Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Canada Today–some better, some not so much

Looking back over the past few decades there are some things which have changed to make Canada a better place in which to live.
One major positive change in Canada that comes to mind is the acceptance of same-sex marriage in Canada at a time when being “gay” is still identified a crime in some 78 countries around the world. Hate crimes appear to be increasing, but this may well be due to an increased awareness and prosecution of them.
Stats Can reports: Police services in Canada reported 1,036 hate crimes in 2008, up 35% from 2007. Just over half (55%) were motivated by race or ethnicity, 26% by religion and 16% by sexual orientation.
If you carry an outstanding balance on your credit card you should not wonder why you have less and less money to spend. My bank VISA card charges 19.99% on unpaid balance or for cash advances (and 24.99% for at least 6 months if I miss making even one minimum monthly payment). Kudos to our government for requiring these charges to be CLEARLY stated, but reducing the actual rates would be more helpful for most people. No wonder the banks can regularly post obscene profits and salaries for their CEO while they pay out 3 percent interest on investments and reduce employment through the use of ATMs. 
The free lunch days of Internet usage are on the verge of disappearing in Canada. The CRTC has passed a requirement that Internet charges will be applied to an individual usage of more than 25 gigabytes per month. That is about 8 HD movies per month. More use than that and it would cost $2 per gigabyte. Minister of Industry Jim Prentice says he is looking into the situation.

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