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Canada’s sprint to ratify sets up Trans-Pacific trade deal to take effect this year

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A wide-ranging trade agreement between 11 Pacific Rim countries is on track to take effect before the end of 2018, following formal notice of Canada’s ratification last Saturday and indications from Australia that it will do the same this week.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership — a revised version of the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal struck following the withdrawal of the United States — can take effect 60 days after at least six of the 11 partner countries file their notices of ratification with New Zealand, which acts as the depository country overseeing the deal’s implementation.

On Monday, International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr invited cameras to the New Zealand High Commission for a photo op with High Commissioner Daniel Mellsop to mark Canada’s filing over the weekend.

Canadian senators voted Thursday to approve Canada’s implementation legislation, clearing the way for a fast royal assent and the conclusion of Canada’s ratification process by the federal cabinet.

Carr said Monday the legislation had moved “as fast as any bill at any time because it’s so important for Canada to be a part of this great agreement.”

Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore all ratified before Canada.

Eyes now turn to Australia, which is expected to be the sixth country to ratify.

Australian legislators already have voted in favour. According to a report from Bloomberg, Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said last week in Ottawa his country was on track to give its formal notice by this Thursday, Nov.1.

There’s an economic incentive to have six countries on board by that date.

Some of the CPTPP’s tariff cuts are immediate, but others — particularly for the most sensitive agricultural and automotive products — ramp up over timelines of a decade or more.

The CPTPP is now on track to be in effect before the end of the 2018 calendar year. That means the initial tariff reductions would kick in by Dec. 31.

But according to the CPTPP’s tariff schedules, reductions for subsequent years kick in on Jan.1. So a second tariff cut could come almost immediately after the first — on Jan.1, 2019.

Without six partner countries ratifying the deal this week, the second wave of tariff cuts would have to wait an entire year, until Jan.1, 2020.

Japan’s market key

It’s difficult to say exactly what economic impact the CPTPP will have on Canada’s economy. Canada already enjoys preferential trade with some countries in the deal thanks to existing trade agreements (its bilateral trade agreement with Chile, for example, or its NAFTA partnership with Mexico).

According to recent Canadian government calculations, once the TPP is fully implemented (and all the tariff cuts are in place), Canadian exporters could save $428 million per year, with the bulk of the savings coming from exports to Japan ($338 million), Australia ($47 million) and Vietnam ($25 million).

Because Canada has had no success in negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with Japan, access to its large but often protected market is arguably Canada’s best reason to participate in the CPTPP.

Fifteen years from now, when all of the tariff cuts are implemented, several categories of Canadian exports to Japan are expected to benefit from large savings, including:

  • wheat and barley exports ($167 million);
  • pork products ($51 million);
  • beef ($21 million);
  • wood products ($32 million). 

The remaining five countries that signed the CPTPP, but are not expected to ratify in time for the deal’s initial implementation, are Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru and Vietnam.

Vietnam’s government has suggested it may ratify the CPTPP in November.

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The cost of renovating your bathroom in Toronto in 2021

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Home renovations can be a big task, especially bathroom renovations where you have to work with either an awkwardly shaped space, or one with lots of pipework and very little natural light.

Nonetheless, getting a bathroom renovation by Easy Renovation to change your existing bathroom layout, improve the ambience or add more natural skylights can be worth all the trouble. But determining how much a bathroom renovation would cost is important while setting a budget.

The pandemic has changed a lot of things with social distancing rules, working from home, and for some, being made redundant. Therefore, having a complete grasp of the financial implication of a bathroom innovation is very important.

Owning your dream bathroom can be made a reality and the good thing is, regardless of your financial situation, there are always available options. If you also decide to put up your property for sale in the future, a bathroom upgrade would be a great investment—as it would add significant value to the property. Your bathroom renovation project, like every home renovation, can either be very affordable or extravagant, but one thing is certain, you’re bound to have a more refreshed, stylish and modernistic space.  

Looking through detailed sketches of luxurious and expensive bathrooms can be quite tempting, especially when you’re on a budget. However, your bathroom can be equally transformed into something that looks just as modern, stylish and refreshing but without the heavy price tag.

Conducting a partial bathroom renovation means you only have to change a little part of your existing bathroom rather than tearing it down and starting from scratch. If you intend to carry out this type of bathroom renovation in Toronto, depending on the size of your bathroom, you can spend between $1,000 – $5,000. With a partial bathroom renovation, you can save money by tackling smaller problems that exist in your present bathroom—or you can just upgrade a few of its features.

Partial bathroom renovations are quite affordable and would leave your bathroom feeling new and stylish without being time-consuming or a financial burden—which is important considering the economic impact of the pandemic. Repainting the bathroom walls, replacing the tiles on the floor and in the shower area are examples of partial bathroom renovations which is the cheapest to accomplish.

A more expensive and popular bathroom renovation is the standard 3- or 4-piece renovation. This renovation type involves a lot more services that are not covered by a partial renovation budget. To execute a standard bathroom renovation in Toronto you need a budget of about $10,000 – $15,000.

Unlike with a partial renovation, you would have to make a lot more changes to various elements of your bathroom without the hassle of changing the overall design. You can easily restore your current bathroom into a modernistic and classy space that fits your existing style. Making changes to more aspects of your bathroom is quite easy since there is more room in your budget to accommodate it.

A standard 3- or 4-piece renovation includes everything in a partial renovation plus extras such as revamped baseboards, installing a new bathroom mirror, buying new lights, installing a new vanity, changing the toilet, and buying new shower fixtures.

If you’re one of those looking to make a complete overhaul of your existing bathroom, then the option of a complete bathroom remodel is for you.

Unlike a bathroom renovation, remodelling means a complete change of your current bathroom design and layout for one that is newer and completely unrecognizable. The possibilities when remodelling a bathroom are endless especially when you have a large budget of over $15,000. That way, you can get the opportunity to create the perfect bathroom for yourself.

In addition to all that’s available with a standard bathroom renovation, bathroom remodelling allows you to make bathtub to shower conversion, relocation of plumbing, relocation of the toilet, reframing the bathroom and even relocating the shower.

In conclusion, a bathroom renovation can be a very important upgrade to your home and depending on the features that you decide to include, in addition to the size of your bathroom, this would influence the total cost of the project.

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7 Tips For First-Time Home Buyers In Calgary

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Buying a house for the first time can be overwhelming to say the least. If you’re wondering what neighbourhood to go with, what you can afford, or even how to just get started on the process, let us take some stress off your hands! We’ve teamed up with Hopewell Residential to give you 7 tips to ensure the home you end up with is everything you dreamed of.

Hopewell Residential is a five-time Developer of the Year award winner, so their expertise is second-to-none in Calgary and beyond. Who better to learn home-buying tips from than the homebuilders themselves?

Create a checklist of needs & wants

This is a biggie. When you’re buying your very first home, you’ll want to weigh your needs vs. your wants. Ensuring you have what you love in your first home is a big, big deal.

What should you do? Easy. Set up a list of needs and a list of wants, but be pretty strict with yourself, and make sure you take your lifestyle into consideration. With the increase in remote work over the past year, it’s important to keep in mind that a home office or flex room might just be the key to maximizing at home happiness. Especially if you’re thinking you might be expanding your family later on, spare rooms and extra space is key (but more on that later!).

Or for instance, you might need a home in an area with a high walkability score, but you want to be close to certain amenities. Set yourself up with the right level of compromise and the number of homes that actually fit your ‘perfect’ idea will skyrocket.

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‘Don’t give up’: Ottawa Valley realtors share statistics, tips for homebuyers in ‘extreme’ sellers market

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The real estate market in the Ottawa Valley can be summed up this way: people from far and wide are in a buying frenzy, but there’s hardly anything to buy at the “store,” and the limited inventory is overpriced.

This “stampede” — as one realtor described it — will affect rural towns as residents grapple with finding affordable housing and agonize over their inability to purchase homes in their price range.

“We are seeing a lack of inventory in all price ranges,” said Laura Keller, a real estate agent from Carleton Place.

Helen Vincent, a Renfrew realtor, said she’s never seen a market like this in her 36 years of practice. “We postpone offers for four to five days in order to get all the buyers,” she said.

Multiple offers — between seven and 10 — became the norm, with cash offers and no conditions, as buyers faced bidding wars. “In Ottawa, they have up to 50 (offers),” she added.

“It’s very stressful. You’re going to get nine (people) ticked off, and one happy. So many people are disappointed,” Vincent said.

Terry Stavenow, an Arnprior realtor for 40 years, said that “the pent-up need took over with inventory going low. It made a stampede on everything that was available.“

“Brand new housing — it’s very much gone. Several building developers are rushing to get inventory. They usually don’t do construction in the winter months,” said Stavenow.

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