Monthly Archives:July 2017

Do you need travel insurance for UK holidays?

31 Jul 17
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  • Holidaymakers take an average of £676 away with them in valuables on UK trips
  • Without insurance there is no cover for lost, stolen or damaged belongings
  • Policies can cover cancellations or delays but clauses may apply for UK trips
  • London, Cornwall and the Scottish Highlands are the most popular destinations

Half of those staying in the UK for their summer holidays this year do not have any insurance to cover their trip, new research has shown.

This is despite the average holidaymaker taking £676 in valuables away with them on their ‘staycation’.

But with a free national health service at the point of service, is it ever necessary to take out additional travel insurance when holidaying in your home country?

Without insurance holidaymakers have no cover for lost, stolen or damaged belongings

Without insurance holidaymakers have no cover for lost, stolen or damaged belongings

In a study of 2,500 Britons by the insurer Policy Expert, 75 per cent said they were taking a holiday in the UK this summer.

Half of those said they didn’t have any insurance to cover them – should something go wrong on the trip such as if their possessions are stolen or damaged.

Not only did they not have travel insurance, their home insurance would also not cover them for their belongings when they were taken out of the house.

Just 13 per cent of those asked said they would take out travel insurance for a staycation.

The research also said 8 per cent of Britons on a staycation had been a victim of loss, theft or damage with mobile phones, cameras, wallets and jewellery being the most common items stolen.

Travel insurance policies can cover cancellations or delays but clauses may apply for UK trips

Travel insurance policies can cover cancellations or delays but clauses may apply for UK trips

A quarter of those staying in the UK had chosen to do so because it was cheaper than going away while 42 per cent said it was an easier option and 53 per cent said they did so because they wanted to visit the British countryside or seaside.

Separate research from Direct Line showed that London was the most popular location for UK staycations last year, followed by Cornwall, the Scottish Highlands and the Lake District.

But if you’re going away in the UK, do you really need to buy insurance and if so what kind? 

Rebecca Hollingsworth, policy adviser for travel at the Association of British Insurers, said: ‘People may not be aware that a number of travel insurance policies offer cover for UK breaks. 

‘This means you could get your money back for pre-booked accommodation if your holiday has to be cancelled at short notice – for example because you fall seriously ill or suffer a bereavement. 

‘Policies may also provide cover if valuables such as cameras or laptops are lost or stolen, although it’s also worth checking whether this is already offered as part of your home insurance.’ 

If you have an annual travel insurance policy this should provide cover for any of your trips – whether they are in the UK or abroad.

Holidaymakers take an average of £676 away with them in valuables on UK trips

Holidaymakers take an average of £676 away with them in valuables on UK trips

The cover will be the same wherever you are in the world but the amount for medical cover in the UK is likely to be different – because you won’t have to pay for emergency medical treatment in the UK. 

Everything else, such as cancelling the trip, ending it early and emergency travel expenses should be included.

However, double check the policy because some insurers stipulate that you need to be a certain distance from your home for the insurance to be valid or the holiday needs to be a set number of days.

For example, Direct Line only covers UK trips if you had paid to stay in pre-booked accommodation for two or more consecutive nights, while LV says the trip must either be more than 25 miles from your home, have pre-booked accommodation or involve a sea crossing.

You may also be able to get some cover for your belongings with your existing home insurance. 

If you have contents insurance, this will cover all of your belongings when they are in your home from loss, damage or theft. Generally accidental damage is not included as standard so this may be something you need to pay extra for.

However, once these items are out of the house, they won’t be covered unless you also have ‘personal possessions’ cover. This typically costs around £20 per year and covers individual items up to the value of £1,500 to £2,000.

Although if you’re relying on your contents insurance remember this is only covering your belongings and won’t pay out if you need to cancel the holiday for any reason, cut it short or if you need emergency travel expenses.   

Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

Politics Briefing newsletter: BlackBerry’s reign in Ottawa Brings to a close

31 Jul 17
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Good morning,

If you are a government employee in the National Capital Region and you are reading this newsletter on a smartphone, there is a great likelihood that the smartphone you are scrolling through is a BlackBerry. Its grip on the industry is going to change although the technology firm has been the supplier of mobile devices to bureaucrats. The Planet That Shared Services Canada, the department responsible for overseeing IT for the national government, is set to give alternatives to bureaucrats during the next 18 months as part of “a new approach to cellular service to better serve its customers, use new technologies and adapt to changes in the market.” Its own line of smartphones and Samsung was the first to be accepted by Shared Services, but only after two decades and evaluations demonstrated that the phones of Samsung and requirements passed. For the technology giant, Canada will become the government to use the Samsung Knox safety program. However, you should be able to — nbsp if you would like to keep your BlackBerry;Shared Services stated until the department’s inventory of apparatus is emptied the smartphones will be accessible.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by in Toronto. If you are reading this on the internet or someone forwarded you this newsletter, you may register to get all Globe newsletters and Politics Briefing . Let us know .


Over the past month, the loonie has gone from 77 cents to the U.S. dollar to over 80. For the export industry of Canada, the loonie claims to. On the other hand, retailers and importers are currently benefiting from an increase.

Now that Alberta’s United Conservative Party comes with an interim leader, the race to become permanent leader of the unified celebration has started. The two frontrunners are Progressive Conservative leader Jason Kenney and Wildrose leader Brian Jean. The , where the two men worked for years, is that Mr. Kenney has got the upper hand. But he faces a tough slog against Mr. Jean, who might still come out ahead when the party votes in October.

And with former B.C. premier Christy Clark , questions remain over the B.C. Liberal Party’s future. Ms. Clark is set to vacate her seat in the legislature, providing the governing NDP-Green alliance a opportunity to extend their slender majority from one to 2 until a by-election is held. Current MLAs have stated they are A bid to run including a former mayor of Vancouver a minister and a writer.

On the market: “Our dollar is shooting higher, thanks in part to the Bank of Canada’s decision to increase the rates of interest for the first time in seven years — a move spurred by the healthy economy. Reduce export earnings and A dollar that is higher tends to depress exports, and the Bank of Canada has been counting to take some of the slack up from a downturn in housing. So, what is the state of the economy? The response, in the long run, depends upon which part of it you are referring to. And for the oil and gas industry particularly, these are still trying times.”

on Christy Clark: “Christy Clark has been a polarizing political figure. But she engendered loyalty. She’ll be remembered as a tough fighter, who was frequently calculating. She’ll return as the sixth-longest serving premier in the state, the first premier in the country. Her departure from politics was cluttered and unseemly, however, and sullied her heritage unnecessarily.”

On diversity and liberty: “It is wonderful that Canada’s population consists of a diverse mixture of individuals who mostly get together and that everyone is invited to take pride in their heritages. But missing in the discussion on diversity is the notion that many have come to Canada expecting to make a life based on their own decisions — rather than merely replicate each the cultural traditions that could have been likely had they remained in their countries of birth{}”


Protests turned deadly in Venezuela yesterday as a To rewrite the constitution was boycotted. At least 10 people died on Sunday, adding to the death toll of more than 100 people. The rallies were aimed at stopping Mr. Maduro from developing a super-assembly that would give him the ability to control future elections and to stifle the opposition-led Congress, effectively cementing authoritarian powers. Voter turnout yesterday was reduced, and polls show that the majority of Venezuelans are compared to changes.

Now is John Kelly’s first day as White House chief of staff, following a six-month tenure as U.S. President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security. Gen. Kelly was a four-star general in the U.S. Marine Corps and had formerly controlled operations in Latin America, the Caribbean and Iraq. Before his role in cupboard, Gen. Kelly’s involvement in national affairs was limited. His predecessor Reince Priebus’ tenure ended on Friday, capping off a for Mr. Trump. Prominent Republicans are to correct a White House that is chaotic.

In comparison to former president Barack Obama, Mr. Trump is adored in Russia. A Pew Global Research Found that Israel and Russia were the only countries with a view of the president. However, what Russians think of Mr. Trump is now becoming a problem for Vladimir Putin, The Globe’s Mark MacKinnon . As one prominent opposition activist in Moscow puts it “For the Kremlin, it is now more difficult to define the enemy. With Obama, it was comfortable, and Hillary, too, would have given them a very simple enemy to blame for the ways of the world.”

After having a successful missile launch by North Korea on Friday, the U.S. and its allies in East Asia reacted with shows of force over the weekend. THAAD, the U.S. missile defence system, was In shooting down a missile. The U.S. military Flew two bombers in a workout which was joined by South Korean and jets on Sunday over the Korean Peninsula. On the diplomatic front, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Said the U.S. is “done speaking” and that China, South Korea and Japan should press forward because the situation “will need an international solution.”

And in case you missed it, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was From power last week following a corruption case. What brought down him? Calibri. The Supreme Court of Pakistan found that the Calibri typeface was used by a document dated 2006, on February. The problem: Calibri was available until January.

On dictatorship in Venezuela: “Sunday’s election in Venezuela of a national constituent assembly doesn’t signify the very beginnings of Mr. Maduro’s dictatorship, but its final ascension. In fact, the activities of Mr. Maduro’s government in the last 12 months are archetypical of a dictatorship, not a democracy. After a government turns its own security forces against its owns citizens and breaks the system of checks and balances between branches of power that upholds democracy, all that follows is dictatorship.”

On the International Criminal Court: “Canada, which prides itself on its role in making the ICC, is a member of the G7 group, along with France, Germany and many others. These countries are currently developing a standard by touting the value of the court underfunding its work. This will backfire. It will send a message to dictators, such as Mr. al-Bashir, the tribunal’s strongest fans might be tempering their support{}”

Also on the Planet and Mail

Protests stone the crisis vote of Venezuela (Reuters)

How families can keep costs down over the summer holidays

29 Jul 17
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  • The average cost of childcare during the period is £125 a week in England 
  • Parents spend £251 on activities to keep their children occupied, research found 

Many families are in the thick of the most expensive weeks of the year – the long summer holidays. 

According to the Family and Childcare Trust, the average cost of childcare during the period is £125 a week in England – slightly less in both Scotland and Wales. The costs are double what most families spend on food and drink in a week.

Even those parents who stay at home with their children face rising bills. A recent survey by deals website Groupon indicates that parents spend £251 on activities to keep their children occupied during the school holidays, and spend an extra £138 on other outgoings such as food.

Careful planning: Kayleigh and Chris Zimmermann with Harry, left and Josh

Careful planning: Kayleigh and Chris Zimmermann with Harry, left and Josh

Rising costs and squeezed budgets are driving some families to a summer breaking point.

Online trade-in site Ziffit says a quarter of parents struggle to cover childcare costs over the summer break, with one in five admitting they argue more with children and partners during the holidays as costs mount.

Richard Salt, managing director of Ziffit, says: ‘This time of year can be especially stressful for families. Children have finished school but many parents still have to work.

‘Finding appropriate childcare is one issue, but it is also clear that parents feel under pressure to go the extra mile and ensure their children are entertained.

‘It is not surprising that parents struggle to cover the extra costs and that this causes more tension in the family home.’

Here are some ways to save money on keeping the children entertained during the break.


For those parents working over the summer, both council and privately run holiday clubs provide childcare and new experiences for children.

Some can even be cheaper than family days out, as well as leaving parents guilt-free.

Council-run projects are cheaper, as many local authorities subsidise fees. The most recent holiday childcare survey from the Family and Childcare Trust shows that the average cost of a council-run club is £105 a week per child, against private clubs at £129 a week.

Council and privately run holiday clubs provide childcare and new experiences for children

Council and privately run holiday clubs provide childcare and new experiences for children

There are often extras such as trips out with some clubs, as well as the hours covered. Private clubs tend to offer wraparound early morning and evening care at an extra cost.

One way to cut the cost of clubs is to use childcare vouchers via your employer, which allows you to pay for childcare out of pre-tax income.

The amount of salary you can take in childcare vouchers depends on your tax bracket – basic rate taxpayers can take more, saving £933 a year.

The Government is bringing in a new tax-free childcare scheme. This will offer greater savings to some parents, including those such as the self-employed, who are not eligible for the vouchers.

You can find out more and sign up at website If you receive tax credits, be careful about signing up to either scheme as they can affect your eligibility.

Even if you do not need tax credits for childcare in term-time, you might be able to claim for holidays. You may also be eligible for childcare tax credits for summer holiday activities – even if you do not require childcare in term time, depending on your income. If you need more information, call the tax credit helpline on 0345 300 3900.

As well as credits and vouchers, some holiday clubs offer discounts for early booking, or discounts for siblings. Supercamps, one of the country’s largest providers of private camps, offers a ten per cent discount if you book ten sessions per season. Booking a full week at a time, rather than odd days, can also be cheaper.

For younger children, or those who prefer a home environment, childminders will often accept childcare vouchers. You can find a directory of local childminders at

If you have space in your home, a summer au pair could provide older children with a companion for outings. Charges work out at around £80 a week for 25 hours.

You also need to provide a bed and board, and cover their share of the cost of any trips they take with the children. If you recruit an au pair via an agency you may also have to pay a recruitment fee. Try (the British Au Pair Agencies Association) for a list of reputable agencies. For information about taking on an au pair, visit

‘Our bills go up… the children graze more’

Kayleigh and Chris Zimmermann have to budget extra hard during the summer holidays.

Although self-employed – Kayleigh is a beauty therapist, Chris a carpenter – they rely on help from family and friends as well as working shifts around each other to get through the long weeks without childcare.

The couple, from Horsham, West Sussex, have two children, four-year-old Joshua and Harry, seven. Kayleigh, 29, says: ‘I plan carefully for the holidays, mixing cheaper days out such as a trip to the beach with more expensive trips to Chessington World of Adventures. 

‘I am constantly looking for discounts and vouchers to keep the bills down. We have also bought a discount pass for the cinema for those inevitable rainy summer days.’

Despite her rigorous planning, Kayleigh has to save up for the school holidays. She says: ‘Our bills definitely go up in the holidays. The children are constantly grazing so even the food bills are higher.’

Careful planning: Kayleigh and Chris Zimmermann with Harry, left and Josh


Even if you are not paying for childcare, the cost of entertaining children, as well as extra food, can mount up. Making the most of free or discounted day trips will help keep a lid on costs.

Download the Hoop app on to your phone for details of free or cheap local activities. Many local authorities offer free swimming for children with a library card, while libraries themselves run summer reading challenges.

David Pugh, managing director of financial website Lemonade Money, says: ‘Your council website, library, children’s centre or other community venue is a great place to hunt down details of children’s activities.

‘You will find information on child-friendly places to visit and things to do – everything from museums, library reading schemes and sports camps to woodland walks and swimming. Most of these will be free.’

Other ways to get cheap days out include checking the National Rail 2for1 scheme for half-price entry to many major attractions when you travel by train. Venues included are The Edinburgh Dungeon, Alton Towers and The London Dungeon.

The Football Association provides free football sessions for boys and girls (, while stores including Lego, Apple, Pets at Home and Hobbycraft run holiday workshops for children.

For cinema trips Vue, Odeon and Cineworld all have cheap morning screenings for children, though they may not be the most recent film releases.

Parenting group Netmums has developed a free-to-download app – SeeSaw – that helps parents find things to do with their children near to where they live. About three-quarters of the activities listed on SeeSaw are free.


Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

Burglary map reveals Britain’s biggest haul hotspots

28 Jul 17
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  • Households in Lichfield had the highest average burglary claims of £5,181
  • London, Birmingham and Manchester all feature in the list
  • Bath had the lowest claims at an average of £1,322 stolen in each burglary
  • Burglaries rise 31% in the summer – we reveal top tips to protect your home

Burglary victims in the city of Lichfield, Staffordshire, had the highest value of possessions stolen in the last year at an average of £5,180.61, new data reveals. 

It was followed by another cathedral city, St Albans, Hertfordshire, which saw an average value of £4,892.47 of goods stolen in each burglary, according to the figures.

The data from Privilege Home Insurance analysised thousands of burglary claims between January 2016 and April 2017.

Lichfield had the highest value of possessions stolen in the last year at an average of £5,180.61

Lichfield had the highest value of possessions stolen in the last year at an average of £5,180.61

Larger cities, including London, Birmingham and Manchester all feature in the top 20 list of the most wealthy burglary claims, but further down. 

The third-most valuable burglary spot was Durham, with an average value of £4,892.47 per claim, followed by Cambridge at £4,283.97.

In the top 20 most valuable spots, Newport in Wales makes the list, as does Glasgow and Stirling in Scotland and the capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast. 

Several of the locations listed in the top 20 list are those found in wealthy areas of the UK.

City Average value of possessions replaced (£)
Lichfield, Staffordshire 5,180.61
St. Albans, Hertfordshire 4,892.47 
Durham, Durham 4,833.16 
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire 4,283.97 
Coventry, Warwickshire 4,255.29 
Lancaster, Lancashire 4,183.81 
Newport,  Monmouthshire 3,999.05 
London, Greater London 3,942.58 
Gloucester, Gloucestershire 3,832.14 
Peterborough, Cambridgeshire 3,815.68 
Brighton, East Sussex  3,805.80 
Derby, Derbyshire 3,800
Wolverhampton, West Midlands 3,744.69 
Birmingham, West Midlands 3,691.12 
Stirling, Stirlingshire 3,581.83 
Leicester, East Midlands 3,391.83 
Belfast, Northern Ireland 3,378.54 
Plymouth, Devon 3,348.46 
Glasgow, Lanarkshire 3,275.74 
Manchester, Greater Manchester 3,129.63 
Source: Privilege Home Insurance, claims made between January 2016 – April 2017

However, at the other end of the scale, households in Bath had the lowest claim amounts with an average of £1,322.28 stolen in each burglary.

Lincoln had the second lowest followed by Salford, with average claim values of £1,405.28 and £1,527.28 respectively.

City Average value of possessions replaced (£)
 Bath, Somerset 1,322.28 
 Lincoln, Lincolnshire 1,405.28 
 Salford, Greater Manchester 1,527.28 
 Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire 1,614.91 
 Dundee, Angus 1,624.94 
 Sunderland, Tyne and Wear 1,663.89 
 York, Yorkshire 1,690.41 
 Preston, Lancashire 1,777.85 
 Exeter, Devon 1,796.34 
Worcester, Worcestershire 1,855.31 
Source: Privilege Home Insurance, claims made between January 2016 – April 2017

Christian Mendes, head of Privilege home insurance, said: ‘Interestingly, we can see the average value of stolen goods from households in smaller cities, equates to more than some of the UK’s larger cities.

‘This data highlights the importance of having a reliable insurance policy in place to cover any stolen items, no matter where you call home.’ 

Home insurance prices have remained relatively stable this year, as opposed to car insurance prices which have seen steep increases.

Although when buying contents policies there are certain things to watch out for which can affect the price you pay.

Lichfield in Staffordshire had the highest value of possessions stolen last year  of £5,180.61

Households in Bath had the lowest claim amounts with an average of £1,322.28 stolen

Burglary spots: Lichfield had the highest value of possessions stolen and Bath had the lowest

Your contents insurance should cover all the removable belongings in your house and when you buy a policy you’ll need to estimate how much it would cost to replace them all.

If you under estimate and then need to make a claim, you could be given less than you need to buy your items again. 

Insurer Direct Line has a calculator on its website to help you work out the total cost.

These policies auto renew each year so when the time comes for your policy to come to an end, check online with a comparison website – and with the insurers not listed on them – to make sure you’re getting the best price possible. 

Insurers generally give cheaper quotes to new customers while putting up the rates for existing customers so therefore switching when you come to renewal could be a good way to save money.


Separate research this week from Lloyds Bank showed that last summer there was a 31 per cent increase in claims for unforced burglary.

This is largely due to people leaving windows and doors open in the warmer weather giving opportunistic criminals the chance to easily steal valuables without having to break into a property. 

In order to stop this happening, and to remain extra vigilant in the summer, the bank put forward the following tips:

– Don’t leave valuables within plain sight or where they might be reached through open windows

– Make sure your home insurance also covers belongings in the garden 

– Don’t leave a spare key outside as this is the first place most burglars will look

– Keep receipts for all valuable items 

– Make sure doors are locked at the end of the day and windows are locked if you’re leaving the house

– Be careful on social media – posting your holiday snaps and details of when you are away can alert others to the fact your home is empty 

– Keep your garden well-maintained to remove hiding places for burglars

– Put away garden equipment that could be used to break into your home 


Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

Saudi Arabia Seems to be deploying vehicles from its own citizens

28 Jul 17
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Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s department says she’s “deeply worried” about the way the rulers of Saudi Arabia seem to be deploying Canadian-made armoured vehicles in an escalating conflict with Saudi citizens.

Ms. Freeland has asked officials to look into the issue. The Trudeau government on Thursday released a statement criticizing the Saudis handled an showdown from the Eastern Province of the country with minority militants.

Global Affairs released a statement Friday afternoon after The Globe and Mail reported on the use of vehicles

This is the first time that footage has surfaced on networking sites that are socialshowing the kingdom with Canadian gear against its civilians — a development which spurred calls for the government to halt exports.

“The Union is deeply concerned about this situation and has asked officials to review it instantly,” Global Affairs stated. “If it’s found that Canadian exports are used to commit serious violations of human rights, the Minister will do it.”

“The government is actively seeking more details about Saudi Arabia’s current attempts to handle its security challenges, the reports of civilian casualties, as well as the reports that Canadian-made vehicles are used by Saudi Arabia in its existing security operations,” Global Affairs spokesman John Babcock said. “Canada will review all available information as it determines an appropriate course of action.

The House of Saud’s use of battle machines contrary to its population in Saudi Arabia goes to the heart of the controversy over whether the Trudeau government is currently violating the weapons of Canada rules.

Canada’s export-control rules involve restrictions on arms exports to countries that have “bad human-rights documents” and a “record of serious violations of their human rights of the citizens.” If there’s a chance the arms could turn from its own population, shipments should be blocked.

A struggle between minority dissidents in the country’s Eastern Province and the regime has grown more violent with crackdown. Reuters reported as security forces begin an operation to flush out Shia militants that at least five people have been killed over two days.

The Saudis have brought to strengthen their forces that were strategic and photographs and videos circulated by activists online reveal these assets include what seem to be armoured vehicles created a business in the Greater Toronto Area, by Terradyne Armored Vehicles.

Equipment experts recognized the machines a vehicle that was weaponized.

“The Gurkha is the only car I know that looks like that,” Jeremy Binnie, the Middle East amp; Africa editor for Jane’s Defence Weekly, a magazine devoted to military affairs.

Mark Hiznay, associate director of Human Rights Watch’s arms division, said the vehicles in question are Terradyne Gurkha RPVs.

As made by Terradyne of Newmarket, Ontario, A Canadian general who spoke on condition of anonymity identified the vehicles.

Terradyne’s president Durward Smith did not respond to phone and email requests for comment.

The Trudeau government was asked about the footage of vehicles that seem to be a part of the siege in al-Qatif. As of Friday afternoon it had not responded.

In the meantime Ottawa published a statement that criticized the handling of the conflict of Saudi Arabia and called on Riyadh to dial down the violence.

“Canada is concerned by the escalating violence in eastern Saudi Arabia, which has led to civilian and security force casualties. We urge governments to work to defuse tensions, although we realize that security challenges are faced by Saudi Arabia. All such challenges have to be addressed in a manner that abides by international human rights law,” the Canadian authorities said.

The Globe and Mail has written about the export of vehicles of Terradyne to Saudi Arabia — machines that are promoted with choices like weapons systems and gun turrets. Photos of what gear experts identify as Terradyne Gurkhas have for many decades now turned up in media coverage of a demonstration exercise in stories on border posts, by special forces.

It’s tough to prove photographs and that the videos were shot circulating the footage could demonstrate that the background from the clips matches road scenes in the region.

Amnesty International Canada Secretary overall Alex Neve called on Canada to prevent armoured vehicle exports to Saudi Arabia including a separate $15-billion bargain that Ottawa brokered with Riyadh to deliver light armoured vehicles (LAVs) armed with machine guns and anti-tank cannons.

“Indications that Canadian-made armoured vehicles are possibly being used as Saudi forces mobilize from the east of the country highlight how essential it is that the authorities intervene and put an immediate end to the Canadian/Saudi LAV deal,” Mr. Neve said.

He explained the mounting tensions in Saudi Arabia between the government and its citizens, “about what the Canadian government has expressed public concern, further indicate how fraught it is for Canada to have approved the sale of light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia at this time.”

“Amnesty International has called on that profitable $15-billion deal to be cancelled, in light of Saudi Arabia’s record of serious human rights violations within the country and in neighbouring Yemen.”

Conservative Foreign Affairs critic Peter Kent Friday urged the Trudeau government to launch an immediate investigation and terminate export licenses if there is “hard proof” the Canadian weaponized armoured vehicles are being used against Saudi Arabia’s Shia minority.

“The authorities should respond to concrete proof,” Mr. Kent told The Globe and Mail. “If there’s proof we expect the government to act and to suspend and to terminate those contracts{}”

When the former Harper government declared the $15-billion bargain in 2014 — the biggest advanced manufacturing export contract in Canadian history — Mr. Kent reported the end-user conditions were determined by Saudi Arabia not using the light-armored vehicles from its own civilian population.

Following the Liberals came to power in 2015, then foreign affairs minister Stephane Dion signed off on export licenses to approve the dispatch of the LAVs according to an assessment that the Saudis wouldn’t use the armored vehicles from civilians but to defend Saudi Arabia from attacks from terror groups like the Islamic State.

Mr. Kent said cancelling the General Dynamics contract in its London, Ontario plant could lead to significant job losses but he said it’s a price worth paying.

“We know there’s a consideration of national labour jobs here in Canada but that shouldn’t be a factor if there’s a breach of the end-user conditions from the first arrangement,” Mr. Kent said.

NDP MP Charlie Angus, who’s currently running for the party leadership, joined the Conservatives in urging the government to cancel the contract.

“The Canadian people were advised that this contract was strictly for peacekeeping and they’re using them against civilian populations so there’s absolutely not any reason that this arrangement should last,” Mr. Angus said. “We shouldn’t be kissing up to the Saudi regime{}”

Mr. Angus said the matter can also be a test of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s credibility as an international celebrity, who portrays himself as a leader who promotes peace.

“We’re in major arms promotions with the Saudis that have destabilized so much of the Middle East. How do people take us seriously as an actor for any sort of reconciliation or peace building in that area when they’re making deals like this?” he said. “They have a deplorable human rights record but our prime minister appears to think they’re good business partners{}”

Officials have contended that the controversial Canadian deal to provide Lavs vehicles to Riyadh should be seen from the kingdom to cement its friendship.

Saudi Arabia’s chief envoy told The Globe and Mail in an interview last fall that the General Dynamics LAV contract, personally approved for export by Mr. Dion in April, 2016 is an act of friendship.

“This contract was given to Canada to improve the connections and improve the connections,” Ambassador Naif Bin Bandar al-Sudairi told The world. “So we must see this contract from this standpoint — co-operation.”

The Saudis have denied the validity of reports that reveal older combat vehicles when Canada sold them to maintain security a use for those machines that wasn’t considered.

The conflict in Eastern Province started when Saudi Arabia decided to clear and raze and to clear a minority Shia Muslim. Al-Masora, a quarter a village at the region bordering the Persian Gulf, in Awamia, has been a flashpoint in the battle between the ruling Sunni Muslim majority and its disenfranchised minority of Saudi Arabia.

The government has said it needs to eliminate and redevelop the area of Al-Masora for security and health reasons. Shia activists say the Saudis wanted to remove a hideout. The narrow streets, by way of instance of the quarter, thwarted battle vehicles’ passing that police use to control Awamia.

United Nations monitors including a expert condemned the use of force of Saudi Arabia . The team comprises Leilani Farha, a Canadian who functions as the United Nations ‘ special rapporteur on adequate housing.

Al-Qatif has been described by experts as a place under lockdown. It is a hotbed of resistance to the House of Saud when they move after the militants of the area and terror risks are often cited by the Saudis.

Al-Qatif featured prominently in a 2016 national debate over Canada’s sale of $15-billion in battle vehicles to Saudi Arabia. Back then, The Globe and Mail Footage showing the forces of Riyadh with vehicles. Those vehicles weren’t Canadian-made, but they demonstrated that the Saudis’ proclivity to use such weapons.

Mini cabinet shuffle looms in Ottawa ahead of changes in 2018

27 Jul 17
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is planning a cabinet shuffle that is small to fill the seat that was left empty when Newfoundland’s Judy Foote took an indefinite leave of absence in April for family and personal reasons as minister of public works.

When the Liberals will have completed the first half of the mandate the mini-shuffle will enable the government to hold off on changes to its ministry and its agenda until 2018.

Also on the Planet and Mail

Trudeau kicks up his heels in Quebec county dance that is fair (The Canadian Press)

Liberals can afford to Invest $8-billion a year

26 Jul 17
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International Monetary Fund researchers say the government is able to invest $ to decrease the expense of child care spaces because the program would pay for itself.

The proposal is over 10 times what the Liberals have promised to invest during the next ten years on child care.

The IMF predicts the money would bring the average for child care fees down a figure expected to be high enough that it induce growth and might entice women.

From the estimates of the organization, there are about girls that are parents.

If they began paying taxes and entered the workforce, the IMF says, they would boost growth equivalent to in federal income tax revenue — enough to pay the program’s price.

However, the IMF adds the proposition and a caveat: it needs to be conditional on employment that moms are prodded to the workforce.

A spokeswoman for Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the government’s commitment of $7.5-billion over 11 years past child care would increase women’s labor market participation.

“When quality educational child care providers are cheap, parents — especially women — can more easily participate in the labor market and invest in their professions. Taking gender equality seriously means taking child care services seriously, and our government will continue to work on enhancing gender equality,” Emilie Gauduchon-Campbell stated.

“Canada succeeds when girls and women are given opportunities to succeed.”

The Liberals’ economic development council, which met with IMF researchers as part of this analysis, recommended at a February, pre-budget report that the authorities consider developing a national child care plan to improve productivity by getting more women, especially those with younger kids, in the workforce.

Labour force participation rates have risen lately, but the IMF report notes there remains a gender gap in wages and participation — one that is broad in Quebec where there’s a system.

The Liberals introduced their child care proposal in this year’s budget, pledging $7.5-billion over 11 decades, starting with $500-million annually and increasing to $870-million yearly by 2026 so as to fund distances — or improvements — in states and territories.

The cash could potentially create 40,000 subsidized spaces during the next 3 years at a price of $1.3-billion.

Before the money could flow, the government must sign funding agreements.

When his counterparts and Duclos signed a framework that sets the goals for child care spending, an integral step in that process took place. At the moment, Duclos hinted that the deal could result in a system.

However, the IMF considers the Liberals’ signature.

The advantage is worth around $ for up to $ 5,400, and a child under six annually for children six to 17. The benefit is income.

The IMF claims the benefit does not provide incentives for parents to work or get job training.

The impact on low-income families might be the biggest, with the IMF team calculating that they would see their finances worsen if both parents work due as a consequence of a decrease in the child gain, increases in earnings, and covering the high cost of child care. Families — and Middle see their finances improve or not change if both parents work, the report states.

Gauduchon-Campbell said the advantage to help girls and women was introduced by the Liberals. She said the government plans to introduce next year pay equity legislation.

Also on the Planet and Mail

First Nations ink health agreement with Ontario, Ottawa (The Canadian Press)

How much does it cost to water my garden with a hose?

25 Jul 17
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I’ve been using a hose to water my garden every afternoon since the weather has been so hot. 

My garden isn’t that big, but I had to give up on the watering can because it was taking forever. 

Will I be left with a massive water bill at the end of the month? I have no idea how much this is costing me. I have a water meter fitted at my house. 

What adds more to my bills: using a hose pipe or a watering can to water my garden?

What adds more to my bills: using a hose pipe or a watering can to water my garden?

Rebecca Rutt, of This is Money, replies: Given that the weather had been so warm, you won’t be alone in wheeling out the hose pipe to water the garden and I’m sure households across the country have been doing the same – although the last week has seen sunshine turn to rain, easing the need.

Not everyone has a water meter at home, but since you do, you will be paying for whatever you use rather than a set sum every month or quarter. 

Therefore as you are using more water at the moment with your hose pipe, your bills may increase. We asked an expert at the Consumer Council for Water to look into exactly how much more it might cost.

At the moment it is not possible for households to switch providers to get a better deal, but this may chance in future. 

Andy White, charges expert at the CCW, said: ‘It will depend on your water company’s charges and the type of hose you are using, but typically it costs around £1.50 an hour to use a hose pipe.

‘A watering can might only cost you about a third of that as it’s possible to do the same job but use much less water.

‘Not everyone will be better off on a meter but they do give you more control over what you pay and can encourage people to use water wisely.

Does it cost significantly more to use a hose pipe instead of a water can to water my plants?

Does it cost significantly more to use a hose pipe instead of a water can to water my plants?

As a general rule of thumb, if you have more or the same number of bedrooms than people living in your property it’s worth using our water meter calculator to see if you might pay less. 

‘Most water companies will give you up to two years to trial a meter and switch back to fixed charges if you want to.’

If you’re using the hose pipe for an hour three times a week, for example, that’s likely to add on around £4.50 to your bills, or around £20 a month.

As using a watering can is around a third of this – so more like an extra £7 a month – you could make a saving of £13 per month by using it instead of the hose pipe.

To find out exactly how much your bills might be affected, check how much your water company is charging you per unit of water – this will be on your bill.

Water bills increased by an average of 2 per cent in April, which added an average of £6 onto annual bills. The average water and sewerage bill now costs £395 and although it’s not yet possible to switch providers to cut you bills, using a water meter may be a good way to save money.     


Energy firms are constantly battling to pinch customers from each other.

Shrewd consumers can take advantage of this by reviewing deals every year to ensure they are on the cheapest deal. Even moving every other year will save you significant amounts.

If you are one of the millions of people who have NEVER switched (i.e. stuck with your original supplier), then you should save a big chunk of cash. A tenth of switchers saved £616 in the first half of 2016, according to energyhelpline. 

You only need to be interested in the tariff that is going to be cheapest where you live, so do your own postcode comparison in minutes using the tool above – or here – to find the best price.

Read more about other quick tricks to make sure you are getting the best deal on your household bills here

Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

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25 Jul 17
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Politics Briefing newsletter: The dawn of the United Conservative Party of Alberta; the citizenship Examination of Canada gets a draft rewrite

24 Jul 17
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Good morning,

Rachel Notley’s NDP government is facing a new threat in Alberta. Wildrose and Progressive Conservative party members voted overwhelmingly in favour of a merger between both parties, developing a consolidated right-of-centre force. The merger was given by both parties . Both parties will meet to pick an interim leader for their caucus, today. Three months later, on Oct. 28, the new party will choose the leader that will take them to the 2019 election. The NDP won 41 percent of the vote. The merger provides Alberta a of returning to power, but the road might be bumpy for the latest celebration of Alberta. Wildrose members are tired PCs, while conservatives are wary of the Wildrose’s factions.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by and in Toronto and in Vancouver. You may register to get all Globe newsletters and Politics Briefing if you are reading this on the internet or someone forwarded you this newsletter . Let us know .


Among G7 countries, Canada comes last when it comes to protecting its territory and fresh waters, in accordance with . As it stands, we lagging behind where we will need to be if we would like to satisfy with the commitment we made to double the size of areas that are protected by 2020. nbsp;

An overhaul of this nation’s citizenship examination could include questions about Canadians’ duties to respect treaties with Indigenous Peoples, pay taxes, and complete the census. A Removes controversial references to “barbaric cultural practices” introduced by the last Conservative government. It refers to duties of citizenship, like engaging in the political process; and obligations that include obeying the law, respecting the rights of others, paying taxes, and respecting treaties.

Lisa Raitt is currently the second-highest ranking MP from the Conservative caucus. The deputy leader is a feminist, but says she will not be running around talking about her feminism. “. I believe it’s about our policies,” Ms. Raitt told The Globe’s Laura Stone. Instead, Ms. Raitt would like to encourage qualified women to run for office. “I am hoping what girls see is they can see themselves in me, and the understanding that I understand what they are going through,” she said.

B.C.’s new NDP government liquified natural gas, regardless of the party’s previous criticisms of the Liberals’ approach to the business. Former Liberal premier Christy Clark made wipe of the debt, promising to foster and LNG a priority. But revenues have yet to materialize and one project was given final approval. Government spokesperson Jen Holmwood says the state will guarantee any LNG project protects the environment and respects First Nations’ concerns. Adam Olsen of the Greens, whose party is currently supporting the NDP via a power-sharing arrangement, says the Greens remain skeptical.

And 50 years ago now French president Charles de Gaulle cried “Vive le Québec libre” from a balcony in Montreal’s city hall. The words sent shockwaves reverberating throughout the centennial through Canada’s political landscape. Fifty decades and two referendums afterwards, Quebec remains a part of the federation but Gen. de Gaulle’s rough kind of diplomacy is creating a .

On a Muslim cemetery in Quebec: “If you’re not free to trust, and that necessarily comprises the freedom to talk about your own personal and communal sense of the sacred in a respectful manner, then you’re not free whatsoever. At best, you’re licensed to act. You are granted permission to act. You’re permitted, whether by the state or by the limits where your fellow citizens will inflict blunt-force democratic injury, to be what others say you can be.”

On Canada’s chemical weapons heritage: “Canada’s change from a country compared to weapons of mass destruction, then almost overnight into an integral user and manufacturer, and then back again, is a lesson in just how fast we can leave our most closely held principles when we don’t firmly protect them in legislation. In a moment when nerve and mustard gases are once more killing people in the hands of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, we should take this lesson to heart”

On Trudeau marching in pride parades: “Broad expressions of support from politicians and companies matter a wonderful amount to people that aren’t yet incorporated into a tight-knit queer community, and they subject to closeted children that are watching and reading about Pride from a distance, absent the support of this community. It’s an excellent thing for these kids to understand that their banks, hardware stores, coffee shops, internet providers and, yes, their leaders, have a public stance in favor of the rights.”


When negotiators meet next month, among the most hotly-contested Of dialogue will be Chapter 11 of this trilateral trade deal, which deals with investment. From being discriminated against by authorities in the jurisdictions in the dispute settlement mechanism is a frequent characteristic in trade and investment deals throughout the world and is intended to protect companies. The Trudeau Liberals are being urged to reform the supply or eliminate it.

The Republican Party was synonymous with free trade until U.S. President Donald Trump’s upending of the principal procedure. In Missouri and Kansas, 56 percent of voters cast their ballots. But many did so because of them, not despite his virulent views. The Adrian Morrow of the Globe discovered that in Trump country’s heart, Canada has from the NAFTA fight.


The research into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin is entering a As researchers interview key witnesses under oath and enlarge their scrutiny of U.S. President Donald Trump and his aides. Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner will testify behind closed doors before Congress today. .

Mr. Trump is also facing pressure from Congress on a different Russia-related issue. Legislators intend to vote this week on a bill with bipartisan support that would impose strict limitations on Mr. Trump’s ability to ease sanctions on Russia, a rebuke to the President’s stated goal of improving relations with Moscow.

Following the country authorities passed a protests are dispersing around Poland That give control of the courts to it. The bills propose to induce the resignation of Supreme Court judges, in addition to providing government-appointed members a near-veto power on the body that approves judicial candidates. The European Union has warned Poland that its rights In the event the Supreme Court law is passed.

“In Central Europe … Ukraine is kind of our Syria. The only distinction is nationalists] won’t blow up themselves, but they’re training in the forests with army rifles. This is what’s happening — and we do not know what they are preparing for,” researchers in a Slovak security think tank advised. Following members of the nation’s largest organization murdered in Sweden in January a centre for asylum seekers, prosecutors discovered that the folks behind the plot had been to train.

The most recent attempt at a ceasefire in Syria crumbled on Sunday, when Syrian government warplanes completed six airstrikes on cities east of the capital Damascus. The day before, the army had announced a “” in the region.

San Antonio police say they’re exploring a “human trafficking offense” after eight people were discovered dead at a tractor-trailer at a Wal-Mart parking lot on Sunday. After suffocating within the trailer that was sweltering twenty others were found in condition , and temperatures reaching nbsp;38 Celsius. San Antonio police are calling the incident a “horrific instance of immigrant smuggling.”

And New York Times photojournalist Meridith Kohut Months of violent protests in Venezuela. The photographs showcase the barbarous, yet occasionally creative, methods that protesters and security forces alike are using to defend themselves.

On Trump’s new director of communications: “Mr. Scaramucci is in his new article not because he’ll provide superior counsel or elevated tactical skills. He’s not in because he will handle a media gallery that is manic. Or form a stronger, more coherent defence of Mr. Trump’s agenda. He’s in because he’ll fight without competition or question and without stop or quarrel. He’ll fight dirty and he’ll fight. He’ll use his feet and his hands and his teeth and his elbows and the sharpest thing he could find. Best of all, He’ll fight on control. “

On Turkey, a year after the coup: “Turkey’s internal political wars are now threatening this future. The aftermath of the coup attempt might have been healing. It has been divisive. It’s still not too late to take another route — but time is running out”

On Poland’s right-wing change: “Poland might be known in the West as the success story of post-communist transition, but it is nbsp; the country with the greatest proportion of employees on precarious contracts in Europe, where families often can’t afford to cover housing or basic living expenses. For the last ten years, in power and resistance, PiS ( the ruling nationalist Law and Justice Party) was propagating the idea that the post-1989 liberal democracy is untrue.”