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Trudeau, Trump and Pena Nieto to sign new USMCA trade agreement in Argentina

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.S. President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto will sign the new United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement on continental trade in Argentina tomorrow morning.

While Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will be present at the event, the three leaders themselves will sign the new trade deal.

Even after the deal is signed, it remains a long way from taking effect. The elected governments of all three nations still have to ratify the deal.

In Canada and Mexico, that process is expected to be pretty straightforward. In the U.S. — where the recent midterm elections delivered the House of Representatives to the Democrats — it could be more challenging.

“I think it’s fantastic news,” former Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose told CBC News Network’s Power & Politics. “We need to have that level of leadership come together to sign to send a very strong signal that if this is the agreement we’ve come to, and this is the agreement our leaders support.”

“We don’t need any more uncertainty around the trade file in North America,” added Ambrose, who served on Trudeau’s NAFTA advisory panel. “Of course we’ll probably continue to see some of it around tariffs on steel and aluminum, but let’s hope that’s resolved soon.”

U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum will remain in place for the time being, Freeland’s office has confirmed. 

Supporting dairy

In the run-up to this announcement, the NDP and two national dairy organizations have urged Trudeau not to sign the deal.

What worries the dairy sector is a USMCA annex on agricultural trade. The dairy organizations say it “fundamentally undermines Canadian sovereignty” by granting the Americans “oversight into the administration of our Canadian dairy system.”

In letters written to Trudeau Thursday, both the Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Dairy Processors Association of Canada said they’d received assurances from negotiators that this text would not be part of the final deal.

Two national dairy organizations have urged Trudeau not to sign the deal, saying it grants the Americans ‘oversight into the administration of our Canadian dairy system.’ (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

But dairy industry stakeholders who spoke to CBC News said that, contrary to these assurances, they were told by government officials that this language has become part of the official agreement. The industry stakeholders told CBC News the measures compromise their sovereignty and threaten their ability to manage their business how they see fit.

CBC News has reached out to Global Affairs Canada for confirmation and has not received a reply.

As of Thursday evening, the Global Affairs website had not yet posted the text of the agreement and was still sending readers to the USTR, website where they could find the U.S. version of the agreement.

‘Crippling consequences’

The American dairy industry is aggressively in search of new markets for its milk, which it produces far in excess of its domestic demand. It’s also suffering losses due to retaliatory tariffs from other countries and markets it’s missing out on, thanks, in part, to Trump’s abandonment of other trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

Having more information about what Canada is doing with its strict price and production controls, while simultaneously gaining access to a new share of Canada’s protected market, could be highly beneficial to the American industry at a time when it’s pressuring the Trump administration to compensate for those losses.

The USMCA also requires Canada to abandon a new pricing system for dairy ingredients that the industry believed was essential to its long-term viability.

Ruth Ellen Brosseau, the NDP’s House leader, demanded in the House of Commons today that the dairy oversight clause be removed before Canada signs the USMCA.

“This clause will have devastating and crippling consequences on our industry here in Canada,” she said.

“We made sure that the American attempts to destroy our supply management system did not succeed,” Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay replied. “We understand that they had some problems and we’re going to make sure that they’re fully and fairly supported.”

NDP trade critic Tracey Ramsey added that with U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs still in place, signing now would amount to “losing our best chance to eliminate them. The reasons for not signing this deal are stacking up.”

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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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