Rachel Garber

Income tax volunteer Danielle Paré is hitting the books, preparing for the 2017 tax season. There’s always something new. Granting new credits, and phasing out old ones. It’s not only the Lord that giveth and taketh away. It’s the tax agencies too. And it seems what’s taken away is usually greater than what is granted.

Some new things from the Canada Revenue Agency: You are required to declare if you have sold your home or dwelling in 2016. If so, when did you buy it, and when did you sell it? How long has this dwelling been your principal residence? Not declaring this information could result in a hefty penalty. It has to do with capital gains, Schedule 3.

Danielle is particularly interested in the new home accessibility expenses credit. Persons age 65-plus or eligible for the disability tax credit can claim up to $10,000 for renovations or permanent alterations that make the residence more easily accessible or reduce risks. See Line 398.

And now teachers can claim up to $1,000 for teaching supplies such as books, games, equipment and software. See Line 469.

On the Quebec side, they’ve invented a new “Tax Shield” (Line 460) to help compensate persons who were eligible for a work premium in 2015, but have earned more in 2016 and therefore lose various tax credits. Danielle likes that innovation.


The annual tax clinics of the Centre d’Action Bénévole du Haut-Saint-François (CAB, or Volunteer Action Centre) are getting ready to roll. March is the month these volunteer-staffed clinics offer services free of charge for persons with limited incomes. Eligibility criteria for the service: (1) Single person having up to $25,000 of income, plus up to $2,000 for each dependent. (2) A couple with income of up to $30,000 plus up to $2,000 for each dependent. (3) $1,000 or less in interest revenues. (4) Persons with rental income or self-employment earnings are not eligible.

How does it work? Trained volunteers fill out your returns, respecting your confidentiality. Bring all your papers to the clinic, and collect them a week later.

Danielle says that to be eligible for the Solidarity Credit, a “Relevé-31” (RL-31) slip is required. Tenants, get this from your landlord. And property owners, bring a copy of your municipal tax bill along to the Income Tax Clinic, so you can benefit from the lodging tax credit. She also suggests bringing along your 2015 notice of assessments.

Income tax clinics are in six municipalities. Services in English are offered at the Sawyerville Community Centre, 6 Church Street. It’s open Wednesdays, March 8, 15, 22 and 29, from 1 to 4 p.m. and on March 15 and 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. Info: 819-560-8540, option 9 for English, or


Irish Night, a variety show of local talent to celebrate St-Patrick’s Day, is an annual offering of the Eaton Corner Museum. Friday, March 10, at 7 p.m., at the Bulwer Community Centre, 254 Jordan Hill Road. Call Serena Wintle at 819-875-5210 if you would like to perform or help out. Admission is $8.


As its theatre benefit performance this year, the Eaton Corner Museum is offering the popular “Tribute to Hank Williams & Patsy Cline” with Ralph Steiner and Laura Teasdale. It’s a musical about the two country music legends and it’s on Saturday, April 1st at 7:30 p.m., at the Sawyerville Community Centre, 6 Church Street. One performance only. Admission is $10 if reserved in advance; $12 at the door. To reserve tickets, call Elaine Lebourveau at 819-563-8700.

I’m told we can look forward to another original Eaton Corner original amateur play next winter. About what? Wait and see!


Looking further ahead, the Museum’s annual Spring Brunch is on Sunday, April 23, at 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Bulwer Community Centre, 254 Jordan Hill Road. It will feature “all the good homemade food you remember,” says Jackie Hyman. Admission is $10/adult; $5/child.


The Eaton Corner Museum opens for the season on Saturday, June 3, with new exhibits and more summer activities. Watch for information about a special exhibit at the Foss House on loan this summer from the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN). It’s called “Housewife Heroines,” and tells the story of women’s contributions during World War II through their unpaid work at home.


Anglican. On February 26, Sunday worship services are at 9:30 a.m. in Bury and 11 a.m. in Cookshire. On March 1st at 5 p.m. is an Ash Wednesday service at St. George’s Church, Lennoxville, with the Venerable Dr. Edward Simonton. On March 5, Sunday services are at 9:30 a.m. in Bury and 11 a.m. in Cookshire. The Cookshire services are in the basement of the Trinity United Church, 190 Principale W. Info: 819-887-6802.

Baptist. In Sawyerville, the Sunday worship service is at 9 a.m. in French, and 11 a.m. in English. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. in English and French. Info: 819-239-8818.

United. Sunday worship services are at 9:30 a.m. in Cookshire and 11 a.m. in Sawyerville. On March 1st at 7:30 p.m. in Cookshire is an Ash Wednesday service. Info: 819-889-2838 (listen to message).

On Friday, March 3, at 2 p.m. at the Sawyerville United Church, the Sawyerville United Church Women will host a World Day of Prayer service, followed by a light lunch. The theme is “Am I Being Unfair to You?”, written by the World Day of Prayer Committee of the Philippines. Women, men and youth are all welcome to this ecumenical service for all faiths.

Messy Church. A joint United and Anglican intergenerational event. Free of charge. Stories, crafts and supper at the St. Paul Anglican Church, 550 Main St., Bury, on Monday, February 27, at 5:15 to 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome! Info: Tami Spires (United Church Minister): 819-884-1203 or

Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email by February 27 for publication March 8 and by March 13 for March 22.

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