By Staff | March 3, 2010 | Last updated on March 3, 2010
3 min read
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The number of personal bankruptcies skyrocketed in 2009. According to The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, 151,712 Canadians filed for personal bankruptcy or for a consumer proposal last year.

New federal bankruptcy rules increased the cost of filing for bankruptcy, causing a number of Canadians to file consumer proposals instead.

The sharp 31% increase is being attributed to reduced incomes during the recession and a significant increase in personal debt. The average Canadian now has $141 debt for every $100 of income that they earn, the highest level in Canadian history.

“Household debt in Canada is a ticking time bomb,” says Douglas Hoyes, a bankruptcy trustee with Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc. “Canadians with jobs have managed to service their high debt levels thanks to low interest rates, but that period of relative peace will end the moment interest rates start to rise later this year.”

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BMO survey: Canadians shying away from RRSPs

Only 38% of Canadians contributed to an RRSP before the March deadline, reports a BMO survey.

The main reason respondents gave for not making a contribution were cash flow issues and lack of available funds.

“Saving for retirement and working towards achieving long-term financial goals should always be a priority for Canadians,” said Serge Pépin, director, BMO Investments. “There will be times when money becomes harder to come by, but your retirement savings should not be the first area to suffer. When money is tight, Canadians simply need to find ways to get creative with their cash flow in order to continue saving for their future.”

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Desjardins launches retirement workshop

Desjardins Financial Security has created a workshop it hopes will assist pre-retirees in dealing with leaving the workforce.

“Destination Retirement” is a two-day program hosted by a Desjardins education advisor who is specifically trained in retirement planning and will teach attendees how to set their financial house in order and to handle the challenges associated with retirement.

The program can be presented on- or off-site, on weekdays or weekends and can also include spouses, if desired.

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IIAC backs BC budget

The Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) is applauding the budget tabled by the B.C. government yesterday.

The IIAC is throwing its support behind the government’s plan to arrive at a balanced budget within the next three years, reduce the corporate tax rate to 10%, eliminate the small business corporate rate by 2011 and harmonize the sales tax.

The IIAC also appreciates the promised support for the mining industry and backs the idea of a Canadian securities regulator for domestic capital markets.

The IIAC is commending B.C. for seeking an efficient single securities regulator with a decentralized structure.

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IIROC settles with Patrick Larkin Belland

Patrick Larkin Belland admitted last month to insider trading as a representative of the Montreal branch of Brockhouse & Cooper five years ago.

In a settlement with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) on Feb. 9, Belland admitted to using inside information in a securities transaction in his brokerage account around March 9, 2005.

As part of the settlement agreement, Belland has been fined $23,852,73, an amount calculated by IIROC to equal the profit earned on the transaction in question.

For more information on the IIROC’s decision in this case, go to

(03/02/10) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.