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Emotions run deep as Oshawa GM plant winds down – Toronto Sun

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OSHAWA — You will have to forgive Bill Corrigan for not heading over to Gate 4 of the General Motors plant to mark the final shift and last truck off the famous assembly line.

“It’s just too emotional,” the 62-year-old retired autoworker said Wednesday.

“I would end up in tears.”

The plant, after all, was his work home for 35 years.

“It was my father, John Robert Corrigan’s, place of work for 37 years.”

Needless to say, there are some memories.

“My dad moved to Oshawa from Nova Scotia to work at General Motors and he raised his family here,” said Corrigan. “

I worked there at the same time as him and I raised my six kids in Oshawa.”

They will not be following in their dad and granddad’s footsteps.

“I could see years ago it was going to go this way,” said Bill.

“I knew this plant wasn’t likely going to be here forever.”

They had been building cars, vans and trucks in Oshawa for a century.

“The thing we have always been most proud of is the quality,” said Bill.

“We built the best trucks in the world. I know. I have a GMC Sierra and love it. I helped build it myself. I wasn’t going to buy one that was made at a plant in Mexico.”

So good, he still can’t believe General Motors decided to move on from Oshawa.

“I have to say, as a worker, the company paid us very well and treated us very well,” said Bill.

“But when it comes to this decision the way I see it, it’s corporate greed. This shouldn’t be happening. Sam McLaughlin would be rolling in his grave.”

He even worked with Oshawa’s original car builder’s grandson Paul inside the plant.

“He was a good guy too. I don’t think the McLaughlins should have never let the Americans get their fingers in the pie. They made billions of dollars here and now they want to make even more in Mexico. It doesn’t feel right to me.”

Oshawa, he said, will never be the same.

“This last truck off the line is not going to be as catastrophic to the city with 2,600 full-time workers losing their jobs as it would be if it was 24,000 as it was when I started,” said Bill.

“But there will be an effect. Where are all of those truck drivers going to drop off their parts now? Who around here is going to take them?”

That said, GM Canada Director of Communications Jennifer Wright said that 1,300 of the workers affected are being financially-helped into retirement, 300 workers will continue at a new parts operation that is being built, and the company is assisting the others with finding other skilled employment.

Wright, herself, had raw emotions about the day — she’s worked at GM for 22 years and “started working on the line as well.”

The only thing making this last day bearable is how professional people have been about it.

GM has gone out of its way to wind this down the right way, Unifor’s leadership has been dealing with its members on compassionate grounds because they understand the personal impact, and the workers been highly focused on making sure these final products are held to the same high standards Oshawa has delivered for a century.

It was a nice touch that the very last truck was raffled off to one of the workers who built it — with all proceeds going to charity.

David W. Paterson, vice president of corporate affairs, said that raffle has so far raised over $110,000 for Durham Children’s Aid.

Even though “the new parts operation and test track start-up early next year” will also expand to create even more jobs, he acknowledges “it’s a sad week to be sure.”

A proud week as well.

“I am proud to have worked there,” said Corrigan. 

But don’t ask him to see off the final shift.

“It just can’t do it,” he said.

“I won’t be able to keep my composure.”

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RBC warns house price correction could be deepest in decades | CTV News – CTV News Toronto

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A housing correction, which has already led to four consecutive months of price declines in the previously overheated Greater Toronto Area market, could end up becoming “one of the deepest of the past half a century,” a new report from RBC warns.

New data released by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) last week revealed that the average benchmark price for a home in the GTA fell six per cent month-over-month in July to $1,074,754.

Sales were also down a staggering 47 per cent from July, 2021.

In a report published on Aug. 4, RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue said recent data from real estate boards underlines that higher interest rates are beginning to take a “huge toll” on the market.

Hogue said that with further hikes to come, prices will likely continue to slide in the coming months.

That prediction, it should be noted, goes against a report from Royal LePage last month which painted a rosier forecast for sellers in which values would more or less holding for the rest of the year following some declines in the second quarter.

“Our expectations for further hikes by the Bank of Canada—another 75 basis points to go in the overnight rate by the fall— will keep chilling the market in the months ahead,” Hogue said. “We expect the downturn to intensify and spread further as buyers take a wait-and-see approach while ascertaining the impact of higher lending rates. Canada’s least affordable markets Vancouver and Toronto, and their surrounding regions, are most at risk in light of their excessively stretched affordability and outsized price gains during the pandemic.”

The Bank of Canada has hiked the overnight lending rate by 225 basis points since March and has warned that further hikes will be necessary given that inflation remains at a near 40-year high.

In his report, Hogue pointed out that the housing correction “now runs far and wide across Canada” but he said that it is particularly pronounced in the costlier markets of Toronto and Vancouver.

In fact, Hogue said that housing resale activity in Toronto is at its slowest pace in 13 years, outside of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stockpile of available homes is also up 58 per cent from a year ago, he noted.

“With more options to choose from and higher interest rates shrinking their purchasing budgets, buyers are able to extract meaningful price concessions from sellers,” he said, pointing out that the average price of a home in the GTA is down 13 per cent from March. “We expect buyers to remain on the defensive in the months ahead as they deal with rising interest rates and poor affordability.”

While Hogue did say that condos in the City of Toronto are likely to remain “relatively more resilient” he said that prices elsewhere will continue to fall for the time being, especially in the 905 belt “where property values soared during the pandemic.”

The July data from TRREB suggested that the average price of a home in the GTA was still up one per cent from July, 2021.

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Commuters face GO transit cancellations, possible strike – CityNews

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Canada Revenue Agency plans email blitz to get Canadians to cash outstanding cheques worth $1.4-billion – The Globe and Mail

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The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is planning a massive e-mail notification campaign to reach Canadians across the country who have uncashed cheques worth a net $1.4-billion.

The e-mail notifications will target recipients of the Canada child benefit and related provincial and territorial programs, as well as recipients of the GST/HST credits and the Alberta Energy Tax Refund.

The CRA said it plans to send approximately 25,000 e-mails in August, another 25,000 in November and a further 25,000 e-mails by May, 2023.

However, even without receiving an e-mail notification, the agency said a taxpayer can check if they have a cheque by logging into My Account, a secure portal on its website to check if they have an uncashed cheque over a period of six months. It added that representatives can also view uncashed cheques of their clients.

Each year, the CRA said it issues millions of payments to Canadian taxpayers in the form of refund benefits. These payments are issued by either direct deposit or by cheque.

“Over time, payments can remain uncashed for various reasons, such as the taxpayer misplacing the cheque or even a change of address which did not allow for delivery,” the agency said in a statement.

The CRA said since the e-mail notification initiative was first launched in February, 2020, about two million uncashed cheques valued at $802-million were redeemed by May 31, 2022.

The average amount per uncashed cheque is $158 with some of them dating as far back as 1998, the agency said.

As of May, 2022, there were an estimated 8.9 million uncashed cheques with the CRA. In May, 2019, about five million Canadians had an estimated 7.6 million uncashed cheques.

“As government cheques never expire or stale date, the CRA cannot void the original cheque and re-issue a new one unless requested by the taxpayer,” the statement read. “These upcoming e-notifications are to encourage taxpayers to cash any cheques they have in their possession.”

The agency said taxpayers can register for the direct deposit option on its website to receive payments directly into their bank accounts.

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