a purpose (high ranked schools). They see limited down size in value, as long as those schools remain high ranked. The supply cannot meet the demand.

Can I seek your opinion? When will be a good time to buy a house in such areas?

#32 POL-CAN on 06.05.09 at 11:56 am

Heads up…

It looks like the subprime/0 down is back in the good old USA….. I wonder how long it will take for our gov monkeys to bring similar conditions here….. Either way this is not going to end well…..

FHA Loans: Return to 0% Down
A new Federal Housing Administration program will let first-time home buyers use their $8,000 tax credit for down payments or closing costs

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/jun2009/db2009063_664304.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index+-+temp_top+story

Ilargi (TAE) had a very nice hypothetical post on the above among other things:

http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2009/06/june-4-2009-why-not-let-it-fail.html

#33 Kevin on 06.05.09 at 12:15 pm

5-Year T-Notes open up huge… banks will be in a panic, and mortgages rates will going up if this doesn’t reverse in a hurry

http://tinyurl.com/raplho

#34 mikewasanengineer on 06.05.09 at 12:33 pm

Garth et al:

Sent out about 200 resumes, no luck yet. I am still hopefull, it has only been a month.

I really wish the government would not give GM or Chysler a dollar.

I worked at Magna. They were shutting down companies, and all the talk was china and mexico. No new work in Canada.

So, all that tax payers give them money, then they go and source the jobs in foreign countries. They create nothing for Canadians.

The government would get more bang for thier buck, if they set up a series of wind mills, similar to the one along the lakeshore in Toronto. They could line the 401 with wind mills every km or so. They could set up a plant to design and fabricate the parts. Thousands of people would have “green” jobs. We would cut our green house gas emissions. We would have the power to charge electric cars. We would break our dependence on oil and gas. We would have independence.

Just my thoughts today….sorry if I am ranting.

#35 Dodged-a Bullit-in Alberta on 06.05.09 at 12:33 pm

Greetings: When the wife and I walked on a condo deal in Calgary a few months ago, it was the Financial Reserve Report and minutes from past condo board meetings that raised the red flags about potential headaches down the road. These are items which a legal persual of an offer to purchase would not address. It is unfortunate that first time buyers must resort to the court system instead of having the protection of provincial legislation on their side. Todays blog does not indicate if the buyers were reimbursed for their legal fees. I would like to know how much they spent to get their money back.

#36 Garth Vader on 06.05.09 at 12:39 pm

“Just what part of this picture are you failing to comprehend General Hand Grenade?”

Thats not a grenade in his hand, the general is surfing MLS again!

3.5 mil for a concrete box in the sky, there are other top floor suites in different buildings at UBC that are more expensive than that, the top of this one I heard was 12mill+

http://www.thewesbrook.com/#

What happened to the simple enjoyable life?

#37 dave on 06.05.09 at 12:42 pm

Wonder how many new self employed people didn’t make it on the list of 42k job loss.

Canadians are taxed way too much and over 40% of our taxes goes to health care and most of the rest to education.

The government is cutting corporate taxes and at the same time incurring an enormous deficit for years to come. So where will the money come from to pay back all this debt. Of course the tax payers. Expect higher income tax, higher sales tax, higher property tax, and on and on.

So what are you to do? Well become incorporated and get a nice super low fixed rate tax instead of a progressive tax system that punishes you for trying to grow and earn more money for yourself and your family. And one in which the government grabs your tax money before you even get a chance to see it.

I am sure more and more people will becoming self employed or incorporated in the years to come. You really are given no choice with this tax system which is doomed to fail.

Just look at other nations with progressive tax system like ours. An example, Russia. What happened? Everyone was finding ways to work for cash only to avoid paying taxes and of course the government was in crises with reduced tax revenue. Once they switched to a fixed rate income tax system of about 13% guess what? Tax revenue actually increased because everyone felt it was fair and saw no reason to go through the trouble of trying to avoid paying. Surely a tax system with fixed rate income tax will encourage people to work harder and grow.

And how about eliminating this huge health care burden and be like the US and require people to pay when they get sick or at th every least make it like car insurance. If you are perfectly health and less likely to require healthcare you get a great rate. If you abuse yourself and smoke, drink become obese well you are a higher risk and pay more. Maybe people will then try to take care of themselves better.

#38 David Bakody on 06.05.09 at 1:05 pm

In the news:
Canada loses 42,000 jobs.

US loses 345,000 jobs.

What you have posted means at 10% of the US population Canada is once again worst off than the US of A …. hello and the US has the backing of most of the world. We have Harper/Flaherty and Raitt …… OMG! we’re doomed!

#39 David Bakody on 06.05.09 at 1:10 pm

#31 POL-CAN on 06.05.09 at 11:56 am

I would think that when our clowns in Ottawa (H/F) allow those who have saved for years for retirement to use any part of these hard earned saving for RE (costly anyway you look at it to-day) it could be considered double jeopardy.

#40 hobbygirl on 06.05.09 at 1:20 pm

If I can offer a simple explanation for the sales ‘boom’, people who have lost their jobs are forced to downsize to smaller older homes, hence the market activity.

I don’t think it is the younger first time buyer as much as panicky about to be and newly unemployed established homeowners who are buying in an attempt to lower their monthly payments.

It’s doable for the unemployed when the other spouse is employed and can still get mortgage financing for a smaller amount further away from the city centre basing a financing amount for a single income.

My humbled theory only.

#41 The Coming Depression on 06.05.09 at 1:25 pm

Don’t know where your getting the news from Garth. Oh yes “mainstream”. The news that make you feel good.
US real figures are 25 million Unemployed or underemployed here:
http://thecomingdepression.blogspot.com/2009/06/25-million-americans-unemployed.html
I will also have the REAL numbers up for the US.
Also as for Vancouver Condos: It used to be cranes now its SCAFFOLDING! Many Condos 10 yrs old are either with roof leaking, balcony leaks or window leaks. You can walk down Granville and watch these dumb workers putting it down the ripping it up. They can’t build anything right here it incredible. Anyone who buys a condo here deserves what they get. NOTHING BUT TROUBLE. If it doesn’t leak it will be worth nothing in a few years.

#42 Live Within Your Means on 06.05.09 at 1:30 pm

Re your previous post Garth. Thought some might like to check Paul Well’s latest blog at http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/06/05/stop-the-madness/3/

Stop the madness
Fixing question period would help the country, writes Paul Wells. Here’s where to start.

#43 jo blo on 06.05.09 at 1:30 pm

Drop in electronic manufacturing I have witnessed this year

Victoria BC, approx 25% drop since January, over last year.

Vancouver BC, approx 60% drop since January from last years numbers. These numbers apply to most of the customers we deal with.

The drop has stabalized now, but that may just be a result of the yearly cycle in this business. Summer tends to pick up.

#44 Republic_of_Western_Canada on 06.05.09 at 1:40 pm

#27 rory –

Regardless of what direction that article goes in, it is heavily faulted. The article is based on confused sensationalism and careless use of wild analogies. (Sort of like the Lie-beral party’s approach to pushing through the stupid, abusive, useless, wasteful C-68 ‘gun control’ bill was.)

The article ignores the fact that debt is also counted as money. That includes personal, business, and government debt. Increasing debt fundamentally increases the money supply.

The mechanism for creating money for business and personal debt is mostly through fractional reserve bank lending. A bank is allowed to create a big bag of new computer-money out of thin air and give it to you at interest, when they have only a little bit of money on their own books backing it up. This difference is the immediate increase in ‘money supply’.

Government debt works a little different but the effect is the same. Bond (debt) is just IOU’s printed up and sold to get market money from all sorts of buyers. It is used to cover government expenses because there’s not enough tax money in the whole world to pay off all the government spending. That market money can come from newly printed money, or savings and profits, or even some commercial and personal debt ‘money’. When the government has to ‘print money’ either on paper or by computer to buy it’s own IOU’s because there’s not enough ‘market money’ to go around, the ‘printed money’ is also an increase in money supply.

However, when market money is just diverted from the stock market by selling off shares or from savings to buy government IOUs (bonds), that does NOT decrease the money supply. It just transfers that kind of money from one place to another.

The biggest error in the article is it’s claim that huge diversions of money from the stock market and savings into a ‘black hole’ of government bonds somehow decreases the money supply, causing deflation. That’s not true. Deflation would only occur if government bonds were bought with savings and profits money, and then used to permanently pay down government debt.

Only the Alberta government ever did that in recent memory.

Harper came from Alberta with this great intention of reducing overall federal government debt. He saw that money wasted on interest payments on excessive Lie-beral government debt should instead be used to pay for useful government services. Reduce the debt, reduce inflation, reduce taxes. Eventually everybody wins.

Unfortunately he was forced into a position by Iggy the Piggy and that NDP joker just before Christmas to spend huge amounts of money bailing out obsolete ontario industries, their fat-ass assembly-line grunts, and all the Bay Street Goldman Sucks buddies and crooks. That will all cause tragic stagflation for the whole country over the next decade.

You are a bigot and an idiot. — Garth

#45 905er & Spouse on 06.05.09 at 1:41 pm

Speaking of condos, I drove past a development in Brampton called the ‘Rhythm condos and lofts’ near Queen and Kennedy. The sales centre said ‘CLOSED’ (not ‘sold out’). There are only two floors completed and it looked dead, no construction was going on. I called the phone number and they said there are still units available but the sales are being halted for the next few months. Sounds pretty bad….

#46 TorontoBull on 06.05.09 at 1:45 pm

Back to gold:
I found this quote at: http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/
“In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. … This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.” Alan Greenspan

#47 Bajwa on 06.05.09 at 1:47 pm

Too much money earned with out hard work leads to brainlessness…..

#48 Keith in Calgary on 06.05.09 at 2:01 pm

Well, well……..

Interesting times have befallen us eh ? In the last 48 hours here in Calgary we have had two very prominent condominium developers (Anthem Properties and Homburg Developments) publicly advertise huge haircuts on projects to try and move unsold inventory off their books……..they are whoring both “The Waterfront” and “The Castello”…….with either discoutns up to $187K or interest only mortgages of 5% for 7 years.

I’d bet you almost everyone who bought a condo here in Calgary in the last 24 months is shitting bricks right about now……..except the banks that hold the mortgages that is, they’re probably constipated………

#49 MenWithHats on 06.05.09 at 2:01 pm

Your callousness with regard to the affected people and families is saddening. — Garth

Slight edit . I find it sickening .

#50 David on 06.05.09 at 2:06 pm

Timothy and Teresa sound like they fit the clinical definition of financial cretinism. They initially paid $1750 per square foot for their dream condo, but with the amendments by the developer the price escalated to $2500 per square foot. The monthly nut (before taxes, utilities and condo fees) based on current 3.58% interest rates and an assumed mortgage of $3.15M is almost $15,905 a month. One would probably have to travel to another galaxy to find anyone willing to pay well over $200K annually to rent the place. This couple committed a $350K down payment based on an artistic rendition of what they might be buying and then has to litigate when the developers move the goal posts. The insanity of it all.

#51 treb or terb? on 06.05.09 at 2:43 pm

Frankly, i trust the opinions i read on terb.ca more than i trust what treb says…

#52 barb the proof reader on 06.05.09 at 2:46 pm

#18 Another Albertan: realtor….“After August, we’re done…….This is the last gasp.”

Another Albertan,
That timing is probably true.

. . . . . . . . .

Garth will have noted this Calgary street protest:
VIDEO

Flashback a year to Garth Turner MP, May 23, 2008: Update
“If this turns folks in Calgary on, no wonder they’re all out buying units in Concrete Equities I’ve seen this movie. It ends badly.”

When I saw Garth write that over a year ago, I got a wry smile and thought, hey, this MP really does think like a human, I’ll keep reading his blog.
Sadly, our former lawyer and our former real estate agent both tried & tried.. to get us into this sort of mutual real estate crap, mortgage crap, years ago. Needless to say, that was one reason we wouldn’t hire them again….their slips were showing.

When you smell that someone is a sheep, and they want to share their sheepyness with you, don’t hesitate to leave them behind in the pasture at your earliest convenience.

. . . . . . . . .

Why would anyone buy a condo sight unseen? Shan’t the Speculator take ALL the spec risk if they believe in their ‘project’ so much? No slight intended, but dropping that much money into non-existent fantasyland, that’s just blind, dumb & naive pursuit of real estate “image” insecurity.

#53 905er & Spouse on 06.05.09 at 2:56 pm

Hey Hobbygirl…

We just sold our house and that’s exactly who bought our home an older couple with a son going off to university in a year.

Older couple still working but downsizing.

You could be on to something!

#54 @Garth 2 on 06.05.09 at 2:56 pm

#26 Anon

Good lord. I am not a realtor. And I *am* talking about MoM. I have not as yet discussed YoY stats because:

a) it’s obvious that they convey RE weakness
b) they’re inconclusive at best at this point, and
c) they won’t tell the unfolding story with precision
(as compared to say… MoM).

The details are important. On a monthly basis, sales have risen *fast* from an egregiously low January to an astonishing May that exceeded last year. My underlying narrative is that sales trends will lead price trends.

I used sales data to forecast prices. I’m not accustomed to being proven unequivocally correct, but in this case, I don’t understand your quibbles at all. Sales rose fast, and prices have followed (remarkably).

The stimulus measures help, because on top being just stimulus, they allow RE promotion managers to congest the news channels with superlative one-liners such as “lowest rates ever”, or “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”. This has had a tremendous psychological effect on people that have been sidelined to this point.

Toronto RE may indeed fall hard going forward.. but I ask you as I have asked Garth (with no convincing answer yet…), what is the prospective catalyst for this?

Such a catalyst must be simple to understand (expressed singularly), referenced easily, and persistent. If it is interest rates, fine. But the BoC has telegraphed a fixed 0.25 overnight rate policy for the whole year, and the bankers are still lobbying for easing(!). If it is another steep correction in equities, fine. But what is the “huge” dirty little secret that has evaded scrutiny by efficient marketeers as of late (wha…inflation)? If it is the price imbalance between US real estate and its Canadian counterpart, fine. But most people’s lives are not portable unless there is epic unemployment.

I do not need home prices to grow short-term to be vindicated. If home prices are stable for 2-3 years, and have long-term performance at par with an equivalent investment in securities, then why bail on real estate?

Is it worth the hassle?

#55 Finanzkrise on 06.05.09 at 3:00 pm

I see that the inflation versus deflation debate is surfacing again. I think Garth is spot on that deflation will continue. Other blogs (Automatic Earth, Mish’s Global Economic Analysis) are also predicting deflation (although each blog has varying outlooks on the magnitude of deflation and the end game).

Yes, the Fed is printing money, but weighing the magnitude of quantitative easing versus the necessary credit destruction that has yet to happen at ALL levels:

– PERSONAL – credit card and more foreclosures on both sub-prime and now prime due to job losses.

– BUSINESS – more bankruptcies, hopefully not too many more where Obama and Harper form part of the new C-Suite.

– GOVERNMENT – states and municipalities – California may be a harbinger of what is to come. With a flood of bond supply, smaller governments may not be able to compete with the likes of the US and Britain to sell debt overseas.

FINANCIAL – the still unregulated derivative market is still over $500 trillion, including at least $50 trillion in credit default swaps. It doesn’t take a large percentage of those huge numbers going into default (e.g. counterparties can’t make good on paying out for losing bets) to create a big problem). We have NOT heard the last of the ugly news from Fannie, Freddie or AIG.

Inflation is likely to re-surface at some point in the future (timing is anyone’s guess!) Depending on how good (or bad) a job that central banks can do to mop up excess liquidity from this money printing phase, the inflation may be mild or severe. However, I don’t think this inflation phase can take place until after a lot of the bad credit has been destroyed, and that won’t be this year for sure and maybe not even next year.

Moving into real assets as an inflation hedge would be good idea before this transition from deflation happens, but I reckon that cash is a pretty good asset for the next year at least. Timing is everything.

And when inflation does rear its head again, it won’t likely show an even distribution. Expect necessities like food, oil and power to go through the roof while real estate continues to languish in real and possibly also nominal terms.

#56 60ish on 06.05.09 at 3:10 pm

Off topic…

I just checked a number of the Canada.com newspapers (http://digital.timescolonist.com/epaper/viewer.aspx) — they all have a full page, full-colour ad from Canadian GM president Arturo Elias, essentially saying things are ‘business as usual’.

Assuming they’re running in all Canadian newspapers, it’s going to take a nice chuck of the bail-out, just to pay for these ads.

It’ll be interesting to see if they run again…

#57 Herb on 06.05.09 at 3:11 pm

“You are a bigot and an idiot. — Garth”

Naw, just a true Harperite.

#58 Live Within Your Means on 06.05.09 at 3:16 pm

Today’s (not) so funny joke.

AHA! Now I get it! This explains everything!

Confused

I became confused when I heard the word ‘service’ used with these agencies.

Revenue Canada ‘Service’
Postal ‘Service’
Telephone ‘Service’
Cable TV ‘Service’
Civil ‘Service’
City, Provincial & Public ‘Service’
Customer ‘Service’

This is not what I thought ‘service’ meant.

But today, I overheard two farmers talking, and one of them said he had hired a bull to ‘service’ his cows.

BAM!!! It all came into focus. Now I understand what all those agencies are doing to us.

#59 Real Estate Deal or No Deal on 06.05.09 at 3:25 pm

If you were in office on Parliament Hill, I am not sure you could write “pee” … so for that reason, avoid politics. LOL

#60 wjp on 06.05.09 at 3:28 pm

#43…I believe it was Mr, Harper that appointed the former Goldman Sacks employee to the position of Governor of the Bank of Canada…
Your blue suit is showing big time…

#61 NoFreakinClue on 06.05.09 at 3:56 pm

Hello Garth,

My girlfriend works in a Real Estate firm and is telling me business is booming. She has no time to even go for lunch. She says number of deals is reaching close to peak of last two years.

I believe there is a lag between people getting unemployed till they are convinced that they cannot find a job and have to dump their house for sale. In canada, job losses started late 2008. Is it reasonable to say in fall/winter, that ‘ll cause number of listings to increase, and adversely affect optimism that exists now?

I am 29yrs old, leaving in TO and I am an immigrant, therefore financially conservative. I alwasy have some 10-20k cash in account But I read many Canadians don’t have such buffer. How would you survive if you have two kids, a mortgage, two car, and just lost your job?

Thanks,
AA

#62 barb the proof reader on 06.05.09 at 4:29 pm

#57 Live Within Your Means,

Go Live,

Thanks for the joke, got a good laugh out of that!

#63 barb the proof reader on 06.05.09 at 4:44 pm

#59 wjp,

That’s correct wjp, Carney was appointed by PM Stephen Harper, reportedly “on the strong recommendation of the Finance Minister” Jim Flaherty:

http://www2.macleans.ca/tag/mark-carney/

#64 Live Within Your Means on 06.05.09 at 4:46 pm

#33 mikewasanengineer on 06.05.09 at 12:33 pm

My sincere best wishes to you, Rhino and all those who have been ‘laid off’ as opposed to ‘fired’. When I grew the meaning of ‘fired’ meant that the employee was in fault, for one reason or another, Now the MSM uses ‘fired’ for what actually is ‘laid off’ due to downsizing, etc.

I hope you’ll manage to find employment. Diane Findley’s latest news re EI was nothing but rehashed garbage. As Garth say’s nothing new here, move on.

#65 Live Within Your Means on 06.05.09 at 4:56 pm

#36 dave on 06.05.09 at 12:42 pm

I’d like to see a fixed tax rate too. But as to your neocon ideological philosophy about health care, no way. Sure our current system needs changes, but not the US way which has been proven to be far more costly per citizen than other countries with various forms of subsidized of health care for ‘all’ of its citizens.

#66 barb the proof reader on 06.05.09 at 4:58 pm

Live Within Your Means #41,

With respect to the Paul Wells article, much appreciated read regarding the madness called Question Period and Wells suggestion.

Just regarding the link above, it links to page three, so just in case anyone missed it, page # one starts:

http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/06/05/stop-the-madness/

Anyway, it was a great read even starting from page three! (done that… finished an article, linked, oops, it was to the last page read)

#67 David Bakody on 06.05.09 at 5:14 pm

Interesting:

Tuned into Oprah this afternoon …. Sussie Orman took a question re: a young unmarried women wanting to buy a home …. she posted her salary, savings and monthly expenses on screen and Oprah asked the audience to press Yes/No on handhelds they were given.

84% said NO!
16% said Yes ?

Sussie said I am shocked at the 16% then asked people to raise their hands who said Yes , one well dressed lady in the front row raised her hand …. Sussie said what do you do for living? She said I am a Real Estate Agent …… the audience roared …. the young lady then went on to say she has been pre-approved for a $150,000 …. the RE lady said well it’s better than paying rent! Sussie of course asked the girl about a down payment and closing costs ….. the girls said I guess my savings $8,500 will cover that ….. nuff said the young girl (School Teacher) said best I wait and save even more.

By the way Sussie is preaching that everyone have at least 8 months in savings to cover expenses should something go wrong on the job front ….. so add this to Garth advice. I would say if you have to ask why you are already in trouble.

#68 David on 06.05.09 at 5:54 pm

Based on today’s super low interest rates Timothy and Teresa would need to generate in excess of $400K pre tax non discretionary income just to keep a roof over their heads. My calculations were based on 3.58% interest rates, 10% down and a 25 year amortisation. It goes without saying that interest rates will not be constant for the next 25 years. The final cost of living in that dream condo for 25 years would be well in excess of $5M in after tax dollars over the life of the mortgage should they decide to stay there through their happy and wealthy lives. In order for Timothy and Teresa to generate a decent 7% cap they would have to collect EVERY month for 25 years in excess of $25K plus gross rental income, again based on today’s super low interest rates. The couple that rents to generate that 7% for Timothy and Teresa cap would need a non discretionary pre tax income commitment of $600K just to put a roof over THEIR heads and support Timothy and Teresa’s investment in their dream condo.
The real estate collapse is overdue and well deserved.

#69 @Garth 2 on 06.05.09 at 6:02 pm

#54 Finanzkrise said:

“Expect necessities like food, oil and power to go through the roof while real estate continues to languish in real and possibly also nominal terms.”

This is the pivotal point about Canadian real estate. If it does not languish in nominal terms, most people will not consider it a bad investment.

Only if a broad swath of Canadian city centers suffer nominal price erosion will a backlash of sufficient force ensue, creating a true multi-year “buyer’s market”. Then I can post stuff like “Garth is king” and all that.

You can’t tell conservative first time buyers, for whom establishing roots and a family is paramount, to start gambling their downpayment on the securities market because of statistically probable marginally better returns versus inflation. This is folly.

Besides, their own parents’ portfolios (if they gambled too) are gutted.

Again, this is not a realtor speaking. I am not commenting on my own strategy (if I had one!). I am talking about most Canadians that are humble, middle earners and are NOT genuinely inclined to seek riches or wealth via speculation. This is the audience Garth alludes to, however it is NOT who shows up here on the comments, or who reads his books front to back.

#70 squidly77 on 06.05.09 at 6:17 pm

anyone who has worked and saved $350,000 would require strict discipline and imo would not blow the wad on a down payment for a home not yet built

most likely pooled money or an inheritance windfall
they bought it to flip plain and simple

these people gambled like all speculators and would have suffered no moral injury charging more for it than what they paid they just timed the ponzi scheme poorly
luckily for them the builder messed up

theres going to spec buyers crying the blues form coast to coast soon crying one sob story or another
show them no pity as it was there type that drove the prices up and laughed at families who refused to participate as stupid and dumb renters

#71 Nostradamus jr. on 06.05.09 at 6:26 pm

UBC Westbrooke Condo’s

…Location, Location, Location…

Every Retired Politician’s/Journalist’s dream is to live and lecture at UBC…plus its next to Wreck Beach.

#72 Republic_of_Western_Canada on 06.05.09 at 6:38 pm

#54 Finanzkrise –

There seems to be confusion about what constitutes money or debt.

Debt is not an offer of future credit. It is a contract to repay debt that has already been accepted and usually immediately cashed out. It is a commitment to repay a certain equivalent of labour. In that definition, it is irrelevant what amount debt a bank is prepared to offer in the future, or what an individual is allowed to put on plastic in the future. What counts are present actual balances now. Those are generally not being getting paid off, on average, despite unemployment, economic slowdowns, etc. So the debt-money stays in circulation.

Furthermore, like energy, debt is not ‘destroyed’. It is just shifted around from one poor bastard to another, or actually worked off (repaid). In a bankruptcy, a bank, builder or other investor gets screwed when a house-buyer defaults. Someone has to take the hit in lost equivalent amounts of labour, whether they can afford it or not.

That’s why Geitner and all the Wall Street/Bay Street crooks including AIG were shitting bricks last year – because debt does not just ‘go away’, it has to eventually be paid off by somebody. Bad debt comes snapping back to a lender on a thousand bungee cords. From the point of view of the money supply (to be used in determining inflation vs deflation), debt-money can’t just dissipate into nothing, even though banks can originally create it out of nothing. It has to be paid down, otherwise it just gets shoveled around from one corner to the next.

If a bank ‘forgives’ or ‘writes off’ a loan, it takes the hit of the labour-equivalent (i.e. money) that it otherwise would get back, plus interest. They don’t like that, and won’t just arbitrarily swallow the loss. Nor will private bank owners or bank stock investors. (Anybody, please show me where banks don’t care whether they lose money or not). It escalates all the way up to companies like AIG through CDO’s, and then ultimately to the tax-payer who then has to fork over the labour equivalent. But that debt [money] still exists until it’s paid off.

That’s different from ‘writing off’ an [uninsured] car in an accident, because the potential future resale equity in the car is not considered money in circulation. Note that a bank will not dismiss a loan on a car [‘debt money’] if the car gets wrecked. The buyer is still liable for the loan until it is paid off, and that loan is still considered part of the money supply.

So, the money supply will not collapse, causing a depression, just because credit card limits are reduced or because car-makers go bankrupt.

There you go Garth, that should provide enough material for an intelligent retort from you on increasing and decreasing the money supply – after you’ve dug yourself out from under the ontario train wreck.

:) :) I crack myself up sometimes…

#73 rory on 06.05.09 at 6:41 pm

Oh, no …how to keep house prices high in TO, Van etc …35 million Californians moving North …little far fetched (I think) and he actually is talking in decades (I think) but hey a little more perspective.

Another reason why Canada is a good place (I think, again)…did not GT once mention Calgary being a little shy of water in the future.

So Nord Jr may be right after all ..Oh no …lol.

“Blogger Stoneleigh (from TAE blog comment section) said…

Dr J,

However, in SoCal, in a scenario of collapsing infrastructure and climate change, where is the water going to come from to sustain those back-yard gardens?

As you say, water will be a HUGE issue in southern California, especially as energy limitations appear. I can’t see current social structures and infrastructure surviving at all in a water-constrained future. My guess is that southern California will ultimately end up being sparsely populated by hardy Mexicans who know how to live in a desert.

I can imagine a lot of northward migration from both the southwest and south east of the US – in the south west because of water scarcity and in the south east because of unbearable humid heat once air conditioning becomes unaffordable or generally unavailable.”

#74 ts harpoon on 06.05.09 at 7:15 pm

I used to be self-employed. As of this month, no longer. It’s over. I will have to get a job after four years on my own producing construction documents for building permit applications.

Part of my self-employment was dedicated to the contribution to the banal pop-up subdivisions and the McMansions with the lawyer-foyers, for the suburban sprawl fiesta. No one wanted to talk about smaller homes, energy efficiency, solar panels or wind generation. Just bigger thankyouverymuch.

It’s becoming eerily quiet out there. I once believed that the RE market was supposed to replace the manufacturing economy. How stupid of me.

Oh, well I hope my job search works out. Garth, maybe I’ll see you on Sparks Street. I hear the feds are hiring…

#75 Live Within Your Means on 06.05.09 at 7:24 pm

#60 NoFreakinClue on 06.05.09 at 3:56 pmI am 29yrs old, leaving in TO and I am an immigrant, therefore financially conservative. I alwasy have some 10-20k cash in account But I read many Canadians don’t have such buffer. How would you survive if you have two kids, a mortgage, two car, and just lost your job?

Thanks,
AA

This is partly how:

http://www.bankruptcycanada.com/bankstats1.htm

#76 barb the proof reader on 06.05.09 at 7:46 pm

#36 dave, I too spotted your droppings about healthcare. Let’s clear something up, using Alberta as the example:

Plain fact: The private healthcare invasion will completely drain us, and will put the sick into bankruptcy, just like in the U.S.

It’s clear these commercial private medical interlopers have been playing a dangerous game over the past decades to interfere in our Canadian healthcare, greedily eyeing our public dollars and doing what they can to tilt the money into their own pockets.

The fact is, private “middleman” only cream off our precious healthcare dollars and add nothing to efficiency, care nor savings. The numbers prove, that well-funded public healthcare is, and always has been the answer. All it takes is political will — and the public to question this invasion of commercial interlopers — they are a pox on our public healthcare system, as private care costs us more in the end, in dollars and in poorer quality.

We need public health care improved, not dismantled. But the government in Alberta has been making dangerous sweeping changes in the health system, and they’ve been doing their very best to NOT tell anyone about it. Private, for-profit companies are gaining a foothold with the government is making it easy for them to do so. Private, for-profit clinics that violate the Canada Health Act operate yet the government is not enforcing the law. We already know we are better off with public health care –- it covers everyone, it ensures equal treatment, and no one has to worry about whether they can afford the care they need. Yet reckless government changes to privatize have been coming hard and fast. The Health Sinister Ron Liepert has anointed a new health “superboard” with amongst others Ken Hughes, chairman, a private insurance company owner and investor. Charlotte Robb, CEO came over from one of Alberta’s largest private health corporations, Dynalife, the diagnostic giant. All with little actual medical experience. Tony Franceschini is from Stantec, the engineering company that has many contracts with the Health Regions. Jim Clifford, is in New Jersey where he has been working for private American health care companies. Huge multinational consulting corporations Deloitte and McKinsey are clearly the planning brains behind the changes in health care. There was talk of a report from McKinsey (check out the health care section of their world-wide business at http://www.mckinsey.com/clientservice/payorprovider/topical.asp that would be the blue print for health care changes. Liepert declined to release the document but finally in December he “let slip” that it was “on the website”. Deloitte, also has a broad interest in health care with a Center for Health Solutions out of Washington, D.C. ..which brought an interesting message to a health meeting in T.O. Deloitte’s experts’ topic: “The need for disruptive change in the health care industry.” Few Albertans could have imagined bigger disruption than rapidly shutting down all the Health Regions and setting up the single superboard.

Our Tories recycle the same old tired idea of dismantling the public system and let the market deliver healthcare. What a discredited, narrow minded and destructive idea. No wonder they didn’t mention this in the election last year. And if you follow the money it’s been found to lead back to the politicians who have positioned themselves for profiteering off of us.

#77 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 06.05.09 at 8:43 pm

#18 Another Albertan at 9:13 am — “. . . Calgary real estate: “After August, we’re done. Done for quite a while, possibly a few years. Things start to drop after August. This is the last gasp.” — and — #24 Darryl at 10:34 am — “. . . the cpp could run out by 2015.”

Putting these two side by side, inevitably BC will follow Alta. into housing oblivion for new homes / condos in 2010 and on, followed by the bloody Olympix which should just about bankrupt the province.

2015 is when nine to 10 million boomers, if they haven’t already lost jobs, start with CPP / OAS / GIS, except the cupboard will be empty if the feds. continue spending foolishly, like Af’stan where Canada is not needed.
——
These two links — http://tinyurl.com/pqfvwr and http://tinyurl.com/p8chbj — are relatively close. Most already know what is happening, and economics is one part, violence another.
——
Article relates to the Green campaign, but the first para. is curiously interesting, as it refers to George H.W. Bush and his statement about the NWO. Part of one para. follows, as it will almost certainly apply here. — http://tinyurl.com/r29ako

“. . . Unable to fathom that these Draconian laws and compounded rules and restrictions will be enforced on decent Americans, especially you and your family! Hang on, it gets worse.”
——
In the previous post (last night) I mentioned that someone (Goldman Sachs) was deliberately manipulating and driving the price of oil up. Here is another reason. — http://tinyurl.com/pyjsap
——
Climate change, global warming and cooling; choose your poison! — http://tinyurl.com/oehhx4 /\ http://tinyurl.com/r3f672

“Never mind that the earth’s global warming stopped after 1998 because the sun has gone into a startling quiet period. That’s why New Zealand’s many glaciers have been growing recently instead of receding. Never mind that even full member compliance with Kyoto would ‘avoid’ only about 0.05 degree C of warming over the next 50 years—by the alarmists’ own math.”
——
Intro. and lead-in to first story, link for second. Curious to discover if these two are somehow related.

“Liberty Dollar Update – Bernard von NotHaus arrested!” — Webmaster’s Commentary: “It appears the war by the Federal Reserve to keep us all enslaved to their debt-based currency just cranked up another notch. Email received this morning indicates that Bernard, Kevin, Sarah & Rachelle have been arrested in the case of US Government v Liberty Dollar.”

and — http://tinyurl.com/oj42qh /\ “What happens to the dollar will be the key driver of what lies ahead. The likely scenario could be nasty.”

BTW. the ‘official’ unemployment in Kelowna is 11.5% (not including people who have given up looking for work altogether), and quite a folk here are cashing in their gold / platinum / silver family heirlooms.

#78 David Bakody on 06.05.09 at 9:15 pm

#67 David on 06.05.09 at 5:54 pm

Hey David ….. how is it that we have a generation that grew up with a calculator and not paper an pencil and can not plug some simple numbers into it when deciding to buy a McMansion or Condo? Strange or what?

#79 Dee on 06.05.09 at 10:28 pm

Congrats on your book review in G/M Mr. Garth!

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/books/look-whos-bleating-now/article1170701/

#80 taxpayer like you on 06.05.09 at 11:20 pm

36 Dave said:

“am sure more and more people will becoming self employed or incorporated in the years to come. You really are given no choice with this tax system which is doomed to fail.”

I am both and it doesnt cut your taxes, it just gives you more avenues to defer. You also said

“Surely a tax system with fixed rate income tax will
encourage people to work harder and grow.”

Yes it would. It would also help reduce the advantage to having the corporate entity, along with its ongoing cost and complexity.

#81 anoninto on 06.06.09 at 9:14 am

Toronto condos don’t seem to affected the same. I’ve been tracking some condos on MLS seeing if the prices are dropping….and low and behold one unit RAISED it’s price by $30,000! Craziness! It wasn’t a deal to begin with (being on the Yonge subway line) but raising the price? I guess they are buying into what the media and realtors are gleefully telling them.

#82 Another dumb blanket statement on 06.08.09 at 4:20 pm

So buying new from plans is always for suckers, huh? Of course, you’re entitled to your opinion but I can’t understand the logic of making so broad ranging a statement. You use an example of an idiot couple who couldn’t be bothered to protect themselves by having a lawyer read their purchase agreement and who put down far too large a deposit that isn’t protected and you then claim that buying from plans is the worst idea possible? I guess the Titanic was also “proof” that taking a cruise is going to get you killed. The lesson here is that there are ways to protect yourself when making any purchase whether it’s a new or resale house, car etc. You need to make sure you’re educated and informed but buying a new home from plans isn’t in and of itself a bad thing. There are many, many buyers who don’t regret their purchase of a brand new home. Resale homes can also come with their share of problems.