Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd.

Steve Caswell

Steve Caswell


Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd.


Canada vs COVID19

(Published on - 3/7/2023 12:03:22 AM)

Holy Mackinaw!!!!

What a difference a week makes in the world these days.  Wow.  Wow. Wow.

I know everyone is missing their dose of weekly Hockey Night in Canada, so I figured I’d give you a game to “watch” while you’re doing your part by staying home.

Unfortunately, I’ve been told I have a “face for radio”, so I’m not quite ready to ruin your quarantining or scare the kids with my ugly mug.  With today’s current situation, I guess I’m going to have to get onto the Vlog program sooner or later.

Basically, this is a play-by-play of the big game.  Think of this as similar to how our grandparents would’ve had to read about last night’s game in the paper during their break or riding the streetcar to INCO on their way to work.  But remind yourself that their break at work was during overtime shifts underground or in the smelter producing massive amounts of nickel to support the war effort. 

Your war effort includes reclining your lazy boy, cracking a cold beer and enjoying the play-by-play read below.

As I know there are plenty of Leafs fans out there, we know these are only the “cases we know about” as some of you Leafs fans live in “self-isolation” hoping to avoid others find out.  Although I think it’s shameful to be a Leafs fan, I also have sympathy for you for the ongoing disappointment your team provides you.  You should consider “social distancing” yourself from this organization so you don’t continue to suffer and spread this to others.

Now that we’ve got that jab out of the way, we’ll use the familar Harry Neale and Bob Cole for the analysis and play-by-play.

Here we go…..


Neale – Ladies and Gentlemen.  Welcome to the biggest game of the year here in Canada!  This is a single game, winner takes all, versus the visiting COVID-19.  As you can see, the stands are empty, as the new way things are, but we’re here to bring you all the great action!  What do you think about tonight’s matchup, Bob?

Cole – Thanks Harry.  You’re right, this is the biggest game of the year for Team Canada.  COVID-19 has swept its way through Asia, basically dismantled any team it faced in Europe and is now on the North American leg of its tour.

From what we’ve seen from COVID-19’s play so far is they are elusive, they’re wiry, they seem to be able to be in multiple spots at once, trying to contain them has proven a major problem for all their opponents and they just continue to score with utter dominance.  Player wise, they’re not much different than the other skaters on the ice, but it seems their opponents' goalies can’t seem to stop the pucks.

Neale – Ya, they’ve been an impressive powerhouse, Bob.  So what does Canada have to do to beat this team?

Cole – As of late, Canada’s forwards have been awesome.  They’re grinding it out deep in the opposing team’s corners trying to win those battles.  The defense has been rock solid – holding the blueline and making sure the forwards and goalie are supported.

The problem with Canada is not unlike any other opponent COVID-19 has played recently – goaltending.  The goalie seems to be playing selfishly and, although says they want to win, seems to be playing like they just don’t care.

Neale – You’re right, Bob, opposing goaltenders have been making the COVID-19 team look better than they are.

Let’s go down to Sheila in the tunnel who has the coaches from both teams for a quick interview before we hit the ice.  Sheila?

Sheila – Thanks Harry.  I’m standing here with the COVID-19 coach, Novel Corona.  Coach Corona, what do you see as the game plan for this game tonight?

Corona – Hey Sheila, our game plan has been the same no matter who our opponent is.  We just keep pushing it down the ice as quickly as we can and wait for the other team’s goalie to blow it for them.  It’s worked every time so far.

Sheila – Seems simple enough, Coach Corona.  Good luck tonight.

Coach Corona – Thanks, Sheila, but we don’t need luck.

Sheila – Now we’ll move over to the Team Canada coach, Coach Trudeau.  Your opponents have been on a roll lately.  What’s the game plan for this winner takes all match?

Trudeau – Thanks Sheila.  Tonight is our most important game ever.  I’ve never seen our forwards so focused and ready to pour on the offense against COVID-19.  Our defense is tight and is ready to support our forwards out there while holding that blueline.  We just need to settle our goaltender down as they seem quite anxious and might be underestimating the importance of this game.

Sheila – Looks like you got your work cut out for you tonight, Coach Trudeau.  Good luck tonight.

Trudeau – Thanks Sheila, we’ll need it.

Sheila – Back to you, Harry!

Harry – Great work, Sheila.  What do you think, Bob?

Bob – Well, Harry, both coaches just reiterated everything we said.  This game is two powerhouses that will come down to the goaltending.

Harry – We’ll see soon enough, Bob.  Let’s cut away for a quick commercial break and drop the puck when we get back.  It’s going to be a great game, so don’t change that channel!


Tired of having to talk to your neighbour or co-workers?  Annoyed with hearing the nurse’s car who lives next door wake you up early for their shift on a Sunday morning?  Are you getting sick of visiting your grandparents in the long-term care facility? 

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Coronavirus can solve all these problems for you.  You don’t even have to take it directly to enjoy it’s benefits!  Coronavirus will provide mandatory lockdowns in your community so you won’t have to have those stupid chit-chats with your coworkers at the office!  Coronavirus will make sure you won’t have to hear that nurse’s car anymore while they’re working 24-hour round the clock shifts and can’t come home!  Coronavirus will wipe out plenty of the elderly in long-term care homes so you don’t have to visit them anymore! 

Coronavirus side effects may include mild to moderate headaches, cough or fever.  Other symptoms may include anxiety and/or depression due to ongoing isolation or the selfish panic buying and stockpiling of goods to make sure your neighbour deosn't have any.  Serious side effects may include overburdened health care systems, a state of Martial Law and mass deaths, including health care providers, your family and your neighbours.

Coronavirus is available for anyone!  In order to receive your free sample of Coronavirus, just simply ignore the advice of health officials but, even if you don’t get it, you can still enjoy all the same benefits along with your family, neighbours and community as long as only a few ignore that advice!

Coronavirus – ignore the officials and make selfish choices today!

(Theme music)

Neale – And we’re back, Bob.  The teams look ready and the puck is about to drop.  Here we go!

Cole – Canada’s center wins the draw over the winger.  Canada gets it in deep into COVID-19’s zone and begins to cycle.  COVID-19 steals behind their own net, but Canada’s forwards seem to be grinding them well down low…..

Neale – Bob, look at Canada’s goalie.  What are they doing?

Cole – Canada’s goalie is skating through the neutral zone and past COVID-19’s blueline.  This is bizarre, and now the goallie is even calling for the puck with their stick in the air.

Neale – But Canada doesn’t even have the puck, Bob!

Cole – That’s what takes it from bizarre to just plain stupid, Harry.  COVID-19 gets free behind their own net, fires a shot the length of the ice and it trickles across the goal line.  COVID-19 SHOOTS, IT SCORES!!!!

Neale – Wow, Bob, with so much riding on this game, what was the goalie thinking?

Cole – Harry, all I can think is that the goalie didn’t think COVID-19 could score from there.

And here we go again.  Puck is dropped and Canada again wins the draw.  The forwards get it deep, cycling it with blue line and they get a good shot on net.  Puck rebounds into the corner and is picked up by COVID-19 who it takes it behind their net…..

Neale – Bob, look at this.  What is happening?

Cole – Canada’s goalie has skated to Canada's bench and is having a beer and high-fiving with the backup goalie.  In the other end, COVID-19 has seen this and fires it down the ice.  COVID-19 SHOOTS, IT SCORES!!!!!

Neale – Seriously, Bob, I hate to swear on the air, but what the hell is going on with Canada’s goalie?

Cole – I’m not sure, Harry.  You can see how frustrated the forwards and defence are getting with the goalie’s behaviour, but they’re too nice to get angry with him.  All the hard work they’re putting in to have it all unravel due to the goalie acting like an idiot must be so frustrating.

Neale – Agreed, Bob.  They’ve lined up again center.  Canada’s only down 2-0 and still lots of game left.

Cole - They drop the puck and Canada, again, takes control.  The break-in is flawless and they’re applying a lot of pressure on COVID-19 deep in their own zone.  Canada cycles down low and gets a quality shot off from the high slot.  COVID-19 gets the rebound, turns and fires it down the ice.

Neale – Bob, where the hell is Canada’s goalie?

Cole – COVID-19’s shot crosses the goal line.  COVID-19 SHOOTS, IT SCORES!!!!

Neale – Bob, we just received an Instagram post of Canada’s goalie standing in a jam packed checkout line with 10 packs of toilet paper!  What are they doing?

Cole – I don’t know what’s going on, Harry.  But, with Canada now down 3-0, we’ve hit the end of the first period.

Neale – Well, that is not the start Team Canada wanted.  After all the hard work by the forwards and defence, COVID-19 was still able to score three easy, basically uncontested, goals.  What happened, Bob?

Cole – Pretty simple, Harry.  As we saw leading up to this game, Team Canada’s goalie isn’t playing seriously or with passion.  It doesn’t seem to understand the magnitude of this game.

Neale – During this intermission, Bob, let’s take a look at Team Canada’s lineup.

Cole – Well, Harry, let’s start with Team Canada’s forwards.  These are an exceptional crew of hard workers.  The forward core is made up of all of Canada’s doctors, nurses, scientists, public health officials and governments.  This crew has really shown up ready to perform.  There’s no quit with this forward crew.

Neale – What about the defence, Bob?  See any issues there?

Cole – Quite the contrary, Harry.  Team Canada’s defensive core is as rock solid as it gets.  Canada’s backstop is made of all the truck drivers, suppliers, grocery store employees, pharmacists, farmers and everyone else that is essential to keep the country moving at this time.  Like the forwards, they’re simply “no quit” and doing everything they can support the goaltender.

Neale – I agree, Bob.  So let’s look at the issue – Team Canada’s goaltending.

Cole – Well, Bob, Team Canada’s goaltender is the people reading this and the rest of the people in Canada.  As we’ve mentioned, the goaltender is having difficulty understanding the importance of this game.  The goaltender is being selfish and really letting the team down on all fronts here.

Neale – I’m guessing it won’t be long until Coach Trudeau stops his polite treatment of this goaltender and really lays down the law that he won’t be happy with.  What do you think, Bob?

Cole – You’re right, Harry.  The goalie is not going to like the thrashing he’s going to take from the coach.  But anyone can see, if the goalie keeps acting like this, Coach Trudeau will have no choice.

It’s really surprising actually, Harry.  The goalie has one job – stay in the crease, protect the net and stop the easy ones.  All it has to do is let the forwards do their work trying to inflict some offensive damage on COVID-19 without letting these easy goals pile up to a point where they can’t get back into the game.  It’s pretty simple, but the goalie just doesn’t seem to get it.

Neale – No kidding, Bob.  I’m sure he’ll get it the hard way when there’s 10,000 goals past him and Coach Trudeau brings down the hammer on him.

Will be back for the second period after this brief message……


Hey readers – get it yet?

There is still lots of game left and we still have a chance to win this one if the forwards and defence can count on their goalie to do their job.

We ARE the goalie and the "net" is our home.

Unprecedented moments like this require unprecedented blog language to get it through to you:

Do your part and stay in the fuckin net!

Amanda, Michelle and I made an announcement earlier this week that we have temporary halted all in-person real estate activities to protect our clients, our families and our community.  I have been in contact directly with out board asking them to make this a board-wide initiative.  It takes a great amount of courage to be some of the first to step up and do the right thing in these unprecedented times.  Whether others decide to follow suit is their own decision, but we’ve chosen to do the responsible thing and we’re proud to do our part for the community.

But we are still here and we can do almost anything from a distance for you.  Whether you need advice on your personal housing situation, or you still need to buy or sell, we can do it all and ensure you’re protected all the way through.  We’re also here to make a coffee and chat any time if you just need some Facetime during the isolation we all should be doing by now.

Never hesitate to reach out to us at for anything you need.  We’re here to help in any way we can.  If you want to burn some time in isolation, you can check out all the MLS™ listings here, search for that camp you’ve always wanted here, check out all our other great blog topics full of tons of tips and advice for you to do during your time at home or just check out our website for tons of great info on buying or selling in Greater Sudbury.

And make sure to like and follow our Facebook page for ongoing updates and new blog posts!

Stay healthy and stay home.

Contributed by:

Steve Caswell

Cell - 705.561.8767


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at

We're All Doomed!

(Published on - 3/7/2023 12:02:58 AM)

COVID-19 is upon on us and, yes, we’re doomed. 

But why we are doomed is the problem.  And it isn’t the Coronavirus.

As of this writing, we have one confirmed case in Sudbury.  One.  Out of 155K-ish people.  One.  Of course, it’s still one and one is too many.  We don’t want anyone we know to get it; we want to be cautious; we want those that get it to recover fully and quickly and we want to make sure the most vulnerable in society are protected.

That being said, do you know what 1 divided by 155,000 looks like?  This:  6.451612903225806e-6.  Not even the calculator thinks it’s worthy of supplying a real number.  Why?  Because a standard calculator doesn’t have a large enough display to show you just how low the percentage of people in Sudbury that have the virus are.  So, based on this percentage result, we’re not exactly doomed by this stat.

There are currently around 250 cases in Canada out of approximately 36,300,000 people.  Again, the calculator returns a result that says, “you know the number is too low to show you the whole thing”.  Percentage of people in Canada with the virus:  6.887052341597796e-6.

For those not as mathematically inclined, these are not 6.45% and 6.89% respectively.  Those numbers above reflect percentages that are so infinitesimally low that the calculator is basically saying, “why even bother asking me?”  So, science, which includes math, tells us that the risk still remains relatively low.

Sure, they say there is a chance that 30-70% Canadians might get this through “Community Spreading” – one of the wonderful new catch phrases that “smart” people in the crowd would have you believe they’ve been using for years.  But that also means there’s a 30-70% chance of Canadians not getting it.  So, let’s cut the fat above and call it a 50/50 chance of getting it.  What has further been announced is that, for those who contract it, most will recover after two weeks with no issues.  Does this spell doom?  Well, I highly disagree with calling flipping a coin, getting it wrong and still being ok after two weeks of couch, soup and binging on Netflix, for the majority, a doomsday scenario.

Are we doomed cause of the near 30% drop in the stock markets?  Each person will look at this differently and I’m sure there are plenty out there with heavy stock portfolios that are having massive anxiety about what they just witnessed disappear.  As we said in our March monthly e-newsletter, this is one of those lessons about why you should diversify your portfolio and have hard assets in real estate to give yourself some balance to cushion blows like this. 

Regardless, the markets will recover in time.  As it’s been noted, unless you’re retired or retiring in the next six months, ignore the noise.  This is coming from financial experts.  We’re already witnessing a levelling off of the market correction as governments start announcing stimulus packages for the economy.  What the rational people out there should be doing is looking at refinancing their mortgage now or, even better, if you’re looking to buy in the near future, get pre-approved to lock in these low interest rates.  You could end up saving a nice chunk you can put back into your stock portfolio!

Like the real estate market, stock markets ebb and flow over time.  But the trend lines over time always show an increase for the most part.

So, if the stats say we should be alright and the markets seem to be stabilizing, why are we doomed?

Is it our health care system?  Is it our governments?  Flat out – the answer is no.

Our health care system is not as great as some people would lead you to believe.  It’s not “free” like some say, but somehow it is severely underfunded even though an abundance of tax dollars is thrown at it.  There is far too much wasted in our health care system on bureaucratic levels than what should be spent on front line staff.  But those front-line workers never give up, which saves face for our health care system.  They face challenges every day and I have no doubt they’re doing well in facing this one.

This situation is so new and unknown that there is currently no cure or vaccine for it…. YET.  We all know their will be as the top minds across the globe are collaborating to fix this.  And they will.  For now, they’re simply doing their best to keep the populace informed and make decisions erring on the side of caution.  But they have blatantly come out saying it’s as simple as washing your hands properly, thoroughly and often.

I think our health care system is doing, and will continue to do, a great job in handling this situation.  Sure, it’s rumoured it will get tougher before it gets better.  But we’re already seeing things easing up in China where they took similar measures at the onset of it.

So, our health care system, whether it’s the current state of or preparedness of, is not the reason we’re doomed.

As for governments, well, most of those who know me know my partisan leanings.  As we all know, politicos often behave like “adult children” when we witness them turning the House of Common’s Question Period into nothing but childish insults and unproductive one-line zingers that they think are brilliant.  As a side note for all politicians, your behaviour is not brilliant - you guys collectively look like idiots on all sides of the House and you should all start putting your nonsense childish behaviour in your pocket and start moving the country forward.  From the foot stomping to the virtue signaling to the east/west divide to the “click bait sound bite” lines these idiots throw out like some guy trying to be “cool” at the party, it's high time they should know we all think they look like absolute jackasses.  Once this is over, stop the theatrics and do what you’re paid handsomely to do – govern to help Canadians, not to stay in power, get into power or trying to look "cool" for the cameras while slandering your opponents.

But, isn’t it amazing how something like COVID-19 can make them all come together and play nice?  Even “the demon” Trump calling Sophie “a great lady” is something that probably wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t on the heels of this.  The parties have come together to sign off on USMCA (new NAFTA) in record time so it passes into Royal Assent as soon we’re clear of this to make sure the North American economies don’t sputter for long.  They’ve come together to sign off on emergency stimulus packages and are taking great steps to assure Canadians that help will happen.  All levels of government are making daily announcements and decisions based on the needs and protection of Canadians. 

There is no one-size fits all program here for any country, province, city, etc., worldwide.  I think now that the governments are actually working together, this can be viewed as a "reset" that will be one of the more promising times in our country’s history.  It’s like when there’s a family squabble that lasts decades, but then grandma passes away and, at the funeral, everyone realizes life is too short and make amends.  Sometimes tragedy and hard times bring people back together.  And, with governments operating cooperatively, for the first time in a long time, they are currently not what is going to doom us – large emphasis on currently here if they just go back to their childish nonsense ways after this.

So, if it’s not the usual governmental childish nonsense, if it’s not our health care system, if the stock markets will eventually recover and the stats say we should be fine, then why are we doomed?

We’re doomed because of a virus that is way worse than COVID-19.  I call it the HYSTERIA-20 and it’s being fed and inflamed to epic proportions by the media.

The media, for the most part, are a bunch of self-serving maniacs that do anything to get you to click on their headlines.  On normal days, they bend the truth to fit their partisan leanings, they suppress voices that disagree with their narrative, they de-contextualize anything they can to make it sound better or worse than it is and they do it all to sell ad space.  Reminder, this is normal behaviour for them on a good day. 

Ever notice those days when there are no global pandemics, no plane crashes, no Hollywood scandals or anything else exciting, they can find some blood thirsty headline from a remote town in Arkansas advertised as "Breaking News" that has basically zero bearing on anyone’s life in Canada that they're just using as click-bait? 

The media doesn’t report news anymore.  They exaggerate it to the cusp of fabrication, they dig deep into far reaches to find anything they can multiply in severity to grab your attention, they dig even deeper to find these so called “experts” (should read “person who agrees with my opinionated writing and the news outlet’s position on the story”) and they throw out anything they feel is going to get clicks without any real fact checking or confirmation.  Ever notice, before the online news world became prevalent, the paper’s retractions would be buried deep into the pages where readers normally wouldn’t get to them in the course of a standard bathroom break?

Yes, there are journalists with integrity out there, I’m sure.  But news is not what it used to be and should be – just straightforward reporting of the news.  Every story is lined with hidden opinions, agendas and political leaning.  But, the worst part, is anything that might be considered good news is buried deep into an article after all the catchy one-liners and “experts” they finally found that supported their narrative.

Take the current situation.  All these headlines of deaths, new cases of the virus, quarantines, the person stranded out of country, the family trapped in their home, etc. are all click bait being added at alarming rates.  Buried DEEP in these articles is the statement “the majority of people who get infected with COVID-19 have minor to moderate symptoms and fully recover”.  If the title of their article was “Majority Of People Will Be Fine”, they wouldn’t get any clicks and wouldn't sell any ad space.

But the media isn’t solely responsible for HYSTERIA-20.  So, then who else is at fault? 

It’s our own fault.  We’re stupid and clicking into all this noise.  We’re idiots steadfastly watching the tickers at the bottom of the screen on these news channels that haven’t said anything different in 20mins.  We’re like drooling dogs watching their food dish getting filled as we await the “new and exciting” tidbit of information that changes the basis of the entire scenario by a percentage of 6.451612903225806e-6.

Then we get on social media and regurgitate all these catch phrases like we’re part of the science team working on the cure.  We have to “self-isolate” and practice “social distancing” to “flatten the curve” out of “an abundance of caution” because of this “global pandemic”.  The media is feeding us this drivel and, unless you’re a scientist that’s been using these terms in the lab or at conferences, don’t start throwing these things around smugly like they've been part of your vocabulary for years.

Instead, the same connotation in a non-hysterical reaction, before these media catch phrases came out, would’ve read:

We have to “stay home” and practice “stay over there if you’re coughing” to “keep your shit away from me” out of “I got shit to do and can’t be sick” because of this “everyone’s sick stuff going around”. 

But it’s not just these catch phrases that are causing HYSTERIA-20 to spread faster than COVID-19 ever could’ve dreamed of, it’s the lack of emotional control of the readers and the population as a whole that is causing this widespread nonsense.

The message from the powers that be is “wash your hands”.  Wow – that is some seriously complex medical advice that seems pretty tough to understand without a Master's Degree.  Obviously there would be some confusion over the specific details of this medical advice that would require further explanation from a PhD….. (If you don’t see the sarcasm, you have more to be worried about than coronavirus).

Since when did people need 300 rolls of toilet paper to wash their hands?  Toilet paper, hand sanitizer and cleaning products were wiped off the shelves by this mass, ignorant chaos, yet there was still soap available.  What’s next for these idiots?  If we hear we’re going to have a gas shortage at the pumps, they’re going to run out and buy all toasters?  When we see boil water advisories, should those people run out and clear out the shelves of all the pillowcases they can find?  There’s only one thing to say about this – Mass Stupidity lead by Mass Hysteria.

This is why we’re doomed.  The initial people react to a misleading headline, widely spread and regurgitate misinformation by way of fancy catch phrases they use to make themselves sound important and then others follow blindly into the rabbit hole of pure emotional chaos.  Rampant, knee-jerk reactions based on zero (or less) proof or factual professional guidance.

To hear people getting into physical confrontations over toilet paper is disgusting.  Anyone trying to sell toilet paper rolls online for profit right now – you are a despicable human.  To be clearing out shelves in panicked, frenzied buying over the entirely wrong information shows how catastrophically inept the general population are to handle these situations.  And the media, those blowing up social media and those that behaved irrationally, can cumulatively wear the entire fault of HYSTERIA-20 and why we are ultimately doomed as a civilization.

Yes, this is a global issue, and everyone has a right to be concerned.  Yes, people will get infected, and we wish you a speedy recovery, but our thoughts are primarily with those that aren’t physically equipped to handle it.  Yes, it will continue to spread before it gets better and we should practice “staying home”, “stay over there with that cough” and washing our hands to limit the spread.  Yes, sadly, more people will likely die, families will mourn and have to regroup and that is horrible no matter what the circumstance.

But it’s important to get a grip on reality.  Stop inhaling everything the media tells you like it’s the cure for COVID-19.  Stop acting like the world is coming to an end with these irrational behaviours we’re seeing in stores.  Stop spreading your opinions and rumours on social media like they’re fact.  And stop regurgitating the catch phrase of the day as though you’re the authority people should listen to.

Instead, start listening to the powers that be – the governments, the scientists, the health care teams.  Start looking at federal, provincial and local government websites for up-to-date, non-bias or exaggerated info.  Start browsing local health unit and hospital websites for true information on what to do and when to do it.  Although they’re all still making it up as they go along, start trusting these people as they’re the smartest group at the table and the only ones you should taking direct advice from.

Now that everyone is hopefully realizing its time to settle down, why not take advantage of this self-isolation, um sorry, “staying home”?  This is a great opportunity to declutter the house, finish that book, review your financial risk levels, look into taking advantage of refinancing at lower mortgage rates, browse the MLS to find that camp you’ve been dreaming ofread all our other great blogs or just kick back, make some soup and a grill cheese and binge on Netflix. 

Most importantly, take some deep breaths knowing this will pass.  And when that time comes, it’s important to remember that your Greater Sudbury neighbours went through this along side you in their own homes.  This means we all probably saved a few bucks that the community is going to need to start moving quickly and reenergize.  Once things have cleared up, we’ve got to go out for dinner to support our local restaurant owners and their local suppliers.  We’ve got to buy tickets for the Wolves/Five games to help them finish their seasons and support our local performing artists.  We have to go buy that dress, new shoes, new golf clubs or new smartphone to support our local business owners and their staff.  We have to get our oil changed and get our winter tires off to support our local mechanics and dealerships.  We’ll have to spur the economy back into action to help each other pay the bills and get back on our feet.

Besides, we all know a ton of you have extra money that you won’t have to spend on toilet paper for quite a while.  Maybe you should even go give a couple of rolls to your neighbour as a reminder that we’re all in this together.

This a very unusual time and we're here to guide you through your real estate needs.  If you feel a pinch may be coming, this is the right time to get out in front of it and consider downsizing.  Or, as mentioned, you may want to explore taking advantage of the low interest rates to refinance, upgrade or purchase that investment property or camp you've always wanted.  Never hesitate to reach out to us at as we all have plenty of time to figure out a game plan while we're trying to ride this out at home.  If you need to burn some time in isolation, you can check out all the MLS™ listings here, access all our great blog topics here or browse our site for great info on buying and selling in Greater Sudbury and surrounding areas.

We will get through this blip on the radar and we'll get through it together.

Contributed by:

Steve Caswell

Cell - 705.561.8767


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at

Compounded Into The Ground

(Published on - 3/6/2023 11:55:55 PM)

Compounding interest is a great thing.  The more you save, the more interest you make.  In essence, you make interest profits on the interest profits.  It is a fantastic asset and the Time Value of Money can be a wonderful thing when it’s in a positive direction.

But compounding works both ways.  And it seems that no one, at any level of government, public utility, public services or boards that make rate decisions, get it.  It’s as though every decision that is made is done with complete horse blinders on.

I’m going to use some examples here.  But, before anyone gets in too big of an uproar and “offended” by these comments, note that every level and party of government is represented in these examples.  You can cherry pick what you like to form your own narrative if you'd like.  But this commentary is meant to be a show of support for the property owners and taxpayers out there to show how all these rate decision makers work in unison, either knowingly or unknowlingly, to bury us by way of "death by a thousand increases".

To be honest, I don't envy those in these positions.  They are tough choices to make.  Unfortunately, instead of looking in the mirror as to where the problems lie and making the truly tough choices about skyrocketing government and public spending at unsustainable levels, they simply take the easy way out by assuming the taxpayer always has that little bit more for another "insignificant" increase.

Let’s start by looking at Greater Sudbury property taxes this year.  After all the dog and pony shows of foot stomping and “trying to do what’s best for the taxpayer”, they approved an increase of 4.8% for 2020.  On their pretty mailouts and online information, they use a house valued at $230,000 that would now owe an additional $12 per month.  Notice how they soften the blow by breaking it down to a month instead of telling you it’s an additional $144 for the year.  Remember – this is “in addition” to what you paid last year which includes the “compounded increases” from the previous years before that – so you’re paying 4.8% on last year’s 3.6% increase…..

Here’s the problem with their presentation - the average sale price for 2019, according to our MLS™ statistics, was slightly above $290K for residential properties.  So, they use a property value that’s more than 20% lower than the average property sold last year to help with their sales pitch.  More realistically, a homeowner will see an increase closer to $200 for the year.

But they’re not done yet.  They also added on a 4.8% increase to our Water/Wastewater bills.  On their claims online, they state that the “average property owner spent $1277.41 for Water/Wastewater.”  How does that $106.45 a month compare to your bills?  Does this sound right?  I think this is another case of a “skewed average” to throw some polish on their pile.

Let’s be realistic, an average family of four in a house is probably closer to $150 a month at least.  So, they’re adding another $86 a year to your bill.

Current standing, with just the property tax and wastewater increases, is only $286 a year for the average house.  To most, that wouldn’t seem like much – “Meh, another $24 a month isn’t worth the fight” is how they present it to you and they allow our own complacency in letting them get away with it year after year win us over.  But this is just the beginning of how we get compounded into the ground.

Heading over to the provincial issues, but still keeping with the Greater Sudbury theme, Greater Sudbury Utilities has requested an increase that they claim will add $6.50 a month to your bills.   I guess this is because our hydro bills aren’t high enough already and haven’t increased drastically over the last 10-15 years.  This is a provincial issue as the Ontario Energy Board approves the increases.  And they do it without a care in the world about the taxpayers and homeowners by completely ignoring the tax and wastewater increases you’re also getting hit with.

So, we know the rate increase will be approved.  And, because I couldn’t find an actual article that stated what the percentage increase they were asking for, let’s take what they consider the “typical customer” value they’ve mentioned at face value - although I'm sure it's a fictional average based on padding the stats to sell it.  Add another $78 to your total this year, and that’s on top of their past increases.

So, we’re sitting at $364 for your taxes, water and hydro bills.

If you hope to get around somehow, we know the new GOVA upgrades cost money and, in turn, they had to increase the rates to cover the new paint.  But this is a local issue.  If you own a vehicle, however, the Ontario Government has just approved rate increases for auto insurance.  Some of the increases per company are substantial, but they say the average is going to be close to 2%.  I’ll believe that when I get my renewal invoice.

Currently, the average cost of vehicle insurance in Ontario is $1505 per year – second highest in Canada next to BC.  With a 2% increase, we’re looking at $30 more.  Doesn’t sound like much, but this is a compounded increase as auto insurance in Ontario has been on a steady run of annual increases.  So, you’re paying 2% more this year on top of the 2.7% in 2019 on top of the increase in 2018 and so on…… And I highly doubt there won't be an increase in premium for you property insurance as well.

With the auto insurance increase, which would probably reflect the increase in public transit rates as well, we’re now at $394 for the year total.  But whether you use public transit or own your own vehicle, we’re still primarily tied to the oil at the pumps.

Sudbury’s gas prices are bizarre.  Sure, we all believe that there’s some form of price fixing happening, but we just gripe and groan, get fed some nonsense from the politicians to keep us in check and then pull up to the pump to complain again.  Repeat the cycle. 

We’re limited on choice.  But oil is an amazing commodity.  Very few items in this world can increase in value when the raw product increases in value AND also increase in value when the raw product plummets in value!  Amazing stuff!  How we’re paying the same for a commodity when it was over $100 USD a barrel and now sits just north of $50 USD a barrel defies all logic.  But the powers that be can rarely be accused of being logical.

So, in today’s state of “Climate Emergencies” (I use quotes as this definitely warrants further discussion, but not in this forum), we have added on the infamous Carbon Tax.  The magical tax that returns more of your money than you spend.  Seriously?  Anyone who believes that simply boggles my mind.

They added four cents a liter to gas at the pumps and increased our heating costs by way of the Carbon Tax.  And this will rise annually.  They state the average family of four will get back more ($307) than they spend ($240).  Even if I believe this may cover the four cents at the pump and the additional tax on the heating bill – which I do not – there are major parts of the equation they aren’t telling you.

This is where things really start to get interesting.  You know that grocery store where you get your veggies from?  Those came from a farm, on a truck, through a wholesaler/distributor and placed on the shelves in the store that all require heat, hydro, wastewater, property taxes, insurance and gas to get it to your cloth bags.  The same applies to your favourite restaurant, where you work out, where you buy your clothes, where you pick up your kids at daycare, where you….. you get the point.  These increases aren’t just happening to you and me, they are across the board.

No business could possibly be successful if they simply absorbed these costs year after year and didn’t pass them down to the consumer.  As we’ve seen, groceries have increased, restaurant prices have increased, clothing prices have increased, daycare costs have increased….. again, you get the point.  Absolutely everything has increased in price.

When you factor in all those little increases to every single thing we have to pay for in our daily lives, there is no way the Carbon Tax credit even comes remotely close to covering the actual full cost to you across the board.

Now for the real beauty, how about HST on almost all of it.  No, not the full HST on home heating or property taxes, but the HST is now applied to all of those increased prices.  Even better, you actually pay HST on the Carbon Tax and other buried taxes also have HST added to them.  The ole’ tax on a tax shell game politicos love! 

Think about this.  Let’s say the number above only jumped to $500 for the year when you factor everything in.  That’s way too low, but we’ll just use that number for simplicity.  That is actually $565 when you include HST.  Now, next year these increases all stand about the same where you’re paying increases on this year’s increases and HST on the other tax increases cause of the cost of increases.  Confused yet?  That’s what they want.  Smoke and mirrors, while they make everything seem so inconsequential with their "only a few extra dollars per month" presentations.

How about we hypothetically stick with $565 as the increase in 2020.  Let’s call it 5% of your annual budget on these items.  Next year, the increase is $594.  In 2022, sticking with the same math, $623.  And 2023, it’s $655.  2024 - $687.  And, at the end of five years of increases in 2025, you’re now at $721.

In five years, you’ve paid almost $4000 in compounded increases.  And I guarantee you this is way too low.  I further guarantee there will either be no increase or, worse, a severe decrease in services.  Which reminds me that I haven’t even touched on service fees that have all gone up or been introduced, including just trying to put out your garbage (which used to be covered by property taxes) or the new Kivi Park entry fee, for instance.

They say Canadians overall owe $1.70 for every dollar we make.  Some reports even show that over 50% of Canadians are one missed paycheque from insolvency.  Scary.  Yet, the governments have you convinced they’re our saviors, when, in fact, they are a huge part of the problem.

Instead of looking for ways to decrease spending and unbridled government debt, they put absurd Stress Tests on mortgages to stop people from borrowing.  In actuality, they’re stopping people from ever owning a home.  They play with interest rates to try and stop inflation.  Yet their own compounding is causing the inflation.  They give other countries money and corporations big bailouts.  Think us lowly taxpayers will ever see the billions in handouts given to Bombardier now that they’ve sold their rail division for $8.2B and gave away their C-Series airplane rights to Airbus for $1?  Think the millions of dollars sent abroad are going to stop the Chinese from building coal burning power plants? 

Then the politicians give themselves and the public service ongoing increases to cover all the self-induced inflation costs which, in turn, increases the taxes necessary to collect to cover the increased costs.  Which, in turn, compounds more onto everyone to pay more.  Which, in turn, causes your favourite restaurant and grocer to increase their costs to cover these increases.  Which, in turn, causes inflation and more compounding onto the backs of taxpayers.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.

It’s like a football pile-on and the taxpayer is at the bottom.  We have five players on top of us in the pile.  Currently, we’re getting squished under about 1500 pounds, but we can still survive it.  But if all five of those players gain 5% more weight per minute, how much longer will we survive?  What if a sixth and seventh player jump on the pile?

After five minutes, those five players weigh over 2000 pounds and we’ve been compounded into the ground.

If you're finding your home ownership expenses are moving into a troubling state, don't hesitate to reach out to us to see how we can help.  The time to make adjustments is before you're compounded into submission.  Contact us at to discuss possible options of alleviating these issues.  For now, you can always search MLS™ listings herebe sure to check out all our other great blog topics or just browse our site for tons of great info on buying and selling in Greater Sudbury and surrounding areas.

Contributed by:

Steve Caswell

Cell - 705.561.8767


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at

Half a Million Dollars Left Sudbury

(Published on - 3/6/2023 11:55:24 PM)

Half a million dollars.  $500,000.  A gigantic amount of money.  Gone, never to return…..

As 2019 came to a close, our stats report half a million dollars walked out the door in Sudbury.  Was this a misfire by city council?  Was this a bad bet lost?  Was this a scam?

No, this was by consumer choice.

Sudbury, in effect, has a small-town mindset.  The sense of community pride and “support your neighbours” is heavily embedded in our city.  We often see people shaking their fists at the “big box stores” or “greedy corporations” that take our money for profit.  We want the money to stay in Sudbury and support the “little guy”.

Yet, some buyers and sellers in the Sudbury market decided that “shopping local” didn’t fit their needs.  They opted to use an out-of-town agent and brokerage to buy or list their property – more than likely as an effort to save a few pennies from these online discount options (which, in most cases, they don’t – that’s a story for another day).  So, we want to support local business, but not when it affects our wallet….

Half a million dollars.  Think of the size of that.  If those people used our great, local Sudbury Realtors®, not only would they probably have had an easier time and maximized their own finances with their buy or sell, that money would’ve also stayed in Sudbury.  That money would’ve gone to support local restaurants.  That money would’ve gone to support local charities that are important to our community.  That money would’ve gone to sponsor local youth sports.  That money would’ve gone to local businesses we rely on for our marketing, technology and our business needs.  That money would’ve gone back into the community to support the other “little guys”.

Instead of staying in Sudbury and supporting local businesses, that $500,000.00 went elsewhere.  It sponsored a kid your kid is playing against in the tournament next weekend in Toronto.  It went to a restaurant owner that you’ve never heard of.  It went to a Northern Ontario competitor of our local business owners.  And, chances are, it won’t ever return.

Think of this, take $20 and put it in your front pocket.  Now move it to the other front pocket.  Now move it to one of your back pockets.  Now move it to your other back pocket.  Now move it back to the starting front pocket.  Your pants are Sudbury and the pockets are your friends, family and neighbours' businesses.  That money moved from business to business to business, but never left town and helped four “pockets” in the process.  Now take that $20, place it on the roof of your car, go for a drive and, when you stop, check your pockets….

We, as Realtors®, are all individual small business owners.  Our career is our own small business and it’s local.  Sure, we can act on behalf of clients to buy or sell real estate anywhere in Ontario, but why would we when every other city, town and area of the province has their own self-employed, hard working Realtors® that know their own area better than we ever will.

Next time you hear of someone telling you how much money they saved, or are considering saving, by biting on some ultra-low, minimal service, online commission deal, think about the impact that “savings” is having to your local community.  You never know, telling them to use a local Realtor® and shop local instead might end up putting money back in everyone’s pockets you know, love and support.

We are Sudburians through and through.  We're embedded into the local community, know the market and now how to get it done the right way.  Before you consider sending your money out of town, contact us at so we can show you that you probably won't actually be saving anything and it will have a negative impact on your community.  If you're just browsing, be sure to check out all our other great blog topics hereyou can search all the MLS™ listings here or just browse are website for great information on buying and selling in Greater Sudbury and surrounding areas.

Contributed by:

Steve Caswell

Cell - 705.561.8767


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at

Doing The Bare Minimum Never Gets Lucky

(Published on - 3/6/2023 11:54:44 PM)

I remember back from my bartending days where one of the “regulars” used to consistently throw out a pretty funny line - “no one has more fun than people!” 

And we all know plenty of people that really work hard at having fun – making sure they attend every event (whether invited or not), they stock up on extra supplies so they don’t run out of “party”, never a minute late for the fun stuff and they work extra hard to cater to everyone making sure everyone is happy and enjoying the fun times.  They’re passionate about having fun!

Then there are those that simply “go with the flow” during the party times – they don’t organize anything, they stick to the basics that they know, don’t do any hosting, never venture too far out of their comfort zone and they make sure they have fun the easy way.

And when it comes to work, there is no difference with how people are.  We all know people that do just enough to get by - they get things done in a mediocre fashion, wouldn’t even think of working one minute past clock out time and give in their “C-grade work” a day or two after the deadline as they left it to the last minute and rushed it to completion.

Then there are the workhorses who grind it hard to make it that extra mile, always looking at ways to better themselves, trying new things to advance their position, always reaching up the ladder for that next promotion or taking big risks on the next business venture.

I would hazard a guess that the majority of people are a hybrid of these two models.  They either play hard and work the bare minimum, sometimes even allowing daily domestic responsibilities to also slip, or they work hard and keep the fun to the basics or they're just half effort on both fronts. 

But I also find there are quite a few of those that fit into both “basics” categories.  Shut off their computer at 4:27pm at the end of the workday, skipping out on the last three minutes of duty, and then off to the bar for one or two to meet the colleagues and then grab some takeout for home to lay on the couch watching Netflix.  The next morning, showing up a minute or two late after skipping breakfast and hitting the repeat button for the day again.  Sure, it’s a simple life, but this group often wonders why everyone else is successful.

Then there are the very limited few that can do it all and do all of it well.  They can orchestrate the fun times while still navigating the workload with complete thoroughness and precision.  They stay at the bar for an extra couple after work, engaged in stimulating conversation.  They get home and make a good dinner while finalizing any outstanding work commitments, complete the household tasks and prepare for tomorrow before hitting the bed.  They wake up and get the majority of the multitude of tedious day-to-day tasks, that being an adult brings our way, before the sun even rises and then put in the hours it takes, however many that may be, to make today a success.  They work hard and play hard.  They work to succeed, and rarely do they ever think “I’ve done enough”.  Seldom is anything they do good enough for this breed of animal while they strive to accomplish bigger and greater things.

A great visual would be to think of juggling.  If there was someone standing in front of you throwing one ball in the air and catching it with the same hand, holding a second ball in the other hand and had third ball in their pocket, how impressed would you be?  Would you consider them as someone who has really worked hard at excelling at their craft?

Now, if another juggler was on a unicycle on a sheet of ice with a ring a fire around them and juggling three chainsaws running at full speed, would that catch your attention a little more?  Might that be a little more exceptional if you were looking for a pro?

Ironically, when you think about it, both of those examples started the exact same way – throwing one ball in the air and then trying to introduce a second.  One just worked way harder to get to that extraordinary level, while the other one wonders why they aren't as successful.

Being self-employed Realtors® forces us into being in that extraordinary category.  We have no choice, or we don’t make it.  Sure, like all industries, there are some that will do the bare minimum, but they’ll struggle as their own boss and, at career’s end, ultimately look back knowing they could’ve done way better.  Having to be the entire company under one hat – from CEO to janitor, CFO to bookkeeper, Director of Sales to admin– requires us to always have our foot on the gas.  On top of that, we also have to be the face of our own company outside the walls - marketing division, community outreach and lobbyist for new clients. 

We don’t do one job – we wear all the titles.  We can’t sit idle and wait for others to take care of things, we have to grind it hard to it get done ourselves.  We can’t sleep in and hope the phone will ring, we’ve got to get up early and start making the calls.  We can’t show up unprepared and hope the other Realtor® doesn’t beat us for that new listing.  We can’t do the bare minimum and expect success.

What you see in the field from a Realtor® is only a small portion of what it takes to be successful.  Showing houses, dealing with offers and navigating through the buy and sell process is a fraction of what has to be done.  There are “great agents” out there who seem to sell a lot, but the backend operations are sometimes a house of cards.  If the winds of change blow through the market, things can go south in hurry for those that don't take care of the nest. 

We always have to be working hard to attract more business, we’re always attentive to our past/current/future clients’ needs and we have to maintain the entire backend of the business.  All the while, still ensuring the typical daily domestic responsibilities are taken care of – kids’ lunches, maintaining the home, Dr/vet appointments, family budgeting, getting the cars fixed, etc.  And we have to do it all on nothing remotely close to a fixed schedule.

But the most important thing we can’t do is make excuses.  As a self-employed individual, there is only one boss you have to answer to every morning and it’s the one in the mirror.  Doing the bare minimum and making excuses only to have to stare at yourself in the face is a recipe for failure for any self-employed person.  Fooling yourself into thinking you’re working hard only leaves behind one fool. 

Every day, we have maintain good habits, stick to a well-prepared game plan, stay flexible for the surprises and still go the extra mile to make that boss in the mirror proud of our achievements.  Resting on yesterday’s achievements is not an option.

We all thought we could’ve been a pro-athlete, a world-renowned scientist or lead the symphony.  And some fulfilled those dreams while others came up short.  Why did it happen for them?  Were they just luckier?  No.  They were never satisfied with the bare minimum and worked as hard as they could to make their dreams come true. 

When I coached hockey at Lo-Ellen Park S.S., I used to always tell the boys, “the harder you work, the luckier you get.”  Or there’s another great saying, “hard work puts you where luck can find you.”  No one has ever said, “do as little as possible and just hope you get lucky”…..

Without a doubt, I wanted to be a pro-athlete as a kid and teenager.  And plenty of my friends made it.  I used to say to myself, “I’m just as good as them, if not better”.  But I was only comparing my game time performance against theirs.  I was a good player, but I was completely missing the work ethic required outside of game time to stay a step ahead of the field.  I was nowhere near the level of commitment behind the scenes that they were putting in and the outcome is easy to see now.  While I was impressing everyone with my party skills, they were surpassing me by working harder and grinding out that extra mile to make it. 

When I decided to become a Realtor®, I looked back on “what could’ve been” from my visions of my pro-athlete lifestyle hopes and quickly realized that my bare minimum, "only show up for game time" approach, would never let me achieve my greatest success.

It’s always more fun to say, “that was worth it” or “I couldn’t possibly have done more” than it is to say, “if only I had worked a little harder yesterday”.

Doing the bare minimum rarely gets lucky, but hard work and good habits always seem to find good luck.

Our team works hard and never relies on luck to get things done.  If you'd rather have your major real estate investments handled through hard work and dedication instead of leaving the results up to lucky or not, we're here to help today be a success for you!  Never hesitate to reach out to us at to see how we can help.  You can also check out all our other great blog topics here and browse are website for tons of great info on buying or selling in Greater Sudbury and surrounding areas.

Contributed by:

Steve Caswell

Cell - 705.561.8767


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at


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