Real estate group upset over email
Hours after a gunman fatally shot a soldier and stormed Parliament Hill last fall, the director of Canada’s financial intelligence agency sent an email to all businesses that report to it, urging them not to wait to flag suspicious transactions.
According to the Financial Post, the email peeved a senior member of the Canadian Real Estate Association, who wrote back to the director of the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC), accusing him of exploiting the tragedy in Ottawa, as well as the deadly assault on another soldier two days earlier in Quebec.
"Using the tragedies in Ottawa and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu to market FINTRAC compliance is inappropriate and disturbing,” Randall McCauley, vice-president of government and public relations, wrote in a letter obtained by the National Post. “I could hardly believe my eyes when I read the email. While friends and family were in lockdown and first-responders were still trying to secure the city, FINTRAC was thinking of ways to leverage these two tragedies.”
But Gerald Cossette, FINTRAC’s director, told McCauley he would make “no apology” for the email.
“I am grateful that, following our message, a number of businesses did understand our mandate and the role they can play in helping to protect Canadians,” he replied. “I can tell you that what we received from these businesses was very useful to our intelligence efforts.”
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Yaffe: Vancouver real estate caught in a frenzy
According to the Vancouver Sun's Barbara Yaffe, observers describe a perfect storm of forces coming together to create a tempestuous result: a 5.8-per cent jobless rate in B.C., low interest rates, a devalued Canadian dollar attracting more foreign buyers, and panic over prices going even higher if buying is delayed.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada warned last Wednesday about the risk of correction in three Canadian property markets — Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary. For the moment, few are heeding the caution. A press release sent out last week by WestStone Properties, regarding its Evolve condominium project in Surrey, for instance, reported sales in a single day (April 11) of 300 condo units, worth $70 million.
“Excited early buyers who stood in line for hours, grappled for position and swarmed the buying counter in a frenzy that hasn’t been seen in recent years. Today’s buyers included first-time homeowners, parents purchasing for children and a large number of buyers from throughout Canada, the U.S. and overseas.”
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3D homes to be the future of real estate?
A Suzhou, China-based company is experimenting with building homes using a large 3D printer and recycling construction waste, and the resulting product is just short of miraculous.
WinSun, or Yingchuang in China, uses a specialty “ink” in its printers made out of construction waste such as high-quality stone, cement and fibre. According to VanCityBuzz.com, that waste is combined with digital designs, prints walls, bricks and insulation.
According to the site 3ders.com
, 10 3D printed homes arrived in Shanghai in March 2014, each measuring 200 square metres with construction costs just under $6,000 CAD. The homes only took 24 hours to build.
Chief engineer of China Construction No.8 Engineering Bureau, Ma Rongquan believes the properties “are in full compliance with the relevant national standards. It is safe, reliable, and features a good integration of architecture and decoration. But as there is no specific national standard for 3D printing architecture, we need to revise and improve such a standard for the future.”