• 5 unique and useful wedding gift ideas

    Here are some creative ideas being seen in wedding catalogues and registry wish lists across Canada this year.

    1. The gift of choice. Nowadays, many couples have been living together for years before tying the knot, meaning they won't need basics like plates and cutlery. They'd probably prefer a cash gift to help pay for the wedding, or a gift card for a nice restaurant or home store.

    2. Kitchen memories. While many couples will have the basics, most won't have splurged on quality, high-performance appliances that stand the test of time. Encourage them to make new memories in the kitchen together with a tool they can use to prepare delicious meals, like the Cuisinart Precision Master Stand Mixer. The powerful appliance comes with step-by-step instructions for dozens of recipes, for making everything from a spinach and feta soufflé to chocolate chunk cookies.

    3. A weekend getaway. The first year of marriage can be stressful, so give them a chance to unwind and reconnect with a long weekend away from home a few months after the wedding. A nice bed and breakfast an hour away is an affordable but very thoughtful gift that will be well received.

    4. Luxurious linens. No one can ever have too many well-appointed linens. High thread-count sheets and comfy pillows are great options for new and established couples.

    5. Monogramed anything. Matching his and hers items are cute and commemorate the special occasion. Think monogramed towels, bathrooms or coffee mugs for a personalized touch.



  • Canada taking concrete steps to advance diversity and inclusion in private corporations

    Minister Bains visits diversity institute to highlight benefits of proposed inclusion law

    October 4, 2017 – Toronto, Ontario – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

    Canada needs more boardrooms and businesses that reflect our diversity. A more inclusive workforce is paramount to ensuring that Canada can meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of the modern and global economy. Diversity is our strength, and we’re committed to ensuring our businesses reflect that diversity.

    This was the message that the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, delivered at a panel discussion hosted by the Ted Rogers School of Management's Diversity Institute at Ryerson University.

    Minister Bains discussed efforts to develop a new generation of leaders equipped with a variety of skills and experience, which will lead to job creation and business opportunities that will benefit all Canadians. He outlined the measures proposed in Bill C-25, An Act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act, the Canada Cooperatives Act, the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act and the Competition Act, which are designed to encourage Canada’s publicly traded companies to recruit more women and other under-represented groups on their corporate boards and in their senior management ranks. A growing body of research shows that businesses benefit from better performance and stronger balance sheets as a result of having senior leaders from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives.

    Minister Bains took the opportunity to speak with panelists and with young professionals and leaders on the importance of strategies to advance diversity and inclusion in corporate leadership positions. He outlined various aspects of how Bill C-25 will empower designated under-represented groups such as women, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities and visible minorities.

    Minister Bains also highlighted his recent participation at the meeting of G7 ministers of industry and information and communications technologies in Turin, Italy, during which he advocated for Canada’s values of diversity and inclusion.

  • How mortgages have changed

    If you're like millions of Canadians, you're busy paying down your mortgage. It could take 25 years or so, but it can be a great way to accumulate personal wealth, especially if house prices rise. However, with changes to mortgages in recent years, it's important to understand just how they are different if you want to fully benefit from your home's potential to build your personal wealth over the long term, rather than your debt.

    Today, to finance your house most banks will offer you a readvanceable mortgage if you have a down payment of 20 per cent or more. It combines a traditional mortgage with a home equity line of credit (HELOC). There's a big difference between these two forms of debt.

    First, your mortgage debt only goes one way — down — because you must make regular payments against both the interest and the principal borrowed. This increases the equity you have in your home, meaning the difference between what you still owe and the value of your home.

    But as you pay down your mortgage, a HELOC lets you borrow against your growing equity as part of your mortgage. Unlike your mortgage, you only have to make regular payments against the interest. You can ignore the principal until you sell the house. This short-term credit advantage can mean a long-term debt problem.

    With flexible repayment terms, low interest rates and a credit limit that rises with your equity, a HELOC can be used to pay off other, higher-interest debt or home renovations.

    But would a HELOC tempt you to use your home like an ATM? Mounting HELOC debt could put you at increased risk if you lose your job, get sick or injured, interest rates go up or your home decreases in value. If it consumes too much of your equity, you might end up owing more than your home is worth, lose your home or have to sell it to pay down your debt.

    To use this borrowing tool wisely, stick to a plan to pay it off fully and avoid continually borrowing against your home equity.

    Learn more online at canada.ca/it-pays-to-know.

  • How to be money-smart in retirement

    Many of us look forward to retirement as an opportunity to pursue new goals or reactivate life-long interests. With the right financial planning, you can be on track to achieve the financial security you need to realize your vision of a comfortable retirement.

    By staying informed and taking steps to protect your savings, you are setting yourself on the path to becoming a money-smart retiree. Here are some tips to get you started on the right path:

    1. Review your investments based on the timing of when you plan to withdraw your money. As you approach retirement, talk to your financial advisor regularly about your goals and any changes that could affect them.

    2. If you're still working, maximize your pension contributions to give your savings a boost.

    3. Assign a power of attorney to someone you trust to handle financial and legal matters on your behalf as you age.

    4. Learn about tax credits available to seniors, including pension income credits and disability credits.

    5. Educate yourself on elder abuse and fraud. Common forms include burglary, telephone fraud and identity theft. Sadly, most financial fraud committed against older adults involves friends, family, caregivers or social contacts. The more you know, the better you can protect yourself.

    For more information, visit IFIC.CA > Investors


  • Ontario Black History Society welcomes new President

    "In a collective effort to make a difference, we will continue to go forward, upward, and onward."

    The Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) is pleased to announce the election of a new President and First Vice-President at a meeting held in Toronto on November 1st, 2017. Our new President is Natasha Henry, historian, educator and author. Our First Vice-President is Channon Oyeniran, an executive member of Light Generation-a young adults’ based organization in the Ajax and Pickering area, co-founder of Oyeniran Education Support (OyES), an educational organization created by herself and her husband. Also joining the Board Executive is OBHS Secretary Cheryl Hazell-Challenger.

    Natasha is a historian, educator, award-winning author and curriculum developer, focusing on Black Canadian experiences. She is the recipient of the 2014 Gold Medal Moonbeam Children's Award for Multicultural Non-Fiction for Firsts(2014) in the Sankofa Black Heritage Collection and the 2016 – 2017 ETFO Curriculum Development Award.

    She has contributed several entries to the Canadian Encyclopedia on African Canadian history and has developed educational resources for several exhibits and web-based projects on the Black experience in Canada, including the CBC miniseries The Book of Negroes. She is committed to inclusive education and equity principles in her teaching practice that supports the promotion of culturally-relevant pedagogy and equity in classrooms. Natasha is currently completing a PhD in History at York University.

    "I am honoured to join the OBHS team build on the work and vision of the founders of this community institution to share, preserve, and celebrate the rich, diverse history of Black Canadians, past and present, and to continue the efforts under our Immediate Past President Nikki Clarke, to engage youth and to build strong and lasting community partnerships, says Ms. Henry. " I also hope to advance the organization’s goal to improve the preservation and access to our archival collection through the use of technology. In a collective effort to make a difference, we will continue to go forward, upward, and onward".

    The OBHS is at the forefront in the celebration of Black history and heritage. " I am honoured to be working with Natasha Henry, the new President of the Ontario Black History Society, and the rest of the OBHS board! I look forward to supporting Natasha, as we all continue to promote and celebrate African Canadian heritage in Ontario and Canada. The OBHS will continue to strive for positive growth, progression and meaningful impact across the province and the country ," says Ms. Oyeniran.

    The signature fundraising Black History Month Kick-Off Brunch will be held on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at the Metro Toronto Convention Center. We encourage everyone to join us!

    The OBHS Board of Directors and members would like to thank and extend best wishes to Immediate Past President Nikki Clarke and acknowledge her outstanding leadership over the past two years. Nikki will continue to contribute to the OBHS on the Board of Directors as Immediate Past President and assist our leaders with their transition. On behalf of OBHS members and the Board of Directors, we thank you for your contributions to the OBHS and community.


    About the Ontario Black History Society

    Founded in 1978, by Dr. Daniel Hill Sr. and Donna Hill, Lorraine Hubbard, Wilson Brooks and Phyllis Brooks, the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) is the organization in Canada that is at the forefront in the celebration of Black history and heritage with a demonstrated record in the study, preservation and promotion of Black history in Ontario. The OBHS is also the only Ontario Provincial Heritage Organization of the Ministry of Culture devoted to Black history and heritage. For more information about the OBHS please visit www.blackhistorysociety.ca

    Media Contacts:

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



    Ontario Black History Society

    10 Adelaide Street, East, Suite 402

    Toronto, Ontario, M5C 1J3

    Tel - 416-867-9420

    Fax - 416-867-8691

    Office Hours: Mon to Fri - 9:30am - 4:30pm

  • Understand “readvanceable mortgages” when house hunting

    You've saved up a 20 per cent down payment and are eager to get into the real estate market. For the remaining amount, it's likely your bank will offer you a readvanceable mortgage. But should you take it?

    This popular product, marketed under different names from one bank to another, combines term mortgages with home equity lines of credit. Like a credit card, the amount of money available in your line of credit decreases as you borrow and increases as you pay it back. Your credit limit may also increase automatically as you pay down your mortgage. Some lenders bundle other financial products like car loans or credit cards together under a readvanceable mortgage, typically at an attractive interest rate.

    At first glance, this may seem appealing. But keep in mind any applicable fees and the risks of tying different credit products together before signing on the dotted line.

    Readvanceable mortgages make it more complicated and expensive to switch lenders to get a better interest rate when your mortgage is up for renewal. You may need to repay all credit products tied together under the readvanceable mortgage. And because it's secured by a collateral charge against your home, there are additional legal fees you wouldn't incur when moving a traditional mortgage.

    “Lenders can demand that you repay your home equity line of credit, lower your credit limit or increase your interest rate at any time,” cautions Lucie Tedesco, commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. “This would impact all credit products bundled together in your readvanceable mortgage.”

    Remember that a home equity line of credit is secured using your home as collateral — meaning if you can't pay back the money you owe, your lender can take possession of it.

    Find more information online at canada.ca/money.


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