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Should You Tap Investments to Cover Emergency Costs Right Now?

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The global pandemic has impacted almost everyone’s finances. Even if you and your spouse have remained employed through the duration of the lockdown, investments have been affected by the earlier stock market crash. If your income has been affected as well, you might be struggling to keep up with costs and meet debt obligations.

When you’re facing major obligations, but you have savings, the question becomes: should you tap into investments to cover emergency expenses due to the pandemic? The short answer: if you can avoid it, no.

 

Financial Advice During Coronavirus

There are other supports and relief measures in place that can help you meet expenses and debt obligations due to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are professionals such as certified Credit Counsellors from non-profit credit counselling agencies who can offer free financial advice if you’re struggling.

Non-profit credit counselling agencies like Credit Canada have been providing free phone consultations allowing people to get essential financial advice while maintaining physical distancing and they can also offer debt consolidation services. Debt doesn’t stop even in a pandemic, and acting earlier is always a better idea. If you’re looking for debt help, Credit Canada offers support during the pandemic.

What Are Creditors Doing About the Crisis?

With so many people experiencing lost income – and with no end in sight – some creditors have proven flexible. Banks have offered mortgage deferrals for those affected by COVID-19 and cut interest rates  on credit card loans.

Credit Counsellors from      non-profit credit counselling agencies      can keep you up-to-date on what creditors are offering and how you can talk to them about getting that help. There is help out there, you just have to find out what it is and how to qualify.

 

Why You Should Find Relief Before Tapping Investments

#1 You Lose When You Sell Low

The markets still haven’t recovered from their highs earlier in the year and it is likely still in recovery mode. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is selling investments after a crash, because you miss out on the crucial recovery that restores value to your portfolio.

#2 You Fall Behind

By drawing on retirement savings like an RRSP to pay down debt or cover expenses, you risk not having enough when you want to retire. It can be tough to catch up on retirement savings, and you miss out on a lot of growth by cashing out.

Using emergency savings is another issue. That money isn’t earning as much (or anything) in interest. It can be a smart decision to pay off debt with those funds if you have them.

 

#3 There Are Other Ways Out of Debt

Finally, there are other ways out of debt that don’t involve cashing out investments. You could access options like a debt consolidation loan or Debt Consolidation Program. Through these mechanisms you can reduce interest rates on unsecured loans and debts. That means lower monthly payments and a faster path out of debt.

There are other forms of debt relief that can help you through this crisis. Find out what your options are before using last resorts.

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Government of Canada announces investment that will help improve women's economic security in the Mauricie region – Canada NewsWire

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Project promotes employment for women by reducing systemic barriers such as those related to transportation, access to childcare or measures for family-work-studies balance

TROIS-RIVIÈRES, QC, July 13, 2020 /CNW/ – The COVID-19 pandemic is not a crisis like any other. Women have been hardest hit in terms of jobs lost, and they are also the ones who are doing more unpaid work, such as caring for children and the elderly. In addition, the majority of front-line workers in the fight against COVID–19 are women. This includes nurses, of course, but also orderlies and other workers in health, child care, food and social services.

The Government of Canada is committed to advancing gender equality and it recognizes the important role that creating more opportunities for women can play in empowering them in all aspects of Canadian life. By investing in projects that improve women’s economic security, we are helping to ensure that women, their families and communities can prosper—and this means a stronger economy for all Canadians.

That’s why today, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Quebec Lieutenant and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, announced an investment of $249,066 for a project that increases women’s economic security and prosperity in the Mauricie region.

La Table de concertation du mouvement des femmes de la Mauricie will be able to use this funding to support an initiative that reduces systemic barriers to employment such as those related to transportation, access to childcare or measures for family-work-studies balance. Project partners from key employment sectors are being assisted to adapt practices. The initiative also applies a Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) to the advocacy platforms of at least one regional coalition so that it can better defend the rights of women in vulnerable situations, including newcomers and Indigenous women. In order to promote these changes, a regional intersectoral action plan is being developed and implemented.

This is one of more than 45 projects approved under the Women’s Program in two calls for proposals entitled, Support for Women’s Economic Security and Addressing the Economic Security and Prosperity of Indigenous Women. This project is building on ongoing efforts to support women’s economic empowerment and advance gender equality for all Canadians.

Quotes

“This project is so important because it is creating the best conditions for women to thrive in their careers – and their lives. By funding organizations like the Table de concertation du mouvement des femmes de la Mauricie, that work to eliminate the barriers holding women back, we are ensuring that all Canadians – regardless of gender – have a real and fair chance at success. Our government knows that when we invest in women, we accelerate economic growth for everyone.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

“The funding for this project empowers women in vulnerable situations in the Mauricie region and across the province to secure a place in the workforce and gain economic security. We all have a role to play in advancing gender equality. Assisting key sectors in adapting their practices to break down systemic barriers benefits women and all Canadians.”

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, P.C., M.P.
Quebec Lieutenant
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

“We know that there are several barriers for women to access employment. That’s why we are thankful for the federal government’s financial support. This project is allowing us to put in place concrete measures, such as more inclusive and equal conditions of employment, to give women in the Mauricie region a better place in the labour market.”

Joanne Blais, Director
Table de concertation du mouvement des femmes de la Mauricie

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada is investing $15 million in additional funding to support women entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy
  • The Government of Canada is investing $207.5 million in organizations supporting those who are most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic—those experiencing homelessness and women fleeing gender-based violence.
  • McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by taking steps to advance equality for women—such as employing more women in technology and boosting women’s participation in the workforce—Canada could add $150 billion to its economy by 2026.
  • Women continue to be disproportionately affected by economic insecurity. When comparing median hourly wages of women and men aged 15 years and over working full-time in Canada in 2019, women earned just 88 cents for every dollar earned by men.[i] Women of core working age (25-54 years) are also more likely to work on a part-time basis, making up 73% of all part-time workers in that age bracket in 2019.[ii] Just over one-quarter (28%) of women of core working age working part-time reported childcare responsibilities as their reason for working part-time in 2019.[iii]
  • Economic security is composed of basic social security, defined by access to basic needs such as health, education and housing.

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Backgrounder

Women and Gender Equality Canada – Women’s Program

One of the ways Women and Gender Equality Canada advances gender equality in Canada is by providing funding to eligible organizations through the Women’s Program. Projects are selected via calls for proposals on specific themes, as well as through a continuous intake process that allows the Women’s Program to address emerging issues as they arise.

The Women’s Program funds projects that address systemic barriers to women’s equality in three priority areas: ending violence against women and girls; improving the economic security and prosperity of women and girls; and encouraging women and girls in leadership roles.

Calls for Proposals – Support for Women’s Economic Security and Addressing the Economic Security and Prosperity of Indigenous Women

On October 2, 2017, the Minister launched two calls for proposals. The first call for proposals, entitled Support for Women’s Economic Security, invited organizations to apply for funding for projects to address the economic security of women and help advance gender equality in Canada. More than 30 projects received a total of $10 million in funding through this call for proposals.

This first call for proposals is divided into two themes. The first theme is Building Partnerships to Address Systemic Barriers, which provides funding to address major barriers that limit women’s economic security. This theme includes, but is not limited to, the accessibility of childcare, the gender wage gap and pay inequity. The second theme, Increasing Private Sector Leadership and Investments in Women, encourages organizations to partner with the private sector to find innovative solutions that will help advance women’s economic security.

The second call for proposals, entitled Addressing the Economic Security and Prosperity of Indigenous Women, invited organizations to foster collaboration between Indigenous women, Indigenous organizations, their communities, and the private sector to support the economic security and prosperity of Indigenous women across Canada. Fifteen projects across the country received nearly $5 million in funding through this call for proposals.

Mauricie Region’s Project

Today’s announcement profiles one project in the Mauricie region for federal funding through the Support for Women’s Economic Security call for proposals:

Table de concertation du mouvement des femmes de la Mauricie

Project title: Women’s access to employment in Mauricie, a priority!
Funding amount: $249,066

This 36-month project aims to improve access to employment for women, including newcomers and Indigenous women, in the Mauricie region. Through project activities, various systemic barriers on the path to employment for women in vulnerable situations will be reduced.

The project fosters the development of a consultation on the issue of women’s access to employment to better inform stakeholders, in particular elected municipal officials and project promoters, who will contribute to the implementation of the Mauricie region’s development priorities adopted in 2017.

The Table de concertation du mouvement des femmes de la Mauricie is working with partners in key employability sectors to assist them in adapting practices, and in applying a Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) to the advocacy platforms of at least one regional coalition so that it can better defend the rights of women in vulnerable situations.

In order to promote these changes, a regional intersectoral action plan to improve women’s access to employment is being developed and implemented.

Recognized as a multisectoral regional women’s movement in the Mauricie region, the Table de concertation du mouvement des femmes de la Mauricie has been working to improve women’s living conditions since 1982. The organization is made up of various groups, committees and individual members from different backgrounds such as health and social services, local and regional development and collective advocacy.

 Associated Links

Follow the Women and Gender Equality Canada:

SOURCE Women and Gender Equality Canada

For further information: Marie-Pier Baril, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, 613-295-8123; Media Relations, Women and Gender Equality Canada, 1-855-969-9922

Related Links

http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/

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Google announces $10bn investment in 'digital India' – BBC News

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Google will invest $10bn (£7.93bn) in India in the next five to seven years, the chief executive of its parent company Alphabet Inc has announced.

Sundar Pichai spoke at the annual Google for India event, held online.

The investment will be used to build products and services for India, help businesses go digital and use technology “for social good”.

“This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy,” Mr Pichai said.

With more than 500 million active internet users in the country, India is perhaps the biggest potential growth market for Google.

The investment will be made through the Google for India Digitisation Fund

Mr Pichai said the fund would focus on four areas to scale up digital infrastructure in India. It would:

  • enable “affordable access and information for every Indian in their own language”
  • “build new products and services that are deeply relevant to India’s unique needs”
  • empower local businesses who want to go digital
  • “leverage technology and AI [artificial intelligence] ]for social good” in sectors like health, education and agriculture

Mr Pichai also touted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India project which aims to overhaul the country’s digital infrastructure.

Mr Modi tweeted to say that he and Mr Pichai had discussed “leveraging the power of technology to transform the lives of India’s farmers, youngsters and entrepreneurs”.


Why this investment makes sense for Google

Nikhil Inamdar, BBC news Mumbai

India is already a major market for all of Google’s key products including Android, Search and YouTube. Nearly 245 million Indians access YouTube in India.

Growing internet use across smaller towns and villages has also led to a boom in regional language internet use which, according to one estimate, now commands a 66% share in overall content consumption in India, far surpassing English.

This, along with a significant uptick in the number of Indians using AI-based technologies for education, healthcare and financial services, dovetails directly with Google’s ambitions to bring first-time users online.

“I expect digital adoption in sectors like education will be two to three times faster because of this investment,” telecoms analyst Minakshi Ghosh told the BBC.

The timing of Google’s announcement is particularly interesting. It comes close on the heels of India announcing a ban on 59 Chinese apps including TikTok and WeChat.

“Google can scale its presence and fill the void created by some of them, especially in browser space, communication tools and utility apps,” says Tarun Pathak, associate director with Counterpoint Technology Market Research. “The ban has created uncertainty in the market, which is an opportunity for Silicon Valley giants like Google and Facebook.”


This is not the first time Google has made large investments in India.

In 2015, the company partnered with Tata Trusts to launch Internet Saathi, a programme to help bridge the gender divide and deliver technology to Indian villages. According to the programme’s website, the effort has helped around 28 million women across nearly 300,000 villages learn about the internet.

In his blog, the Indian-born Mr Pichai wrote that this mission was “deeply personal”.

“Growing up, technology provided a window to a world outside my own. It also brought us closer together as a family,” he said.

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Google promises to invest $10B in India over the next '5 to 7 years' – The Next Web

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Google said that it’ll invest more than ₹75,000 crores ($10 billion) over the next five to seven years. The company’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, said that money will be divided into investment equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure, and ecosystem investments. 

Investments will focus on four main areas:

  • Information access in Indian languages
  • Building products for the Indian market
  • Empowering local businesses
  • Leveraging AI for good in areas such as agriculture and education.

Earlier today, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, had a call with Pichai to discuss post-COVID investments and digital transformation.

Pichai said that he’s looking forward to working alongside Modi:

As we make these investments, we look forward to working alongside Prime Minister Modi and the Indian government, as well as Indian businesses of all sizes to realize our shared vision for a Digital India.

In the past, Google’s investment arm has invested in Indian startups such as real-estate marketplace Commonfloor and hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo.

India has been a leading country in terms of the number of users for Google products such as Search, Android, and YouTube.

Google’s fund is one of the biggest investment by a US-based company in India. Earlier this year, Amazon said it’ll invest $1 billion in small business in the country by 2025. In April, Facebook invested $5.7 billion in India’s Reliance Jio Platforms in exchange for a 9.9% stake.

The company noted that India has now more than 500 million internet users. The search giant also highlighted its efforts to spread information related to the coronavirus.

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