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Canadian money to be entirely plastic by 2013

The Bank of Canada recently announced that it plans to replace the nation’s paper currency with plastic bills. The new polymer notes are designed make counterfeiting Canadian money more difficult, with translucent windows and raised ink. Each bill will have a see-through maple leaf on one side and a larger, transparent section on the other that will contain color-shifting images, CNN reports. Another nifty attribute of the polymer notes is that, while they can be folded, they will not crease and will always retain their original shape.

“The Bank is combining innovative technologies from around the world with Canadian ingenuity to create a unique series of bank notes that is more secure, economic and better for the environment,” said Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of Canada. The new bills will last more than twice as long as their paper counterparts, which makes up for the fact that they will cost about twice as much to produce.

Polymer money has been adopted in many countries and the plastic bills have proven to be more economic, hygienic and effective in reducing the rate of counterfeiting. In Australia, the notes have reduced the amount of efforts and funds that are dedicated to combating counterfeiting operations, and made the validation of currency 82 percent more efficient than with paper notes, according to

In 2001, Canada began to see a dramatic increase in the amount of counterfeit bills and by 2004, officials found approximately 470 counterfeit notes per million bills in circulation, which Governor Carney states is a record high. People who are living or working in Canada can have their friends and family members wire money directly to their bank accounts through a money transfer service to lower the risk of encountering fake bank notes.

“These bank notes evoke the country’s spirit of innovation, and their designs celebrate Canada’s achievements at home, around the world and in space,” said Jim Flaherty, the Minister of Finance.

The $100 bill will be released in November 2011, and the new design will feature an updated portrait of Sir Robert Borden, who served the nation as Prime Minister between 1911 and 1920. It will also include images that reflect Canadian innovations in the field of medicine, such as the invention of the pacemaker and the nation’s involvement in mapping the genetic code.

In March 2012, the Bank will issue the polymer $50 bill. This note will focus on the influence of the northern frontier of Canada’s culture, and it will have a new portrait of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, who served two terms in the mid-1900’s.

By the end of 2013, The Bank of Canada states that it will issue polymer $20, $10 and $5 bills. The $20 will be dedicated to Canadian involvement in world conflicts and feature Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen is currently the constitutional monarch of Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Bahamas and 12 other sovereign states.

Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Canadian Prime Minister, will grace the $10, along with “The Canadian,” a transcontinental train that travels on what was once the longest railway in the world.

Canada’s contributions to the international space program will be recognized on the $5, and they will share the space with Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Laurier served as Prime Minister from 1896 to 1911 and was the first French-speaking Canadian leader.

Many people will transfer money online to their friends and family in Canada so they can get their hands on the new plastic bills as they are put into circulation.


Britain’s newest royal couple head to Canada and the U.S. this July

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and his new wife, Duchess Catherine Middleton, are preparing to embark on their first royal visit to North America as a married couple. They will first travel to Canada to celebrate Canada Day on July 1, ABC News reports.

Canada Day celebrates the unification of Canada and the royal couple will join in the festivities on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, that include a parade and a citizenship parade. Many people who are living abroad will send money to Canada so their families can attend the celebrations and catch a glimpse of the royal figureheads.

In Quebec, Montreal, the Duke and Duchess will share Sunday worship with the crew of the HMCS Montreal, a Canadian naval vessel. Prince William will also showcase his piloting skills with a helicopter landing demonstration, according to The Associated Press.

Their next stop will be at the Prince Edward Islands, where Prince William will showcase his piloting skills with a helicopter landing demonstration, according to The Associated Press. The Duchess’s favorite book, Anne of Green Gables, is set on the Islands, so the couple may take a tour of the house in Cavendish that author Lucy Maud Montgomery used for inspiration when she was writing the book.

The Duchess of Cambridge may have roots in Canada, according to the Toronto Star. They recently uncovered records that show that Middleton’s grandfather lived in Alberta while he was serving in the Royal Air Force. Peter Middleton, who passed away this year, was an instructor at a flight school in Calgary during the Second World War.

“It would be just spectacular if they actually stopped by and visited us and had a chance for her to be in a place where her grandfather very well may have been,” Brenda Blair, the liaison for the Aero Space Museum in Calgary, told the news source.

When they reach Calgary, the couple plans to visit the airfield where the Duchess’s grandfather was stationed. Prince William and Catherine are also planning to attend the Calgary Stampede, an annual rodeo show and festival that has been held since 1886, before they bid farewell to Canada and head to the United States. Canadian citizens who are working in other countries will send remittances home to their families so they can attend the rodeo and see Prince William lend a hand in the chuckwagon competition.

The Vancouver Sun states that the Prince and his bride will also take part in the festival’s parade to continue the tradition of British royal visits to Calgary. Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, enjoyed similar events during their visit to Canada in 1951.

“The royals are the ones that asked to be able to participate and see some of our iconic Western events, and, in fact, were very keen to see what rodeo is all about,” Michael Casey, the president of Calgary Stampede, told the news source.

When the couple leaves Canada on July 8, they will fly to southern California to host a charity event at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club. VIP tickets for the event cost approximately $4,000, and include a three-course meal and the opportunity to watch Prince William play in a charity game of polo.

The benevolent newlyweds solidified their commitment to charity as they raised more than $1.6 million on their wedding day, and the California-based event has already raised more than $4.4 million from sales of more than 1,000 VIP passes and about 400 general admission tickets, the Associated Press reports.


Bollywood comes to Toronto for the International Indian Film Academy Awards

The 12th annual International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards will be held in Toronto on June 25, marking the North American debut of the celebration. The IIFA will be in the Canadian city between June 23 and 26, and the four-day event will include presentations of Bollywood movies, but the main attraction will be the award ceremony, during which Indian film stars and Bollywood enthusiasts will gather to celebrate the South Asian film world.

Toronto was chosen by the IIFA as the site for this year’s celebrations because Canada has been a major filming location for Indian movies, and the metropolitan area is home to more than 550,000 Indian people, according to the Toronto Sun. Many people will send money online to family and friends who live in the Toronto area so they will be able to attend the film festival. The IIFA has previously held its film festival in Dubai, Johannesburg, Amsterdam and Singapore.

The IIFA was created to promote Indian cinema around the world, and Bollywood, which was a huge success in the 1940’s through the 1960’s, is regaining global ground. The dance-based films are marked by their unique soundtracks, dramatic song-and-dance numbers and brightly colored costumes, which are very influential on popular fashion in India.

Bollywood inspired Australian movie-maker, Baz Luhrman, to produce the movie Moulin Rouge, which led to an explosion of musical cinema in Hollywood. Movies such as Hairspray, Sweeney Todd, Across the Universe, Enchanted and Mamma Mia! followed in the wake of Luhrman’s Hindi-inspired film.

The award ceremony will be hosted by Riteish Deshmukh and Boman Irani, two award-winning Indian actors, the Huffington Post reports. Irani, a comedic performer, won three awards last year – from the IIFA, Filmfare and Star Screen awards ceremonies for his villainous performance in 3 Idiots – and Deshmukh was crowned the Entertainer of the Year at the Zee Cine Awards in 2008. This will be the fourth consecutive year that the two men will host the IIFA Awards.

“I get recognized here far more easily than in Mumbai because in Mumbai I’m only driving to and from work, whereas here I tend to go out on the streets, but it’s fun,” Irani told the Toronto Star. “Canadians are the most polite people on the planet.”

One of the stars who is rumored to be in attendance is Priyanka Chopra, who win the title of Miss World in 2000. Chopra’s first film award came from her third movie, Andaaz, for which she was awarded a Filmfare best female debut award. In 2008, the Indian beauty scored the lead role in Fashion, and she subsequently won multiple awards for best actress at many different film award ceremonies.

The Toronto Sun states that the Indian film industry generates about $100 million in revenue per year in North America. This weekend, more than 22,000 people are expected to be at the festival, and many of the guests will be flying from India to attend. People can make wire transfers to their friends and family members who will be traveling to Toronto so they can pick up some maple candy and other Canadian souvenirs to bring back home.

People who are visiting Toronto for the festival can take a break from Bollywood to explore the Canadian city. They can check out the Toronto Zoo, which is home to more than 460 different species of animals, and visit the CN Tower, which was the world’s tallest tower for 34 years and now comes in fourth at 1815 feet.


Canada Day is a time for Canadians around the world to honor their nation

Canadians will be celebrating the 144th anniversary of the unification of their nation on July 1. The holiday is commemorated with fireworks displays throughout the nation, and it is a time for families and friends to spend together. Canadian citizens who are working or living outside of the country during the holiday will send money to Canada to help their families pay for their festivities.

In 1867, Nova Scotia, the Province of Canada and New Brunswick were brought together under the Constitution Act, which also granted Canada some independence from their British rulers. On the centennial anniversary, Canada nationally observed the holiday for the first time, according to However, it did not become an official holiday until 1982, when the nation became fully independent.

Parades, sporting events and many other festivities take place on this summer day. People can send money online to their friends or relatives who live in Canada to help them pay for tickets to concerts and sport exhibitions. To express their patriotism, many Canadians will wear red and white clothes or the jerseys of their favorite hockey and Canadian football teams.

Canadian citizens who live in the London area in England can visit Trafalgar Square to take part in holiday celebrations. Canada House, the home of the High Commission of Canada, is located here and organized festivities with assistance from the Canadian community in the UK.

People gather in the square to honor Canada’s patriotic holiday with performances by Canadian musicians, Canadian food, and a street hockey tournament, reports. Eight street hockey teams compete for the chance to win the Trafalgar Cup and the title of champion on the patriotic Canadian holiday. Friends and family members of the athletes may make online money transfers to help their relatives pay for their equipment and uniforms.

In Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York, Canadians and Americans participate in the Friendship Festival, which is a joint celebration of Independence Day and Canada Day. The festival’s website states that the celebration aims to promote unity between the neighboring countries. This year, the four day festival will take place between June 30 and July 3, and it will include free concerts, games and other fun activities for the whole family.


Canadians elect conservative PM

Canada’s fourth general election in seven years is well underway, and so far, it seems that voters are leaning toward the conservative candidates. Stephen Harper, who led the minority government for five years, finally took the majority in the House of Commons on May 2. He will now be able lead 167 of the 308 parliamentary seats, according to The Economist.

Harper’s government took a blow on March 25 after three opposing parties came together, leading to a vote of no confidence. However, it seems that citizens had plenty of confidence in Harper, as he was reelected to the seat of Prime Minister. Barring any other setbacks, he will remain in that seat for another four years.

The national elections saw higher voter turnout this year. Around 61.4 percent of citizens turned out to cast their vote, compared to the all-time low votership of 58.8 percent in 2008. A total of 14.7 million people filled out and submitted a ballot.

A large number of voters cast their picks early, including many who are living outside of the nation. Canadians living in the U.S. and other countries were able to vote ahead of the May 2 election date to ensure that their voice was heard.

The number of early voters casting ballots increased by 34.5 percent from the 2008 elections. Many speculated that it was these voters who decided the race, as liberal and conservative Canadians voting on election day were neck and neck in terms of numbers, according to the BBC.

Canadian citizens living abroad have strong opinions about their native countries, in part because many of their loved ones still reside north of the U.S. border. Many of these international citizens choose to send money to Canada to support their family members, and therefore rightfully have the opportunity to cast their vote in major and minor elections.

In fact, the candidate who lost to Harper, liberal Michael Ignatieff, moved back to Canada after spending time in the United States. According to the Economist, he chose to do this in order to lead the Liberal Party.

There were other surprise placements that resulted from this election. Elizabeth May became the first Green Party member to take a seat in the Parliament.


Inteligencia Financiera: Ahorrando en tiempo de crisis

Ahorrar significa simplemente guardar dinero para usarlo después. Es una actividad incluso saludable que produce tranquilidad emocional para enfrentar tiempos difíciles.

Sin embargo, el ahorro puede tornarse algo difícil de realizar especialmente en un ambiente donde el fantasma de la crisis financiera pasada aún se siente, entre despidos, alzas en los precios de la gasolina, y de la comida entre otros, sólo pensar en ahorrar para la comunidad latina pareciera un problema.

 Mantener un ahorro disponible nos permite estar preparados para el futuro, suplir gastos inesperados, planear vacaciones, e incluso si estamos habituados a enviar dinero a nuestros países esta suma podría incrementarse.

Lo primero que tenemos que identificar es nuestro ingreso y cuanto gastamos. Debemos identificar entre nuestros gastos fijos mensuales, como la renta o hipoteca, seguros, préstamos, y gastos variables mensuales como impuestos, comida, ropa, gasolina, arreglos del carro, reparación de la casa, entretención, etc.

Luego que identificamos nuestros gastos, sabemos dónde va el dinero y tenemos más control y sabemos cuánto dinero necesitamos para cubrirlos. No obstante, nos podemos encontrar con sorpresas, como cuando nuestros gastos son mayores que nuestros ingresos, ahí estamos en un problema.

La fórmula del ahorro es simple, nuestros ingresos deben ser mayor que nuestros gastos, para ello tenemos dos opciones aumentar los ingresos o reducir los gastos.

Sabemos por experiencia propia que aumentar los ingresos es difícil, pero reducir los gastos es posible una vez que los hemos identificado, sin mencionar que nos daremos cuentas de gastos innecesarios que hacemos sin darnos cuenta.

Podemos ahorrar dinero siguiendo unos pasos sencillos:

Gastar menos, esto incluye también no comprar lo que no pueda pagar. Suplir necesidades en lugar de deseos es la clave.

Disminuir y evitar las deudas, un consejo es pagar un poquito más del mínimo en las tarjetas de crédito para así ir reduciendo el capital. Reemplazar las tarjetas de crédito por débitos, así gastaremos lo que dispongamos.

Revisar los estados de cuentas, encontraremos servicios que no hemos solicitado o no usamos, como en el teléfono residencial, coberturas de seguros que no necesitamos, y cargos por mantención en servicios bancarios que pueden ser eliminados por ejemplo al abrir una cuenta de ahorro.

Hacer una lista, para comprar de manera inteligente en el supermercado.

Destinar efectivo a una cuenta de ahorro adquirir el hábito de poner algo de nuestro ingreso en un fondo para ahorro. Requiere disciplina, pero es motiva el hecho de ver como los fondos van creciendo.


Leer más artículos sobre inteligencia financiera:

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Sri Lanka knew it was ready to take on Canada in ICC World Cup

The team captain for the Sri Lanka cricket team, Kumar Sangakkara, said that despite the fact that he didn’t know much about the Canadian players, he and his teammates were ready to take them on in the World Cup tournament, according to an article posted on the official ICC Cricket World Cup website. Sangakkara was proved right when his team was victorious on February 20 with a 210 runs win.

Sangakkara told the news source that he was not worried about facing John Davison, the Canadian player who scored the fastest World Cup hundred, nor was he concerned by the fact that the game took place at the Hambantota stadium, which was featured for the first time in an international setting.

“I don’t think when we go to play sides that we haven’t’ played much that we should worry because in those games it’s all about us, how well we do and how well we play our cricket,” Sangakkara said in the interview. “I think we don’t need to be negative and we must make sure that we beat them without problems.

Sri Lanka were runners-up in 2007 world Cup, which took place in the Caribbean. Judging by their showing during their warm-up games and their first match, the team will likely go far this time around.

Canadian team captain Ashish Bagai said that his team had a little more to be worried about, particularly because of two players, Multtiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga.

“Obviously Muralitharan and Malinga are the big threats but if we can get through a couple of their bowlers we have a good chance,” Bagai told the news source. “It’s a new venue, even they won’t know what to expect, so it’s going to be tough [for both of us].”

Many Canadians will be traveling internationally to catch these games, and will have a loved one at home ready to transfer money to them should they need it during the tournament. Those who can’t make it to the games can catch all the action and watch Cricket world cup games online.


Canada’s Peace Dividend Trust among winners in G20 Finance Challenge

During the recent G20 summit held in South Korea, the social entrepreneur group Ashoka’s Changemakers created the G20 SME Finance Challenge in an effort to identify innovative organizations working to help small and medium-sized enterprises in the developing world receive funding.

According to the Financial Post, an Ottawa-based non-profit, Peace Dividend Trust (PDT) placed second among the people’s choice awards in the challenge. They were selected by voters who visited the Changemakers website and cast their picks for the best way to provide funding for third-world entrepreneurial endeavors.

Many people living in developing nations may be struggling to find financial footing for their businesses. Some seek out the help of family members living abroad who are able to send money online.

“One of the biggest challenges for such companies is to make sure that they receive the financing that they need,” President Barack Obama said at a ceremony for the winners of this event. “I am very pleased that we have been able through the G20 to launch this concrete program that is making a difference in people’s lives.”

He added that Canada, Korea and the U.S. will contribute $528 million to put some of the ideas presented at the challenge into place.