A Money Coach in Canada

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Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP) a very worthy organization has forwarded this for dissemination:


Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
For Immediate ReleaseFriday, June 13, 2008
Downtown Eastside Welcome Wagon to Visit Concord Pacific.
“There’s still time for you to be a good neighbour, Terry.”

This is the message that Downtown Eastside residents and their supporters will bring to the CEO of Concord Pacific at his office on Friday.

In the last few weeks, members of the Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP), tried to get an appointment with Terry Hui, but didn’t succeed. They want the owner to reconsider his application for 1/2 million dollar condos at 58 West Hastings and instead turn over the property for social housing. The group wants the site named after Darrel Mikasko, the homeless man who couldn’t get into a shelter and died in a fire trying to stay warm.
Concord made billions off the Expo lands and can afford to give a little back, especially in our neighbourhood where people are going to be pushed out because of new condo development,” said Robert Bonner of CCAP.
Joe Le Blanc, a resident of Vet’s Manor said Concord is “putting their condos between the Portland Social Housing Project and the Grand Union Hotel, between despair and hope. We need more hope and that means more social housing.”
“It would be nice for developers to give back to the community they are making so much money off of us”, said Phoenix Winter, another CCAP member from the community, who is referring to Concord’s condos on Powell Street now under construction.
The welcome wagon troupe will bring in some special gifts in a basket to Terry Hui that they hope will inspire him to consider donating his land to Downtown Eastside residents in need. Among the gifts, will be a Hope in the Shadows book, 200 letters calling for social housing on the site, tickets to the premier of the film “The Way Home” about homelessness and a sample of critters that plague the Downtown Eastside.

Time: Friday, June 13 at 1:00 p.m.
Place: 1095 West Pender Street, Vancouver – meet outside front doors
Contacts: Wendy Pedersen 604-839-0379; Jean Swanson 604-729-2380


note from Nancy: this is my ‘hood. I’ll be there tomorrow, if anyone wants to join me.

also, I think CCAP is being generous. If I understand correctly (and I still need to get the facts) I believe this permit did not go through proper notification processes, and city hall has issued an apology.

You heard it here (nearly) first!

1. Local uber-success story John Chow is running a contest on his blog for a bag full of great loot (great equates to things like a flip phone, for example) sponsored by market leverage. I’m in, and so can you be. Just pop on by his blog and leave a comment (and if you’re new to the blogosphere, we don’t spam! So don’t worry about entering).

2. If you need some art (I know I do) this is a must for Vancouverites:

The Cheaper Art Show
All art for $200

Free admission
Saturday, June 21, 2008
142 Waterstreet (old Storyeum building)
Vancouver BC

note: 75% of the sales go directly to the artist.

3. And if you use a mac, or are thinking of switching, here’s a deal that got me and the local AppleStore in 24hours, thanks to Buzz Bishop:

2523289618_125a8f381e_m.jpgApple give 52 1-hour one-on-one tutorials for $100. For real. Conditions are you go max once/week. They have a series of topics and tutorial plans, but you can also ask for whatever help you need. For example, I now can use ichat to visit mom in the nwt via video. My most recent sessions and the next ones are helping me create a podcast.

The genius of this great deal struck me: if I only go a couple times, they make money. If I go a lot of times, I become deeply embedded into mac = my loyalty, plus, I can help others with their macs.

Now, how can I figure out something similar for the bank I work for …

photo credit: lucke.justin


Photo Credit: Madaboutasia

Maclean’s Magazine recently published an issue with the headline:

You won’t be able to eat, travel or live as you do now.
Say goodbye to the age of plenty.

And it occurred to me: I don’t really believe it.

It hasn’t



I have the luxury of walking to work, and I gave up my car a number of years ago, so I’m not as in touch with rising oil/gas prices as those of you who commute.

But this goes a lot further than simply convincing us to use public transit instead of our cars.

Shipping costs have increased by 72%.  What are the ramifications?

Consider your bananas. Your sugar. Your coffee.

I don’t know the micro-economics, but I’m guessing a big part of that cost is the transportation. Are you prepared to pay nearly double, soon, for these goods?

Consider your getaways and vacation/christmas travel to friends and family. Westjet now charges an additional $20 – $45 each way to cover their rising costs. AirCanada charges between $40 – $120. What will it be by next December?

The council of a suburb in Melbourne, Australia, is already planning how they will handle the lifestyle changes –

  • kids moving out of the ‘burbs back into mom and dad’s downtown home, to avoid the commute
  • increased demand for bike and pedestrian paths
  • increased mental health issues caused by isolation


Readers, what’s your opinion: Do you believe oil prices will continue to skyrocket? Do you foresee that it will cause dramatic lifestyle/consumption changes for all of us? Have you personally experienced any impact yet?

anituqebank1.jpgDespite the fact that I work for Canada’s best-kept-secret bank that usually gives the highest interest in Canada, each paycheque I carve off a chunk and send it over to that big orange-coloured online bank.

Why do I do it? Because my day-to-day banking is at Citizens, and if I keep my savings at the same financial institution I know me: I’ll spend it.

Something crucial will come up –

The Fleuvog shoe sale

The Apple store opening

An unexpected expense (read: daschund trip to the vet emerg, or my demonic dishwasher)

and my savings for christmas, vacation will be plundered.

And yet I know that those expenses, if not planned for and funded, will kaibosh me when the time comes, so I am committed to protecting them from, well, myself and the daschunds.

By keeping them in the “other bank”, it puts a brake on high-pressure temptation. They don’t get plundered.  The hassle factor of finding my online access code, going to the site to transfer the funds and knowing it will take three business days – meh. Not worth it anymore.

Christmas, vacations and a handful of other priorities are accounted for.

Readers: do you have any tricks or tips that help you protect your money from seemingly impossible-to-ignore opportunities to spend?

ps: don’t tell my employer about this.