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My Canadian Experience
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Wednesday 17th October 2018 was a special day in Canadian History... Canada becomes second country to legalise recreational marijuana.

Recreational marijuana is legal as of today, but the vision of what a pot-permissive Canada looks like remains somewhat hazy.

There's still a lot we don't know, including what will happen to the illicit dispensaries that popped up in cities across the country in recent years. But here's a look at what we do know as Canadian consumers buy legal cannabis for the first time.

You can find out some answers to most questions at:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/marijuana-faq-legalization-need-to-know-1.4862207

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January 2019

I have to say that not everything is good in Canada.

I've recently been reading more about indigenous women being murdered and going missing and yet the police service seems to have a very poor track record in solving these cases. Also, I have been reading since coming to Canada of the problems in the RCMP on sex issues. Far too many women police officers are being sexually harassed and the RCMP don't seem to be fixing those issues and that's now some 15 years I've been reading about this.

Then of course with Canada having the second largest reserves of oil in the world they can only sell it to America at a major discount at that. For some reason many First Nations people and the Green lobby are standing against allowing a pipe line to be built to get it to the coast so they can sell it to world markets. Canada could be making billions every year and the Government seem unable to just get a pipe line built.

Then there is the case of the Prime Minister doing a terrible job at dealing with foreign leaders. Like the last visits by the Prime Minister to India and China have been a disaster and the continued war with China is still going on and if anything getting worse. He had said that getting a free trade deal with China was a top priority but having just sacked his Ambassador in China things are going backwards.

The debt that Canada has built up since the Liberal Government took power is now 3 times what the Prime Minster said he would spend if elected. A lot of that debt could be wiped out if they would only get that Pipe Line built but the Prime Minister seems incapable of resolving this very long lasting issue. However, he has still to make up his mind about financing the armed forces in Canada.  No decision yet on what aircraft to purchase as just one example of many that are being delayed.  There is also a housing crisis in Canada and especially in the two largest cities of Toronto and Vancouver where rents are sky high. No wonder that many young people are still living with their parents. Mind you, if people were willing to locate outside these major centers they can find quite reasonable prices. Of course the same can be said of places like London in the UK.

We are due national elections in October 2019 so we'll get an idea what Canadians think about his tenure in office when the results come in.

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Today, Monday 28th January 2019, I got the start of work to get the house gutters fixed but due to the snowy weather it's going to take another day to complete the work. He noted I have some wood issues in the roof so I'm going to have to get that fixed so tomorrow he'll give me contact details of who to get to fix that. He seem to be a very capable young man so I'm going to ask him for a quote on getting that door I have wanted to put in the garage to allow me easier access to the house from outside. The last rough quote I got was over $2,000.

I might add that I did get the quote in and it was $5,900 so that's not going to happen at that price.

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As it is that time of year again I've just sent my books of to the accountant in the USA for my tax return for the company. I have also now prepared my accounts for the Canadian folk but can't send these in until I receive my audited accounts back from the USA.  However it's mostly done and dusted as they say which is always a good feeling.

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I note the local company Tek-Savvy is now offering full telephone, TV and Internet services.  Certainly worth a look if you live in Chatham. I don't know how good their support is mind you.  I use Cogeco and have a business account with them which means they guarantee a visit within 24 hours.  I do know with a residential account it can be a week before they will come out.

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Had an issue with my garage door so I called in Door-Co in Chatham and they came around within an hour and fixed the issue.

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Today, 12th February, schools were shut today due to ice on the roads and people in the area have been advised to stay of the roads if at all possible. My cleaning lady, Liz Watson, phoned to tell me she had to cancel her 2 weekly visit with me due to that ice and told me that she thought this was the first time in a lot of years that they had closed the schools. I did wander out to my porch and it didn't look that bad.  However she told me she had at least half an inch of ice on her car.

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On March 7th, 2019, I got a notification that my water heater rental was going up from $29.85 to $30.89 a month.  I use Reliance Home Comfort.  I was with another company but Reliance bought them over.  It seem each year I am now due to get an increase in the price of my rental but with my older company I never got an increase so am not happy about this.

Frankly the last Engineer that came out to my home said they had got more reliable and there wasn't much to go wrong with them.  In fact I was told back when I first took out the contract that it would get cheaper pro rata as the years went on but clearly Reliance are going to keep increasing the price each year which is in excess of inflation. 

I have talked to them about this and they are providing me with a 10% discount on the price so that helps.  However I would advise if possible not to rent your water heater and instead purchase it. I am now going to look at purchasing a new water heater before the year is out.

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North Kent Mutual Insurance

I got in my renewal for my house and car insurance from my insurance company this March and so thought I might highlight them in here in the event you are new to the area and are looking for similar insurance coverage.

I have found them to be quite flexible on how they deal with insurance matters.  For example a couple of years back I reversed into another car by accident in the Supermarket car park.  My insurance covered this just fine and they didn't increase my premiums as a result.

Also on another matter a car ran into my home and partially demolished my porch.  They covered the whole cost and didn't take off any deductable.

As they are a mutual company they do share any profits with you.  Like a couple of years ago I got a cheque in for some $70.00 as they had made excess profits that year.  Of course you won't get a cheque every year but it's a good benefit when you do.

Below is my own agent so feel free to give him a call or email him and be sure to let him know I sent you.

I might just add that car insurance here in Chatham-Kent is around half of what you would pay in Toronto which is just another benefit of not living in Toronto as the house prices are also way lower.

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My new hosting company, 4GoodHosting in Vancouver has increased my monthly charge due to my going over my storage allowance. I complained and they reduced the increase a little but now I'm going to have to watch this.  They've given me another 50 Gbyte so that should last me a while. 

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Today 2nd April 2019 I learned that I am getting around $150 a year as a Climate Action Incentive Payment. My accountants have already claimed this for me through my tax return but if you are filing yourself without an accountant then you need to contact the Canada Revenue Agency to claim your amount. I'm told that a family of 4 will receive $307. See https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.html for further information. This amount will increase each year up to 2022 anyway.

  2020 2021 2022
First adult $226 $295 $360
Spouse $113 $147 $180
Child $56 $73 $89
Family of four $451 $588 $718

Federal fuel charges Starting in April 2019 and increasing in stringency over time, the federal pollution pricing system will add a nominal cost to everyday fuels.

In Ontario, for example, the fuel charge on gasoline, in 2019, will be 4.42 cents per litre and the fuel charge for natural gas used in home heating will be 3.91 cents per cubic metre. These rates will increase over time.

Under the federal system, the estimated average cost impact for a household in Ontario is $244, in 2019, which is less than the average for Climate Action Incentive payments ($300). Households of Ontario can also reduce this cost through many options, such as better home insulation, switching to a more fuel-efficient vehicle, using public transit, and lower-cost solutions like LED lightbulbs.

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12th April 2019

Speedy Glass has been advertising on the TV for a while now and as it happens I got a crack in my car windshield so had to have it replaced.  I was partly covered by insurance but my deductible is $500 so I still needed to pay a fair chunk of the cost.

That said it took them 3 hours to complete the work but that also included cleaning all my windows and vacuming the car.  They also supplied me with new wiper blades and replaced the cabin air filter. So all in all I was very pleased with the service.  In with the price they included getting me a taxi back to the house and getting me picked up again when the car was ready.

You can learn about them at: https://www.speedyglass.ca

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Fires
I take this as a topic as I'm just watching the fire at the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. 15th April 2019.

I have watched a number of fires and the one down the road to where I live I noted just how long it took to put out the fire and the hours of work that it took.  I have since felt that using water to put out fires is simply not working.

I feel we need a chemical option to put out fires or some other method to extinguish them as water simply takes far too long to put them out.

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I went to Toronto for the Easter Weekend and had a great time. Nola's daughter and son-in-law have a new restaurant in Toronto and Nola's grandson Dillon is now the manager and apparently really enjoys the job and they seem to be happy with him so that's great news. Michael, another son-in-law was let go by Rogers as he was a supervisor in their support call centre.  He had now got a similar position with Home Depot in Toronto and seems to be happy with the move. Always good to get caught up with what everyone is doing and wow the grand kids and great grand kids are all looking much older now. Just as well I got new wipers as it was heavy rain most of the way from Chatham to Toronto. Lovely and sunny and dry on the way home.


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