Tag Archives: hiring
Stephen Dupuis, Toronto Sun
Last week, I let readers in on the highlights of the inaugural address of the newly elected president of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, Victor Fiume, of Durham Custom Homes.
BILD wishes Fiume well as he takes over the reins from Gary Friend, a Vancouver builder who led his industry at the national level with great distinction throughout one of the most challenging years ever faced by a CHBA president given the global economic crisis that dominated Friend’s tenure.
Fiume’s speech was given in Victoria, B.C., where spring was about a month ahead of schedule with the trees blossoming, the flowers pushing up and the grass green and growing.
As if picking up on the optimism that always comes with spring, the economic presentations we heard were quite encouraging. As Dr. Peter Andersen, consulting economist to the CHBA told builders, “fears of a double-dip recession have been put on the back-burner and it looks like we’re in for a sustainable recovery.”
Andersen declared that the recession ended in August, 2009, described 2010 as a “transition year” and said the true recovery would kick-in next year with 4-5% growth.
Unfortunately that economic growth rate will bring with it rising rates but that’s next year — for the balance of this year, Andersen sees rates as being on hold. Holding at the lowest levels in 50 years is a very good thing.
Further to the rosy forecast, Andersen noted that part-time employment is up adding that employers typically bring on part-timers as a prelude to hiring full-time.
Commenting on house prices, Andersen stated that he sees no sign of runaway prices and wondered out loud why all the fuss. “I don’t buy the bubble theory,” he stated. “Prices are just getting back to where they were before the economic crisis,” he added. Andersen also offered a very interesting perspective on the renovation market.
Where the conventional wisdom says that market may go down due to all the activity brought forward by the Home Renovation Tax Credit, he thinks that activity just primed the pump and now that homeowners have caught the renovation bug, they will just move onto the next project. Sounds plausible to me.
The good news is that Ontario builders were part of a British Columbia/Ontario sweep of the recent Canadian Home Builders’ Association Sales & Marketing (SAM) awards.
The bad news is that of the eight awards taken by Ontario builders, only two winners hailed from the GTA, but they are both deserving of a shout-out, so hats off to Empire Communities who got the award for Best Brochure/Kit for Fly Condos, besting builders from Victoria, Calgary, Ottawa and Hamilton.
A big tip of the hat to Bachly Construction of Bolton, Ont. who captured the award for Best Single Detached Home (over 4,000 sq. ft.) against heavy competition from Vancouver, Kamloops and Delta, B.C., as well as a place called Quispamiss, N.B.
The Bachly house is well worth checking out at www.bachly.com (click on featured home). Last but not least, BILD congratulates former local president Joe Valela of Valemont Homes on his election to the CHBA Executive Board, and Mike Cochren of Oakville-based Cochren Homes (and a RenoMark contractor) on his appointment to that board.
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Robyn Doolittle – Yourhome.ca
For months, city hall had been singing the same tune: We are broke. Homeowners would be asked to carry a considerable chunk of the burden. A 4 per cent property tax hike was necessary to balance the books.
What this would mean to the average homeowner: a $93 increase.
But despite the tax hike, Toronto residents could expect fewer services. City officials called for 5 per cent budget cuts across the board. Though most departments failed to hit the target, considerable cuts were made to virtually every area.
But at a news conference Wednesday morning, Mayor David Miller made the surprise announcement that the city’s financial picture was not as bleak as projected.
An extra $100 million in surplus had been found, mostly through property tax figures that arrived late and city investments that performed more strongly than expected.
Now some have quietly questioned just exactly how much in the dark some city personnel really were.
Was the sob story just a tool to get difficult budget cuts made?
The library board decided some branches might need to close Sundays. The Toronto Transit Commission found about $10 million through job reorganization and energy savings. The police board struggled to cut $10 million by deferring some spending and delayed hiring.
Alok Mukherjee, chair of the police board, said it wasn’t for him to speculate about the timing.
“I think the budget process is very much an evolving process and numbers are crunched on a routine basis, and it isn’t until all the numbers are in and there’s an ability to make some final estimates that one has a clear picture,” he said.
At the end of the day, Mukherjee says, he promised to help get control of a rapidly ballooning police budget, which will probably hit $1 billion by 2011.
Michael Church, chair of the library board, had a similar view.
“We had a meeting last week with the budget committee and we came in with a very tight budget. And we were asked to come in even tighter, which likely entailed Sunday closures,” he said. “And I’m just hoping that’s off the table now.”