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Linda Talks Blog

  • Linda Leatherdale

𝓘 𝓐𝓶 𝓒𝓪𝓷𝓪𝓭𝓲𝓪𝓷

It is time for all of us to stand up, stand tall and declare to the world – “I am Canadian” and proud to live in the second best country on this planet.

Linda Leatherdale, I Am Canadian

In a world so full of hatred, divisiveness, racism, pestilence, corruption, and every unimaginable atrocity, including murder, terrorism, genocide, biochemical warfare, child exploitation, and more – Canada came in at second place as the best in the world in 2020, according to a survey by U.S. News and World Report.  Beating out the Great White North was Switzerland, which has consistently ranked number one.

We need to celebrate this milestone, as we lead in quality of life, entrepreneurship and believe it or not, the ease of doing business, despite all the government bureaucracy and red tape, not to mention high taxes.  But be wary:  Democracy worldwide is under attack, nationalism is on rise, and the respondents noted conditions worldwide are worsening, with the gap between the rich and the poor continuing to grow.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  Canada needs a healthy, wealthy Main Street and the narrowing of the income gap in order to maintain our standard of living, and we will need brilliant minds to lead us out of the economic fallout of this pandemic.

More on this survey: Japan ranked third place, the U.S. seventh place, Russia, 23rd, and India 25th.

Another interesting survey comes from Credit Card Genius – which lists the top 10 places to live in Canada.  This survey is a help for young folks, who feel shut out of Toronto’s and Vancouver’s red hot real estate markets, and are seeking to escape highly populated hubs.

Ranked Number One and best overall is Quebec City, one of Canada’s most beautiful historic locations, where average home prices are $254,700, average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $883, and a single person can live on $2,009 a month.  If you choose Quebec City, you may want to brush up on speaking French.

Next is Moncton, New Brunswick, described as the best place to find work and the cheapest place to live.  There, home prices average $200,961, a one-bedroom rental apartment costs $814, and the cost of living for a single person is $2,016.

The list continues:

Third Place: Saint John, New Brunswick, coined the best place to buy a home. Average home price, $200,961, average rent for one-bedroom apartment, $814, and $2,016 cost of living for a single person.

Fourth Place:  St. John’s, Newfoundland, the best place for outdoorsy types.  Average home price $239,500, average rent for one-bedroom apartment, $854, and $2,264 cost of living for a single person

Fifth Place:  Hamilton, Ontario, a blossoming hub with a reputation as one of Ontario’s up and comers.  Average home price, $504,101, average rent for one-bedroom apartment, $1,367, $2,280 cost of living for a single person.

Sixth Place: London, Ontario, best city for digital creatives.  Average home price, $484,884, average rent for one-bedroom apartment, $1,230, and $2,202 cost of living for a single person.

Seventh Place:  Ottawa, Ontario, best place for adventurous foodies.  Average home price, $575,600, average rent for one-bedroom apartment, $1,600, and $2,784 cost of living for a single person.

Eighth Place:  Edmonton, Alberta, best city for renters.  Average home price, $319,900, average rent for one-bedroom apartment, $910, and $2,356 cost of living for a single person.

Ninth Place:  Charlottetown, P.E.I., best place to raise kids.  Average home price, $277,000, average rent for one-bedroom apartment, $1,350, and $2,093 cost of living for a single person.

Tenth Place: Calgary, Alberta, best city for people who love cities.  Average home price, $410,000, average rent for one-bedroom apartment, $1,186, and $2,406 cost of living for a single person.

Of course, there is more than cost of housing and cost of living to consider.  Go to, for all the details, including weather trends, unemployment rates, median income, median age, etc.

Bottom line is this: I love Canada, and I am proud to say  “I am Canadian.”

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  • Linda Leatherdale

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

𝓕𝓻𝓮𝓮 𝓣𝓱𝓮 𝓢𝓵𝓪𝓿𝓮𝓼

The desperate plea from a fan broke my heart.  “Linda, please help.  I lost my job in the restaurant business. I can’t pay my rent, I can’t afford food, and my credit card is maxed out.  Now, because I have missed some payments, my bank hiked my interest rate.”

Those heartless blood suckers. Have they no soul especially during these difficult pandemic days? No, because greed prevails in this money-driven world where, like lemmings falling off a cliff, consumers have become slaves to debt.  In Canada alone, households now owe a record $2.33 trillion, and while $1.53 billion is mortgage debt with more affordable rates of the interest, there’s still another $802.1 billion in consumer debt, including credit cards which commonly charge rates of 22.99% and higher, plus annual fees.  This is usury and a political sin considering the Bank of Canada rate sits at a record low of 0.25%. 

Linda Leatherdale, Free The Slaves

Now, here’s what you may not know: That once upon a time on this planet charging interest was banned, and considered one of the worst sins - an abomination that broke God’s Eighth Commandment, “thou must not steal.”

In fact, to this day, the Islamic faith rules that charging interest is forbidden, which is why institutions in countries like Iran, Sudan and Pakistan have taken steps to eradicate interest from their financial systems.

Centuries ago, under Jewish law, loans made to fellow Jews had to be interest-free. But charging interest on loans to non-Jews was allowed. Christianity, including the Roman Catholic Church, once condemned charging interest, but by the 19th century and with the rise of capitalism, the practice of charging interest became more and more common.

Still, the Bible’s message is clear - that charging interest hurts our fellowman. The Book of Ezekiel classified usurers as people who have shed the borrowers’ blood.  And Proverbs 22:7 warns: “the rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”

So, here we are today: Slaves on the never-ending debt treadmill, while the misery grows. For every $1 in disposable income, Canadians now owe $1.77 – with our household debt ratio now hitting at an unsustainable 176.9%.  And while the most vulnerable get hurt by usury credit card rates – falling mortgage rates encourage homeowners to take on even more debt, by borrowing from skyrocketing home equity, while our kids are shut out of the housing market.  And poor seniors, who want to protect their savings by investing in safe, interest-bearing vehicles, like guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) which are insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corp. (CDIC). With GIC rates of return close to 0%, they are forced into the roller coaster stock markets, where there are no guarantees, and where they do not have time on their side to make up for big losses.

For years, as a crusading Sun Media financial editor/columnist in Ottawa, Toronto and Edmonton, I campaigned against the high cost of credit – taking this crusade to Parliament Hill, just as my predecessor Garth Turner did back in the 1980s when he took busloads of angry homeowners to Ottawa to win a moratorium on mortgage renewals when rates hit as high as 22%.

We won a few battles, but not the war.

Let me be clear: Rates will rise, and rates will fall – but the greedy will always find ways to fleece our pockets, and too often our regulators are blinded by the light.

The subprime mortgage madness is a prime example. The wolves on Wall Street cleverly got rich promoting rotten loans to home buyers, then bundled up this rotten debt into investment vehicles, called Asset-Backed Commercial Paper, slapped on Triple A credit ratings, and floated it to the world – bankrupting nations like Greece and Iceland.  Not one of those Wall Street wolves went to jail.

The year 2009 ushered in the Great Global Recession. Now it’s 2020, and we’re suffering from the Great Global Pandemic, plus a record number of atrocities that are plaguing Mother Earth.

In the book of James, chapter 5: 1-5, it was prophesied that in the last days the rich “will heap up treasures” by exploiting the poor.  And the book of Revelation warns a Day of Reckoning will arrive.  This is the Great Global Armageddon.

It is time to free the slaves.

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  • Linda Leatherdale

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

𝓗𝓪𝓷𝓭𝓼 𝓲𝓷 𝓸𝓾𝓻 𝓟𝓸𝓬𝓴𝓮𝓽𝓼

Linda Leatherdale, Hands In Our Pockets

To all my social media friends: As Ronnie Hawkins would say “You Rock!” Your response to my “Axe The Tax?” commentary has been overwhelming, and many of you are now asking, “So Linda, just how much tax do we pay?” Well, let’s dig a little deeper.

According to the Fraser Institute, this year the average Canadian family (two or more individuals) will earn $115,753. This income includes wages and salaries, self-employment income, interest, dividends, private and government pension payments, like CPP, old age pensions and other government transfers, like the Canada Child Benefit.

Now ready for this: Of that a whopping $43,681 will be paid to all three levels of government to keep the taxman happy. These taxes include income taxes, payroll taxes, health taxes, sales taxes, SIN taxes, property taxes, gas taxes, carbon taxes, import duties, and on and on. That’s 37.7% of our hard-earned cash going to pay the taxman. “Now Linda,” some of you may say, “the tax grab is down from a higher level a few years ago.” Well I say, don’t be fooled.

This COVID-19 pandemic, as the Fraser Institute points out, has skewed our economic landscape. For example, when the economy slows and incomes fall due to job losses, pay cuts, etc. – the average family’s tax burden falls, too, as many fall into a lower tax bracket. That pushed Tax Freedom Day in 2020 to May 19, down from June 8 in 2019. Tax Freedom Day, by the way, is the day we stop handing over our paycheques to the taxman, and get to keep our hard-earned money. That’s if we had to pay all our taxes upfront. Now, here’s what's scary: With the increased spending due to this pandemic and our annual deficit jumping to $343 billion, Tax Freedom Day would fall on July 26, if we were forced to balance the books. As I say, we live in the greatest country in the world and we all want to pay our fair share. But today’s debt is tomorrow's taxes, and Canadians households are already struggling.

Brace yourselves and try to be financially fit. I am Linda Leatherdale.

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