Canadians link high car insurance premiums to fraud

first_imgIt’s an expense that eats away a considerable chunk of disposable income for car owners.Car insurance premiums can be costly, and a new poll from Aviva Insurance finds most Canadians link the high cost to fraud.Vice President of Fraud Management, Gordon Rasbach said 81 per cent of people have linked higher costs to fraudulent vehicle repairs, vehicle theft, or personal injury claims.In Alberta that number is even higher, at 88 per cent.“Two per cent of Albertans admitted misleading their insurance about content value. One per cent even admitted to misleading their insurer about a physical injury. Sixty-three per cent of Albertans feel that very few cases even warrant the use of a personal injury lawyer,” said Rasbach.Nearly 70 per cent of Canadians who participated in the poll said cracking down on fraud would lower their costs.last_img read more

Tiny coffeeshops help owners save on rent in highcost Toronto Vancouver

first_imgFollow @AleksSagan on Twitter.Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press VANCOUVER — Customers who don’t work in the building that houses Kento Kitayama’s tiny cafe near Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood better be prepared to settle for takeout. He can only take orders through a little window facing the sidewalk. Iktsuarpok Coffee Stand, which opened late last month, has no seating and sparse furnishings. Kitayama could likely stand in the middle of the roughly 17-square-metre shop and reach out to touch the sink, refrigerator and shelving unit, counter, and espresso machine that mark the shop’s boundaries without moving.The cafe reminds the co-owner of how tobacco shops sold goods in his native Japan, but also suits his budgetary constraints. Kitayama and other business owners challenged by high rents in Canada’s two most expensive housing markets are turning to creative solutions in tiny spaces to open cafes that otherwise might not be profitable.For a typical 85-square-metre cafe space in the city, Kitayama said he’d likely pay about $3,000 monthly. That’s unaffordable for his new business.Robust data on average food retail lease prices in Canada doesn’t exist, but some figures help shape a sense of the market.Last October, Toronto’s average commercial lease rate per square foot was $21.31, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board — down 1.1 per cent from the same month in 2017. But that includes all retailers, and the data is part of only 40 total lease transactions that month where the price was disclosed.Three of the four most expensive main streets in Canada are in Toronto and Vancouver, according to an annual report from Cushman & Wakefield. The company tracks nearly 450 of the top retail streets in 65 countries. In June 2018, rents on Toronto’s Bloor Street were $300 per square foot and $100 on Queen Street West. On Vancouver’s Robson Street rents averaged $183.High and rising rents have caused several restaurants in both cities to shutter their doors in recent years.Wild Rice Market Bistro in New Westminster, B.C., served its last patrons on New Year’s Eve.“We are all familiar with our high cost of living which is reflected in higher rents, increasing food costs and the difficulty in recruiting and retaining staff,” proprietor Andrew Wong wrote in a note to customers, adding the restaurant “is no longer viable in our current economic climate.”Lease prices also pose a big barrier to entry for new hopefuls like Kitayama, who have turn to smaller-scale operations in an effort to trim start-up costs.Iktsuarpok Coffee Stand may be the newest diminutive shop, but it’s not the smallest in the country.Joshua Campos believes his less than two-square-metre shop (roughly the area of a twin mattress) may be the smallest in the world. He’s applied for the Guinness world record, but has yet to hear back.The Coffee Lab, which opened about seven months ago, operates out of a window in a small nook of a Toronto building. Floor-to-ceiling glass lets curious passers-by or customers see one staff member prepare drinks inside.Campos, who previously operated a cafe out of a bookstore until the landlord sold the building, noticed a “for lease” sign in the window of what is now his new cafe.The landlord first rejected Campos’s idea, saying the lease sign was for an office space in a different part of the building. But Campos persisted and eventually the landlord caved.“The idea is just to keep the overhead super low,” he said.It came with a few logistical challenges. He had to find smaller espresso machines to fit the space, while maintaining drink quality. Only one staff member can work at a time, and the cold winter slowed business as customers balked at the idea of waiting outside for their caffeine fix.Campos has applied for a patio license and plans to build a roughly five to nine square-metre heated enclosure.Another Toronto coffeeshop, The Nugget, is housed inside a former garage nestled between two buildings.Co-owner Jake Holton rented the attached building to open another location of his pizza chain, Village Pizza, and asked the landlord if they cared if he converted the garage into another eatery.The roughly 15-square-metre cafe opened July 2017, in part to help offset rent for the pizzeria, said Holton.For such a small space, though, the monthly fee is low. Holton operates another coffeeshop, Hub Coffee, that’s considerably bigger with about 25 seats. The Nugget, aptly named for its size, pays about one-sixth in rent in comparison.“It’s not even close,” he said.While cheaper rent may be part of the business plan, these spaces can be a hit with customers because of their unique forms.In the social-media age where Instagrammers hunt for the perfect shot of outrageous food or compelling backdrops, a pint-sized coffeeshop can generate buzz and draw a crowd.“People love it,” said Holton, adding several people stop by daily and coo over the Lilliputian cafe.“People seem to love the novelty of just having like a little walk-up counter.”last_img read more

Spicy Thai Basil Chicken

first_imgIngredients Chicken Broth 1/3 cup Oyster Sauce 1 tbsp Soy Sauce 1 tbsp Fish Sauce 2 tsp White Sugar 1 tsp Brown Sugar 1 tsp Vegetable Oil 2 tbsp Chicken Thighs (boneless) 1 pound Sliced Shallots 1/4 cup Garlic (minced) 4 cloves Also Read – PUMPKIN MASH, TAMATAR RASSAThai Chilies (minced) 2 tbsp Fresh Basil Leaves 1 cup Cooked Rice (hot) 2 cup Preparation Whisk chicken broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, white sugar and brown sugar together in a bowl until well blended. Heat large skillet over high heat. Drizzle in oil. Add chicken and stir fry until it loses its raw colour, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in shallots, garlic and sliced chilies. Continue cooking on high heat until some of the juices start to caramelize in the bottom of the pan, about 2 or 3 more minutes. Add about a tablespoon of the sauce mixture to the skillet; cook and stir until sauce begins to caramelize, about 1 minute. Pour in the rest of the sauce. Cook and stir until sauce has deglazed the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until sauce glazes onto the meat, 1 or 2 more minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in basil. Cook and stir until basil is wilted, about 20 seconds. Serve with rice. (Courtesy: read more

Stage set for phase I of LS polls voting in 91 seats

first_imgNew Delhi: Ninety-one Lok Sabha constituencies spread across 18 states and two UTs, including all in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, will go to polls on Thursday in the first phase, with Nitin Gadkari, Kiren Rijiju and VK Singh among several Union ministers in the fray.In Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Odisha, assembly polls to 175, 32 and 28 seats, respectively, will be held simultaneously in the first phase. Voting for 543 Lok Sabha seats will be held in seven phases: April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. Counting will be done on May 23. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsIn Uttar Pradesh on eight seats, the ruling BJP will clash with the newly-formed SP-BSP-RLD alliance. Seven Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra will go to polls. In Bihar, four Lok Sabha seats will see polling on Thursday. In the North East, of the two seats in Arunachal Pradesh Union Minister Kiren Rijiju is seeking re-election from Arunachal West. Four seats in Assam will go to polls on Thursday. Sixty lakh voters in Odisha will exercise their franchise in the first phase of polls for four Lok Sabha and 28 assembly seats on Thursday. Two seats each in West Bengal, J&K and Meghalaya will see polling in the first phase. Lone Lok Sabha seats going to polls on April 11 include Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, Andaman and Nicobar, and Lakshadweep.last_img read more

Ronaldo shares snap of happy Juventus family

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo seems to have settled into life in Turin as he took to Instagram to share a photo of his “Juventus family” after making his debut for the Serie A champions.Ronaldo may have struggled in his debut game against Chievo Verona but was delighted to see his new team scrape a late winner in their 3-2 triumph on Saturday.The Portugal captain had a memorable debut, though, inadvertently knocking out Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino, after which he apologized to the 39-year-old, who suffered a broken nose, whiplash, and a bruised shoulder.And former Real Madrid star Ronaldo showed he is enjoying life in Italy by sharing a family snap on Instagram.Using his new club’s motto “until the end” in the caption, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner posted a photo of himself with his four children and partner Georgina Rodriguez, all wearing Juve kits.last_img read more

Welcome the faithful

first_imgSharadotsav, a three-day Maha Raas Leela festival is being organised in the Capital that opens on 6 October. The festival presents the Nritya Natika – in Kathak and Brindaban Braj Raas style on the auspicious occasion of Sharad Purnima.This venture is based on 10th chapter of Shrimad Bhagwad Gita and inspired Late Kamla Devi Chattopadhyay. The production is the culmination of extensive research and authentic imbibing of the Brindaban Braj Raas under expert gurus in the art. It’s been 37 years this dance ballet came into being. Uma Sharma, the renowned Kathak exponent has done pioneering research work on the Raas dance and drama of Brindaban. Over a decade ago she studied the technique under the guidance of Pt Ladli Sharan Sharma the octogenarian authority on the style. She has now evolved a fine blend of Kathak and Raas Leela for her annual presentation of Maha Raas at Sharad Utsav.last_img read more

State extends tenure of VI Pay panel for 6th time

first_imgKolkata: The state government has extended the tenure of the Sixth Pay Commission till December 31, 2019. This is for the sixth time that the commission’s tenure has been extended. The state Finance department issued a notification in this regard on Monday undersigned by Additional Chief Secretary Finance H.K. Dwivedi.The state government had set up the Sixth Pay Commission on November 28, 2015 headed by professor of Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) Abhirup Sarkar. Its initial term was for six months but the state government kept on extending its tenure. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe last extension was ordered on November 27 2018. According to sources in the Finance department, an additional Rs 30,000 crore will be needed to implement a new pay structure. The demand for a revised pay structure has been gaining momentum since the Centre implemented the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations for its staff in January 2016. The resentment among state government employees for the delay in implementing the VII pay commission reflected in the postal ballot results where the BJP won in 39 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats. The Opposition led employees’ unions have strongly protested against Monday’s extension. CPI-M backed State Coordination Committee condemned the state government’s decision to extend the Commission’s tenure for another seven months. Bijoy Shankar Singha, general secretary of State Coordination Committee said: “A protest against the move will be organised across all government offices during tiffin break on Tuesday.”last_img read more