Crosscountry: Canada at a glance – October 2016

A retired Saskatchewan accountant is selling his house along with a collection of 130 vintage cars, while Internet protocol TV may save cable and satellite providers from losing all their customers.


Cars and clunkers

Retired accountant Len Schmidt, now 89, would like to sell his farm, 20 km outside Regina, and move to Saskatchewan’s capital city, reports But his property comes with a unique feature: a collection of about 130 vintage cars.

The collection boasts prize vehicles such as a 1917 Gray-Dort, a 1937 Packard, a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado and even a 1934 Packard fitted with wheels for train tracks — it was used as a railway inspection car. However, some models in the collection look more suited to a car dump, having accumulated rust in the field under rain and sun.

Schmidt didn’t just collect. He often bought and resold, on one occasion purchasing 14 cars, driving them back home with his three brothers, and reselling them all within a few weeks.


Time to cut the cord?


Over the past few years, online broadcasters such as Netflix have played the role of Terminator in the cable and satellite industries, causing tens of thousands of customers to give up their service. In the second quarter of 2016 alone, Rogers Communications lost 23,000 customers, while Quebecor subsidiary Vidéotron shed 39,400.

But a fix could be on the horizon, reports Montreal’s Le Devoir. It comes in the form of IP TV (or Internet protocol TV), which combines on-demand video and direct TV. Thanks mainly to IP TV, Telus was able to acquire 13,000 new customers, according to spokesperson Richard Gilhooley. Bell lost 33,154 satellite subscribers, but added 35,255 on the IP TV side, for a net gain of 2,101.

But decimation in the television industry is far from over, warns Convergence Research Group, predicting that 190,000 subscribers could still cut the cord this year and next.


More Canadian than ever

Canadians controlled a larger chunk of their economy in 2014 than at any other time in the previous 10 years, reports Business Vancouver, based on Statistics Canada figures.

Between 2005 and 2014, the share of foreign-controlled assets in the Canadian economy fluctuated between a high of 21.6% in 2007 and a low of 18.1% in 2014. Foreign-controlled profit moved from 28.7% in 2005 to a much more modest 20.1% in 2013 and 2014.

Manufacturing is one sector that bucked the trend somewhat. In 2014, foreign control of assets inched up to 49.6% from 48.9% in 2013.


What Canadian housing market?

For Sale

There is no such thing as a Canadian housing market, says columnist Wayne Karl of the Huffington Post. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a house. It simply means the housing market is not national — it is local.

Identifying a Canadian housing market is like saying that “traffic at one end of the country is the same as at the other,” writes Karl. In other words, the Vancouver market is still climbing, up by 32.6% year-over-year in July, but Calgary saw a 1.5% decrease in the same period.