Thursday, September 29, 2011

Alberta Population Pops

People are coming to Alberta. If you want a low salary, high unemployment and higher housing costs then you should stay away. As it is Alberta leads with highest salaries, employment and lowest housing costs.

Just today I showed a place to a family from Cape Breton -a father and 3 grown children all moved out here for work. I placed Chinese international students last month into a suite and a guy from Ontario who was transferred by work took a townhouse.

I'm seeing license plates from all provinces out here. It's really obvious that Alberta is a mecca for young skilled labour and those seeking a better quality of life.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Keystone X-L Pipe Conundrum

Good? Bad? What is your opinion of it? A North to South (Canada to USA route) and a West To East (Across AB and BC to Asia) will definitely improve the size of market and increase production.

Aside from potential environmental impact, which as always needs to be carefully weighed and protected, there is the issue that Peter Lougheed raises about jobs going South. While I can empathize with what he is saying, I wonder if Alberta has the manpower or can import enough well-priced labour to refine its own oil. Last time I checked we are often on the tipping point of a labour shortage.

Is there that much more benefit to refining once the refinery has been built? Remember we do have one new refinery being built now. It looks like a funnel south is a more viable option. Any ideas to add?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Edmonton Hazeldean/Ritchie Cell Phone Tower

If you've ever been to the Mill Creek Ravine you'll know what a beautiful part of Edmonton it is. Ski, hiking, biking and running trails spread over the South Eastern part of Edmonton. The ravine itself is surrounded by tree-lined streets populated by 50's bungalows, schools and modern in-fills. All in all a very desirable area of Edmonton.

Sadly, these areas are being considered for a 6-storey cell tower, right next to a elementary school and a seniors home. The biggest irony there is an perfectly suited industrial area less than 10 blocks away.

We've got some rentals in the area and really, really don't want the cell phone tower. I understand the need for these towers but they should be in industrial areas - absolutely not next to schools in residential areas.

These communities aren't taking it laying down though:

"The proposed 25-metre cell phone tower is an eyesore and should be scrapped, say Hazeldean community members.

"You cannot tell me that a tower is going to be beautiful," said Kisa Mortenson who lives across the street from the site at 96th Street and 71st Avenue. "It's going to be way taller than anything else in the community.

"My children deserve better and so do I," she said.

About 120 people attended a meeting hosted by Rogers Communications and the city at the Hazeldean Community Hall Tuesday night, almost all upset with the proposal.

The tower will be located at the west side of the parking lot of the Good Samaritan Dr. Gerald Zetter Care Centre.

"It's at our cost to have this eyesore in this neighbourhood — to have our property values go down," said Shawn Roder. "You're going to recoup your money by telling people you have better coverage in this area."

The project is not a done deal, said Rogers spokesperson Marina Guy.

"We can decide to maybe change the location if that's possible," she said. "Or put up several smaller cell towers to meet the need."

Rogers has extended the deadline for feedback on the tower.

Last year, residents of the Westmount community successfully fought a cell phone tower proposed near the shopping mall.

Final approval for all cell phone towers is up to Industry Canada."

Watch the CBC coverage here - then go call/contact these people to NO to the Tower!

The ROGERS contact info is as follows:

Carol Robinson - Municipal Relations Specialist
Tel: 403-730-2627
Rogers Communications
#700, 500-4 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
T2P 2V6

Management at Rogers:

Nadir Mohamed
President and Chief Executive Officer
Rogers Communications Inc.
333 Bloor Street East
Toronto, Ontario
M4W 1G9

Contacts and emails are:

Kerry Diotte, Ward 11 City Councillor
Jack Keaschuk, Development Planner, City of Edmonton
Mr. Badruddin Allidina, Spectrum Manager, Industry Canada
Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry
Cathy Raftis, Director of City Wide Planning,
Hon. Gene Zwozdesky, Minister of Health and Wellness,

Monday, September 19, 2011

$15 Billion into Alberta from China

"Since the end of 2009, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) all have made substantial investments in the Canadian energy sector with a particular focus on the Alberta oil sands development. The China Investment Corporation - a $300 billion sovereign wealth fund - opened its first overseas office in Canada early this year and chose Canada for its only energy sector equity investment..."

And This

"These fast-paced investment activities have occurred against the backdrop of a sustained high energy demand forecast from China in the coming years and sluggish prospects for economic recovery in the United States."

Bode well for Alberta.

China isn't the only foreign investor into Alberta but their economic growth and the first $15 Billion is certainly a great start. Read More Here

To read Alberta's economic snapshot for the week of September 17, 2011 GO HERE

Friday, September 16, 2011

Risk and Rewards for Investors

"Some people see investors as reckless risk-takers, but the one-time lead Dragon in the Den, W. Brett Wilson, has a different impression. Shane Buckingham explains

Risk prevents many ordinary people from acting. Consumed with fear, they dwell only on the potential for failure instead of the potential returns a solid, albeit chancy, investment could produce.

Wilson, who made the bulk of his wealth in the oil and natural gas industry, started investing in real estate about 10 years ago in order to diversify his assets. But unlike his other ventures, his real estate investments aren't too risky. "I see a lot of people trade real estate, but I purchase properties on a buy-and-hold basis. I just like to put it away, so I don't have to spend a lot of time thinking about it. That's partly because I have partners that worry about, but, more importantly, it's because I believe in a long-term hold strategy." Read More

I've watched about 8 episodes of Dragon's Den and I love it. Sometimes I cringe at the pitches that some folks make or worse yet the wrath of some Dragons… Its entertaining and hopefully inspirational. Brett Wilson's new program sounds like it will follow a bit deeper the real 'risk and reward' that you face when you get in the game. Looking forward to this!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Taking time to sharpen the saw

Alberta Oil Sands Investment Real Estate News®
Glenn Simon Inc., Suite 1217, 5328 Calgary Trail NW, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Tel 1-888-780-5940 Fax 1-888-276-4517 email:

September 15th., 2011
Volume 11, Issue 1

Dear Friends and Partners,

How did you spend your summer? Danielle, Ronan and I took a welcomed break and traveled through the Willmore Wilderness Park in northwestern Alberta. If you haven't been there, it is an awesome 1000 sq. mile section of rugged, wild land north of Jasper Park. We saw black bears, walked in pristine mountain valleys and dipped our toes into the chilly sulfur streams.

The days were hot and long. When we got back to the city we continued on with our home renovations (as well as the Cornerstone suite that we're doing) and gorged on the seemingly endless plump raspberries that our backyard bushes produce. As much as I love my work, I love to take time away and reflect upon it. I shared several balmy summer evening meals outside with a talented artist friend of ours. We also enjoyed a splendid visit with our close Japanese friends Mariko and Koji who flew all the way here to see us.

The change of location and spirited conversation helped me slow down and recharge the batteries. Returning from vacation the first thing I did was to sit down at my desk and write a top Ten Task list. I already had one before I went on holiday, but I was curious to see what my subconscious mind would deem the most important tasks. It was fascinating to see that the tasks remained the same but the order changed. The more creative tasks took priority and when I looked deeper at them, I could see that they held the greater value.

I hope that you came away from your 'holiday' with renewed insight and make a few breaks during your day to reflect and connect to what is important to you.


West Central Edmonton: Cashflowing Three-Plex In Westmount

Turbo charge your portfolio. Upgraded 1948 built 3-plex with separate entrance to all units. 3 stylishly finished suites; One 2 bedroom unit on main, plus one upgraded 650 sqft. 2 bedroom suites down and a very cool 2 bedroom suite on the top floor. The upper suites have laminate, fresh paint and original hardwood. There is a common laundry room in basement. The lower unit has new paint, brand new tub and toilet as well. Lower suite walks out to a private grassy, fenced yard. There is a 2 car detached garage with brand new door and opener bringing in additional revenue. 10 minutes to NAIT, Grant MacEwan and Downtown. Fast access to Yellowhead Highway and on the bus routes. These pictures show the detail and care that went into building this quality home.

Comes complete with great tenants making this a totally turn-key property for you. Convenient Central area with easy access to transit and downtown. Excellent established neighborhood featuring many heritage homes; solid value and stable rents. HUGE upside potential due to the great purchase price, strong economic fundamentals and the proximity of this home in relation to Edmonton's developing core.

Produces $440 positive cash flow per month using an investor's mortgage plan - taking advantage of current low rates.

Purchase price: $384K Total Investment: $115K. Your Estimated 5 Year Profit $56K. Your pre-tax Total ROI is 49% or 10% per year + $440 Cash Flow in Your Pocket Every Month

Poised for massive growth. These 3 suites rent for top dollar and have everything arranged, including financing structure and incredible tenants. Your investment includes: renovation costs, financial analysis, professional inspection, insurance, financing set-up, legal fees, basic accounting, reserve fund, CMA, bi-annual statements, strategic market planning to ensure successful entry and exit, plus much more!

Economic Ship Will Stay The Course
Government Focused On Debt Reduction, Financial Minister Says

By Gordon Isfeld and Keith Bonnel Postmedia News, August 20th, 2011

Canada's top financial leaders acknowledged Friday the country's economy is slowing but said they are ready to act if our major trading partners sink back into recession.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, appearing at a special parliamentary committee along with Canada's central banker, reiterated his call to "stay the course" and continue to work toward balancing the budget by 2014-15 as the best way to buffer Canada against the impact of a possible global downturn. GRAB THIS STORY

Alberta's Theme Song - Take This Job and Love It

By Lorne Gunter, Calgary Herald, September 8th, 2011

Albertans are the workin'est people in Canada, by a fairly wide margin. And despite our rapidly increasing population (and thus our rapidly expanding workforce) we maintain the highest employment levels in the country and one of the lowest unemployment rates.
In general, this is true of all three Prairie provinces. Some of the old pioneering spirit of self-reliance still seems intact in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, too, along with a healthy dose of Protestant work ethic. FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE


Opening Doors For Older Workers

Medicine Hat News Opinion, Thursday September 1st, 2011

If Alberta's economy grows according to forecast, the province could be facing a shortage of about 77,000 workers in the labour force by 2019.

That means older workers are going to be an increasingly valuable resource in the coming years. Some of them might not feel valuable if they've been victims of downsizing in the past few years as businesses struggled with economic difficulties. Fortunately, a new program launched in Lethbridge this summer is helping mature workers discover new paths back into the workforce. READ MORE HERE


I appreciate all your calls and emails. I'm looking forward to helping you with your next step towards building real wealth.

Your success continues EVERYDAY, let me help you build for tomorrow.

"Diligence is the mother of good fortune." - Benjamin Disraeli
Warm Regards,

Todd and Danielle Millar


P.S. Stay ahead by checking out Danielle's daily blog at Edmonton Real Estate Investor for all your cutting edge market news and information.

P.P.S. Don’t forget to visit our website and take advantage of the Resource Tools and product section including REIN's #1 real estate books and Quick Start homestudy sets at a discount. Get your copy of the Canadian Success Stories book and the 2011 Top Ten Investment Towns of Alberta and Ontario.

Hanging art- or not.

My apologies to Gretchen and her beautiful 'Popping Poppies' painting that took me soooo long to finally hang. But, man was it worth the wait. As we're still in the middle of renos we don't have much other than Gretchen's piece, Chris Hudson's fantastic B&W print and a few smattering of handmade Vietnamese object d' art out.

I attempted to frame a very strong and serious South African picture I had, but ended up breaking the frame. It'll remain in the pile of 'stuff I really want to have on my walls' for a while longer. Anyways, thanks for the wonderful painting. I added a link to Gretchen's site so that you can check out her other works for yourself.

Those orchids look like they're in a wind tunnel!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Alberta Leads Canadian Economy

3.7% hike forecast for this year

"CALGARY — Alberta is positioned as one of Canada’s provincial leaders in growth, according to the latest RBC Economics Provincial Outlook report released Monday.
The provincial economy is set to grow at a rate of 3.7 per cent in 2011 and 3.9 per cent in 2012, said RBC. Both years Alberta will be second overall in the country behind nation-leading Saskatchewan’s growth rates of 4.3 per cent this year and 4.1 per cent next year. "

This has had a positive impact on employment, as more than 77,000 jobs were added to the Alberta economy in the first eight months of this year, which was the strongest gain ever recorded over this period in the province.” That's like adding two Moose Jaw Saskatchewan cities to the population at the beginning of the year! One of the major headaches the oil patch is struggling with now is employment - not having enough people. With varied hiring tactics, the energy sector hopes to diminish the approaching labour crunch - let's hope they succeed."

Read More Here

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Stocks - rough riding in September

"Welcome to September, traditionally the worst month of the year on the stock market calendar.

Yeah, I know. I feel your pain. We've already suffered enough nastiness since equity markets peaked in the spring.

The major indexes have been slowly grinding their way lower ever since, despite some short-lived rallies along the way." Jump

Traditionally we are in for a tough stock ride ahead. The bright side as I see it is after major downturns and historically rough trading cycles the markets tend to be blessed with positive up cycles. Let's get through the bad to get to the good.

The Conservative Party in Alberta

"It's no mystery why the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party has remained in power for 40 years, even though The Journal's reporters and experts, celebrating the anniversary, do their best to make the obvious mysterious." Comment from Journal

I don't know why I'm surprised by the publication of these silly, narrow, generalizing rants - but I am. I suppose I mirror rants like these with my own...

People in politics and politics in general create, manage and grow an economy (all though many also leech and destroy one). It is a basic tenet to manage and grow a community; with infrastructure, business, economy as well as spirit. What kind of person patronizingly 'unveils the big mystery' about the big bad conservatives coming to rule in the land of plenty? Someone who remains ignorant of the system we use to ELECT our government I assume. Read More Here