Realtors top the list for wage increases
The latest survey of payroll hours and earnings from Statistics Canada shows that real estate agents have seen the biggest gains in income in the past year. The increase in property prices has seen realtors boost their wages by 12.8 per cent; far above the national average of 3.3 per cent. Those in construction saw 4 per cent added to their incomes, while finance and insurance professionals (including mortgage brokers and agents) made an extra 9.3 per cent. Read the full story.
Is there a better way to add the homes Vancouver needs?
Patrick Condon is the chairman of the University of BC’s urban design program and he believes that Vancouver’s current policy of building big developments away from the core downtown area isn’t necessarily the best option. Condon says that building smaller and lower developments rather than high-density tall towers would be popular with residents and he’d also like to see zoning changes to allow subdivided laneway-type properties to be sold; currently they can only be rented. He says that a greater number of small properties would be far better for the city than a few high density projects that are vulnerable to earthquakes and block out the light. Read the full story.
Loonie falls to lowest level since March
Weaker-than-expected GDP figures for July have hit the Canadian dollar, which has fallen to its lowest level since the end of March. The forecast had been for more growth following recent rises, but the data from StatsCan instead revealed that GDP was flat in July and the loonie has weakened against a US dollar which is at a four year high. Read the full story.
Nova Scotia bans fracking
As expected, Nova Scotia has banned high-volume fracking except for testing and research purposes. The new legislation announced yesterday will be in place until the provincial government is convinced that the hydraulic fracturing process can be carried out safely under new rules to be drawn up. The rules would also set out clearly a definition for high-volume fracking. Energy minister Andrew Younger says that commercial fracking would not be allowed in the province without a public debate. Read the full story.