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People Foods That Are Bad For Dogs

While tempting to give Fido goodies, not knowing what is and isn’t safe for dogs can cause serious harm. In particular, you should avoid giving your dog these common human treats:

Alcohol and food containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death. Under no circumstances should your pet be given any alcohol.

Chocolate, coffee and caffeine all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee, and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate (including baking chocolate) is more dangerous than lighter chocolate.

Grapes and raisins can cause dogs to develop acute kidney injury with anuria (a lack of urine production). The phenomenon was first identified by the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), run by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Approximately 140 cases were seen by the APCC in the one year from April 2003 to April 2004, with 50 developing symptoms.

Be A Confident Mariner

Many years ago, Rene Henry invited some friends for an afternoon on his sailboat on Santa Monica Bay. But the good times soured when a thick blanket of fog appeared, making visibility almost nonexistent.

For Henry, who sailed every month of the year, the fog was of no concern. GPS was not available at this time, but armed with a compass and nautical charts, Henry plotted a course to bring the boat safely back to the marina.

Suddenly, Henry’s boat was nearly cut off by several sailboats that emerged from the fog. Henry’s guests noticed that the long line of boats was headed in a different direction from their own and suggested that the best course of action was to follow their lead. “All those captains couldn’t be wrong”, they said.

Henry was confident in the course he had charted, but agreed to recheck his calculations. He shifted control of the wheel over to his friend, so he could go below deck. When he returned, he realized his friend had taken them off course to follow the other boats.

Despite his friends’ fears, Henry repositioned himself at the wheel and put the boat back on the course he’d established previously. His years of sailing experience had made him an able mariner, and sure enough, he delivered his party safely back to the marina.

Later that evening, Henry received a call from a friend who told him about how several sailboats had crashed onto the breakers at Venice Beach due to the fog.

Henry’s experience is a good example of why you should trust your abilities, and never blindly follow someone else’s lead.

BC Home Sales Continue at Slower Pace in September

Vancouver, BC – October, 2018. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 5,573 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) across the province in September, a 33.2 per cent decrease from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $685,749, down 1.1 per cent from September 2017. Total sales dollar volume was $3.8 billion, a 34 per cent decline from September 2017.

“BC home sales continue at a slower pace compared to last year,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “The impact on affordability and purchasing power caused by the mortgage stress test and moderately higher interest rates are negating the effect of the extraordinarily strong performance of BC’s economy over the last five years.”

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 21.3 per cent to $45 billion, compared with the same period in 2017. Residential unit sales decreased 22.5 per cent to 63,251 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 1.5 per cent to $716,096.

For more information, please contact:  Gino Pezzani.

Canadian Building Permits – October, 2018

The total value of Canadian building permits rose 0.4 on a monthly basis in August to $8.1 billion on broad strength in the non-residential sector. Residential building permits declined for a third consecutive month.

In BC, the total value of permits reached a record high of $1.8 billion, smashing the previous record set earlier this year by nearly 13 per cent. Residential permits increased 17 per cent from July and were up 31 per cent year-over-year. Non-residential permits were up 77 per cent on a monthly basis and passed the $600 million threshold for the first time as the result of large office building projects in Vancouver.

Construction intentions August were mixed in BC’s four census metropolitan areas (CMA):
• Permits in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA increased 11 per cent on a monthly basis to $31.3 million. Year-over-year, permit values were down 9 per cent.
• In the Victoria CMA, total construction intentions were down 9 per cent to $71.1 million, a 40 per cent decline over this time last year.
• In the Kelowna CMA, permits values decreased by 14.5 per cent on a monthly basis to $96.6 million, but were up 4 per cent year-over-year.
• In the Vancouver CMA, the value of permits rose 66.4 per cent on a monthly basis and accounted for three quarters of all permit values in BC. Most of the increase came from the City of Vancouver, though the City of Burnaby issued over $250 million worth of apartment building permits in August.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

September 2018 Housing Market Video Update – Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Stats Centre Reports September 2018 for Housing in Great Vancouver

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Canadian Housing Starts – October, 2018

Canadian housing starts declined 5 per cent on a monthly basis in September to 188,683 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).  The trend in Canadian housing starts continued to moderate lower, averaging 208,000 units SAAR over the past six months.

It was a volatile month for new home construction in BC. Total housing starts fell 43 per cent on a monthly basis to 25,611 units SAAR and were down 31 per cent year-over-year. On a monthly basis, starts of multiple units were down more than half from August to just 16,980 units SAAR while single detached fell 3 per cent to 8,631 units SAAR. Compared to September 2017, multiple units starts were down 37 per cent while single detached starts were 20 per cent lower.

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC:

  • Total starts in the Vancouver CMA were down 42 per cent on a monthly basis to 14,390 units SAAR as multiple units starts dropped 50 per cent from August. Compared to this time last year, total starts in Vancouver were 21 per cent lower. September new home construction in Metro Vancouver was concentrated in Surrey which accounted for a quarter of all starts.
  • In the Victoria CMA, housing starts fell 56 per cent after a surge of new starts in August. Total housing starts were still on a 3,000 annual pace in September. That is well below the torrid pace of new home construction seen in Victoria over the past year, but still relatively strong.
  • In the Kelowna CMA, new home construction slowed substantially in September, falling to just 750 units SAAR from August’s near 4,000 unit annual pace. On a year-over-year basis, total starts were down 84 per cent to just 67 total units.  Housing starts in Kelowna have fallen off of the record pace of 2017, but remain above the 10-year average for the city.
  • Housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA rose 23 per cent on a monthly basis, driven by a 44 per cent increase in multiple unit projects and strong single-detached starts. However, total housing starts were down 80 per cent compared to last September, which saw very strong multiple unit starts.

For more information, please contact:  Gino Pezzani.

Canadian Employment – October, 2018

Total Canadian employment increased by 62,000 jobs in September, reversing the similar sized decline from August. Part-time employment accounted for most of the gain, rising by 80,000 while full-time work declined.   The national unemployment rate declined 0.1 points to 5.9 per cent and total hours worked across the economy rose 0.6 per cent.  Total employment was up 1.2 per cent over this time last year.

In BC, employment rose for a third consecutive month as the economy added an astonishing 33,000 jobs in September (near the all-time record of 34,700 set in May 2015), including 26,000 full-time jobs. Employment in the third quarter was up 54,000 jobs after declining in the first half of the year.  On a year-over-year basis, employment was up 1.7 per cent and the provincial unemployment rate fell 1.1 points to 4.2 per cent, the lowest rate of unemployment in the province since June 2008.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly on the Plain

Do you know what the Pygmalion effect is? It is how our expectations of others can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The principle is illustrated in a play called Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. In that story, a Cockney flower girl named Eliza Doolittle is trained by a professor who says that he can pass her off as a duchess. He teaches her to walk correctly, to use the correct utensils, and to speak correctly by having her run through drills, such as “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.”

He pulls it off, but Eliza says to a friend: “You see, really and truly, apart from the things anyone can pick up (the dressing and the proper way of speaking and so on), the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she’s treated. I shall always be a flower girl to Professor Higgins, because he always treats me as a flower girl, and always will, but I know I can be a lady to you because you always treat me like a lady, and always will.”

An experiment conducted on children in 1968 by psycholo­gist Robert Rosenthal illustrated the effects of the Pygmalion principle. All of the children in the experiment were given a test of intelligence. After the test, 20% of the children were cho­sen randomly and their teachers were told that according to their test scores, these children were about to undergo an intellectual growth spurt and make surprising gains over the next eight months.

There was no actual difference in those children from the rest of the children—except what their teachers were told about them. At the end of the school year, the children were retested. Rosenthal says that the children who were in the experi­mental group—where false high expectations had been planted in their teachers’ minds—showed significantly greater gains than the control group. The teachers’ expectations affected their treatment of all the children, and resulted in greater gains by the experimental group.

Do you ever wonder if you’re unwittingly placing expectations on others in your life because of some trait of theirs or belief of yours? It’s useful (especially when we’re around family during the holidays) to examine where we might be experiencing our own Pygmalion effect.