Morning Brief: The World's Most-Welcoming Countries, Tax Season Horror Stories & More
9 things you need to know for Tuesday, March 7.
Good morning — Andrew from Narcity here. ☕
Off The Top: What do you do when you're already battling the elements to get to work when the local transit authority calls on all buses to pull over to the side of the road? Apparently, whip out your phone and ask the bus driver to record a short video for your boss. Denizens of the internet are lauding an "incredibly Canadian" public transit worker in Vancouver for taking the time to explain the situation and apologize to a passenger's colleagues.
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In Case You Missed It
Where Are The Most Welcoming Countries To Visit As A Tourist?
A person holding a Canadian passport in an airport. Right: The Canadian flag.
Margolana | Dreamstime, Nestor Arturo Velasco Diaz | Dreamstime
When it comes to international tourism, there's a pretty cut-and-dry way to gauge just how welcoming a potential destination is for visitors: The strictness of the entry rules at the border. By that measure, Canada actually ranks among the least welcoming countries in the world, landing 68th out of 83 positions, according to Passport Index.
Of course, as MTL Blog's Mike Chaar writes, "For those who do enter the country, it's safe to say that the people would be regarded as extremely welcoming and polite."
- Neighbours: If it makes anyone feel better, Canada barely edged out Australia (69), the U.S. and Iraq (70), Mali (71) and China (72), all of which are slightly harder to enter than Canada.
- Counterpoint: The world's most welcoming nations include Tuvalu, Malawi, Bolivia, Guinea, Angola, Samoa and more — all of which tied for first on the list. At 83, the least welcoming countries are North Korea, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.
- READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Should You File Your Own Taxes In Ontario?
Mira Nabulsi in her apartment. Right: Her computer open on the Canada Revenue Agency website.
Tax season is in full swing, setting up the most basic of adult conundrums: Do you pay up and have someone else do your taxes for you or do you simply trust your own ability to follow instructions and file yourself?
After attempting to pull off the latter last year, Mira Nabulsi has a list of things she wishes she'd done differently before self-filing — like paying attention, doing the math and having a general awareness of how an audit works.
- My Take: This is why I insist upon Narcity paying me in unmarked bearer bonds.
- READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Why Is B.C. Better Than Ontario?
Sierra Riley outside Fergie's Diner in Squamish. Right: At the bird sanctuary near Ladner.
Two years since packing up her life in Ontario and heading west to Vancouver, B.C., our Sierra Riley has quickly grown accustomed to the physical beauty of her new home. Cliffside highways connect soaring mountain vistas with peaceful harbours. That's life in the Lower Mainland. From Bowen Island to Deep Cove, here are six places in B.C. Sierra has visited that Ontario can't hold a candle to.
What Else You Need To Know Today
🛀 BLOODBATH & BEYOND
The end is nigh for the once-potent U.S. retail giant Bed, Bath & Beyond. The company has signalled that all locations in Canada — including 11 buybuy BABY stores — will shutter in April. However, longtime customers have until this Thursday, March 9 to use up any remaining gift cards or Welcome Rewards points. Helena Hanson has the latest on the big retail shakeup.
🍄 FUN GUY
Among all the celebrities, Keanu Reeves might be the most humble. The Toronto-raised action star recently gave his predictably wholesome thoughts on having a deadly fungi-killer named in his honour. Sarah Rohoman breaks down how Reeves reacted to the tribute and what scientists think Reeves' acting skills and an antimicrobial have in common.
🏠 SURREAL ESTATE
If you've got $7.5 million burning a hole in your pocket (or at least enough for a downpayment), you could probably do worse than this ivy-covered mansion in Montreal's luxe Mont-Royal hood. With six bedrooms stretched out over 7,500 square feet, you'll likely get lost among the regal brick-and-wood interiors. Let's join MTL Blog's Willa Holt for a tour of this well-appointed palace.
📌 JOB BOARD
If you faced a four-day workweek instead of the typical five, would you still be able to get everything done by the time you clocked out for the weekend? More and more Ontario employers are keen to put that to the test. Stuart McGinn found six companies currently playing around with four-day weeks — and some of them even pay upwards of $100K right off the bat.
American poet Amanda Gorman turns 25 years old today. That '70s Show actor Laura Prepon is 43. The Office star Jenna Fischer is 49. Mummy star Rachel Weisz is 53. Former Jays second baseman — and Survivor contestant — Jeff Kent turns 55. The wonderful Wanda Sykes is 59, as is American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis. 50 Shades smut-master E.L. James hits the big 6-0. Blue Jays all-timer Joe Carter and Czech tennis great Ivan Lendl are 63. Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston is 67. The late Steelers great Franco Harris would've been 73 today. The late, great folk strummer Townes Van Zandt would've been 79 today.
Thanks for reading Narcity's Canada Morning Brief — we only let this newsletter get away out of kindness I suppose.
Have a question or comment about today's edition? Let me know at email@example.com or hit me up on Twitter if you'd prefer at @andrewjoepotter.
Have a great day and I will see you back here tomorrow!