McDonalds Monopoly is back.  The chances of winner a prize are 1 in 4.  The chances of winning the big prizes are based on a few game pieces.  If you get of the following pieces you are a winner.  The rest of the pieces are easier to get.

  • Mediterranean Avenue (#461) - $25 McDonald’s® Card.
  • Vermont Avenue (#464) - $50 McDonald’s® Card.
  • Virginia Avenue (#468) - $20,000
  • Tennessee Avenue (#470) - $5,000 Walmart® Gift Card
  • Kentucky Avenue (#472) - 6-day, 5-night trip for two to any one Delta Vacations
  • Short Line (#486) - $5,000
  • Ventnor Avenue (#476) - $10,000
  • Pennsylvania Avenue (#480) - 2013 FIAT® 500 POP vehicle
  • Boardwalk (#482) - $100,000

The price of mailing a regular letter within Canada will rise 2 cents to 63 cents on Jan. 14.

Postage rate increases are supposed to keep with inflation based on the Canada's consumer price index.  However the postage rate increased have been more than the CPI for the past 12 years.  The cost of a mailing a letter in 2000 was 47 cents, in 2013 it will be 63 cents.  A 12 year increase of almost 37%.  Inflation for the same 12 year period according to the Bank of Canada has been 26%.

In the next 10 years that price of gas, Canada Post employee salaries, taxes will increase.

Buying and hoarding permanent P stamps, since they have the same value of a regular letter mail stamp, would have returned a 11% profit.

If you mail a lot of letter or packages it is time once again to stock up on Canada Post `P` stamps. 

Year Postage Increase
2000 $0.46 0.00%
2001 $0.47 2.17%
2002 $0.48 2.13%
2003 $0.49 2.08%
2005 $0.50 2.04%
2006 $0.51 2.00%
2007 $0.52 1.96%
2008 $0.52 0.00%
2009 $0.54 3.85%
2010 $0.57 5.56%
2011 $0.59 3.51%
2012 $0.61 3.39%
2013 $0.63 3.28%

The Globe and Mail at now requires readers who look at more than 10 articles a month to pay for their articles.  The introductory price is 99 cents for the first month.  Then you will have to pay the regular price of $19.99.

Online versions of Canadian newspapers only have a limited numbers of articles.  The paid print versions have more articles.  Online newspaper websites rely on advertising to generate revenue and are subsidized by their print versions.

If you do not want to sign up for the Globe and Mail online service there are a couple of ways to get around the paywall.  The Globe and Mail paywall uses cookies to track the number of articles you read per month.

The easiest and quickest way to to use private browsing.  You can also use the switching browsers, or blocking single site cookies methods.  All have been listed below.

Private Browsing


At the top of the Firefox window, click the Firefox button (Tools menu in Windows XP) and select Start Private Browsing.

Private Browsing Win1

Internet Explorer

To open an InPrivate Browsing window, you can either use the Ctrl+Shift+P shortcut key, or just use the Safety \ InPrivate Browsing item on the menu.
And you’ll immediately see a private browsing window, which will leave no traces of your browsing history.


Open an incognito window
  1. Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select New incognito window.
  3. A new window will open with the incognito icon incognito icon in the corner. You can continue browsing as normal in the other window.
You can also use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+Shift+N (Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS) and ⌘-Shift-N (Mac) to open an incognito window.

Switch Browsers

You get 10 articles per browser.  If you have Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer installed on your computer you can read 30 articles per month.

Block Cookies From The Globe and Mail

You don't necessarily way to block cookies from all websites.  Most websites store a lot of tracking information in cookies and though it might seem like a good idea to block all cookies doing so will only cause you more headaches.

You will have to enter all your usernames, passwords, security questions everytime you visit a website.  Some sites will not allow you to logon because they will assume that you a logging from a  public computer.

You want to block cookies from the Globe and Mail only.

First set Firefox to block cookies from one website:
  1. Go to the website you wish to block from setting cookies in Firefox.
  2. Right-click within the page and select View Page Info.
  3. In the Page Info window, select the Permissions panel.
  4. Underneath Set Cookies, remove the check mark from Use Default.
  5. Change the setting to Block. Blocking Cookies - Win1
  6. Close the Page Info window.
  7. Remove any cookies that the website has already set in Firefox.
Then To delete cookies for one site:
  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button (Tools menu in Windows XP) and then click Options
  2. Select the Privacy panel.
  3. Set Firefox will: to Use custom settings for history. Custom History Fx 5 - Win
  4. Click Show Cookies.... The Cookies window will appear. Deleting Cookies Fx 5 - Win1
  5. In the Search: field, type the name of the site whose cookies you want to remove. The cookies that match your search will be displayed.
  6. Select the cookie(s) in the list to remove and click Remove Cookie.

    • Select the first cookie and press Shift+End to select all the cookies in the list.
  7. Click Close to close the Cookies window.

 As part of the new federal budget the Government of Canada has decided to stop producing the one cent coin, more commonly known as the penny.  Business will be encourage to round up or down to the nearest 5 cents.

According to the federal government there will be no regulation forcing business to round down or up.  The government suggests that business round down $1.02 and less and round up $1.03 and up.  However the rounding will be left to the discretion of the individual business.  It would be safe to assume that most businesses will round up because it will help their bottom line.

The government of Canada expects to save $11 million a year by no longer producing the 1 cent coin.

What can you do to protect yourself from this new business practice:
  • Pay with a credit card or debit card.  There will be no rounding when paying with a card.  However make sure that the business does not have an extra charge for small credit or debit card transactions.  Some convenience stores charge a service fee for transactions less than $10.  Also make sure that your bank does not charge for debit card transactions.  You will also have to make sure that you never carry a balance on your credit card or will end up paying more in interest charges.
  • Carry a few pennies with you at all times.  35 billion pennies have been minted.  Even with the Mint's metal recovery program, there are billions of pennies in circulation.  If you have a hoard of pennies in jars now would be the time to put them to use.
  • Use American pennies.  Most businesses accept American coinage at par.  The United States mint will continue to produce the 1 cent coin and with the Canadian dollar being equal or worth more than the American dollar now would the time to use US coins.  This is perfectly legal as long as the business is willing to accept the coins.  Many South American countries do not produce their own coins and use US coins instead.  The US mint has produce over 400 billion pennies and most are in circulation because the US mint does not cull pennies out of circulation.
The cost of producing the penny is 1.6 cents per coin and eliminating the penny will save the government $11 million per year.  A study by one Canadian financial institution, Desjardins Group, estimates the economic costs of the penny for the private sector total $150-million annually. This includes counting, storing and transporting the coins.  That is $150 million that the private sector will not be putting back into the Canadian economy.

Expect the Royal Canadian Mint to increase it metal recovery program rate.  Even if 50% of the pennies in circulation were sent back to the mint and melted the copper content would net the mint over $700 million in profit. 

The Bank of Canada would also save money.  As more Canadian switch over to cash less transactions the Bank of Canada will no longer have to print and distribute as many banknotes.

However there will be in increase in the cost of goods as more consumers chose to use debit and credit cards.  Business pay an average of 50 cents per debit card transaction.  They also pay a 3% service charge to credit card companies on the total cost of a credit card transaction.  An increase in the use of credit and debit cards will cut into their bottom line and this will be passed on to the consumer eventually as an increase the cost of goods.