Announcements

Calculate How Much Canadian Tax Credits You’re Eligible For from CRA for FREE (Sherpa.tax)


Tax season is like going to the dentist; you can put it off as long as you like, but the longer you put it off, the worse your tooth ache (or tax induced headache) will become. That’s why little tools, like Sherpa.tax, are so wonderful, as it helps ease some of that irrational anxiety surrounding your taxes.

The tool was created by Canadian entrepreneur, Omeed Asadi, and it was designed to be completely anonymous (you don’t enter any form of personal information throughout the entire 10 minute questionnaire). The tool calculates a rough estimate of the kind of tax credits you could be eligible for, though the site recommends that you still double check with the CRA website.

What I liked about this tool is that it allows you to easily navigate the different tax credits, dodging all the unfriendly tax jargon terms, but you still get a glimpse of what kinds of credits you could be eligible for.

For Ontario residents, there is a similar tax navigating tool that the government has created for filing your provincial taxes, but the Sherpa.tax one would also be a nice complement to this tool since it includes federal claims you could make too.

Click here to check your tax credit for 2016 with Sherpa.tax.


Massive $1M Canadian Gold Coin Stolen in Berlin


Thieves in Berlin were reported to rise before the dawn on Monday morning and break into the Bode Museum to steal one of Canada’s most expensive coins; the ‘Big Maple Leaf’, as it is known colloquially, measures 3cm thick and weighs 100kg and though the face value of the coin is $1 million, by weight alone it could be worth up to $4.5 million US.

The coin was on lease to the Bode Museum in the German capital by an unknown owner, as the Royal Canadian Mint only commissioned the coin but they do not own it. After creating the original $1 million coin (which is in storage in Ottawa) the Mint was then commissioned by private individuals to make five more. This coin in the Bode Museum was one of those five.

As reported by the CBC, the thieves had apparently broken in through a window and retrieved the coin from the cabinet it was kept in, leaving the scene before the police had even arrived.

The coin holds a Guinness Book of Records for its purity, which is 99.999/1000 gold.


FOOD RECALL Warning: Robin Hood brand All Purpose Flour recalled due to E. coli


Smucker Foods of Canada Corp. is recalling Robin Hood brand All Purpose Flour, Original from the marketplace due to possible E. coli O121 contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled product. This recall was triggered by findings by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) during its investigation into a foodborne illness outbreak.

What you should do:

  • If you think you became sick from consuming a recalled product, call your doctor.
  • Check to see if you have recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.
  • Food contaminated with E. coli O121 may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, mild to severe abdominal cramps and watery to bloody diarrhea. In severe cases of illness, some people may have seizures or strokes, need blood transfusions and kidney dialysis or live with permanent kidney damage. In severe cases of illness, people may die.

Click here for more information on this recall!


RECALL: Unauthorized health product “PureCare Herbal Cream” may cause poisoning hazard


Health Canada is advising Canadians that the unauthorized health product “PureCare Herbal Cream” may pose serious health risks. The product is promoted as a natural treatment for eczema and psoriasis in children and babies. Health Canada testing confirmed the presence of a prescription steroid (clobetasol propionate) and another ingredient (phenoxylethanol) not declared on the product label. These ingredients may cause health effects ranging from skin irritation and dehydration to increased blood pressure.

What you should do:

  • Stop using this product. Consult with your health care professional if you have used this product and have health concerns.
  • Read product labels to verify that health products have been authorized for sale by Health Canada. Authorized health products have an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN), Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Drug Number (DIN-HM). You can also check whether products have been authorized for sale by searching Health Canada’s Drug Product Database and Licensed Natural Health Product Database.
  • Report adverse events to health products to Health Canada by calling toll-free at 1 866 234 2345, or by reporting online, by mail or by fax.
  • Report complaints about health products to Health Canada by calling toll-free at 1 800 267 9675, or complete an online complaint form.

Click here for more information on this recall.


Canadian Schools No Longer Hosting School Trips to US


The U.S. travel ban, which blocks immigration from six countries, has a new group of unintended people being affected by the order; this time, it’s Canadian students in Toronto.

The Toronto District School Board’s director John Molloy released a statement on March 23, 2017 that expressed concern about the risks of having Toronto students go across the border who could potentially be turned away. In the statement, Molloy said:

“We do not make this decision lightly, but given the uncertainty of these new travel restrictions and when they may come into effect, if at all, we strongly believe that our students should not be placed into these situations of potentially being turned away at the border. The TDSB remains committed to ensuring that fairness, equity, and inclusion are essential principles of our school system and are integrated into all our policies, programs, operations, and practices, including school trips.”

Though the travel ban is currently being blocked by two federal judges, Sean Spicer, the president’s press secretary, has made it clear that the administration plans on appealing the decision.

The board said that the already pre-approved trips would go ahead as normal, but they weren’t making any future plans to visit the country for the time being. In addition to that, they also made it clear that if any students “with the appropriate documentation be denied entry to the U.S. for no legitimate reason, the entire trip will return to Toronto and will not proceed.”

Toronto is only about a two hour drive to the U.S. border, making trips to the country a common experience for some of the 246,000 students that the TDSB serves.

This decision by the TDSB comes after Girl Guides Canada also made the decision to cancel all trips going to the U.S., including trips that had connecting flights into the country.

Click here to read the original statement by the Toronto District School Board.


The Home Depot Canada FREE Workshops: 5 Simple Projects to Enhance Your Bathroom: Plumbing, Tiling, Painting, Lighting & Accessories! Today, Wednesday, March 26


The Home Depot Canada has a new list of workshops! The The Home Depot Canada today FREE workshops includes: 5 Simple projects to enhance your bathroom: plumbing, tiling, painting, lighting and accessories..

The Home Depot Canada FREE workshops is valid today, Sunday, March 26, 2017 – 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.

To book your slot at a workshop, contact your local Home Depot location.

Click here to get all Home Depot Canada online offers.

Click here to view The Home Depot flyers


Toys R Us Canada FREE Family Event: Beauty and The Beast Event Make and Take! *Today* March 25 From 11:00 am – 1:00 pm


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Toys R Us Canada has a great FREE Family Events in March each Saturday including fun make and takes, product demos, giveaways and more.

Visit your local Toys“R”Us store to take part in the exciting promotions and activities your kids will love. All events are offered In-store only. While quantities last. Giveaways and make and takes are limit to one per child. Events recommended for children ages 5 years and up.

Today: Saturday, March 25, 2017 from 11am – 1pm

  • Beauty and The Beast Event Make and Take
  • Kids can Build and take home a LEGO Mini Cogsworth and create and take home a Play-Doh Rose.

Here’s the upcoming event every Saturday morning at 11am:

Sunday, April 2, 2017

  • Autism Awareness Day Sensory Friendly Shopping Hour
  • Celebrate World Autism Awareness Day this year at Toys “R” Us. On Sunday April 2nd, locations will open one hour early for families to enjoy our Sensory Friendly Shopping Hour

Click here to view the Toys R Us flyer.


Cineplex Canada Family Favourites Movies Promotions: Space Jam For $2.99/Ticket, Today, Saturday, March 4 at 11AM!


Cineplex Canada Family Favourites

Cineplex Canada has released their new schedule. The Cineplex Canada Family Favourites Movies include:

  • Today, Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 11am the film Space Jam. Comedy, Animation, Adventure, Family, Classic, is the Family Favourites for $2.99 (1h 28m).

Here’s the upcoming movie every Saturday morning at 11am for Cineplex Family Favourites at $2.99 each:

April 2017:

  • Saturday, April 1, 2017: Looney Tunes Shorts
  • Saturday, April 8, 2017: The Land Before Time
  • Saturday, April 15, 2017: Hop
  • Saturday, April 22, 2017: E.T Extra-Terrestrial
  • Saturday, April 29, 2017: Sing

May 2017:

  • Saturday, May 6, 2017: The Lego Movie
  • Saturday, May 13, 2017: Heidi
  • Saturday, May 20, 2017: Storks
  • Saturday, May 27, 2017: Trolls

June 2017:

  • Saturday, June 3, 2017: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
  • Saturday, June 10, 2017: A Dog’s Purpose
  • Saturday, June 17, 2017: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
  • Saturday, June 24, 2017: The Muppet Movie

Click here to see a list of Cineplex participates in the Family Favourites event.

Click here to get tickets from Cineplex online


Cineplex Canada Family Favourites Schedule For April, May & June, Watch a Film for Only $2.99


Cineplex Canada Family Favourites

Cineplex Canada has released their new schedule for May & June, 2017. Here’s a list of the upcoming weekly movies line-up at Cineplex Family Favourites for only $2.99:

April 2017:

  • Saturday, April 1, 2017: Looney Tunes Shorts
  • Saturday, April 8, 2017: The Land Before Time
  • Saturday, April 15, 2017: Hop
  • Saturday, April 22, 2017: E.T Extra-Terrestrial
  • Saturday, April 29, 2017: Sing

May 2017:

  • Saturday, May 6, 2017: The Lego Movie
  • Saturday, May 13, 2017: Heidi
  • Saturday, May 20, 2017: Storks
  • Saturday, May 27, 2017: Trolls

June 2017:

  • Saturday, June 3, 2017: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
  • Saturday, June 10, 2017: A Dog’s Purpose
  • Saturday, June 17, 2017: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
  • Saturday, June 24, 2017: The Muppet Movie

Click here to view a list of participating Cineplex movie theatres locations


Food Recall Warning: Chef Destinations, Frankly Fresh Salads and Fresh St. brands Fresh Guacamole Recalled Due to Listeria Monocytogenes

Announcements 0 comments

Industry is recalling Chef Destinations, Frankly Fresh Salads and Fresh St. brands Fresh Guacamole from the marketplace due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled products described below.

What you should do

Check to see if you have recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

If you think you became sick from consuming a recalled product, call your doctor.

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk.

Click here to read more information about this recall.


Air Miles Cash Redemptions Temporarily Suspended Due To Fraud


Air Miles Card

If you were thinking of taking advantage of the Rexall Air Miles redemption offer this weekend or simply redeeming for some groceries elsewhere, think again.  Air Miles quietly suspended all Air Miles Cash redemptions yesterday leaving stores confused to why the system was not working. It looks like we will not have those redemptions back in the short term either.

A message on their site explains that “through our regular fraud monitoring processes, we have identified irregular activity occurring within a small number of in-store AIR MILES Cash transactions, where Cash Miles have been stolen… In a desire to protect AIR MILES Cash Miles, we have temporarily removed the AIR MILES Cash option for in-store purchases”.

They do not seem to know how long that will take.  In the mean time, you can redeem your Air Miles for select gift cards and e-vouchers including Cineplex, GAP, Kernels Popcorn, PizzaPizza, Staples, Toys R Us and Ultimate Dining Cards.

A full list of Air Miles Cash online rewards can be found here.

This was probably a long time coming.  Unlike many reward cards, you can check an Air Miles balance online without even the simple PIN needed for login.  Once you know a card is active and has miles in it, the Air Miles App requires the PIN but many other mobile wallet systems do not.  Have you ever taken a screenshot of your e-cards for easier access when data is an issue in store?  They can use a similar method and photoshop the barcodes and numbers to make multiple cards and redeem.

You can protect your Air Miles Cash account from My Profile when logged in online or in the Air Miles App by hitting Lock My Cash Account at the bottom of the My Profile menu.  Once you are ready to redeem, you can hit unlock and lock it again after.  Since it does not appear that the thieves have actually accessed accounts, unlike the PC Plus thefts, that should keep your hard earned points safe.

 


McDonald’s Canada Announces Sauces Are Coming To Canadian Grocery Stores


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Have you ever tried to recreate the fabled Big Mac sauce from McDonald’s Canada? I know I have. And it seems no matter how many times you add or subtract a little bit of vinegar here, a 1/4 tsp. of BBQ sauce there, you can never seem to get it just right. There’s always something that’s just off the mark. Well, soon your McDonald’s sauce craving heart will want no more, as McDonald’s Canada announced yesterday that they’re sauces, including Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish and McChicken, are going to be made available in grocery stores, and very soon.

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The announcement came on their Twitter and Instagram, where the company gave no firm date but said to expect the sauces to be on your shelves by “this spring”.

Have you ever tried to make McDonald’s ‘secret sauces’ and will you be lining up to grab these goodies off the shelves when they launch in your local grocery store?


Sony Entertainment Network PlayStation Store Canada Offers: Save up to 90% on Select Games and More


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The Sony PlayStation Store Canada is having a new sale where you can save up to 90% off the original price of many different gamesSony PlayStation Store Canada sale is valid until, March 28, 2017, and include:

PS4:

  • Save 70% on God of War III Remastered, $5.99
  • Save 50% on Until Dawn, $14.99
  • Save 75% on Flowers, $1.95
  • Save 60% on Journey, $5.99
  • Save 80% on The Unfinished Swan, $2.99
  • Save 75% on Fat Princess Adventures, $3.74
  • and More

PS3:

  • Save 75% on Twisted Metal, $3.37
  • Save 50% on inFAMOUS 2, $6.49
  • Save 50% on BEYOND: Two Souls, $6.49
  • Save 90% on Fat Princess, $1.34
  • Save 75% on God of War Collection, $3.24
  • Save 75% on rain, $3.74
  • Save 60% on Puppeteer, $5.99
  • and More

Click here to see all the deals!


Netflix Canada Replacing Star Rating For Thumbs Up/Down Option


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The five little stars on your favourite black and red streaming service will be no more come the end of the month. Netflix announced that they would doing away with the traditional five star rating system in lieu of a simple thumbs up or thumbs down option.

The company said that when they tested the new system in trials they got 200% more responses than they did with the original star ranking system. Essentially meaning more data to curate your preferences, and make your use experience more personalized.

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Netflix says that this new system will also be part of a new initiative that they are testing out where they will match specific shows and movies to a users profile. The system will work similar to Rotten Tomatoes, where it will give you a percentage point about how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ a fit is, except it will be personalized to your preferences and not a universal one.

The company said that most customers, over 50%, had ranked more than 50 titles. But they’re hoping that with this new thumb system – similar to the ‘likes’ on social media platforms – people will be more willing to give feedback on their preferences.

Some people in forums around the web have begun voicing their complaints about this new system, saying that just because you watch the same silly movie or TV show over and over again, does not necessarily equate that you like that thing better than other movies or shows you only watch once.

The background noise movies/TV shows, as we’ll call them, are ones that users say they like to put on when they come home from work to wind down, but aren’t high quality or subjectively better in their opinions than other shows that require a little more thought and attention. They fear that this new system will be skew their preferences because of habits like this.

Netflix is planning on launching the new system at the end of the month.


Private Clinics in Ontario Setting Up a Two Tier Health System in Ontario


private-health-canada-canada

You may have read this Toronto Star/Ryerson School of Journalism investigation the other day in the paper, but in case you missed it, here’s what you need to know about the private health clinics that have been cropping up around Ontario in the past few years.

Expensive health clinics in Ontario, with some costing up to $4,500 annually, are forcing what some experts in the public health policy field fear is a two tiered public health system in Ontario. The clinics include the same coverage provided by OHIP, but in addition to the regular services provided, the private clinics also offer services like 24-hour access to personal physicians, annual physicals, lifestyle assessments, shorter wait times for MRIs, blood tests and even Vitamin D testing.

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By having these more expensive clinics available, it is not only sending more physicians from the public into the private sector, which will only further contribute to longer wait times for patients, but it also sends the message that the current system that is being offered by OHIP is second best.

“It contributes to an ethos that the public system is not delivering the highest quality . . . We need to push back against this myth that having extra testing is harmless. The potential for harm is very great,” said Dr. Danielle Martin, a family physician in Toronto, in an interview with Metro.

The potential for harm is indeed great. Patients attending these extra-care clinics are receiving annual – sometimes quarterly – physicals that can include additional testing that may not be required. Take for instance an MRI. These are expensive tests, but, more importantly, frequent MRIs can cause damage to the body that should not be incurred unless medically necessary.

In the campaign Choosing Wisely – a Canadian campaign designed to keep patients aware of when they need or don’t need testing – they argue that more testing does not equal a healthier, happier patient. In fact, unnecessary testing can lead to more exposure to harmful risks that may actually cause the patient to become ill. For instance, patients should not be receiving more than one colonoscopy every five to ten years, unless an irregular polyp appears or this is a risk for disease in your family the site says.

Choosing Wisely goes on to explain that overuse of this expensive and invasive medical test can sometimes lead to tears in the colon, inflammation, infection, heavy bleeding and even “problems in people with heart or blood- vessel disease”.

Another major problem with this two tiered system is that regular doctors working in the public sector are seeing patients go into the private clinics for the expensive tests, but then coming back into the public system to receive treatment for fairly regular abnormalities, which ultimately unnecessarily burdens the public system.

In the interview with Metro News, Dr. Martin went on to say how private clinics commonly won’t refer patients to specialists or order additional tests because it falls “outside their scope”.

“It’s actually the part of me that is most offended by these practices — as soon as you get sick, nobody wants to take care of you anymore,” she said in an interview with Metro.

Most of the experts interviewed by Metro and the Star say that, as it stands, these clinics are not doing anything technically illegal. At the moment, these clinics are uniquely positioned in a somewhat legal and moral ‘grey’ area.

“This is the challenge of allowing a fringe of private enterprise in what is supposed to be a comprehensive public service for medically necessary care,” said Bernard Dickens, professor emeritus of health law and policy at the University of Toronto, in an interview with Metro News.

These clinics are allowing the wealthy in Ontario to buy their way to the front of the line, and that is something that the clinics may have to adjust, or they may be risking the future security of public health care in Ontario.

Clinics mentioned in the Toronto Star Investigation:

  • Medcan Clinic: $3,300/year
  • Executive Health Care: $4,500/year
  • Medisys: $2,250/year
  • Healthcare 365: $3,300/year

Click here to read the full investigation from the Toronto Star.


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