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MFDA Today Issue #34

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Vol. 1, Issue 34
November 25, 2020

Updates

HR

CRA Work From Home Deduction

Laptop

As mentioned in the October 2nd staff town hall, the CRA announced that it will consider expanding the eligibility criteria for the work-from-home expense deduction given the vast number of employees that were required to work from home due to COVID-19 restrictions. It appears that the CRA will no longer require a work from home arrangement to be in writing. Instead, an understanding between employer and employee that work must be done remotely from home will suffice. CPA Canada is working with the CRA on a revised T2200 form that will alleviate administrative burden for the employer in supporting claims for this deduction. Management will keep apprised of ongoing developments as the CRA continues to consider how it will administer this deduction for the 2020 taxation year. In the meantime, employees who may wish to avail themselves of this deduction are encouraged to read the CRA guide on Employment Expenses 2019 to familiarize themselves with the guidance on how to claim for work-space-in-the-home expenses, bearing in mind that an updated guide will be forthcoming from the CRA for the 2020 tax year. The 2019 guide can be found here. Employees will continue to be updated as developments warrant.

What’s On

  • Ontario
    • One Of A Kind Online. Join us at One Of A Kind Online to connect with over 700+ makers, shop the best in Canadian made and do our part to help these small businesses restart and recover. Until Dec.20.
    • StrollTO. Discover the unexplored shops, stops, places and spaces along Toronto’s main streets. Free self-guided exploration itineraries are now available until Dec. 6.
    • Movies at Ontario Place Drive-In. Enjoy your favourite movies at the waterfront Drive-In this fall. Spots will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Until Dec. 6.
  • Alberta
    • Enjoy ice skating at Olympic Plaza. – Bring your own equipment or rent skates and helmets from the Skate Hut. Skating is free of charge. Mid Nov. to Mid March, 2021, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily.
    • Grab Your Bubble and Run! – The HoHoHoliday 5K is the most festive FUN run in Canada! This 5km run/walk combines the magic of the Holidays with community engagement and fitness. Be part of a holiday movement and join 10,000 Santa’s virtually across Canada who are spreading cheer in their local community while choosing to raise funds to support Make-A-Wish Canada. Tickets $40-55. Wednesday, Nov. 25 – Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2020. All Day anytime.
    • Christmas Lights @ Spruce Meadows. – Running throughout the Holiday Season, Spruce Meadows invites your entire family – together with your Christmas guests – to enjoy the Christmas Lights @ Spruce Meadows. Each evening Scotiabank, Bennett Jones, ATCO and WestJet present Christmas Season magic with a quarter of a million lights, blanketing Spruce Meadows from west to east. Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Nov. 27 through Jan. 3 from 5 p.m.–10 p.m.
  • British Columbia
    • Heritage Christmas. Nov. 21, 2020 – Jan. 1, 2021. Experience the old-fashioned magic of Christmas at Heritage Christmas at the Burnaby Village Museum. Admission is free. Advance reservations are recommended.
    • Holiday Art Market. Featuring a range of artists and artworks in different sizesand prices, it’s a great place to pick up an original gift while supporting local this season. Nov. 28-29, 2020.
    • VanDusen Festival of Lights. Dec. 8, 2020 – Jan. 3, 2021. Visitors will have to pre-purchased tickets, which will be subsequently scanned through plexiglass. No ticket sales will take place on-site.

Humour Corner

No Mask on Your Face

Eight Questions

Each week we ask one MFDA staff member the same eight questions. This week we ask Allison Howse.

Allison Howse

Allison Howse & Storm

  1. What is a typical day like?
    At the beginning of quarantine I tried to keep a regular work routine. That became difficult when school was officially cancelled. With my husband still outside working those were very long days trying to navigate Grade 4 and Grade 6 on-line learning and working remotely. Eventually, we just “ended” school a few weeks early. Then summer came and I’d roll out of bed around 7:59am to start work at 8am. If it was a nice day, I’d work out on the deck. The boys would be off with their friends and I could work relatively uninterrupted; except for the rides to/from the skate park and the occasional dog barking during a warning call. Now, with school back it’s a much earlier wake up time and my work day starts around 7am. While the boys are getting ready for school I check my emails and calendar for the day. I drive them to and from school now that we have snow on the ground (yes snow) as for some reason they are no longer able to walk the 10 minutes to school or take the bus. Funny, I seem to do just fine when I’m out walking the dog they both wanted and promised to look after. While they’re at school I have a solid six hours of peace and quiet – no longer requiring a Do Not Disturb sign on my door when I’m in a meeting. This is how I envisioned WFH when we left the office on March 13th.
  2. What do you find most difficult about having to stay home?
    Really, not much. I have adapted quite well.
  3. What do you enjoy about working from home?
    There are many things: not having to commute to work every day, ability to throw a load of laundry in right before a call, not rushing from downtown to get the boys to hockey on time, actually having time to cook dinner before activities start and not grabbing Subway on the way home; the list goes on.
  4. What is your favorite daytime snack?
    Chocolate Covered Almonds.
  5. What do you miss most about being in the office?
    I really missed not going to Enforcement Training in Toronto this year. Even though it is a short trip, the night away from any home and parenting responsibilities is great. Of course, I miss my colleagues and lunch time conversations too. I have been to the office a few times and on occasion will see a familiar face and catch up from a safe distance.
  6. What does your typical work from home uniform look like?
    At the beginning of quarantine, I would get up, shower and get dressed every morning – trying to maintain a routine. Most of the time, it is loungewear or jeans and a t-shirt. However, I will confess, for the past 2 weeks, I have actually done the school drop off in my pajamas…if I start doing school pick up in my pjs, I’m definitely going downhill.
  7. What are you watching on TV right now?
    I just finished the last season of Schitt’s Creek and American Crime. Now I’m in the market for some new series suggestions. As a family we are watching Big Brother All Stars. This is Us starts soon, so I am looking forward to that.
  8. Share a funny story from your COVID “stay at home” experience
    This is from my 12 year old. What is another name for the Corona Virus? The Boomer Remover….terrible I know! Grandma wasn’t impressed!

Brain Teaser

Sharp Brains

Quick! Count the number of times that the letter F appears in the following sentence:

“Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of years.”

How many did you find?

Recipe Corner

Amazing Crab Shells

Ingredients

  • 36 jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 (8 oz.) pkg. Neufchatel cheese (Light cream cheese can be used)
  • 1 lb. imitation crabmeat
  • 6 ounces cooked tiny shrimp (or large shrimp in wine/garlic then chopped small)
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • ⅓ cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)

Directions

  1. Boil a large pot of water. Add salt when it’s boiling
  2. Add pasta shells. Remove when shells are all-dent. (Use directions are per package as guidance). Drain well
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, crab, shrimp, onion, celery, mayo, sugar, salt, pepper & lemon juice. Mix well.
  4. Stuff cream cheese mixture into the jumbo pasta shells. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving

Cooked shells can be cut in half. Serves three or four.