Stephen Harper visits Delta, announces student loans for trades apprentices

Prime Minister Stephen Harper | BCBusiness
Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Need-to-know news and insight for Friday, Jan. 9

Courting the student vote?
Now students in vocational programs can take on debt just like university students. Today in Delta, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the Canada Student Loans Program will provide trade apprentices with up to $4,000 per period of technical training. The Canada Apprenticeship Loan, available to those registered in a Red Seal trade apprenticeship, is expected to provide over $100 million in loans to 26,000 apprentices each year. The loans will be interest-free until after apprentices complete or leave their program, to a maximum of six years. Harper was at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and Vancouver Community College campus in Delta along with Employment Minister Jason Kenney, Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Industry Minister James Moore and various B.C. Conservative MPs.

Calling all posers
The selfie is going old-school with a twist on the old-fashioned photo booth. The Selfie Room in Richmond provides a DIY professional portrait studio complete with various backdrops, props and a self-operated camera for groups of up to 10 people. Even pets are welcome. Vancouverite Carbo Ngai was inspired to open the Selfie Room after seeing selfie booths in Asia. She believes it is the first one in the Lower Mainland, although they are also found in the U.S. and Australia. The 50-minute sessions can be booked online and range from $15 to $23 per person, depending on the size of the group. The resulting photos are loaded onto a USB stick.

Do the math
What do you get when you add B.C.’s eighth-largest accounting firm (KNV Chartered Accountants LLP) to the province’s fourth-largest accounting firm (MNP LLP)? The third-largest accounting and consulting firm in B.C., which will operate under the name MNP. Effective February 1, the merger is MNP’s largest to date. The Calgary-based company has 80 offices across the country, including 15 in B.C., as well as access to a global network of accounting firms and affiliations through Praxity—an international alliance of independent accounting firms. KNV, established in 1973, is headquartered in South Surrey with offices in Vancouver and Kelowna.