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Canadian cities unaffordable for young residents: report – Global News

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Since leaving Aurora, ON, six years ago to go to university in Vancouver, BC, 23-year-old Riley Cunningham has moved around the city five times.

“I didn’t realize how expensive it is to live here,” she/they said, speaking to Global News on Sunday.

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Most places Cunningham has come across have been way too expensive or have come with problems.

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Here’s what it takes to buy a home in Canada’s ‘soul-crushing’ housing market

Since moving to Vancouver, Cunningham has lived in two basements, one without windows or a closet, and another without a kitchen or laundry. Another apartment had spiders.

“I’ve definitely felt discriminated against. There’s this stereotype that young people, especially students, love to party and can create a mess,” she/they said.

Now looking for another new place, Cunningham is waitering at two jobs six days a week and is still finding it hard to save money, especially with student debt looming.

“I’m trying to look very carefully, plan my next move and hope that it won’t ruin me financially,” she/they said. “I’m hoping that I’ll get to stay in the city that I love and that I don’t get priced out.”


Click to play video: 'Sticker Shock: Coping with the rising cost of inflation in Canada'



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Sticker Shock: Coping with the rising cost of inflation in Canada


Sticker Shock: Coping with the rising cost of inflation in Canada – May 12, 2022

Across Canada, cities big and small have become unaffordable for young people to live in, according to the recent Youthful Cities Real Affordability Index.

Young people in Canada aged 15 to 29 have been the hardest hit by the pandemic and are most likely to work in the service industry, run up an average deficit of $750 a month living in cities, as found in a report, presented by RBC Future Launch. This is how much on average young residents are losing living in Canadian cities each month.

And, their salaries aren’t keeping up with the cost of living. Even when young people aren’t employed full-time, two-thirds of Canadian cities are still unaffordable, the index found.

“Affordability shouldn’t only be about the basic necessities for survival,” says Claire Patterson with Youthful Cities. “Affordability should also include the ability to pay for those things that contribute to the vibrancy of a person’s life when they are able to move forward and meet those key milestones we view as signs of success. In today’s Canadian cities opportunities to thrive simply aren’t equally accessible to all young people.”

Realtors like Kelly Caldwell in Guelph, ON, have seen how hard it is for young people to live in Canadian cities.

“There’s a few ways in which it’s hard,” she told Global News. “I think the first is just the inventory. It always seems like we have a shortage of good rental properties.”

“I don’t know a lot of cities off hand where there’s an abundance of rentals. It’s quite the opposite,” Caldwell added.

Another hurdle is the cost.

Read more:

Bank of Canada hikes key interest rate 50 basis points for 2nd time in a row

“The actual cost of rent has skyrocketed,” said Caldwell. “Especially for young people, if they’re even thinking about home ownership or trying to save for a down payment, it seems pretty out of reach.”

Nancy Worth, associate geography professor at the University of Waterloo, has seen the same challenges in Canadian cities.

“I’m hearing it from lots of different young people, mostly how much it is but also the lack of stock,” Worth told Global News.

In cities like Halifax, Nova Scotia, young people rack up an average deficit of just over $1,290 a month. In Toronto, the average deficit sits at $1,121 a month.

Meanwhile in Quebec City, the average deficit is way lower at $314.50 a month.

Experts like Caldwell warn young people is to properly pitch yourself as a tenant when applying to live somewhere.

“You’ve got to sell yourself to stand above the crowd because plenty of people won’t,” she said. “Plenty of people will just throw in an application.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Lynx Air shutdown could leave travellers stranded as of Monday – Canada News – Castanet.net

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Come Monday, Canadian travellers booked with the ultra-low-cost airline Lynx Air will be out of luck and its employees out of work.

Officials with the Calgary-based company announced Thursday evening that it is ceasing operations, effective at 12:01 a.m. MT on Feb. 26, after filing for creditor protection.

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Lynx Air has advised passengers with existing bookings to contact their credit card company to secure refunds for pre-booked travel.

The airline said it was unable to overcome compounding financial pressures associated with inflation, fuel costs, exchange rates, cost of capital, regulatory costs and competition in the Canadian market.

“It is with a heavy heart we leave the skies,” Lynx said in a statement on its website.

“We hope in our absence that our vision to inspire more Canadians to fly leaves its mark on our passengers.”

WestJet said it was ready to help mitigate some of the issues for travellers.

The airline said it will offer discounted fares for stranded domestic travellers and capped fares for Canadian repatriation flights, on non-stop WestJet routes previously served by Lynx.

“We are communicating closely with government officials and supporting agencies that are also working to address the needs of those impacted,” WestJet said in a statement.

Beyond the immediate impact to be felt by travellers, the Airline Pilots Association International says 160 pilots and flight crew will be affected.

Duncan Dee, the former chief operating officer at Air Canada, issued a statement on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, calling it a “very sad day for Canada’s airline community” and the communities Lynx served.

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Lynx Air shutting down: What to do if you have a ticket – CTV News

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CALGARY –

Passengers booked with Lynx Air were left scrambling to replace cancelled flights after the ultra-low-cost airline announced Thursday evening that it is ceasing operations after filing for creditor protection.

All flights scheduled Monday, Feb. 26 or later are cancelled, effective 12:01 a.m. MT. The Calgary-based company has advised passengers with existing bookings to contact their credit card company to secure refunds for pre-booked travel.

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The airline said it was unable to overcome compounding financial pressures associated with inflation, fuel costs, exchange rates, cost of capital, regulatory costs and competition in the Canadian market.

“It is with a heavy heart we leave the skies,” Lynx said in a statement on its website.

“We hope in our absence that our vision to inspire more Canadians to fly leaves its mark on our passengers.”

But some travellers said Friday morning that chaos had already begun three days before the airline is officially set to shut down.

Sal Saied was supposed to fly from Toronto to Los Angeles around 9:30 a.m. on Friday, but said she received an email from Lynx stating the trip would be delayed over an hour. She was at the gate about to board the plane at 10:45 when there was an announcement that the flight was cancelled altogether.

“We lined up to get ready to board, then they actually told us to step back down and about five minutes after they told us that our flight was cancelled,” she said.

“They told us to essentially leave the airport.”

Saied, who found a replacement ticket at an “extremely high price,” described the situation as a “fiasco.”

“It’s really frustrating,” she said.

Jean-Francois Turcotte and his girlfriend were planning to fly to Las Vegas from Montreal next Friday for a five-day trip with 12 of their friends, but Lynx’s announcement has left them hurrying to find another way there.

The couple had booked their departing flight on Lynx along with a return flight on Air Canada through Bookings.com. Turcotte said he has now looked into cancelling the whole vacation, but was told Bookings.com wouldn’t reimburse their Air Canada flights.

“From what they’ve been telling us on the phone, there’s no impact on the return flight and we have to take the return flight even though we don’t have an outgoing flight anymore,” he said.

“It’s just a matter of deciding if we’re cancelling the trip altogether or if we are just buying a very expensive last minute ticket to still go on the trip.”

While they initially paid about $250 each way per person, Turcotte said tickets to Las Vegas next week appear to be north of $1,000 at this point.

Meanwhile, he said his girlfriend’s credit card company informed them they have to dispute the charge for their cancelled Lynx booking, a process which would then take 14 days to determine an outcome.

“Basically nobody has the answers now about what to do,” he said. “So we have to act not knowing what’s going to happen.”

WestJet said it was ready to help mitigate some of the issues for travellers. The airline said it will offer discounted fares for stranded domestic travellers and capped fares for Canadian repatriation flights on non-stop WestJet routes previously served by Lynx.

All economy cabin fares that meet that criteria are eligible for a 25 per cent discount between Feb. 22 and Oct. 26, as long as the booking is made by next Thursday.

“We are communicating closely with government officials and supporting agencies that are also working to address the needs of those impacted,” WestJet said in a statement.

Natasha MacLean, who was travelling to Halifax on Friday to visit family, said she received an email around 10 p.m. on Thursday informing her that the return flight she’d booked through Lynx 10 days from now was cancelled.

Speaking at Toronto’s Pearson airport, she said she booked a new return flight at double the cost.

“This is my first time flying with Lynx and I’m not impressed with customer service and the late notice,” she said.

“Very stressful, a lot of anxiety and disappointment.”

Beyond the immediate impact to be felt by travellers, the Air Line Pilots Association International said 160 pilots and flight crew will be affected.

As of the end of last year, Lynx Air employed approximately 500 employees – 390 in Alberta and 110 in Ontario, according to an affidavit filed Thursday by interim chief financial officer Michael Woodward in the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta.

The document said Lynx operates a uniform fleet of nine Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

National Bank of Canada analyst Cameron Doerksen said in a note that Lynx’s closure illustrates the challenges of the low-cost carrier model in Canada, given higher airline industry costs than other countries and a limited number of large routes that are already served by other airlines.

Doerksen said one of the financial backers of Lynx was Indigo Partners, a successful private equity investor in numerous low-cost airlines globally.

“The fact that even with the help of an experienced investor, Lynx Air was unable to have success with its ultra-low-cost model strategy and was also unable to source additional capital to sustain its operations speaks to the challenges any startup airline faces in Canada,” he said.

“We would not be surprised to see other rapidly growing airlines’ growth plans scaled back.”

He added Lynx’s exit from the market should have positive implications for the larger carriers in Canada, including Air Canada and Air Transat.

– With files from Maan Alhmidi in Toronto

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2024.

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'Blown away': CRA tells Ontario man he's on the hook for over $38K in CERB payments – CTV News Toronto

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An Ontario man says he is “blown away” that he has to pay back the $38,600 he received in Canada Emergency Response Benefits, years after the Canada Revenue Agency approved him for it.

“I don’t understand why they are clawing it back, I really don’t,” said Terrance Bailey of Etobicoke.

Bailey said he worked as an auto consultant when the pandemic happened, which virtually shut down car dealerships nationwide. That’s when he decided to apply for CERB.

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“I thought, ‘I’m going to apply for it.’ Why not? I’ve paid my taxes over the years and I thought if it’s available to me, I will take it,” said Bailey.

Bailey was approved for CERB and received monthly payments from April 2020 to October 2021.

“When I applied for it and received the CERB, I was under the assumption everything was fine, and I was accepted in good faith,” said Bailey.

But Bailey was shocked to get a notice from the CRA last April that said a review found he did not qualify for the benefits and that he must repay $38,600 to them. In the letter, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) said that Bailey did not earn the minimum amount of income in 2019 or in the 12 months before his application date.

“I was just absolutely blown away, and I had no idea it was coming,” said Bailey.

When the COVID-19 pandemic happened, the federal government created CERB to help eligible Canadians. However, an auditor’s report found that $4.6 billion was paid to people who didn’t deserve it, and the CRA wants the money back.

A spokesperson for the Canada Revenue Agency told CTV News these emergency benefits were developed to ensure businesses and Canadians got the help they needed.

“Given the unprecedented financial impact of the pandemic, that money needed to be delivered extremely quickly to millions of Canadians,” the statement reads, adding those who applied in good faith will not be subject to any penalties or interest.

“However, the Government of Canada made itself clear: ineligible individuals would later have to repay amounts they had received. Canadians expect the CRA to ensure benefits are only paid to those who are entitled, and to do so in a manner which recognizes individuals and families who are experiencing significant financial hardship.”

Evelyn Jacks, a tax expert and president of The Knowledge Bureau based in Winnipeg, said if a taxpayer is told they need to repay benefits, they can appeal their case. But, if they are told they must still repay the funds, they should contact the CRA.

“They will make payment arrangements over time with you, and they will not charge you interest for the money owed,” said Jacks.

Jacks said if you owe money and do nothing, your situation could get worse.

“The CRA can go further and take legal action against you if you don’t contact them and make sure that you address the debt owed,” said Jacks.

Bailey says he can’t afford to pay back the money and fears he may have to declare bankruptcy.

“I’m on an old age pension and a Canada pension. I make $2,000 a month, and how am I supposed to pay back $38,000 and pay my groceries and my rent?” said Bailey.

The CRA may hold back any tax refunds, GST credits and other benefits until CERB funds are repaid.

Jacks says anyone who owes money to the CRA can seek help from a tax professional to see if there’s any way to reduce the amount owed.

Anyone with questions about the CRA-issued COVID-19 benefits and payment options can speak with an agent at 1-833-253-7615.

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