The public will finally get to meet Er Shun and Da Mao on Saturday May 18. The two giant pandas arrived in Toronto from China in March to much fanfare. They have been quarantined at the Toronto Zoo, and have settled happily into their new habitat, with plenty of bamboo to munch and crunch.
The zoo is expecting a crowd, and has expanded its front entrance. They warn there may still be some delays.
Read more about the Giant Pandas at the Toronto Zoo.
Photo: Giant Panda
John W Banagan / Getty Images
Finally the weather's improving! As the Victoria Day long weekend approaches, what better time to start to explore Canada's parks. With 44 national parks and hundreds of provincial parks, it's not hard to find whatever you're looking for, whether it's wilderness, adventure, recreation, inspiration or just some peace. Most of Canada's national parks open their camp sites in the middle of May and the online reservation system is open now.
Photo: Dickson Falls in Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
Dale Wilson / Getty Images
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Word of Germany's surrender in World War II was met by celebrations across Canada in early May 1945, but in Halifax, Nova Scotia the VE-Day celebrations rapidly turned into riots. The Halifax VE-Day riots lasted for two days as military personnel and civilians roamed the streets, drinking, smashing windows, looting businesses and setting fires.More About Canadians in World War II
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It wasn't until May 2000 that Canada created the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to represent all Canadian service people who have no known grave. Of the 80,000 Canadians who died in World War I, almost 20,000 have no identifiable grave. Those who could be identified as Canadian have gravestones inscribed "A Canadian Soldier of the Great War - known unto God."Read More...
Prince Philip, who is Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Regiment, showed how seriously he takes his Royal duties when he flew into Toronto for a 24-hour visit on the weekend. The city was marking the 200th anniversary of the Battle of York. One of the highlights of the day was Prince Philip presenting new colours - a ceremonial flag which lists a regiment's victories and history and is a prized possession of the regiment - to the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment. About 350 members of the 3rd Battalion, which is based in Petawawa, Ontario, were in Toronto for the events. As well as the presentation of the colours, they put on a military skills demonstration and afterwards joined in the parade of more than 1500 soldiers and sailors from Queen's Park to the Fort York National Historic site, where the Battle of York was fought. Read more in Prince Philip Visits Toronto.
Photo: Prince Philip With Soldiers of Royal Canadian Regiment in Toronto
© Flickr user Jamie McCaffrey
There are quite a few different ways to pay what you owe on your income taxes. No matter how you pay, be sure to clearly identify the type of account (personal or business), your account number (either your social insurance number or business number), and the income tax year or time period to which you want the payment to apply.
If you file your taxes using a paper return, you can just attach a cheque to the front page of the return. Another simple way to pay the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is using your regular online banking or telephone banking service the same way you pay your other bills. The CRA also offers the My Payment service which uses Interac® Online, although you need to have an online account with one of four major banks, and your transaction must be under the daily or weekly withdrawal limit of your online banking account.Read More...
At the beginning of April, both members of parliament and senators got a pay raise. The salaries of Canadian members of parliament went up 1.6 percent. MPs now make a base salary of $160,200. Those who have extra responsibilities, like the Prime Minister, the Speaker, party leaders and committee chairmen, make extra, ranging from another $160,000 for the Prime Minister to an extra $5,700 for vice chairs of standing committees.
Senators also got a pay hike at the same time. The salaries of Canadian senators now have a base of $135,200. They too get additional compensation for extra duties.
It's the first raise in quite a while for both MPs and senators, since their salaries had been frozen at the 2009 level as an austerity measure.
If exceptional circumstances beyond your control result in you being charged tax penalties or interest by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), you might be able to get those charges reduced or cancelled. To get relief from tax penalties or interest you have to file an application request with the CRA. Types of exceptional circumstances that would be considered include disasters, such as a fire or flood, serious illness or accident, and mental distress, such as from the death of a family member. Penalties or interest caused by the CRA, like from long delays in an audit, are also considered. Serious financial hardship - to the extent of insolvency - is another circumstance the CRA looks at. You have to make your case and provide plenty of supporting documentation, but in some instances it might be worth it.
Photo: David Sacks / Getty Images
On April 2, 2013, the Governor of Florida Rick Scott signed a bill repealing the law that required all foreign drivers, including Canadians, to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) when driving in Florida.
Canadians can now go back to driving legally in Florida with their Canadian provincial drivers licences.
The Florida law on International Driving Permits went into effect January 1, 2013, but news didn't break about it until the middle of February. The law was intended to make it easier for Florida law enforcement personnel to deal with foreign drivers licences in other languages. With the initial outcry, especially loud from Canadians, Florida officials said they had not intended it to apply to Canadians, and said the state highway patrol would not enforce the law while it was being reviewed. That still left Canadian drivers vulnerable with other law enforcement officers, rental car companies, and their own insurance companies.
The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), which is the only organization that issues International Driving Permits in Canada, was extremely active in ensuring that the repeal process moved quickly.
Photo: Driving in Florida
Joe Raedle / Getty Images
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You are allowed to make changes for the last ten years. You can make changes to your most recent return and the previous two years online using the My Account Tax Service. For returns earlier than that you have to do it by mail. It usually takes about two weeks for changes made online to be processed, and eight weeks for those made by mail. It can take longer though, depending on the timing and the change requested.