imagesCMHC LIMITS THEIR BACKING TO $85 BILLION  By: Julian Beltrame Canadians may soon be paying more for new home loans as Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. begins to clamp down on guarantees for mortgage-backed securities. The government agency has notified banks, credit unions and other mortgage lenders  that they will each be restricted to a maximum of $350 million of new guarantees this  month under its National Housing Act Mortgage-Backed Securities program. This year, the federal Crown corporation was given authority to guarantee up to $85 billion under the program but by the end of July, $66 billion had already been committed.
"As a result of this unexpected increase in issuance volumes to date and to better manage volumes going forward, CMHC will be introducing a formal allocation process in late August," CMHC said in an Aug. 1 note to lenders. 

cleaning-table The Dirt On Toxic Chemicals In Your Household Cleaning Products
Credit: Jenny Lee Silver
There is no requirement in Canada for manufacturers to warn consumers about the health and environmental hazards associated with chronic, or long-term, exposure to chemical ingredients in household cleaning products. Canadians spend more than $275 million on household cleaning products in a year. We buy these products to fight germs, streaks, stains and odours to keep our homes sparkling clean. Cleaning is supposed to be about maintaining a healthy home, yet some common household cleaning products contain chemicals that can harm human health and the environment. What a mess. Acute and chronic effects: You're probably familiar with the hazard symbols that appear on some cleaning products, along with word like "poison", "corrosive" or "irritant." These hazard symbols warn consumers about acute health hazards associated with a single or short-term exposure to chemicals in the product. But there is no parallel requirement in Canada for manufacturers to warn consumers about the health and environmental hazards associated with chronic, or long-term, exposure to chemical ingredients in household cleaning products. Most of us are exposed to cleaning products and their residues at low levels on a daily basis. When we use these chemicals to clean our home, they linger in the air and we breathe them in. Researchers in the U.S. identified 133 unique volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from a small sample of consumer products, including six cleaning products. Each product tested emitted between one and eight chemicals classified as toxic or hazardous under U.S. federal laws. Chemicals in cleaning products can also enter our bodies by absorption through the skin or through ingestion of household dust and chemical residues left on dishes and cutlery. And when cleaning products are flushed down the drain, they can have a serious impact on aquatic ecosystems.

Is The Stress of Money Affecting Your Health, Energy or Happiness?

Are You Stressed About Your Money Situation?

Written by: Kristen White
images (1)Are you stressed about your money situation? Do you numb your anxiety about money by overeating, shopping, drinking, smoking, spending hours in front of the TV or surfing the internet? These common coping behaviors may provide temporary relief, but you know they will never provide a long-term solution to stress. The human body responds to stress with a fight-or-flight reaction. Hormones surge through the body, causing the heart to pump faster and sending extra supplies of energy into the bloodstream. Historically, this emergency response system was useful; it enabled people to survive immediate physical threats, like an attack from a wild animal. But today, the stress in most people's lives comes from the more psychological and seemingly endless financial pressures of modern day life.1 Are you facing; managing your finances for the first time, growing credit card debt, spending more than you earn, financing your expenses/debts using some form of other debt like a loan or a home equity line of credit, using your savings or retirement funds to pay your bills, facing costly home repair expenses, divorce or not having enough money to pay the mortgage payment plus all your other bills at the end of each month? It is common that people experience anxiety, fear, frustration, a sense of loneliness and hopelessness as debt piles up and increasing amounts of money are needed just to pay the interest. All of these situations can turn on the stress hormones and because these conditions don't go away, the hormones don't shut off. Instead of helping you survive, this kind of stress response can actually make you sick. 1