Efficient Service at the Canada Revenue Agency

Most of us think of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as “The Taxman”, but they do more than just conduct audits and collect taxes.

Not too long ago, I called the CRA looking to get information about how to close a corporation. My previous experiences with them have not been the greatest. I know that the CRA receives a high volume of calls, so being placed on hold is understandable. However, based our past history, I expected to be placed on hold for longer than normal. Furthermore, there have been multiple occasions where in order to get the information I needed, I was transferred to several representatives. In some instances, I had to further research even after talking to the representatives because I was given insufficient information.

I’m not one of those people who will criticize a company, or in this case, a government agency without showing a light at the end of the tunnel. I mention my previous experiences because when I recently called the CRA, I was pleasantly surprised to get in touch with a representative who was not only very helpful with answering my inquiries, but also took the time to walk me through the process of closing a corporation.

Things went much smoother than I expected; the representative expedited matters to other departments which made the overall progress faster and, in the end, saved me some quite a bit of money.

Unfortunately, there was a short delay though it was not their fault. One of the reasons that I needed to close the corporation was for its tax returns. The CRA representative have been sending the tax returns to the wrong address. Their record had the wrong address. This minor hiccup was resolved quickly, and the tax returns were eventually sent to the right address.

Although I did get the necessary information and insight on how to go through with closing a corporation, I would recommend getting a lawyer involved to go through all aspects of this process.

Canada Revenue Agency – Business Inquiries

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Microsoft Generates Accessible Customer Service

Recently, I had a great experience with Microsoft, which I wanted to share with everyone.

Presently, I am working on a project which involves another company, another website, and Microsoft Outlook managed email. This not an email address that I use very often, so sure enough I had an issue where I forgot the password. The way Microsoft works when attempting to retrieve your password is all processed automatically, so I had to reply to an email with answers to their questions, in order to verify that the account belonged to me.  At some point, a representative would look at the information I provide, and decide whether this account had belonged to me, or whether it is just a spam.

Since I didn’t use the email too often, I didn’t have the information the automatic emails were requesting, and started to worry about gaining access to the accounts.  In a last ditch attempt to get the work back on track, I decided to call Microsoft Canada, directly, to see if they could assist me over the phone.  Surprisingly, I managed to connect to a real, live voice at the head office switchboard.  The fellow who answered the phone was pleasant to deal with, and after I explained my challenge, he connected me to someone else, who he felt could assist me.  Since this was not successful, I returned to the switchboard, at which time, he took some details about my situation, and indicated that he would have someone contact me as soon as possible.  Within a day, someone had emailed me back, asked me a few questions about my account, and a day later I was back, up and running, with access to my email.  The very next day this same employee managed to get me access to a second email address.

For a large company, that is technology focused, Microsoft was a pleasure to work with.  Unlike many other websites, and tech companies, that only seem communicate with their customers, online, it was nice to receive that one on one customer interaction, over the phone, rather than dealing with a crisis situation through an automated voice recording  or email.  They provided great customer service and delivered results quickly and effectively during a stressful time.  It is truly reassuring to know that a large company, such as Microsoft, is available, accessible and truly willing to help out when a customer is in need.

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Sizzling Service at the Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse

A couple of years ago I had come across a restaurant called Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse.

The restaurant is located on Eglinton Avenue East in Toronto, and since that time they have opened up in Niagara Falls, and earlier this year on Adelaide Street East near John Street.

Whether you are a vegetarian or the ultimate meat lover, this all-you-can-eat restaurant cooks up something for everybody. How does it work? The servers frequently come to your table carrying large meat trays and if you want a piece, they will cut thin tasteful slices off for you. There are over 20 meats to chose from including parmesan prime rib, garlic sirloin steak, rack of lamb, salmon, and BBQ chicken. In addition to this, the buffet menu options include salads, breads, pastas, mussels, deli meats, cheeses, and various vegetables. Finally, for dessert there is grilled pineapple and deep fried bananas, both of which are very tasty and the perfect end to a great meal.

The moment you step in you will notice the upbeat atmosphere. The live Latin-themed music will get your groove on while you set your eyes on some talented Brazilian dancers. You can expect an energetic 10-15 minutes show of magnificent dance routines and outstanding costumes during each dinner sitting, followed by the opportunity to take some photos.

The staff are very attentive to your requests and while I was initially concerned whether it is truly a family friendly place, they are extremely good with children.

Adults pay $45.00 each and the price for children varies depending on their age. I personally recommend making a reservation well in advance, but they also have first come first service tables.

The all you can eat meal, live entertainment, and excellent service is a perfect combination. Just don’t forget to come with your appetite!

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Changing Lives… One Pair Of Socks At A Time

Even before SQM was founded, 21 years ago, both co-founders, David Lipton, and Craig Henry, were actively involved in supporting a variety of charities and charitable causes.

One of their long standing charitable initiatives dates back, over 15 years, when they moved their office into the Don Mills and York Mills area in Toronto.  At that time, both co-founders and the SQM staff, teamed up to start a holiday toy drive, by collecting items from neighbouring offices, and distributing them to various organizations.

After six years of donating toys to children, they realized there was a need to help a local teen and women’s shelter, so they began collecting other items, including movie tickets, board games, beauty supplies, and hair products.

In more recent times, SQM has become involved with an organization called Ve’ahavta. They are a Canadian Humanitarian and Relief Organization that is on a mission to reduce the negative impact of poverty on health and to make a difference in local communities.  One of Ve’ahavta’s initiatives is the van outreach program called The Mobile Jewish Response to the Homeless (MJRH), where they deliver food as well as thousands of new T-shirts, jackets, socks and TTC tokens to the homeless.  In addition to collecting food and clothing, staff from SQM, and other local groups volunteer to spend an evening on the van, assisting in distributing items and supporting the homeless in a variety of ways.  As David Lipton, said, “this is an eye-opening experience, and you see the city in a different light”.

As a result of their involvement with Ve’ahavta, David learned that one item which is always in need, but often overlooked, is socks.  Socks are a valuable and precious part of our every day wardrobe, but supporters often focus their attention on donating warm weather clothes, such as toques, gloves, and coats.

To assist Ve’ahavta in their efforts, like last year, SQM is holding a Holiday Sock Drive.

For those that would like to participate, we ask that you:

1.  Send new and unwrapped pairs of socks, to our office
2.  Send us retail gift cards, which we will use to purchase new pairs of socks

SQM staff will take care of the rest of the work, packing and shipping the items off to a fantastic and hard working charity.

Socks and gift cards can be sent to:

Sensors Quality Management Inc. (SQM)
156 Duncan Mill Road, Unit 19
Toronto, ON  M3B 3N2

If you have any questions, or require additional information, please feel free to call us at 416-444-4491.

Together we can make a difference in our community!

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Robert Ashley- Cut To Perfection!

If there is something everyone should have, it’s a good hair stylist, and for the past 25 years, I’ve been going to Robert Ashley Hair Design & Aesthetics, where the owner, Robert Ashley Forester, has kept me looking my best.

Robert (or Ashley as he’s known to his customers) opened the salon 30 years ago after learning his trade at the House of Lords, and currently has six hair stylists and one esthetician working in the salon. The salon is a fantastic place for the whole family, with women coming for blowouts, colouring and fancier styles, guys coming for a quick buzz cut, and the kids getting a lollipop along after their haircut.  Not only do they give great haircuts and provide exceptional service, they do so at reasonable prices.

One of the reasons I’ve been going to Ashley’s salon for all these years is his flexible schedule.  He frequently makes accommodations for me to fit an appointment in during my busy schedule, and in a few instances, he has actually opened 30 minutes earlier, on Saturdays so I can come by before he gets busy. What’s more, although his salon is closed on Sundays and Mondays, the only time Robert has opened his store on a Sunday was to cut my hair for my wedding day. Not only did he go above and beyond to accommodate my special request, he made me look great for this special occasion.

Ashley and his talented team not only give great service, they also do a lot of charity work.  Aside from sponsoring various sports teams, for children, they occasionally have Donation Days, where they donate a portion of the day’s sales to a worthy cause.

After all of these years, my experience at Ashley Hair Design has not changed.  The only thing that has changed is my hair.  I like to joke around with Robert saying “I should get a discount for having less hair,” to which he responds with “I have to spend half the time looking for your hair, and the other half to cut it.”

Robert Ashley Forester
Robert Ashley Hair Design & Aesthetics
​777 St. Clair Avenue West
Toronto,  ON  M6C 1B7

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Support One Tough Cookie!

one tought cookie

As you all know, I’m a bit of a foodie. While I often lead you to my favorite places to eat, I wanted to take a different approach today and send you to a little bakery- not to support my addiction to sweets, but to support One Tough Cookie Fund, and one brave little girl.

A very dear friend of one of our SQMer’s is currently fighting a battle. Their 9 year old daughter, Jessica, has a brain tumor and she is courageously fighting her battle every day. I have a 9 year old daughter myself, and I cannot imagine what this little girl, or her family, are going through. Despite this unfortunate situation, Jessica remains brave and her doctors have called her a “tough cookie”, which paved the way to the name of her fund that is supporting Brain Tumor Research.

The One Tough Cookie Fund in support of Brain Tumor Research is currently being fueled by the Petal Dust Bakery on Bathurst. Laurie Waldman, the owner of the Petal Dust Bakery, has been gracious enough to sell cookies all through the month of November. They’re beautifully decorated, and absolutely delicious! Trust me, I’ve tried a few of them. These delectable cookies are only $3 and 50% of each sale is donated to the One Tough Cookie Fund! I feel a little less guilty for scarfing down a few cookies knowing that they were going towards a great cause!

If you would like to contribute to Jessica’s One Tough Cookie Fund in support of Brain Tumor Research, visit the Petal Dust Bakery on 9301 Bathurst Street in Richmond Hill. But wait! Before you make the trip to RIchmond Hill, Laurie Waldman advises that you call ahead of time to see if they have the cookies in stock since they are selling out fast!

So what are you waiting for?! Head to the Petal Dust Bakery to get One Tough Cookie… or maybe a few 🙂 Support the cause and let’s help Jessica in her fight against brain tumors!

Petal Dust Bakery

9301 Bathurst Street

Richmond Hill, Ontario

L4C 9S2




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Customer Service That’s As Beautiful As The Sunset At The Seaside Restaurant

During the summer, I decided to take a trip to the east coast of Canada with my wife and daughter, along with another family.  During our trip through the Maritimes we found ourselves in Cape Breton to drive along the Cabot Trail.

Up until this point, my wife and I found the food to be very underwhelming at all of our stops along the way. My wife is a chef, and I have experience in the food and hospitality industry, so maybe our standards were a bit high, but we were both looking to find better food during the course of our travels.  When we arrived in Cape Breton, there were not many dining options available, so we weren’t expecting much from the Seaside Restaurant, but we were all in for a lovely surprise…

The Seaside Restaurant is an amazing dining option attached to the Island Sunset Resort. The restaurant itself is simple, but offers a beautiful view of the sun setting on the ocean for all of it’s guests. They also featured an open-kitchen concept where you could see the food being made fresh and right to order.

The real star of the Seaside Restaurant was the menu and the quality of their food. They featured a diverse array of menu items ranging from pasta dishes to steak, and rack of lamb to seafood.  If the food wasn’t a good enough reason to love the Seaside Restaurant, then the service was another!  The servers were very accommodating of the two children by serving them half portions of the pasta dishes and including drinks and deserts.  As for the adults at the table, we all thoroughly enjoyed our meals, with everyone agreeing that the coconut shrimp was delicious, the seafood linguine was well-made, and the rack of lamb was to die for.  To cap off our lovely evening at the Seaside Restaurant, we all decided to order some home made desserts.

Once the bill arrived, I was expecting a bit of a steep price for all of the delicious food that we had, but I was very surprised to see that everything was reasonably priced.  Aside from some great scenery. the delicious food at the Seaside Restaurant is one of the reasons why I would definitely return to Cape Breton.

Island Sunset Resort & Seaside Restaurant
19 Beach Cove Lane
Belle Côte, NS  B0E 2B0


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