Jun 5, 2020
Home Economics: CMHC tightens mortgage rules; Canada adds jobs in May
Lower-fee ETFs in your retirement strategy
Canada unexpectedly adds jobs in May
After two straight months of unprecedented job losses, Canada’s economy added 289,600 jobs in May, according to Statistics Canada. That surprised economists who had expected roughly 500,000 losses last month. The job gains were across most industries and largely driven by Quebec, the province hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the better-than-expected numbers, just under five million Canadians are still without work or are working substantially reduced hours.
CMHC faces criticism over mortgage tightening rules
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) decision to tighten its mortgage insurance qualification rules is drawing some criticism. As of July 1, homebuyers will need higher credit scores and lower debt burdens in order to qualify, and stricter rules on borrowing for a down payment will take effect. Economists and mortgage experts say the CMHC's decision is poorly-timed. “If the government proceeds with this, the dampening of housing activity will worsen the economic pressures, further impairing the economy,” economist Will Dunning tells Bloomberg News. Meantime, mortgage specialist Robert McLister questions whether the new rules really help taxpayers.
Insolvencies sink in April
Government data released Thursday reveals Canadians were better able to manage their finances in April. Total consumer insolvencies fell 38.7 per cent month-over-month and 43.5 per cent year-over-year. The data reflects a period during which most of the federal government’s emergency aid packages were in full swing and accessible to individuals and businesses facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. But are these insolvency levels sustainable? CTV’s Chief Financial Commentator Pattie Lovett-Reid says maybe not.
Ontario changes labour laws to help businesses avoid bankruptcy
The Ontario government announced Monday it is temporarily amending its labour laws to help employers cope with the pandemic and avoid permanent layoffs. The change will see non-unionized workers who have had their hours reduced or eliminated placed on temporary leave with their jobs preserved. These workers will still be eligible for federal emergency income support programs. “It does take some protections away from employees, and it does obviously grant some flexibility to employers. But it also brings certainty to both parties,” Kathleen Chevalier, employment lawyer at Stikeman Elliott, said in an interview in BNN Bloomberg Tuesday.
Worst advice you can get from a financial advisor
While many Canadians turn to professional financial advisors to manage their money, not all advice is a home run. Personal Finance Columnist Dale Jackson outlines the top three worst tips from advisors to avoid in your retirement savings plan.
Ask BNN Bloomberg: Will CERB impact my GIS amount?
COVID-19 is prompting many seniors to take a hard look at their finances. Gerry of Harrington, Que. says he is retired, has no company pension and is mainly living off his savings. But Gerry says his investments have plunged with the stock markets and he can't find any federal aid packages for older Canadians in his position. Filomena May, financial advisor at Filo Financial Solutions of Raymond James Ltd., explains Gerry's options.
"If your employer calls you back and you think maybe it is more lucrative to collect the benefit, or the environment doesn't make you feel safe, simply not showing up isn't an option." —CTV’s Chief Financial Commentator Pattie Lovett-Reid on why Canadians should return to work if they can
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