Tuesday, August 23, 2011

This and That

Government of Canada develops innovative cancer treatment

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Aug. 17, 2011) - "The Government of Canada is supporting the development of a new cancer radiation therapy device that could lead to more precise and life-saving treatment methods.

A federal investment of $2.5 million will support the University of Alberta, Alberta Health Services' Cross Cancer Institute and industry to develop, test and commercialize a new cancer radiation therapy technology called Magnetic Resonance Real-time Guided Radiation Therapy (MRrtgRT). In addition to federal funding, the Province of Alberta is also investing $250,000 towards the initiative, while the Alberta Cancer Foundation is contributing $2.15 million. Alberta Health Services and its industry partners, ASG Superconductors and Paramed, are contributing $1.1 million."

You might wonder why I included this article in an investment blog. I heard an interview on CBC Radio about this technology and was impressed, especially with the tenacity that UOA explores cancer research, treatment and cure. I'm also interested in how the UOA/government intends to bring this technology to market. When I talk about nanotechnology and medical leadership in Alberta, this is the tangible fruit that comes from it.

Residential property sales in Canada hold steady but property prices fall slightly

Thursday, 18 August 2011

"Buyer confidence, favorable mortgage rates and a healthy economy are resulting in higher home sales across Canada, particularly in Newfoundland, Edmonton, Labrador and Montreal. Even so, national average prices slipped for the month of July, although analysts believe this may be due to the retreat of home sales in more expensive neighborhoods in Vancouver, where sales were down. The sales in these more expensive areas act to skew national averages and result in some finding them unreliable, but on the whole observers believe the market will continue showing healthy numbers in the housing market.

Sales of residential properties in Canada were stable in July compared with the previous month with just over half of local markets posting gains, according to the latest statistics from The Canadian Real Estate Association.
Major markets that saw gains compared to June include Edmonton, Montreal, Newfoundland and Labrador. Activity also held steady in Toronto, while Vancouver recorded a small decline.

‘The continued stability in national sales activity shows that homebuyers remain confident about the soundness of investing in a home. Mortgage interest rates are low and keeping home affordability within reach, making it an excellent time for buyers to take advantage of very favourable financing,’ said CREA president Gary Morse"

Lower prices and NO sales is bad news. Higher demand, lower prices are fine as we wait for the economy to strengthen, rates to increase and the pendulum to swing back towards a seller's market - which will take a few years if the (global and provincial) economies can stay on track.

This is roughly how expensive (or affordable depending on your income) a Vancouver bungalow is... Remember, there's only one Vancouver though!

"The Royal Bank of Canada said yesterday it would take 92 per cent of the median household’s pretax income to own a bungalow in the city at current prices – the highest reading yet in its quarterly national survey on affordability.

The bank said most Canadian cities offered “reasonably affordable” housing options in the second quarter compared to the first. Nationally, a condo required 29.2 per cent of pretax household income (a 0.8 per cent increase), a bungalow 43.3 per cent (1.7 per cent) and a detached home 49.3 per cent (1.8 per cent).

RBC said it would take an income of $157,800 to buy a Vancouver bungalow in the second quarter, and that the average house price in the city was $822,300 – 19 per cent higher than a year ago."

Jack Layton's Letter to Canadians

I posted Jack Layton's letter today to celebrate a passionate man's life; not to share his politics. He always spoke with so much genuine enthusiasm its hard not to like his personality and respect his conviction. Although he left too soon, he left a very positive legacy that won't be forgotten anytime soon.

Dear Friends,

Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit and my determination. Read More

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