Calculate your Marginal Tax rate

I just found this neat income tax calculator if you want to get a rough idea of how much income tax you will have to pay this year, and how that compares to other provinces. Remember, this is just an estimate and doesn't take into account your deductions and other items.

Income Tax Calculator

Here is the difference between Quebec and Ontario at $60000 income (about $4000 a year).

Quebec Federal and Provincial Income Tax rateOntario Income Tax rate

New Road Laws in Quebec - Drivers be Aware!

These new Road Laws aren't a Gatineau thing, but I sure hope we see them enforced in the Gatineau community.

I know the traffic problems in Gatineau are bad, but using your cell phone while driving in bumper to bumper traffic is ridiculous, especially with the recent bad weather. Yesterday I was cut off TWICE on the 50 by people on cell phone. Come on, have some consideration for other drivers!

Here are the highlights:
1. All vehicles registered in the province must have winter tires on between Nov. 15 and April 15 beginning next year (Nov 2008).
2. The new law bans the use of hand-held cell phones by drivers beginning Jan. 1, 2008 (except hands-free)
3. New drivers must take a certified driver's education courses.

Also, Quebec Minister of Transportation Julie Boulet said a pilot program of installing photo radars and cameras at traffic lights in 15 communities would also begin next year. The move to lower the legal alcohol limit from 0.08 to 0.05 did not pass (STUPID!!) - I think it's time for ZERO alcohol tollerance. I f you do drink this holiday season, remeber the number for Nez Rouge is 819 771-AUTO (2886).

Happy Holidays!

Gatineau Budget 2008

Property Tax increase: 1.9% plus 0.5% to continue implementing the fire safety cover plan (2.4% total)

Gatineau Budget RevenuesGatineau Budget Expenditures

Is Common Courtesy lost in Gatineau?

On Saturday December 8, 2007 I was enjoying lunch when I was interrupted by a backhoe scraping snow off my lawn. I went to take a look at when was going on to find a contractor crew digging a large hole in my front yard.

I understand that construction has to happen, and I know that technically the city claims an easement of the first 6 feet of property from the curb. However, this does not negate common courtesy. I feel it is the duty of work crews to inform property owner prior to destroying their property, and provide them with contact information BEFORE they begin such work.

I will have to live with a large unsightly hole in my front yard for the remainder of the winter, and I can only hope that come spring I can even contact the contractors to come make the proper repairs. This is not the first such incident. In June of this year, my entire side yard was destroyed by construction and it took 3 months, 8 phone calls and a threat of legal action to get it repaired (this incident was recorded in a previous blog post).

I will be contacting the City of Gatineau on Monday about today's incident, and will post their reply in this space.

UPDATE Dec.11 - I have finally received a message from the Gas company (Gazifiere). The Gazifiere rep actually told me that this "happens all the time". Also, he would not commit to when they will come make the grass repairs, saying that I can call them the first week of June and they will have a schedule for repairs by then.

I have informed them that this is unacceptable, and I am demanding a firm date in May for repairs, or a financial settlement and I will do the repairs myself.

I hope more citizens start to stand up for themselves. Don't let these comapnies intimidate you!

Is anyone in charge in Gatineau City Hall?

I don't want to go on a rant here, but some days I wonder who makes the decisions in the City of Gatineau Town Hall.

A few times a year, the Gatineau Optimist Club set up traffic cones and begs drivers for spare change for charity. This is usually done on a Saturday at non-major intersections and is a minor nuisance.

This morning, during my commute to work, the Gatineau Firefighters and local media set up traffic cones at MAJOR intersections (for example St. Joseph and the 5/Montbleu and at St. Joseph and Montclair) causing a traffic slowdown and delay of over 15 minutes on my commute – which is already over an hour to travel 15kms because of poor traffic planning (please see other posts).

I support firemen, I think they are heroes. I also support charities through annual donations and I feel most charities are deserving of support. However, slowing down and stopping rush hour commute traffic in a city whose roads are already slow and over-burdened is beyond idiotic.

Please contact your representative in City Hall to find out which Public Servant or Elected Representative authorized this major inconvenience. That person should be demoted, fired, or at a minimum have all decision making authority removed from their position.

Contact e-mails:
Gatineau 311 Complaints :
Mayor Marc Bureau:

By Mail:
Ville de Gatineau
C. P. 1970, succ. Hull
Gatineau (Qu├ębec) J8X 3Y9

Public Transportation costs ...

There were a few comment I received on my public transit post about what it costs to operate a car vs. the per km cost per person on a bus (approx. $0.35 per km per person for a bus, and I estimated about $0.30 per km based on my car - although that post has since been edited for length and content).

Anyhow, since some people questioned it, here is the estimated operating costs per km (2005 data) from CAA.

Obviously gas prices are slightly higher now. Keep in mind this is operating cost, not ownership cost. For the rest of this document: