Peter AdlerPeter Adler has been a journalist for longer than he'd want to admit.
Not that his memory has been failing him, but when you spend more than a half of a century in this racket, a certain hesitation might be understandable, advisable, even. Banned in the then-communist Czechoslovakia for his writings a few decades ago, he immigrated to Canada where he again returned to journalism. In 1995, he was one of the founding parents of www.canada.com. Later, he also created content for the original version of www.faceoff.com. He worked as editor on www.cyberwalker.com, and
www.triviamonkey.com, too. For a decade and a half, he has been serving as one of the judges on the panel for the Editor & Publisher and Mediaweek's world-wide competition for best news web sites, EPpy. Originally, Adler, a.k.a. Uncle Pedro, trained to become an economist, and that science has kept its hold on him since his university days. And so has his passion for economic and political history. But journalism and other creative endeavours, such as live theatre, have won. His hobbies include his family, reading and writing non-fiction, book editing, live theatre and music. In his writing, he prefers real-life stories. He hates passive verbs. “We can do it” sounds much better to him than “It can be done.”
While not always shocking, it's always at least a perfectly surprising piece of comedy. Usually beautifully outrageous, too.
The Canada Revenue Agency, not to be outdone, has come out with its own Top 10 list. It's not as funny as anything David Letterman might produce. But what it lacks in humour, it more than makes up for in its usefulness.
So, without much further ado, and with a special drum roll, here are the Top 10 (LEGAL) ways to keep more money in your pocket while sending less money to the government coffers.
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And the government, through its Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), is cynical enough to not only remind us of the taxation part, but to tell us how to part with our money easier, safer and, galling most of all, cheaper, using their electronic tools instead of snail-mail.
File online and on time, they say.
Good for them.
Now comes the basic question: where's the money going to come from?
Student loans remain the most popular option. Except: it makes sense to do your homework before you decide. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has come up with several web pages that offer detailed advice on the topic. Here they are:
If someone calls you to tell you they're from Microsoft Corporation (or, as happened in several recent cases, from Windows Operating System Corporation), and says your computer has been sending out signals of distress lately and they need to access it remotely to fix it, stop them right there. Try to find out whence they are calling you, inform the National Do-Not-Call List, and, if you so desire, the Microsoft Corporation itself, but don't tell the callers anything (or tell them that you don't understand because you've never had a computer and don't plan to acquire one, either).
No need to state the obvious: a pretty expensive proposition.
Except it shouldn't be too stressful if you know how to plan ahead.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) took the gamers' complaint to heart and went after the two communications giants.
Rogers cooperated and changed its traffic-management practice, the CRTC says, adding that the company then announced that its traffic shaping policy would be phased out for all customers by December 2012.
Electronic services have been becoming much more popular in recent years, and TELEFILE's numbers have been going down.
Numbers don't lie, says the agency: between 2011 and 2012, use of the service declined by 12.3 per cent.
First of all, the changes involve government-backed insured mortgages only.
But then, there is an occasional outbreak of malicious software that attacks seemingly at random. At least, Symantec's Security Response team hasn't found any particular patterns in a new threat known as W32.Flamer. Thus far, the team can only report that the new malware is very sophisticated and discreet, and that it's the result of efforts put together by a well organized group.
Russian security experts from the Kaspersky Labs have gone a step further: they suspect that a government entity is behind the threat. Considering both founders of the lab, Eugene Kaspersky and his ex-wife Natalia, used to work as computer security experts for the feared Soviet intelligence agency, KGB, they ought to know.
And what's wasteful in your home is amplified by every household in the country. How much food do we waste as a nation? How does $27 billion a year sound to you?
Now that we're properly outraged, is there something we can do about it? Absolutely. Here's what: