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Found 53 results

  1. I've been wondering for a bit, how it works for people who win the lotto. Lets say you win like $20 million. Do you get taxed once if you made that in one year, or will they tax you every year?
  2. http://www.icisource.ca/commercial_real_estate_news/ When NIMBYism is warranted, and when it isn’t Of course, the question is whether a proposed development, infill project or new infrastructure build really does pose a risk to these cherished things. Developers and urban planners must always be cognizant of the fact that there is a segment of the population, a fringe element, who will object to just about anything “new” as a matter of principle. I’ve been to many open houses and public consultations for one proposed project or another over the years. There is almost always that contingent of dogged objectors who invariably fixate on the same things: Parking – Will there be enough if the development increases the population density of the neighbourhood or draws more shoppers/workers from elsewhere? Traffic – Will streets become unsafe and congested due to more cars on the road? Transit – Will this mean more busses on the road, increasing the safety hazard on residential streets, or conversely will there be a need for more? Shadowing – is the new build going to leave parts of the neighbourhood stuck in the shade of a skyscraper? These are all legitimate concerns, depending on the nature of the project in question. They are also easy targets for the activist obstructionist. Full and honest disclosure is the best defence Why? Because I see, time and again, some developers and urban planners who should know better fail to be prepared for objections rooted on any of these points. With any new development or infrastructure project, there has to be, as a simple matter of sound public policy, studies that examine and seek to mitigate impacts and effects related to parking, traffic, shadowing, transit and other considerations. It therefore only makes sense, during a public consult or open house, to address the most likely opposition head on by presenting the findings and recommendations of these studies up front in a clear and obvious manner. But too often, this isn’t done. I’ve was at an open house a few years ago where, when asked about traffic impact, the developer said there wouldn’t be any. Excuse me? If your project adds even one car to the street, there’s an impact. I expect he meant there would be only minimal impact, but that’s not what he said. The obstructionists had a field day with that – another greedy developer, trying to pull the wool over the eyes of honest residents. This is a marketing exercise – treat it like one This is ultimately a marketing exercise – you have to sell residents on the value and need of the development. Take another example – a retirement residence. With an aging population, we are obviously going to need more assisted living facilities in the years to come. But in this case, the developer, speaking to an audience full of grey hairs, didn’t even make the point that the new residence would give people a quality assisted-living option, without having to leave their community, when they were no longer able to live on their own. I also hear people who object to infill projects because they think their tax dollars have paid for infrastructure that a developer is now going to take advantage of – they think the developer is somehow getting a free ride. And yet, that developer must pay development charges to the city to proceed with construction. The new build will also pay its full utility costs and property taxes like the rest of the street. City hall gets more revenue for infrastructure that has already been paid for, and these additional development charges fund municipal projects throughout the city. Another point, often overlooked – when you take an underperforming property and redevelop it, its assessed value goes up, and its tax bill goes up. The local assessment base has just grown. City hall isn’t in the business of making a profit, just collecting enough property tax to cover the bills. The more properties there are in your neighbourhood, the further that tax burden is spread. In other words, that infill project will give everyone else a marginal reduction on their tax bill. It likely isn’t much, but still, it’s something. Developers must use the facts to defuse criticism Bottom line, development is necessary and good most of the time. If we didn’t have good regulated development, we would be living in horrid medieval conditions. Over the last century and a bit, ever growing regulation have given us safer communities, with more reliable utilities and key services such as policing and fire. Yes, there are examples of bad development, but if we had none, as some people seem to want, no one would have a decent place to live. It just astonishes me that developers and urban planners don’t make better use of the facts available to them to defuse criticism. It’s so easy to do it in the right way. Proper preparation for new development public information sessions is the proponent’s one opportunity to tell their story, and should not be wasted by failing to get the facts out and explaining why a project is a good idea. To discuss this or any other valuation topic in the context of your property, please contact me at [email protected] I am also interested in your feedback and suggestions for future articles. The post Why do public planning projects go off the rails? appeared first on Real Estate News Exchange (RENX). sent via Tapatalk
  3. http://montrealgazette.com/business/local-business/quebec-is-slowing-spending-but-its-a-far-cry-from-european-style-austerity "Unfortunately, the private sector hasn’t kept the rendezvous. Stéfane Marion, chief economist at the National Bank, notes that net private-sector employment has fallen by 30,000 in the province so far this year while Ontario has added 80,000 such jobs. Marion points to lingering fallout over the bitter charter of values debate under the preceding Parti Québécois government. Quebec lost a net 10,000 people last spring to interprovincial migration — the worst outflows since 1995-96. That didn’t help the job market." On the plus side, the economy does seem to be improving and stimulus is coming from other sources. Exports to the U.S. and Ontario are growing at a healthy clip, the cheaper Canadian dollar is a boost to manufacturers and lower oil prices are an added bonus to both businesses and consumers. Marion figures that Quebecers have received a $300-million break at the gas pump so far this year as prices have declined. That will ease the pain from an expected two-cents-per-litre jump in gas prices in the New Year to cover the cost to distributors of Quebec’s new cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions. And if you can believe Finance Minister Carlos Leitão, the pain is about to end for taxpayers who are tired of paying more and receiving less. Most of the measures needed to go from the current-year deficit of $2.3 billion to a balanced budget have already been identified, he said. Another $1.1 billion will still have to be found in the budget next spring. It’s about time, says Norma Kozhaya, chief economist at the Conseil du patronat du Québec which represents the province’s largest employers. Quebec has reached the limit on what it can absorb in the way of further tax increases and spending cuts, she argued. Kozhaya is worried about slow growth in the economy, pegged at 1.6 per cent this year and 1.9 per cent in 2015. “What’s important is to get more revenue from economic growth and not from new taxes and fees.” She would like to hear more of a pro-investment discourse from the Couillard government, especially when it comes to natural resources. In the meantime, there’s always 2017-18 to look forward to. That’s when Leitão talks boldly of a surplus and maybe even a tax cut — in what will be an election year.
  4. http://www.montrealgazette.com/Canada+driversdeserve+Roads+Czar/4434450/story.html I am not thinking highly of a federal office to solve problems. That said, the monies recieved from at least the federal gasoline and diesel excise tax & GST on gasoline should be invested in roads and highways and not the BS black hole it goes into currently (notwithstanding various federal-aid highway projects which seem to be common, like A-30, A-85, Montreal bridges, Calgary & Edmonton ring roads, NB Route 2 etc, the total investment is still much less than the excise revenues).
  5. April 29, 2009 By LANDON THOMAS Jr. LONDON — Tetsuya Ishikawa reaped the fruits of London’s financial boom, structuring and selling his small share of the complex securities that fueled both his professional rise and the uninterrupted economic growth of Britain. When the boom went bust last year, he lost his job at Morgan Stanley, along with about 28,000 other Londoners working in finance. Mr. Ishikawa, who has written a fictional memoir, has no plans to return to the City, as London’s banking district is known. But Britain’s revenue-starved Labor government will find no such escape. “By 2010, the U.K. will have the largest budget deficit in the developed world,” said Richard Snook, a senior economist at the Center for Economic and Business Research in London. “The problem is that the financial services industry has been a huge cash cow for the British government for the last 10 years and now it is going into reverse.” The country’s budget deficit has soared to 12 percent of gross domestic product; its public debt burden could soon reach 80 percent of annual economic output, a figure that would leave it roughly in the same position as Greece. But at a time when Britain more than ever needs a financial sector firing on all cylinders, its economic engine is conking out — for a number of reasons, including some that critics blame on the government. All told, more than 70,000 jobs in finance are expected to disappear over the next two to three years, a big chunk of the total estimated job losses of about 280,000 in London. The British government has poured hundreds of billions of pounds into preventing several of its largest banks from falling into bankruptcy as the extent of their bad bets became evident. But there is little prospect of a revival anytime soon, as the government is about to impose stiffer demands on banks to keep high capital ratios and to rely less on leverage and once-lucrative trading activities. That, combined with a more aggressive posture by the regulatory authorities to put a check on bonuses, is likely to hasten what has already been a sharp falloff in corporate and income taxes from the City. The economic contribution from the British financial sector, according to the Office for National Statistics, peaked at 10.8 percent of G.D.P. in 2007 — up from 5.5 percent in 1996, just before Labor took over. By comparison, the contribution from financial services in the United States to the American economy never exceeded 8 percent. In a bid to capture more revenue, the British government has decided to raise tax rates on the affluent, many of them working in finance. But the new top income tax rate of 50 percent for those earning at least £150,000, or $219,000, may only make things worse, said Mr. Snook, the economist. “These people are highly mobile and they will leave London,” he said. “The impact on public finances will be negative.” Britain’s top tax rate will soon rank fourth behind those of Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands — not quite the advertisement one would expect from one of the world’s leading financial centers. In many ways, Mr. Ishikawa’s career tracked the credit explosion that has now imploded. When he began work as a lowly credit analyst in 2002, banks in London issued about £20 billion in securities linked to various mortgage instruments. His career took off as that figure surged to over £180 billion by 2008, when Mr. Ishikawa secured for himself a $3 million bonus from Morgan Stanley as a reward for peddling assets that turned out to be toxic. With that line of business virtually defunct, banks in the coming years must return to lower-risk and lower-return businesses like equity and bond underwriting, foreign exchange trading and traditional deal-making — businesses that may well be profitable, but can in no way make up for the loss of such a lush specialty. The Center for Economic and Business Research estimates that corporate and income taxes from the financial industry will shrink from 12 percent of the overall tax take in 2007 to 8 percent this year and perhaps lower in the years ahead, a prospect that could force Britain to increase its already substantial borrowing requirement. The crisis has humbled all financial centers, from Wall Street to Dubai. According to an index produced in Britain that ranks financial centers around the world, the City of London still comes out on top, closely followed by New York. The gap, though, between these two and Singapore, which is now third, is narrowing. Lord Adair Turner, the chairman of the Financial Services Authority, agrees that London as a financial center will be in for an adjustment and says that a large portion of the banking industry’s profit contribution to the economy was “illusory.” But even in a more restrictive environment, he points out, London’s importance as a global financial hub and the most valuable trading center in Europe will not go away. “The City is important today for the same reason it was important in 1890,” he said. As for Mr. Ishikawa, who is 30 and grew up in Britain as the son of a successful Japanese executive, he is putting his hopes into a new career as a writer. His book, “How I Caused the Credit Crunch,” chronicles the debauched excesses of the boom — he was briefly married to a Brazilian lap dancer — by lightly fictionalizing his six-year stint in finance. “I really don’t miss it,” he said, sipping a coffee near the building where he was laid off. “There are many more kids out there more hungry than me.” Like Faruq Rana, for example. Mr. Rana, the 26-year-old son of Bangladeshi immigrants, was born and reared in Tower Hamlets, a district abutting Canary Wharf that has Britain’s highest unemployment rate. From his window, he can see the towers of Citigroup and Barclays reaching into the sky and his ambition to one day work as a trader in one of those buildings soars nearly as high. “Every day when I wake up and open up my window, I can smell my job,” said Mr. Rana, who is a student in a government-financed program at Tower Hamlets College that prepares local youths for jobs in the financial industry. Unlike Mr. Ishikawa, Mr. Rana did not go to Eton or Oxford, but he remains undeterred. “I have the motivation and the drive,” he said. “I think I can be one of them.” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/29/business/global/29city.html?ref=global-home
  6. It's looking like New York will follow fast on the heels of Illinois in deciding not to add a luxury tax for jewelry over $20,000. The American Watch Association sent an e-mail to members on Monday saying that while the New York State Legislature has agreed to tax increases to deal with a budget deficit, the luxury tax proposal is not part of it. The luxury tax would have also applied to aircraft costing more than $500,000, yachts over $200,000, cars that cost more than $60,000 and furs over $20,000. But don't go spending yet, high earners in New York will be feeling an increased pinch. Income taxes were raised one percentage point to 7.85 percent for couples with income over $300,000 and couples with more than $500,000 in income will pay 8.97 percent. The three-year tax increase is expected to add $4 billion to the state coffers this year.
  7. Welcome to the province of tax tax tax. Now we're poorer and can't keep up with the cost of living. So much for le modele Quebecois. We need to make some adjustments to improve our collective wealth http://montrealgazette.com/business/local-business/quebecers-high-taxes-take-toll-on-buying-power "Despite a slight increase in disposable income, Quebecers have not been keeping up with cost-of-living increases, giving residents of la belle province the second lowest buying power of any province in the country, according to l’Institut de la statistique du Québec. Only Prince Edward Island has less buying power. According to the latest figures, disposable income in Quebec increased 0.9 per cent in 2013. At the same time, the consumer price index grew by 1.2 per cent. Therefore, real disposable income per resident declined by 1.2 per cent— the first time this figure has gone down since 1996. The reasons for the reduction in buying power are taxes and contributions to social programs, the institute says. With an average disposable income of $26,774, Quebec ranked second to last in 2013. Disposable income in P.E.I. was $26,439 per resident. The Canadian average is $30,746."
  8. http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/montreal/montreal-real-estate-tax-foreign-investors-vancouver-1.3704178 A new tax on foreign buyers in Vancouver has real estate agents predicting a spillover effect into other Canadian markets. But it's unclear if Montreal, often an outlier when it comes to real estate trends, will be among them. "I really don't think this is something that's looming for Montreal," said Martin Desjardins, a local realtor. The market here is "nothing compared to what's happening in Toronto and Vancouver," he said. The new 15 per cent tax, which took effect Tuesday, was introduced by the British Columbia government with the intent of improving home affordability in Metro Vancouver, where house prices are among the highest in North America. Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa has said he is examining the possibility of a similar tax "very closely," as a measure to address Toronto's skyrocketing home prices. Experts believe the Vancouver tax could exacerbate the booming housing market in Toronto and, potentially, affect other Canadian cities. Brad Henderson, president and CEO of Sotheby's International Realty Canada, said some foreign nationals could turn to areas not subject to a tax — either elsewhere in British Columbia or farther afield. "Certainly I think Toronto and potentially other markets like Montreal will start to become more attractive, because comparatively speaking they will be less expensive,'' Henderson said. However, the Montreal market has so far remained off the radar of foreign investors. France, U.S top Montreal foreign buyers the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said the number of foreign investors in the Montreal area is small and concentrated in condominiums in the city's downtown. The report found that 1.3 per cent of condominiums in the greater Montreal region were owned by foreigners last year. That number jumps to nearly five per cent in the city's downtown. Residents of the United States and France accounted for the majority of foreign buyers, while China (at eight per cent) and Saudi Arabia (five per cent) accounted for far fewer buyers. Francis Cortellino, the CMHC market analyst who prepared the study, said it's difficult to determine whether the Vancouver tax will change the situation much in Montreal. "We're not sure yet what [buyers] will do," he said. "There are a lot of possibilities." In Montreal, Desjardins said the foreign real estate buyers most often operate on a much smaller scale, often consisting of "mom and pop investors" or people from France looking for a more affordable lifestyle. "I don't think it will ever be to the point where we'll have to put a tax," he said. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. Canada ranks 2nd among 10 countries for cost competitiveness, says KPMG THE CANADIAN PRESS 03.29.2016 TORONTO - Accounting giant KPMG says Canada has proven to be second most competitive market in a comparison test of 10 leading industrial countries. In its report, KPMG says Canada lags only behind Mexico when it comes to how little businesses have to pay for labour, facilities, transportation and taxes. The report, which compared the competitiveness of a number of western countries along with Australia and Japan, found that a high U.S. dollar has helped Canada stay affordable despite rising office real estate costs and lower federal tax credits. When it comes to corporate income taxes, it found that Canada, the U.K. and the Netherlands had the lowest rates overall due to tax incentives to support high-tech and research and development. KPMG also looked at the competitiveness of more than 100 cities worldwide. It ranked Fredericton, N.B., as the most cost-effective city in Canada due to low labour costs and continued low costs for property leases. Montreal topped the list among 34 major cities in North America, followed by Toronto and Vancouver. The three Canadian cities beat out all U.S. cities. Although there have been concerns over the impact of a weakening loonie on the economy, having a low Canadian dollar has actually been "a driver in improving Canada's competitiveness and overall cost advantage," KPMG said. As a result, that has made it more attractive for businesses to set up shop north of the border than in the U.S., it said. http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/canada+ranks+among+countries+cost+competitiveness+says+kpmg/11817781/story.html
  10. MONTREAL - When James Essaris looks out over his flat concrete kingdom of 20 downtown parking lots that he started collecting in 1956, he sees a precious urban resource where others see ugliness. The much-maligned parking lot, long considered an urban eyesore and enemy of public transit, is becoming an increasingly rare feature on the downtown streetscape. Essaris, longtime owner of Stationnement Métropolitain, sees his barren concrete as more than just a chance for him to pocket some cash on the barrelhead: he believes in the good that parking lots do and considers the spaces to be the lungs of downtown commerce. “The City of Montreal should give free parking to come downtown. We’re chasing people out to the shopping centres,” he said. The new parking lot tax was adopted in 2010 and brings in $19 million a year to fund public transit. The tax is determined by a complicated formula that Essaris says in practice makes city taxes about twice as expensive on a surface lot as it would for another type of structure. The city held public hearings on the issue this spring and response to the surface parking eradication campaign — through the new parking tax and allowing larger-scale buildings on the empty lots — was greeted positively, according to City of Montreal Executive Committee member Alan DeSousa. “It brings more money into the city coffers and removes the scars in the downtown area,” he said. He said that some of lost parking spaces have been replaced by indoor parking in the various projects. But after seeing his taxes double in recent years, Essaris is now doing what many other parking-lot owners have done: He has started sacrificing his supply of parking spaces for housing, most recently building a 38-storey Icône condo tower at de la Montagne St. and René Lévesque Blvd. He has some misgivings, however, knowing that those spots will be sorely missed. “We cannot survive without parking in the city. I wish everybody could take the bus and métro, it’d make things easier, but you cannot force people onto the métro when they have a car,” he said. Urban retailers have long begged their merchants associations to create more places to park, perhaps no more than on the Main where about half of all members regularly plead for more parking, according to Bruno Ricciardi-Rigault, president of the SDBSL. “It would be really nice if we had a few more parking lots,” he said. However, the dearth of spaces is only going to intensify as the few remaining parking lots near St. Laurent Blvd. are slated to be redeveloped. Ricciardi-Rigault is bracing for more complaints from restauranteurs who have lost customers because their motorist clientele was fed up with circling the block. “Some people want to spend the whole afternoon, shop, go to Jeanne Mance Park, come back for a beer. Paying $20 to park on the street, that‘s asking a lot,” he said. Condo towers have been replacing lots in the downtown core at an impressive pace and the result is higher prices at indoor garages, reflected in a recent Colliers study that ranks Montreal as having the second-highest parking prices of any big Canadian city. Rates have risen an eye-opening 11 per cent since last year, as the average monthly price for an unreserved spot in a downtown underground commercial lot was $330.96 — $88 above the national average. The proliferation of private parking lots once inspired many to liken Montreal to a bombed-out city, but that is no longer the case. “We were spoiled by having tons of parking lots, now Montrealers will have to get used to much higher parking costs,” said Colliers representative Andrew Maravita. He credits a lower commercial vacancy rate for pushing prices higher. Up until the 1960s, Montreal tacitly allowed even historic buildings to be demolished and replaced by parking lots and until recently turned a blind eye to the countless rogue illegal lots that dotted the downtown core. For ages, Montreal surface parking lots were fly-by-night operations, changing ownership to avoid bylaw restrictions ordering them to be paved, landscaped. The city always said they couldn’t chase every owner down. But in recent years, authorities have increased taxes and cracked down on illegal lots, combining the stick of punishment with the carrot of juicy rezoning booty. In the past, many property owners failed to see the point of building on their parking lots, as the zoning frequently only allowed for small buildings. Those restrictions have been lifted on many of those properties, resulting in a bonanza for parking-lot owners whose land increased in value. The strategy was put into place with input from architect and former Equality Party leader Robert Libman, who previously served on the city’s Executive Committee. “A lot of projects going on now, on streets like Crescent and Bishop and that area, were previously zoned for two or three storeys. The urban plan capped those at a minimal height. The rezoning has made it more alluring for owners to build instead of leaving it vacant,” he says. Libman’s war against above-ground parking lots is personal. “They’re ugly and they undermine the downtown urban fabric,” Libman said. But he concedes that commerce relies on people being able to drive to a business. “You’ve got to find that careful balance between offering too much parking, making it too easy vs. your objective of discouraging people to take their car downtown and using public transit, that’s the fine line you have to find between the two,” he said. Developers are required to include parking in new projects, but the amount varies from place to place. In Laval, many projects are required to have two parking spaces per condo unit, while in the Plateau it’s close to zero spaces, although a typical recipe calls for one spot per two units. The one part of the city perhaps most challenged by a dearth of parking facilities is the booming Old Montreal area. The issue has long been considered such an urgent problem that one proposal from a decade ago even suggested that the massive silos in the Old Port be used to park cars. More recently, Old Montreal planners have installed an electronic billboard indicating where spaces could be found, but the pressure on parking endures, according to Georges Coulombe, whose real-estate company has been snapping up properties in the area for the last four decades. Coulombe concedes that area commerce has been hurt by a lack of space for cars. “People from places like Longueuil want to come shop on the weekend, but they can’t do it anymore, it’s too expensive to park, they end up going to malls closer to home.” He attempted to address the problem through a plan to build a high-tech robotic parking facility that could accommodate twice as many cars as a regular indoor lot. However, he did the math and found that it wouldn’t make sense because of city taxes. “I had a small 3,000-foot terrain that I would have turned into 300 spaces, but the city wanted to tax not just the building but the machinery inside. It made it impossible.” Much-hyped futuristic robotic parking systems are seen by some as a potential solution to parking woes and have actually been around for quite some time. The city has had at least three pigeon-hole parking systems as the earlier incarnations were known; one was opened on de la Montagne St. in the 1950s and another on Mansfield, where a worker was crushed by an elevator. A third more recent one was in operation at St. Jean and Notre Dame until a decade ago. Authorities frequently cite the fear of being unable to put out a car blaze in their opposition to such facilities. And although a few such high-tech robotic lots could elegantly alleviate parking pressures, one expert says that the standalone dedicated parking buildings will probably never get built. Chris Mulvihill, the New Jersey-based President of Boomerang Systems, a high-tech car-stacking parking lot system, notes that any landowner would most probably opt for a different sort of project. “Take any place where it’s very hard to get a parking spot,” Mulvihill says. “You’d think building a garage and charging for parking would be a good business model, but the economics dictate that if there’s a high demand for parking in that area, it’s because it’s a hot, happening place, so there are real-estate developers who want to build on that land. The demand makes it uber-expensive. A landowner could make a lot more money doing something other than parking on it.” © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Parking+squeeze+Downtown+businesses+feeling/7453989/story.html#ixzz2ASqBCwJE
  11. having recently walked through griffintown from downtown towards verdun i found that while the area is filled with many condo projects most of them look they have been there for quite a while and they all seem to be waiting after one another to 'pop' from the ground ... in the meantime the place still looks awfully desolate and abandoned and you have to think that this has an effect on the health of those projects - it's not like the city lacks any plans for griffintown but don't you think they should be more proactive about it and inject some fund in the neighborhood to help spur the growth of all these residential towers instead of waiting for them to actually get built before they do anything ? chicken and the egg kinda situation now it seems but imo the city should be the first to do actually do something and not the private developers .. after all all these years down the road its the city that will still be collecting tax funds if anything gets built - not the initial investors
  12. Only reason I am asking, you get dinged 31% if you take out over $15000 and you get dinged again because the Canadian / Quebec government consider it income. So honestly, what is the use to have something like this, if you are just going be penalized for saving money. $15000 turns into $10350 which turns into $9016.75 At least the TFSA you don't get taxed but there is a limit on how much you can put in. If you haven't put in any money since they started in 2009, you deposit $15,000 and whatever you make from it is tax free
  13. The French election and business The terror The 75% tax and other alarming campaign promises Apr 7th 2012 | PARIS | from the print edition EUROFINS SCIENTIFIC, a bio-analytics firm, is the sort of enterprise that France boasts about. It is fast-growing, international and hungry to buy rivals. So people noticed when in March it decamped to Luxembourg. Observers reckon it was fleeing France’s high taxes. It will soon be joined by Sword Group, a successful software firm, which voted to move to Luxembourg last month. As France enters the final weeks of its presidential campaign, candidates are competing to promise new measures that would hurt business. François Hollande, the Socialist candidate, and the current favourite to win the second and final round on May 6th, has promised a top marginal income-tax rate of 75% for those earning over €1m ($1.3m). He has declared war on finance. If the Socialists win, he pledges, corporate taxes will rise and stock options will be outlawed. Other countries welcome global firms. “France seems to want to keep them out,” sighs Denis Kessler, the boss of SCOR, a reinsurer. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, an even leftier candidate than Mr Hollande, has been gaining ground. Communists marched to the Bastille on March 18th to support him. The right offers little solace. Nicolas Sarkozy, the incumbent, is unpopular partly because of his perceived closeness to fat cats. To distance himself, he has promised a new tax on French multinationals’ foreign sales. If Mr Hollande wins, he may water down his 75% income-tax rate. But it would be difficult to back away from such a bold, public pledge. And doing business in France is hard enough without such uncertainty. Companies must cope with heavy social charges, intransigent unions and political meddling. The 35-hour work week, introduced in 2000, makes it hard to get things done. Mr Hollande says he will reverse a measure Mr Sarkozy introduced to dilute its impact by exempting overtime pay from income tax and social charges. The 75% income-tax rate is dottier than a pointilliste painting. When other levies are added, the marginal rate would top 90%. In parts of nearby Switzerland, the top rate is around 20%. French firms are already struggling to hire foreign talent. More firms may leave. Armand Grumberg, an expert in corporate relocation at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, a law firm, says that several big companies and rich families are looking at ways to leave France. At a recent lunch for bosses of the largest listed firms, the main topic was how to get out. Investment banks and international law firms would probably be the first to go, as they are highly mobile. Already, the two main listed banks, BNP Paribas and Société Générale, are facing queries from investors about Mr Hollande’s plan to separate their retail arms from investment banking. He has also vowed to hike the corporate tax on banks from 33% to nearly 50%. In January Paris launched a new €120m ($160m) “seed” fund to attract hedge funds. Good luck with that. Last month Britain promised to cut its top tax rate from 50% to 45%. No financial centre comes close to Mr Hollande’s 75% rate (see chart). Large firms will initially find it hard to skedaddle. Those with the status ofsociété anonyme, the most common, need a unanimous vote from shareholders. But the European Union’s cross-border merger directive offers an indirect route: French firms can merge with a foreign company. Big groups also have the option of moving away the substance of their operations, meaning decision-making and research and development. Last year, Jean-Pascal Tricoire, the boss of Schneider Electric, an energy-services company, moved with his top managers to run the firm from Hong Kong (where the top tax rate is 15%). For now, the firm’s headquarters and tax domicile remain in France. But for how long? Pressure to leave could come from foreign shareholders, says Serge Weinberg, the chairman of Sanofi, a drugmaker. “American, German or Middle Eastern shareholders will not tolerate not being able to get the best management because of France’s tax regime,” he says. At the end of 2010, foreign shareholders held 42% of the total value of the firms in the CAC 40, the premier French stock index. That is higher than in many other countries. It is not clear whether the 75% tax rate would apply to capital gains as well as income. As with most of the election campaign’s anti-business pledges, the detail has been left vague. Mr Sarkozy has offered various definitions of what he means by “big companies”, which would have to pay his promised new tax. Some businessfolk therefore hope that the most onerous pledges will be quietly ditched once the election is over. But many nonetheless find the campaign alarming. French politicians not only seem to hate business; they also seem to have little idea how it actually works. The most debilitating effects of all this may be long-term. Brainy youngsters have choices. They can find jobs or set up companies more or less anywhere. The ambitious will risk their savings, borrow money and toil punishing hours to create new businesses that will, in turn, create jobs and new products. But they will not do this for 25% (or less) of the fruits of their labour. Zurich is only an hour away; French politics seem stuck in another century. http://www.economist.com/node/21552219
  14. 52% oppose Bill C-10 Proposed change targets filmmakers. Don't censor content by refusing tax credits, slim majority of Canadians say in survey TIFFANY CRAWFORD, Canwest News Service Published: 6 hours ago A slim majority of Canadians believe it would be wrong for the government to screen the content of films and deny tax credits to projects it deems offensive, a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Canwest News Service and Global TV indicates. The poll, conducted from June 10 to 12, found that 52 per cent of the 1,002 Canadians surveyed disagree with Bill C-10, a proposed change to the Income Tax Act that would deny tax money to filmmakers whose content is "contrary to public policy." At 62 per cent, residents of film-industry-heavy British Columbia are most likely to say the government is "wrong" to interfere in such a way. That's followed by those living in the mostly Conservative province of Alberta at 57 per cent, indicating the reaction of Canadians is largely ideological. "(The bill) has obviously touched a nerve," said John Wright with Ipsos Reid. "If it's not going to pass the sniff test, it's going to be gagged," said the senior vice-president of Ipsos Reid. "It has a good majority in the country that are going to go against this." Although the idea to deny tax credits was raised under the previous Liberal government, Wright suggests people may be concerned about the "slippery slope" of censorship with the Conservative Party. "While it may have been acceptable under the Liberals because they were more flexible on content, this government has the trappings of moral and religious rigour," he said. "So they might wear this more than the last government." According to the poll, 45 per cent of Canadians believe it's right for the government to screen the content of films, because it involves taxpayers' money - and because government has the right to determine what's in the public interest. As the poll was released, the Canadian independent film, Young People F*****g, opened in cinemas on the weekend. The film has become the poster child for the controversial bill that has many Canadian film and TV stars, including actress and director Sarah Polley, lobbying the government to stop the bill. The reason, say opponents of C-10, such as Polley, actor-director Paul Gross and Oscar-winning director Ang Lee, is that Young People is the type of film that would have been denied funding. Young People, a movie about four couples and a threesome trying to find satisfactory sex lives, has been viewed as pornographic by some religious groups, while others say it's just a bit of fun. In any case, the film is not as raunchy as its title suggests. Although there's a lot of nudity, mostly it's just a series of sketches where the characters seek to balance their lives with love and sex. The film's director, Martin Gero, says it's a harmless comedy, but he agreed it may not have got the funding had it been judged by the title. The poll found younger Canadians aged 18 to 34 were more likely to say the government is "wrong" to censor content by refusing tax credits, followed by Canadians age 35 to 54. Those with post-secondary education and those who live in urban areas were also more likely to disagree with the bill, the poll suggests. While the poll suggests a majority of Canadians disagree with the bill, the government argues the proposed change to the federal tax-credit system does not jeopardize the creative freedom of Canadian film and TV production. Heritage Minister Josée Verner says the government is trying to make sure Canadian taxpayers' money won't fund extreme violence or pornography. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=a7f81b30-f97e-4570-84d8-dff373f9f66e
  15. After 57 years, it's bye-bye Ben's Sandwich shop is toast. Montreal landmark closed in December and now faces the wrecker's ball MARY LAMEY, The Gazette Published: Saturday, May 12, 2007 Ben's Restaurant, a Montreal landmark closed in December after a lengthy labour dispute, has been sold and will face the wrecker's ball. SIDEV Realty Corp. has purchased the three-storey building at the corner of Metcalfe St. and de Maisonneuve Blvd., from the Kravitz family. The deal is expected to close on June 18. The purchase price has not been disclosed. SIDEV plans to demolish the building and is examining various options for redeveloping the 6,000-square-foot site. One option would be to build a 12- to-15-storey boutique hotel with retail space on the lower floors, or condominiums, said SIDEV president Sam Benatar, who began discussions with the Kravitz family several months ago. Ben's Deli in 2006: The municipal tax roll pegs its value at $2.62 million.View Larger Image View Larger Image Ben's Deli in 2006: The municipal tax roll pegs its value at $2.62 million. "It's a very small site, but what an incredible location," Benatar said. His firm is also open to working with the Hines-SITQ partnership, which is planning a 28-storey office tower on the lot immediately east of Ben's. SIDEV has been in touch with the SITQ and expects to meet with the real estate development arm of the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec to see whether they can work together. His firm is not planning to sell the land, Benatar said firmly. "We did not buy in order to sell, but we are open to discussing all possibilities." A spokesman for the SITQ said he was unaware of the transaction and doubted the developer would alter its project to incorporate the Ben's property. "We are moving ahead with the project we presented publicly last October," said Jacques-Andre Charland, the SITQ's director of public affairs. The Texas-based Hines Group purchased the parking lot immediately east of Ben's in 2004. It partnered with the SITQ, a major landlord, to build the $150-million project that was to virtually wrap around the restaurant, one of the last three-storey structures along the canyon of office towers on De Maisonneuve Blvd. W. Hines has said publicly that it had hoped to strike a deal to acquire the neighbouring land, too. The Kravitz family has vehemently denied that it was ever approached about selling. The family could not be reached for comment yesterday. Ben Kravitz opened a deli offering smoked meat on St. Lawrence Blvd. in 1908. The Metcalfe St. eatery, with its wrap-around illuminated sign, opened in 1950. The current municipal tax roll pegs the property's value at $2.62 million, including $1.96 million for the land and $660,700 for the building. "There's no question of leaving the building in place. It isn't worth anything," Benatar said. SIDEV owns and manages large office and commercial properties around Montreal, including the Gordon Brown building at 400 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W. in the fur district, the jewellery business hub at 620 Cathcart St. and a Chabanel district property at 9250 Park Ave. It is also moving ahead with a plan to demolish the Spectrum and build a $120-million retail and office project at the southeast corner of Bleury and Ste. Catherine Sts.
  16. Un article du New York Time sur un penthouse à Vendre à Montréal. à Source: New York Time Album Photo INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE For Sale in ... Montreal By CLAIRE McGUIRE WHAT A one-bedroom penthouse apartment with industrial details and panoramic views of Montreal HOW MUCH 1,995,000 Canadian dollars ($1,866,400) SETTING This 10-story former factory was built in 1912 in the Paper Mill District near the financial district and Old Montreal. It shares the top floor with two other apartments, and overlooks several museums, the old port and the Chinatown neighborhood. Montreal is situated on several islands at the point where the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa rivers merge. It is about 325 miles north of New York City. Montreal is known internationally for its architecture and design, its strong arts scene and its vibrant gay community. INSIDE The apartment has an open layout; only the bedroom, bathrooms and a sitting room are enclosed. It would be easy to create an additional bedroom. The bedroom has an en suite bathroom and a walk-in closet with one wall made of opaque glass. There is a double-sided fireplace between the living room and the kitchen. The floors are of blue-stained hardwood in some places and slate tile in others. The high ceilings, painted brick walls and textured concrete pillars recall the building’s industrial history. The apartment’s seven arched windows overlook the city, three at the front of the building and four along one side. OUTSIDE A skylight in the kitchen could be enlarged to provide roof access, and the apartment’s owners have the right to create a private rooftop garden. The ground floor of the building has a restaurant, and all building entrances have electronic security doors. The apartment comes with two indoor parking spaces. Next door, the grounds of St. Patrick Church offer the nearest green space. The area has many bicycle paths, and the building is within walking distance of the city’s financial district, as well as cafes, museums and art galleries. HOW TO GET THERE The apartment is 25 minutes by car from the airport, and two blocks from Montreal’s main train station. WHO BUYS IN MONTREAL Louise Latreille, a real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec, said that she had seen an increase in buyers from Morocco, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, China and Japan — and that many foreigners were buying condos for their college-age children. Most of the city’s American buyers spend winters in Florida or California and summers in Montreal, she added. European buyers tend to look for homes in the mountains, not in Montreal itself. Meanwhile, many Canadian empty-nesters are moving back to the city, looking for “something chic and exclusive,” she said. MARKET OVERVIEW Sandra Girard, senior analyst of the Montreal market for the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, says the market has been less active this year than it was in 2007. According to Ms. Girard, the number of transactions in the first half of 2008 was 3 percent lower than in the same period last year. However, 2007 broke records for the number of real estate transactions, making a slight slow-down inevitable, because “the activity registered in 2007 is difficult to sustain.” Meanwhile, sales prices continue to increase at a slower rate. Ms. Girard said overall prices for residential real estate increased 4 percent in the first half of 2008, compared to 8 percent in the same period last year. Ms. Latreille says condominiums continue to be popular among buyers in Montreal. A report by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board shows that prices for single-family detached homes increased less than 2 percent in the 12-month period to June 2008, while condo prices increased more than 7 percent over the same period. BUYING BASICS Stéphane Hardouin, a notary and partner in the law firm Sylvestre Lagasse in Sherbrooke, Quebec, says legal fees in Quebec are usually 1,200 to 1,800 Canadian dollars ($1,146 to $1,719). If the property is financed, he said, buyers usually pay an additional 750 Canadian dollars ($716) to the notary, and a mortgage registration fee of 137 Canadian dollars ($131). Buyers pay for an inspection, costing 600 to 1000 Canadian dollars ($573 to $955). Mr. Hardouin says the seller pays around 1,000 Canadian dollars ($955) for a surveyor’s certificate, and also the real estate agent’s commission of 5 to 7 percent. A goods and services tax, or sales tax, is assessed on new homes and on real estate agent commissions, he said. This tax is 12.875 percent. Land transfer taxes in Canada are different for each province. In Quebec, transfer taxes are paid directly to the municipality, Mr. Hardouin said. Montreal’s transfer tax, commonly called the “welcome tax,” has a graduated structure based on the purchase price. The first 50,000 Canadian dollars ($47,800) is taxed at 0.5 percent. The next 200,000 Canadian dollars ($191,100) is taxed at 1 percent, and amounts over 250,000 Canadian dollars ($238,900) are taxed at 1.5 percent, he said. USEFUL WEB SITES Official portal of Montreal: ville.montreal.qc.ca Official tourism website of Montreal: http://www.tourisme-montreal.org Divers/Cité, Montreal’s gay and lesbian arts festival: http://www.diverscite.org Old Montreal official site: http://www.vieux.montreal.qc.ca Greater Montreal Real Estate Board: http://www.cigm.qc.ca LANGUAGES AND CURRENCY French is the official language of Quebec, while English and French are the official languages of Canada; Canadian dollar (1 Canadian dollar=$0.93) TAXES AND FEES Maintenance fees are 907 Canadian dollars ($865) a month. Municipal property taxes for this apartment are estimated at 11,800 Canadian dollars ($11,255) a year. Ms. Latreille says this figure is 25 percent lower than the normal tax rate because the building is historical. Additionally, school tax is 2,535 Canadian dollars ($2,372) per year. CONTACT Louise Latreille, Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec (514) 287-7434; http://www.sothebysrealty.ca Mon bout préféré:
  17. http://www.tableaudebordmontreal.ca/alire/alire02/default1.en.html Montréal: a gift to the regions Picher, Claude These days, as soon as you travel a few miles outside Montréal, it’s all the rage to complain bitterly about the “sins and failings” of the metropolis. Here, I’m using the expression that appeared yesterday on the front page of La Presse to introduce the extensive report by my colleague Caroline Touzin on the perception of Montréal in the regions. On this subject, it appears that the regions are ruthless: “Montréal and its inhabitants are guilty of arrogance, blindness, selfishness, and ignorance,” no less! Yet, the reality is this: the regions can howl as much as they want, they’re lucky to have Montréal – and its money. On average, Montrealers are richer than other Quebecers. Because of our progressive tax system, they also pay more taxes. From Gaspé to Rouyn-Noranda and from Baie-Comeau to Huntingdon, the tax dollars of Montrealers pay to build roads, schools, and hospitals; they help finance welfare and unemployment benefits, old age pensions, and other social assistance programs. Without those dollars, the regions could simply not afford to build and maintain infrastructures or provide the same services. By a conservative estimate, we can affirm that at least $4 billion taken from the pockets of Montrealers are redistributed in the regions. Notwithstanding the disputes between city and suburban dwellers, from an economic perspective, Montréal and its suburbs complement each other perfectly. Metropolitan Montréal – or the Island of Montréal and its immediate surroundings (Laval, the South shore from Châteauguay to Boucherville and the northern rim from Deux-Montagnes to Repentigny) – has 3.2 million inhabitants, or 42% of the Quebec population. In 2004, the latest year for which complete tax data is available, the Quebec Government collected a total of $19.6 billion in taxes on personal income. Greater Montréal alone accounted for 48% of this amount, or $9.4 billion. If Montrealers carried a tax burden equal to their demographic weight, therefore, they would pay $1.2 billion less in taxes. But, as we have just observed, they are wealthier, and it is thus only fair that they contribute more to tax revenues. These figures are based on statistics provided by Revenu Québec, which calculates the taxes paid by each administrative region, each municipalité régionale de comté (MRC), and each municipality with 20,000 residents or more. We are just talking about provincial taxes, here. The federal government does not publish such detailed statistics, but because of the similarity of the two tax systems, we can reasonably estimate that Montrealers also send Ottawa $1.2 billion more than called for by their demographic weight. So that brings us to $2.4 billion. The federal government’s three major program expenditures are for old age pensions, transfers to the provinces, and unemployment benefits. Because of the exodus of young people, most regions are aging more quickly than is Montréal. Unemployment hits the regions harder than it does Montréal. And, on a per capita basis, the provincial government’s expenditures are higher in the regions. Put all that together and you don’t need a Ph.D. in math to figure out where the $1.2 billion in federal money is spent. And that’s not all. So far, we’ve only been talking about personal income taxes. This year, Quebec companies will send almost $10 billion in taxes to Ottawa and Quebec City. Given the concentration of businesses in Greater Montréal, we can again make a conservative estimate that 55% of that amount will come from Montréal. Given the demographic weight of our region, that’s $1.3 billion too much. Which brings our total to $3.7 billion. Since, on average, Montrealers earn more than other Quebec residents, they also spend more and pay higher provincial and federal sales taxes. There are no regional statistics on this subject, but Montréal consumers easily send $500 million too much to the two levels of government – based, once again, on their demographic weight. Montréal therefore makes a net transfer of more than $4 billion to the regions, year after year. Of course, this is exactly how it should be. By definition, a rich region has a larger revenue-raising capacity than a poor one, and the system is specifically designed to ensure the redistribution of wealth. But still: before calling Montrealers a bunch of selfish pigs, the whiners in the regions might at least remember that Montréal is the real economic engine of Quebec and that, without the tax money of Montrealers, many of them would have a lot more to complain about.
  18. City, 'burbs broker pact 'A win-win scenario' Montreal gets more autonomy and new powers of taxation; island suburbs spared millions in shared costs; property owners to get single tax bill Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay leads Municipal Affairs Minister Nathalie Normandeau (left) and Westmount Mayor Karin Marks to a news conference at city hall. Two deals signed yesterday amend Bill 22, a bid to resolve a power feud between Montreal and the suburbs. LINDA GYULAI AND DAVID JOHNSTON, The Gazette Published: 6 hours ago Peace was declared yesterday by the municipalities of Montreal Island, and with it comes new tax powers, greater autonomy and special status for the city of Montreal. Mayor Gérald Tremblay, the mayors of the 15 island suburbs and prominent Quebec cabinet ministers announced they had brokered an accord to revamp the agglomeration council that manages island-wide services and has been a source of acrimony since the suburbs demerged from Montreal in 2006. Taxpayers in the suburbs would now receive one tax bill instead of two, while their cities and towns would regain control over maintenance of major roads in their areas and be spared millions of dollars in shared costs with Montreal. And, under a separate deal with Montreal, Quebec agrees to grant a long-standing wish of Tremblay and previous Montreal mayors for more clout and for the power to raise revenue through new forms of taxation. Both deals, signed at Montreal city hall yesterday, provide a package of amendments to Bill 22, legislation that was tabled in the National Assembly last year to resolve a power feud between Montreal and the suburbs. The amendments will be submitted to the National Assembly for a vote before the current session ends late next week. "In every step of this negotiation, we were looking for a win-win scenario," Municipal Affairs Minister Nathalie Normandeau said of the deals. "Today, we can say, 'Mission accomplished.' " Montreal acquires new power to tax assets and property in its territory and to claim royalties for use of resources. The deal also allows Montreal to walk away with $25 million a year in aid from the province starting in 2009, the power to unilaterally set the rate it charges for the "welcome tax" on property sales above $500,000 and a cheque of $9 million a year from the province to cover property tax on the Palais des congrès. The new, potentially sweeping tax power was inspired by the City of Toronto Act, Normandeau said. Using that legislation, Toronto is now creating a personal vehicle tax that it will begin charging car owners this fall. The Montreal deal would overhaul the governance of the downtown Ville Marie borough. It would also bestow status on the city as the metropolis of Quebec, which would be written into the city charter. As well, the deal would allow city council to centralize any borough responsibility in case of danger to health or safety by a majority vote for up to two years. And in response to criticism of the way the city bypassed its independent public-consultation office to approve the redevelopment of Griffintown this spring, the deal would extend the boroughs' power to initiate changes to the city's urban plan to the city council and require such changes to be sent to hearings by the public-consultation office. Tremblay refused to say what new taxes he would create. "We're not going to identify an additional source of taxation today," he said, adding that Toronto spent a year consulting businesses and groups before deciding what new taxes to create. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/index.html
  19. Tories looking for ways to cut gas price DANIEL LEBLANC Globe and Mail Update July 30, 2008 at 2:01 PM EDT LÉVIS, Que. — The Conservative Party will look over the next two days for ways to bring down the price of gas even though there is no room for major tax cuts, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said. Speaking to reporters Wednesday morning, Mr. Flaherty said his constituents have clearly told him about the impact of high gas prices on their household budgets in recent weeks. However, Mr. Flaherty cautioned that “this is a time of economic slowdown” and that his government has no plans to drastically change its course in coming months. “This is not a year for big new spending projects or big new tax reductions,” he said. Still, Mr. Flaherty said that the Conservative caucus will be exploring solutions to high gas prices at its current two-day meeting, including looking at a variety of tax measures that will be proposed by MPs. However, Mr. Flaherty shot down the notion that he could use $4-billion in revenue from a recent auction of wireless spectrum to send cheques directly to taxpayers to offset their heating bills. Mr. Flaherty said it is likely that a portion of the auction funds will be used to pay down the debt. “Our preference is to have structural change,” he said. “You can't spend your way out of a situation like this.” On law and order, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day showed that the Conservatives will continue to press for tough measures against criminals as a way to differentiate themselves from its political opponents. “We are alone on this,” Mr. Nicholson said, promising to toughen the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Mr. Day said his government is also looking to improve security in prisons, including getting rid of rules that prevent the government from forcing inmates to work or that hinder proper searches for drugs in prisons. On federal-provincial relations, Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon said his government will continue to foster the autonomy of the provincial governments in their areas of jurisdiction. Mr. Cannon, who is the Quebec lieutenant in the Harper government, said his party's position is clearly different from the Bloc Québécois's focus on sovereignty and the Liberal Party's centralizing view. “Our autonomy position as a political party is to respect the Constitution as it was written,” he said. Conservative MP Maxime Bernier also addressed reporters, saying he has nothing more to say about the controversy over his relationship with Julie Couillard, a woman who had relationships with a number of people tied to criminal biker gangs.
  20. Voici un cas typique du débat entre développement et préservation... ou vous situez-vous dans ce spectrum? Not out of the woods yet Montreal wants to preserve a mature forest, but Ste. Anne de Bellevue argues tax revenue doesn't grow on trees MICHELLE LALONDEThe Gazette Sunday, May 25, 2008 CREDIT: ALLEN MCINNIS THE GAZETTE Participants in a nature walk point at flying birds during their travels through Woods No. 3, part of the Rivière à l'Orme Ecoforest Corridor. Environmental advocates fear the old-growth trees will soon be cut down, as developers plan to build houses on the site. CREDIT: ALLEN MCINNIS THE GAZETTE Hikers examine a tiny red salamander in the Rivière à l'Orme ecoterritory, which is home to rare animals and plants.If the city of Montreal wants to preserve an ecologically valuable forest in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, it will have to pay off not only the real estate developer that owns the forest but also the town that stands to lose tax revenue if it is not developed. At least, that's the view of Ste. Anne de Bellevue Mayor Bill Tierney. Developers plan to build about 60 homes on 13 hectares of mature forest in what is known as Woods No. 3, tucked between the Rivière à l'Orme and the town of Kirkland's western border. The site is within the borders of the Rivière à l'Orme Ecoforest Corridor, one of 10 ecoterritories the city of Montreal identified in 2004 as being ecologically significant. The Rivière à l'Orme ecoterritory is home to an unspoiled mature forest, rare and endangered flora and fauna, and cedar groves that provide habitat for a population of white-tailed deer. Montreal set aside $36 million to acquire private lands within the most sensitive parts of these 10 eco-territories in March 2004. The island council later expressed its support for Montreal's efforts by identifying these same ecoterritories as "heritage areas of collective interest." Ste. Anne de Bellevue is one of three municipalities through which the Rivière à l'Orme, the island's only inland river, flows. The Rivière à l'Orme Ecoforest Corridor includes land in Pierrefonds, Beaconsfield and Ste. Anne de Bellevue. While some island municipalities, like Beaconsfield, have welcomed Montreal's efforts to preserve ecologically valuable forests and wetlands in their communities, Tierney says Ste. Anne de Bellevue needs to grow and requires the tax dollars the new development would bring. Besides, Tierney says, Ste. Anne is already plenty green, thank you, what with McGill University's Macdonald Campus Farm, the Morgan Arboretum and the Ecomuseum. "This is not the middle of Montreal. This is not Verdun. It's already very, very green," Tierney said in an interview. The land in question has been zoned residential for at least 25 years, Tierney notes, and last year the town council adopted a development plan for the area confirming that zoning. In March, the developer was granted the right to subdivide the land and West Island conservation groups fear the felling of trees is imminent. "When Montreal decided to protect these green spaces, they did not have the force of law," Tierney said. "The only sure way Montreal can protect this land is to acquire it." The city of Montreal is trying to do just that. Helen Fotopulos, the city of Montreal executive committee member responsible for parks and green spaces, said negotiations are under way with the landowners, Groupe Immobilier Grilli Inc. and Jean Houde Construction. "I'm optimistic" Woods No. 3 can be saved, Fotopulos said. "For us this is a priority and always has been. ... The discussions are going on and we hope to be able to have our great-grandchildren enjoy the fruits of this forest." But Tierney said Ste. Anne de Bellevue should not be expected to stand by while Montreal butts in, buys the land and deprives his municipality of future tax revenues. He argues the cost of ecoterritories, including lost tax revenues, should be shared by taxpayers across the island. "Ste. Anne is not a rich city," Tierney said. "Maybe losing that money means not being able to meet our collective agreements or not bringing in programs like improved recycling and bicycle paths." The new housing development would be very eco-friendly, and include such features as geothermal heating and preservation of much of the tree canopy, he said. But a canopy does not a forest make, and conservation groups like the Green Coalition say Ste. Anne de Bellevue needs to get its eco-priorities straight. "This land is of the highest value in terms of ecology and how intact and undisturbed the forest is," said Daniel Oyama, of the Green Coalition, a non-profit advocacy group. He wants to see cities like Ste. Anne change their development plans to reflect the need to preserve what little is left of unspoiled green spaces on the island of Montreal. "They should get out of the woods and build in higher density on what's already been spoiled and leave the mature 100-year-old trees alone," Oyama said. Meanwhile, Beaconsfield Mayor Bob Benedetti said he, too, is confident Woods No. 3 will be preserved. Benedetti joined Fotopulos last year in Montreal's efforts to preserve part of Angell Woods, which also fall within the Rivière à l'Orme Ecoforest Corridor. But instead of demanding compensation money, Beaconsfield contributed $600,000 toward buying the land from the developer who owned it. "We were in a different situation," Benedetti said. "Our citizens had made a clear decision they wanted to preserve that forest." Benedetti sits on a committee set up by the island council to deal with issues related to the Rivière à l'Orme Ecoforest Corridor. He said it's significant Tierney has agreed to meet with the committee next month. Since Woods No. 3 is just across Highway 40 from Angell Woods, Benedetti is keenly interested in seeing it preserved, too. "I subscribe to the dream of a huge West Island regional park that would go from Cap St. Jacques down to Angell Woods on both sides of the Rivière à l'Orme, with a green corridor over or under Highway 40," he said. But realizing that dream may require significant financial help from the provincial government, Benedetti acknowledged. [email protected] thegazette.canwest.com © The Gazette (Montreal) 2008 http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=e9128069-0cb5-4af8-a982-f1768c6d9d56&sponsor=
  21. Article intéressant... IMF debunks myth: Taxing rich not bad for economy OTTAWA -- A new paper by researchers at the International Monetary Fund appears to debunk a tenet of conservative economic ideology -- that taxing the rich to give to the poor is bad for the economy. The paper by IMF researchers Jonathan Ostry, Andrew Berg and Charalambos Tsangarides will be applauded by politicians and economists who regard high levels of income inequality as not only a moral stain on society but also economically unsound. Labelled as the first study to incorporate recently compiled figures comparing pre- and post-tax data from a large number of countries, the authors say there is convincing evidence that lower net inequality is good economics, boosting growth and leading to longer-lasting periods of expansion. In the most controversial finding, the study concludes that redistributing wealth, largely through taxation, does not significantly impact growth unless the intervention is extreme. In fact, because redistributing wealth through taxation has the positive impact of reducing inequality, the overall affect on the economy is to boost growth, the researchers conclude. "We find that higher inequality seems to lower growth. Redistribution, in contrast, has a tiny and statistically insignificant (slightly negative) effect," the paper states. "This implies that, rather than a trade-off, the average result across the sample is a win-win situation, in which redistribution has an overall pro-growth effect." While the paper is heavy on the economics, there is no mistaking the political implications in the findings. In Canada, the Liberal party led by Justin Trudeau is set to make supporting the middle class a key plank in the upcoming election and the NDP has also stressed the importance of tackling income inequality. Stephen Harper's Conservatives have boasted that tax cuts, particularly deep reductions in corporate taxation, are at least partly responsible for why the Canadian economy outperformed other G7 countries both during and after the 2008-09 recession. In the Commons on Tuesday, Employment Minister Jason Kenney said the many tax cuts his government has introduced since 2006, including a two-percentage-point trim of the GST, has helped most Canadians. Speaking on a Statistics Canada report showing net median family wealth had increased by 44.5 per cent since 2005, he added: "It is no coincidence because, with the more than 160 tax cuts by this government, Canadian families, on average, have seen their after-tax disposable income increase by 10 per cent across all income categories. We are continuing to lead the world on economic growth and opportunity for working families." The authors concede that their conclusions tend to contradict some well-accepted orthodoxy, which holds that taxation is a job killer. But they say that many previous studies failed to make a distinction between pre-tax inequality and post-tax inequality, hence often compared apples to oranges, among other shortcomings. The data they looked at showed almost no negative impact from redistribution policies and that economies where incomes are more equally distributed tend to grow faster and have growth cycles that last longer. Meanwhile, they say the data is not crystal clear that even large redistributions have a direct negative impact, although "from history and first principles ... after some point redistribution will be destructive of growth." Still, they also stop short of saying their conclusions definitively settle the issue, acknowledging that it is a complex area of economic theory with many variables at play and a scarcity of hard data. Instead, they urge more rigorous study and say their findings "highlight the urgency of this agenda." The Washington-based institution released the study Wednesday morning but, perhaps due to the controversial nature of the conclusions, calls it a "staff discussion note" that does "not necessarily" represent the IMF views or policy. It was authorized for distribution by Olivier Blanchard, the IMF's chief economist. Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/imf-debunks-myth-taxing-rich-not-bad-for-economy-1.1704643#ixzz2uRo5ElZH
  22. Read more: http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/new-green-tax-to-make-electronics-more-expensive-1.957018#ixzz26druCxzC Things just got more expensive again in this province I wonder what else is left for Quebec to tax us on? Quebec could make life harder for consumers buying stuff at Zara, H&M and others, by having a tax on clothes made in China, Bangladesh and other countries.
  23. Read more: http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/disturbing-video-of-er-doctor-arrested-by-sq-while-working-1.1012910#ixzz2AT5149cw In all honest. Why is my tax dollars paying for these guys to "protect and serve". I want them fired or give me my money back. We the people of Quebec are the shareholders. The politicians and the people they hire, should be accountable to us and if we want someones head, we should get it.