Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Northern Lights

Watch nature's own theater unfold above you as the most spectacular light show takes center stage: The northern lights with you in the front row.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wives can still work - Pilot Program extended till 2012

Operational Bulletin 146 -

June 28, 2010

Alberta Pilot Project for Spouses and Common-Law Partners of Long-Haul Truck Drivers

This pilot program has been extended until July 30th, 2012.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)

There is one subject that is often over looked when considering relocating to another country, and that is:

"What happens when i retire?"

Well the simple answer to this is "Research Before You Move".

It should be part of your "Big Immigration Plan" to find out about State pensions, investments and international agreements between certain countries with regards to the paying of State Pensions.

Now please don't think that this blog will give you all that information because it would be impossible to cover all different countries and personal circumstances, so think of this as a pointer to send you in the right direction.

There is one financial product i would like to tell you about though because as well as helping to provide for your financial well being in your senior years... it will also benefit you now.

The RRSP is basically a savings account that you can fill with chunks of money and also filter some of your monthly income into. This money is then invested by your bank or financial institution to gain interest. This is a long term investment plan and is designed to grow until you retire, if however you cash it in early or dip into it you will pay tax on it.

The choice is yours when it comes to the investment, you choose the level of risk you are prepared to take and the return is determined by that choice.

If you wish to play it safe then it will be invested in an option like the Guaranteed Income Certificate which will guarantee a particular interest rate over a period of time. The income generated from this type of investment is usually low end but the advantage is that it is guarranteed.

The other option would be to invest it in a Mutual Fund... this is where the mony is worked by a Fund Manager and it is invested in Financial instruments for example, Bonds, Gilts and the Stock Market. Again you get to choose the level of risk and the percentage of your fund that is staked.

If you wish to be a little conservative then your invest in the lower end of the scale wher only about a quarter of the fund is speculated and then only the safer Gilts, metals and Bonds, this is safer but gives a lower return. The other end of the scale is Aggressive Investing where most or all of the fund is invested within the Stock Market on more volatile instruments and therefore has the oportunity to bring in greater returns. Bear in mind that stocks can also go down as well as up so your investment could shrink as well as grow, which is why you have the choice of how much risk you are willing to take.

Now the short term advantage of RRSP's is that every dollar you invest in any financial year is deducted from your End Of Year gross income. When you file your tax return it will mean that you have over paid on income tax and will give you a larger refund.

Here is an example:

If you earn $65,000 and invest $10,000 in an RRSP, this takes your declared gross down to $55,000.

But through out the year you have paid tax on the $65,00 which means you have over paid, and therefore you get refunded.

Of course there are limits to what you can or cannot do so this is maybe something you can add to your Immigration Research To-Do List

... Or you could plan to be a 70 year old truck driver someday.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Radar Detectors, legal or illegal ?

I've been asked this many times by many North American Drivers working for many different companies, I've also heard of drivers getting tickets in many different ways.

Did you know for instance that cop cars both in USA and Canada have radar detector detectors and they run simultaneously with their speed detection systems which are left running most of the time, these systems are both front and rear facing.

Did you also know that some weigh stations have these same detector detectors and apparently they love finding trucks with detectors fitted because it gives them the opportunity to hit their favorite button ( the one that gives you a red light) and they can invite you in and see how neat your hand writing is on your logbook.

Did you know the fines for illegally using a radar detector can run into hundreds of dollars and put a lovely little write up on your abstract and company's Carrier Profile.

U.S. Federal law prohibits the use of radar detectors and laser jammers in commercial vehicles crossing state 

lines and weighing over 10,000 pounds. Radar detectors and laser jammers are also illegal to use on any U.S. military base. And guess what ? its the same in Canada.

Today's Top Tip: Do not use a radar speed detector in your commercial vehicle, you will get caught, you will get into trouble, and it will be expensive.

Anyway you shouldn't need one because you never speed in your truck, right?

Okay that's trucks taken care of, so what about cars ????

You can use a radar detector in any State in USA apart from Virginia and Washington DC. In Canada you can use a radar detector in BC, Alberta & Saskatchewan. Everywhere else in Canada it is illegal

Friday, August 14, 2009

*** Alberta Immigration News Flash ***


Click on the link above for ground breaking news for Temporary Foreign Workers.

In a nutshell there is a pilot scheme which opens on August 17th and will run for 12 months that entitles any spouse of a TFW Long Haul Truck Driver can get an open work permit on entry into Canada, this means your wife or partner can work for any company and will NOT need an LMO, i should imagine it will expire when the primary work permit expires...

And families already over here can get one too, its just a slightly different process.

This is huge news for families who have had to give up the luxury of 2 pay packets when they left Europe.

Any H&R families who need more info call Lyndon at the office or cell, or you can also call VRV direct.

Congratulations everyone !!!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Worker's Compensation Board

What is WCB?

The WBC or Worker’s Compensation Board, is a neutral body tasked with administering the Worker’s Compensation Act in all provinces.

What is the Worker’s Compensation Act?

The Worker’s Compensation Act is provincial legislation that regulates the Worker’s Compensation Board

Guiding Principles of the worker’s compensation system

No fault compensation
Workers are eligible to receive benefits for work-related injuries no matter who is at fault.
Collective Liability
All employers in covered industries share responsibility for funding the cost of workers’ compensation insurance
Immunity from Lawsuits
Participating employers and workers have immunity against lawsuits for work-related accidents by others who participate in the systems
Exclusive jurisdiction
The Workers’ Compensation Board has exclusive legal authority to make all decisions arising under the Worker’s Compensation Act
Fair Compensation and fair premiums
Compensation should be fair and take into account both the nature of the injury and the impact on employment earnings. Premiums should be fair and competitive and account for full-funding of claims, reserves, and the costs of administering the system. The workers’ compensation system is a liability and disability insurance system designed to protest both workers and employers against the impact of work-related injuries.
Benefit of doubt to worker
Adjudication decisions are made in favour of the injured worker where all evidence for and against is equally balanced.
Comprehensive injury prevention and disability management
The system provides a comprehensive range of services to both prevent and manage disabilities
Long-term stability, financial security and cost effectiveness
The system is structured and operated in ways that ensure its long-term stability and financial security as well as its overall cost-effectiveness.

When to report an injury

You should report your injury as quickly as possible after reporting to your employer. If your injury is not reported, WCB has no record of your claim. Your employer is required by law to report to WCB within 72 hours of acquiring knowledge that a work-related injury occurred.

Injuries that require reporting:
WCB covers work-related injuries or diseases that cause you to need medical aid or time away from work. These include:
- Injuries that cause (or are likely to cause) you to be off work beyond the day of injury
- Injuries that require modified work beyond the day of injury
- Injuries that require medical treatment beyond first aid
- Injuries that may results in a permanent disability

Injuries NOT considered work-related:
- pre-existing or underlying health problems (diabetes, arthritis, old sports injuries, etc)
- injuries that occur while routinely commuting to and from work
- Injuries arising from serious and willful misconduct
- Injuries that happen outside of work


- Use your claim number when your write letters or call WCB
- Follow the treatment plans developed by your health care providers
- Keep your appointments with your health care provider
- Talk to your physician about your progress so you understand when you can return to work
- Inform WCB of any changes in your medical recovery
- Talk to your employer regularly about your progress
- Tell WCB when your doctor tells you that you are fit to return to work. If you do return to work early, make sure you understand and follow any work restrictions so your re-employment is safe for both you and others.
- Advise WCB if you stop working or need to change your duties because of your injury
- Keep receipts for costs directly related to your workplace injury
- Advise WCB is you will be leaving the province or moving.


Ø Worker’s compensation benefits start the next working day after you are injured
Ø You should receive your first wage loss benefit payment from WCB within 14 days of WCB registering your new claim.
Ø You will be paid wage replacement benefits as long as medical evidence shows you are unable to return to work due to your injury
Ø Compensation benefits are not taxable. You must report your worker’s compensation benefits to the Canada Revenue Agency. WCB will send you a T5007 by the end of February
Ø Compensation benefits are protected from inflation. Long-term workers’ benefits are reviewed to determine if a cost of living increase should be applied
Ø If traveling out of province, you MUST get permission from your doctor and WCB to confirm your trip will not delay your recovery

WCB is available in all provinces and have different forms and regulations. Please ensure that you check the information if you are filing in another province. If you are injured in the U.S.A or even another province, you can still claim through Alberta.

Claim Management may vary from province to province. Please consult these websites or your WCB Coordinator if you have questions:

British Columbia





French: http://www.csst.qc.ca/portail/fr/
English: http://www.csst.qc.ca/portail/en/

H&R Transport Limited is proud to be active in the involvement of your claim management.
If you have any questions, concerns or need to report an injury, please contact
Sherri Wollenberg in Human Resources at 1-800-661-8044 or 403-328-2345

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Child Benefit In Canada

Immigrants to Canada can claim child benefit as soon as they become Permenant Residents although the paperwork can be a little daunting, once you have got your information together it will take you about an hour to fill in the forms on-line, print them off, stuff them into an envelope and post them off.

This is how i did it:

Went on the Canada Revenue website http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html
Applied for the online security codes to do it all online
Waited 2 weeks for the password to come through the post
Tried to do it all on line
Realised the principle applicant should be the mother (Doh!).
Swore and cursed a bit.
Luckily it gave links to the various forms so i filled in and printed off
photocopied Lukes passport and PR card
Stuffed it all into an Envelope and sent it to the Tax Office in Winterypeg.

Here is a checklist of all the forms you need including the one to have it paid straight into the bank.

T1-DD1 E (08)

RC66 E (09)

RC66 SCH E (09)

Apparently it is paid every 6 months, not sure excactly how much its worth, i think it should be about $700 per year........ we will wait & see.