The correction

Months ago a guy building a house near the Bunker went bust. Word was his chain of retail stores faltered. The black Cayenne disappeared and the site went quiet. Weeks later work resumed when the jilted contractor took over. One day leaning out of his truck he said his strategy was to go high-end on the finishings. Soon after it was listed, still incomplete, for over a million. And so it sits. Five months.

In fact, the local paper, flung like a weapon at my driveway from a speeding minivan, is jammed with ads for million-dollar properties. So are the two glossy area magazines. Up front are the lavish, sensual, house lusty ads for spa bathrooms, pet photographers and ultimate kitchens. In the rear, page after page of executive homes, rambling estates, rural enclaves and custom builts.

This, by the way, on the doorstep of the GTA. Horsey country. One home five minutes away by Harley is on for 19 million. But that would now buy 19 perfectly nice excessive houses, all 40 minutes from King & Bay.

This is hardly unique to Toronto. The pattern repeats outside Calgary in the McMansions on the scrubby hills, and in the Lower Mainland of BC. Half an hour from the bidding wars on the west side of Vancouver listings languish loveless.

Real estate corrections don’t arrive like the weather. They materialize like a season. And they almost always eat from the periphery to the heart. The last declines in the three cities mentioned above snuck in exactly thus. Likewise, the American experience of 2006-2011 ended up being a train wreck in agonizingly slow motion. Six years of losses are likely, followed, if all goes well, by at least as many of recovery. Currents estimates are that 2005 prices just might be seen again in 2020.

But Canada is not the USA. At least that’s a key point in a current Canadian Business magazine article which argues that real estate bears (like me, it says) are wrong. No housing correction is coming here. Instead, real estate values will remain flat for a while “while incomes and jobs play catch-up.”

Oh, except Vancouver “which may indeed be headed for a bust” once the Chinese run out of drugs.

The argument is that inflated house prices don’t actually matter anymore, so we should all stop tracking how many multiples of average income it takes to buy the average hovel. (The US market collapsed at 4.6. Canada is now at 5.1. Toronto is 8 for a SFH and Vancouver is 11.) Instead, “a better yardstick is the percentage of average household income required to cover mortgage payments to buy an average priced house.”

Of course, this is 100% dependent on cheap mortgage rates sticking around.

Sadly a lot of people think the Bank of Canada won’t allow rates to rise because it will make people whose house horniness spawned massive debts squirm and capitulate. But actually the BoC cares far more about inflation – which romping real estate helps to fuel. So rates are going up. Soon.

But, like I said, the we’re-not-America card is the one housing bulls like to play the most. We don’t let people walk away from mortgages if real estate values fall, and we don’t give loans to people with low incomes, or who don’t have money. Both are false.

The US has both recourse (mortgages must be repaid) and non-recourse (you can walk) states. All were hit equally with real estate Armageddon. The issue was not defaults, but an unstoppable impression real estate had turned into a lousy place to put money. Once enough people believe that, contract law means diddly.

As for our mortgages, well, we routinely lend vast sums to people who don’t even have 5% to put down on a house. The government backstops the risk on these high-risk loans. And there is a thriving business in Canada which puts low-income people into high-ticket houses – the same recipe for disaster that they discovered in Phoenix and Erie.

For example, there’s this guy. If you make just $60,000 a year, he will put you into an $850,000 house. He’ll also get financing with no proof of income, and obtain mortgages for unemployed immigrants. And this guy. If you don’t have 5% to put down, he’ll get it for you from the Royal Bank. Yes, Canada’s largest lender.

The longer we kid ourselves that the real estate ponzi game can go on, that rates will never rise, incomes will swell constantly and a house is an entitlement, the more profound the consequences. This is a small but growing cadre of Canadians are working hard, and fast, to diversify their wealth.

You will know who they are before long. They’ll look like this.


#1 Hoof - Hearted on 04.22.11 at 9:15 pm


#2 drawstring on 04.22.11 at 9:20 pm

A belated thank you. You talked me, in your newspaper column, to buy a home in Toronto in 1986

#3 MikeT on 04.22.11 at 9:29 pm

I totally agree with this one, Garth. It was recently announced in the M$M that Canadians pay much more for many discretionary items than Americans – and this is now, with an above-par CAD! I can attest that Canadians also pay more for food and fuel, as I talk to my friends in the US and we compare prices. Canadians are somehow squeezed on both sides to pay more for stuff, so indeed we have inflation here – and this is inflation that should not even exist in such conditions. Normally, with a higher (meaning “more expensive”) Canadian dollar, the rates should still stay low, because raising them will make the dollar even more expensive. However, given the current (unusual) situation, the probability that rates will be hiked is more than high – it’s a given.
Good luck to us all, ’cause it’s not going to be pretty…

#4 OkanaganInvestor on 04.22.11 at 9:33 pm

If you want to understand why what is happening read the attached article that this excerpt is from:

A chronic decline of the US housing sector keeps the USEconomy in a grand decline with constant deterioration. With one million bank owned homes in inventory, a huge unsold overhang of supply prevents any recovery of housing prices. Home equity continues to drain, and bank balance sheets continue to erode.

Over 11 million US homes stand in negative equity. The sum equals to 23.1% of households. They will not participate much in the USEconomy, except when given handouts. They have become downtrodden.

The USEconomy will not benefit from a export surge. The US industrial base has no critical mass after 30 years of dispatch to the Pacific Rim & China. The industry must contend with rising costs in offset to the falling USDollar, which is cited as providing the mythical benefit. Then can export in droves if they do so at a loss.

#5 The American on 04.22.11 at 9:53 pm

At #3: MikeT, Canadians have typically always paid more for goods than Americans. And yes, you’re right, the high CAD is only going to worsen the circumstances for many, MANY Canadian families, which is very sad. This is why I’ve been trying to explain the high CAD does not equal economic strength whatsoever. If anything, it significantly weakens purchasing ability for Canadians, as well as takes away exporting and manufacturing jobs from Canadians. Ultimately, it worsens the Canadian economy as a whole. I’m glad to see someone finally gets it, such as yourself. Good post.

Rates will most definitely rise in Canada. There’s no other choice. If rates stay low, the bubble worsens, and the correction is all the worse, making it exceedingly more difficult to eventually recover. If rates rise, people will be forced out of their homes. Recourse vs. Non-Recourse mortgages is a moot point and has absolutely no bearing on the end outcome. I’ve always found that to be a laughable point when I hear my Canadian friends try to tell me it is different there because they’re “on the hook” for any bad debt, where as in the U.S. one can “just walk away.” Well, it really isn’t that simple at all. You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip when one loses his/her job and can no longer afford the payment with higher rates. He/she will not be able to stay in the home, regardless of “policy.” Effectively, one’s choice to stay or go is taken away.

QE3 is on its way. Again, quite deliberate and calculated, mind you. The FED has the ability to print money, an amazing thing our forefathers bestowed upon us, depending upon which side of the fence you sit. What people continue to forget, and as I pointed out a few days ago, the FED also has the ability to destroy the paper currency it is printing as it is brought back through the recirculation process. This, of course, isn’t happening… yet. But, when the time is right, and all other economies and real estate markets begin to fail, and it will, including China, (this means a more leveled playing field), the FED will indeed begin shredding this paper currency so fast your head will spin. The more they print now, the faster it is to put other economies at a disadvantage from an exporting/manufacturing perspective. Take, for instance, China. For the first time, China has now OFFICIALLY declared a trade deficit against the U.S. Hell, I called that over two years ago, and everyone called me “crazy.” Funny how this QE stuff works, right? :-)

Also, QE allows the U.S. to repay its debts in U.S. Dollars much more quickly to other countries, such as China. Of course, China hates this with a passion. But, fair play is fair play. China has been compressing its currency artificially against the USD for YEARS at rates by as much as 40%. In fact, ANY currency that is significantly stronger than the USD right now is in effect being “held hostage” in many respects. The Euro, the Pound, etc. It is killing their economies far more than what is being seen in the U.S. Sure, things are bad here, but not as bad as they are elsewhere in the world, and not as bad as it is about to get in other areas of the world, including Australia and China.

In the end, give it a few years to play out. The playing fields are starting to level (minimally so far), but it will continue to gain momentum. There’s no question about it.

I’m not condoning it, nor am I condemning it. I am stating the circumstances at play today, including the strategies at hand. As Garth says, I wouldn’t bet against the greenback in the end. Its going nowhere in our lifetime.

People are very short-sited with their projections where it sits as of now, as they pay absolutely no attention to what is taking place elsewhere and how it is ultimately going to affect them in the long-term. People will get it one way or another.

#6 Kevin on 04.22.11 at 9:59 pm

Here is a list of 26 economists, money managers and koolaid drinkers who said it was different in the US.

1. Alan Reynolds, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute:
2. Kevin Hassett, Director of Economic Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute:
3. James K. Glassman, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute:
4. Jude Wanniski, former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal & adviser to President Reagan:
5. Jerry Bowyer, Author of The Bush Boom:
6. Nicolas P. Restinas, Director, Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies:
7. Jim Cramer, Host of CNBC’s “Mad Money” & Co-Founder,

Well, you get the picture, there are more at my blog with what they said and when.

The US had many kool-aid drinkers who said ” there is no US housing bubble”

#7 BrianT on 04.22.11 at 10:21 pm

#5American-Jeez man your nonsense gets worse every post. China has a huge trade surplus with the USA and recorded an overall trade deficit with the world as a whole ( a huge surplus with the USA and Europe offset by a huge deficit with a whole lot of other countries supplying China with resources)-try not to just read the headlines next time.

#8 Hoof - Hearted on 04.22.11 at 10:24 pm


………….average income it takes to buy the average hovel. (The US market collapsed at 4.6. Canada is now at 5.1. Toronto is 8 for a SFH and Vancouver is 11.)



That’s why the Vancouver market will experience not just a crash , but a meltdown.

After the mushroom cloud, and the sheeple wake up…..I can see sheer and utter civil unrest.

Leading edge of Boomers will be jumping off bridges…the younger crowds will get heads out of asses and start READING the economic autopsy reports.

There is nothing in the BC economy to support this, it will result in major expose’s on laundered money etc.

#9 JohnnyBGood on 04.22.11 at 10:37 pm

“I must confess to feeling somewhat dismayed at hearing others trash what is one of the most important components of my and most other Canadians’ net worth.”

Translation: I’m in denial.

“…housing statistics are skewed by wide differences in regional conditions… A better yardstick, then, is the percentage of average household income required to cover mortgage payments to buy an average priced home”

Translation: Averages are only valid when they lend support to my argument.

“The current percentage (of average household income is going toward mortgage) is lower than the long term averages for Canada and the GTA.”

What does ‘long-term’ mean? He offers no data to support this claim.

“…when most people think about housing affordability, they are thinking about how much of their income is going toward their mortgage payments.”

Sadly true. But in the long run this is bad not good for housing values because of the imbalances it causes.

“While we will likely see higher borrowing costs this year and next, income growth is also expected to accelerate.”

Based on what?

“…the Bank of Canada likely will only allow rates to rise as long as the economic recovery is progressing and contributing to rising household income and job creation.”

So interest rates will rise, but they will also stay low because the economy is not growing, but home prices will stay strong because incomes and employment are rising. So we will have a weak economy, higher rates, not low rates, AND rising incomes. Something for everyone.

” Moreover, many provinces currently hold rents down through rent control, so the price-to-rent ratio would likely look a lot less extreme if rents weren’t suppressed.”
“…the (Ontario) government did eventually bring in a (rent control) law in 1986, that was effective retroactive to July 30, 1975.” (

Rent controls: Moot point.

“Not to be overlooked, either, is the value of a house as a hedge against galloping inflation of the kind experienced in the 1970s. Real assets such as houses proved to be very effective ways to maintain real wealth during such periods.”

True, but which is it? High inflation and high rates, or low inflation and low rates? In any case, real estate can’t lose right? I dunno. Ask the Americans. Or the Japanese. Or the Europeans.

Oh, I forgot. Canadians are different.

Please note: I don’t totally disagree with EVERYTHING in the articles. However, the arguments put forth have about as much support as an NDP candidate in Fort McMurray.

#10 Ignorance Is Bliss on 04.22.11 at 10:43 pm

I would love to see something mentioned about the risk that young people are taking on when they take out a huge mortgage and then decide to start a family…if they are already maxed out as far as mortgage payments go, how are they going to handle a minimum of one year of reduced income (for maternity leave/parental leave) and possibly more, if one parent decides to stay home or reduce their work hours to part-time. Even if both get back to work full time, they are likely facing increased costs due to daycare. When I watch some of the shows on the house-porn channel, it just make me cringe to see these young professionals buying these huge houses with dreams of filling them up with a family some day, but how the hell are they going to keep up with the payments????

#11 Bill Grable on 04.22.11 at 10:44 pm

I just about fell over.

Earnest woman on CBS saying that the FHA was working hard to get people into houses. “If they can get a 3.5% DP and have a few months of good or reasonable income, we can help them get a house”.

They just about had to call the ambulance.

What the Harper are these people thinking? I guess if it is Government mandated stupidness (hello GM) in the States, that is causing at least part of the this disaster, why doesn’t someone stop this insanity before the US (out of money next week) goes BB- and we all go over the Falls.

Crikey, as I used to say.

People seem to think money grows on trees.

Maybe Tim Geithner and Anne Coulter think so – but there will be heck to pay when the piper starts up “Mull of Kintyre.

As my young staff always say on their various Blackberies, Androids and Iphones = OMG.

#12 LJ on 04.22.11 at 10:51 pm

Our Dollar and the risks: A relative of mine bought two houses in Phoenix a couple of years ago when he thought that the market had bottomed. He took out mortgages in Canadian dollars to pay for the “investment property.”

The houses have since gone down 30-35% in USD since he bought it. Our Canadian Dollar has appreciated from around $ .80 at the time, to the current $1.05 (~30%). If he needed to sell, he would take a huge haircut – I figure around 50-60%.

He still has to pay the full mortgages in Canadian dollars, which are worth a lot more now. He receives rental income (when occupied) in USD.

Oh yeah, he sold stock equity holdings to get into the investment – Jan 2009, near the market bottom.

He took a lot of risk and is getting his just rewards. He says that it is an investment and is bound to go up – eventually. He is now in his 70’s.

He still maintains that real estate is always a good investment.

#13 Mike on 04.22.11 at 10:52 pm

So your example is coming up with 20% of the selling price and locking into a 5 year rate at 3.69% I have a wife and 2 kids and run a business from home. Taking a garage rental or workshop rental fee into account, wouldn’t it be wiser to pick up a cheap fixer upper for 450,000 and have room for the kids, cars, tools and workshop for 1650 a month for 5 years? Owning is a different ballgame than renting a dirty house for the same amount. Do you see any logic in thinking this way?

#14 The Phantom on 04.22.11 at 11:20 pm

Hey Garth:

So the meltdown begins in the larger urban centres first like GTA, Calgary and parts of Vancouver, only to make its influence felt in some of the smaller overpriced centres like Winnipeg and Saskatoon later on? This makes me wonder how long the markets there can be sustained especially with a hike in interest rates predicted. In the smaller “bedroom” community where we live, our three bedroom bungalow home is a modest one with a rather dated, but functional interior design…while it could be “fluffed” our principle concern hasn’t been on those items that add ritz to the house but rather on those projects that are more of a practical nature (adding further insulation to the exterior, removing carpet in favour of tile or flooring to reduce allergens as a strategy to assist our son to breath easier and other sensible renovations, all of which were paid for in cash thereby absolving the need for financing). The newer neighbourhoods in our town (and there are several) contain homes that are now at least in the $300,000 to $400,000 range (and higher in some places because areas exist that command premium prices) and many will find the rise in their monthly payments untenable should rates go as high as 7% when renewals come due…It doesn’t take a mathematician to determine that an increase of 3% on a $160,000 to $300,000 balance represents a corresponding increase of $400. to $750. per month; a burden that will force uncomfortable choices.

I wonder by what foolishness some are possessed to believe that the B of C won’t raise interest rates. Perhaps those born in the ’80’s and thereafter wouldn’t know (or want to know) about the hardships that were precipitated by the rates that were imposed on Canadians in the late 70’s and early 80’s by a desire to slay and conquer the inflationary pressures that existed back then. Certainly while inflation was soundly beaten, it came at a great cost to those who either took out or renewed a mortgage during those years.

My father who worked as a bartender during that era recalls guys who came in to the establishment with tears of anger in their eyes after five years of incredibly high monthly payments only to realize that the amount they actually reduced their mortgage principle by was miniscule over and against the aggregate sum of the interest they paid over 60 months…

Although a painless recovery is always preferable, this does nothing to restore affordability into the housing market. Neither will I look with any degree of satisfaction on those who lose their homes and all they’ve worked for as I am not a person who revels in the calamities of other folk but I honestly cannot apprehend an ending that is anything other than difficult this time, notwithstanding what some in the RE industry would have us believe.

the Phantom

#15 tiger baby on 04.22.11 at 11:47 pm

> BOC will only attack wage inflation with rate hikes. They don’t give a flying hoot about price inflation.

either way … less purchasing power for RE

#16 Debtisforever on 04.22.11 at 11:52 pm

ho ya….I know a couple guys who make no more than $50k per year and have mortgages of $700k and $900k respectively. Sure, they have to rent out most of the properties to make the mortgage payments and when rates go up they’re screwed.
But real estate won’t crash. Martians from outer space will realize that they need to live in Vancouver because it’s the only place in the world that has a constant supply of water (rain), which they need to survive.
Hey, this argument is just as good as “rich chinese buying up the whole world” argument! Except, I think I like mine better.

#17 Robert Dudek on 04.23.11 at 12:00 am

The Canadian dollar will remain strong, possibly for decades. This is based on growth in Asia putting demand pressure on natural resources. There is no country in the world, save possibly Australia, that has a higher ratio of natural resources to population than Canada.

Inflation in the US is higher than in Canada right now: John Williams of Shadow Stats believes the US rate is near 10% (much of this is a direct result of the recent debasement of their currency), but of course the US gov has completely subverted the “official” measure to produce a figure that is as low as possible.

US cost of living has almost always been lower than Canada’s. This will remain so. Let me ask you this – is the cost of living higher or lower in San Francisco than in Mobile, Alabama? It is a general rule that in places where the quality of life in higher, prices will also be higher. I visited Boston last year and the prices for decent food in grocery stores are quite high. Rents for apartments are also very high. Ditto for hotel rates. This is because Boston is in high demand as a city to live in.

But higher prices do not necessarily mean higher inflation. Inflation is the RATE OF CHANGE of prices, so as long as CDN prices are increasing as fast as US prices, the inflation rate will be the same.

Expensive CDN dollar has negatives and positives. Yes it means we have to be more productive to support the higher wages associated with a stronger currency, but it also gives Canadian people and companies more purchasing power for imports. They can import new machinery more cheaply. Our vacations abroad are less expensive as well as much of our “warm weather” food imported from the US and Latin America.

Norway, the most prosperous country on Earth, also has the highest median wages. They have had a very expensive currency in relation to their trading partners for a long time and they’ve been doing just fine.

#18 nonplused on 04.23.11 at 12:03 am

Very well done post again today Garth. You are firing on all cylinders lately. Except I don’t know what the Viagra commercial was supposed to add.

The thing I just don’t get about the “can’t happen here” folks is that they know (or should know) that we are at historically low interest rates, and even though they may go up now or maybe not for a little while, they can only go one direction unless the plan is to devalue the dollar. That direction is up. And yet we are fully extended here. Borrowing is at all time highs. Debt to income ratios are also at all time highs. The percentage of income dedicated to debt servicing is also at all time highs. There is no room for error. Or higher rates.

Devaluing the dollar would of course offer very little relief. As the cost of food and energy rise, the mortgage payment is just going to seem that much more onerous. And wage rises won’t be coming to the private sector. Even the public sector will have a hard time demanding raises as increasing debt service costs sink the government balance sheet.

We’ve painted ourselves into a corner. The Bernank’s plan is to wait for the paint to dry and then all should be well, just walk out. But unfortunately he is going to find that he has to go to the bathroom because the SHTF for some reason first.

The dudes suggesting one should look at debt service costs rather than income multiples are morons. Debt service costs change with interest rates, and rates are unsustainably low. That means houses are only affordable “for a little while longer”. Enjoy it while it lasts.

That guy putting $60,000 per year people in $850,000 houses should be thrown in jail. They will never pay it off. They can’t. After taxes and living expenses, they maybe have $30,000 to throw at the house, and most of that will be sucked up by interest. The math doesn’t work. Appreciation is their only hope.

#19 Carp on 04.23.11 at 12:18 am

#10 Ignorance Is Bliss

Credit line and credit card. Been there and stopped that by jumping ship and ensuring even if I hate what I do, it pays better than my wife having to work.

We now have 3 kids, debt free and loving life. Work is work.

Then again I’m not that young but I have a young family and wife?

Does that count?

#20 Bilbo Bloggins on 04.23.11 at 12:18 am

Vancouver meltdown is coming!
And I’m NOT talking about the CANUCKS!

#21 Winterpeg on 04.23.11 at 12:38 am

It’s not just youngsters swooned into house hypnosis.

My boomer aged sister and husband just “upsized” and purchased their dream home on a lake up north immediately after paying off their mortgage. It means that in their mid 50’s they are taking on a new mortgage of$180,000 once they put the sale of their house as the down payment. Not as outrageous as some of the stories I’ve read here, but still scary at that stage of life, given what is happening. (There are regional and local differences, with Manitoba being cheaper. As I’ve said before, it’s all relative). I still wonder how it will pan out. They definitely don’t have the bucks “Anna” had who was mentioned a few blogs ago.

I talked to them about what you’d said awhile ago about the amount of equity tied up in real estate; also rising interest rates coming, inflation, etc, etc. Hopefully they have enough in their piggy bank besides their “home equity” to carry them through, especially if the value of their place drops. Guess they can always fish or hunt rabbits.

#22 Everythingforrent on 04.23.11 at 12:52 am

This is how we are getting screwed, and how dirty money can enter this country.

#23 QE3 on 04.23.11 at 1:00 am

I would love to seek insight from Garth and fellow readers to compare the US Fed QE with Japan’s QE back in 2000.

My view:
– Japan’s debts are mostly owned domestically
– Japan’s QE is a proven failure for domestic economy
– US’s debt are mostly owned by foreigners (i.e. China, Japan, etc)
– US’s QE1 and QE2 are proven failures for domestic economy.
– US’s QE did not prop up domestic inflation as Bernanke would love to see, but instead exporting the inflation to foreign countries such as China. Newly created hot money simply flushs to Asia that prop up RE prices to a dangerous level.

My questions are:
1) Given the previous QE failures, do you think QE3 will come?
2) If there is a QE3, do you think China’s economy will be overheated (i.e. RE bubble burst)
3) All bubble burst eventually. What’s your estimate on the China RE bubble burst?

My focus is on China as I think bubble burst in China will seriously affect the world – demand of resources from Canada will drop, rich Chinese RE buyers in Vancouver with dry up :), etc.

#24 jas on 04.23.11 at 1:09 am

Nothing less than a revolution will do.
The sooner we do it the sooner we’ll get on with building a better society.

open your eyes and you can see…Corrupt politicians, corrupt police force and a long… very long list if absurd laws!
wake up Canada. WAKE UP.


I see a great deal of apathy in the citizens of this county.

Fellow citizens! change won’t happen by wishing alone…LET US TAKE ACTION! NOW!

#25 Randis on 04.23.11 at 1:12 am

@#13 … that’s one crazy story … I hate it when people are stupid and in denial and think YOU are the stupid one for telling them something otherwise … like how I keep hearing people around me saying RE is a sure-win and i am on crack for suggesting other investments … makes me wanna puke

#26 Patz on 04.23.11 at 1:13 am

#5 The American

I’m curious. You seem to be saying in your post that the US Fed. in implementing QE2 is literally printing currency. Then you go on to say that they may in the near future shred this currency thereby reducing the money supply.

Literal paper currency is a small part of the money supply. Most of it is in the form of electronic digits and credit. Quantitative easing is not printing money or creating more digital cash–it is swapping short term government debt for long term debt. Economists argue about it’s effect on the money supply and interest rates. I claim no expertise on the way it works.

Also the reason the US is able to repay its debts in US dollars is that US they are the worlds reserve currency. So that commodities, such as oil for instance, are denominated in US$. This is why there is such concern around any changes to that status. Russia and China have recently agreed to do much of their bilateral trade in their own currencies.

#27 Chaddywack on 04.23.11 at 1:56 am

Wow….I make $60,000 a year, who knew I could afford an $850,000 house that will be worth $600,000 in a couple of years, I’m calling today ;)

#28 Slow Learner on 04.23.11 at 2:33 am

Bummer about your relative. Many mistakes or misfortunes in hind sight, financing in Canadian dollars at a time when there was a flight to safety in $US, and selling equities when they were at fire sale prices.

Seems like conditions are now reversed. I’m looking hard at US real estate for an investment – less than 10% of net worth. Bigger discount since 2009, the rental market is decent, positive cash flow from a SFH in many areas immediately after purchase (this almost never happens!), and $CDN probably as high as it will get, or close to it – maybe the stock market as well.

Yes, there could be another economic meltdown, but I think the USA doomers on this site are past their shelf life. The bubble is now in government deficit stimulus, and if the US system goes down, the Euro and Yen are going with it, as is the Canadian economy. So, in this economic MAD, I would call this “how I stopped worrying and love the stimulus”, although not as much as the guy on Garth’s video.

#29 The American on 04.23.11 at 2:49 am

At #7: BrianT, are you going to make me HAVE to prove you wrong…. again….

#30 JIMBO on 04.23.11 at 2:56 am

Interest rates are not going up to the long term average, the States continues to print money and keep their rates low. They’ll rise, but not dramatically, and we can’t have a huge int rate differential, especially given how high our dollar is. If there is a crash, it won’t be precipitated by higher interest rates, at least in the next few years.

Think before you vote:

#31 The American on 04.23.11 at 2:57 am

At #7: “The world” as you put it equals, eh eh, the U.S. As the U.S. is BY FAR the largest trading partner with China. Get it right and learn how to comprehend what you’re reading.

#32 Brian1 on 04.23.11 at 4:46 am

About my comments yesterday #63; apparently they went over the heads of almost everyone on this blog. Only Mel and Garth seemed to get the joke. Are Mel and I destined to become the sharks in these waters of Garth’s ocean? Are we the only ones trying to follow Garth’s advice? What say you Nostradamus, Brian T and all other supposed stars on this blog. You comment every day but you don’t see this humor? I need some feedback before I develop a gigantic head. Please people, keep me humble. I know many of you would like that. Bring it.

#33 Tony on 04.23.11 at 5:59 am

GDP is falling and Canada may slip back into recession late this year and into 2012. The housing market is starting to crumble as we speak. Nothing is going to push interest rates up in this country. The next move is likely down not up.

#34 Brian1 on 04.23.11 at 7:05 am

I would like to comment on I once was a member. I had an account with email address, username, credit card – – – the whole works, but I made a huge mistake. I got busy with paying the bills, and so have not been purchasing of late. Now I am ready to buy but as it turns out I no longer have an account with them. It is as if they never heard of me. We were buddy buddy and now I’m nobody. Yet I receive 10 emails a day and my Kindle works fine.

What gives? They now want me to jump through hoops to get back in with them. Could it be that they are punishing me? Do they want me to spend a regular amount so that they can receive a regular income as it seems the 3 year wireless plan is geared to accomplish? Do they offer anything worthwhile for me to endure this pain of reapplying? Maybe. Maybe not.

#35 mattbg on 04.23.11 at 7:57 am

Lots of these brokers are using that “you deserve… ” line. Does it really work? How does someone convince themselves that they deserve something they haven’t earned or qualified for? It’s hard to know if it works or if it’s just neutral noise.

I guess it’s not much different from people feeling they’ve actually earned the money that makes up the rise in their property value.

#36 Auto Worker on 04.23.11 at 8:12 am

To put things in perspective, interest rates are a minow and exchange rates are the shark. Interest rates will tickle but exchange rates will amputate a large number of jobs. The travel industry will be pickled this summer with the dollar. Manufacuting next year as Canadians lose jobs as factories relocate to the USA for the ‘cheaper’ labour. The USA will not pay a premium to buy “Canadian”. They will simply close plants in Canada and move them to the USA. If you are planning on buying USA dollars wait for Bernanke’s historic press conference next Wed.

#37 CalgaryRocks on 04.23.11 at 8:29 am

#32 Brian1 on 04.23.11 at 4:46 am
About my comments yesterday #63 (starting to invest); apparently they went over the heads of almost everyone on this blog.

I was once part of a class of 30 bright eyed new traders trainees. We had all the advantages you could think of, most not accessible to retail ‘investors’.

* Direct physical access to markets. (Not going to the Internet)
* Access to dark pools usually reserved for institutional investors.
*No commissions (well, .14/per trade but with the exchange paying us for providing liquidity you would actually make $$ just by getting filled).
*Access to unlimited capital.
*Ability (and obligation) to trade 1,000 to 10,000 shares just as easily
*Keyboards programmed to send/cancel orders to half a dozen exchanges with just one click
*Ability to share ideas in real time with other traders and exploit every little inefficiency at the speed of light
*Computers working full time, scanning markets for arbitrage opportunities
…etc… you get the idea.

Well, even with those advantages, out of 30 trainees, there were only 3 of us left after 6 months.

So, if you think that you’re going to open a retail account and start raking in the money just by following the candles, I think you’re in for a longer road to profitability than you expect.

The pros will eat your lunch and you won’t even know it happened. That’s how fast they’ll either dump a load of crap in you lap or scare you just enough until you let go of that meaty bone so that they can run away with it and your profits.

All I’m saying is be careful out there, shark man.

#38 BrianT on 04.23.11 at 8:48 am

#29American-I guess you have a learning disability-the last line of the Huff Post article you linked actually states exactly what I attempted (in vain) to inform you. Is it possible your ridiculous Americentric routine is supposed to be comedic?

#39 BrianT on 04.23.11 at 8:52 am

Re the interest rate comments-you can get 22% on Greek debt right now (way up from 12 months ago) and it isn’t because the Greek economy is so strong. There seems to be a perception from the MSM that only a strong economy can propel rates higher, which is false.

#40 mississaugasold on 04.23.11 at 9:27 am

#38 BrianT

Funny how my co-worker told me she gets $400 a month in interest from $10k in her home back in Iran. I told her that a 4% interest rate per month is insane which is about 48%.

I may believe in that now lol.

#41 CalgaryRocks on 04.23.11 at 9:52 am

#40 mississaugasold on 04.23.11 at 9:27 am
#38 BrianT

Funny how my co-worker told me she gets $400 a month in interest from $10k in her home back in Iran. I told her that a 4% interest rate per month is insane which is about 48%.

I may believe in that now lol.

In all those crappy economies people that own paid for homes survive the best. Everyone else loses. You think that people in Iran get rich by investing in Iranian GICs or Iranian preferred bank shares.

Get real. There’s a reason why your co-worker lives in Canada not Iran.

#42 Ronaldo on 04.23.11 at 9:59 am

Now if this doesn’t look like a disaster waiting to happen I don’t know what is.

This was on the 6 pm news last night here in the Okanagan. Just about fell off my chair. Damn, we’re different here.

More people been led into the real estate trap with no money. $45000 grant (down payment) that they don’t have to repay but they have to pay all closing costs.

#43 mississaugasold on 04.23.11 at 10:00 am

#41 CalgaryRocks

I never said my co-worker is happier here though. She said when she was back home she had a home fully paid off etc. And now that she is here, it is what it is. To her, she has 2 kids who were born here and grew up here and they are 12 and 17 yrs old boys so she plans on staying here for them.

Granted she has a nice job but she said she’d be wealthier back home.

#44 bullion.bunny on 04.23.11 at 10:02 am

#36 Auto Worker on 04.23.11 at 8:12 am

Which Plant?


#45 S.B. on 04.23.11 at 10:06 am

I don’t know of any young professional types who would contemplate buying million dollar homes in Bunkerville. And aging boomers will tire of maintaining and heating/cooling these large houses in their golden years, while possibly dealing with fixed income and mobility issues. Better to downsize, but who will buy these houses??

Fact is, we are being concentrated into cities. They keep a closer eye on us that way. Take away the means of production like land (and who can afford the multi-million dollar tractors, farm implements, Monsanto lawsuits, seed and fertilizer bills anyway, these days?).

We are profit centres for the elites. Don’t believe it?

Each month we are expected to meet our quotas:

1. Pay at least $100 to the communication cartels (enrich the billionaire Rogers and Shaw families).

2. Pay at least $250 to the oil cartles (Irving family, and ours and the Bushes’ good friends the Saudi Terror Regime).

3. $100 to the insurance cartels.

4. $100 to the liquor cartels (to the billionaire Labbat’s, Molsons, Segrams, and Bronfman families).

5. At least $10 for banking service charges to the banking cartel.

6. Don’t forget the Crown (England’s Queen) takes a cut of from all of these fees. Check the back of your coins. In god we trust? Nope that’s not a picture of god there….
Also aids in paying for the King/Queen’s overseas conquests – and what a rich history we have – see: fighter jets, ground wars.

7. Usury Interest! I’ve heard that Islamic banking forbids this kind of thing; you think it’s a concicence that the bankers’ armies are invading every Islamic country these days? War is a business and business is good.

But..but…you stammer, we live in FREEDOM! I know because El Presidente take a break from his private jets, personal army, and 6-star hotels and appears on TV to remind us of this fact every so often.

Tear up your “history” books (fables), turn off that TV and stop feeding the beast. They want our energy, our FEAR. FEAR of an overseas bogey man (see: The Red scare, the Yellow scare, the huns, the “terrorist” scare). Get ’em young, teach the kids to duck ‘n cover.

Fear of losing out houses. Fear of a stock market Flash Crash. Rally around El Presidente in these times! He talks a strong speech of vanquishing our enemies, rebuilding the mother land and our glorious culture and supreme way of live. 1933 or 2001, the band changes but the song remains the same (also the name of a Led Zep song),

#46 Pat on 04.23.11 at 10:11 am

Re: #16 Robert Dudek

Why is it that whenever people start talking on a subject that I’m familiar with (in this case quality of life in the US vs. Canada, etc.) it becomes evident how full of s**t they are?

#47 pen pal on 04.23.11 at 10:23 am

#6 Kevin

Nobody on your list was important as Alan Greenspan.

His denial of and failure to see (by choice) a bubble is the proximate cause of the entire housing bubble in the USA when you really get down to it. His interest rate and monetary policies caused the housing bubble and were enacted for the same political gain that Harper and Flaherty did it for in Canada.

However, in fairness to you, yes ypour list contains a litany of assholes that didn’t help matters. They all deserve to die, Greenspan first.

Sound harsh?
That’s the penalty for treason.

#48 pen pal on 04.23.11 at 10:26 am

#9 JohnnnybeGood

Awesome post.

You are a great ‘translator’!

#49 BROMANCE on 04.23.11 at 10:28 am

The mythical soft landing. And from bubble heights no less. Has anyone seen this creature? Heard of anyone who’s seen this beast? Still its too neat: there has to be a catch and that is timing. Timing a bubble is pretty difficult, and you would think so. I think this is what Banana Ben meant when he said you can’t tell something’s a bubble before it pops. You actually can, but you can’t say when it will pop. Although Canadian RE is clearly a bubble based on income, historical values ect, who knows when or even if China goes, and the US economy is rapidly accelerating. It looks like the US endgame is a yet another meltup of open ended duration and amplitude. How high and how long? You sell Sun Micro Systems when it goes from a pe of 25 to 100 in 15 months, only to watch it triple. Five years onward its a burnt, smoldering cinder. Bailouts in Europe, upward pressure on the Yuan, endless QE if necessary. Tidy scenarios often meet money er I mean monkey wrenches. Just don’t get too sure as you usually get a big surprise. Still, I respect you Garth and really appreciate what you are trying to do. And of course I could be FOS.

#50 eddy on 04.23.11 at 10:55 am

Q: why are the cons ahead in the polls? Because the alternatives are frightening.

This election is a ‘cakewalk’ for Haarper

For Ignatieff? –it’s like walking through a mine field backwards. He has written So many articles and books over the years, he gets blown up with each step

In his book, ‘Blood and Belonging’, Ignatieff said:

“I have reasons to take the Ukraine seriously indeed. But, to be honest, I’m having trouble. Ukrainian independence conjures up images of peasants in embroidered shirts, the nasal whine of ethnic instruments, phony Cossacks in cloaks and boots…”

That’s what he thinks of white Christians, I wonder what he thinks of other ‘ethnics’?

He doesn’t take Ukrainians seriously, but he wants Canadians to take him seriously.

30 million Ukrainians were starved to death by Bolsheviks (who were financed by the ‘financial elite’)

There is a very good history book called ‘Under the Sign of the Scorpion’ by Estonian writer Juri Lina.

#51 An Cat Dubh on 04.23.11 at 11:03 am

“During times of deciet, telling the truth becomes a revelutionary act”-George Orwell.

This relates to what Garth is saying about real estate.

Good thing we have The American and Aussie Roy contributing to this blog. Maybe they will wake up some Canadians who think it really is different here.

#52 Herb on 04.23.11 at 11:30 am

Real estate moves in mysterious ways, at times, in Ottawa.

Tuesday afternoon an agent who had sold two houses across the road a couple of years back, dropped by. She said that she had a couple looking for a house in our area, and could she show them ours. Sure, why not? So they came and had a look early evening. And two hours later we had an offer we, being of relatively sound mind brainwashed by one Garth Turner, could not refuse. It was subject only to inspection, which happened yesterday morning and was followed by a Notice of Fulfillment in the afternoon. At our request, closing has been pushed back to the end of July since we had neither intention of moving nor place to move to.

Now I have the problem of what to do with a large chunk of equity and the rest of my miserable pre-boomer life. My conscience bothers me a bit because the buyers are a nice couple in their thirties with young kids, but they obviously have the financial legs to put in a 1M+ offer not subject to financing. Hope they will stay alright and not be turned into “greater fools”.

OK, this sale is unusual. Does it prove “The end is nigh”? Possibly, but then it also could be an outlier proving the importance of location and offering value for money (neither stainless nor granite).

#53 Amarillo on 04.23.11 at 11:32 am

It’s almost Easter and what, no sarcastic references to religion yet today? I noticed a few yesterday.

At least Garth and others are equal-opportunity skeptics, gently poking Allah as well as the Christian God.

I love this site because it is counter-cultural.

And just to present the counter-cultural side to the generally-accepted view that Christianity is only for people who have left their brains at home, check out the following with an objective mind.

If you think realtors are good at presenting bullshit, they are mere pikers compared to some in the science community (including the teachers’ union and education departments) who present very weak evidence for macro-evolution, just as one example of their leading our children astray.

Check out as one example. There are other credible sites as well, often hosted by PhD’s. Another one is

The weakness of the case for macro-evolution makes one wonder, doesn’t it? Actually, the science community contains many objective PhDs who, Christian or not, realize that you need as much ‘faith’ to believe in macro-evolution as you do for the creation account.

What’s my point? Well, we got here (global economy in near collapse due to excessive greed facilitated by easy credit etc) because we have a fundamental moral problem – not just a credit problem or a currency problem.

And no, true Christians and Muslims didn’t start all the world’s wars. Anyways, the biggest mass killings on record were done by non-believers such as Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao and their ilk.

However, religion often gets hijacked, as it is now, by extremists such as Islamists who are just power-humgry individuals cloaked as believers.

Anyways, our Western secular world eschews Christianity but, being religious as man is, needs a replacement.

Our modern ‘religions’ are now money, macro-evolution, environmentalism and science, among others.

And boy, are these ‘religions’ ever taking a shit-kicking in terms of credibility these days.

Brings to mind the verse in the Bible that says, “… in the last days there will be weeping, wailing and knashing of teeth ….”

It’s important to remember that the knashing was not done in regret or sorrow. Knashing of teeth is the highest form of rebellion in the eastern world.

No, even while in the calamity of being in God’s presence, those knashers were still utterly rebellious, refusing to believe what was happening.

Those who have an ear, let them hear.

Happy Easter everyone.

#54 CalgaryRocks on 04.23.11 at 11:36 am

#43 mississaugasold on 04.23.11 at 10:00 am
#41 CalgaryRocks

I never said my co-worker is happier here …Granted she has a nice job but she said she’d be wealthier back home.

I can see that. Lots of immigrants do really well going back home with the knowledge, experience etc.. they’ve gained while here.

Tons of example in the Eastern European zone that I am most familiar with.

#55 S.B. on 04.23.11 at 11:39 am

#37 CalgaryRocks on 04.23.11 at 8:29 am

Swifttrade or Bright. :)

#56 Ottawa on 04.23.11 at 11:45 am

Just a question in case if you can answer.

Are foreign buyers (like Chinese in Vancouver) eligible for mortgage from Canadian Bank (at same level as Canadian Citizen)?


#57 Young Old Fart on 04.23.11 at 11:50 am

Hmmm, I thought of selling my house. I was offered 1.2 mil 2 years ago and passed. House next door (not as nice as mine but close) just sold. 560K! The owner was Chinese and he bailed and moved back to China!

Now, I am not worried as I am mortgage and debt free and the house is around 20% of my portfolio. Plus the missus didn’t really want to sell…

It will be interesting to see how this all pans out. I no longer believe a US type of RE meltdown is coming. That being said, those that sold and are waiting for one so they can buy in cheap? Just hang on because it would be stupid to jump back in and take losses…

Things are not so bad here yet. There are still long line ups at Timmy’s in the mornings, restaurants (although slower) still have customers. People are still working and still making money.

I remember the early 80’s and we ain’t there yet…

oh, and if I were a betting man? My post is….54?

#58 Kitchener1 on 04.23.11 at 11:57 am

Im starting to see a very real possibility of the dreaded stagflation from the 70’s and 80’s.

For the millionth time, its the bond market that decides rates and not the BoC or any Central bank.

The 2nd largest central bank in the world– ECB- Europe Central bank DOES NOT WANT SPREADS IN PORTUGAL?IRELAND?GREECE rising BUT YET THEY RISE. what happened to the ‘power’ of central banks again?

The bond market boys told them where to go and how to get there.

As for BoC, there one and only mandate is to control inflation. get it, maintaing a steady inflation rate. thats it, thats all they do.

real inflation right now is running at least 7-8%, in theory, rates should be at approx 5% (BoC) to get there happy 2% inflation a year mark. well, there not there.

If fuel prices go to and sustain $130/barrel or more. Its game over, inflation everywhere will be 12% plus at that point and the BoC will have to raise rates very fast to quell some of it.

Serioulsy, folks better prepare for some rising rates and fast.

#59 April Showers on 04.23.11 at 12:00 pm

American, don’t bother with BrianT. He’s an American hater. If you read all of his posts, he’s always complaining about the U.S. and pulling things out of his ass. He doesn’t really “get” what your country does for us in value-add for our quality of life. Just ignore him. Cheers!

#60 April Showers on 04.23.11 at 12:06 pm

@16: Robert Dudek:

Sounds like you have an inferiority complex. Where would I begin to deconstruct the banquet of bullshit you wrote. It isn’t worth the time.

” Yes it means we have to be more productive to support the higher wages associated with a stronger currency,” A strong CAD has absolutely nothing to do with creating higher wages. You’re making this up as you go along.

#61 Northern_dirt on 04.23.11 at 12:06 pm

#45 S.B
You are joking right?…
Consumer choices (if you decide to make them) cost money. SOMEONE will profit, but also these are mainly publicly held companies, so that SOMEONE can be you..

#62 April Showers on 04.23.11 at 12:11 pm

@16 Robert Dudek:

The U.S. has a lower cost of living than Canada. Everyone knows that. It has nothing to do with our quality of life, though. The U.S. is actually a higher quality of life ranking than Canada. Wow. Our blind pridefulness is our downfall. We’ve been asleep at the wheel.

#63 April Showers on 04.23.11 at 12:16 pm

Look, I’m proud of our country, but we really do act like we have an inferiority complex anytime someone brings the U.S. into the conversation. If you research it you will find the U.S. ranks higher in IQ and higher in quality of life. They’re not dumb and they aren’t living in a hell hole as our media wants us to believe. This doesn’t sound to me like a place I would hate to live. Sure, I don’t get their healthcare deal, but other than that they pretty much trump us in all other categories. We need to accept who we are and press forward, instead of being so god damned prideful all of the time. It is good to have pride but not pridefulness. If we remain too prideful for too long we will lose sight of the progress that we have already made. I don’t want that to happen.

#64 pen pal on 04.23.11 at 12:17 pm

#16 Robert Dudek

Prices are high in Boston because taxes are very high (all of them – sales, state income tax, property taxes, fees). The city is an unmanageable shithole compared to other US locales as well.

As to comparing quality of life by the cost of real estate in different locales- get real, show us your sources and the metrics for measuring lifestyle quality.

Explain to me how in Switzerland (which is the perennial leader in generally accepted metrics of quality of life by WHO and other NGO’s – ranks top 3 more than any other country) I can purchase a condo for half of what it costs in Toronto?

#65 BrianT on 04.23.11 at 12:19 pm

#49Bro-Yes, but who told you the US economy is rapidly accelerating?

#66 Utopia on 04.23.11 at 12:24 pm

And this morning, we got the following commentary from Saskatoon’s very own Star-Phoenix newspaper in a discussion about Jack Layton and the real source of his secret power over Quebec and all Canada..

It is perhaps the best off-the-wall analysis I have seen yet. Here it is, compliments of Les Macpherson, the StarPhoenix


“It’s the walking stick.

Layton’s stick has made him the only party leader with a signature gimmick. His trademark move now is to shake the stick over his head in what looks like a gesture of defiance.

It’s a compelling image that resonates with restless voters.

Instead of trying to hide it, Layton is using his stick as a prop. He talks about it. He jokes about it. He shows it off. When he holds it in his fist and brandishes it over his head, the appeal is timeless and almost irresistible.

You can imagine a prehistoric chieftain using exactly that gesture to incite his followers, but with a spear instead of a cane.

[see, a guy with a cane really is dangerous]

Read more:

#67 April Showers on 04.23.11 at 12:27 pm

U.S. quality of life is better than Canada

U.S. ranks much higher than Canada in Human Development Index

The U.S. ranks higher in IQ than Canada

The U.S. ranks much higher in GDP and GNP per capita than Canada

Let’s just get over our complex and move forward. I accept it, and it is time others accept it also. We won’t get ahead if we don’t.

#68 S.B. on 04.23.11 at 12:39 pm

It’s not only a hike in rates that will eat up 10-15% of disposable income, but the concurrent hikes of the coming 1-2 years: hydro & greenwashing 10-15%, insurance 10-15%, fuel 20-50%, property taxes 10%, food 20-30%.

The perfect storm. The only people making money are multi national corps who now control the means of productions, and those who dare to speculate with commodity futures.

Toronto Star’s headline today blares “Syria massacres protestors”.
Do you believe this headline? They want into these countries deperately. War is a great business but it must be first. Sold to us (we pay for it).
The Syria idea was first planted in our heads by bush, his “axis of evil” speech. Brilliant strategists are controlling this entire game. We do not stand a chance.

We care about some arabs suddenly, but onto others who allegedly think naughty thoughts (or get in the way of the pipelines) we drop WMD from drones? See: Pakistan

(this link is to a great site, they aggreate news from around the world and offer commentary from people like Robert Fisk, Eric Margolis (fired from the Toronto Sun for his truth), Chomsky, and other semi-independents).

It’s no wonder that most people under 35 walk around wearing Ipod headphones with stunned looks on their faces.
What was that saying: Tune in, turn on, drop out? Some things never change do they.

My only advice: learn to live in your hearts without all the distractions presented to us. We are sinking into a h-ll on earth of WW3 and this time the targets are wholly civillian.

#69 Eric on 04.23.11 at 12:41 pm

Shit Ignatieff did:
Helped plan the Iraq war while in the US
Proposed to make assassinations

#70 Dark Sad Monster Bunny on 04.23.11 at 12:42 pm

16 Robert – you may enjoy this article re Norway

60 April – wages for Canadian workers will appear to rise
to foreigners buying Canadian goods as the Cdn$ rises.

Good example of this is the continual softwood lumber disputes between US and Canada. US claimed our stumpage royalty system was a subsidy, yet trade tribunals continually ruled it was not. The real advantage was the low Cdn$. Now roughly a level playing field.

#71 April Showers on 04.23.11 at 12:46 pm

Here, they rank #1:

Yes, I read more than a single report or two.

#72 CTO on 04.23.11 at 1:19 pm

Garth and Dogs

I don’t frequent this blog much anymore because it reminds me of how screwed my family will be when the bouble outlasts us.
I have been trying every move possible to hold off on the moving up to bigger house e lust but I my words no longer hold value, while in this HUGE sellers market in T.O.
By now we should be in a glut of houses…but there is not a decen’t house to be seen forsale anywhere!!!


I’m not saying that all is normal, in fact I fear the worst, they will hold off just long enough to screw us!

Garth, where are the sellers!!!!????

#73 Utopia on 04.23.11 at 1:27 pm

Kelly Parkland of the National Post has possibly come closest of any Journalists I have read to really understanding the weakness now showing cracks in support for the Liberal Party of Canada.

They need to reinvent themselves, she suggests. Just that simple. It does not help the Liberal case that a strong youth vote in the west supporting the Liberal vision does not bother to actually cast ballots.

In Quebec, on the other hand, the youth vote is strong and it does have the power to move real political change. We are witnessing that in action now. Jack Layton has galvanized the desire for both change and inclusion in Canada’s political sphere amongst voters there and he offers a good alternative. There is no turning the clock back on that sentiment.

We cannot discount the recent polling done there as an aberration. The potential electoral outcome is much more certain now so the polls need to be considered more seriously. Quebec youth votes.

Jack Layton may therefore indeed be in line to come to the table as the National party best suited to representing Quebec interests and now stands a very good chance at taking Stornoway.

I believe that the Liberal vote is now exaggerated in polling numbers and we may be in for a surprise in how far that party might fall in this current elections.

This virtually assures a Conservative Majority with a very potent Quebec-centric opposition backed by Layton and his loyal following.

We should not be surprised that both Gilles Duceppe and Michael Ignatieff both tender their resignations within weeks of the vote outcome, if not on election night itself.

And we should get prepared for a new standard in Ottawa as a resurgent left and a solid Tory right face off against one another over the contradictory issues that most resonate with the public.

Pensions, Health Care, the Economy, Tax relief for Corporations, Childcare, the HST and the Environment. The really wild rides now await us in the future.

If the Liberals meanwhile want to participate again they will have to look deep within themselves. The old guard that is holding the party back with 1960’s thinking may have to step aside for a younger more nimble generation of ideas-based supporters.

And they are certainly not short or resources with the likes of the very talented and charismatic Jean Chretien, the economic acumen of Paul Martin and many other experienced insiders who might help rebuild and guide the party in future elections.

They just won’t get it this time around.

#74 S.B. on 04.23.11 at 1:34 pm

#61 Northern_dirt on 04.23.11 at 12:06 pm

Consumer choices? Try giving up gas, hydro, food, insurance, phone, shelter. I suspect you may have a case of Stockholm Syndrome.
Yes, the capital classes of society may invest in these companies – this is what Garth is preaching to us. But just how many Canadians are saving into income producing assets these days (1.5.% GICs or bloated houses do not count).

Gas prices in GTA rose from 1.05 to 1.30 in a matter of a few months. This is a 23% rise. Besides short-term gambling on the markets, who can earn a 23% gain in this time frame. Don’t forget the 20% hike in food prices this year. Back to the gamling den I guess in an effort to keep up.
Shall we expect every citizen do the same, a nation of daytraders?

The 5% bank preferred income must be set aside for the coming mortgage interest rate hikes alone…I’m mainly talking about the cartels’ day-to-day price hikes.

#75 S.B. on 04.23.11 at 1:37 pm

#66 Utopia on 04.23.11 at 12:24 pm

I think Garth simply revs his Harley to punctuate a point.

#76 Industrial Guy on 04.23.11 at 1:54 pm

Inflation is gaining traction. The Bank of Canada’s only card to play is raising interest rates.
This action will quickly kill job growth and bring the housing correction we have been anticipating.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation shields the banking sector from their insidious greed, so they will continue to report huge profits. It’s good to be a bank in Canada, eh?

The following is a schedule of the 2011 Interest rate announcements by the Bank of Canada.
Pick a date for Homemageddon to start.

31 May
19 July
7 September
25 October
6 December

All those families who have staggering debt to income ratios …… sorry. You are so screwed.

#77 Cellar Dwellar on 04.23.11 at 1:58 pm

@#32 Brian1
Yeah i got it :)

#78 Cellar Dwellar on 04.23.11 at 2:09 pm

@#45 SB
1. Cancel your cable
2. Buy a bicycle
3. Cancel your Insurance
4. Stop swilling beer you alcoholic.
5. Bury your money in the backyard.
6. Work under the table and dont pay any taxes

See. I just gave you all the solutions to your problems. Dont forget the extra layer of tinfoil in your hat so that they cant read your thoughts from the geosyncronis orbitting satellites over YOUR house.
They’re EVERYWHERE watching YOU !!!!!!!!

#79 The Phantom on 04.23.11 at 2:16 pm

#59 Ben

It seems our collective memories aren’t that far apart!

I clearly recall my dad telling me the event where this fellow went into the Charleswood Motor Hotel and unlike other times when he would have a few drinks and leave, he proceeded to consume several drinks that night. Later when he spoke with my dad, he had the print out that showed the amount of interest and principle for each payment for the preceding five years (60 months) and he fumed with empty rage (and tears in his eyes) about launching some kind of legal action because he had retired only a small increment above $1,000 during those five years! His payments then were either close to, or over $1,000/month.

I never forgot that account and other stories of those who assumed incredibly high payments during that era IOT have a place to live. More recently (Sept 2010) a friend of mine purchased a S x S for $190,000 and put $10,000 down. Granted their costs are less now as her rent was $1,300/month for a similar home a couple doors down over and against a PI payment of $735/month but when their mortgage comes open during an era of higher rates and (potentially) lower property values, they could confront some unpleasant realities.

For my spouse and myself, we have always tried to live within our means (not ALWAYS successful in that respect, I concede) and/but have resisted the impulse to finance vacations that required flights and hotels, lavish renovations and consumer gadgetry like high definition TV’s and other appliances. Heck, I did most of my first degree entirely by hand, writing out all my own essays and reports without the benefit of a computer (and yes, in retrospect, I realize the foolishness of that position now that I own a computer and carry a laptop with me for work and school). During my second degree I simply had to own a computer IOT complete and demonstrate a proficiency in some areas and was compelled to purchase one…a good second hand one for $200.00 that we still use from time to time for word processing and school papers.

Anyway this frugal perspective was adopted because I hate owing money to anyone, my wife decided to remain at home to raise our family after the arrival of our second child and we were able to raise a family, own and gradually develop our home and economize and defer our desires for the “jet set lifestyle” in favour of prudence and responsibility. During that time, we watched with some envy (I concede) as others with the dual incomes took the lavish spring break vacations to Mexico, Cuba or Jamaica, purchased and used their 22 foot 5th wheels and enjoyed the state of the art electronics and newly renovated bathrooms, kitchens and fancy cars.

Today though, I can seriously look with some self satisfaction that we are now a two (well one and a half) income family again. I still work three jobs when I am back home and not away training out of province. Our oldest is going to graduate this June; she’s switched on, Honour Role student; is stable and has an incredible sense of citizenship: instilled no doubt by the presence of her mom at home during her formative years, she’s mature and responsible and shows incredible prescience in her decisions…our boys (both younger at 12 and 8) are still noodles about 50% of the time but they, too have a decent disposition and have been positively influenced by our decision to keep an “anchor” at home all the time while they were growing up. I have worked some long hours and longer days over the previous years but we are nearly debt free. The value of our TFSA and our cash account would wipe out the value of the balance of the mortgage (save about $1,700.) and our children aren’t the worse for wear not having had the benefit of extravagant holidays. While I do regret some of the times I have been away from them (training or away on other taskings) or only seeing them in passing or kissing them goodnight while they slept and I left for my night job, we stand at a financial point that many wish they were at. It is a good feeling not being beholden to any one and knowing that if times got tough that we could pay off everything we owe tomorrow with the resources we have at hand. Be of good cheer Ben (and others) and know that there is a cause, some of us are responsible managers and the lessons of history are not always lost on everyone…the remnant know and consider these lessons when they make decisions short and long term…

The Phantom

#80 Cellar Dwellar on 04.23.11 at 2:20 pm

Whoops! There goes another sattellite! Every 90 minutes it takes another picture !
Now if there were 90 sattellites overhead watching me, they could have a picture every minute!!!!!

#81 realpaul on 04.23.11 at 2:30 pm

Thieves and fraudsters being fast tracked into Canada to hide stolen and embezzled money from ‘public servants’ and ‘croooked bureaucrats in the Chinese Republic regime…all according to the G&M.

Now…..when the money comes free from vice and the fact that once you smuggle it out of China it ( and you) can’t go back….what do you ( as a Chinese national) do????? Well……wash the money in Vancouver real estate of course and then hide behind Canada’s bony ass immigration laws that protect the wicked and…..punish the rest of us with outrageous prices and monstrous taxes to pay in health, social and education costs for the baggage ( and garbage) these Chinese nationals bring to Canada….along with the stolen millions.

#82 jess on 04.23.11 at 2:46 pm

… the United States has a trade deficit of the order of $550bn /year, or just under 4% of GDP. This trade deficit is financed by foreign borrowings. If the United States buys more than it sells, then it must borrow the difference.

Note that this has nothing to do with the budget deficit. If the United States buys $500bn more from other countries than it sells to other countries, then it must borrow $500bn a year from them, regardless of whether the United States is running a budget surplus or a budget deficit. Foreign borrowing is determined by the trade deficit, end of story. …There are two ways that reducing the budget deficit can affect this picture. First, cutting spending and/or raising taxes can slow the economy, as will likely be the result from the cuts recently pushed through by Congress. If the economy is smaller, then we will buy less of everything, including fewer imports. In other words, if cutting the deficit makes the downturn deeper, then we will have a lower trade deficit. This means that the deficit hawks can reduce our borrowing from bad guys – if their intention is to throw the economy into a severe and prolonged downturn.

The other route through which reducing the fiscal deficit can lead to a lower trade deficit is if it results in a lower-valued dollar. The argument here is that if we get the deficit down, then interest rates would fall. Lower interest rates would make foreigners less interested in buying dollar-denominated assets, like US government bonds.

If foreigners investors are less interested in buy dollar-denominated assets, then they have less need for getting dollars. The reduced demand for dollars would cause the value of the dollar to fall. A lower-valued dollar will then make US goods more competitive in international markets, leading us to buy fewer imports and to increase out exports…read further

#83 Hoof - Hearted on 04.23.11 at 2:47 pm

3D porn film beats Avatar at Hong Kong box office

Read more:

#84 Debtfree on 04.23.11 at 2:50 pm

@ april showers ….. here’s another # 1 for those geniuses

#85 Debtfree on 04.23.11 at 2:52 pm

To all you guy’s that want to be first every day .. your wives and girlfriends have my sympathy .

#86 Daystar on 04.23.11 at 2:58 pm

#76 Industrial Guy on 04.23.11 at 1:54 pm

Although inflation is the one thing BoC plays closest attention to, the biggest factors playing on inflation is our currency and the level of demand for government bonds (as well as supply, our governments like breaking records in the borrowin department these days) and the latter is decided by how stable the nations finances are, contrasted with the stability of bond buyers domestic and abroad along with their international choices to invest.

Getting back to the loonie, Canada’s dollar has been soaring from a combination of high commodity prices, especially in oil, set in the back drop of a falling U.S. dollar. As long as the U.S. dollar continues to fall and as long as oil especially, stays high, the loonie will continue to be above par with the greenback and that spells cheaper imports with U.S. goods. Its the goods that Canadians manufacture and produce for Canadians that has grown expensive going forward, mainly due to higher commodity values. International imports have grown more expensive outside of the U.S. dollar as well (our dollar has fallen against most of the rest of the worlds currencies trying to stay close to par with the greenback), which spells out why Canada is experiencing inflation during a time where our dollar is above par with the U.S. dollar.

So… the BoC is in a tough spot. They really can’t raise interest rates for fear of attracting foreign investment into canada shooting up the dollar to unsustainable levels until one of two things happen. Either the U.S. dollar stops its freefall which is in my opinion coming with the rise of interest rates there (likely coinciding with the end to quantitive easing) or commodities tumble in valuations. What would cause a commodity stumble? Think 08′. Maybe China has some stumbles of their own, I don’t know… but what I do know is that as long as the Canadian dollar stays above par, hikes in rates in Canada are unlikely.

Everyone wants to know “when” interest rates begin their rise in Canada, its thee question, and its answer lies in a riddle within a riddle. How low does the U.S. dollar need to go before it becomes competitive again? It’s 2011 and the size of U.S. government bonds up for maturity are to some degree known and not so known. When can quantitive easing take a pause in the U.S.? Lord knows lending money to themselves gets easier with record low interest rates… when will China finally hit the skids in their nation? What of middle east stability/instability? Solve these riddles and we solve the riddle of future interest rates in Canada.

One thing I do know for sure is that when interest rates rise in Canada, all of the ugly unstable debt that had been kept on life support with record low interest rates will be on display for everyone to see and we will find out the hard way exactly how much alike we are to every other nation with a real estate bubble collapse. It won’t be pretty, with shattered phisods found everywhere one looks.

#87 John Saccys on 04.23.11 at 2:59 pm

Totally off-topic, but Totally WORTH IT

#88 jess on 04.23.11 at 3:00 pm


I AM THE VINE AND YOU ARE THE BRANCHES (gnostic gospel of thomas )
the speaker wasn’t talkin’ bout banks!
The Draft
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
“a bank for economic and political transition” in Egypt and neighboring countries

These are first proposals to build a new partnership to support change in the Southern
Mediterranean. Immediate and short term help should be accompanied by longer term
assistance when each country is ready to indicate what it needs from its EU partners.
The European Union in its dual dimension of a community of democratic member states and a
union of peoples has had to overcome historical hurdles. This success story was possible
when hope triumphed over fear and freedom triumphed over repression. This is why there is
deep understanding in the EU for the aspirations of the peoples in the Southern
Neighbourhood. The EU wants to support them in building real democracies and peaceful and
prosperous societies. Each country and people will of course choose their own path and make
their own choices. It is rightly for them to decide and not for us to seek to impose solutions.
This Communication underlines the determination of the EU in supporting them on their
journey to a better future.

When it comes to the transparency of the EIB’s intermediated development finance, a further glaring failing is thrown up by the report: the bank provides next to no information on where this money ends up, principally because it is not obliged to provide rigorous feedback. Furthermore the EIB appears reluctant to encourage intermediaries to disclose at least some details regarding the global loans they have been allocated. This inflexible stance thus ignores the overwhelming public interest over commercial confidentiality in knowing how European public money is ultimately being deployed.

All this calls into major question the EIB’s fulfillment of its legal development responsibilities. Under the European Commission’s new proposal for its mandate to lend outside the EU, the EIB must “foster: sustainable economic, social and environmental development of [developing] countries; their smooth and gradual integration into the world economy; the campaign against poverty; as well as compliance with objectives approved by the EU.” When development money is given to unaccountable financial bodies with no development interest or experience, untracked by the EIB and resulting in alleged corruption and money laundering, it is hard to see how the EIB is meeting its legal obligations under its mandate….”

#89 Hoof - Hearted on 04.23.11 at 3:00 pm

Home sharing

With house prices out of reach for many, families and friends are getting creative and coming together under one roof -with deals that safeguard the friendships as much as the investment

#90 GregW, Oakville on 04.23.11 at 3:04 pm

Hi Garth, fyi, can’t see the last pick of your post today?

Also I thought some might enjoy this;

Information about Gonorrhea Lectim

The Center for Disease Control has issued a warning about a new virulent strain of this old disease. The disease is called Gonorrhea Lectim.
It’s pronounced “Gonna re-elect ’em,” and it is a terrible disease.

The disease is contracted through dangerous and high risk behavior involving putting your cranium up your rectum. Many victims contracted it in the last Federal election they re- relected Stephen Harper and are now starting to realize how destructive this sickness is.

It’s sad because Gonorrhea Lectim is easily cured with a new drug just coming on the market called Votemout. It’s pronounced “Vote-em-out”. You take the first dose in 2011 and don’t engage in such behavior again; otherwise, it could become permanent and eventually wipe out all life as we know it in Canada.

Please pass this important message on to all those bright folk you really care about.

#91 Mister Obvious on 04.23.11 at 3:21 pm

#43 mississaugasold

“Granted she has a nice job but she said she’d be wealthier back home.”

Then clearly, she should take her boys and skedaddle on back to the middle east. What kind of future can she possibly offer them in Canada?”

#92 Utopia on 04.23.11 at 3:41 pm

They need to reinvent themselves, she suggests.

Oops, sorry Kelly. Should have said he, not she.

#93 CalgaryRocks on 04.23.11 at 3:50 pm

#54 S.B. on 04.23.11 at 11:39 am
#37 CalgaryRocks on 04.23.11 at 8:29 am

Swifttrade or Bright.

I traded with both as some point in time but those fees were @ Swift

#94 West Coast on 04.23.11 at 4:03 pm

@#21 Everythingforrent

Just finished reading your link:

“How China’s ‘crooked consultants’ help the rich enter Canada ”

We are living in a post shame Canada. If we ever had any morality in this country (you can make your arguments) its gone.

#95 pen pal on 04.23.11 at 4:07 pm

# 31 American

You are wrong, the biggest trade partner of China is now Euro zone, America is # 2. Check your facts -WSJ, whereever – that’s the deal and that’s why they are the buyers of Portuguese and Spanish and Italian debt, protecting the consumers of their goods as they recently did with the US.

#96 S.B. on 04.23.11 at 4:08 pm

#72 CTO on 04.23.11 at 1:19 pm

What about the buyers? When the buyers dry up (spooked by implied or actual rate hikes), it’s over.

Also I read that major US clothing retailers are expected to raise prices by 10-15% this year, accounting for the rise in cotton prices. Add this to the 10-30% hikes in every other consumer need (gas, hydro, city taxes, food, insurance, etc.), and what do you get.

#97 Nemesis on 04.23.11 at 4:09 pm

“Real estate corrections don’t arrive like the weather. They materialize like a season. And they almost always eat from the periphery to the heart.”… – Hon. GT

Bingo! Bubbles, by definition, implode/’collapse’ from the periphery inward…

Accordingly, here’s a thematically apropros scientific ‘experiment’ demonstrating that very phenomenon – entitled by its michievous creators: ‘TheHydrogenEconomy’

#98 ralph on 04.23.11 at 4:25 pm


#99 jas on 04.23.11 at 4:53 pm

Tolerance of financial corruption is systemic and undermining civil society
(lengthy video but serious stuff. Although it is about the USA but there is a lot to learn for others too)

Cutting through the noise: blogosphere can help focus on content over spin

#100 Gov't worker on 04.23.11 at 5:08 pm–canada%E2%80%99s-mortgage-monster.html

Here you go its about to tumble like Dominos.

David LePoidevin isn’t the first person to suggest Canada’s roaring housing market is headed for a U.S.-style crash. But he is a rare breed of money manager for daring to point a finger at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the country’s biggest mortgage insurer. In a fall 2009 note to his clients, LePoidevin questioned what was underpinning the country’s skyrocketing home prices, aside from rock-bottom interest rates. “The stock market was sure not providing huge capital gains to the masses,” he wrote. “Did the banks all of a sudden open up the lending spigots? In fact banks have actually reduced the number of their mortgages held from the peak of third quarter of 2008. The smoking gun is the CMHC and its securitization policies.”

#101 Brian1 on 04.23.11 at 5:39 pm

Calgary Rocks. You don’t read and you don’t listen.

#102 joeltoronto on 04.23.11 at 5:49 pm

#103 BrianT on 04.23.11 at 5:51 pm

#63April-You have convinced us that you are correct in your belief that the average US citizen has a higher IQ than yourself.

#104 Debtfree on 04.23.11 at 6:07 pm

@ 81 realpaul being that you are such a bottom liner .Did you read all the way to the bottom of page three ? And as a bottom liner shouldn’t you be more concerned about the billions of dollars leaving the country rather than the millions coming in ? Have those two boat loads of migrants stopped spooking you yet ? You’d think steve let them in just for the political mileage . If your afraid vote steve cause he’s afraid just like you.

#105 The InvestorFriend on 04.23.11 at 6:27 pm

Number 45 S.B. said:

Each month we are expected to meet our quotas:

1. Pay at least $100 to the communication cartels (enrich the billionaire Rogers and Shaw families).

Well thank you S.B. Actually Shaw and Rogers trade on the stock exchange and are not owned only or even in majority by the families.

I own over five thousand Shaw Communication shares which pay me a fat 4.8% dividend at this time. ($5,057 per year to be precise). And they are down in price. (They look cheap… look like a good investment… although that is not guranteed). You can buy too they trade at under $20 per share.

Get in the game people and buy shares in these companies instead of whining.

It’s interesting that so many people have a house worth $400k or more and yet would tremble with fear at the thought of putting $100k into a profitable company like Shaw.

#106 pen pal on 04.23.11 at 6:35 pm

#@56 Young Old Fart

You remind me of the joke about the guy who jumps off a 60 storey building and blurts out to observers on the 20th floor as he falls to his death that things are “fine so far”.

It makes one wonder how you could have accumulated a 5 million dollar net worth with such a naive outlook.

Of course anyone making claims or boasting about themselves or their assets on the internet always strains credibility.

#107 ccen on 04.23.11 at 6:41 pm

for #45/#68 -SB. You are trying to explain things that a lot of people will not understand. Let them suck their finger and believe that goverment/corporations will look out for them. That is the only reason we are in this mess and getting worse – TOO MUCH GOVERMENT INVOLVEMENT IN OUR LIFES AND OUR BUSSINESS. Maybe we will see the day that we have to ask the goverment permission on everything we do. Freedom, many people forgot what that means.

#108 Hoof - Hearted on 04.23.11 at 6:42 pm

Re crooked offshore investment

Last year, Immigration Canada doubled both the minimum assets investors need to qualify (from $800,000) and how much each must invest (from $400,000) in a bid to ensure, Mr. Kenney said, that Canada gets “adequate value” for fast-tracking an application. The money is effectively an interest-free loan to the province in which the investor settles, and is later repaid in full.

But he defended the need to have a fast-track program: “Obviously, we do want to attract high-net-worth individuals. Our hope is they’ll stay in Canada and be a positive force in the economy.” According to a report in a state-run Chinese newspaper, the 2,000 investors who emigrated in 2009 transferred almost $1-billion to Canadian banks.



This is BS…..
The given Province gets to keep and use the money interest free ?

Where’s the benefit to us???…..

This is f*cking worse than I thought..OUR gov’ts are more corrupt than Chinese officials…..

#109 pen pal on 04.23.11 at 6:44 pm

# 85 Debtfree

You give them too much credit.

I doubt too many women would have anything to do with such childish cretins.

#110 M. Ignatieff on 04.23.11 at 6:55 pm

#85 Debtfree on 04.23.11 at 2:52 pm

To all you guy’s that want to be first every day .. your wives and girlfriends have my sympathy .


The chicks dig it….

Big difference with being #1 versus #1 wannabees

#111 maxx on 04.23.11 at 7:03 pm

#90 Greg W, Oakville- ROFL!!

#112 The American on 04.23.11 at 7:21 pm

At #95: Pen Pal, you’re wrong. First, the EU is not a country. People need to get that straight. Second your information is from 2006, if you want to include the EU. Hell, why not throw in the entire continent and include Africa while you’re at it LOL

Anyway, the U.S. is still by far the largest trading partner with China.'s_Republic_of_China

#113 Young Old Fart on 04.23.11 at 7:50 pm

#106 pen pal on 04.23.11 at 6:35 pm

#@56 Young Old Fart

You remind me of the joke about the guy who jumps off a 60 storey building and blurts out to observers on the 20th floor as he falls to his death that things are “fine so far”.

It makes one wonder how you could have accumulated a 5 million dollar net worth with such a naive outlook.

Of course anyone making claims or boasting about themselves or their assets on the internet always strains credibility.


Actually, my post was more to bring to light the drastic drop in housing prices in my neighborhood….brought on by a Chinese fellow RETURNING to China…..

Naive outlook??? Now that is funny. Sorry for the boasting, I was being conservative in my percentage to not appear that way. Oops, my bad!

#114 betamax on 04.23.11 at 7:55 pm

#105 The InvestorFriend: “I own over five thousand Shaw Communication shares which pay me a fat 4.8% dividend at this time…they trade at under $20 per share.”

Usually above $20 but have been beaten down recently. I’ve made some decent money from Shaw.

#115 Industrial Guy on 04.23.11 at 7:57 pm

#86 Daystar on 04.23.11 at 2:58 pm
I agree with most of what you said. I’m just referring to the likelihood of rate increases based on past history with this Minister of Finance. Yeppers, the same Genius who though Canada should model itself on the Celtic Tiger .. Ireland. Even though Milton Friedman’s supply side economics theories have been discredited by recent experiences in the USA and South America. You wouldn’t know it if you looked at our Minister of Finance.
Interest rates are going up. They can’t help themselves.

#116 Eric on 04.23.11 at 8:05 pm

#105 The InvestorFriend

Yeah so lets pray gaz goes to 5$ a liter, communications at 300$ per month all the while insulting working people by saying “just buy 100k worth of stocks from these You stupid!”
A big economic depression over top of that, tell them they’re all stupid!!

#117 S.B. on 04.23.11 at 8:17 pm

My my there is a lot of sniping on the board these days. Mostly from neo-con types clinging to outdated ideals, and who think the govt and military will take care of them. Clinging to mindless angry slogans like “You are either with us or with the terrorists”!!

Lazy people who forget our roots and true abilities.

“A study funded by the US government has concluded that conservatism can be explained psychologically as a set of neuroses rooted in “fear and aggression, dogmatism and the intolerance of ambiguity”.

As if that was not enough to get Republican blood boiling, the report’s four authors linked Hitler, Mussolini, Ronald Reagan and the rightwing talkshow host, Rush Limbaugh, arguing they all suffered from the same affliction.

All of them “preached a return to an idealised past and condoned inequality”.

Republicans are demanding to know why the psychologists behind the report, Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition, received $1.2m in public funds for their research from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

The authors also peer into the psyche of President George Bush, who turns out to be a textbook case. The telltale signs are his preference for moral certainty and frequently expressed dislike of nuance.

“This intolerance of ambiguity can lead people to cling to the familiar, to arrive at premature conclusions, and to impose simplistic cliches and stereotypes,” the authors argue in the Psychological Bulletin. ”

– And I am reminded of:

“A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.

#118 Debtfree on 04.23.11 at 8:49 pm

@113 ta …. the eurozone not a country yet . canada is a confederation of provinces . The us of a is a union of states . Both the US and canada are working at being countries the us is just a little farther along . Maybe in a hundred years the states and provinces will look more like countries and less like squabbling turf warriors . Did you know you could in canada (so called a country) go to jail for transporting a case of wine across a provincial border ? Buy in B.C. take to alberta and risk jail . I’m sure like wise laws exist in the us of a.

#119 Timing is Everything on 04.23.11 at 8:49 pm

#45 S.B.


#120 GregW, Oakville on 04.23.11 at 9:38 pm

Hi #87 John Saccys, Thanks for the link!

People need to see this and take action to protect your and your kids vote or we will all be screwed permenently!!!

Feel free to repost th elink from tim eto time, people need to know, so else! Have you sent the link to all your friends and family yet?

#121 Hoof Hearted on 04.23.11 at 10:02 pm

Eurozone IS a de-facto country

WTF is the debate ?

#122 Mean Gene on 04.23.11 at 10:07 pm

How China’s ‘crooked consultants’ help the rich enter Canada

#123 eddy on 04.23.11 at 10:08 pm

Interesting video about gold as currency, Libya, banks, Rothschild etc.

#124 Ronaldo on 04.23.11 at 10:08 pm Estate&utm_conte This one went for $655,000 over asking in Kitsilano..Price 2.55 million

#125 Shoggy on 04.23.11 at 10:10 pm

I don’t know, man, driving around today I saw sold sign after sold sign after sold sign in the ‘burbs around Vancouver. Outward in? I think Surrey/Langley/Abbotsford have all had their correction. Not bullish, just saying.

#126 Ronaldo on 04.23.11 at 10:22 pm Things still looking hot in Toronto…..this “cute as a button” went for $110,000 over asking price according to the agent…..unbelievable

#127 supermike on 04.23.11 at 10:26 pm

Well, I read something online and learned the martket is carzy. I just didn’t realize the market is THAT CRAZY!

We had a dinner with some friends last night. A huge argument between me and my friends.

Here is the story.

Friend couple A:
They just bought a house 2 days ago. 2 Offers, but they still increase the offer price from 54K to 56K, and no condition offer. They were scared that they wouldn’t get the house if they put condition.

I didn’t ask how much money they make. But we are friends for years. I know both their 2 daughters are qualified for daycare subsidy. So I suppose they don’t make much money to get qualified.
a 560K house for a family making 80K a year at most, well, I don’t really get it.

But, after learning the story of couple B, I know couple A are not so crazy.

Couple B:
The wife is a city employee(forgot which department), 2 years experience. The husband is an operator in a Bombardier plant. He was laid off for a while 2 years ago, then was recalled.

I didn’t ask how much they make. But according to my knowledge, I think they make 100k-110k a year at most.

They have 2 daughters. They bought a small house 3 years ago. And They are looking for a new house around 900K!

Wow, my knowledge was that a 900K house needs family income around 200K a year at least!

Can anybody tell me I was totally wrong?!

And you know what they told me? They are gonna buy a house for 900K. 10 years later, when their daughters go to college, their house will be worth 1.5M. Then they will sell the house and buy a 1M smaller house. They will have 500K to pay for their daughters’ tuition and still have tons of money left. They are gonna be very rich anyway!


Couple C:

Bought a house near the lake more than 10 years ago. That house didn’t appreciate lot. They are looking for a new house for more than 800K in Richmond Hill, Toronto. The husband told me that a 800K house will be 1.4M in 2 years in that area.

I knew he only had 2 beers. But I asked how much alcohol he had to get that high. Then I was laughed at and teased like an alien.

I was told “man, don’t argue with the market”.

Couple D:
They bought a house in a very hot area for 420K early 2009. (I should have bought a house back then, I still think that was a good time to buy a house, even there is a correction, the price won’t drop to that level anymore). Their neighbour just sold a similar house for around 600K. Around 200K for 2 years!

They are not looking for a new house but they are encouraging everybody around them to buy a house ASAP.

The wife said there were not many buyers when they were purchasing their house. I asked, well, you know it was a bottom when nobody was purchasing a house. But it seems that everybody is trying to buy a house, why don’t you think it is not a peek? I was told “Don’t be crazy, housing price will never drop again.”

Well, my friends are not 100% positive. They said there would be a minor correction. AFTER there is another 100% INCREASE!

I was so tired. Argued a lot. ALONE! I was like an alien!

There was such an argument that everybody was excited. The beer consumption broke the record.

I really feel bad today. Not because of the hangover. I think you know the feeling when your thought is different from everybody you have known for so many years.

Am I right or dead wrong. God knows. I just feel very bad at this point. Fortunately my wife is not pushing me too much.

#128 Ronaldo on 04.23.11 at 10:27 pm Has your homes value gone up or down…check out the interactive map in your area

#129 Daystar on 04.23.11 at 10:29 pm

#116 Industrial Guy on 04.23.11 at 7:57 pm

I quite agree. There is no way any government that encourages all levels of government as well to borrow and spend so excessively (we sold over 100 billlion worth of government bonds a solid 100 billion to foreigners from April of 09′ to April of 2010 with a 1.4 trillion dollar GDP as a direct result of overestimating the future strength of the economy. Where have I heard before, “we are not an island”?) over long durations can call itself competent. Readers need to ask themselves what the Harper government is going to do if commodities tank from ugly numbers out of Asia, or interest rates rise in the U.S forcing us to raise them here… What then? Where will the revenue come from then?

F’s predictions of wealth and prosperity i.e. elimination of deficits by 2014 all hinge on high commodity valuations and low interest rates. In plain english, F is hoping for the tax base to expand through earnings and growth to offset annual rises in government spending and lower taxation. I utterly fail to see how GDP growth or expanded tax base will happen for Canada for the next three years if commodities correct (the last time energy mirrored this run up in valuations the world ended up in recession, quite the correction) or the U.S. raises interest rates between now and 2014. Either of those two happen, and the Canadian economy hits the skids and the result will be?

A 10 year government (if elected with a majority) leaving behind a legacy of debt and fiscal mismanagement through the engineering of a housing bubble destined to collapse with higher rates, forcing a real estate led recession all on its own, outside of international influences, coupled with tax cuts and spending increases never mind what else the Harperites will try in the face of shrinking GDP. This recipe spells more record deficits, heavy pressure on the bank of Canada to raise rates to attract bond investors needed to buy our debt and the possible fiscal long term ruin of our nation’s currency. I suppose it will give Harper his golden chance to sell all of Canada’s crown corps with a majority government at his disposal. It should make foreigners/lobbyists very glad.

Readers should take full note of what a Harper majority means. It means all bills proposed by the Harper government will pass, each and every single one without any meaningful opposition. We will get to enjoy:

– ballooning defense spending and high casualty count due to being a part of every future U.S. resource war.
– Record deficits. The Harper government has no plan for another world recession, and are denial of what a real estate led recession will do in Canada, with higher rates being the trigger.
– No restrictions on foreign ownership of our airlines, uranium and most importantly, our banks. If we allow no foreign ownership restrictions on our banks, its over. Its spelled economic suicide, the end to Canada’s ability to dictate its own financial future, the end of our economic sovereignty.
– The possible end to healthcare.
– A stock market union with England (this should make the Thompson family proud), a nation that is hardly in decent shape fiscally with a real estate nightmare awaiting them as well.
– Diminished human rights here and abroad.
– Wholesale changes to our penal system. Longer sentences, higher incarceration costs, penal system becomes one of punishment instead of rehab, possibly privatized following the failed U.S. example.
– A weakened centralized government, possible initiation of east/west separation.
– All of our trade boards such as the wheat board? Gone or toothless. Same goes with gun control.
– Union busting.
– Encouraged media concentration and privatization of the CBC.
– the end of government subsidized votes and the return of corporations/unions/lobby groups bribing political parties through large political donations.

All these fears in my opinion are justified. Extreme rightwing governments will force the hand of those who need to push back to preserve their livelyhoods and way of life. Its likely to get very ugly in Canada. In my opinion, if Harper gets a majority, one of two things will happen in Canada. They will bring in highly unpopular changes that benefit a very few at the expense of all the rest that will likely lead to… the end to the Conservative party itself. It will have to rebrand like the Sask party did from its PC roots or the Reform did with the PC federal brand and in the meantime, more imbalance.

God, I hope I’m wrong but thats how I see it. And I see such major issues in this election not being talked about. CMHC exposure to risk, the effects of higher interest rates on the economy, our high dollar’s impact on the economy (including corporate taxation, thats a huge issue that in my opinion can only be addressed through taxing corporations with different rates based on what economic sector they belong to), not introducing budgets that factor in missed tax earnings targets, our military future in regards to the U.S., so many huge issues are not being addressed here in this election. Its boring, its purposely being made this way in part by the media, I think the Libs are bombing in terms of how they’ve run their campaign, I just see weakness there. Provincial Liberal governments are hardly in any way helping the federal Liberal brand right now. The Libs need to control the narrative and they’ve failed to do it. 5 years of Harper rule and they’ve failed in my opinion to attack the record successfully.

Harper has thought it through, unfortunately, he just isn’t acting in the best interests of Canadians. Iggy, I think his will in terms of acting in the best interests of Canada is there, he just doesn’t know exactly what those best interests are. He’s too distracted with trying to sell himself to Canadians, to reactionary, not connected to the issues enough, not connected to certain needed realities, not attacking the failures of the Conservative record (there’s so much to attack!) along with what he would have and will do differently and thats not good.

Anyhow, I’ve said enough (probably too much as usual), have a good one, IG.

#130 MikeT on 04.23.11 at 10:41 pm

@50 eddy:
there is a good documentary called “the soviet story” about Ukrainians being starved, plus much more. It’s on youtube. I advise you get boozed before seeing it, cause it’s too heavy for a normal sober mind… My grandma told me how she was eating tree bark to survive, survived typhus, and was lucky not to be raped and tortured by soviet soldiers when they passed through their village… And she was a soviet citizen when all this happened!

#131 BC Bring Cash on 04.23.11 at 11:30 pm

#21 I read that immigration recruitment link from the Globe and Mail article.
Couldn’t agree with you more. Canada has a money laundering scheme officially sanctioned by our Fed. Govt. The cash for immigration status started with the Mulroney Govt. If an immigrant could produce $200,000 your in. That big investment is of course going to be invested in Canadian start ups and create jobs. Yea right!
Instead most of those funds most likely have been funneled into RE to drive prices higher and higher.
In other words Harper and Mulroney have a lot in common. Bring your cash and you have a Canadian passport.

#132 Thetruth on 04.24.11 at 12:08 am

“An ancestor of mine maintained that if you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable it may seem, must be the solution.” Spock.


#133 Veej on 04.24.11 at 12:40 am

Corrupt Immigration System

Over 400 Immigration Consultant Services Companies exist offering to help falsify documents to gain permanent residency in Canada.


I believe I reported the exact same story several weeks ago about how rich asians can falsify and buy their way into Canada permanently. I also believe that your response was the rich asian buyer was a myth. More recently the news that mainland chinese real estate prices crashing suddenly became a leading reason that BC real estate would crash.

For the better part of four years you have been telling us the real estate in Canada is doomed and that if we buy now we’re losers.

I have a news flash for you Garth. Its past March 18th, its past April 18 and guess what? The RE market is hotter than before both of those dates. They had ZERO affect.

It’s pretty easy to provide financial advice perched upon your gunmetal hummer parked at your lakefront cottage aka the bunker but to be honest Garth it’s starting to get a little thin. How much longer can you sing the same song with a slightly different tune every day and expect people to believe in you?

You want to do something for us, for the good of Canada? If you really want to provide a service, offer advice, help people,sell books and financial advice or whatever this site and your purpose for all of this has become you should do one thing: lobby to get our BS investor immigration program changed and send back all the scumbags that were allowed in fraudulently.

Then I’ll buy your damn books.

Nothing will happen in real estate until CMHC, the banks and immigration tighten significantly. All 3 are a total joke currently.

#134 April Showers on 04.24.11 at 1:23 am

The European Union is not a country. It is a collective of countries within Europe. How one can’t see this is unbelievable. Example, France is a country acting as a member within a collective of the European Union. The EU has never been referred to as a country in ANY publication. The American is right on this one.

#135 April Showers on 04.24.11 at 1:36 am

@119: DebtFree:

I’ll say! The US is definitely farther along as a country. Oh wait, actually, the US is already its own country. The US kicked the ever living shit out of the crown well over a couple hundred years ago and declared their independence. Of course, this would not be contested by the Crowne as the ass beating they delivered was something never wanted again. We have not made this proclamation. In fact we choose to embrace it to this day, so yea I would say we’re much farther behind in way of becoming our own. The US is without question its own country, made up of states, made up of counties, made up of districts, made up of townships, made up of its citizens. No matter how you want to break it down, the US is a country. Where did you come up with your garbage?

Read the second sentence, first two words…

#136 Dusko Jocic on 04.24.11 at 1:41 am

All this talk about the Chinese coming to Vancouver reminds me of the late eighties and early nineties. Remember all the wealthy JAPANESE people coming to Canada to purchase real estate? I wonder what happened to them?

I remember my father selling a group of Japanese folk a property for 600k in 1991 that fell to 250k a few years later. I wonder if the Chinese will have the same experience?

#137 Mike Kowolski on 04.24.11 at 4:27 am

discussion on UK forum re. Canadian cost of living and housing costs:

#138 Brian1 on 04.24.11 at 6:24 am

Calgary Rocks : Yesterday you were bragging about being of the three top candidates out of 30 who made the cut in some two bit trite organization. Yet you failed to mention that the other 27 later learned how to really play the stock market earning 200, 300 and 400% returns. Not only did they take your lunch they took your breakfast and dinner. One later came to found the Motley Fool, a triumphant organization.It is true I am yet but a minnow but you have a gigantic head.

But really worse than that is that you are a fearmonger. Bring it.

#139 Brian1 on 04.24.11 at 6:36 am

I may change my name to Defiant Minnow.

#140 Brian1 on 04.24.11 at 6:42 am

People; I am being attacked by evil forces here. All I need is one small comment donation from each of you; perhaps once per month? Support this Defiant Minnow. Bring down the forces of fear.
Brian1 reporting.

#141 Utopia on 04.24.11 at 6:49 am

#26 Chia Pet

“Rates won’t be going up. There is no way Carney will destroy the manufacturing, housing and commodities markets simultaneously”.

I beg to differ Chia Pet. As others have already pointed out, interest rate increases are used to cool off inflationary pressures. You must agree that our housing sector has seen considerable growth over the last two years and that the excessive speculation brought on by low rates has resulted in real estate asset inflation.

The bank is in a bit of a pickle here. It needs to cool the market gently without sending it into a sharp correction. Mr Carney would never raise rates 100 basis points in a day for example. That would produce a shock. Yet he still needs to raise rates despite the fact that the Canadian economy is at a different stage in the cycle than the US economy.

It is a fine balance to increasing rates and not unsettling our currency (which impacts directly on our exporters) while introducing measures to cool off some of the excess speculation.

Most economists in this country are anticipating several quarter point increases spread out over the year that will achieve the BoC objectives while not setting out a rate policy that is too far out of line with what the US is doing.

Our rates will have to be higher of course because Canada is now taking a different approach to balancing its own economy. Stimulative intervention is ending but Austerity is not in the cards.

The approach that is balanced would see us grow our way out of the debt we incurred over a period of years without necessitating any dramatic tinkering. We will as a result likely have marginally higher rates than the US for quite some time which will attract capital into the country.

That is not always a bad thing though.

#142 Sail1 on 04.24.11 at 7:11 am

#126 Shoggy

See the same thing in GTA burbs.

#143 pen pal on 04.24.11 at 7:54 am

re # 112 Chia Pet

I guess you take whatever you read on a blog as gospel.
And no, I’m not the jealous type.
And yes my net worth exceeds this amount.
So, go defend some other internet braggart now.
Have an nice Easter, if you can.

#144 pen pal on 04.24.11 at 8:05 am

re # 113

I believe the statistics you posted are cumulative.

The Eurozone surpassed the US as the single largest market for Chinese goods last year. That is what I said.
Your second link PROVES that point.

I draw your attention to the first line below the chart where it states that trade with the EU is 327 billion euros – that is more than what is listed for the USA.
QED (you do know what that means, right?)

And, btw, why so hostile – broke or just a small dick?

#145 CalgaryRocks on 04.24.11 at 8:43 am

One later came to found the Motley Fool, a triumphant organization.It is true I am yet but a minnow but you have a gigantic head.

At least open an account with so that you don’t pay the rip-off commissions the Canadian brokers charge.

They also provide you a free API and direct access to markets.

#146 pen pal on 04.24.11 at 8:48 am

re # 122 Hoof Hearted

Good to see that others on this board have critical reasoning skills.

My original contention was that the Eurozone is the BIGGEST TRADING PARTNER with China, ( I said nothing about which COUNTRY did the most trade with China).

That was ‘the American’s” original statement in comment # 31 and ‘the American’ posted a link that actually proved this point at comment # 113, where it says in the first line under the big info chart box, and I quote;

” This does not include the Euro zone …. 327 billion euro”,
which last I checked, is over 450 billion dollars, compared to the USA’s 333.7 billion dollars, ergo they are THE BIGGEST TRADING PARTNER.

Which makes my original comment at #95 correct.

His original point at comment # 31 was that the USA was “by far”the biggest trading partner with China. Go back and reread it.

I disagreed, he posted two links, the second of which clearly proves my point.

Perhaps it is “the American” who should “Get it right and learn how to comprehend what you are reading” as he advises others in post # 31.

He then tried to qualify what he said by stating that the EU zone was not a country.

But thanks H-H for bringing balance to the discussion.

Have a nice Easter Sunday!

#147 pen pal on 04.24.11 at 8:54 am

re # 128 supermike

Thanks for that posting.

Its pretty obvious that we are past peak, at least in Ontario. When the lowest rung on the economic ladder starts seeing riches in a very old trade like housing, you KNOW its over.

supermike, you are not wrong

#148 BrianT on 04.24.11 at 9:04 am

#132BC-True, but there isn’t an unlimited supply of jobs creating immigrants just dying to get into Canada. Our overall economy is hit far harder by the hordes of unskilled, unemployable immigrants brought in each year.

#149 pen pal on 04.24.11 at 9:06 am

re # 135 April Showers

You have missed the point entirely.

Simply put, ‘the American’ said that the USA was the largest trading partner by far with China. I said that was incorrect and in fact that the Euro zone was in fact THE LARGEST TRADING PARTNER with China. His subsequent posting include a link which in fact proved my point.

He then qualified his statement to reflect the relative size of individual COUNTRY trade with China. His original statement is incorrect by any measure.

I hope you can see the difference now.

#150 April Showers on 04.24.11 at 10:22 am

@150: Pen Pal:

The Eurozone is again, not a country. The Eurozone is a designated collaboration amongst decided countries within Europe who have agreed to trade, ie. purchase buy goods, from one another using the Euro as a currency. The European Union is something completely different. The American has a point point. The European Union is several countries collaborating together with like-minded focuses. I’d say if you want to look at it like this then The American is right… why not throw in any other country into that mix while you’re at it? The U.S., as is indicated by every report on Earth is China’s biggest trading partner. Japan is second, and then on and on. You cannot claim “the Eurozone” as that mix. Each country within the EUROPEAN UNION is trading with different agreements with China, hence it is its own deal.

#151 BrianT on 04.24.11 at 10:24 am

#150Pen-The guy stated that China was running a trade deficit with the USA-The American says a few very stupid things every post-no point dwelling on it.

#152 April Showers on 04.24.11 at 10:33 am

@145 Pen Pal:

All your credibility just flew out the window with that last comment you made. Now you want to bring someones penis size into the argument while you call him “hostile?” Are you absolutely insane or just stupid? You sound like an eleven year old.

I believe you started this little game of hostility at your comment in 95. If anyone sounds hostile it is you. Here is what you said. “You are wrong, the biggest trade partner of China is now Euro zone, America is # 2. Check your facts -WSJ, whereever – that’s the deal and that’s why they are the buyers of Portuguese and Spanish and Italian debt, protecting the consumers of their goods as they recently did with the US.”

The Eurozone is not a partner.. It is an area consisting of multiple partnerS. I could put any combination of countries together to make numbers exceed any other singular country too. But I don’t. This view point skews data.

#153 Ex-Cowtown on 04.24.11 at 10:33 am

Overheard (not polite to listen, but they yapped so loud it was impossible not to)

Three thirty something Vancouverites. One selling a house in North Van. No price mentioned. He was upset because the potential buyer wanted an inspection and a clean bill of health for the property because it had an underground oil tank. One of the other’s said ” Aww, the guys just being and @sshole and playing hardball on the price” . The seller said “No. West Van is going enviro-nuts and wanting all home owners to pay for the removal and remediation of their property before the sale. If North Van does the same, we’re in trouble, we may have to strip the whole yard. And the contamination could be coming from my neighbour’s tank. What then? Do I strip his yard?”

“But” he continued “my realtor saw this coming, so he used a different offer form than the correct one so the new owner will be on the hook.”

Nice to see that realtors are looking our for the purchasers interests as well. I was involved in a minor surface oil spill clean up (2 gallons of hydraulic fluid on a lease in Alberta) . The bill was $2,000. Wonder what the cost will be to strip and remediate a whole yard?

Thank God for natural gas!

#154 Brad in Van on 04.24.11 at 10:35 am

RE: US vs. Eurozone trading with China… The American is correct – not pen pal. Now, can we just drop it?

#155 Mr. Reality on 04.24.11 at 11:22 am

I love watching adults act like children. Keep those egos locked in the basement and take your wisdom where ever you go.

Mr. R.

#156 Brad in Van on 04.24.11 at 11:22 am

The Eurozone is comprised of 17 countries. If it takes 17 friggin’ countries to finally exceed the trade the US has with China, well then I’ll give The American the winning hand in this argument without a question. Game done. The US is obviously China’s largest trading partner by a significant amount.

BrianT posts more false information than anyone on the blog. So, I’d read what he posts with a grain of salt. Pen Pal is just a boy.

#157 wetcoaster on 04.24.11 at 11:38 am

#137 Dusko ,
I remember those times too in the 80’s when the Japanese were taking over the world and owned major chunks of big US banks etc. People were freaking out, and as you say, we all know how that ended. Dumb ass foreigners buying at the top is the classic sign of a major market top.

I get so sick of the talk the Chinese are all so much more intelligent investors than us,all bullshit. They are notorious gamblers and always have been and the house always wins. Why do you think they built Macau ?

#158 Chuck D on 04.24.11 at 11:45 am
There are all kinds of shady businesses ready to ‘help’ the first time home ‘buyer’.

#159 S.B. on 04.24.11 at 11:54 am

The person(s) on this blog claiming to be friends of investors were already exposed as charlatans and self-serving snake oil salesman many times over (the same kind of people who pump & dump penny stocks).

The next time I see one of the working poor I will remind them to buck up and tend to their six-figure stock portfolios.

#160 AG Sage on 04.24.11 at 12:00 pm

>#133 Thetruth on 04.24.11 at 12:08 am

Spock was claiming to be descended from Sherlock Holmes? Oh, that is quite funny.

#161 S.B. on 04.24.11 at 12:00 pm

#127 Ronaldo on 04.23.11 at 10:22 pm

These localized bubbles are easily explained: people will pay a huge preimum to live amongst their own ethnic culture and socio-economic culture.
These two factors combined = instant bubble area.

The biggest bubble are all found in homogenized cultural areas:
Richmond BC
Richmond Hill ON
Rosedale, Forest Hill ON
Bayview/Sheppard area of Toronto
The Trinity/Bellwoods area in your link, as examples.

Bidding wars in all of these areas for years now.

#162 Brad in Van on 04.24.11 at 12:02 pm

Canadian bond prices declining. I know it isn’t news, but it isn’t great. In case you missed it.

#163 Brad in Van on 04.24.11 at 12:09 pm–housing-prices-to-drop-25-over-next-few-years

#164 Victoria on 04.24.11 at 12:14 pm

If we sell our house now ( in Victoria) we will lose approx. $75,000. We did many upgrades (still more to be done) but our RE agent says that property is flat or going down.

Why is it going up in Toronto and Vancouver and falling in Victoria?

#165 Utopia on 04.24.11 at 12:53 pm

Well, we are now entering the last week of the election. As much as I enjoy weighing in on the discussion and criticizing the hell out of some of the parties (ok, just the Liberals) it is just bad form to add more commentary during the final few days.

So I won’t do it.

I will say these final few words though before shutting the hell up for the duration. It is my own projections for seat counts come election day.

Will I be right or will I be wrong…we will see. My own national breakdown gives the following results though.

Conservatives 156 seats (very slim majority)
Liberals 69
NDP 43
Bloc 39
Greens 1
Total 308

Lets see how close I come. Anyone else want to hazard a guess?

#166 Victor on 04.24.11 at 1:21 pm

#26 Chia Pet on 04.23.11 at 1:46 am
Rates won’t be going up. There is no way Carney will destroy the manufacturing, housing and commodities markets simultaneously. Sorry. Won’t happen.


He will do it slowly, in 25 basis point increments. Role of the BofC is to fend of inflation, and not to keep manage consumers’ debt burdens (including mortgages).

Look for increase of 75 basis points in 2011, and another 100 basis points in 2012.

That will put us back into “normal” rate levels; no more, no less.

#167 Roial1 on 04.24.11 at 1:41 pm

52 Herb on 04.23.11 at 11:30 am

Herb, whan’na retire early?

Come to Vancouver Isand.
No, not Victoria.
Up Island. Or North Island as we call it. (It is really just half way up but anything North of Duncan is “North Island”
I live well on MUCH less than you might think. I fish, ski, golf and sail almost every month of the year.
I have an acre to grow my own vegies on and great neighbours.
Oh ya! houseing is CHEAP, compaired to Ottawa. (or as we call it ODDAWA)

200 to 300.000$ will put you into a great NEW house.

And it does NOT rain all the time.


Just disregard all of the above. It is all B.S.

(Could get crowded if all you rich Easterners find out about life out here in “Lotus Land”)

#168 Herb on 04.24.11 at 1:42 pm

#155 and 157 Brad in Van,

nothing like trying to end a discussion with a spurious argument.

US population 311M, EU 501M, making your 1 vs. 17 countries argument irrelevant. Surely the point is where Chinese trade interests lie and will be pursued, not comparing one large country with 17 individual smaller ones.

The real way to settle the argument is to track and trend actual trade figures, but I’ll leave that to you.

#169 TheBigLebowski on 04.24.11 at 1:43 pm

Our entire culture has been designed to prey on people’s natural instinct to nest build. A house is seldom looked at as a financial black hole by a prospective buyer, but instead a must have . When asked what a house owners plans are for the long weekend, the average answer is yard work or house projects. Rearranging the twigs in the nest is an instinctual tradition that most people feel is printed in their DNA. They look at non-home owners as lacking a potential strand in their DNA.
To con
vince the average person that being a homeowner at this point may not be a good idea is like trying to change their genetic makeup. Its a lost cause. Several people I associate with actually think now is the time to take on a second property before interest rates rise. The average person’s thinking is wired to produce the opposite results from what they should be doing. Culture creation by Government, Media, Peer pressure media parroting and the Real Estate Industry, have taken the western world to the edge of the abyss .
On the flip side, the financial decisions that would aid in protecting the average person are demonized and discredited off hand by these same culture creation mechanisms. The minority who see Sovereign Debt defaults on the horizon and what this implies to the fiat money system , these people are marginalized and silenced. Most people don’t even want to hear what steps they should be taking at this point. The average person only wants to know when they will be able to purchase a house. We have truly been dumbed down and exploited as a culture by the people we elect to look after us. Socialism has its price to pay after all.

#170 M. Ignatieff on 04.24.11 at 1:44 pm

#154 Ex-Cowtown

Underground oil tanks…
A few years ago a North Van homeowner got stuck with a $100,000 (HUNDRED THOUSAND) clean-up bill.

#171 realpaul on 04.24.11 at 1:48 pm

In fact , hundreds of billions are being pissed away on salaries and pensions for civil servants whan these acts and services can easily be contracted out so as no longer to be a burden on the taxpayer.

Take the example of the German Post which is now one of the worlds largest logistical companies and no longer a drag on tax revenue . The US and Canada should be talking about abandoning the antiquated notions of unionized public works and getting these monkey’s off our backs.

#172 Debtfree on 04.24.11 at 1:49 pm

@ 136 AS . While we’re talking about ass kicking . I’d like to remind everyone here that in 1812 we kicked your asses in montreal then we marched down to the white house and burned it to the ground. O canada.

#173 Hoof - Hearted on 04.24.11 at 1:53 pm

IMHO, the Asian money will still flow for a while.
The dynamic exposed in the G & M article earlier just indicates the Canadian gov’t doesn’t care, until the local population starts to care.

All they are doing is dumping money according to the latest benchmark. That benchmark may stabilize…..but as long as corruption exists at both ends then I se it continuing with no correction.

#174 Victoria on 04.24.11 at 2:22 pm

Actually we didn’t do upgrades. We did renovation. The kitchen and bathrooms were a mess.

#175 Fellow Calgarian on 04.24.11 at 2:23 pm

To CalgaryRocks: Please don’t act like you’re some kind of pro because you worked at SwiftTrade. You have to be kidding me if you think that is deserving of respect in any way. Get a real trading job. One with a salary. That’s a signal to the rest of the professional trading community (myself included in that bunch) that you have a clue what you’re doing. Based on your employment with a now defunct chop shop, you have no qualifications to advise anyone how to invest/trade. The people they hired at Swift were not blessed with “all the advantages” as you stated. Many of them had zero education and no prior experience. That’s a sell.

#176 Fellow Calgarian on 04.24.11 at 3:07 pm

P.S. Happy Zombie Day everyone!!!

#177 Increasing that 1% on 04.24.11 at 3:16 pm

So, I’m guessing ‘moneta’ started her own blog now
Are a couple of others joining her?

#178 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 04.24.11 at 3:18 pm


I just figured out why the NDP seems to be so popular in Quebec and some other provinces, including BC, these days.

It’s the demographics, stupid, ageing Boomers wanting to turn a once great industrial power into a whimpering Zombie Nation of entitlement bunnies all screaming for more of the ever-fewer slices of the economic pie.

The Baby Boomers’ demands for bigger government are predicated on their fantasy notions that they can still get stuff for FREE!

As they slurp on their fave lattees and reflect, this Easter Sunday, on the destination of their next cheap-seats plane trip, I have my reflections on that scurvey lot.

Yeah, Garth is right, alright. The boomers, with their now-“valuable” houses, are going to be short on spending money.

So where can they make up the short-fall so they can continue with their “life-styles?” Why the GOVERNMENT, of course! Vote NDP!

So many Boomers see government as their cash-cow of last resort that they’ll vote for any freak, if he or she will guarantee to look after their always urgent needs: medical, dental, mental, menial. You know the pitch.

But all of this costs money they’ll bleat, “Yeah, it’ll be somebody ELSE’S money,” they’ll say, “because I’m broke and I ‘m entitled to as much as I need and want RIGHT NOW because I’m a senior citizen!”

So, along comes Jumpin’ Jack Layton and his campaign bus full of limitless bottles of NDP snake oil. High on the list of these bottles’ contents are, guess what, “higher corporate taxes!” And then there’s another ingredient: “no tax increases for the middle class (boomer territory!).”

What makes this snake oil a little more snakey is what NDP candidates are saying about corporate taxation limits, Canadian vs American.

They all promise to keep the limits less than those of the US, but they don’t say by HOW MUCH. US corporate taxation is in the 30 per cent range; in Canada it’s the mid-teens. The NDP, therefore, has wide latitude in “keeping its promise” of maintaining lower Canadian corporate tax rates.

What Boomers don’t realize is that the greater a corporation’s expenses, the less profit and dividends will be the result. And that means lower pension amounts for the aforementioned Boomers. This “conundrum” is discussed continually but these people STILL don’t get it, because they’re not listening to that broken record.

Here in the riding of Victoria the campaign lawn signs of the NDP incumbent are everywhere, sprouting up like weeds in this civil servant-dominated enclave. For those who are retired here, they have good pensions, good homes and a damn good life sponsored by the rest of us for ever and ever. Yet, it’s still not enough!

These people are proposing an economic scorched-earth policy in supporting the NDP, and casting into the poor house their heirs and successors; but they don’t give a damn. Never did and it’s too late to change their ossified minds.

At some point there will be a downside for this greed and it won’t be pretty; for example:

Domination by a more powerful geopolitical entity, perhaps China or Brazil, maybe even Russia or India. Their agendas won’t match the Boomers’, for sure! Poor house coming.

The other option is what I call the USSR-syndrome, that will occur when the economic music stops. What was that former failed empire famous for?

Why line-ups of course: line-ups for food tickets (all day long standing in line); then a second day in another line-up to “buy” the generally rotten food!

It was said of the USSR that it was a country whose people worked at imaginary jobs for imaginary pay-cheques. True. I visited that place back in the 1960s. It was the ultimate Zombie State, except possibly for Commie China!

Canada’s economic growth won’t be matching the BRICS countries anytime soon. But to cast one’s fortunes and futures into the cold dead hand of bigger government will bring tears; heading from the golden years to a third world rust-bucket life in no time flat.

#179 Roial1 on 04.24.11 at 4:27 pm

166 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 04.24.11 at 3:18 pm

And I suppose that you are voting for the LIAR.

Well so be it. “There is a sucker born every minute”

I have many friends who where into voting for the liar, till the truth came home to them that he is a liar in the form of the “income trust” lie. And that was just the start.
His promiss to have “open and honest” government flew out the window next.(Just try to get a freedom of info. LOL)
don’t believe me? Try this, If you have the nerve.

#180 April Showers on 04.24.11 at 4:36 pm

@173: Debt Free:

You realize I’m not American, correct? I’m Canadian, you dumb ass. It isn’t “my” White House. Damn, how dumb are people here. Try to keep up with the conversation will you?

#181 April Showers on 04.24.11 at 4:42 pm

@173: Debt Free:

Also, where did that ultimately end with us? Well, not great if you remember your history correctly. We burned their White House. They won the war and rebuilt. What’s your point? That happened well over 200 years ago? Are you still holding on to that?

The point is the U.S. fought for and won its independence. We, however, did not.

#182 CalgaryRocks on 04.24.11 at 4:45 pm

#176 Fellow Calgarian on 04.24.11 at 2:23 pm
To CalgaryRocks: Please don’t act like you’re some kind of pro because you worked at SwiftTrade. You have to be kidding me if you think that is deserving of respect in any way. Get a real trading job. One with a salary.

Lol. That was quite a few years back, in another life. But anyways, only losers want trade ‘with a salary’.

#183 Debtfree on 04.24.11 at 4:46 pm

@ 179 vtp I’m glad you are getting it this far into the game . Us boomers are not alone . The young are starting to get it as well . If they want help with their eduction then steve’s not their guy .
The real cash as most in this resource rich country should know is, in the royalties . This cash is not free . It is our asset as canadians as much as the oil in libya is due their people and not their king.
BTW did you know that civil servant at all levels of govenment vote ? by %? I bet there are many that read this blog so keep up the good work your doing vtp. Gives them a good idea of what they face with guys like you and steve.
And just to frost your over taxed ass …. I heard a new acronym today …… woopies ( well off old people ) Heard it from a remax agent . What a hoot.

#184 Internal Exile on 04.24.11 at 4:52 pm

To anyone who doubts just how clueless Vancouverites are, I say – BEHOLD!:

It’s now official: it takes more than one family to own one crappy Vancouver home.

#185 Northern_dirt on 04.24.11 at 4:53 pm

#50 eddy

There is a very good history book called ‘Under the Sign of the Scorpion’ by Estonian writer Juri Lina.


Kurati Estlased!! ;)

#186 Hoof Hearted on 04.24.11 at 5:07 pm


Excellent point…..

The head of the boomers are seeing a clusterf*ck for their immediate future.

BTW I am at the tail end of the boomer demographic.

They see their hippy utopia of entitlement, collapsing, now want Gov’t to dive in and help them.

Iggy and Layton are a couple of old farts and disaster if they grasp power and become Nanny state.

I also submit that Chretien attempt at reigning in the deficit was BS, it was smoke and mirrors and never addressed the root problems.

The Next 5-10 years will be the most unsettling in Canadian History….”bank on it”.

#187 Cowboy on 04.24.11 at 5:17 pm

yes, I am yelling all of this,
Cellar Dwellar, get a grip…












#188 Herb on 04.24.11 at 5:21 pm

#168 Roial1,

I appreciate the “BS” you are trying to feed me – the wife has been trying to get me to look at Nanaimo for years. She fell in love with the Island visiting friends there. Don’t know if Nanaimo would be north enough.

I’ve been retired for years (about the same number of years in uniform as you) and probably would join you in a heartbeat, but there are a couple of family matters I want to keep an eye on, so the area we’re looking at for the next couple of years is somewhere around Belleville and points west. (I definitely will avoid Trenton – too much Air Force for a grunt.)

#189 Roial1 on 04.24.11 at 5:33 pm

189 Herb on 04.24.11 at 5:21 pm

Bellville, My birth place.

And yes Nanaimo is too far south.

Middle of the Island is better.

#190 Bill Grable on 04.24.11 at 5:37 pm

Mr. Turner: the “Mortgage Experts” you linked to on this post are, well, not the kind of people I would shake hands with, without having a shower, afterwards.

My cats have more sense than anyone that gets involved with this chicanery.

I will say it again ( Mr. Turner is probably thinking that I sound like a broken record) MORT GAGE = En Francais = translates to DEATH CONTRACT.

Does that make people think, “wait a second”- and realize they are going to be playing patsy for the Bank for the rest of their lives?

No – I have a friend I have literally BEGGED not to buy a certain condo here – (No contigency fund, structural issues and a mess, lawsuits, etc – flakes on council, the works). (I know two residents, who are having nervous collapse over this mess).
He didn’t even bother to LOOK at Condo Council minutes > took about 6 minutes and now owns a place that will need a new roof, be reclad (* idiotic California rain screening here in Puddle Land, Vancouver), has two lawsuits on going and he has an income dependant on his TIPS at a local Eatery!

The whole process makes me wonder how many people, that you are going to have to help, Garth – *the lineup will run from the Bunker to oh, Patagonia.

Oy gevalt.

#191 CalgaryRocks on 04.24.11 at 5:42 pm

So, along comes Jumpin’ Jack Layton and his campaign bus full of limitless bottles of NDP snake oil. High on the list of these bottles’ contents are, guess what, “higher corporate taxes!” And then there’s another ingredient: “no tax increases for the middle class (boomer territory!).”

Don’t forget doubling the CPP. Convenient now that the boomers are ready to retire.

#192 jess on 04.24.11 at 6:44 pm

Saturday, April 23, 2011
Jeffrey Sachs, an economist and director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, has taken exception to the assertion by The Wall Street Journal that it’s pointless to increase taxes on the wealthy.

Journal editors claimed that even a 100% tax on the top 1% of earners couldn’t erase the deficit. Sachs, however, says this is “nonsense,” adding that a full tax on the rich would bring in an extra $1.3 trillion into the U.S. Treasury, representing 9% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). The deficit, meanwhile, from 2013 to 2021 is projected to be less than 6% of GDP, demonstrating a full tax on the wealthy would erase the deficit.

“The money received by the richest households is vast, and higher taxes on the rich will make a major contribution to closing the deficit,” Sachs writes. “Nobody says that the rich should carry the entire tax burden or that spending cuts shouldn’t play a role. The waste in military spending alone is so large that we can and should save at least 2% of GDP per year from the defense budget alone.”

He adds: “America’s richest households have enjoyed quite a ride in recent decades as they’ve accumulated a mountain of wealth unprecedented in human history, at a time when much of the rest of society has been suffering.” In 1980, the average income tax rate paid by the top 1% was 34.5%. By 2008, it was down to 23.3%. During this period, the richest 1% expanded their share of total income from 8.5% to 20%.

#193 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 04.24.11 at 6:50 pm



Yeah, I got burned in the income trust switcheroo, too. That was a very bad decision that, I believe, was forced on F by Bay Street, whose denizens are always afraid of change.

The income trust was a very efficient engine of the capitalist system and a lot of people benefited, including the hated oil companies. The trusts also gave investors more control over their fates.

Now that the trust vehicle is gone we’re back to crappy dividend yields and a risky strategy to build higher dividend incomes; making capital gains by selling high then buying low thus gaining more yield at the lower price, through market timing, a risky venture to be sure. That’s a mug’s game!

Inspite of that investor injustice I STILL see the Tories, already with five years in power in a very dangerous world, as being the only alternative at this time. Things will change of course so we’ll see what happens in the next years.

As for #184, we agree! The culture of entitlement is a major disease in our society. It strikes regardless of age. As #180 says, suckers are born every minute. Entitlement bunnies are born every second.

Going to the polls this week, Canadians must understand what we face: our demographics are not playing in our favour; we are a small economy by every world standard; our natural resources will provide some “bridging” income, helping to pay down the deficit and debt, but ONLY if commodity prices remain, and stay, screamingly high; our largest trading partner, the US, is heading to Hell in a handbasket economically, culturally, morally. It is the END down there. Listen to “The Doors”. They got it right 40-plus years ago!

Canadians must prepare for “interesting times.” Foremost to these preparations is a fond, but mostly ain’t-gonna-happen-wish, of mine, that all whiney bunnies just head for the woods and stay there. Don’t need ’em at ALL.

Advice to Woopies. Your whoopie cushion awaits you…on yonder ice floe. Bon Voyage!

#194 Dan in Victoria on 04.24.11 at 7:00 pm

[email protected]
Thoughts sure,
First how much is the land.
Second how many square feet is the house.
Third how much experience in construction.

#195 Hoof Hearted on 04.24.11 at 7:08 pm

#188 Cowboy


Look under the definition of ” corporatism”

The Gov’ts and its whores act like a Mafia , delegation of certain specialties to governance bodies. ie Doctors, dentists, plumbers etc…….even cab drivers

In mid 1990’s met a fella that was a plumbing apprentice…he was learning on the job but never took a course…he was allowed to simple “Challenge the exam” ….a concept I am sure others can recall. If you passed it,….you get your formal TQ etc.qualificiations.

However the “Education Industry Ltd.” lost clientele from such rogue factions, so many bodies require formal schooling.

I know many people that could frame , plumb, do electrical etc….build their own house……it’s nothing but an incestuous MAFIA of bureaucrats and other self serving assholes.

These are the same c*nts that the finger points to leaky condos etc….park your common sense and old school ways at the door.

#196 GranIsle on 04.24.11 at 7:20 pm

#185 CLueless non- Vancouverites. For your information that home was not in Vancouver. It was in Maple Ridge. For me who lives in Vancouver, it is a little under an hour drive away. Perhaps those folks like my brothers choose to live in a more homogenous neighbourhood, for their kin.

#197 S.B. on 04.24.11 at 7:29 pm

Is Vancouver Special a real word now??


#198 pen pal on 04.24.11 at 7:36 pm

re # 152

Boy are you ever right!
It is a true waste of my time to be on this blog.
Thanks (sincerely) for reminding me of this, after all it is the internet.

#199 April on 04.24.11 at 7:43 pm

#165 Victoria. Do you know for sure homes are going up in price in Vancouver? Are you getting the facts?

#200 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 04.24.11 at 7:45 pm

From Dubai’s “Business Intelligence Middle East” publication, this innocuous-looking few short paras:

HEADLINE: Saudi Arabia to keep oil production at 12.5 Million barrels a day

SAUDI ARABIA. Saudi Arabia, holder of the world’s largest crude oil reserves, has no plans to raise production capacity beyond 12.5 million barrels a day, a Saudi Arabian oil official said.

Reports that the country may boost its output capacity to 15 million barrels a day aren’t true, the official told Bloomberg by telephone today, declining to be identified by name because he isn’t authorized to speak publicly.

Petroleum Intelligence Weekly, a trade publication, reported on April 22 that the kingdom is considering raising capacity to 15 million barrels a day, without citing anyone. Saudi Arabia’s OPEC Governor Majid al-Moneef said in a report on April 18 that the country will keep capacity at 12.5 million barrels a day for the next two decades.

At an emergency oil summit that Saudi ruler King Abdullah convened in the port city of Jeddah in June 2008, the government said it could raise output capacity by an additional 2.5 million barrels a day, if needed, by developing untapped giant fields.


Now the REAL STORY: this is more proof that the Saudi oil fields are getting older and far less bolder.

Remedy: buy Canadian oil and gas stocks and prepare for much higher pump prices for a considerable time to come.

This may not be peak oil, but it’ll sure seem like it! Hydrocarbon alternatives?

You jest, surely.

#201 pen pal on 04.24.11 at 7:55 pm

Re # 151 April Showers

Ok genius, I’ll take it slow for you.

Here is what I know after visiting, living in and doing business in the EU for over 25 years;

1.The Euro zone uses a common currency
2. The Euro zone consist of a f#$k of a lot more than “a few countries” , try over 400 million people in total!
3. They have a common central bank, called the ECB, ever heard of it, its activities are reported in the media every day!
4. They have common trade laws, meaning you cannot import stuff into one member under different policies or conditions according to each countries desires, they must meet EU zone criteria which has been set as the governing law for the whole EU area.

ergo they are an economic trading block by definition.

Don’t believe me, try importing ANYTHING from there. There are rules on everything from bacteria counts in cheese to automobile ratings for fuel efficiency and safety. These rules apply to every country in the EU because they have agreed to act in unison on matters of EXTERNAL TRADE.

Got it now?

As to the comments re penis size, it’s a guy thing , like talking about a “pissing contest”. If you are so easily offended, then read somewhere else. Last I heard, it’s Mr. Turner’s perogative to make the call as to what gets posted.

Actually pretty tame compared to some of the racier references of our host. No offense intended Mr. Turner.

#202 pen pal on 04.24.11 at 8:06 pm

Re # 157

Boy are you ever a genius.
Like you’d know anything about me from a few postings that happen to disagree with your hero “the American”.
What a simpleton you must be.
I think that you are a boy, probably one with more than a few issues.
Have a nice Easter there buddy!

#203 pen pal on 04.24.11 at 8:10 pm

RE # 157 dumb Brad in Van

Btw, 17 countries with a common market, common central bank, common currency and common TRADE POLICIES AND REGULATIONS are by definition a single trading entity. Perhaps you can inform the ECB of your genius.
F’ing moron!

#204 betamax on 04.24.11 at 8:16 pm

#168 Roial1: “North Island as we call it.
200 to 300.000$ will put you into a great NEW house.”

And when housing corrects and all those small-town, one-trick economies dependant upon construction collapse, those same new houses will be worth half that. Those prices only look like a deal coming from somewhere else. Historically, they’re bubble prices. If you can afford the loss and still think it cheap because you sold elsewhere for much more, go ahead.

#205 pen pal on 04.24.11 at 8:20 pm

# 170 The Big L

Always liked your moniker, your posts not so much.

However, kudos for an intelligent thought well expressed that has made me stop and think. It does explain a lot of irrational behaviour that I have witnessed with respect to housing both here and in the USA. Good thinking and a great post.

#206 MP on 04.24.11 at 8:36 pm

@ #178

Moneta and Garth has some disagreements a few days ago. I was hoping it didn’t scare her off, but it seems to have done just that. Her insight would be a refreshing change. Maybe after Easter she will jump back in?

#207 Utopia on 04.24.11 at 8:43 pm

#173 Debtfree to #136 AS

“While we’re talking about ass kicking . I’d like to remind everyone here that in 1812 we kicked your asses…then we marched down to the white house and burned it to the ground. O canada”.

Sorry Debtfree, that’s popular fiction in this country. It was actually the British who burnt the Whitehouse (and quite a few other landmark buildings while they were at it). They also burnt the Library of Congress for example.

You are no doubt referring to the battle of Bladensberg and thinking it was the Fenians who torched the Federal buildings in Washington. In fact, we were taught that in high school but it is contradicted now.

The British attackers incidentally, barely survived themselves when a tornado suddenly touched down putting out most of the fires and killing members from both warring brigades. The British then departed a mere day or so after inflicting a fiery indignity on their foes.

The Canadian connection is found in the rationale for the retaliatory raid and burnings. The Americans had sacked Toronto in 1812 (then called York) and looted the government buildings including the home of George Prevost, Canada’s Attorney General.

He was really pissed off. So he wrote the British asking for a retaliatory strike, support and other good stuff and pretty much got his way. Snail mail was the order of the day. Two years later, the Brits finally romped in to battle against minimal opposition, lit the place up and then just buggered off back to England. Canadians were apparently not in attendance on the day of the fire though.

Well, maybe a few Fenians did show up.