Thursday, July 23, 2015

With oil prices way down, how come gas isn’t cheaper?

The main culprit is the falling Canadian dollar. With commodities like crude oil and wholesale gasoline priced in U.S. dollars, it takes more loonies to fill the tank.
Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz’s decision to cut the bank’s trendsetting interest rate by a quarter point to 0.5 per cent hasn’t helped. The Canadian dollar, which was trading around 82 cents U.S. in January, closed at 76.73 cents U.S. on Wednesday, its lowest level in more than a decade.
Industry watchers say refinery profits are also a big factor.
The price of wholesale gasoline is up 25.6 cents a litre since January, most of it the result of a 20.3 cent a litre increase in refinery margins or “crack spread,” the difference between the cost of crude and the price of wholesale gasoline.
“Right now, a refinery is a licence to print money,” said analyst Dan McTeague. “Refineries are making a lot of profit. It’s almost at record levels and everyone’s in for the ride — traders, speculators.”

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Uber Drivers...Dont Lie About Car Insurance - its fraud!

When it comes to working with hire-a-drive services like Uber, you can't afford to ignore the insurance implications

“Will any of the described automobiles be rented or leased to others, or used to carry passengers for compensation or hire, or haul a trailer, or carry explosives or radioactive material?” Every insurance company in Canada uses forms that carry some version of this sentence, and if you check “no” and then sign off on the application and then start accepting fees for ferrying people (or pizzas) around, you could be committing fraud.
It’s not that you can’t be an Uber driver and also have insurance; it’s that you can’t lie about it. 

Harper's Canadian Conservative government made more than 70 patronage appointments over two days last month,

It also made 40 judicial appointments, elevating some sitting judges and adding new names to the bench at various levels of courts.

The blizzard of patronage will, no doubt, have some recalling the preamble to the 1984 election campaign, when Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau approved a similar orgy of appointments of mostly Liberal supporters
Read More Below:

Monday, July 6, 2015

Floyd Mayweather will be giving up one of his three welterweight title belts today

Mayweather (48-0, 26 KO) won the WBO belt from Manny Pacquiao on May 2, but has yet to schedule an opponent for his September 12 return, which he still claims will be his last fight, though few seem to be taking that seriously. Mayweather had asked for an August 1 deadline from the WBO, but they gave him until July 3, which came and went this past Friday.
Bardley (32-1-1, 12 KO) beat Jessie Vargas on June 27 in California to win the interim belt. He was previously the WBO titleholder from 2012 to 2014, controversially beating Manny Pacquiao before losing it back to him last year, making successful defenses against Juan Manuel Marquez and Ruslan Provodnikov in between those bouts.
Mayweather will still hold both the WBC and WBA titles at both 147 and 154 pounds, and he's well past the point where belts really mean anything at all to his earning power or ability to make the fights he wants. Still, he didn't want to be stripped, and this would end the slim chance that Floyd could have faced IBF titleholder Kell Brook to unify all four belts in the welterweight division

Friday, July 3, 2015

European heat waves boosted by climate change,


European heat waves boosted by climate change, scientists say

London saw its hottest recorded July day on Wednesday with temperatures at 36.7 C

Thomson Reuters Posted: Jul 03, 2015 1:49 PM ET Last Updated: Jul 03, 2015 1:49 PM ET

As Germany and Spain sweated and London sweltered through its hottest July day on record this week, scientists said it is "virtually certain" that climate change is increasing the likelihood of such heat waves in Europe.
In real-time data analysis released on Friday, a team of international climate scientists from universities, meteorological services and research organizations said the kind of heat waves hitting Europe this week - defined as three-day periods of excessive heat - are becoming much more frequent in the region.
In De Bilt in the Netherlands, for example, a heat wave like the one forecast for the next few days would have been a roughly one-in-30-years event in the 1900s, according to the scientists. It is now likely to happen every three-and-a-half years, they said.
Europe heat wave
A boy plays at a fountain on a hot summer day in central Brussels on Thursday. Scientists have said it is 'virtually certain' that climate change is increasing the likelihood of heat waves in Europe. (Yves Herman/Reuters)
In Mannheim, Germany, a heat wave like that of the last few days would have been a once-in-a-century event in the 1900s, but is now likely to happen about every 15 years, they said.
London also saw its hottest recorded July day on Wednesday, with temperatures at Heathrow Airport hitting 36.7 C, the scientists noted.
As heat waves grow more frequent, "it does resonate with a much wider audience that this is connected to climate change and we're facing a new normal", said Maarten van Aalst, director of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre.
The heat wave analysis, which looked at five European cities, is part of a World Weather Attribution programme led by Climate Central, a U.S.-based science journalism organisation, and supported by scientists from organizations around the world, including Oxford University, the University of Melbourne, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and van Aalst's Climate Centre.
The programme aims to use climate and weather data, forecasting and climate models to show how changing weather patterns are linked to climate change.
It hopes to help cities and countries better understand and prepare for more extreme weather like this week's scorching days in Europe. Lost $1.5 million a month Advertising And Promotion Costs

COLIN MCCONNELL/TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTOLawrence Dale and Carolyn Beatty, formerly of Zoocasa. The site was reportedly losing $1.5 million a month before being shut down.
It also will revert to focusing on GTA properties, rather than listings from across the country, at least until the site rebuilds with new realtors and online offerings.
That’s according to Toronto realtor and self-described “serial entrepreneur” Lauren Haw, who is leading a group of real estate and technology investors who recently finalized the purchase after Rogers shut down the money-losing site June 22.
The group reportedly paid about $350,000 for the domain name and technology behind the site, which had been losing about $1.5 million a month under Rogers. They were planning to relaunch the website Thursday, backed by a new team of realtors.
A Rogers spokesperson confirmed the sale “of certain intellectual property assets” Thursday, but added that the deal “did not include the sale of brokerage licences or customer information.”
Haw declined to discuss the sale price, but said she hopes some Zoocasa-affiliated agents — there was a team of close to 500 nationwide when the two-year-old site shut down last month — will opt to join the new venture.
“ is an important Canadian asset, backed by unique technology and a brand that’s recognized by millions of Canadians,” said Haw, an agent with 10 years of experience creating and building business ventures who will become the new CEO of Zoocasa.
“Our mission is to give homebuyers access to the best possible real-estate tools and information while providing a premium level of in-house customer service — and that means building a team of professionals who can adapt to changing consumer expectations.”
The new site, which will leverage Zoocasa’s mobile app technology, will also feature an “education centre” component aimed at giving buyers and sellers better information for navigating the real-estate market.
The site will work in tandem with another Haw site,, which she launched in 2013 to help families “find homes in the most desirable school districts in the GTA by leveraging school rankings and district boundaries.”
“Scholarhood allowed our team to witness first-hand the web’s power to open information and enhance the home-buying experience for families,” she said.
Rogers had been trying to sell Zoocasa for some time and said recently it made the decision to shut it down to focus more on its core businesses. But insiders say the discount brokerage had been losing about $1.5 million a month — mostly in massive advertising campaigns meant to boost traffic to the site and bring in more leads around the buying and selling of homes.
At its peak, just 80 sales a month were being generated by hundreds of agents across the country.
While the advertising campaigns managed to boost traffic to about one million visitors a month, that quickly dropped off as advertising was scaled back toward the end, insiders say.

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