Are you an owner of residential property in one of the taxable regions of BC? If so the BC government is going to require that you make various declarations about your property by March 21, 2019. 

The Speculation and Vacancy Tax are distinct from the Empty Homes Tax in the City of Vancouver. 

Over 99% of British Columbians are estimated to be exempt from the tax and if you are one of them it is critical that you take action.

Please click here to learn more and let me know if you have any questions.

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Never mind solar energy, how about converting the kinetic force from a footstep into electricity.  Every time someone steps on the tile, they generate 7 watts of power. The energy is stored within batteries and then used to power lighting when it's needed. 

Pavegen has worked with brands such as Coca-Cola and Siemens. The company has tiles at Heathrow terminal three and are planning an installation outside the White House. During the World Cup the company laid a whole foot pitch with tiles, hooking them up to spotlights so that play could continue after dark.

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Lighting isn't the only thing these tiles can generate. When you stand on a tile it could send wireless data, which is useful for crowdflow modelling - seeing how people move through cities. You could use it to control lighting more efficiently. It's also a key way for retailers to know how many people are visiting their shops.

I would think the sky is the limit when looking at the future of these tiles. What a great idea!

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Alla Wagner's $1.7 million property in Millarville, Alberta could be yours for a small entry fee and a creative letter.

Wagner who has a back injury and can no longer navigate her stairs needs to downsize, but couldn't find a buyer for her home.

That's when she decided to get creative and created a contest on social media called Write a Letter, Win a House, asking people to explain how ownership of the house could change their life.

To enter the contest, Wagner has set the entry fee at $25. She's hoping for 60,000 entries to recoup the value of her investment in the 5,000 sq.ft. 3 bedroom home, which includes a piano room and wine cellar.

Wagner was inspired to start the contest after watching the movie, Spitfire Grill, where a restaurant owner holds an essay contest, at $100 per entry, as a means to find a new owner for the eatery, and thought what a great idea.

Wagner, who has worked in the past as both a translator and librarian, said she chose a writing contest because language and words have been so important in her own life.

Wagner plans to donate 5% of the profits from the contest to the Calgary Woman's Shelter.

The contest which opened on January 5th is slated to run for 3 months, with the possibility of extending the deadline to 6 months. 

So pick up your quill and put on your thinking cap and let's get creative.  Good luck!!

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Tourism Vancouver's Dine Out Vancouver Festival is Canada's largest annual dining celebration attracting tens of thousands of local and visiting food enthusiasts to experience the city's exceptionally diverse culinary scene.

Launched in 2003, the festival gives diners the opportunity to select from over 250 restaurants, each offering unique 3 or more course prix-fix meals at $15, $25, $35 or $45 per person, many complemented by pairings with Wines of British Columbia, craft beers and cocktails.

Have fun and enjoy starting, January 18th for the 17th anniversary celebration.

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Phone

Do you wonder how clean a local restaurant might be or how they measure up to other restaurants in the Lower Mainland?

A new app called 'Tomati' wants to help solve these dilemmas by offering a one stop shop for all your cleanliness curiosities. The app allows you to select a local eatery and view its health inspections, its rankig and also nearby deals. As such, it enables users to select the best deal in town without potentially compromising their health.

Of course, Vancouver Coastal Health won't allow a restaurant to operate if it is dangerous, but many people still like to know when one has a hefty number of strikes against it. 

The app is completely free and available online.

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Seniors poverty

The cost of housing is hitting seniors hard as the rate of those using property tax deferral has skyrocketd, while the reliance on rent subsidies for seniors is growing too fast.

In 2017/18 property tax deferral by seniors has risen 53% since 2013/14, with a 21% increase in the last year alone. In 2017/18, there were a total of 57,305 seniors deferring their property taxes, of which 13,179 were new users of the program.

Total deferrals in 2017/18 are $208,868,338.

At the same time, rent subsidies through the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) continues to grow beyond the rate of the target population.

There was a 7% increase in the number of SAFER recipients, with 22,956 seniors receiving the supplement and a 34% increase in the aggregate amount paid for a total of $71 million on SAFER subsidies paid.

The cost of housing appears to be affecting seniors as the number deferring their property taxes has grown exponentially. Also, SAFER data show that seniors who rent are having a more difficult time as more are claiming the SAFER grant and they are receiving a higher subsidy. It's pretty clear that the gap between income and rent is growing.

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.