home depot1

apron Home Depot is a big part of my day. Where else can I special order bullet-proof kitchen windows, an auto-overflow pump mechanism for the moat or two kilometres of Cat 5 cable?

But then, I’m building a bunker. All the other annoying people in my way are just sucking up the home reno tax credit.

Retail sales numbers this week, heralded by our sycophantic media as more evidence we’re whole again, suggest the HRTC has caught on in a big way. Building and home supplies sales rose a percentage point in May, apparently a big deal after crappy results for the six months prior.

Good thing, too. New home starts have collapsed by 60% from their peak of last year, and things were looking grim indeed for the trades shortly after Christmas. Now the crews working on my project tell me they are booked for the entire summer, and all of them – the plumbers, electricians, woodworkers, stonemasons and ordnance guys – say this tax thingy is the reason.

So, is the tax break enough of a gift to get us all streaming into big orange? Let’s review.

First the good news.

The credit is 15% of what you spend, to a maximum of $1,350, which means you need to fork out ten grand in renos to get the whole benefit. You are supposed to retain your receipts, but what the hell? They’re not required with your tax return, and the chances of being audited (since 4.6 million tax filers are expected to claim this) are about nil. Still, receipts are always good.

The credit covers basically anything done to your principal residence or cottage or even your kid’s condo, until the end of January. Lay sod, do a roof, add a room, put sticky black stuff on your driveway, replace the furnace or the water heater – it all qualifies. Repairs don’t. No plasma TVs, either.

The bad news.

This is a tax credit, which is non-refundable. That means all the come-on ads for building suppliers saying “earn up to $1,350” or  “get the $1,350 tax rebate” are misleading.  The government will not cut you a cheque for this or any other amount, since the credit can only be used to reduce a tax liability you already incur.

The credit is applied at the lowest provincial tax rate to achieve the amount deducted from tax payable. Unlike an RRSP contribution, which slices the actual income on which your tax bill is calculated, the credit is used to diminish the amount already owed.

Still, a break is a break. Just don’t assume you can kick back in that new hot tub with the babes, and expect a cheque to arrive.  Better tell them, too.

The worse news is this: If you have $10,000 sitting around and the HRTC has convinced you to spend it on changing your mortgaged house, you’re a fool. The money would be far more wisely spent making a lump sum prepayment on your mortgage. The reasons are twofold.

First, knocking ten grand off your principal can save you several times that amount in interest over the life of your loan. Better still, when these teaser interest rates are history next Christmas and beyond, and you have to renew at double or triple the cost, having a lower principal amount will make you feel like a genius.

Second, it’s hard to imagine what kind of $10,000 renovation would actually add $10,000 to the value of a home. That will drywall and wire your basement (maybe), landscape the backyard, buy you new toilets and a counter top or replace a modest roof.

But even in this frothy, bubbly, hormonal housing market, that’s not the stuff that counts. Now, a $100,000 kitchen or maybe some observation towers connected by high-voltage fence lines and trip wires – that’s an entirely different story. It’s all good.


#1 Nostradamus Jr's Analyst on 07.22.09 at 9:19 pm

Dear god, when I first saw todays post, I thought it said “Romania” – which actually would have made sense given the photo posted.

Latest news from Gangcouver – home of the $600,000 run-down shack:

>>There’s an increasing amount of office space in Metro Vancouver as tenants move out faster than they move in, and it’s putting “downward pressure” on rents according to a commercial real estate company.<>Vancouver Tops List for Second Consecutive Month with Largest Reduction in Hotel Prices in the U.S. and Canada for June<<

Those plummeting hotel rates must be in anticipation of "The 2010 Winter Olympics – The Greatest show on Earth" (limited to 23 participating countries only)

By the way, do freshly installed garden gnomes qualify for the tax credit?

#2 X on 07.22.09 at 9:20 pm

Garth, pardon the pun….but todays article ‘hit the nail on the head’.

As always do the opposite of what the gov’t wants you to do, will be the wealthy and wise decision.

#3 Nostradamus Jr's Analyst on 07.22.09 at 9:22 pm

The link for the office space story:

#4 Harold on 07.22.09 at 9:31 pm

Here’s how I see it. The $1,350.00 credit is roughly equal to the amount of GST and PST you will be spending if you blow 10,000 so its revenue neutral to the government. The sales taxes collected will offset the credits given.

I think the real reason for this program is to weed out the many contractors who are doing work under the table. Without the tax credit such work would continue to get done with the taxman none the wiser as receipts aren’t usually issued for such work. But now consumers will be asking for receipts in order to claim the credit, thereby forcing contractors to pay income tax on this previously undisclosed income.

So, the government ends up making a few bucks on contractor’s income tax and exposes the individuals doing this kind of work.

For the taxman its win-win.

#5 Mikaroo on 07.22.09 at 9:31 pm

Hey – how come I can’t find electric fencing or motion-activated turrets (all solar-powered, natch ;) at Xurbia?

#6 George on 07.22.09 at 9:41 pm

This home renovation tax credit is one way the government can tax the underground economy and also a great way to get people to spend money. For the government it is a win win situation.

#7 Squidly77 on 07.22.09 at 9:45 pm

Nice post as usual, Garth.

It comes down to this: it’s the realtors’ fault.

Realtors have ruined Calgary.
A typical 1000sq ft bungalow used to cost $95,000 in Calgary back in 1996. Life was once good there.
I had a dream that my kids could afford a home one day after spending 10 years in Fort Mac…

Now that same damn house is going for $550,00.

I hate realtors. The CREB has killed Calgary.

It’s not fair. I have no money. I am a drunk plumber that posts stuff all the time on several websites.
I have no job. But I drink a lot.

I hate CREB and Calgary real estate.
I wish I was a realtor. I guess that I am confessing that I would have loved to sell real estate…

#8 dd on 07.22.09 at 9:48 pm

#1 Nostradamus Jr’s Analyst

…Vancouver Tops List for Second Consecutive Month with Largest Reduction in Hotel Prices in the U.S. and Canada for June…

Hold on. I thought Vancouver is the leisure / finance / tourist Mecca of the world? That what others are saying about the place. Could they be wrong?

#9 Andrew on 07.22.09 at 9:50 pm

“Now the crews working on my project tell me they are booked for the entire summer”

Not to worry, didn’t you know Squidly66/77 is a plumber? Anyone who sits at his computer 24/7 must be unemployed.

#10 Nostradamus jr. on 07.22.09 at 9:53 pm

The Canadian Loonie inches forward daily to “par” w/ the U.S. Dollar.

Prime Minister Oba…I mean President Obama announces a Canadian style Healthcare System for U.S. Citizens.

Today, Washington Govt Reps & Lobbyists were discovered secretly seeking out office space in Vancouver…when asked why they were here, their responses were, “Ya’ll, we’re just checking out our franchise’s head office, we mean, our neighbour’s most dynamic city to the North….and where can we find a decent Philly Steak Sandwich?

#11 Nixon @ Splashdown on 07.22.09 at 10:02 pm

Worth replacing your flushers with flapperless tip baskets.

#12 Herb on 07.22.09 at 10:08 pm

There is one more item of bad news that should not be ignored: no doubt all the trades have immediately upped their “estimates” to absorb the government’s largesse.

And while I’m at it, the last thing we need (especially in the Ottawa area) is lousy renovators getting more business because everybody wants to take advantage of the tax credit. Mike Holmes doesn’t call renovations “legal fraud” for no reason.

#13 Republic_of_Western_Canada on 07.22.09 at 10:15 pm

Ermm, how is ‘do a roof’ on an existing dwelling different from a house repair? Or is that some sort of Ontario thing?

Your butt was banned. Shoo. — Garth

#14 Jonathan on 07.22.09 at 10:15 pm

I wonder if that photo is a joke or if someone really tried to do that… i don’t think you’d get over very many bumps before the roof collapsed and the rear wheels fell off.. or the car flipped over.

#15 windsrchangn' on 07.22.09 at 10:36 pm

#4 Harold

Sorry dude this will not weed out the cash man. You buy the material in your name and just claim that and then pay me cash for my labour. It will appear just like all the other DIY’rs. You don’t need a contractor to make take advantage of this incentive. Correct me if I’m wrong folks!

Garth is spot on. This is a ridiculous incentive, besides what can you possibly do for 10k. If anything go hi-eff or reduce carbon footprint and couple up on the energy rebates if you must spend money on your home. I work in the industry, and it has never had a respectable image, this “discount” for home improvement is slap in the face to home builders, the few that are out there that actually build a solid home. All this “accessorize your house” is such a ridiculous fad. The structure or family and shelter (AKA home) are vanishing. We are stuffing new homes with spinning hubcaps and boom boxes, wheres the long term value in that. The mad rush to get kids into trade school over the last 18-24 mos was a huge disappointment. Wait and see/listen/read about it at the world skills competition in Calgary. I digress.

Thanks for the forum Garth

#16 Alberta Boom on 07.22.09 at 11:11 pm

Quick everybody, call your broker and buy Home Depot shares before its too late. Just like real estate here is your last chance to own it before the price goes up.

#17 kt on 07.22.09 at 11:36 pm

Renting’s perfectly fine as long as you can afford a place that you actually don’t mind living in, i.e. you also have a decent landlord, and decent neighbours (assuming you share walls with your neighbours). And for those who do aspire to home ownership, the rental costs also have to be low enough so that you can save toward a down payment (for those, such as myself who actually made a down payment) while living there. As I mentioned previously, you really can move out of the main metropolitan areas in Canada and into your own home, and end up paying less for PIT than you would for rent for an okay place in the big city.

As a woman, my reason for desperately desiring home ownership? I’d simply had my fill of living in too many Toronto sh*tholes, owned by slumlords, sharing walls and floors and ceilings with low-lifes that had the cops at their door day and night. And in my defense, my current 45 year old house still has it’s original 45 year old kitchen and bathroom, and they’re going to stay that way for a long time. I really do enjoy watching Holmes on Homes. But I’m not into the reno frenzy that TV has wrought upon a huge segment of the TV viewing population. After all, if *everybody* goes in for the whole stainless steel, hardwood, marble, slate, granite, etc, doesn’t that just mean that you end up with a house that has the same old over-priced crap that *everybody* and their dog also has?? I fail to see the appeal of any of it.

I don’t think Toronto’s (or any urban Canadian region) real estate prices are tanking at all. They’re merely finally coming back down to reality, and they still have a long way to go. When I moved out of Toronto, I couldn’t afford to buy a dog house there. Now that I’m on my second place outside of the city, if I really had to, I could sell my current place for less than current recession market value and go back to TO and buy a half-decent place there.

My opinion is if you feel you absolutely must buy your first house right now, at least have the sense to buy far outside of any of the big metropolitan areas.

As for the renovation tax credit, I’ll be lucky if I qualify for it. I had a few necessary window replacements done this spring but the contract was signed long before the rebate program was even announced so knowing our gov’t I’m probably screwed out of anything. Who cares? It really is an idiotic idea (from a homeowner’s POV) probably dreamed up by a close relative of Stormin Bates Harper who happens to work at the big orange.

#18 Davinci on 07.22.09 at 11:39 pm

The problem is really basic, if a government prints more money, all money is worth less – PERIOD.
How does someone notice if money is worth less than before?
Prices eventually go up within 9 to 18 months.

So, how much have they printed?
The US government has committed to printing 11 trillion and so far have done 2.8 trillion.
(scroll down to the bottom of the web page see for yourself)

I know those numbers are difficult to get your head around so watch this 1 minute video…

Got gold and silver?

If you live outside the USA and are wonder what this has to do with you, well the dollar is the world reserve currency that means your country’s paper money are backed up by a US dollar. Yeah it sucks to have paper, that is why people in Germany have gold vending machines now, and people in India can go the post office and by gold grams.

Hyperinflation is now, a mathematical certainty.
Longer video…
Well, it is humanly possible to stop hyperinflation, but a lot of people need to take a loss on all the bad debt. PHYSICAL and only PHYSICAL Gold and silver will make sure, it’s not you. Anything real, like stocks or other commodities preserve your wealth but you need real stuff.

How long do I think we have before it collapses?
I don’t know, Austrian economics can only tell you the outcome not the timing. Just keep in mind that if a structural engineer told you, a building will collapse, and the building collapsed 3 years later, it does not mean engineer was wrong.

#19 Enuff on 07.22.09 at 11:53 pm

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Flaherty invite a select group of business leaders to help guide him on the stimulus spending boondoogle?

And wasn’t one of those business leaders the CEO of Home Depot? Voila, a tax credit for home renovations.

Why not a tax credit for a new suit of clothes, or kids piano lessons?

Isn’t this self-dealing a conflict of interest? It is disgusting how our government is hand-picking the firms and individuals who will be benefitting from
government policy.

If you haven’t complained to your MP yet, what are you waiting for?

#20 nonplused on 07.23.09 at 12:06 am

Taxes – Ugh.

It’s not a real estate topic but I think taxes should be fair, in other words applied equally to everybody. Not saying taxes shouldn’t be graduated, but why does someone who puts in a new granite counter top get a tax break when someone who can’t afford it doesn’t??? This is the stuff revolutions are made of.

#21 Small Business on 07.23.09 at 12:09 am


Like any other industry we have our bad apples. It would be a wise decision for people to actually investigate any contractor who is working on your domicile.

A business license/Insurance/Bond/Workers’ Comp are all good signs.

The vast majority of people who get ‘screwed’ are the ones who go with the lowest bidder and turn a blind eye to red flags in the name of frugality.

I work in the trades and the vast majority of trades people I encounter are professional. They do what they are told to do and do it in the correct manner.

I will actually make a bold statement and suggest that the current generation of tradesmen are the best we have.

Minimum code is embarrasing but don’t blame the tradesman for that one. That’s the big wigs in the office making that call.

#22 Dodged-a-Bullit-in-Alberta on 07.23.09 at 12:29 am

Greetings: This is a great post, I have been waiting for one on the scam that this “tax credit” really is. I have been carrying out my own home renos for 34 years of marriage, and hell would freeze over before I would allow some of the shitty so called professionals into my house. We were burnt once on a kitchen floor tiling job, never again! I have spent a good deal of time fixing up other crappy work that was done for some of my family and friends. I had a so called professional “Home Inspector” buy off on a cracked basement wall. He was pissed of when I chewed him out. It hadn”t rained for two months when he did the inspection . The crack was right out in the open in the furnace room. I poured two 5 gallon buckets of water against the outside wall and within 5 min there was water seeping onto the floor. We demanded that the realtor who listed the house refund the inspection fee and compensate me for the work to fix the crack, it has been dry ever since. I have seen work on brand new homes that would make the Pope cry. Mike Holmes can go and pound salt, another big joke, he has no idea how to do a renovation unless the home owner has an unlimited budget. I challenge Holmes to work for a senior citizen or a young couple with limited means, then he will discover where the “shit is in the buckwheat”. I built a complete fence with recycled lumber, even the screws were recycled, it turned out great and the older boards are far better than that crap Home Depot is peddling now. My wife and I have just placed 6 thousand against our mortage, it is now paid off, and the house will be on the market August 1. Bring on the Greater Fools eh!!!

#23 Renrut Htrag on 07.23.09 at 12:47 am

I believe you mean the lowest federal marginal tax rate.

Funny… watching CTV news as I write this and an ad for “Canada’s Action Plan” pitching the credit just came on tv – followed closely by a Home Hardware ad, of course.

#24 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 07.23.09 at 12:55 am

#101 John m. on 07.22.09 at 8:27 pm — “. . . We are now paying over $84,000,000.00 per day in interest on the federal debt . . .”

With the US debt now spiralling at $44 mln. per second, Garth’s latest column on Renomania is accurate to a T, as both countries — along with the UK — are in for a major shake-up shortly.

What is very handy are major ‘natural’ disasters happening unexpectedly, such as a massive ‘quake down the west coast, Yellowstone, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier, along with the underground nuke facility in south Portland all blowing their lids at roughly the same time!

In conjunction with the above, the last sentence of this para. is quite interesting —

“But others, including Edwards and Magee, the authors of the first comprehensive book on technical analysis, come to a totally different conclusion …

“They argue that the market signaled weakness by showing a topping formation in the first place. And the reality of this weakness should be treated with respect — as a harbinger of more weakness to come relatively soon.”

Hiding the evidence before the rot sets in —

See if you can spot the word “Terrified” here! —
Only interesting, because Israel, the US and UK are having their own exercises over Nevada at roughly the same time. —
This is the true story of a man. A sensible, realistic man who quit using money years ago. He is still alive and enjoying life!
I mentioned the virus may have been added to the vaccine while it was made a year ago, so it may be that the cure is actually the disease. Comments by are curious. —

“Hardly the “pandemic” our leaders hoped it would be.

“And listen at the start, when the Quebec man was given the shot, he developed a mutated strain. Yikes!!” /\ Further —,,4496394,00.html

“Never was this more important than with the conspiracy to force swine flu vaccination upon the global population. The swine flu virus was created in a laboratory to generate mass panic with the specific intention of forcing everyone to have the vaccine. . . .”

#25 Munch on 07.23.09 at 1:09 am

“Do freshly installed garden gnomes qualify”?


Of COURSE they don’t!

Unless of course that garden gnome is a freshly taxidermisized {sp?) and freshly slaughtered politician.

For that, we can make a plan!

#26 housing prices >> my income on 07.23.09 at 1:35 am

Another good one Mr. Turner.

Found out recently that a few of my friends (out of touch with them) had bought at peak in Vancouver. Upwards of $750,000 for houses that still need fixing! And then thousands and thousands more on renos.

Frankly, I’m actually quite reluctant to tell them about you and the research I’ve accumulated that says all this is teetering on the edge of a cliff. Once or twice I’ll mention what happened in the States, what happened to housing prices in Sydney after their Olympics, how this market isn’t run by supply and demand anymore, but by artificial factors like crazy interest rates. I’ve asked how they figure that while the world is under the weight (still, I think) of the worst economic crisis since the GD that we can have a housing boom and a seeming return to peak in Vancouver, I get the “you’re nuts, it’s different here” speech.

I can never turn them on to you or your website. Why? It would be too heartbreaking for them. They love their newly renovated homes, the new floors, the new countertops, the new doors. They bought at peak. They believe it will last — they have EVERYTHING invested in these homes. No savings, no RRSPs. They can’t get out now anyway.

#27 Dave on 07.23.09 at 1:59 am

i have to say something. A lot of bloggers come on here and simply repeat Garth’s sentiments. I see a lot of mention about health care and health care stocks. Do you all realize that most baby boomers settled in Canada, U.SA, Australia, and the U.K?? Those are the areas with high concentration of boomers. Don’t expect anything similar to potash, and uranium bull markets as demand isn’t as strong in this sector from a global perspective.

Also, how are people going about investing in health care? I’m thinking facilities and services catering to the elderly could be a good direction

#28 John m. on 07.23.09 at 2:27 am

Great post Garth..i couldn’t agree more and sadly a lot of people are borrowing money to take advantage of this so-called incentive–ridiculous!

#29 DonDiego on 07.23.09 at 6:34 am

Will Garth look like a fool in the future?

Garth could be setting himself up for huge credibilty loss IF gold skyrockets.

Just like that guy Ackerman guy on BNN tv when gold was $375.

He said it would never, ever reach $1000.

John Embry and Eric Sprott wiped the floor with him on TV.

And now he looks like the (greater) fool.

#30 lili on 07.23.09 at 6:34 am

Well, I was hoping to collect my tax credit from fluffing the home for sale a few months ago. Cost me $6K, but I figure I made at least $15K in the process of selling due to all the work done.

I’m surprised Garth didn’t see that as the best way to “invest” the tax credit! But we’ll see what happens when I file…

#31 Al on 07.23.09 at 8:21 am

To got a little further that Herb’s comment (#12) with regards to quotes being inflated by about 15%, I’d say it could be much worse. Contractors are busy. When they’re busy, they charge more. Wait until next year when the contractors are sitting around doing nothing, then bargain like mad. It’ll be worth a lot more than up to 13.5%.

#32 Kris on 07.23.09 at 8:47 am

Does anybody know if putting in a home security system qualifies for the tax credit? And I don’t mean having pro’s coming in and overcharging – I’m talking putting in my own IP cameras, running cat5 cable, etc – or is this disqualified as being in the “plasma tv” category?

#33 AM on 07.23.09 at 8:56 am

Thanks for today’s post Garth. This needed to be explained to the masses and you have hit the nail on the head.

“This is a tax credit, which is non-refundable. That means all the come-on ads for building suppliers saying “earn up to $1,350” or “get the $1,350 tax rebate” are misleading. The government will not cut you a cheque for this or any other amount, since the credit can only be used to reduce a tax liability you already incur.”

The sad part is that the ad running on TV are by the Government of Canada but come off as a Conservative election ad. They are selling these tax credits as, and I quote, “TAX CUTS”. This is typical Conservative baffle you with bullsh*t, and I fully agree with you that if you have the $10,000 to spend in order to get the full credit, you should put it against your mortgage or maxed out LOC.

#34 Maurice on 07.23.09 at 9:01 am

If you think this is false stimulus, just try the Eco-energy audit process. You need real receipts and an audit of the work done. To get the $14,000 rebate you need to do $70,000 worth of up grades. With GST and PST in Ontario, there is 2/3rds of the rebate. As far as energy savings after the fact, we have seen none. It is all about stimulating the economy, not reducing energy consumption.

#35 613 Happy where I am on 07.23.09 at 9:06 am

I live right downtown in Ottawa and house values are expected to remain stable (may even increase).

My insurance company sent me a letter last fall complaining about the fence in my postage stamp sized backyard which had fallen down in several places because snow was pushed and piled up against it.

First of all, I was not aware that insurance companies cared much about fences. I was polite when I contacted them and said I was aware the fence was “a goner” but I had just replaced my furnace and the fence and other things I wanted to do with the backyard would need to wait until the spring…

Then the HRTC came so I am getting some relief on work I had planned to do anyways.

I agree that most people should invest in their mortgage debt rather than beautifying their nests. In my case, the renovations were needed and got done.

#36 Sean on 07.23.09 at 9:06 am

I have been to a number of locations lately and it seemed to me that the renovation business isn’t doing very well.
Home Depot was out of a part I needed so I asked when they would get it…they didn’t know because they hadn’t done an order in over a month…
Rona hasn’t been selling wood in a long while….
The stone operations are all bored…
Piles of soil are sitting at locations for lack of buyers…
Etc Etc…..

#37 mattbg on 07.23.09 at 9:18 am

I’ve also wondered about the value of home renovations. I’m not convinced that much more than half of the money would come back to you at resale time — except in unusual situations, which can be cherry-picked to sell the idea to others.

But marketing isn’t about applicable information, right? It’s about leading you to believe that selective truths could apply to you… and giving you WMJ (Weapons of Mass Justification) to use against those that might question your intentions (i.e. “it’s great for the kids”).

#38 Mathew Gibson on 07.23.09 at 9:19 am

# 18 Da Vinci

“The problem is really basic, if a government prints more money, all money is worth less – PERIOD.”

That is simply not the case. The market value of money (credit) is determined by more factors than simply the printing of paper currency by the government. For example, if it were true that printing money was inflationary, then the Great Depression would not have been a period of deflation (and a long and painful one, at that). The US government printed money, but it was harder to come by for the average individual, but bought more for them when they did. The economy, and the purchasing power of people’s currency within that economy, is far more complex than simply correlating the quantity of fiat currency printed with its purchasing power. Volatility and the shadow money supply are other powerful considerations.

That said, I do believe that deflation will only be a short-term effect before interest rates and inflation emerge as powerful forces in our economy.

#39 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 07.23.09 at 9:25 am

But then, I’m building a bunker.

Well, you go right ahead there Garth BUT remember that the beavers will want to take it over, and your neighbors may be into nanotechnology that can destroy all that protection without you knowing it, not to mention the influx of corrosive chemicals from all the garbage piled up in T.O. Oh, that is another little aspect that no one wants to consider along with the stench, ground and water pollution, and health hazards.

When the Black Plague wiped out much of Europe it was the rats that spread the disease and T.O. is in for a Bumper Crop right NOW! H1N1 will be the next Black Plague if the WHO is correct. But then, David Miller is probably like Mel Lastman who said ‘Who are these WHO people?’;-)

With ‘informed’ leadership like T.O. has they need not worry because everyone has to die sometime.
As to the HRTC it is good for the suppliers and contractors. Fortunately (for us), we have all the tools, equipment, and skills needed for our own reno projects. I shop around for the best prices on materials and find Home Depot is usually NOT the best place to buy things. In fact, Rona charges a third for delivery what HD does and does it the same day. Rona’s prices are generally lower as well. Besides they are truly CANADIAN!

It is pouring rain here today so it is office time again. The new rain collection system working perfectly BTW.

As to putting the $10K against the mortgage that is sound advice UNLESS you have needed repairs to preserve the property’s value. That does not include granite counter tops BTW.

#40 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 07.23.09 at 9:28 am

Unless of course that garden gnome is a freshly taxidermisized {sp?) and freshly slaughtered politician.

#25 Munch

FINALLY! You have come up with a proper use for politicians! LOL

#41 mattbg on 07.23.09 at 9:33 am

With the amount of debt being piled on by governments, I think you have to question whether or not they’ll be able to pay much of it off before the next recession. If you look at US deficits, they were in budget deficits all during the so-called “good” years between 2003 and 2007.

If the next recession is around the corner — when energy prices are driven up by recovery — then we’ll be forced to think about sustainability in economic terms rather than environmental ones.

#42 Rhino on 07.23.09 at 9:34 am


Much of your post I agree with, but you have forgotten an aspect where this tax credit is good news. Yes – if you are heavily indebted do not get seduced by gimmicks.


I need new roofing. I am broke, self employed and struggling. It will be difficult to pay for a NECESSARY reno/repair. We are not carrying a lot of debt.

Getting back $750 bucks will help us out considerably. That money will get spent in the economy.

Sometimes, your “financial expertise” can be misdirected – or do you just enjoy being contrarian?

#43 VOODOO on 07.23.09 at 9:38 am

#7 Squidly77 on 07.22.09 at 9:45 pm:

“A typical 1000sq ft bungalow used to cost $95,000 in Calgary back in 1996.”
Squidly, how much have wages gone up in Calgary since 1996? 150%?

Thus that bungalow *will* be ~$237,000. Patience, my friend.

#44 TheFirstRick on 07.23.09 at 9:43 am

#7 Squidly77 on 07.22.09 at 9:45 pm
Nice post as usual, Garth.

It comes down to this: it’s the realtors’ fault.

Realtors have ruined Calgary.
A typical 1000sq ft bungalow used to cost $95,000 in Calgary back in 1996. Life was once good there.
I had a dream that my kids could afford a home one day after spending 10 years in Fort Mac…

Now that same damn house is going for $550,00.

I hate realtors. The CREB has killed Calgary.

It’s not fair. I have no money. I am a drunk plumber that posts stuff all the time on several websites.
I have no job. But I drink a lot.

I hate CREB and Calgary real estate.
I wish I was a realtor. I guess that I am confessing that I would have loved to sell real estate…
Only cowardly morons handle jack. Or frustrated realturds. Probably both.

#45 Andrew toronto on 07.23.09 at 9:57 am

Bernanke Terrified Over Commercial Real Estate, Seeks Still More Power Over Consumers

It keeps getting better and better

#46 Drew on 07.23.09 at 10:00 am

Republic_of_Western_Canada made an interesting point when asking “how is ‘do a roof’ on an existing dwelling different from a house repair?”.

Got me to thinking that the in-laws have been going renonutz with their LOC and recently had the stone basement walls parged and refinished (repaired), thinking they’d be able to use the credit to offset some of the cost. But will they? I guess that will depend on the CRA auditor, in the unlikely event they do get audited.

The article brings up a couple of darned good questions. What defines repair versus reno? And, what is all of this talk about getting money back?

This whole reno-tax deal doesn’t matter much one way or the other to me as wifey and I are happy to be renting, if only for the sake of ease in relocation due to employment. BTW, thanks for that advice a year ago Garth, er Dad, if we’d bought then, we’d be screwed now.

#47 Devil's Advocate on 07.23.09 at 10:10 am

The dollar is the medium in which most store the fruits of their labour. We “trust” that dollar to safely store our past earnings, be it a dollar in hand or an entry in any savings ledger, electronic or manual, held by another. The buck stops with government. Ultimately our dollars value is determined by the actions of our governments who are, in effect, the keepers of all financial ledgers as they manage our economy.

When our government prints more money they generally do so as a monetary measure to stimulate the economy or pay fiscally incurred debt. Printing money to stimulate the economy is, in effect, government borrowing against our futures and as such becomes debt which ultimately flows into the fiscal books of account as a liability. That liability is the burden of all citizens not different than their personal car loan or mortgage.

When our government adds to the money supply they devalue the worth of all previously printed notes, (dollars) in which you have stored the previous fruits of your labour. There are, effectively, more dollars chasing fewer goods and services. The laws of supply and demand apply to money as they do all else. More fiat dollars added to the system the less value each has and consequently inflation is the result.

Governments are not immune to economic malpractice. Indeed there are many examples of day to day government inefficiencies. These inefficiencies in government proliferate unchecked largely because government, being the keepers of all financial ledgers, has the unilateral ability to tap economic resources not available to you and me (you and me). A government in need of more revenue need only print more money – essentially borrowing against your and my futures with a mere entry in the public books of account.

Essentially, the dollar, in which we place a great deal of trust, is a medium subject to wild fluctuation in value as government does or does not do the right thing while managing our economy. Again, governments are not immune to economic malpractice. By storing the fruits of your labour in “money”, be it cash, stocks or bonds, you are effectively investing in your government just as you might invest in any corporate entity. Yet corporate entities too have invested in government as they conduct business and deal in that countries currency. Corporate entities just as individuals place trust in government issued money and thus the government de facto. If a multinational corporation lacks confidence in any one countries government they simply refrain from doing business there. Not something so easy for those countries citizens to do.

In Canada we are blessed with a relatively stable well managed government, but Canada is not immune to the same economic malpractice seen in any other country. To Canada’s south we are seeing a very questionable future unfold. Many question the future of the US dollar on a global scale. Our world is an increasingly small place. Our economies are increasingly complex and intertwined and our dollars are thus increasingly interdependent upon their perceived value beyond our boarders. Economic malpractice within our boarders ultimately results in punitive actions against by those outside. The threat that GM or Chrysler might withdraw their Canadian operations in the event our government did not come to their rescue is something an example of this. The economic implications of their withdraw would surely have been of significant impact on our economy and felt as a punitive act against our government (us).

Today we are facing significant economic challenges. It does not matter what economic malpractice got us here. We are here, undeniably, at the precipice of significant economic challenge. How we deal with these challenges will most certainly determine our standard of living for some time to come. I don’t know about you but I tend to error on the side of caution and everything I see suggests to me that federal economic malpractice is most likely to continue with a whole lot of hurt yet to come.

So how might one avoid personal economic harm? Well I don’t think investing in the US dollar is the way and our Canadian economy is so closely tied to that of the US I can’t help but think investing in the Canadian dollar is a whole lot better for the time being. Certainly Canada is poised to weather this financial storm better than our neighbours to the south but not without damage ourselves. Our government does tend to follow the economic policy of our American brothers be it perceived as the right course of action or blackmailing pressure from that bigger brother.

Personally I don’t have a lot of confidence in the dollar, American or Canadian. I see far too much economic malpractice to invest in either federal corporation such as they are. The holding of either country’s currency is an investment in that country and trust that they will be economically prudent in their management of the economy. Do you believe the Canadian government will do the right thing avoiding economic malpractice? Do you believe the US will gain economic strength and enjoy a sustainable recovery? Do you believe, regardless of what the US does, Canada is independent and economically autonomous and immune from economic harm through American economic malpractice? Do you believe, thereby, that our Canadian dollar is independent, autonomous and immune? We live in an intertwined global economy which is driven by our American neighbours… for now. Dominant world powers have come and gone. Gold has, through the rise and fall of each world power, maintained a relative value – not without fluctuation but relatively elastic and resilient such that it has persevered as a relatively safe harbor.

There is but one global currency and that is gold. Gold has no liability and no boarders. Undeniably our fiat based monetary systems, intertwined, are on life support. The prognosis is bleak. Radical treatment is necessary to resuscitate life into the system. Such radical treatment is sure to have dire consequences on our immune systems. Consequently we face a most uncertain future. Those who got us into this mess, not foreseeing the consequence of their actions, deserve little trust in getting us out of this mess. Yet we continue, en masse, to trust them to do so.

I am leaning toward gold.

#48 Network Admin on 07.23.09 at 10:10 am

… Where else can I special order bullet-proof kitchen windows, an auto-overflow pump mechanism for the moat or two kilometres of Cat 5 cable? …

FYI: better use category 6 cable for any new installations because the cost of cable itself is small compared to the cost of its installation. See also

#49 Greg W., Oakville on 07.23.09 at 10:20 am

Hi Garth, FYI

@ 1:10 am on July 22, 2009.
Ron Paul got the chance to ask Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke about transparency at the Federal Reserve Board in general, and Paul’s own bill to audit the Fed specifically: 5 1/2 min. video

Published: July 22, 2009
Ron Paul: End wars to fund health care

July 22, 2009 8 1/2 min video
Dr. Paul was interviewed by CNBC’s Larry Kudlow concerning his Audit the Fed bill…

Congress woman DEMOLISHES Paulson
You-tube 8 min.
Congresswoman Kaptur: The Greatest Hail Mary Pass Of ALL TIME!

#50 Greg W., Oakville on 07.23.09 at 10:23 am

Hi Garth, FYI (please delete if this is a repeat of the comment I tryed to post a few minute ago. Thanks)

@ 1:10 am on July 22, 2009. 5 1/2 min video.
Ron Paul got the chance to ask Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke about transparency at the Federal Reserve Board in general, and Paul’s own bill to audit the Fed specifically:

#51 Denis on 07.23.09 at 10:26 am


Canadian recession will end this quarter, Bank of Canada says – The recession in Canada will end this quarter, the Bank of Canada has said.

#52 RJ on 07.23.09 at 10:35 am

Do a bong hit before going to HD, it makes all the annoying useless eaters clogging the aisles a bit easier to stomach. Alternatively, board an ATA flight and visit the Seminole Florida Home Depot, where employees outnumber customers 5 to 1. A bit expensive for a package of tapcons, but you’ll probably get a foot massage in the deal.

#53 pbrasseur on 07.23.09 at 10:47 am

According to the BoC the recession is over:

What do you make of this?

#54 Seilfworcehtsa on 07.23.09 at 10:53 am

In the fullness of time the chicken little crowd became heroes in their own minds as it were. Their deflationary cry,” the sky is falling, the sky is falling gave way to their new mantra, “the sky is rising, the sky is rising can’t you see?” And the politicians all shout “inflation, inflation horray for we.” The stock market is up, way up and what you paid for a house yesterday, today wouldn’t buy a house for your pup. Oh, what a sight when the velocity of money reaches the speed of light.

Let’s all sing the new song: “I owe, I owe and its of to the bank I go.” Woe is me; my mother’s advice was never a borrower be. All is well that ends well or as the epitaph on an old Roman’s tomb says, “sum quod eris” ie., I am what you will be. Life is sweet isn’t it?

#55 Maureen on 07.23.09 at 10:57 am

The whole home renovation tax credit illustrates how people hear what they want to hear and process the information as they wish. I have spoken to countless people about this program who believe they will receive a cheque for $1353 when they file their taxes if they spend the money. Contractors or building supply businesses do nothing to dispel the myth. I spoke with my mother the other night who at the age of 85 has demonstrated fiscal restraint her whole life. She told me she had put in a new kitchen floor, was thinking of replacing the dining room floor and while she was at it was going to have a new front staircase put in.
Of much greater value is the ecoEnergy retrofit program which offers grants up to $5000 to homeowners to replace, upgrade, retrofit homes with energy efficient heating systems, new windows, insulation etc. A straight grant from tbe government!
…and no advertising or media hype about this.

#56 Herb on 07.23.09 at 11:01 am

Small Business @ #21,

the “few bad apples” in the industry certainly is the party line, but the problem goes beyond that. How do you explain one of the biggest, most reputable renovators in town delivering the renovation from hell? The kind of guy who has been “Renovator of the Year” a couple of times and also has headed the local “Construction and Home Builders Association”?

First, there is little competition in a place like Ottawa, where renovations take place almost everywhere nearly all the time.

Second, there are no standards. Minimum code is a joke and must have been written by the industry. Building inspections are a matter of luck. There are no craft performance standards, and drywall covers a multitude of sins.

Third, there are no enforceable warranties. Sure, you will get a one-year warranty from reputable renovators, but it takes longer than one year for most problems to surface. Forget the “Better Business Bureau” as a toothless industry mutual-protection society. Remember that even Mike Holmes has given up.

By the way, I have experience with more than one renovator, none of them of the fly-by-night variety. Even dealing with long established operations, I have wound up with the plumbing lines reversed in a bathroom floor, and have settled for changing the labels on the hot and cold faucets of a bathtub rather than destroy a new marble floor or a new dining room ceiling to fix the rough-in from above or below.

I could go on about roofers, electricians, floor refinishers (took that one to court and won), tilers, you name it. The customer is on his own in a mostly take-it-or-leave-it environment. And I am not merely picking on renovators or other small businesses. As in any business operation, the aim is to minimize cost and maximize profit. The risk of being sued successfully is extremely low.

I have minimized my damage because I have some experience owning and fixing houses, and have seen and dealt with nearly everything over 30 years. Pity the innocent homeowner at the mercy of the industry under the impetus of a putative tax break and the constraint of time!

#57 Nostradamus jr. on 07.23.09 at 11:04 am

…As the Canadian Loonie keeps rising and nearing “par” w/ the U.S. Dollar…is it possible Canadian Mortgage Rates can drop from here?

#58 David Rockefeller on 07.23.09 at 11:16 am

Here’s how to use that tax credit:

1. Go through and paint your walls and exterior.
2. Replace fixtures in your bathrooms
3. Get rid of old carpeting, put in hardwood or repair old hardwood.
4. Look objectively at your house and make any aesthetic repairs necessary to make it look great.
5. Do an extensive cleaning, toss out anything you don’t use. Clear things down to the minimum.

Most importantly,

6. Sell it when the above is complete, without a realtor pref. and wait out the market by renting.

#59 VOODOO on 07.23.09 at 11:38 am

#42 Rhino on 07.23.09 at 9:34 am
You missed the point. You’re not going to get back $750. Instead of owing the government $2000 in income taxes, you’ll owe them $1250.

And you said you’re broke. Why do an unnecessary upgrade?

#60 DonDiego on 07.23.09 at 11:41 am

In real terms mortgage rates in Canada are rising bigtime!

Everytime the CAD goes up the cost of ones mortgage balance is rising. And the harder it will be to pay it back.

That’s why the US is trying to devalue their way out of the mess.

Everyone is focused on “the rate”. Even Garthy.

Canada mortgage(bag)holders it’s time to focus on the real cost of the money. And that is not the interest rate but the CAD rate of exchange.

#61 VOODOO on 07.23.09 at 11:43 am

#39 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 07.23.09 at 9:25 am

“H1N1 will be the next Black Plague if the WHO is correct.”
Au contraire. This flu is very mild–and if many people contract it, they are all building immunity to it (and to similar variants of it). So actually, the spread of H1N1 is greatly beneficial for humanity (unless you are one of the extremely unfortunate souls that dies from it) as it will help ward off a future pandemic of a related variant.

#62 JeffinPickering on 07.23.09 at 11:45 am

Maurice # 34: “If you think this is false stimulus, just try the Eco-energy audit process. You need real receipts and an audit of the work done. To get the $14,000 rebate you need to do $70,000 worth of up grades. With GST and PST in Ontario, there is 2/3rds of the rebate. As far as energy savings after the fact, we have seen none. It is all about stimulating the economy, not reducing energy consumption.”

At least you actually get legit savings/money back there. Similar to the HRTC though, it’s a total waste unless you NEED to do something.
Our Energy Audit revealed that even if we did everything, we’d only go up a handful of points on the green scale. It’d take years to see legit savings on consumption vs. the capital outlay on stuff.

However, our furnace is 20 years old and the A/C is older than that. Since there is a good chance we will NEED to replace these items due to mechanical breakdown/failure in the near future, the energy audit rebate program could work out well in terms of getting a few thousand bucks back.

I do agree that the pre and post-audits are a money grabbing scam. We learned absolutely nothing that we didn’t already know from our home inspection.

#63 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 07.23.09 at 11:58 am


Now, a $100,000 kitchen or maybe some observation towers connected by high-voltage fence lines and trip wires – that’s an entirely different story. It’s all good.

Don’t forget the Claymore anti-personnel mines. They are really ‘ballsey’ you know? LOL Go Hi-Tech and use IR LASER sensors as well. Forget the trip wires…too messy and can be traced to the Boom anyway!

You can also just go the low tech route using IED’s. They work very well as our troops know. Just remember to covertly buy the non-traceable, disposable cell phones. We wouldn’t want you being renditioned instead of renovated you know?

#64 S on 07.23.09 at 12:08 pm

The impression I’m getting reading the comments is that this reno tax credit is “evil” (for lack of better word). Why not see it as a way to help out an industry just as large as the auto industry, that hasn’t gotten multi-billion dollar bailouts, and whose “employees” can’t rely on EI, because they are for the most part subcontractors? The construction/renovation industry is probably one of the largest industries in the province. With the workers being ineligible for EI, I’d say they were the hardest hit over the winter, and unfortunately they were officially ignored. Government can’t bail them out without pissing off the majority of the population, so if this is what they can do to get them working again, then I think this is great! Forget the misinformation and all the other negative stuff around it and focus on the positive that it is doing – getting contractors working again! (And if people don’t know what a tax-credit is, after being responsible for submitting countless annual tax returns, then sheesh, can’t help it if they are foolish enough to be “mislead”)

#65 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 07.23.09 at 12:13 pm

#48 Network Admin

Cat 6 is only a tighter twisted Cat 5. Granted it is claimed to have higher bandwidth, but few home users will ever detect a difference. Another industry ‘trick’ to sell more at a higher price. Besides, wireless is the way people are going now. But then, who knows, maybe Garth is setting up a porn studio in his bunker and will need the streaming capability? ;-)

#66 smw on 07.23.09 at 12:14 pm

#52 pbrasseur

I call ball-sack.

Every facet of the Canadian economy is in decline, tourism, oil and gas, mining, agriculture, manufacturing, professional services and even government is tightening the purse.

These numbers tell the real story. Employment.

Of course, the RESILIENT CONSUMER is the driving force, via debt.

Even in housing, housing starts are down, which means, employment in that sector is down, like the other half dozen sectors I mentioned.

We are losing jobs, but the economy has improved, therefore the recession is over? It will be long enough to be over for a quarter, and when we hit the second phase of this roller coaster ride, we can debate, again, whether we are in a recession or not.

A few here I’m sure seen the signs in late 2006 with the USA tettering on a debt bubble, and they(Government and media) spewed the same verbal diareaha, everything is fine.

Until employment is plentiful, Jim Flaherty and mark Carney are beating a drum without any skin.

Everyone ready for round two? Better call that election before third quarter earnings come out.

#67 JoeCalgary on 07.23.09 at 12:24 pm

“Shoppers are speeding Canada’s rebound”

Isn’t it amazing we have so much money to spend?

#68 JM on 07.23.09 at 12:25 pm

Needed a roof & had it done in spring – 3 layers worth of shingles removed. If I get to tweak my taxes a bit for work that needed doing anyway why wouldn’t I?

However, before the roof was done I paid off the house earlier this year. It took a lot of effort but the right way to go. The bathroom is 1970’s ugly but still works while I save the money to gut it.

I saw a great poster on a phone pole in T.O., “resist the new mark of slavery – debt”. Propaganda – probably, generally true – absolutely…

#69 Industrial Guy on 07.23.09 at 12:26 pm

The Bank of Canada is declaring the recession essentially over in Canada.
I can hardly wait to tell the guys at the Employment Insurance office.

#70 Shocked! on 07.23.09 at 12:30 pm

Recession over: Bank of Canada

#71 Sue on 07.23.09 at 12:31 pm

It’s very smoky here in the North Okanagan this morning – the Terrace Mountain fire is proving to be a mighty force – the air quality has tanked in the past 48 hours; a metaphor for what’s to come in the economy? Not if you believe the Bank of Canada’s peculiar brand of optimism this morning!

I found this link of interest:

One has to keep one’s bulls**t filter in full working order at all times!

#72 justjanice on 07.23.09 at 12:39 pm

The recession is not dead, the economy is a zombie only being kept alive by ‘the stimulus’. Nope until Canadian’s get their financial house in order (debts under control, investments and assets growing), there will be no meaningful recovery.

Debt is the enemy now (at least on a household level), with the best returns to be had…once the debt is slayed find yourself a TFSA and some tasty investments. Oh and don’t even think of spending money on a plasma TV until you have 6 months of expenses in liquid savings….

#73 Mark on 07.23.09 at 12:40 pm

Garth, we spent money on some renovations this year but it was not because of the small tax incentive. We did the work this year to avoid the blended tax grab coming next year which we felt would hurt more than any benefit from the tax credit this year.

#74 Alberta Boom on 07.23.09 at 12:42 pm

The recession is OVER because the Bank of Canada says so.

#75 jess on 07.23.09 at 12:47 pm

interesting reading on Mr.Bernanke’s paper 1999 on japan especially for the inflation /deflation readers

japanese monetary policy:a case of self- induced paralysis,

#76 jess on 07.23.09 at 12:56 pm

demand destruction?

The company says the stations, which it had hoped to build at Nanticoke on Lake Erie and at its existing nuclear complex near Port Elgin on Lake Huron, are no longer needed because of plunging electricity demand in the province.

#77 Sue on 07.23.09 at 1:05 pm

Also interesting to go to Harry Dent’s website and check out the 9 minute update to his recent book here:

They may be a lot less rosy, but I think I’ll take his predictions over Mark Carney’s at this point…

#78 T.O. Guy on 07.23.09 at 1:08 pm

Hey Garth
Why is the BOC declaring the recession over when unemployment is sure to keep rising, interest rates will increase and oil will probably hit $100 a barrel within a year? These are all factors to bring a economy down or at least stay flat not to mention what will happen to house prices.
I really think the BOC should have came out with a more passive statement.
What do you think?

#79 The Great Gazoo on 07.23.09 at 1:14 pm

Recession over is a lie… The best evidence found that we are being lied to by our leaders are the June “employment” stats released a few weeks ago. Please see Canadian media releases that only ~7000 jobs were lost (meanwhile over 40,000 REAL full time private sector jobs were lost – but the loss was offset by gains in partime and self-employment jobs).

The recession IS over – welcome to the new world economy, driven by disproportiantely high consumer debt, rampant unemployemnt, financial trickery and lies and a disastrously low standard of living for the Canadian middle class.

#80 S on 07.23.09 at 1:16 pm

#75 Jess

Didn’t you notice the weather? Who has needed their A/C on this summer? ;)

#81 dd on 07.23.09 at 1:27 pm

#56 Nostradamus jr.

…is it possible Canadian Mortgage Rates can drop from here?…

What? To have the housing bubble inflate a little more so we can have a harder landing?

#82 dd on 07.23.09 at 1:32 pm

#29 DonDiego

…John Embry and Eric Sprott wiped the floor with him on TV…

Jim Rogers also say to invest in Silver becuase it is 75% below the highs. However he invests in a basket of commodities and not just in gold.

#83 dd on 07.23.09 at 1:35 pm

#77 T.O. Guy

…I really think the BOC should have came out with a more passive statement…

They will come out with a revision in a couple months like they had to early this year. GDP at 1.3% growth with rising unemployement. How is this possible? Funny accounting.

#84 Munch on 07.23.09 at 1:50 pm

@ Bill-Muskoka

{lowering eyes, bowing low, retreating}

My pleasure, monsieur!

#85 MenWithHats on 07.23.09 at 1:56 pm

Sid’s Medieval Moat Builders .Includes draw bridge .

#86 Seilfworcehtsa on 07.23.09 at 1:57 pm

#39 and 60 Bill and Voodoo

The Black Plague was caused by the y-pestis bug which killed people, rats and even the flea that carried it to humans. From infection to death by this disease was about three days and thus it was no friend to the medical or pharmaceutical crowd. However, its swiftness was a mercy in itself. Contrast this to AIDS wherin infection to death can be 20 years at an enormous cost in national treasure.

The H1N1 is in its infancy as a disease and appears to be a rather harmless little guy. But he can mutate and mutate quickly as has already been demonstrated by its ability to adapt to anti viral medicine. It is not what H1N1 is that is scary but what it has the potential to become. The Spanish Influenza started out as a pup but soon grew into a vicious mangy beast. It could affect the Re supply/demand equation adversly to say the least and turn the economy as a whole into a black hole.

#87 Steve on 07.23.09 at 1:59 pm

Screw Gold. Real Doomers buy Farmland! lol

#88 Realtor on 07.23.09 at 2:00 pm

The Bank of Canada is declaring the recession essentially over in Canada along with Flaherty. Watch out folks……this can only mean that things are about to get a heck of alot worse in the Canadian economy.

When have these two ever been right about anything or more importantly told the truth about anything?

#89 JeffinPickering on 07.23.09 at 2:01 pm

#63 – Construction workers and subcontractors are not all ineligible for EI.
Construction workers who work for your typical construction company (e.g. PCL) are normal workers and are covered. This constitutes the vast majority of construction and trades workers in Ontario.

With respect to sub-contractors who operate under their own businesses, they could potentially setup themselves as corps, pay themselves a T4 and make appropriate contributions and therefore become eligible for EI and CPP.
Many choose not to, just as they choose to report their income to CRA as $10,000 a year rather than the $80-200K per year it typically really is.

#90 Drew on 07.23.09 at 2:06 pm

The recession is over!

What a startling overnight revelation. Isn’t this from the same BOC that was in a state of denial for “how many months?” that the country was even in a recession? I’ll believe what the Fed Heads have to say just about as soon as the 3 Stooges (Carney, Harpo and Flatulence) prove to me that they can convince the rain gods to open up the clouds and pour buckets of money on me.

More hype to motivate the citizens of the global oasis called Canada.

#91 Al on 07.23.09 at 2:06 pm


Regarding your #63 comment. Contractors shouldn’t be happy about this credit, because all it’s doing is pulling next year’s work into this year. The crappier contractors will be getting more work and more fly-by-nighters will be jumping in. Next year will be a famine for them.

#92 CM on 07.23.09 at 2:07 pm

The recession is over. Hurray! Hurray!

Why don’t I believe that nice Mr. Carney? Something about not being born yesterday, I think.

Re home reno tax credit ads – the couple are now not the young ones but those “of a certain age” – empty nesters, close to retirement or just after, LOTS of spare money knocking around. About as believable as the Wizard of Oz.

And what is it with those green envelopes to “keep your receipts in”. Don’t tell me…please, don’t…that one is going to show up in the mailbox, thoughtfully sent by your caring HarpoCon government. I swear, if the government has been spending our money producing nice little neon-green envelopes, I will blow a gasket.

I like the idea of bullet-proof kitchen windows. Handy around hunting season.

#93 kenken on 07.23.09 at 2:11 pm

I have been reading this blog for nearly 1 year now
and as a buyer-in-waiting, I have been looking for the price decreases. I am not praying for ppl to lose their houses or go bankrupt for my family to acquire a house – a decent decrease in price would be acceptable for me … but hey.. I have been waiting and waiting and now the BoC is saying recession is over
They are artificially keeping the economy afloat and will keep doing so until the US picks up and hence the Canadian economy will resume on its own.
Canadian Govt has been successful up to now and although economic indicators do not appear to deteriorate much further than expected, I wonder whether house prices will be affected.

There are many people reading these blog and buyers-in-waiting like me, wish prices would go down (as for Garth, he took a stand and has to stand by it). But the rest (>99% of Canada) are buying houses (making prices hit records), investing in and renovating their homes, etc…

You have a choice. Join the herd, or plot your own path. Just don’t bleat. — Garth

#94 steven rowlandson on 07.23.09 at 2:22 pm

Hello Garth.

I must concurr with justjanice. Paying down debt and building up savings is a prerequisite for any genuine recovery. Of course the same principle also applies to the public sector. Instead of the gov’t borrowing 32 to 52 billion extra it should have slashed spending and raised the hated GST by 2% and used all surplus funds to pay down the national debt. All that money paid on debt reduction would lighten the tax payers future obligation and also that money would be channeled into the private sector to invest in something productive.
If such a policy was pushed long enough lets say 2 or 3 decades then we could scale back or eliminate that barbarous practice of taxation. We could have an income generating trust fund to underwrite the expense of government.

#95 Jeremy on 07.23.09 at 2:27 pm

This just in , BC to harmonize sales taxes together on July 1st 2010 for 12%. That will make a house more expensive to buy in BC correct, with all the lawyers fees, inspectors what not fees.

#96 Den on 07.23.09 at 2:31 pm

Ok, so they lower the interest rates to unsustainable levels, spend $50bil, drop the price of GMs by half, offer tax “creds” for renos, and hand out mortgages to anyone who can sign a dotted line, and since we have an obvious uptick in consumer spending, we’re out of the woods???

What happens when interest rates creep back up, and the tax creds are gone, and GM starts selling shit for $20k, and banks tighten the flow of money, and we have to pay that $50bil shopping debt?? I hope they have a few hundred thousand jobs lined up at the BoC…

This is not going to end well.

#97 zoogle on 07.23.09 at 2:37 pm

Frugal McDougall worked very hard,
Bought things with cash and not credit cards,
And when it came to the things that he bought,
Things that he needed were all that he sought.

Once he was sure that his bills were all paid,
The money left over was carefully saved.
You see in the future he hoped to retire
And knew very well what that would require.

His neighbors were foolish and laden with greed.
They focused on wants instead of on needs.
They went out to dinner about every night.
When you’re middle class that’s one of your rights.

When they got their paychecks they spent every dime.
Having money left over would have been a crime.
Their credit was pushed to its uppermost limit,
When it came to debt they were very deep in it.

When Frugal McDougall would try to explain
The value of saving they all called him names,
So he wouldn’t bother most of the time.

Frugal McDougall

the fool using my blogger name has run out of any credible counter posts….so he has resorted to his latest tactic

#98 Boombust on 07.23.09 at 2:52 pm

Hi Garth,

This a.m. I was reading on “Housing Analysis” a possible reason why Canada’s home sales are so strong…

Everything is insured by the CMHC, so that banks having nothing to lose by “loose lending”.

What do YOU think?

#99 Jonathan on 07.23.09 at 2:54 pm

#19 Enuff

Your one of a handful of people like me, who in my opinion really get it….

I’m all for the success of business. But I like them to compete. The government actions of a home reno credit means that for every $10,000 that is invested in a renovation, $10,000 is lost from all other businesses. That’s not fair. That’s communism.

#100 blobby on 07.23.09 at 2:58 pm


Can anyone tell me what this means in REAL terms?

I can never really tell with the vancouver sun what is news, and what is spin?

Seems to me to be a bad thing? And also (if i read it right) a way to boost the housing market more by giving people who are buying a tax break?

#101 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 07.23.09 at 3:06 pm


You may be right? I will never take another ‘flu shot’ as I did back in 1995 and almost died from it. I have never had such violent flu as I did from trying to prevent getting it by having that vaccination. Then I broke out in a severe rash from the sulfamycin the doctor prescribed and had to go for breathing treatments until it passed.

Like the medical people are saying the best prevention is to WASH your hands.

#102 Vancouver_bear on 07.23.09 at 3:06 pm

#87 blobby on 07.23.09 at 2:58 pm

you will end up paying 12% tax on stuff you pay 5% tax right now. It’s time to dump this best place on meth.

#103 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 07.23.09 at 3:08 pm

#83 Munch

Merci mon ami!

#104 Rhino on 07.23.09 at 3:09 pm

#58 VOODOO on 07.23.09 at 11:38 am

Point taken, but whether it comes as a cheque, or a tax credit, it is still money “back”. Never said I expect a cash return, so bad me for not putting the concept into elementary language.

Even in a low tax bracket, they still take tax money. Not at all hard to be in a tax bracket paying $2000.00, so even easier to be in a $750 tax bracket.

Oh, and when a roof should have been replaced 4-5 years ago, you cannot wait forever – unless you are ready to pay twice as much to repair water damage due to a leaky roof. Better to repair BEFORE leaks, as any experienced homeowner will attest. Ergo, I have no choice, and the TAX CREDIT just reduces my pain.

You sure seem to like small details…

#105 My_View on 07.23.09 at 3:32 pm

I can see it now, the Conservatives winning the next election (majority) because they squashed this recession. Wag the dog baby!

#106 Industrial Guy on 07.23.09 at 3:36 pm

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says …….
The Canadian economy has stabilized and recovery has started .. We’re moving into a period of modest economic growth consumer confidence is relatively strong and growing, we are seeing good home sales numbers (and) some improvement in retail sales.”

This is a bit like waiting for the groundhog to see its shadow. Is the recovery here or are there 12 more months of recession coming?

Mr Minister …You raped the nations finances to create this faux recovery….. Home sales? Retail sales? Hang on!! You provided historically low interest rates to sucker people into talking on huge doses of personal debt. You did this while the manufacturing sector across Canada collapsed. The 60 billion dollar deficit you created will have to be repaid and my kids. They will be paying for this example of fiscal irresponsibility into their middle age. That’s assuming they are able to find jobs and pay off their student loans.

#107 VOODOO on 07.23.09 at 3:45 pm

“Like the medical people are saying the best prevention is to WASH your hands.”
And avoid crowds.

#108 My_View on 07.23.09 at 3:49 pm

#92 KenKen

What are you waiting for? The correction if any will be modest, plus to each their own, as if Garth one day will say “release the hounds”.

#109 smw on 07.23.09 at 4:17 pm

Kids, just watched BNN and David Franklin from Sprott is declaring, we are on the cusp of DEPRESSION. (4pm EST)

Roubini is warning similar.

I’m just finishing up Henry Hazlitt’s book “Economics in One Lesson”. If anyone is shaking their head and asking WTF about what’s being portrayed by those in power, this book debunks most of the myths we’ve been fed.

Definitely Austria economics.

So if this is really a “spectacular” bear market rally, it will be a spectacular unraveling.

Coming to a September/October near you.

#110 smw on 07.23.09 at 4:18 pm

#105 Industrial Guy

Well said.

#111 gold bugger on 07.23.09 at 4:22 pm

That picture is from a Home Depot in Ontario where a customer tried to overload his vehicle. What you don’t see are the numerous bags of cement he loaded in his trunk and back seat.

Also, sales are below projections at Home Depot and dropping fast. Cutbacks are unfolding.

Kenken, the percentage of Canadians who own their homes is not 99%. Perhaps you were exaggerating to make a point.

Jeff in Pickering: It’s not factually accurate to state that most tradespersons make $80K+. Or that most make $80K+ and claim $10K on their tax return. You obviously don’t work in construction or maybe you work in an area where unionism clouds your vision.

Firstrick/Squiddly: you’re not even interesting any more.

#112 dd on 07.23.09 at 4:24 pm

#107 My_View on

…The correction if any will be modest…

And this is based on? Modest? Well just look at all the other countries that have gone through the bubble bust. House prices are still expensive as compared to salaries in Canada. The US? 40% from the top and still decreasing. Of course that might be your definition of modest.

#113 dd on 07.23.09 at 4:27 pm

#92 kenken

…But the rest (>99% of Canada) are buying houses (making prices hit records)…

And that is why you should not buy. Record prices in Canada and most other places are decreasing.

#114 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 07.23.09 at 4:41 pm

And avoid crowds

Exactly, and preferably hospitals, doctors offices, and mass transit.

#115 Mike (Authentic) on 07.23.09 at 4:43 pm

69 Shocked! “Recession over: Bank of Canada ”

I see everyone is as shocked about this news spin as we were here in London, UK.

Now our own BoC is not telling people the truth and this story is just a spin to detract others from seeing what truely is happening in the economy.

What a fishy story. It’s too bad we do not have any reporters looking into it and doing their own research like they would have done in the past.

Garth, what do you think about this BoC story?


#116 MenWithHats on 07.23.09 at 5:09 pm

Kevin Page is ROTFLHAO at Carney’s latest predictions .

#117 Nostradamus jr. on 07.23.09 at 5:18 pm

1/My Toronto friend rents a $500 room in a house and he has $1,100.00 saved up.

…Yesterday he asked me when the real estate crash is gonna happen because he wants to buy a $250K, two storey detached home near yonge & st clair.

Any advice for him…(he doesn’t want to let out who he is so lets just call him…dd)

I predict canadian mtge rates will drop should the Loonie stabilize at or higher to the U.S. Dollar.

#118 Peter Wiener on 07.23.09 at 5:30 pm

It appears to me after the recent revelations about the CMHC / Canadian bank cabal that this government (and probably any that succeeds it) will be forced to continue this ruinous arrangement until either house prices fall at some point (not in the near future) or the country is hobbled by insuring/paying for the fallout.

In either event, you won’t want to own a place in Canada, but you may want to purchase one after this all shakes out.

And, oh yeah, don’t look for any POS deals, there won’t be any. CMHC will hold foreclosures off the market indefinitely while the few real deals go to ‘friends’. This condition will prevail until the market recovers or until a federal auditor instigates an investigation.

For all of you out there waiting to purchase, the wait will be longer, but your fiscal responsiblity may not be rewarded in your time frame if it is less than about two years, IMHO. I no longer have any interest in Canadian real estate having sold all of mine over the past 3 years and having chose not to re-invest ANY in Canada nor the US. I am taking a 2 year hiatus from even bothering with the topic, checking in periodically with resources such as this blog to keep abreast. I travel extensively and see what’s up elsewhere, with a keen eye on their property markets. All I can tell you it’s the same everywhere right now, except Canada.

Draw your own conclusions.

And sincere good luck to anyone out there buying a house…’s hoping it becomes your home and you enjoy the heck out of it!

#119 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 07.23.09 at 5:34 pm

#70 Sue on 07.23.09 at 12:31 pm — “It’s very smoky here in the North Okanagan this morning . . .”

Ditto for Kelowna. Reeks of smoke (A/C helps enormously), windy and thunderstorms rolling through. Gonna be a long summer, esp. with the economy tanking all over. As at 3 p.m. PST, there are 20 new small fires (all lightning strikes) between the Similkameen and Central Okanagan, plus a few in the South.

First two fires — Glenrosa and Rosevalley — are out, but residents are still on evacuation alert. Main one is Terrace Mountain (Fintry), which (at last count) was between 4 and 5,000 hectares, and uncontrolled. The joys of summer!
#59 DonDiego on 07.23.09 at 11:41 am — “. . . mortgage rates in Canada are rising bigtime! Everytime the CAD goes up the cost of ones mortgage balance is rising. And the harder it will be to pay it back. That’s why the US is trying to devalue their way out of the mess.”

Excellent point. The US Fed are doing their level best to completely to deliberately mess their economy up and in so doing, take Mexico and Canada down with them. In some respects, this post goes with . . .

#53 Seilfworcehtsa on 07.23.09 at 10:53 am — “. . . Their deflationary cry,” the sky is falling, the sky is falling gave way to their new mantra, “the sky is rising, the sky is rising can’t you see?” And the politicians all shout “inflation, inflation horray for we.” The stock market is up, way up and what you paid for a house yesterday, today wouldn’t buy a house for your pup. Oh, what a sight when the velocity of money reaches the speed of light. Let’s all sing the new song: “I owe, I owe and its of to the bank I go.”

It gives creedence to the apt (political) saying: “If you can’t dazzle ’em with brilliance, then baffle ’em with bullshit”. This is where numerous posters, as well as Garth, are bang one — it will end in a few years, in an absolute debacle.

This somewhat explains why Carney, Flaherty and Harper are pumping the economy up, when the opposite is true — it’s 67% dead, and life-support systems are the only thing keeping it alive.
#77 T.O. Guy on 07.23.09 at 1:08 pm — “I really think the BOC should have came out with a more passive statement.”

They would, except that Geithner, Paulson and Bernanke tell them what to tell us, so it’s up to us to decide if what we are told is truth or a bunch of baloney.

Yep, if the recession is ‘over’, that is the signal we’re on The Road To Heaven / Hell / Something In Between!

#120 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 07.23.09 at 5:44 pm

#108 smw on 07.23.09 at 4:17 pm — “Definitely Austria economics. So if this is really a “spectacular” bear market rally, it will be a spectacular unraveling. — [ Coming to a September/October near you ].”

Swine flu shots begin in Sept. in Germany, then travel further afield.

Coincidence? Methinx NOT!

#121 dd on 07.23.09 at 6:00 pm

#116 Nostradamus jr.

…I predict canadian mtge rates will drop should the Loonie stabilize at or higher to the U.S. Dollar…

Then the average price in Van Central will be around $900k for a house because of the all the cheap money. That will be something like 9 or 10x earnings? Hasn’t SF real estate come off something like 30% from the highs and still decreasing?


#122 kw on 07.23.09 at 6:04 pm

Does anyone know if the HRTC includes solar/ wind products and/ or installations?

Yes it does. — Garth

#123 dd on 07.23.09 at 6:07 pm

Roubini … The U.S. economy is likely to grow about 1 percent in the next two years … “weak” job market will contribute to another 13 percent to 18 percent drop in house prices, bringing total declines nationally to as much as 45 percent from their peak & 11%Unemployment…

Sure house prices will increase in Canada, especially in North Van. Yup … a total of 45 decease in US house prices and 11% UI. Yup.

#124 pjwlk on 07.23.09 at 6:15 pm

Today – Globe Investor: “The central bank is mandated by law to keep inflation advancing at a pace of about 2 per cent a year.” Say What?

#125 john m. on 07.23.09 at 6:35 pm

Last Updated: Thursday, July 23, 2009 | 12:02 PM ET Comments530Recommend221
CBC News

The recession is over, the Bank of Canada said in its quarterly Monetary Policy Report released Thursday.

After shrinking since the last quarter of 2008, the Canadian economy will grow by an annualized rate of 1.3 per cent in the current quarter, the bank said.

Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney said Canada is on track for an economic recovery.Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney said Canada is on track for an economic recovery. (CBC)”We are on track for the recovery both in Canada and globally,” Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney told reporters.

However, unemployment will continue to rise, he said.<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< What a joke!! ……What do Canadians need jobs for?? after all money is easy to borrow–live the good life—the government is leading the pack by example–times getting tough?-just borrow more!–its easy!– future?..hmmmmm what future-history in the making and the destruction of a democracy———–some pretty interesting comments on this article on CBC online from readers.———–Im disgusted!

#126 David on 07.23.09 at 6:35 pm

It seems foolish to do anything specifically for a tax benefit. Spend a buck of after tax dollars and get 13.5 cents back, unless one was going to do it in any event. Spending $10K on many of those bubble priced tear downs will make not much of a difference in the end. With down payments already in the abysmal 6% range, throwing the same amount toward the principal might be of more lasting benefit.

#127 john m. on 07.23.09 at 6:45 pm

105 Industrial Guy on 07.23.09 at 3:36 pm <<< great post!

#128 Vancouver_bear on 07.23.09 at 6:48 pm

News from best place on meth.

Shooting in the Nostri’s capital:

Tax hike news for the ‘Lympics hangover:

I will buy/make a bumper sticker with a SLOGAN: DO NOT SPEND YOUR MONEY IN BC. LET GORDI TO PAY FOR 2010 MESS!

#129 dd on 07.23.09 at 6:51 pm


And how can house prices go higher?

#130 My_view on 07.23.09 at 7:08 pm

#116 Nostradamus jr

250K for a 2 storey detach and hold on for it @
Yonge & St. Clair. LMAO

#131 jess on 07.23.09 at 7:10 pm

Now the FASB says it may expand the use of fair-market values on corporate income statements and balance sheets in ways it never has before. Even loans would have to be carried on the balance sheet at fair value, under a preliminary decision reached July 15. The board might decide whether to issue a formal proposal on the matter as soon as next month.

#132 jess on 07.23.09 at 7:21 pm

Didn’t you notice the weather?

darn cloud makers …

#133 Nostradamus jr. on 07.23.09 at 7:41 pm

dd… its now confirmed friend…Vancouver real estate will be appreciating +30 – 40% next year or so….but prices will double in North & West Vancouver.

…It is still not too late to buy before prices rise…

#134 Onemorething (aka DaHKkid) on 07.23.09 at 8:08 pm

oh yes, north Van, west Van, if not a bubble, those who live there sure are in it! What a bunch of winners!

Affordability people! The bigger they are the harder they fall, but whole will want to buy in VAN when all the above are wiped out!

I used to think Torontonians were special, Vancouverites live in the most unaffordable city in the universe and having no big business to back it up.

It is only good for the retired and gen Yers milking mom and dad who will be the worst hit!

“I see dead people”!

#135 Onemorething (aka DaHKkid) on 07.23.09 at 8:11 pm

latest from MISH

Unwarranted Joy In Canada

The recession may technically be over soon in both Canada and the US but it will not feel like it to most, nor will Canada see those projected rates of growth.

Expect to see downward revisions to expected growth because they are coming. Weak energy demand is one of the clues that the rebound will be less than most anticipate.

Nearly everyone is overestimating the rebound in jobs and consumer spending while ignoring or discounting the likelihood of a double dip recession, not just in the US, but globally. Odds still favor a harsh double dip recession, or a lingering L-shaped recession sapped by higher taxes and weak consumer demand, where the economy flirts with recession for years to come.

#136 ralph on 07.23.09 at 8:15 pm

Garth can you comment on BC’s plan to introduce a HST starting July. 2010? How will this affect the average consumer?


#137 Darryl on 07.23.09 at 8:53 pm

JeffinPickering #88

Yah right . A construction contractor set up as a corp.can show an income of only 10k. Get real ! How could you hide that.Unless you only work in cash and then why would you even incorperate? And owners are not eligible for EI whether they pay for it or not. Where did you get your information from?

#138 Darryl on 07.23.09 at 8:59 pm

. I meant incorporate. :)

#139 TheFirstRick on 07.23.09 at 9:28 pm

#110 gold bugger on 07.23.09 at 4:22 pm

Firstrick/Squiddly: you’re not even interesting any more.
But ISLANDER, you seem to obsess. You NEVER were interesting to begin with. Arn’t you late for a strata meeting or something?

#140 Dan in Victoria on 07.23.09 at 9:47 pm

Geez laughed my butt off at that picture.Scary thing is he was taking that home to build something….That I would like to see.I’ve seen,additions wired with extension cords,(inside finished walls)2×2 walls,(bearing)2×4 floor joists(10 foot span).1/4 inch drywall,1/4inch floor sheathing,sink drains emptying into a gravel crawl space,lino for bath wall tiles,(tub surrond)bath fans venting into the open attic,dryers venting into the basement(wheres all that moisture going)Foundations built on fill spread over stumps,plumbing that runs uphill,Toilets with hot flushing water,Three runs of #14 copper wire for a range(#14 is good for 15 amps)a range needs # 8 copper 40 amps .60 gallon hot water tanks #14 copper should be #10 copper good for 30 amps.They couldn’t figure out why the insulation was burnt.Windows installed upside down(yes those little slots in the extrusion go on the bottom)exterior doors mounted backwards,yeah just knock out those hinge pins and walk right in.And on and on…..

#141 Alberta Ed on 07.23.09 at 9:53 pm

Whew! Glad the recession’s over, so I can go out back and dig up all those tobacco tins stuffed with cash.

#142 dd on 07.23.09 at 9:58 pm

.#132 Nostradamus jr.

…It is still not too late to buy before prices rise…

True. Watch them rise and fall even harder. It cannot go on forever.

#143 Argentum Aurum on 07.23.09 at 10:08 pm

Garth et al may have detected the problem so early on that we may need to wait longer to see it happen in full force. However, once the problems start happening so visibly that everybody sees them, it may be too late to do what Garth says.
Yes, we may have occasional deflation, but many nations are printing money, I suspect we will have inflation + stagnant economy. Gold is good, cash is good, debts not so good.
We are witnessing a shift of financial/economic power away from the Western world, the way to preserve status quo may be an increase in hostilities. Water/food/energy depletion will contribute to the severity of these conflicts

#144 Industrial Guy on 07.23.09 at 10:13 pm

“Bruce Power drops plans for new reactors” …..
“Ontario ditched plan to expand Darlington over high price tag that would wipe out 20-year budget”
Why is everyone running away from investing in major electricity developments in Ontario??
Well here’s the reason: They are not Greater Fools.
Average wholesale price for electricity in 2009 so far is: $0.0356 per Kw hr. This is the lowest yearly wholesale price recorded by the Independent Electricity System Operator since its creation in 2002.

If we look at May, Jun and July we can see a trend toward decreasing prices.
May $0.0291
Jun $0.0248
Jul $0.0192 (so far)

But how could this be? Summer months usually represent one of the highest demand periods for electricity. So far this year, peak demand has barely slipped over 20,000 MW. Most days it peaks at around 18,000 MW. This is a far cry from the record 27,005 MW used on Aug 1, 2006.

Today, the Bank of Canada announced that the recession was over. Well, one indicator says thats far from the case at least in Ontario. If the economy was growing, wouldn’t the demand for electricity be rising? After all, everyone uses electricity. Yet, this year actual demand in Kilo Watts is below historical levels and wholesale prices in cents per Kilo Watt Hour continue to fall. In fact, prices are dropping like a stone in a lake.

Just a reminder to the residents of Ontario. Residential users of electricity pay the following rate by Ministry of Energy decree. If you’re not using one of those “time of day” meters, you’re paying the following:

$0.057 /Kw hr for the first 600 Kw hr in a month
$0.066 /Kw hr for each additional Kw hr

If you’re on a “time of day” meter, your top rate during peak period is an incredible $0.08 per Kw hr. ………

Minister Smitherman, the wholesale price this month is $0.0192 per Kw hr. When will our rebates cheques be mailed?

#145 Bottoms_Up on 07.23.09 at 10:15 pm

Funny how they declare the recession over now that the housing market has started into it’s weak months….

#146 Davinci on 07.23.09 at 11:23 pm

Mathew Gibson #18

I have to agree with the point that currency (debt) is more complex than it’s real deal, money (gold).

During the great depression currency had a fractional tie to gold. However after the 1933 gold confiscation that noose to currency was loosened as the government would pay with gold to foreign countries (if they demanded) but not the public.

So if the government could print more money, why did they not have economic nirvana?

That’s just it, the government was the one that spent the money, thus producing very little wealth.

You may say… huh?

If the have money isn’t that wealth?


Production of goods and services that people want is wealth.

The printing of money did eventually cause prices to rise but only after world war 2.

I want to write so much more but I would be here for days, but getting back to what I was taking about in comment you responded to. You may conclude that the same affect will occur in the US again.

I would agree, however…
1. The USA as a nation is in far more debt than before.
2. That debt can only grow (social security medicare, etc).
3. Most of the paper dollars exist outside of the USA (60%) and if Americans don’t produce anything (except more dollars) then what will those foreigners buy? Good thing foreigners are not grumbling about the dollar, no wait they are.
4. Banks and insurance companies are sitting on a nuclear bomb of 1 quadrillion dollars worth of derivatives (bets). [Warran buffet aptly named derivatives as “financial weapons of mass destruction”.]

AIG has a poultry 1.6 trillion in bad derivatives while t big to fail JP Morgan has 100 trillion. Speaking about a trillion being just pennies did you check out this video?

#147 Mark on 07.24.09 at 3:24 am

@135 : “How will this affect the average consumer?”

The way i understand it – Bear in mind i’m english and might have this wrong – If you use ANY service industry (restaurants, airplanes, food, repairs, consultancy, etc). Then as of july 2010 – they’ll cost you 7% more.

Basically anything where you USED to not pay PST – now you do!

But you get a tax break to buy a house aparently under the new scheme (oh look gordon browns industry is real estate…. figures!)

#148 Pjwlk on 07.24.09 at 12:58 pm

Speaking of eco-energy and global warming, I’d like to thank all those who went out and bought Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, or any other hybrid model of car to reduce green house gases and to help stop global warming. It seems like it really worked! Now would some of you go out and idle your cars for a while, I’m feeling a little chilled this summer…

#149 Dan in Victoria on 07.25.09 at 5:55 pm

Addition to my post #139 Today I was working on some soffits,guess what somebody had used? Drywall board for them.Now thats one I hadn’t seen before.

#150 S on 07.28.09 at 10:44 am

#88 JeffinPickering

>> #63 – Construction workers and subcontractors are not all ineligible for EI. Construction workers who work for your typical construction company (e.g. PCL) are normal workers and are covered. This constitutes the vast majority of construction and trades workers in Ontario. <<

The PCLs of the world specialize in commercial construction, are I'd argue they are not the majority of construction workers in Ontario. The PCLs are not the ones found in residential construction, especially not in subdivisions. In subdivisions it is "preferrential" to have subcontractors versus employees, as it is cheaper for the Mattamy's and other subdivision builders of Ontario, who do all they can to push trades prices down. And frankly, from my experience with trades, many do not have the know-how to set up a corporation, nor do they want to invest the money required to get the help they'd need to do it plus pay for the accounting service they'd then require. Hence, they remain sole proprietorships (much easier to manage for the Average Joe).

Yes, there is a lot of cash work in the industry, but it's not as high as people here seem to think (a lot of generalization going on here). And let me remind you, that it is you, the home owners, that would rather pay someone cash than pay the extra 5% GST, so don't complain about it afterwards. You are the enablers! Although, paying cash could be a huge disadvantage when it comes to problems with the work down the road, or calculating capital gains if it is a rental property. You get what you pay for…

#151 Ronaldo on 08.01.09 at 12:29 pm

That photo has got to be the funniest yet. He/she probably sustained more than $1350 in damages to the car as a result. Way too funny. Let the mania continue. Once again, those that will take advantage of this are those that don’t need the help anyway. Those that could use the help to fix up their homes are broke and probably getting laid off. Welcome to the 70’s.