My Canadian Experience
New Ontario Immigration Web Site


Beth Wright got in touch to tell me of a new Ontario immigration web site which you can see at http://www.ontarioimmigration.ca/english/index.asp

And this also reminded me that Larry Hayes of Business Immigration was going to do me a few articles about immigration so I'll need to email him to see how that is going.

Had a three day visit to Toronto this time to attend the meeting of the Knight Templars at the RCMI and a fine time we had.  The next evening it was the meeting of the Scottish Studies Foundation and the Scottish Studies Society.  Bit of a surprise as Nola nominated me for Vice President of the Society and it was actually carried despite me pointing out I didn't yet have a permanent landed card and could actually be turned down.  They all laughed and I was voted into the position!

The next day I headed with Nola to Mrs. Bridges British Bakery as the owners had offered to donate some haggis for the Tartan Day Dinner.  We both ended up getting a pile of samples... my waist line won't recover :-)

I am also working hard on my accounts for the business as I got reminded by my accountant in the USA that the accounts were due.  I absolutely hate doing accounts but am now gritting my teeth and getting on with it.

This also reminded me that I need to sort out my tax situation here in Canada so I started my hunt for a local accountant.  Figured the best way was to contact the local Chamber of Commerce and they gave me four names to try.  One wasn't interested when he heard there was an American element. The next said they could handle everything and when I asked what he might charge for doing a zero return on my Canadian company he said likely $1,000.  I said but the company hasn't even traded... surely that's a bit expensive?  He then said we might do it for $500 or so.  Mmmmm.

I then went to the next accountant and when I asked the same question they said as it's a zero return likely $125.00.  Now that's more like it. 

I thus had a meeting with Linda Campbell at BDO Dunwoodie (http://www.bdo.ca/) on 30th March.

In 1928, BDO established its first Canadian office in Toronto, Ontario, launching what would become one of Canada's largest accounting and advisory firms. BDO Dunwoody LLP now boasts more than 95 offices and a team of more than 2,200 professionals across the country. The firm's Canadian offices and advisors are located in the country's largest cities and smallest communities, putting BDO in the unique position of being national and local at the same time - a distinction no other Canadian accounting firm can claim. BDO's locally-based business advisors are typically long-standing members of the communities in which they work. For years, they have lived and worked alongside the people to whom they offer advice.

And so now you know about the company my meeting with Linda suggested that I didn't need to file a return for 2004 although she is going to check on that. She also suggested that for 2005 I only needed to file a return for the period from when I applied for permanent landed status.  She is also going to do a zero return filing for my Canadian company.

BDO also provide brochures about tax filing in Canada from which I took...

and so now you know what the tax rates are.

I will be hearing from her in a few weeks time once she gets a chance to go through all the paperwork.

She also mentioned that I really should convert my USA company into the Canadian one as that way I'd likely get more tax concessions and make it a lot easier to do the various tax returns. She did agree however that I shouldn't do this until I get a decision on my permanent landed status.

I also got the news from Steve in Kentucky that our web server is now on its last legs and as it had lasted 5 years I really can't complain although I'm looking at a $2,500 expenditure for a new server. I did in fact, tongue in cheek, mention in my newsletter that I needed one and would anyone like to donate one to us?  Well I certainly didn't expect a reply on that but Alan MacKenzie emailed me to say that he thought the Scottish Studies Foundation might consider it as he thought it did fit their remit.

Given that, I emailed David Hunter, the President, and forwarded him Alan's email and he came back and said he'd certainly consider it and will bring it up at the next board meeting!  Mind you I'm not counting any chickens but very nice to hear that they'd even consider it :-)

It's also time to renew my house insurance which means the car insurance can't be too far away so a wee bit of an expensive time ahead with taxes as well.  I guess I'd better get more active on selling some advertising!!! 

I had in fact watched a program about Tornados in Chatham-Kent and there certainly seems to have been quite a few with Windsor getting two very destructive one.  I figured I'd just phone my house insurance folks to check I was covered for Tornado damage and he assured me I was :-)

I also need to start organising some trips now that Spring is here.  I intend to work on a weekend trip to Bruce county on Lake Huron. I hope to take in the local Scottish radio show on the Friday and then spend most of the weekend going around the area taking photos.  I also need to arrange a meeting with Ralph Ferguson near Petrolia as he phoned me around a month ago inviting me to his home to examine some old records he had and to watch a video they had done of the Scots settlers to the area.

I do intend to go down to Kentucky and Georgia in May although I'd have preferred to wait until I got my permanent landed status card before heading out of the country. 

I'll be having dinner with Ian Hudghton, the President of the SNP, on the night before the Tartan Day dinner and hope to get some pictures and a wee video of him.

And speaking about videos... I was told about Google video which is apparently in beta right now.  You can send up your own video clips and they will host them on their servers. You can also make them freely available so that anyone watching one can have the opportunity to put them on their web site. This was certainly of interest so I went and had a look and searched for "Scotland" and found some good ones and of course some rubbish.  I selected a good one and then followed the links to put it on my own web site and it worked a treat.

Given that I decided to spend quite a bit of time as it turned out converting my videos into a suitable format so I could upload them to the service.  My first task was finding a program to convert my .rm (real media) files to one of the formats that Google accepts, and as it happens they take windows media format and .avi files amongst others, so I found a program that would covert them for $29.95 and having got that proceeded to do the conversions.

I now have around 20 up on Google and then I decided to try videoing myself talking about the Electric Scotland web site which ended up being just over 7 minutes worth.  You can see the results at...


Alastair McIntyre talks about his Electric Scotland web site

Mind you the sun came out just as I pressed the record button so for the first half I was partially blinded by the sun coming through the window.  Just as well I was speaking "off the cuff" :-)

I was quite encouraged by the result and am now considering doing a few more videos on different sections of the site. I might add that I'm just using the mainly still camera, the Canon PowerShot to do the videos. It saves video clips in avi format which Google accepts.

In case any of you are interested in doing something similar you just go to http://video.google.com/ and at the foot of the page there is a link to "Submit your video" and by clicking on that it will take you through the process to arrange an account.  Part of the process involved downloading a video uploader bit of software which you use to submit your videos to Google. The videos I put up can be viewed at Videos from Scotland.

I also applied for an air miles card.  I kept noticing that when in the LCBO they always ask if you have an air miles card so thought it was about time to apply for one.  You can actually do this online at https://www.airmiles.ca/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Airmiles/Enrollment/Index

I have also noted the concern in Canada over the USA looking at making it law that to go between Canada and the USA all people will require passports.  I believe some 33% of Canadians have a passport and I saw recently some 22% of Americans have a passport.  The net effect of this is that probably this will make it harder to do business, have a holiday, etc in both countries with Canada being the net looser on this as Canada only has 10% of the USA population.  I heard today that due to these efforts by the Americans certain events have been cancelled in Canada already due to Americans being concerned about leaving the USA but not getting back in as they don't have a passport.

I also note that the practicality of getting a passport might also be an issue if all of a sudden millions of people start to apply for passports.


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