by Lara Gladych –
Who do you turn to when you have a question? Is it Google or Siri, maybe Alexa? At Seaside Magazine we are fortunate to know local experts in all the fields (or we’ll know someone who knows someone), so next time you have a question, Ask Seaside! Each month I’ll take your quandaries and queries and do the research for you. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: The North Saanich Municipal Hall has those big, beautiful solar panels up front, but someone told me that they’re not actually powering anything. Is this true? I wonder what other initiatives our local municipalities are taking to reduce business and residential carbon footprints?
A: I got in touch with Rebecca Penz, Communications Manager at District of North Saanich. First off, she told me that those solar panels are, in fact, fully functional. They provide power to Town Hall, and then contribute overflow to the BC Hydro grid when they are generating power in excess of their need. As far as other green initiatives in North Saanich, Rebecca directed me to a link on their website (www.northsaanich.ca) that addresses Climate Change Initiatives. It’s an informative resource, and is where I found out that District of North Saanich has previously been recognized for “Accelerating Progress on Charter Commitments” by the Climate Action Recognition Program. Fantastic!
~ Rebecca Penz, Communications Manager, District of North Saanich
Q: My question at this time would be who is out there to help us with our taxes? Not just accountants, but home-based experts that might come a little cheaper? And, do our teens need to file?
A: I consulted one of Sidney’s most trusted accountants, Chris Cowland, now of Baker Tilly. Chris says everyone’s starting point should be to set up their own “My Account” online with the CRA. This gives you direct access to important information such as RRSP contribution room, capital losses brought forward, and previous assessments and reassessments. If you choose to do your own personal taxes, you can download a free version of Turbo Tax, and auto-fill your tax return using the information available on the CRA website. Chris says there are various tax clinics available for low income earners (such as teens), and that many accountants volunteer to prepare tax returns for seniors at no charge. Finally, he says yes, you should file a return even if your income is low, as this determines the amount of your income supplements, GST rebate and any provincial credits.
~ Chris Cowland, Accountant, Baker Tilly Sidney
Q: “We have really (I mean really) hard water and so much limescale! What can I do to clean the glass shower door? Is there anything that’s not environmentally harmful?”
A: I went straight to the staff of Home Hardware Sidney, whom I imagine get this type of question from home owners all the time. Duayne and Dawn recommend Home Hardware Brand (Home) Rust Calcium and Lime Remover, which can be used full strength or diluted, to remove lime scale buildup from shower doors and rust stains around shower drains. Try it in your kettle, coffee maker and humidifier, too. It is made with organic salt, is odourless, and made in Canada.
~ Duayne & Dawn, Sales Associates, Home Hardware Sidney