Prices – They Are a Changing

Real estate prices have been in the headlines lately. Buying mania has reached our Innisfil neck of the woods over the last couple of years but I doubt foreign buyers are involved. Looking back over some figures, my property tax increased 73% in the last 16 years (an average of 3.7% per year); “market value” assessment increased by 133% (about 6.3% a year); but the current speculative market value of my property has increased about 500% (or more?) based on real estate agents’ estimates and recent home sales in the area. That’s about 10%/year compounded rate of appreciation.

We get approached about listing our home possibly once a week by mail or in person. I’m told that some real estate agents Continue reading


The Wisdom of the Woodland

Regular readers may recall me writing occasionally about the Transition Network. With all the social, political and economic turmoil in the news lately, I was really impressed with an article by Rob Hopkins in the latest Transition newsletter: The Forest Economy: woodland as New Economy metaphor.

In it, he talks about the role of rain in a forest and how it gathers nutrients as it falls and circulates through the forest canopy and down tree trunks, and sustains a great diversity of life in the woodland ecosystem. He compares this to the globalized economy and talks about how a woodland can illustrate a model for a New Economy.

Here’s a brief excerpt. I hope many of you will read the full article (link above).  Continue reading

At the TPPing Point

Normally I would be writing about strictly local issues but we’ll be hearing a lot more about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a supposed “free trade” agreement that is so much more. We’ll be told that it will create trillions of dollars in “new economic activity”. That will be achieved by expanding the powers of multinationals to exploit the citizens of participating countries for profit, and restrict the ability of national governments to protect their citizens.

Like other international treaties, it was negotiated in secret and we have little more than stock assurances that it will bring greater benefit and prosperity. Wikileaks was one of the first independent organizations to give a peek inside its hundreds of pages of text:

“We find ourselves being governed according to these laws despite never knowing how or why they were imposed. This is partly because such treaties are a convenient way of bypassing democratic processes.”  Continue reading