TORONTO — Fewer Canadians are letting their debt repayments lapse for more than three months compared with a year ago, according to a report out today by credit monitoring firm Equifax Canada.The study found that the percentage of unpaid non-mortgage debt classified as going into 90-day delinquency settled at a moderate 1.2% in the first quarter of this year, a slight increase from 1.19% from the fourth quarter.There seems to be more financial control by the consumers and by the banking and financial institutionsBut Nadim Abdo, Equifax’s vice-president of consulting solutions, says this rate was markedly lower compared with 1.39% in the first quarter of 2012.Equifax said Canadian non-mortgage debt totalled $500.8 billion during the period.That was up from $497 billion in the same period in 2012.In the past, Equifax studies have shown that consumers tend to take out more loans, and do not pay them back as quickly, during a volatile economy or periods of high unemployment.“There seems to be more financial control by the consumers and by the banking and financial institutions,” said Abdo.“This is a very positive story. It shows a lot of financial control. People are not kind of going crazy spending when they shouldn’t be spending, which is the general idea of what it should be.”Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney have warned repeatedly about the dangers of high household debt and the consequences when interest rates eventually start to rise.Economists have suggested that high household debt and a cooling housing market will hold back the Canadian economy.
When you’re in the deep, dark hole of depression, it’s hard to claw your way out. You lack the energy and motivation to pursue enjoyable activities and connect with friends, but that’s exactly what you need to do to get better.Recreation and Leisure Studies professor Colleen Hood is researching — and implementing — best practices in therapeutic recreation for people with psychiatric illness. She’s using her research to create a centre at the St. Catharines Hospital for in-patients, outpatients and day patients that will offer “a broad spectrum of interventions and programs.“What we try to do is help people find those interests and passions in life that feed their soul, generate positive emotion, help them manage anxiety and help them feel connected to other people and the community in some way,” she says.“This combats all the things that go with mental illness that are so terrible: isolation, stigmatization, passivity.”Hood’s research, “Well-Being for People with Mental Health Issues: Examining the role of leisure engagement,” is one of 21 recipients of internal grants awarded by the Office of Research Services for research conduced from July 2014 to June 2015.“These awards at Brock recognize, encourage and support research leadership,” says Gary Libben, vice-president research. “We are proud of the work that our researchers are doing and their commitment to research excellence.”The Brock University Advancement Fund (BUAF) provides seed funding for small-scale research or pilot projects that will be developed into mature research proposal submissions for external funding agencies.Hood’s research falls under this category. Others are:• Melanie Pilkington: Towards Targeted Imaging: The development of a family of dual-property MRI contrast agents;• Evangelia Tsiani: Inhibition of Cancer Cell Proliferation and Survival by WineUnder the BUAF category, Tim Fletcher, Georgii Nikonov and Tony Yan received special purpose grants to present papers at international scholarly conferences.The Brock SSHRC Institutional Grant (BSIG) provides seed money for research-related activities with the aim of applying for further funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).Tek Thongpapanl, associate professor of marketing and new product development, is one of this year’s recipients, with his research “Advancing the Use of Social Networks: Enhancing Word-of-mouth Marketing and Consumer Protection in Virtual Communities.”He explains that he’ll be exploring how firms and governments can use social networks in virtual communities more effectively and efficiently to reach and inform consumers with respect to product launches, warnings and recalls.Thongpapanl will also look at how marketers tailor word of mouth marketing strategies and activities for different social network structures across cultures and product categories.“The BSIG Seed Grant will provide us with the needed foundational resources, both in terms of research capability and capacity in analyzing social network data,” he says.Other recipients of the BSIG Seed Grant are:• Lynn Arner: Working Class Women in the Professoriate• Chantal Buteau: Towards Appraising Implemented Mathematics Exploratory Objects in a Microworld Framework• Darlene Ciuffetelli Parker: Narrative Inquiry Teacher Education discourse Community: Preparing future teachers as curriculum makers• Elizabeth Greene: The Burgaz Harbors Project: Shifting centres of maritime activity in the Eastern Mediterranean• Kimberly Maich: Remote Assistive Technology Training in Rural Schools in Newfoundland and Labrador: Is there a need?• Ayda Tekok-Kilic: Cognitive control and Reading: An exploratory study• Philip Wilson: What Motivates Canadian-based Researchers to Engage in Knowledge Translation and Exchange Activities?• Lianxi Zhou: Institutional, Relational and Resource Factors and the Growth of International New VenturesUnder the BSIG category, faculty received funding for: organizing a conference to be held at Brock (Stefan Dolgert); manuscript preparation (Carrie Murray); scholarly book (Ana Isla); and presenting papers at international scholarly conferences (Chantal Buteau, June Corman and Michelle McGinn).