Motorcycle Ride for Dad 2012

Thanks to everyone who supported me in my participation in the 2012 Motorcycle Ride For Dad and making a difference in the fight against prostate cancer! Below are more details on how the event turned out.

     TELUS Motorcycle Ride For Dad

A parade of chrome and leather fighting prostate cancer!

We are proud to announce that, thanks to your help, we have raised 1.7 million dollars this year to fund cutting edge prostate cancer research and to create informative public awareness campaigns across Canada and right in your own community.

On behalf of the entire Motorcycle Ride For Dad family, we thank you for joining the army of chrome and leather that rides each year to fight the number one men’s cancer—prostate cancer!

This year we were proud to count on Deeley Harley-Davidson® Canada as a generous sponsor of our event nationally. Thanks to their support, Randy Hetman of Calgary is the proud new owner of a Harley-Davidson® Sportster® Seventy-TwoTM motorcycle! Congratulations Randy!

ENTER TO WIN A $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE!

There’s still a chance for you to win a great prize courtesy of Deeley Harley-Davidson® Canada! Click here to complete a short online survey for your chance to win a $100 Harley-Davidson® Gift Certificate!

If you’re unable to open the survey link, please copy and paste the following URL into your browser’s address bar: http://www.keysurvey.com/f/442998/1de3/

Safe riding!

www.RideForDad.ca

Real Estate Disclosure

Please review articles that I uploaded relating to current Real Estate Disclosure requirements in the Calgary Market.

Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1%

The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent.

The profile for global economic growth has improved since the Bank released its January Monetary Policy Report (MPR). Europe is expected to emerge slowly from recession in the second half of 2012, although the risks around this outlook remain high.  The profile for U.S. growth is slightly stronger, reflecting the balance of somewhat improved labour markets, financial conditions and confidence on the one hand, and emerging fiscal consolidation and ongoing household deleveraging on the other.  Economic activity in emerging-market economies is expected to moderate to a still-robust pace over the projection horizon, supported by an easing of macroeconomic policies.  Improved global economic prospects, supply disruptions and geopolitical risks have kept commodity prices elevated.  In particular, the international price of oil has risen further and is now considerably higher than that received by Canadian producers.  If sustained, these oil price developments could dampen the improvement in economic momentum.

Overall, economic momentum in Canada is slightly firmer than the Bank had expected in January. The external headwinds facing Canada have abated somewhat, with the U.S. recovery more resilient and financial conditions more supportive than previously anticipated.  As a result, business and household confidence are improving faster than forecast in January. The Bank projects that private domestic demand will account for almost all of Canada’s economic growth over the projection horizon.  Household spending is expected to remain high relative to GDP as households add to their debt burden, which remains the biggest domestic risk.  Business investment is projected to remain robust, reflecting solid balance sheets, very favourable credit conditions, continuing strong terms of trade and heightened competitive pressures.  The contribution of government spending to growth is expected to be quite modest over the projection horizon, in line with recent federal and provincial budgets. The recovery in net exports is likely to remain weak in light of modest external demand and ongoing competitiveness challenges, including the persistent strength of the Canadian dollar.

The Bank projects that the economy will grow by 2.4 per cent in both 2012 and 2013 before moderating to 2.2 per cent in 2014. The degree of economic slack has been somewhat smaller than the Bank had anticipated in January, and the economy is now expected to return to full capacity in the first half of 2013.

As a result of this reduced slack and higher gasoline prices, the profile for inflation is expected to be somewhat firmer than anticipated in January.  After moderating this quarter, total CPI inflation is expected, along with core inflation, to be around 2 per cent over the balance of the projection horizon as the economy reaches its production potential, the growth of labour compensation remains moderate, and inflation expectations stay well-anchored.

Reflecting all of these factors, the Bank has decided to maintain the target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. In light of the reduced slack in the economy and firmer underlying inflation, some modest withdrawal of the present considerable monetary policy stimulus may become appropriate, consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target over the medium term. The timing and degree of any such withdrawal will be weighed carefully against domestic and global economic developments.

Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1%

The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent.

The heightened uncertainty around the global economic outlook has decreased in the weeks since the Bank released its January Monetary Policy Report (MPR). With tentative signs of stabilisation in European bank funding and sovereign debt markets, conditions in global financial markets have improved and risk aversion has decreased. However, the global economy is still expected to grow below its trend rate as the deleveraging process in advanced economies proceeds.  The U.S. expansion is proceeding at a modest pace, reinforced by recent improvements in the labour market.  Growth in China is moderating to a still-high rate as expected, in response to past policy tightening and weaker external demand. Commodity prices are higher than anticipated, supported by improved global economic conditions and a geo-political risk premium on oil.  If sustained, the latter could ultimately dampen the improvement in global economic momentum.

Recent developments suggest that the outlook for the Canadian economy is marginally improved from the January MPR.  Although the economy will likely grow faster than forecast in the first quarter due to temporary factors, underlying economic momentum remains around trend, balancing domestic strength and external weakness.  Private demand is now expected to be slightly stronger than projected, owing to improved sentiment and highly-supportive financial conditions.  Canadian household spending is expected to remain high relative to GDP as households add to their debt burden, which remains the biggest domestic risk.  Net exports have been supported by stronger-than-anticipated U.S. activity but are expected to contribute little to growth, reflecting still-moderate foreign demand and ongoing competitiveness challenges, including the persistent strength of the Canadian dollar.

The profile for core and total CPI inflation is somewhat firmer than previously anticipated as a result of reduced economic slack and higher oil prices.  After moderating in the second quarter, total inflation is expected, along with core inflation, to be around 2 per cent over the forecast horizon, reflecting the combination of modest growth of labour compensation, an economy operating around its potential over time, and well-anchored inflation expectations.

Reflecting all of these factors, the Bank has decided to maintain the target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. With the target interest rate near historic lows and the financial system functioning well, there is considerable monetary policy stimulus in Canada. The Bank will continue to monitor carefully economic and financial developments in the Canadian and global economies, together with the evolution of risks, and set monetary policy consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target over the medium term.

RE/MAX Market Share – 2011

To review the RE/MAX Market Share for the Calgary area, click here: ReMax Market Share

Muse kitchen master represents Calgary in next round of Top Chef

Calgary Herald

Monday, February 06, 2012

CALGARY – Calgary’s food scene will once again get national exposure on the small screen as a local chef represents the city on the second season of Top Chef Canada.

Xavier Lacaze, 31, the executive chef of Muse Restaurant and Lounge in Kensington, was announced Monday as one of 16 competitors for the show, which premieres next month.

A fan of both the U.S. and Canadian versions of the cooking competition, Lacaze decided to give auditioning a shot while watching the first season last year.

“I hope they picked me because of my skills, maybe because I’m a foreigner trying to make it in Canada, maybe because of my personality,” Lacaze said.

The difference between watching the show and appearing on it, however, was a big shock to the chef.

“Most chefs are saying, ‘It’s going to be a piece of cake.’ But when facing a challenge, the pressure and the lack of time to prepare anything, it’s interesting to see what you can come up with,” he said. “I don’t know how I did it.”

Lacaze admits to being nervous and excited to see what will actually air on each episode.

“There was a lot of great cooking going on out there,” he said.

Lacaze has been living in Calgary for more than four years, moving here with his wife, whom he met while travelling.

Shortly after arriving in the city he began work at Muse, where he has been cooking dishes ever since.

Originally from the southwest part of France near Toulouse, Lacaze has eight years of training in classic French cuisine and says that influences his love of rich food – cooking with butter, foie gras and any type of duck.

Mostly, however, he says his cooking philosophy centres on flavour.

“I’m really focused on flavour, making sure I respect the product and give it as much flavour as possible.”

Lacaze follows in the footsteps of fellow Calgarians Rebekah Pearse and Charcut’s Connie DeSousa, who were both chosen to compete in the inaugural season of the show.

The finale – which featured DeSousa vying for the top prize against two other chefs – broke records for Food Network Canada as more than 400,000 people tuned in to watch Vancouver’s Dale MacKay claim the title.

This time, Lacaze is representing the city on his own.

“I feel lucky to represent Calgary,” he said.

With filming over, Lacaze is back at Muse and also busy helping care for his two-and-a-half-year old daughter while he and his wife expect the arrival of their second child any day.

The next season of Top Chef Canada premieres March 12 at 8 p.m. MT on Food Network Canada.

Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1%

The outlook for the global economy has deteriorated and uncertainty has increased since the Bank released its October Monetary Policy Report (MPR).  The sovereign debt crisis in Europe has intensified, conditions in international financial markets have tightened and risk aversion has risen. The recession in Europe is now expected to be deeper and longer than the Bank had anticipated in October.  The Bank continues to assume that European authorities will implement sufficient measures to contain the crisis, although this assumption is clearly subject to downside risks. In the United States, while the rebound in real GDP during the second half of 2011 was stronger than anticipated, the Bank expects the U.S. recovery will proceed at a more modest pace going forward, owing to ongoing household deleveraging, fiscal consolidation and the spillovers from Europe. Chinese growth is decelerating as expected towards a more sustainable pace. Commodity prices – with the exception of oil – are expected to be below the levels anticipated in the October MPR through 2013.

The Bank’s overall outlook for the Canadian economy is little changed from the October MPR.  While the economy had more momentum than anticipated in the second half of 2011, the pace of growth going forward is expected to be more modest than previously envisaged, largely due to the external environment. Prolonged uncertainty about the global economic and financial environment is likely to dampen the rate of growth of business investment, albeit to a still-solid pace.  Net exports are expected to contribute little to growth, reflecting moderate foreign demand and ongoing competitiveness challenges, including the persistent strength of the Canadian dollar.  In contrast, very favourable financing conditions are expected to buttress consumer spending and housing activity. Household expenditures are expected to remain high relative to GDP and the ratio of household debt to income is projected to rise further.

The Bank estimates that the economy grew by 2.4 per cent in 2011 and projects that it will grow by 2.0 per cent in 2012 and 2.8 per cent in 2013.  While the economy appears to be operating with less slack than previously assumed, given the more modest growth profile, the economy is only anticipated to return to full capacity by the third quarter of 2013, one quarter earlier than was expected in October.

The dynamics for inflation are similar to those anticipated in the October MPR, although the profile for inflation is marginally firmer.  Both total and core inflation are expected to moderate in 2012 and subsequently rise, reaching 2 per cent by the third quarter of 2013 as excess supply is slowly absorbed, labour compensation grows modestly and inflation expectations remain well-anchored.

Several significant upside and downside risks are present in the inflation outlook for Canada. Overall, the Bank judges that these risks are roughly balanced over the projection horizon.

Reflecting all of these factors, the Bank has decided to maintain the target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. With the target interest rate near historic lows and the financial system functioning well, there is considerable monetary policy stimulus in Canada. The Bank will continue to monitor carefully economic and financial developments in the Canadian and global economies, together with the evolution of risks, and set monetary policy consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target over the medium term.

CREB December Report

I’ve just posted CREB’s December Report on the current Real Estate Market. The summary graph is on page 10 of the report.

Top 10 for November 2011

One of the Top 10 agents at the Re/Max Real Estate (Mountain View) office for the month of November:

Top 10 – Nov 2011

Jeffry in Action!

A posted entry on Robot Reviews:

“Does anybody remember me talking about Jeffry – my Roomba?  Every day at 2pm Jeffry springs into action, zooms around the condo, and generally tidies up the place. We come home to a very neat apartment.

“Today we were out all afternoon and we left Jeffry in charge of babysitting the dogs. Well, turns out we were out a bit longer than expected and poor Tori couldn’t contain herself.

“Jeffry knows how we feel about a mess on the floor. It doesn’t happen often but when it does happen, Tori gets in a lot of trouble. Jeffry knew just what to do. He zoomed over and did a prolonged “Spot Clean”. He swirled and twirled and circled forward and back until the mess was gone.

“We could tell what he’d done by the swirled tire marks and dog poop smears in a nice circular area much like a dog-sh** crop circle in the middle of the floor.

“Unfortunately Jeffry didn’t know enough to quit at that point.  Instead he decided to clean the floors and the rug. Sadly his brushes and wheels were thickly covered in dog poo… and Jeffry left tracks all over the place. Now anybody watching a Roomba in action might think the random bumping and zooming couldn’t possibly do a thorough job of cleaning the floors… but you would be wrong. The math geniuses at iRobot have an algorithm that covers every square inch. And so did Jeffry.

*sigh*

“When we came home today we encountered a smelly mess of dog poo smeared over every square inch of the apartment floors and carpets. Here’s Jeffry getting his innards cleaned out…
Image

“I tossed all the brushes, opened him up and bleached every square inch of him. We also have a floor steamer and we just got back from Costco with a rug shampoo unit. I’m sure everything will be back in shape eventually. At least Jeffry can’t climb up on the counters!”