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Follow One Family’s
Journey Across
Canada: Part 1
subscribe free online at
The secret gardens of Quebec
Travel: Prince William Sound Alaska
Test Drive: The Nissan Murano
Is now the time to
buy an RV?
Have you claimed all the tax
relief you’re entitled to?
Earn tax credits for your
home renovations.
Business Finder
Discover Your Canada
Canada Magazine
Researching and finding
jobs in Canada
Relocation Q&A’s
issue 40 mar 09


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2 Editorial
From the Editor
Have you ever dreamt of traveling across Canada to
see all this wonderful country has to offer? Well, one
lucky family got to do just that and we will be serializing
their story over the coming months starting today on
page 4.
If you are looking a little further afield for your travel
plans then how about Alaska? We take a look at the
stunningly beautiful Prince William Sound area on page
In our working life section you will not want to miss
our slightly unusual story. When we say unusual, we
really mean it this time! In this section we also profile
the up and coming Power of Women Conference which
will take place in April.
Our guest writer Mark Atkinson takes us on a test
drive of the new Nissan Murano - is this the car for you?
If not, perhaps you are considering buying an RV. You
may be thinking that this is not the right time to buy one
of these luxury vehicles due to the current economic
situation, but maybe it is exactly the right time. Find out
on page 33.
We also take a look at whether a planned home
renovation could earn you tax credits - yes the tax man
might pay you to renovate your home - sounds good
doesn’t it?
Well, there is lots more to this months issue so happy
reading. Just one thing before I go - next months
magazine will be published at the slightly later date of
April 13
, so don’t forget to subscribe free to get your
Jane Toombes
Contents 3
Discover Canada
Journey across Canada 4
Brandon, the heart of North America 10
The secret gardens of Quebec 12
Canada: Did you know? 15
Alaska: Kenai Fjords & Prince William
Sound 16
The cookie crumbles 20
Photographers: Go snap it 22
Top Canadian 23
Working Life
The slightly unusual 24
Power of Women conference 26
You’ve earned it, claim it 28
Test Drive: 2009 Nissan Murano 30
Is now the right time to buy and RV? 33
The right price 34
Relocation news 38
Newcomers set record high in 2008 40
Clarification of implied status 41
Relocation Q & A 42
Researching and finding a job in
Canada 44
Health & Wellness
Could it be fibromyalgia 46
Home remedies for a yeast infection 46
Checklist:four natural sweeteners 47
Home & Garden
Earn tax credits for a home reno 48
Springs top home decor trends 52
Increase home value through smart
renovation 53
Muchmor Business Finder 54

4 Discover Canada
Follow Marie-Julie
and her family on
their journey
across Canada.
Marie-Julie Gagnon, Joseph Sarr
and their daughter Maya aged 20
months embark on a journey
across Canada.
Discover Canada 5
After months of planning, dozens of
emails, phone calls, headaches and
jars of Nutella (our favourite fuel),
we’re finally on our way to the
airport. I haven’t sorted out all the
details of our grand tour before
leaving, so I’ll be spending the first
few days close to my cell phone
and keyboard. Ready or not, here
we go!
We’re on the plane. Maya is
antsy. Jo tries to calm her down,
while I can’t help but slip into a
deep slumber. My catnap is soon
interrupted by our seatmate, who is
sniffling and coughing up a storm.
You can almost see the germs
festering around his bright red
nostrils. If this goes on any longer,
the whole plane will soon be
swimming in a slimy sea of germs.
Judging from his sidelong glances,
he is not too pleased about being
seated next to a baby. But that
doesn’t stop Maya, who makes her
presence felt loud and clear. After
scrolling through the entire
entertainment system and tapping
on the touch screen (commenting as
she goes), she is now busily
plugging and unplugging Mommy’s
headset. Even after replaying the
scene, I will never know what poor,
pig-nose-bearing Christina Ricci
says to her suitor in Penelope, but
my daughter will have improved her
manual dexterity (travel is
educational indeed).
Fortunately, just an hour after
leaving Montreal, we touch down in
the Queen City. As soon as we get
into the taxi, Maya falls asleep (sigh).
We get some shuteye too, after
checking into our room at the
Sheraton Centre Toronto, where our
old, worn-out backpacks
“somewhat” clash with the décor
(this makes me feel kind of
rebellious, and I like it!).
The Toronto Zoo or the islands?
The CN Tower or the beaches? We
will be faced with similar dilemmas
every day for the next month, so we
might as well get used to it. We opt
for the democratic route: I decide
that we should visit the islands first.
Jo locates the Harbour Tour booth,
where we buy tickets ($25.95 per
adult) for a sightseeing cruise of
Toronto’s islands, home to only 250
families. Maya starts running as
soon as we board - her way of
putting in her two cents’ worth (and
keeping us in shape).
We’re impressed. The cruise offers
a totally different view of Toronto. We
pass several boats, including a
sailboat. Once on terra firma, we try
to avoid the duck and other bird
droppings scattered on the ground (I
dare anyone to keep their soles
clean, not to mention stroller
wheels), and start exploring this car-
free paradise. Swans come out to
greet us. People are picnicking on
the shores of Lake Ontario. Farther
along, we see ducks and barnacle
geese. It feels as though we are light
years away from the city that’s just a
half-hour boat ride away.
One of the highlights of this outing
for the whole family is the Centreville
Amusement Park. Admission is free,
but you have to pay for the rides
(various passes are available). Unlike
La Ronde in Montreal, which is
geared towards teenagers, this little
amusement park, built in 1833 (when
Toronto was still called York), is
designed for the very young. This is
where Maya experiences her first
rides! Although it doesn’t have many
animals (a few horses, chickens and
sheep), the nearby Far Enough Farm
is also a big hit with Maya. Three
hours after arriving, we board the
boat back to the mainland (there are
departures every hour).
Upon landing, we come across a
fabulous Cantonese restaurant: the
Pearl Harbourfront, which could
easily hold its own against Hong
Kong’s finest eateries. Most of the
customers are Asian, which leads
me to believe that this is one of
those rare spots combining
authenticity and popularity (given its
waterfront location). We enjoy some
delicious dim sum (a variety of small
dishes) and lemon chicken that is
making my mouth water just to think
about it. The Pearl Harbourfront
website tells me that it has made
enRoute magazine’s list of Canada’s
top 100 restaurants for the last ten
years. A real find!
“The cruise
offers a totally
different view
of Toronto”
6 Discover Canada
As we leave the restaurant, a
torrential rain drenches us to the
bone (and also cleans the stroller’s
mucky wheels). We decide to dry out
340 metres above ground, and head
for the observation deck of the CN
Tower while Maya takes her nap.
Despite the clouds, the visibility is
good enough for us to fully
appreciate the city. Several photos
later and a few storeys down, Jo and
I attempt to overcome our fear of
heights as we gingerly approach the
glass floor. Imagine looking down at
the ground 342 meters below you.
This would give Superman vertigo.
Jo actually stands on the floor for
several minutes (my superman!), but
a quick glance through these thick
glass “windows” is more than
enough for me. After all, we still have
another 29 days of excitement ahead
of us.
From Toronto to Whitehorse
via Vancouver
We manage to fit in the Toronto Zoo
and a quick look at the Darwin
exhibition at the Royal Ontario
Museum before heading to the
airport. Two and a half days are not
enough for a trip to the Queen City.
There are so many family activities
and wonderful restaurants (so much
for my preconceptions!). Had I been
more self-indulgent, I would have
loved to hang out in Queen West, a
hip neighbourhood full of little
boutiques, bars and terraces (like the
one at the Drake Hotel). I guess I’ll
have to take a rain check.
Flight AC115. Our flight leaves
Toronto at 5 p.m. and arrives in
Vancouver at 4:57… the miracle of
time zones. On the plane, Maya has
turned into a little menace. The aisles
are her racetracks and the other
passengers are her “friends,” or
rather her captives. Fortunately,
many of them happily accept her
sudden spurt of sociability.
Air Canada has given us access to
its Maple Leaf Lounges (even though
we’re traveling Economy), so when
we arrive at the Vancouver Airport,
we relax in the super comfy
armchairs while enjoying the wireless
internet connection. In a few hours,
we’ll be in the Yukon!
Flight AC8449. A few drinks and
we’re off again. Having exhausted
her stores of energy zigzagging
through the travellers before
boarding, Maya is soon fast asleep,
and so are her parents. We have no
recollection whatsoever of the two-
hour flight to Whitehorse.
Imagine a territory about the size
of California with a population of
some 31,000 souls, 25,000 of whom
live in the capital. The Yukon
embodies all the clichés that
foreigners dream about: wide open
spaces, an impressive Native
presence (close to 7,000 people),
and…bears. Lots of bears. Although
we might not be “lucky” enough to
“Did you know
that traces of
human life
dating to 500
B.C. have been
Discover Canada 7
encounter one, I quietly slip a “What
to do if you run into Yogi” brochure
into my bag at the tourist information
“That was incredible!”
Joseph is grinning ear-to-ear in his
wet t-shirt. He has just returned from
a canoe excursion to Miles Canyon.
His Whitehorse-bred, Up North
Adventures guide Tyler gave him a
history lesson as they paddled. Now
it’s my turn to learn something new.
“Did you know that traces of human
life dating to 500 B.C. have been
discovered here?” Jo asks me, all
abuzz with excitement.
Miles Canyon once marked the
start of the rapids which, due to their
resemblance to white horses, gave
the city its name. Today, these rapids
have practically disappeared. While
Joseph was paddling, Maya, Jim (the
PR agent from the tourism office) and
I followed the river by road, stopping
from time to time to take pictures.
Between my ooh’s and ah’s, Jim told
me a few stories about the region…
just enough to whet my appetite.
Back at the hotel, I peruse my
travel guide for more information.
“Whitehorse is located at the natural
upstream terminus of the Yukon
River, which is why people settled
here in the first place,” I learn from
Ulysses Canada. “Gold prospectors
traveling to the Klondike by way of
Alaska had a hard time crossing the
Whitehorse and Miles Canyon
Rapids with loaded canoes. The
most prudent way to proceed was to
reach the shore and then portage the
gear.” A short tramway line had been
built to carry passengers from the
foot of the rapids to Whitehorse.
In 1942, the city became one of
the main staging points for the
construction of the Alaska Highway,
a project commissioned by the U.S.
government. The expanding city
overshadowed Dawson, long
deserted by gold prospectors. Eight
years later, Whitehorse took over as
the territorial capital.
“History is all around you here,”
Joseph observes, on our way to
Shipyards Park for the Solstice
Festival, a few hours after our return
from Miles Canyon.
Equally fascinated by the
landscape and Tyler’s stories, he can
already see himself camping on the
shores of the Yukon River and
paddling all the way to Dawson, 700
kilometres downstream.
We count at least six banks
between our hotel and the park. On a
building reminiscent of the Old West,
a Starbuck’s sign reminds us that the
city has entered the modern world.
I’m still wearing my sunglasses
when we get to the Festival after 10
p.m., not for protection from the sun,
which is shining less brightly, but as
a barrier against the swarms of
mosquitoes. (Have you ever had an
unidentified flying insect in your
The Park is filled with the music of
Gristlestick, a band from Maine.
Some young people have gathered
on a small mound where they can
enjoy the concert without paying the
$10 admission fee. In the distance,
the Tim Horton’s, Pizza Hut and A&W
signs contrast with the nearly pristine
landscape. Mountains surround the
city on every side. And enormous
white clouds are suspended in a
Prismacolor-blue sky. We are
Later that night, at midnight, while
Jo and Maya are sleeping peacefully,
I stand at the window of our room at
the Edgewater Hotel to see if the sun
is still out and about. Although it has
shown signs of fatigue, I can confirm
that the sun did manage to pull an
8 Discover Canada
The Gold Rush
There seems to be more sky in the
Yukon. How else can you explain the
endless clouds, the sense of
immensity, even where the towns are
enclosed by mountains? How else
can you account for the ever-present
midnight sun, lord and master of
summer, embracing treetops and
mountain peaks, day and night?
We’re on the road, somewhere
between Whitehorse and Dawson.
Between two scenic stops, Maureen
Conway, a transplanted Montrealer
who has lived in the Yukon for a
dozen years and now works for the
tourist bureau, regales us with tales
of her adopted home. “Lots of
people with a murky past come here
to start over,” she tells us.
That’s another aspect of the
Yukon: the gallery of heterogeneous
characters whose lives are as
intriguing as the land that welcomes
them. Although not aware of it,
Maureen is one of them. After doing
odd jobs for several summers in
Dawson while getting her B.A. in
anthropology at Concordia
University, she decided to move to
this corner of the world, so beloved
by the Guggenheim family (the
founders of the famous New York
museum that bears their name). She
taught in Japan for a few months
and then came back for good.
Married to a helicopter pilot who is
equally passionate about the Far
North, she spares no details in her
attempt to convince us to love the
Yukon, too. And she is succeeding.
Close to nature, she is humbled by
the beauty that surrounds her. “The
Yukon belongs to the animals, not to
us,” she says. “There are more
moose than people here! We’re just
Atop the Midnight Dome (a
mountain) in Dawson, we finally
understand the meaning of
“breathtaking”. In this town of barely
1,500 inhabitants, where, night after
night, the musical cabaret at
Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Casino
dazzles greying heads from the four
corners of the globe (tour groups
mainly American and Canadian, but
also German and Japanese stop at
Dawson en route to Alaska), words
fail us in our attempt to describe the
wild nature. For that’s what it is. The
Yukon is one of those nearly pristine
regions, despite the presence of the
big American chains in the capital
and a few visible scars on the
mountains of the Klondike, where
people once tried to extract gold
without considering the environment.
Wild, but with a rich history…
Kneeling by the stream, I see the
landscape reflected in sepia. It takes
me back 100 years.
Rabbit Creek, 1896. While
scrubbing clothes on my washboard,
my mind starts to wander. Suddenly,
I’m blinded by a flash of light
reflected off a stone. I set aside my
task, lift the edges of my long skirt
and wade into the creek. I bend over
and pick up what must be a mirage.
Gold. I’ve discovered gold!
This reverie is pure fabrication on
my part, although the washboard
anecdote is featured in many of
Maureen’s tales about the discovery
of gold in the Klondike, stories that
transport me into the past and into
the skin of Kate Carmack. In the
official version, it is her husband
George who discovered the first
nugget at this very spot. Other
sources maintain that it was, in fact,
the Amerindian Skookum Jim
Mason, a guide for Kate Carmack’s
brother and his travelling
companions in search of the young
woman and her husband. As a
confirmed feminist, Maureen prefers
to cast Kate Carmack in the starring
role, and I, too, have a weakness for
that version of the story.
After gold was discovered here,
Rabbit Creek was renamed Bonanza
Creek, and the area was soon
combed by other prospectors. A few
Discover Canada 9
to read all our back issues
and find muchmor.
months later (news travelled slowly
in those days), the Klondike Gold
Rush began.
In Dawson, we feel as if we are
turning a page of history on every
street corner. This former capital of
the Yukon (where 30,000 people
once packed into the town of 1,500)
saw a stream of ambitious young
men, some of whom lost their lives,
while others hit the jackpot. The
market value of the gold found here
over the years is estimated at 500
million dollars.
“There are still millionaires living in
Dawson,” Maureen tells us. “But you
wouldn’t know it. They don’t flaunt it.
I received a few nuggets as a tip
when I worked at the casino. That’s
what’s so great about this place. It’s
a person’s character that counts.
There is no class structure.”
The homes of poet Robert Service
and novelist Jack London (actually,
half his home, as the other half is in
the U.S. through a bizarre agreement
with Canada), both of whom were
prospectors in the region, have been
transformed into tourist attractions.
Joseph and I each symbolically
“extract” a stone from the stream
before we hit the road. Later on, we
have our family portrait taken in
period costume at Peabody’s Photo
Parlour. Joe is a disgruntled, down-
and-out prospector, I am a cancan
dancer, and Maya is a Laura Ingalls
character. Welcome to the Little
House in the Valley!
The high point of my day is a
lesson in panning for gold from an
old pro, Jerry McBride. He’s another
real character: a gap-toothed,
straight-talking former prospector
now in the tourist trade. His verdict:
despite my total lack of rhythm, I
probably would have made a better
cancan dancer.
Next month we continue to follow
the family, this time through British
Columbia when they visit Whistler,
Vancouver Island and many other
interesting locations.
Courtesy of the Canadian Tourism
Marie-Julie has worked in the
communications field since 1994. She is
a freelance journalist, a columnist, a
researcher and a reporter for print,
broadcast, and online media. She is also
the author of a travelogue, Cartes
postales d’Asie
published in 2007 by Mémoire d’encrier,
and a book for young travellers,
Embarquement immédiat (Stanké, 2004,
CodeProduit=295687). She has set
down her backpack in twenty or so
countries and has been keeping a blog,
Taxi-brousse (, since
spring 2008. She admits to knowing Asia
better than her own country. But that is
about to change!
“The Yukon
belongs to the
animals, not
to us,”
10 Discover Canada
Advertorial Discover Canada 11
At the very heart of North America lies Brandon, Manitoba, a city that has built its reputation on providing the
atmosphere in which business can succeed without artificial incentives. Brandon continues to consistently
be ranked in the top percentile of over 100 cities in 11 countries with regards to overall cost
Brandon was destined to become the hub and service centre for Western Manitoba from its inception when
it was selected as the divisional point for the Canadian Pacific Railway, a role that Brandon not only
embraced but has excelled at. During its first year of existence, Brandon was often referred to as the
wonder city of the northwest because of the rapidness of its development. Virtually every name associated
with traditional consumer retail can be found in Brandon. The city offers shopping choices that range from
large retail power centres to unique boutique style shops and everything in between. Brandon consistently
records retail sales well above the national average.
Today, Brandon continues to be known as a city of opportunity that capitalizes on its unique strengths. With
innovation and foresight driving the economy forward, Brandon has evolved from the early days as a service
centre to a diversified and important contributor to the Manitoba economy. Significant economic generators
within the local economy include: farm fertilizer production, manufacturing, pork processing, metal
fabrication, trucking as well as Federal, Provincial and Municipal government and higher education including
a university, community college, emergency services college and private vocational colleges. Brandon is
fortunate to have a varied manufacturing base. While the agriculture community has a strong impact on
manufacturing, products and services are diversified sufficiently to allow the economy to remain stable
despite peaks and valleys in the farm economy. Brandonʼs largest manufacturing employers are Maple Leaf
Pork, Koch Fertilizer Canada, A.E. McKenzie Seed Company, Behlen Industries, Inventronics, Canexus,
and Wyeth Organics.
With ready access to a university, community college and an industry valued regional secondary school;
Brandon has a small but burgeoning New Media and Information Technology sector. Companies such as
ResQ, 360 Replays and a variety of highly regarded home based businesses have demonstrated that
Brandon offers the infrastructure and skills necessary to successfully operate an information technology
Brandonʼs location near the geographical centre of North America positions it in the midst of a very strong
transportation network including rail and road. This strong transportation network coupled with low energy
costs has enabled the metal fabrication sector to flourish. Companies like Behlen Industries, Atom Jet
Industries and Sperling Industries have demonstrated that Brandon offers a business environment that
enables their companies to successfully compete in the global marketplace.
With a growing population and economy, employment opportunities abound. In 2008, Brandonʼs average
unemployment rate was 3%. The past four years, local businesses have cited the shortage of labour as their
greatest hurdle to reaching their full potential. Increases in immigration to the area have been extremely well
received by the community as a whole and businesses are benefiting from the expanded labour force. As
the community continues to grow and become more culturally diverse, individuals who are fluent in English
as well as other languages are highly regarded.
At the end of the day, one of Brandonʼs greatest assets is the balance between profit and personal reward.
Imagine taking no more than 15 minutes to get to and from work, no matter what time of day, or where you
live in the city. Come for a visit, and you may decide that you belong in Brandon.
Brandon, the heart of
North America
12 Discover Canada
The secret
gardens of
By Noah


Sequoia Club
Discover Canada 13
My favorite of Québec’s
spectacular array of gardens is
situated outside the picturesque
village of Métis-sur-Mer, north of
Rimouski and below the Gaspé. It’s
not just the labyrinth of streams and
English-style flowerbeds, romantic
and overflowing, or the fields of rare
blue poppies shimmering under the
fleeting summer sun. At the Jardins
de Métis, where an historic lodge
and garden is combined with an
annual competition of landscape
artists, much of the joy in visiting
lies in the gaiety and laughter the
International Festival of Gardens
Imagine hundreds of potatoes
lined up on pine shelves within a
wooden subterranean root cellar.
The festival entry called Pomme de
parterre is as intriguing as a science
experiment: the potatoes are
connected by wired electrodes to a
set of speakers that—without any
other source of energy—emit tiny
screaming sounds prompted by the
proliferation of sugars in the
growing spuds. There’s no way
around it. The wooden shed—
resembling, in its subtle way, a
concentration camp dormitory—is a
vegan’s tragicomic nightmare.
The Jardins de Métis, outside the
historic summer resort of Métis-sur-
Mer, an area also known as the
Reford Gardens. Their founder, Elsie
Reford, who was the heir to Estevan
Lodge—a salmon fishing lodge built
by Sir George Stephen, “baronet of
Montreal and Grand-Métis” (one of
the original CP Railway barons and
the first president)—started
cultivating them in 1926. Out of the
Gaspé Peninsula on the south shore
of the Bas Saint Laurent, Elsie
Reford fashioned a marvelously
English set of rock gardens and
flower beds into which she also
successfully introduced thousands
of unusual species—including, most
famously, the Himalayan blue
Now the gardens are managed by
Reford’s great-grandson Alexander
who cleverly introduced the
International Festival of Gardens—
now in its 10th year—in a previously
unused part of the villa’s extensive
grounds. (The Festival was the
inspiration for the recently mounted
Ephemeral Gardens in Québec City,
QC, celebrating its 400

Gardens are beloved in la belle
province and throughout the Bas
Saint Laurent and the Gaspé, on the
south shore, and the Charlevoix
region on the Saint Lawrence’s
northern side. They celebrate
memory and belonging, but also the
task of actually living in a territory
that is by nature only reluctantly
settled. Quebeckers’ gardens bloom
in a riot of colour during the short
season in which they are possible,
and there is nearly always a
vegetable patch or an organic farm
nearby. These now supply not just
Quebeckers’ kitchens, but the
proliferation of gourmet restaurants
of the region—from Québec City to
Métis-sur-Mer and Tadoussac,
where chefs make a point of making
their imaginative best of local
A simple, circular route—from
Québec City through the
Kamouraska region as far as Métis,
and then, taking the ferry across the
river at Rimouski, back along the
North Shore through the Charlevoix
and into Québec City again—
reveals Quebec gardens in their
astonishing variety. And no more so
than in this year of the provincial
capital’s 400th birthday
celebrations. The traveller who
makes Québec’s horticulture his
raison d’être can visit a plethora of
that evoke the Old World (French
and English), as well as others that
amuse and even surprise with their
imaginative variety of contemporary
messages, for great gardens have
always invoked their designers’
visions of paradise, but it is a
modern turn of the landscaper’s art
that now their messages are
political, too.
The classic gardens of Québec
City—the Botanical Gardens of the
University of Laval, the Joan of Arc
Garden within the Plains of
Abraham (the park of profound
historical contemplation that was a






14 Discover Canada
gift to the city on the occasion of its
300th anniversary, a century ago)
and the Saint Roch Gardens within
the old town—present the
horticultural city in its more formal,
handsome and civically oriented
aspect. Theirs is the sensibility of a
place that, having to govern, sees
paradise in order.
But as part of the city’s ongoing
celebrations of its 400th birthday
another, more contemporary kind of
garden is sprouting in unanticipated
The Visionaries Garden—the
creation of Franco Dragone (a
previous Cirque du Soleil director
and creator)—is a mounting series of
vegetable planters boxed in concrete
and acrylic blue, illuminated at night,
that dress the steps of the Musée de
la civilisation in the lower part of the
city. A short walk away, across the
busy Rue Dalhousie (the street that
separates the old town from what
had been the river’s edge three
centuries ago), the 11 themed plots
of the Ephemeral Gardens—selected
from several hundred international
entries—are planted on a site that
had previously a parking lot.
One, called L’autre rive (“The Other
Shore”), uses stone paths winding
through the whispering greenery of
high willow saplings to rejoice in
nature’s shape-shifting; the sort of
immersion in the plant world that
pioneers, 400 years ago, would have
experienced. Today’s urbanite, likely
to be deprived of such an encounter,
will relate to Plage (“Beach”), a
humourous take on an inner city
garden, comprised of a series of
sandlots and brightly pastel-coloured
painted low benches cut in
ergonomic shapes kind to those
wanting to take a nap in the sun.
Another, Rouages (“Cogs”), invites
you to turn a crank on a gear system
that pulls a plow seeder tilling the
ground below in a marvelously
evocative recollection of the
province’s settler beginnings.
Downriver from the city, the lines
of the old seigneurial fields,
hearkening back to the earliest days
of la Nouvelle France, are still evident
in the long and narrow fields that
stretch from farmhouses a kilometer
inland to the very border of the river
(repeated, as if the great Saint
Lawrence was a blue mirror, on the
hills of the far shore). These strips of
land that, so beautiful to behold,
were distributed to French-Canadian
seigneurs in such a way that vital
access to the highway of the water
was guaranteed to all. Francis H.
Cabot is descended of one such
family. He the owner and designer of
Les Jardins de Quatre-Vents—20
acres of gardens on what used to be
the family seigneurie overlooking the
Saint Lawrence from La Malbaie, in
the Charlevoix region, on the north
The gardens are considered by
many to be the finest in Canada.
They are certainly among the most
eccentric, filled with exuberant folly
and recalling not just the Versailles-
like gardens of 18th century Europe,
or England’s Capability Brown, but
the lush and fantastical vegetation of
New Zealand—where Cabot lives for
part of the year—the comedy of Alice
in Wonderland (human-sized bronze
statues of frogs with musical
instruments that play Dixieland and
another quartet that plays chamber
music as you approach) and the
intriguing mysteries of Freemasonry.
On a secret door in the atrium of the
Pigeonnier, a three-storey wooden
pigeon house, Cabot has inscribed
an Alexander Pope poem promising
that: He Gains All Points, Who
Pleasingly Confounds,/ Surprises,
Varies and Conceals the Bounds.The
gardens do just that—baffling and
entertaining those who visit on one of
four permitted days a season.
But despite such delights, the
playful Jardins de Métis’ are still the
ones that capture my fancy like no
other. In one entry, retained from an
earlier year, sheets of tinted Perspex
in a patch of birch have an Orson
Welles-like effect in the redoubled
glade. In another, amusingly titled
Passe-moi un sapin, Rita (“Pass the
pine tree, Rita”), visitors are
encouraged to take oversized plastic
cutouts of green trees—ones that
mimic the pine air fresheners that
hang from car mirrors—and to
“plant” them in slots in an area of
authentic forest.
Afterwards, have a fine meal in the
airy dining room of the magnificent
lodge. Visit Elsie’s rooms, upstairs, or
take a walk along the garden paths
she made and try and imagine what
she thought she was building.
It is this exhilarating mix of the
traditional and the very modern,
Québec in both its envious aspects,
that make the Jardins de Métis the
perfect place to conclude—or begin
—your wonderful Saint Lawrence
horticultural journey.
Noah Richler is a CBC radio
documentary maker and the prize-
winning author of This is My Country,
What’s Yours? A Literary Atlas of
Canada. He is a regular contributor to the
Globe and Mail, the National Post, The
Walrus magazine and the BBC World
Sequoia Club
Discover Canada 15
Canada: Did you know?
In the town of St.Paul, Alberta
you will find a flying saucer
landing pad. It was built to
celebrate Canada’s
centennial in 1967.
Although hockey is known
as Canada’s national sport,
it actually shares the title
with lacrosse which is the
official summer sport.
The Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia is home to the highest
tides in the world reaching mean heights of 16 m (52 ft).
Quebec City is the only walled city in North America and
is a UNESCO World heritage Site.
Every year in Quebec City an ice
hotel is built using over 500
tons of ice. It is open January
to April and has 36 rooms,
cinema, chapel and a bar - all
made of ice.
The Confederation Bridge
which connects New
Brunswick with Prince Edward
Island is the longest continuous
bridge over sea in the world.
Algonquin Provincial park in Ontario is one of the best
places to spot moose in North America. It is home to
around 3,500 of them.
Toronto in Ontario is the only
city in Canada to still
operate electric street cars.
On March 29,1848 both
sides of Niagara Falls ran
dry. An ice jam had formed
on Lake Erie, blocking the
water that normally flowed
along the Niagara River and
over the falls. Thirty hours later,
weather and winds uncorked the ice and a sudden surge
of water swept down over the falls.
Baffin Island in Nunavut is Canada’s largest island. It
covers an area of 507,451 sq km and has a population of
11,000 people.
The Mackenzie River is the longest river in Canada. It
runs from Lake Athabasca in Alberta to the Beaufort Sea.
The covered bridge over the Saint John River in New
Brunswick is considered the longest covered bridge in
the world at 391 m (1,282 ft).
Churchill, Manitoba is home to the world’s largest
population of polar bears. The bears can be seen
between October and November.
More than half of Canada’s 209 mammals (a whopping
119 species) and a full 362 of the 462 species of birds
resident in Canada are found in British Columbia.
The highest town in Canada is
Rossland in British Columbia.
It is located 1,023 m (3,356
ft) above sea level in the
crater of an ancient
volcano between the
Monashee and Selkirk
Mountain ranges.
The badlands in southern
Alberta are home to the
greatest concentration of dinosaur
fossils found anywhere in the world.
The largest national park in Canada is Wood Buffalo
which spans the borders of Alberta and the Northwest
Territories. It covers an area of 44,807
sq km (17,300 sq ft).
Canada is home to 14 World
Heritage Sites. In 2007, the
Rideau Canal, which flows
through Ottawa, Ontario,
became the latest Canadian
site to earn the designation.
Canada is the second largest
country in the world after Russia.
Canada’s total area is 9,984,670 sq km.
The border between Canada and the United States is
8,890 kilometres long.
The largest non-polar ice field in the world can be found
in the St. Elias Mountains, Yukon Territory. It covers an
area of 40,570 square kilometres of which 16,900 square
kilometres are located in Canada, the remainder being in
The longest highway in the world is the Trans-Canada
Highway which is 7,604 km and stretches from one side
of Canada to the other.
The highest waterfall in Canada is Della Falls in British
Columbia which is 44 metres high.
16 Travel
Kenai Fjords
and Prince


Travel 17
One of the best ways to see the
wonders of Alaska's Prince William
Sound and the Kenai Fjords National
Park is on a boat with someone who
knows them well.
Tour boats that ply the glacier-
lined waters of Southcentral Alaska
are floating classrooms. National
park rangers stand by the railings,
ready to answer any question about
the birds and sea mammals nearby.
Captains, as familiar with the pristine
waters as they are with their crafts,
offer rich narratives and often alter
their routes to make sure passengers
don't miss breaching whales or
calving glaciers.
The two bodies of water are easily
within the reach of travelers to
Alaska. Although the stunning
settings offer many of the same
opportunities - sightseeing tours, sea
kayaking, calving glaciers, whales,
astounding fishing opportunities and
miles of pristine shoreline - they are
very different.
Prince William Sound
Prince William Sound, with 3,500
miles of coastline and 150 glaciers,
lies within the boundaries of
Chugach National Forest, the second
largest in the country. The sound is
home to one of the world's largest
collection of tidewater glaciers.
Although it's in the far northern Gulf
of Alaska, the waters are mostly
protected by a series of islands.
Calm bays, a plethora of islands and
so many glaciers that they aren't all
named provide unparalleled
opportunities to explore one of
Alaska's most impressive and
accessible bodies of water.
Most tours from Anchorage begin
in Whittier, a 40-minute drive from
Anchorage that connects to a short,
11-mile train ride through a tunnel
carved into a mountain. You can
drive your vehicle onto a flatbed car,
or just hop on the train.
Once in Whittier, a small enclave
originally built to be a self-contained
army community, travelers can throw
sea kayaks into the sound or catch
an Alaska Marine Highway ferry, or
buy a ticket on one of the numerous
half- or full-day tours provided by
tour companies.
Like the captains who ply the
waters of the Kenai Fjords National
Park, Prince William Sound captains
and crew members provide
information and insight into the
wildlife and glaciers along the way.
You'll gaze at huge, sheer walls of
prehistoric ice, watch other chunks
of glacial ice - some call them
icebergs - float, freshly calved away
from the sound's spectacular
Columbia Glacier, a 40-mile-long and
four-mile-wide tidewater glacier.
There is another option to get to
see the sound. You can do what the
locals do - something an Anchorage
newspaper reporter once called "The
Valdovier Loop" - that is, a trip
encompassing Valdez, Cordova and
Whittier. It involves a six- to eight-
hour drive to Valdez, a ferry to
Cordova and onto Whittier, then a
train ride (with your car onboard) to
Portage for the return drive to
The drive to Valdez, spectacular to
even the most seasoned Alaskan,
peaks at Thompson Pass, where the
Worthington Glacier is accessible by
car. Valdez, a lively little berg famous
for the World Extreme Skiing
Competition usually held around the
end of March, wild rafting,
unsurpassed fishing and the
termination of the Trans-Alaska
Pipeline. It's also home to
internationally acclaimed Prince
William Sound Theater Conference,
an August event that draws
playwrights and actors from all over
the country.
Cordova is an amazing spot, a
quaint fishing town of about 2,500
set in the Copper River Delta, where
six glacial rivers meet. The docks are
lined with weathered canneries and
the harbor filled with commercial
fishing vessels.
About 50 miles outside of
Cordova, along the old Cordova
River Road, is Childs Glacier. A 300-
foot-wall of ice sits across the
Copper River. When the mighty



Glaciers in Prince
William Sound
Sequoia Club
18 Travel
glacier calves, a steel bridge - still
unfinished but open to pedestrians -
reverberates with the thunderous
sound. Tours or taxi rides to the
glacier are available from Cordova.
Birders love Cordova, as do
anglers. Camping and fishing tips are
best gotten from the U.S. Forest
Service and the Alaska Department
of Fish and Game. In May, Cordova
fills with birders to catch some of the
240 species of birds that live here or
stop on various migration routes. The
Copper River Delta Shorebird
Festival marking the event provides
opportunities to share birding
information and enjoy the small-town
charm of the town.
The Kenai Fjords
When local Alaskans have visitors,
chances are you'll find them driving
three hours south along the Seward
Highway, a National Forest Scenic
Byway, to Resurrection Bay and the
Kenai Fjords National Park. Here, it's
almost embarrassingly easy to
impress visitors who have traveled
north to learn first-hand about
Alaska's natural wonders.
And travelers who arrive on their
own find opportunities to study the
sea life and surrounding glaciers
from national park rangers. Rangers
who work on many of the daily
commercial tours, staff the ranger
station and sometimes can be found
walking along the docks of Seward,
enjoying a sunny day.
After a drive through the nation's
best salmon-fishing country, the road
trip ends in Seward, a small, friendly
community of about 3,000 that lies
nestled where turquoise waters meet
with the timbered Kenai Mountains.
The town is a mix of working
fishermen, young cannery workers
and people in the tourist trade. It's
lively and a tribute to its somewhat
rocky history.
The city is named after William H.
Seward, U.S. Secretary of State in
1867 when Russia agreed to sell
Alaska to the United States for $7.2
million. Seward drew widespread
criticism for fostering the purchase,
hence the state's early monikers of
"Seward's Folly" and "Seward's
Fourth of July weekend is one of
the busiest in Seward. Over 30,000
people gather to enjoy a parade and
street fair filled with food and craft
booths. But the big attraction that
weekend is the Mount Marathon
Race, when some 3,000 men,
women and youth race up the steep
4,603-foot peak.
If you can't make it in July, plenty
of other activities that mix
spectacular Alaska wilderness with
the hometown fun of Seward go on
all summer. The town hosts a silver
salmon derby every August and is
home to an active yachting club,
which stages regattas and races
throughout the summer, filling the
harbor with colorful sails.
The harbor area is lined with
charter boat offices, gift shops, a
small grocery/sandwich shop, a
couple of restaurants and the public
boat launch.
One of the area's premiere
attractions is 690,000-acre Kenai
Fjords National Park. Dominated by
the immense Harding Icefield, the
area surrounding the fjords feeds
dozens of deep-blue glaciers that
tumble down into the waters of the
Out on the water, it's not hard to
find communities of Steller sea lions,
otters, puffins, bald eagles and
calving glaciers. Whales sometimes
make it deep into the fjords, but the
odds of seeing one increase as you
boat further into Resurrection Bay.
To get out on the water, take one
of several tour boats or smaller
charter boats that provide tours from
the small boat harbor. Tours range
from 2.5-hour cruises across
Resurrection Bay to the edge of the
national park, to 9.5-hour cruises
deep into the fjords. The sizes of the
commercial tour boats vary, holding
from less than 10 to 200 passengers.
Kenai Fjords
Alaskan ferry
Sea lions
Prince William Sound
“The cruises
offer a rare
chance to have
the beauty of
interpreted by
Sequoia Club
The cruises offer a rare chance to
have the beauty of Alaska interpreted
by experts. National park rangers
staff many of the cruises and tours.
Captains also provide ongoing
narratives during the tours, often
altering their route to give travelers
closer viewing to whales and sea
lions. Maps and other printed guides
allow for even more study of the
glaciers and wildlife along the way.
Personalized sightseeing tours and
fishing charters are also available out
of Seward, with operators offering
trips to catch ling cod, halibut and
salmon or to simply cruise the bay.
If you're not inclined to head out
onto the water to see glaciers,
downtown Seward is a short drive
from the foot of Exit Glacier. Part of
the national park, this glacier empties
out at a trailhead nine miles off the
Seward Highway just outside of
Seward. Energetic hikers can
scramble up the three-mile trail
alongside the glacier to overlook the
Harding Icefield. Or you can simply
walk to the face of the glacier. A
nearby ranger station offers maps,
literature on glaciers and, as always,
helpful rangers who love to talk
about the region.
Much of the best of the Fjords'
wildlife can be seen at the new
Alaska SeaLife Center. This $52
million state-of-the-art marine
research, rehabilitation and
educational facility has three main
exhibits including Stellar sea lions,
harbor seals and a variety of
seabirds. The research center was
designed and built as an outgrowth
of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Its
mission is to rehabilitate marine
birds, mammals and fish while
allowing the public to observe.
The displays are top-drawer. Huge
glass tanks make visitors feel as if
they are standing under the bay's
waters. In the "Discovery Zone," you
can get up-close looks at sea stars,
sea urchins and a passel of other
marine invertebrates. Descending
into the display, "Denizens of the
Deep," you'll watch sea lions and
other marine species in their natural
elements while another underwater
viewing area boasts of wolf eels,
giant octopus and various species of
A variety of organized packages
can get travelers to Seward by rail,
bus or plane. The independent
traveler can also arrange
transportation on those modes, or
drive. Ambitious hikers can walk from
Anchorage to Seward, having to walk
along only 40 miles of highway in the
course of the 125-mile journey.
For information about Prince
William Sound, the Kenai Fjords, and
travel and lodging information,
contact the Valdez Convention and
Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 1603,
Valdez, AK 99686, 800-770-5954,
Cordova Chamber of Commerce,
P.O. Box 99, Cordova, AK 99574,
907-424-7260 or the Seward
Chamber of Commerce and
Convention and Visitors Bureau, P.O.
Box 749, Seward, AK 99664,
For more Alaska visitor information,
write to Dept. 712, P. O. Box 196710,
Anchorage, AK 99519-6710, call
800-862-5275 or visit the web site
Alaska Travel Industry Association
2600 Cordova St. Ste. 201
Anchorage, AK 99503-2745
P. (800) 327-9372
F. (800) 276-1042
Travel 19



“You'll gaze at
huge, sheer
walls of
20 Lifestyle
Chocolate Chip
205 g butter flavored shortening
150 g white sugar
110 g brown sugar
2 eggs
10 ml Mexican vanilla extract
280 g all-purpose flour
5 g baking soda
6 g salt
335 g milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175
degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. In a
large bowl, cream together the butter
flavored shortening, brown sugar and
white sugar until light and fluffy. Add the
eggs one at a time, beating well with
each addition, then stir in the vanilla.
Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until
light brown. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
The cookie crumbles
Oatmeal Cookies
115 g butter, softened
60 ml applesauce
145 g brown sugar
65 g white sugar
2 eggs
5 ml vanilla extract
190 g all-purpose flour
6 g salt
5 g baking soda
245 g rolled oats
80 g raisins
60 g chopped walnuts
85 g semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175
degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. In a
large bowl, cream together the butter,
applesauce, brown sugar and white sugar
until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a
time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda, then
gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, stir in the oats, raisins, nuts and chocolate chips. Drop by
rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow
cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.
Lifestyle 21
Spicy Banana Cookies
100 g shortening
220 g packed brown sugar
2 eggs
150 g mashed ripe bananas
250 g all-purpose flour
9 g baking powder
1 g ground cinnamon
1 g baking soda
0.5 g ground cloves
2 g salt
60 g chopped walnuts
70 g raisins
In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and
brown sugar. Add eggs and bananas;
mix well. Combine dry ingredients; add
to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in
nuts and raisins. Chill (dough will be very
soft). Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until
lightly browned.
Almond Biscotti
115 g butter or margarine, softened
250 g sugar, divided
3 eggs
5 ml anise or vanilla extract
250 g all-purpose flour
9 g baking powder
Dash salt
50 g chopped almonds
10 ml milk
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and 1
cup sugar. Add eggs, one at a time,
beating well after each addition. Stir in
anise or vanilla. Combine dry
ingredients; add to creamed mixture.
Stir in almonds. Line a baking sheet
with foil and grease foil. Divide dough in
half; spread into two 12 x 3-in.
rectangles on foil. Brush with milk and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or
until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 300 degrees F. Lift rectangles with
foil onto wire rack; cool for 15 minutes. Place on a cutting board; slice diagonally 1/2 in. thick. Place slices with cut
side down on un-greased baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn cookies over; bake 10 minutes more. Cool.
22 Lifestyle
Fiction hardbacks
Fiction paperbacks
TV shows
Top Canadian…
1. House - 2.88
2. American Idol (Wed) - 2.41
3. Grey’s Anatomy - 2.30
4. American Idol (Tue) - 2.29
5. C.S.I. Miami - 1.86
6. Two and a Half Men - 1.83
7. Bones - 1.59
8. Grammy Awards - 1.59
9. Desperate Housewives - 1.58
10. ER - 1.53
1. Working on a Dream, Bruce
2. Frey, The Frey
3. Dark Hourse, Nickelback
4. The Fame, Lady Gaga
5. 2009 Grammy Nominees,
6. We Sing We Dance We Steal,
Jason Mraz
7. Fearless, Taylor Swift
8. Only by the Night, Kings of
9. I am Sasha Fierce, Beyonce
10. Tonight, Franz Ferdinand
1. Zack and Mira Make a Porno
2. Pride and Glory (18A)
3. Passchendaele (14A)
4. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
5. Lakeview Terrace (14A)
6. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
7. Max Payne (PG13)
8. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (14A)
9. The Secret Life of Bees (PG13)
10. RocknRolla (14A)
Lifestyle 23
1. The Shack, William P Young
2. The Book of Negroes,
Lawrence Hill
3. Three Day Road, Joseph
4. Water for Elephants, Sara
5. Thousand Splendid Suns,
Khaked Hosseini
6. Outlander, Gil Adamson
7. Slumdog Millionaire, Vikas
8. The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga
9. The Appeal, John Grisham
10. World Without End, Ken Follett
1. Through Black Spruce, Joseph
2. The Guernsey Literary and
Potato Peel Pie Society,
Barrows & Shaffer
3. The Host, Stephanie Meyer
4. The Associate, John Grisham
5. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle,
David Wroblewski
6. The Hour I First Believed, Wally
7. The Flying Troutmans, Miriam
8. The Origin of Species, Nino
9. A Most Wanted Man, John le
10. Just After Sunset, Stephen King
Sequoia Club
The Slightly Unusual
Before we talk to Wolf, lets first
understand what a barrel organ is.
According to the Oxford Canadian
dictionary a barrel organ is: a
mechanical musical instrument that
plays a tune when a handle is turned.
So Wolf is the grinder who turns the
handle - with us so far?
Wolf, give us a bit of
background and when and
why you started this unusual
Twelve years ago when we moved
from Germany to Canada I thought I
would retire here. My wife and I
bought a 50 acre farm and renovated
the buildings and wanted to open a
B&B. It turned out that we became a
very well known yoga retreat center.
After these successful years I
thought I should try again to retire,
but didn’t know what to do in my free
time, so my wife suggested why not
fulfill my childhood dream by doing
some entertaining. As a lot of
people play a barrel organ in
Germany why not start this in
Canada and entertain people here? I
did some research on the internet,
flew to Berlin, Germany and bought
a wonderful handcrafted instrument.
While still in Germany I advertised in
Toronto and got my first
Was it hard getting started?
Strangely, no. Once back in Canada
I bought my “outfit” and in the first
year I played for a big restaurant
opening for the German Chamber of
Commerce at the Royal York Hotel
in Toronto, a wedding and a 60th
birthday party.
What is the general response
to your organ grinding?
Wherever I go, people start smiling,
no matter their age. I really enjoy my
new career as a busker and the nice
conversations I have with people.
What is the funniest part of
your job?
People always ask me “where is
your monkey?”
The background to the monkey is:
in the old days the barrel organ
grinder walked through the streets
and the backyards of the houses and
they had a monkey who would
collect the money the women were
throwing out of the windows. As I do
not trust the monkey and my wife will
not agree to have one in the house
(we already have 3 dogs & 3 cats) I
have to pick up the money myself!
However, I do have a toy monkey
who sits on top of my organ.
What type of events do you
perform at?
These days people or groups hire
me to play at events such as
exhibitions, fairs, weddings,
anniversaries, retirement homes,
garden parties, street events (BIA’s)
etc. I even played 2 days in Oil
Spring City (near Sarnia) for the
150th anniversary of the Oil Museum.
I travel all over the place with my
barrel organ.
Do you busk on the streets?
Unfortunately Canada differs to
Germany in that local communities
do not allow me to play on public
streets, if they do, they ask for a
permit which can be expensive. For
that reason I only play if privately
24 Working Life
In the past, our unusual jobs profiles have been just that, however
this month we talk to Wolf Wartenberg who definitely fits the criteria
of unusual. He is an barrel organ grinder, and for those of you who
have no idea what that is - read on.
Sequoia Club

Working Life 25
Tell us about your barrel organ.
My instrument continues the tradition of the world
famous Berlin street organ, preserving the old concepts
tonally and mechanically. The instrument, played by
means of the traditional perforated paper rolls operating
the old pneumatic system which has stood the test of
time for more than 100 years.
This year I will fly to Germany to attend a barrel organ
grinder festival where about 300 barrel organ grinders
will come together and play. I’m really looking forward to
this event!!!
So, when are you planning to retire now?
Who knows? I love what I do and as long as I am
physically and mentally able to continue, I will do. I have
no plans to retire anytime soon!
If you want to know more about Wolf
and his barrel organ grinding why not
check out his website at or contact
him by email
Sequoia Club
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26 Working Life Advertorial
7th Annual Power of Women
Conference 2009
Sequoia Club
Advertorial Working Life 27
Conference Workshops
Session 1
Personal Development - Aprille Janes
Create a Life Plan Before a Business Plan.
Business Development - KPMG
Are you Maximizing your Tax Deductions?
Should you Incorporate your Business?
Lifestyle/Health Development - Dr. Cecilia Ho
Healthy Breast Workshop

Session 2
Personal Development - Mary Giuffre
Create flow in your life with Feng Shui
Business Development - Joanne Ferns
Build a successful business and Prosperity
Lifestyle/Health Development - Corey
Identify what Motivates You and Your Clients

Session 3
Personal Development - Stephanie Herrera
Business Development - Stefanie Antunes
Keeping Strong in a Weak Economy
Lifestyle/Health Development - Nicole Risman

Conference Sponsors
Tickets are $175 for POWE members or
$199 for non-members plus GST
Muchmor Canada readers can get a special price of
just $150 for members and non-members
phone Cheryl on 1-877-876-6585 and quote MB200902.
with an exclusive Vendor Table for Members at $350 each including your
Only 15 available with one in a category only!
For full details of POWE and the conference go to
28 Money
You've earned it.
Claim it.
The Government of Canada
has introduced a wide range of
income tax relief measures to
help you save on your taxes.
Also, find out about our quick,
easy, and secure electronic
Lowest tax rate – The
lowest tax rate for 2008 is
15%. This rate also applies
when calculating federal
non‑refundable tax credits.
Amount for children born
in 1991 or later – You may be
able to claim $2,038 for each of
your or your spouse's or common-
law partner's children if they lived
with you throughout 2008 and were
under the age of 18 at the end of the
Children's fitness amount – You
may be able to claim up to $500 in
eligible fees paid in 2008 to register
each of your or your spouse's or
common-law partner's children in a
prescribed program of physical
Northern residents deductions –
For 2008, the residency deduction
has increased to $8.25 per day if you
are entitled to only the basic
residency amount, or $16.50 per day
if you are entitled to both the basic
and the additional residency
Pension income splitting –
Individuals who received eligible
pension income in the year may be
able to allocate up to half of that
income to their spouse or common-
law partner. To make this election,
individuals must complete Form
T1032, Joint Election to Split Pension
Public transit amount –
Individuals can claim the cost of
monthly or longer duration public
transit passes for travel within
Canada. The passes must permit
unlimited travel on local buses,
streetcars, subways, commuter
trains or buses, and local ferries. The
cost of shorter duration passes can
also be claimed if each pass entitles
the user to unlimited travel for an
uninterrupted period of at least five
days and the user purchases enough
of these passes so that the user is
entitled to unlimited travel for at least
20 days in any 28-day period.
Individuals can also claim the cost of
electronic payment cards when used
to make at least 32 one-way trips
during an uninterrupted period not
exceeding 31 days.
Registered Retirement Income
Funds (RRIF) withdrawals – Under
proposed changes, the required
minimum RRIF withdrawal amount
was reduced by 25 per cent for 2008.
This measure applies to all RRIF
holders, regardless of age. RRIF
holders who withdraw more than the
reduced 2008 minimum amount will
be permitted to re-contribute the
excess to their RRIFs (up to the
amount of the reduction provided by
this measure), until March 1, 2009 at
the latest. Re-contributions are
deductible for the 2008 tax year.
Tradesperson's tool deduction –
On their 2008 income tax returns,
employed tradespersons (including
apprentice mechanics) may be able
to claim a deduction of up to $500
based on the cost of eligible tools in
excess of $1,019 that they acquired
during 2008.
Working Income Tax Benefit
(WITB) – When filing their
income tax returns, individuals
and families with low incomes
may be able to claim the WITB,
which includes a supplement
for individuals who are entitled
to the disability tax credit.
Eligible individuals and families
can also apply for advance
payment of up to one half of
their estimated 2009 WITB
using Form RC201, Working
Income Tax Benefit Advance
Payments Application for 2009.
To ensure the best service
possible, it is very important for the
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to
have, on file, your current mailing
address and financial account
The Government has also
introduced the following measures to
help Canadians:
Apprenticeship Incentive Grant –
For information, go to
Registered disability savings
plan (RDSP) – The deadline for
opening an RDSP, making
contributions and applying for the
matching grant and the income-
tested bond for the 2008 contribution
year has been extended to March 2,
2009 from December 31, 2008. The
2009 RDSP contribution year will
begin March 3, 2009.
Remember to file your income tax
return before the deadline at
midnight on April 30, 2009. Tax
returns can be submitted to the CRA
electronically using NETFILE or
EFILE, or by phone using TELEFILE,
your return will be processed faster
and if you are entitled to a refund,
you will receive it earlier. If you are
filing a paper return, mail it to the
CRA using the envelope included in
your tax package.
For more information on tax
topics, go to
Money 29
Your donations will have a lifelong impact!
The Children’s Aid
Society of Brant
Endowment Fund
By sending a child to camp who otherwise would not be able to attend.
By helping us finance post secondary educations for children who have
grown up in care & overcome numerous challenges in their short lives.
Your donations & estate gift giving will
help us invest in a child’s future!
Call: 519-752-9094 Fran Welsh
Thank you.
Sequoia Club
30 Motoring
Test Drive:
2009 Nissan
Story and
photos by
Mark Atkinson
Motoring 31
When the Nissan Murano first
appeared in the early noughties, it
was the most futuristic design
available, especially since most of its
competitors were trying to ape the
still-upright-and-boxy traditional
SUVs. Based on the front-wheel-
drive Altima's platform, the Murano
offered decent levels of equipment,
a healthy V6 engine, optional all-
wheel drive and a reasonable ride.
Fast forward to 2009, and the
Murano's up for its first makeover. In
the grand scheme of things, not
much has changed in terms of its
brief - meaning a car-based five-seat
crossover - but the competition in
this segment is much fiercer than in
'03. Just about every major
manufacturer has at least one such
vehicle in its lineup - and sometimes
two or three. The big question is
whether Nissan's evolutionary
makeover is enough to keep it
Size-wise, the new Murano is
within a couple millimetres of its
predecessor, although the new
design is even more controversial.
Its snout feels significantly pointier
than previously, and the sculptured
front fenders mean it's more difficult
to figure out where its corners are.
The rear follows the general themes
from its smaller sibling, the Rogue,
and doesn't match the front's
drama. The de rigeur rising beltline,
thick A-pillars and small rear window
mean plenty of blind spots, although
the large side mirrors do a decent
job of filling in the blanks.
All Muranos feature Nissan's tried-
and-true 3.5-litre V6 with 265 hp and
248 lb-ft of torque, matched with a
continually variable transmission
(CVT), which also allows you to
manually select from six preset
ratios if desired. New for '09 is
standard all-wheel drive on every
Safety features include six
airbags, ABS with emergency brake
force distribution and brake assist,
stability and traction control, and
active head restraints for the front
Although the Murano S starts at a
reasonable $37,648, my tester was
in loaded $47,498 LE trim, meaning
standard HID headlights, fog lights,
20-inch wheels and all-season tires,
heated mirrors, power-adjustable
heated leather seats front and rear,
climate control, auto-sensing
windshield wipers, power tilt/
telescoping steering, keyless entry
and ignition, a dual-panel moonroof,
rearview camera with 7-in display,
11-speaker Bose audio system,
Bluetooth connectivity and
secondary audio and cruise controls
on the steering wheel. Metallic 'Deep
Sapphire' paint was an extra $135,
while the excellent hard-drive-based
navigation system and 9.3GB 'music
server' (onto which you can copy
your MP3 files) with appropriate
voice controls was a pricey $2,950
All that luxury is thrown into one of
Nissan's better cabin designs to
date. The gauges are bright and
legible no matter what time of day,
major controls fall right to hand, and
the materials are better than
average. It's very easy to find a
comfortable seating position, and
there's a decent amount of room in
the second row, even behind my 6-
foot-three-inch frame.
Cargo space is reasonably
generous, and the rear seats power
fold flat to increase usable room.
On the road, however, the
Murano's habits are merely OK. It's
not an overly sporty vehicle, thanks
Sequoia Club
32 Motoring
to too much lean and vague
steering, but the suspension bumps
and thumps over the smallest
imperfections. It's probably the
setup trying to deal with the extra
weight of the 20-inch wheels, but
there's a lot Nissan could do to
improve things for future releases.
Performance-wise, acceleration is
strong and the CVT works well
enough that you never notice it.
While the Murano offers a huge
number of features and look-at-me
styling, the only problem is its
pricing. My 'LE' tester's sticker
totaled $50,583 before freight, PDI
and taxes. A similarly equipped Ford
Edge Limited AWD runs a touch over
$46,000, while a loaded - and much
more attractive - Mazda CX-7 can't
get much higher than $42,000. Even
Infiniti's own EX35, although smaller
and less practical, would only total
about $48,600 for all the bells and
whistles. And that's only counting
dedicated five-seaters. Excellent
vehicles like the seven-seat Toyota
Highlander and Ford Flex either beat
or match Nissan's pricing.
That means, other than perhaps
styling and brand loyalty, there isn't
anything the Murano does
outstanding enough to make it
worthy of recommendation. It seems
Nissan stood still these past six
years while the market is moving
much, much faster.
The vehicle and insurance were
provided by the manufacturer for this
test. All prices in Canadian dollars.
Mark Atkinson has nearly 10 years
experience as an automobile journalist
working for publications like Inside Track
Motorsport News, Carguide, World of
Wheels, Canadian Auto World, the
Hamilton Spectator Wheels section,
Metro Carguide, Suburban Life and West
of the City. Besides writing for Muchmor
Canada Magazine, Mark also has his
own blog,, and
appears in a number of other print and
online publications.
He has driven nearly a thousand
different vehicles in his career, including
notables like the latest Chevrolet
Corvette Z06, Audi R8 and Nissan GT-R,
but his current favourite is Mercedes-
Benz’ C63 AMG… at least until
something else comes along.
As a freelance automotive journalist,
Mark enjoys working from home with his
two dogs and kitten as his office staff.
He’ll soon be adding another member to
the family as his wife Rebecca is
expecting their first child in July.
Mark’s love of cars came at a young
age thanks to his grandfather, who had a
trio of antique Chevrolets and attended
races at Watkins Glen in the 1950s.
Motoring 33
Is now the right time to
buy an RV?
The recent volatile fuel prices and
the falling value of homes have
impacted both RV owners and the
RV Industry. In the past several
months many major RV
manufacturers have shut their doors
Quite a few people, who recently
bought new RVs at the highest
monthly payments that they could
qualify for, are now regretting their
decision to get the RV of their
dreams. In other words they over
bought their RV and they are now
paying the price for it.
Is this all doom and gloom for
RVers and potential RVers? The
answer is a resounding NO! If you
were ever thinking about buying an
RV or upgrading to a different class
of RV, now is the time to do it.
Because this is where the basic
concept of Supply and Demand (also
known as price and demand) you
learned in your economics class in
high school kicks in. To put it in RV
terms, when the economy is bad, the
demand for RVs goes down.
With less demand, the RV dealers
are going to do everything they can
to get rid of those new RVs (in other
words they will accept less money
for them). The volatile fuel prices and
questionable economy have also
caused panic amongst some current
RV owners. These owners have
hastily made the decision to sell their
RVs because they believe that they
will no longer be able to afford to use
This has created a buyer’s market
for RVs right now. Whether you are
planning to buy a new or used RV,
you will be able to get a lot more for
your money. Of course you are going
to have to still negotiate the best
price you can for what you want, but
now more than ever you are in the
driver’s seat during these
negotiations. Depending on what
type of RV you are going to buy, the
money you save on the purchase
price could pay for your fuel and
other travel expenses for quite a
In some cases you may have to
finance your RV purchase. When
financing, remember the finance
company will give you a loan for as
much as you want (based on your
credit). But, just because they are
going to give you that much credit
does not mean that you have to use
that much credit. You might believe
you can afford the monthly
payments. But, you need to ask
yourself if you can comfortably afford
the monthly RV Loan payments and
still have money left over to pay for
the other costs of owning an RV such
as fuel, maintenance, storage and of
course camping. In other words
don’t overbuy.
Now, let’s address the concerns of
the cost of going camping in your
new RV. The biggest cost, depending
on the type of RV you have will be
fuel. This would be a major concern
if you are planning a 3,500-mile
cross-country trip. Now, even for the
most avid RVer is not the time to
spend all of your money seeing the
whole country (unless you have deep
Getting away from it all and
camping does not require traveling
100’s or 1000’s of kilometres. Look
around within a 50, 60- or 70 km
radius of where you live and you will
be surprised at all of the places there
are to camp. Remember, the whole
point of RVing and camping is to
relax and enjoy your surroundings. I
guarantee you there is no kilometre
limit on relaxation. Whether you are
25 km from home or 2,500 km from
home, you can and should relax:
after all, that is what the RVing
lifestyle is all about.
Our family has been RVing for over
35 years, and we have been all over
the US and Canada and have
enjoyed every minute of it. Have we
changed our RVing habits as a result
of the economic crunch? YES, we
are not planning to travel 1000’s of
kilometres right now. Have we given
up RVing? NO, we just go camping
closer to home, visiting destinations
we have not been to before. This
change in our habits has not
diminished our zeal for; or enjoyment
of RVing.
You won’t regret your decision to
buy an RV. Just plan ahead and don’t
put a financial strain on yourself as
this will diminish your enjoyment.
Author Alan Wiener says; whether you
are new to RVing and camping or a
veteran, http://www.everything-about- has something for you. We
know that Going Camping in an RV is fun
and we hope that visiting our site makes
it even more fun. We give you excellent
information about RVs, Camping and the
RV Lifestyle.
34 Moving to Canada
34 Relocation
The price
is right
Research prices
before your move
to Canada
Relocation 35
Furniture, appliances etc
The Brick:
The Brick is one of Canada’s largest
furniture store chains. They sell
furniture, appliances and electronics.
and have stores in all provinces
except Newfoundland and Labrador.
A store is also located in the Yukon.
Lastman’s Badboy Furniture:
This chain of stores operates in the
Golden Horseshoe area of Ontario.
They sell furniture, appliances and
IKEA is a Swedish company selling
furniture, textiles and home
accessories. They have locations in
British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario
and Quebec.
Leons is Canada’s largest retailer of
home furnishings. They also sell
home electronics and appliances.
They have stores in all Canadian
provinces but not the territories.
Sleep Country:
Sleep Country sells mattresses and
beds in British Columbia, Alberta,
Manitoba, Saskatchewan and
Ontario. They are the number one
mattress specialists in the country.
Sears is a department store selling
clothing, health and beauty products,
furniture, appliances, electronics,
home and garden products and
tools. They have stores throughout
Holt Renfrew:
This high end Canadian department
store has locations in Alberta, British
Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and
Quebec. They sell designer
cosmetics, fragrances and fashions.
Mattress Mart:
This company sells mattresses in
Ontario , Quebec and Nova Scotia.
The Bay:
Part of the Hudson’s Bay Company
this department store sells clothing,
health and beauty products, home
wares, furnishings and appliances.
They have stores across Canada
except PEI, Newfoundland and
Labrador and the territories.
Winners stores offers brand name
clothing, furniture and house wares.
They have stores in all provinces but
not the territories.
Part of the Hudson’s Bay Company,
Zellers offers goods such as clothing,
electrical, health and beauty, home
wares, furniture and appliances.
Stores located in all provinces but
not the Territories.
Countrywide stores offer a complete
range of furniture, appliances and
bedding. They have stores in all
provinces except Quebec and PEI.
Home Improvement
Home Depot:
Home Depot is the world’s largest
home improvement retailer. Stores
cater to do-it-yourselfers, as well as
home improvement, construction
and building maintenance
professionals. They also sell
appliances. They have locations in all
provinces, but not the territories.
RONA is the largest Canadian
distributor and retailer of hardware,
home renovation and gardening
products. They have stores in
Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba,
New Brunswick, Newfoundland &
Labrador, Nova Scotia, Quebec,
Ontario and Saskatchewan.
Home Hardware:
This Canadian company operates
under three banners: Home
Hardware selling tools, house wares,
paints and garden supplies. Home
Building Centre, which sells lumber,
electrical and plumbing supplies and
building materials, Home Furniture
which sells furniture and major
appliances. They have locations
throughout Canada.
This American DIY chain has recently
entered the Canadian market with
stores presently only in Ontario. They
sell everything for home
improvements including appliances.
Home Décor
Home Sense:
This store sells brand name and
designer home décor and
accessories. They operate in all
provinces except Prince Edward
Island and the territories.
Pier 1 Imports:
Pier 1 are a specialist retailer of
imported home furnishings and
furniture. They have stores in Alberta,
British Columbia, Manitoba, New
Brunswick, Newfoundland &
Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario,
Quebec and Saskatchewan.
Home Outfitters:
This store is part of the Hudson’s
Bay Company with stores in Alberta,
British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova
Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and
Saskatchewan. They sell kitchen,
bathroom and bedroom goods.
JYSK pronounced yi-sk is a
Scandinavian company supplying
furniture and home décor products
for the bedroom, bathroom and living
room. They have locations in British
Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba,
Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec.
36 Relocation
Home Hardware:
This Canadian company operates
under three banners: Home
Hardware selling tools, house wares,
paints and garden supplies. Home
Building Centre, which sells lumber,
electrical and plumbing supplies and
building materials, Home Furniture
which sells furniture and major
appliances. They have locations
throughout Canada.
Business Equipment
Staples Business Depot:
Staples Business Depot is Canada's
largest supplier of office supplies,
business machines, office furniture
and business services to small
business and home office customers.
They have over 240 stores in all
provinces and the Yukon.
Office Depot:
Office Depot supplies office furniture
and machinery to both business and
home office customers. They have
stores in all provinces and the Yukon.
Future Shop:
Future Shop is a retailer of consumer
electronics owned by Best Buy Co
Inc. They have over 110 stores
located in all the provinces.
Best Buy:
Best Buy is Canada's fastest-
growing specialty retailer of
consumer electronics, personal
computers and entertainment
software and also operates the Geek
Squad, a 24 hour computer support
task force. They have stores in
Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba,
Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec.
The Source by Circuit City:
This store sells consumer electronics
such as TV’s, computers, phones
etc. They have stores in all provinces
and territories.
Loblaws upscale supermarket has
stores in Ontario and Quebec.
Extra Foods:
This supermarket has locations in
Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba,
Northwest Territories, Ontario,
Saskatchewan and Yukon.
No Frills:
This budget supermarket is owned
by the Loblaws Company and only
operates in Ontario.
The Real Canadian Superstore:
This chain of hypermarkets sells
groceries as well as electronics,
clothing and house wares. They have
stores called Atlantic Superstore in
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and
Prince Edward Island. Dominion in
Newfoundland & Labrador and Real
Canadian Superstore in Western
Canada and Ontario.
A & P:
This upscale Canadian supermarket
has stores in Ontario.
Food Basics:
This budget supermarket has stores
only in Ontario.
Sobey’s has supermarkets in all
Canadian provinces. IGA is also part
of Sobey’s and many of their stores
are being re-branded as Sobey’s.
This is North America’s second
largest supermarket chain. They have
locations throughout Canada.
T & T:
T & T is Canada’s largest Asian
supermarket chain. They have
Relocation 37
Over 1 million Canadians can’t afford both. The high cost of
housing forces many people to make choices no one should
have to make. You can choose to help. To donate, participate or
advocate visit
locations in British Columbia, Alberta
and Ontario.
Thrifty Foods:
Thrifty operates a number of stores
in British Columbia and is the largest
supermarket chain on Vancouver
Primarily a supermarket, Walmart
also sells electronics, clothing,
entertainment products etc. They
have stores all over Canada except
Canadian Tire:
Canadian Tire sells everything from
car parts to fireplaces, fishing rods to
toilet rolls. They are a national brand
with 455 stores throughout Canada.
London Drugs:
London Drugs is a Canadian owned
company located in Alberta,
Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British
Columbia. They sell home wares,
health and beauty products,
electronics, computers, cameras and
Shoppers Drug Mart:
Shoppers Drug Mart is Canada’s
largest retail drug store group. As
well as health care products they
also sell cosmetics, perfume,
magazines, food and drink. They also
offer pharmacy services in stores
throughout Canada.
Costco Wholesale:
Costco is a wholesale company for
members only. Annual membership
costs from $50 to $100 depending
on membership level. Business and
personal membership is available.
They sell everything from CD’s to pet
supplies, instruments to office
Michaels is the largest art and crafts
retail chain in North America and is
located throughout Canada.
Toys R Us:
Toy store and computer gaming
centre. They have locations
throughout the country except,
Prince Edward Island and the
Chapters, part of Indigo Books and
Music Inc is Canada’s largest retail
book chain. They sell books and
music both in store and online. You
will find Chapters and Indigo stores
throughout Canada
38 Relocation

Alberta may cut
foreign worker
Over the last two years Alberta has doubled the number
of temporary foreign workers coming into the province.
However, due to the downturn in the economy it may be
forced to review current and future numbers.
As of December 2008, Alberta had 58,456 foreign
workers but during December over 16,000 jobs in the
province were shed with a further 5,700 gone during
January 09. This leads to the inevitable question of why
continue to bring in foreigners when Canadians are out
of work.
Gil McGowan president of the Alberta Federation of
Labour says that any jobs available in the province
should be made available to Canadians first, even if that
means foreign workers lose their jobs and have to leave.
McGowan says, “bringing in even more unskilled foreign
workers during the downturn will continue to keep wages
down in service and retail jobs.”
Danielle Smith who is the Alberta director of the
Canadian Federation of Independent Business suggests
that the foreign worker program should be revised
during the temporary downturn.
Currently over 170 occupations are listed as being in
short supply. These range from barbers to petroleum
Ontario Provincial
Nominee Program
Last year Ontario launched its new Provincial Nominee
Program (PNP) as a pilot and has just announced the
expansion of the program.
The new Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee
Program was launched on February 20
2009 and will
help employers find skilled workers and foreign workers
and students find work. During 2009 Opportunities
Ontario aims to have 1,000 nominations.
The program will nominate individuals and their
families based on pre-approved job offers in the
province. This will allow employers in Ontario to find and
recruit foreign workers for roles which cannot be filled by
34 Money
Fluctuating exchange rates could put
your dream property out of reach
To minimise the risk of paying more when
moving or buying abroad, call us now and
speak to one of our expert advisers or visit
0845 370 5133
(all calls charged at standard local rates)
Morgan House Madeira Walk Windsor Berkshire SL4 1EP Morgan House Madeira Walk Windsor Berkshire SL4 1EP
Currency Specialists
Line of credit or
When you decide you need a little
extra cash, and who doesn’t, the first
place you will probably go is your financial
institution for a loan. But is a loan the right
thing to ask for? If you are a home owner,
you will be borrowing against the equity in
your home, essentially a second
mortgage. You should discuss with your
financial advisor the differences between
loans and lines of credit. Depending on
what you need the money for will
determine which options will be best for
With a loan you agree to borrow a set
amount of money which you repay by
fixed installments over a fixed period of
time. For homeowners this is referred to
as a Home Equity Loan (HEL). This is
great as it means you get the whole
amount up-front to do with as you please,
but you are making payments on the
whole amount, even if you don’t use it all
at once. By this we mean that if for
example you borrow $20,000 but only use
$10,000 initially and keep the rest in the
bank for a rainy day, you are still paying
interest and repayments on the whole
Generally a HEL is more suitable for
these one-off payments such as a car
purchase or major home renovation.
Line of Credit
A Home Equity Line of Credit
(HELOC) works in a different way and is
much more flexible. You still have to agree
to an amount you can borrow and the time
period it is available, but you will only pay
interest on the amount you borrow. This is
especially useful for someone who wants
the security of knowing the money is
available but wants to be able to use it as
and when they need it.
If you agreed to a line of credit of
$20,000 for a ten year period, you can dip
into that money as and when you need it
and only pay interest on the amount used.
Use $10,000 and pay interest on $10,000.
If you pay back the $10,000 then you have
the $20,000 still available to you. This is
basically a revolving credit similar to a
credit card.
This type of credit is useful for
ongoing needs such as tuition payments,
ongoing renovations,or perhaps a holiday
each year.
With either of these options you home
is at risk if you default on the payments.
Both can be set as fixed rate or flexible
rates of interest and interest on both types
of loan are usually tax deductible.
Always consult with an advisor before
taking on either type of loan to be sure
you are opting for the one which suits your
Relocation 39
Canadians. Approved employers can recruit foreign
workers through the General Category and international
students through the International Student Category.
Individuals who are recruited by an Ontario employer
and meet the Opportunities Ontario criteria can then
apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for
permanent residence after being nominated as provincial
nominees. They may also apply for temporary work
permits whilst their applications for residency are being
Information about the program for both employers and
individuals can be found using this link.
extended in
The federal government recently announced the
expansion of its newcomer assistance programs into
fourteen more libraries in southern Ontario.
The original pilot program started in Toronto, Ottawa
and Hamilton and will be expanded to include Brampton,
Kitchener, Richmond Hill, Windsor and London.
“Our Government is helping make settlement services
more accessible to immigrants,” said Minister Kenney.
“This investment will give newcomers in our community
access to settlement services to help ease their transition
to life in Canada. Their success will strengthen this
community and Canada.”
The workers located at the libraries will offer
newcomers help and advice relating to housing,
employment transport and other opportunities.
“The library serves as a gathering place for
newcomers,” said Ahmed Iqbal, Executive Director of the
Brampton Multicultural Community Centre. “We are very
pleased to work more closely with the Brampton Library.
This dynamic partnership, funded by Citizenship and
Immigration Canada (CIC), will enable us to integrate our
services and coordinate efforts to reach more
newcomers, thereby improving their access to much
needed services in our growing community.”
The federal government is spending $1.9 million to
fund the service organizations taking part, these are:

Brampton Multicultural Community Centre:

Catholic Community Services of York Region:

Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre: $398,324

New Canadians’ Centre of Excellence, Windsor:

Centre for Lifelong Learning and LUSO Community
Services, London : $130,463

South London Neighbourhood Resource Centre:
Foreign student
numbers to
Citizenship and immigration Minister Jason Kenny
announced that Canada will “substantially increase” the
number of foreign students during the coming year. He
would not commit on numbers.
The new Experience Class of immigration which was
launched last year allows students to apply for
permanent residence when their student visas expire.
"We are not receiving enough foreign students,"
Kenney said. “Universities are pressing for the increase,
he said, because foreign students, who pay the highest
tuition fees, are "a source of revenue."
Careers 33
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Duties of this fast-growing profession
include writing and editing text, creating
graphics, converting photos and drawings
into digital images, designing page layouts
and developing presentations.
Data Entry Clerk
Like administrative assistants, job
prospects should be best for those with
expertise in computer software
applications. By typing text, entering data
into a computer, and performing other
clerical duties, these workers ensure
companies keep up with information and
Insurance Underwriter
Insurance underwriters serve as the
main link between the insurance carrier
and the insurance agent. Underwriters
analyze insurance applications, calculate
the risk of loss from policyholders, decide
whether to issue the policy and establish
appropriate premium rates.
Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts, whose job
numbers are expected to grow 20 percent
by 2016, gather data on competitors and
analyze prices, sales, and methods of
marketing and distribution. They often
design surveys, compile and evaluate the
data and make recommendations to their
client or employer based upon their
While lawyers assume ultimate
responsibility for legal work, they delegate
much of their work to paralegals.
Paralegals not only assist in preparation
for closings, hearings, trials, and corporate
meetings, they also perform a number of
other vital functions including draft
contracts, mortgages, separation
agreements, trust instruments and may
assist in preparing tax returns and
planning estates. With employers reducing
costs by replacing duties once tended to
by lawyers with paralegals, growth of this
profession is expected.
If you want to make the case to a
potential employer or your boss to let you
work from home, keep a few things in
mind. If possible, provide concrete
examples of how this arrangement was
successful in the past or how it will
succeed. Suggest that you ease into it --
spending a few days to a few weeks in the
office at the outset, meeting people and
getting to know procedures. Then, during
the first three to six months on the new
job, make frequent visits.
Kate Lorenz is the article and advice
editor for She
researches and writes about job search
strategy, career management, hiring
trends and workplace issues.
to read all our back issues
and find muchmor.
40 Relocation
According to preliminary figures issued by Citizenship
and Immigration Canada (CIC) in February, Canada
welcomed a record number of newcomers.
“While other countries are talking about taking fewer
immigrants, today, I am pleased to announce that in
2008, we increased the number of new permanent
residents to Canada,” said Citizenship, Immigration and
Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.
In total Canada saw a total of 247,702 permanent
residents enter the country during 2008. In addition to
these numbers 193,061 temporary workers and 79,459
foreign students also arrived during the same year. This
brings the total combined number of newcomers to
“Our government will not follow the advice of those
who believe that Canada should take steps to reduce
immigration levels. In fact, we are maintaining our
planned immigration levels for 2009,” said Minister
Kenney. “As minister responsible for multiculturalism, I
am particularly concerned by short-sighted, divisive
rhetoric that pits immigrants against Canadians in our
So, lets look at the numbers and take a close look at
who used what route and where they settled.
Permanent resident routes used
Category Numbers
Family class 65,554
Entrepreneurs 1,706
Self-employed 494
Investors 10,192
Skilled worker 103,734
Provincial nominee 22,411
Live-in caregivers 10,510
Refugees 21,859
Other 10,740
TOTAL 247,202
Destination of immigrants
At the end of March Mr Kenny will meet with federal,
provincial and territorial officials to review the economic
impact on the workforce and immigration. This may lead
to modification in the immigration system.
“We don’t want people coming to Canada and facing
unemployment. We need to be sensitive to the changing
labour market, and if we need to make modifications,
we will,” stated Minister Kenney.
to read all our back issues
and find muchmor.
Newcomers set record
high in 2008
Destination in Canada Numbers
Newfoundland and Labrador 623
Prince Edward Island 1,483
Nova Scotia 2,653
New Brunswick 1,845
Quebec 45,882
Ontario 110,583
Manitoba 11,230
Saskatchewan 4,832
Alberta 24,185
British Columbia 43,535
Yukon 111
Northwest Territories 127
Nunavut 50
TOTAL 247,202
Relocation 41
Clarification on ‘implied
status’ is not so clear
By Guidy Mamann
Sometimes I feel like our
immigration department makes
things complicated just to baffle the
public and keep immigration lawyers
A case in point.
When a foreigner in Canada is
about to run out of status they must
submit an application to the Case
Processing Centre in Vegreville,
Alberta to extend their stay if they
are to remain here legally.
Vegreville is currently taking 74
days to issue a study permit, 97
days to extend the status of a visitor,
and 73 days to extend a work
The frequent question that arises
is: What happens if your work permit
expires before you receive an
extension? Can you still work in the
The answer to this is pretty
simple. You may still do so under the
terms of the expired work permit
until a decision is communicated to
you. This is so because you are
granted “implied status” from the
time you applied until the time that a
decision is communicated to you.
However, what happens if the
worker leaves the country briefly
while awaiting a decision on an
extension? When he returns to
Canada, can he return to work while
he continues to wait for the
extension application to be
The relevant section of the
Immigration and Refugee Protection
Act states that “if a temporary
resident has applied for an
extension…the period is extended…
until a decision is made”. This seems
to apply to temporary workers since
they are classified as “temporary
residents”. It contains no limitations
for brief departures.
However, in an unrelated part of
IRPA, i.e. the part which deals with
those foreigners who are allowed to
work in Canada without a work
permit, the Act includes a provision
which clouds the issue. It says that a
person can work in Canada without
a permit if they made a timely
application for an extension and “if
they have remained in Canada after
the expiry of their work permit”.
Needless to say these two
provisions suggest different answers
and have caused quite a bit of
confusion. The first provision
suggests that the worker who briefly
departs Canada continues to have
implied status while the second
suggests that they can’t return to
work in Canada after a brief absence
while awaiting processing. As a
result, port-of-entry officers have
been dealing with this scenario
On January 15th, the immigration
department issued a bulletin
ostensibly clarifying this situation.
Indeed, a foreign worker who leaves
Canada in these circumstances can
Canada as a
resident but
only if they
are from a
visitor visa
country or if
they have a
entry visa.
they will lose
their right to
work here
“until their
for renewal
has been
This result
makes little
sense from
a public
policy point
of view.
the whole point of “implied status”
to avoid disrupting Canadian
employers and their businesses
while their lawful foreign workers
wait for Vegreville to process an
extension request?
The answer to our question is now
“clear”. However, the rationale for
allowing the re-entry of a worker
who left Canada with “implied
status” but denying him the right to
return to work while his work permit
is being renewed is far from it.
Guidy Mamann practices law in
Toronto at Mamann, Sandaluk and is
certified by the Law Society of Upper
Canada as an immigration specialist.
Reach him confidentially at
416-862-0000 or at
42 Relocation

Relocation Q & A
We have just received our visa and can now move to
Canada, however we have a problem. We live in the
UK and the current economic situation means our
property is worth far less than it used to be and we
are having trouble selling it. Can we postpone our
landing to perhaps next year when hopefully things
will be looking better?
The rules about landing as permanent residents are very
clear. You must “land” within a year of your immigration
medical. If you do not do so your visa will expire and you
will have to reapply and start the process over again.
This applies to all applicants.
There is a little leeway however. You may land and
activate your residency anytime within a year of your
medical. You can then leave Canada and return at a later
date either permanently or again temporarily.
As a permanent resident you have certain
requirements to adhere to which include the stipulation
that you must be resident in Canada for at least two
years within a five year period. So, you can land, return
to the UK and as long as you return to Canada and fulfill
at least two years residency in the first five years you will
be okay.
There is one sticking point. When you land you need
to give an address to which your PR card can be mailed.
If you have no address in Canada you have six months
to provide one. This address can be your own or a friend
or relative who you trust to receive your PR cards. The
address must be in Canada.
If you leave Canada before receiving your PR cards,
you must be in possession of them before you are
readmitted into the country again. If you have had them
sent to a friend or relative they will need to get them to
you before you can reenter Canada.
When I applied for residency I had savings which
more than covered the proof of funds requirement.
Since then I lost my job and have had to use my
savings to live on. I have now secured a new job but
it does not pay as well and I fear that I will not have
the required funds when I land, hopefully later this
year. Do you have any suggestions?
Under the rules of applying for permanent residency you
must have the required funds at the time of application.
You may also need to prove these funds nearer the time
of your file processing. Also, when you land the
admitting officer can ask for proof of funds. If you cannot
show proof of these funds it is within the rights of the
officer to refuse you admittance.
However, your main concern should be about survival
once in Canada. As a single person you are
required to have a minimum of $10,833 CND in
funds. This is really a bare minimum and you
should expect to have well in excess of this figure
in order to maintain a decent lifestyle once
My family and I want to emigrate to Canada
and I qualify under the new occupation rules - I
am an electrician. However I am confused
about the points. Do I still need to get the 67
points to qualify even though my job is on this
Tel: 001 403 932 5670
Contact Helen Parnell a property relocation
specialist who has helped many
expats settle here after making
the move herself.
Free assistance on • Accommodation
• Real Estate • Insurance
• Mortgages • Airport meet and greet
• Serving Calgary and South Alberta
We get asked lots of questions and usually we try to answer each one
personally. However, recently we have had a lot which have addressed
very similar concerns, so we thought we would answer them here. We
have adapted the questions to reflect a number of queries.
to read all our back issues
and find muchmor.
Relocation 43
Charlotte, Debra & Carl hiking in Arnica Lake
Monty the cat
list? Does my original apprenticeship taken nearly
twenty years ago count?
Yes and yes. You do still need to qualify under the
points system even if your job is on the occupation list.
An apprenticeship will allow you points in the education
part of the points system. The number of points
allocated will depend on the type and duration of the
apprenticeship. For example, a three year
apprenticeship (full time) will gain you 22 points whilst a
two year one 20 points.
You will need to have documented proof of your
apprenticeship which you will need to submit to CIC
upon their request.
I am a temporary foreign worker currently working in
Canada. I am also applying for residency at the same
time. I am very worried about the current job losses
reported in Ontario where I live and although my job
is not currently in danger, my fear is it will be.
If I am laid-off can I remain in Canada and look for
alternative work, or will I have to leave and will this
affect my permanent residency application?
Any change to your employment conditions means you
have to extend or change the conditions of your work
permit. If you change jobs you will need to apply for a
new work permit before your current one expires.
If you are not given a new work permit you are
required to leave Canada. This will not affect your
permanent residency application.
As a temporary foreign worker you may be able to
apply for permanent residency via the new Canadian
Experience Class. You can use this link to see full details
about this scheme.
We have been in Canada for three years now and
have failed to settle. My wife had her own small
business which gave us some holiday money but
since the downturn in the economy she earns very
little. My job looks as if it might be in jeopardy as it is
loosely linked to the auto industry in Ontario which is
suffering big time.
We are seriously thinking of moving back to the
UK but don’t want to jump from the frying pan into
the fire.
We have never really settled here and still miss our
friends and family in the UK. Should we give up and
return to the UK and if we did and regretted the
decision can we come back to Canada?
We are sorry to hear things are not working out for you.
Unfortunately the economic situation is world wide and
you might be in the same boat or worse if you returned
to the UK.
Only the two of you can decide what to do. Perhaps
you should write a list of things you love and hate about
each country and see which one has the edge. Also,
look at job options back in the UK as things are pretty
bad there too. Can you afford to move? Do you have
equity in your property and would it sustain you in the
UK if you could not find employment straight away?
Make sure you are running to something, not running
away from something. Readdress the reasons why you
chose to move to Canada in the first place, what has
changed and can you do anything to improve matters?
Do you want to?
If you do decide to return to the UK, you can still
move back to Canada in the future. As a permanent
resident you have to be resident for two of every five
years, so as long as you comply with this you will be
okay. If you apply and gain Canadian citizenship before
you leave then you would be free to come and go as
you please.
My husband and I have recently received our PR
visa and are looking forward to our new life in
Canada where my sister currently lives. We are
however very concerned about the job situation
there. At the moment we are both employed, myself
in marketing and my husband as a chef in a hotel.
We earn decent money and so far, touch wood, there
are no signs that our jobs are in jeopardy and we
have not told our employers of our move.
Would the sensible thing be to stay In the UK
whilst employed and earning, save our money and
then move to Canada once the economy starts to
pick up?
This perhaps would be the sensible thing to to if you are
happy to stay in the UK for a while longer. You must be
aware of the need to land before your visa expires. You
will need to do this within a year of your immigration
medical. When you land you can still return to the UK
and continue your life there until you decide to move to
Canada permanently. You must however spend at least
two years of a five year period in Canada to retain
residency status.
The only thing you need to be aware of is that upon
landing you will need to give an address to which your
PR card can be mailed. You mentioned your sister lives
in Canada so it would make sense to give her address
and then she can send the PR cards to you in the UK.
You will need these cards in order to reenter Canada at
a later date.
Have house prices gone down in Canada as they
have in the UK? Will I get a better bargain now?
Yes, house prices have dropped over the past year.
Nationally the Canadian Real Estate Board has said that
prices dropped around 11%. In Toronto the average
house price in Jan 2008 was $374,499 and January
2009 saw that price fall to $343,632.
This means that you will find you pay less for the
same house this year as you would have done last year,
however inventory is lower. Many people are not putting
their houses up for sale which means you may not have
as many to choose from as you would normally expect.
Researching and
finding a job in Canada
44 Relocation Advertorial

By Louise Green, The
Expat Coach
In times of economic
uncertainty, with daily
bulletins announcing more
job losses by the
thousand, it can be a
gloomy prospect looking
for work. If you are
emigrating, need to get a
job offer to move to
Canada, or are looking for
a new career, there are
more opportunities than ever these days. You can reach
out to contacts around the globe from the comfort of
your living room and vastly increase your chances of
Gone are the days when finding a job was just a
case of scanning the local classifieds and sending off a
few CV’s. In fact these days even submitting your
resume/CV to job websites is not enough. You have to
be more proactive, think laterally and pursue new ways
to secure the right job. There are a few key steps that
will help to position yourself in the right place at the
right time. The time is NOW and the place is
Get specific about what you are looking for. What do
you want from your career? Financially, and personally.
Make a list of what your job needs to provide, the salary
you need, the hours, the terms and conditions. Get
clear about what you enjoy about your job right now,
what you don’t like and what needs to change. List a
few alternative careers to research; this is your
opportunity to look in new directions. Collect all your
work history, education, qualifications, references, skills
and any other information into one reference file, it
makes research and job search easier later on. When
you know what you want it is much easier to search
and find the right job.
Get as much information as you can about the current
job market before you start looking for work. Don’t
waste time looking for jobs that do not pay enough or
you are not qualified to do. At a minimum you must find

What skills and qualities you need to be able to do
each job

Where there is demand

That it will support your lifestyle.
You can also consider alternative careers, without
being committed to the change. By having the facts
about each job you can decide if it’s a viable option and
save time by only pursuing opportunities that will
support what you want. Use government and provincial
immigration websites to get this information. Job
websites have useful tools and resources to help you
find this information.

A well planned and organized job search is going to get
you the results you want. You will need to be
consistent, focused and determined in your approach.
It’s no good spending 20 hours one week and then
nothing for the next 2 weeks. Decide what you are
going to do, allocate time for each activity, set out what
you want to achieve and record what you are doing.
Keep good records of all your new contacts, and where
you found them. List all potential employers, new
opportunities and what actions you take.
There are many ways to network, in person and online.
When you are searching for work outside your local
area, online can be much more practical. It is quite
amazing the number of people you can communicate
with online. Literally thousands of people you could
never have dreamt of coming into contact with before.
It has a huge potential to increase your job search
success. You don’t have to be a computer expert or a
professional networker to do it. Online networking is not
just for business people and high flying careers
anymore. You can use many of the social networking
sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Linked In,
Muchmor Business Network and Mymuchmor to
actively meet and make new friends who can help you
in your job search. Networking takes time, you need to
get to know people, think about what you can do for
them, what you know that may help them, and in turn
they will do the same for you.
Follow up
Your time is valuable; spend it on activities that are
working most effectively. Because there are so many
Advertorial Relocation 45
places you can be active you will have to be
selective, you can do this by reviewing and modifying
your plan.
Keep good records about what activities are
producing results.

Which website has given you the most

How many of those contacts have given you a
useful lead?

How many responses did you have from
posting your CV on each website?

Which version of your CV gave the best results?
If you spend 8 hours on a particular website and
get no responses or replies, is it worth continuing
with that site, or moving on to another. You are going
to have fun interacting and making new friends,
which is good but to get that job you will also need to
stay focused on your overall goal.
The next step is to take action. Whilst it’s exciting
thinking about the opportunities and new career
waiting for you it can be quite daunting, wondering
where to start. Everyone who emigrates has been
there too; every journey starts with the first step.
Contact Louise to get more information about the
new Guide to Researching and Finding a Job in
Listen to these FREE interviews with families who
took the first step and kept going to successfully
emigrate to Canada. We talk with two families who
used very different approaches in their determination to
create the life they wanted in Canada.
Written and submitted by Louise Green of The Expat
Coach – helping emigrants get the answers they need to
research, move to and succeed in Canada.
Sequoia Club
32 Working Life
mymuchmor - social networking brought to
you by muchmor - connecting canada
46 Health & Wellness
Could it be
By Linda Batey
There is not a feeling like knowing
you feel rotten but all the tests are
negative, the doctor has no answers
and your family and friends think
you're crazy. You begin to think
they're right because no one can
find anything wrong and you know
there is. You're achy all over, you're
exhausted but can't sleep, and can
hardly move a muscle without pain.
Nothing seems to help you feel
better and everyone says "you don't
look sick".
There are several views on
whether Fibromyalgia Syndrome
(FMS) is related to arthritis, a virus,
an immune system disorder or toxic
buildup so there are several views on
how to treat it. Unfortunately, for
many people, it seems as though not
any one treatment works.
I was diagnosed with FMS in 1992
by a chiropractor. Not a lot was
known about FMS at the time but I
was willing to try most anything. I
went for massage, physical therapy,
acupressure, acupuncture,
chiropractic adjustments, a
nutritionist, a rheumatologist,
changed my diet, went to the help. Eventually, I even
changed jobs. More interesting, but
not helpful. After three years I
stopped working completely. My
doctor, an O.D., put me on Cymbalta
for FMS, Ambien for sleep and
Darvocet for acute pain. This is
where my fibromyalgia and I are at
I am one of the fortunate ones.
Just finding a doctor who
understands FMS is a huge step,
and thankfully, I have a really good
one. To find a doctor familiar with
FMS, you might call a physician's
referral office, or if there is a FMS
support group, contact them (or
better yet-go to a meeting) for
names of good doctors who know
and understand fibromyalgia.
Through trial and error, the doctor
will try you on different medications
to see what works for you. Generally,
three common denominators seem
to come into play: sleep problems,
depression and pain. Fortunately,
there are medications that work well
in keeping the symptoms at a level
you can live with. Even though you
may not feel like it, stretching and
gentle yoga work well in warding off
pain and stiffness.
Probably the biggest obstacle in
having fibromyalgia is making your
family and friends aware of what you
are feeling. This can be very difficult.
You might try gathering supporting
information in the library or online
and giving them copies to read, or
possibly bringing them along to a
support group meeting. The better
your support system, the easier it is
to deal with your own symptoms.
Although FMS is not curable, it
isn't fatal either. Learn your limits
and stay within them and you can
enjoy a reasonably full life. Keep a
positive attitude and take very good
care of yourself. Count your
blessings, not your symptoms!
Home remedies
for a yeast
By Josie McEachern
Are you still searching for home
remedies for a yeast infection that
actually do what they say? There are
plenty of remedies that promise a
fast and easy cure, but which
actually deliver the goods. Here are a
few time-tested remedies that work
every time:
Flaxseed Oil
This is definitely one of the better
home remedies for a yeast infection.
Chock full of the essential fatty acids
Omega-3 and Omega 6 – this is stuff
everybody needs as an essential part
of any healthy diet. They are also a
great anti-fungal agent, which means
they go to work killing off the yeast.
Slippery Elm Bark
Slippery elm bark helps with all 3
major symptoms of a yeast infection
- burning, itching, and swelling. To
put this to work, just purchase the
powder, add a little water, and grind
it into a paste. Then you can either
apply it to the external areas of the
vaginal, or the inside as well.
Found at your local health food
store, this is found in the form of an
ointment or the actual chickweed
leaves. If you decide to purchase the
leaves, just grind them down into a
paste. Then rub this on the infected
areas. Chickweed works great on the
itching that may be tormenting you
as part of your infection.
All three of the methods just
described are great home remedies
for a yeast infection. While they are
very effective in treating the
symptoms, they cannot kill the yeast
spores – the root cause of your
problem. Not even store bought
medications can kill them. This is
why your yeast infections keep
coming back. For a job like this,
you’ll need a more powerful method
of treatment.
Health & Wellness 47
Checklist - four
healthy alternatives
to sugar
When it comes to making it sweet,
one of the first things that people
grab for is the sugar or, if they are
trying to lose weight, an artificial
sweetener. However, neither of
those options are the healthiest
ones to choose. There are healthier
1. Stevia: Stevia is a wonderful
alternative for sweetening. Stevia is
a herb that is a part of the sunflower
family and is commonly known as
sweetleaf, sweet leaf, sugarleaf, or
simply stevia. It is widely grown for
its sweet leaves. Its extracts have
up to 300 times the sweetness of
sugar and because it has a
negligible effect on blood glucose
and is known to enhance glucose
tolerance, it is a much better choice
than artificial sugars like Aspartame,
Nutrasweet, Equal, Splenda,
Sucralose, for people who are
Stevia in most forms, other than
the white powered forms, gives a
long even energy and works in the
body like a complex carb. It is
important to note that many of the
extracts, are processed with alcohol
and do not keep the plant properties
intact; therefore it is important to
pay close attention to how the
stevia you may use is processed.
If you are a baker and wonder
what you can use as a sweetener
that is a healthier alternative, then
Rapadura or Sucanat are good
choices. They are both natural
sugars which have many of the
minerals, vitamins and nutritional
value still intact.
2. Rapadura: Rapadura is a dried
sugarcane juice that is common in
Latin American countries, that
comes in the form of a brick. It is the
perfect unbleached, unrefined
sweetener to use in place of refined
sugars. And the unique processing
of Rapadura gives it a mild,
caramel-like flavor which is superb
for baking and sweetening food and
3. Sucanut: Sucanut is a non-
refined cane sugar that, unlike white
sugar, is a pure dried cane sugar,
retains its molasses content. Of all
the major sugars derived from sugar
cane, Sucanut ranks highest in
nutritional value; although, as with
most sugars, it is not a significant
source of any nutrient apart from
4. Agave Nectar: Finally there is
Agave Nectar, a sweetener that acts
as a complex carb instead of a
simple one. It is derived from a plant
and due to its fructose content,
Agave Nectar is remarkable in that
its Glycemic Index (GI) and glycemic
load are lower than most, if not all
natural sweeteners on the market.
This makes it a good alternative to
honey as honey has a high GI.
Agave Nectar also naturally contains
quantities of Iron, Calcium,
Potassium & Magnesium which why
it has the color it does.
There are other alternatives such
as molasses, honey and maple
syrup. However, due to some
negative properties such as the fact
that they can raise blood sugar
quickly, they are not the best
choices for a healthy sweetener;
although they are still healthier
alternatives to refined white sugar.
Refined white sugar, and let me
add, most brown sugars, are
unhealthy options for cooking,
baking, drinking, and all sweetening
needs. In order to find the natural
sweetener that is best for you, do a
taste test and choose the one that
fits your needs. You may find it
necessary to have two or three of
these sweeteners in your home for
whatever your food preparation
needs are.
Diana Walker, Sunrider Leader,
Cravings Coach and CEO of Diana’s
Healthy Lifestyles
provides natural, safe options for
creating vibrant health. Free education
Fairmont Royal York, 100 Front Street West
Thursday, May 28, 2009 12:00 - 2:00p.m.
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Sequoia Club
48 Home & Garden
Can you earn tax
credits for your
home reno?
Understanding how the
new Home Renovation tax
Credit can benefit you.



Sequoia Club
Home & Garden 49
Did you know that if you undertake
renovations on your home this year
you could benefit from a tax credit?
The government of Canada
implemented a temporary Home
Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC) this
year which will enable many home
owners to claim back some of the
costs associated with home
The HRTC covers projects carried
out between January 27
2009 and
February 1
2010. The HRTC can be
claimed for renovations and enduring
alterations to a dwelling, or the land
on which it sits.
Here is a Q & A supplied by the
Canada Revenue Agency
1. What is the Home
Renovation Tax Credit
The proposed HRTC is a non-
refundable tax credit for work
performed or goods acquired in
respect of an eligible dwelling.
2. What is meant by eligible
An eligible dwelling is a housing unit
that is eligible to be an individual's
principal residence or that of one or
more of their family members, at any
time between January 27, 2009 and
February 1, 2010. In general, a
housing unit is considered eligible to
be an individual's principal residence
where it is owned by the individual
and ordinarily inhabited by the
individual, the individual's spouse or
common-law partner, or their
3. What is the eligibility
The credit will be based on eligible
expenditures for work performed or
goods acquired after January 27,
2009, and before February 1, 2010.
Expenditures incurred pursuant to an
agreement that was entered into
before January 28, 2009, will not be
eligible for the credit.
4. Who will be eligible for the
Eligibility for the HRTC will be family
based. A family will generally be
considered to consist of an individual
or an individual and his or her spouse
or common-law partner, including
children who will be under 18 years
of age, at the end of 2009. A family
will be allowed a single credit that
may be shared within the family.
If two or more families share the
ownership of an eligible dwelling,
each family will be eligible for their
own separate credit (i.e. each up to
$1,350) that will be calculated on
their respective eligible expenditures.
5. How will the credit be
The credit will only be available for
the 2009 tax year and applies to
eligible expenditures of more than
$1,000, but not more than $10,000,
resulting in a maximum credit of
$1,350 ($9,000 x 15%).
6. What are eligible
To be eligible, expenditures incurred
in relation to a renovation or
alteration to an eligible dwelling (or
the land that forms part of the eligible
dwelling) must be of an enduring
nature and integral to the dwelling,
and includes the cost of labour and
professional services, building
materials, fixtures, rentals, and
Eligible expenditures must be
supported by acceptable
7. What does the CRA
consider to be acceptable
Documentation, such as
agreements, invoices, and receipts,
must clearly identify the type and
quantity of goods purchased or
services provided, including, but not
limited to, the following information:
information that clearly identifies
the vendor/contractor, their business
address and, if applicable, the GST/
HST registration number;

a description of the goods and
the date when the goods were

the date the goods were
delivered (keep your delivery slip
as proof) and/or when the work or
services were performed;

a description of the work
(including the address of where
the work was performed);

the amount of the invoice; and

proof of payment.
To verify whether someone is
registered for GST/HST, please
consult the GST/HST Registry.
8. I am planning to replace
my windows in 2009: can I
hire my brother-in-law to help
me out and still be eligible?
It depends. Expenditures will not be
eligible if the related goods or
services are provided by a person
not dealing at arm's length with the
individual, unless that person is
registered for the Goods and
Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax
under the Excise Tax Act. So, in your
case, if your brother-in-law is
registered for GST/HST and if all
other conditions are met, the
expenditure will be eligible for the
9. Will expenditures for the
common areas of
condominiums and co-
operative housing
corporations qualify for the
In the case of condominiums and
co-operative housing corporations,
the individual's share of the cost of
eligible expenditures for common
areas will qualify.
10. I rent out my basement. If
I renovate the basement for
my tenant, will I be allowed to
claim the credit?
No. Individuals who earn business or
rental income from part of their
principal residence will be allowed to
claim the credit only for expenditures
made for the personal-use areas of
the residence.
For expenditures made for
common areas or that benefit the
housing unit as a whole (such as re-
50 Home & Garden
shingling a roof), you must divide the
expense between personal use and
income-earning use. For further
information, please consult the
Business and Professional Income
Guide or the Rental Income Guide,
as applicable.
11. If an eligible expenditure
also qualifies for the Medical
Expense Tax Credit (METC),
will I be allowed to claim both
the HRTC and METC?
Yes. Where an eligible expenditure
qualifies for the METC the individual
will be permitted to claim both the
METC and the HRTC for that
12. Will the credit be reduced
by other government grants
or credits that I may receive
for the same expenditures?
No. Eligible expenditures will not be
reduced by other government tax
credits or grants that the individual
may be entitled to.
13. Could you provide me
with some examples of
eligible and ineligible
Yes, some examples are:
Renovating a kitchen, bathroom or
New carpet or hardwood floors
Building an addition, deck, fence
Purchasing a new furnace
A new driveway
Painting of interior or exterior of a
Furniture, appliances, and audio and
visual electronics
Curtains and draperies
Purchasing of tools
Cleaning carpets
House cleaning
14. What types of
expenditures will not qualify?
The following expenditures will not
be eligible for the HRTC:

the cost of routine repairs and
maintenance normally performed
on an annual or more frequent

expenditures that are not
integral to the dwelling, and other
indirect expenditures that retain a
value independent of the

expenditures for appliances and
audio-visual electronics; and

financing costs.
15. Do I have to submit any
supporting documents with
my income tax return?
No. However, you must ensure that
this information is available, should it
be requested by the CRA.
16. How will I claim the
A new line will be incorporated in the
2009 personal income tax return to
allow you to claim the credit.
For more details on the HRTC please
visit the following websites:
Canada Revenue Agency
Department of Finance Canada
Sequoia Club
Home & Garden 51
Price: $549,900 Province: Alberta
City: Cochrane Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 3
Corner lot but so private with tall mature trees, mountain view, inlaid brick
patio and flowering landscaped plants in the raised beds. Formal dining
room, large office, master bedroom with walk in closet and ensuite.
Kitchen with white units, pantry, island, breakfast nook and vaulted
ceilings. The open concept leads you to a great room with floor to ceiling
oak surround gas fireplace in the corner.Lower level has large games
room, future media room, two bedrooms, bathroom and wet bar.
Price: $449,900 Province: Alberta
City: Bow ridge Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 3
The LR has a block glass feature window, formal Diningroom, 2 bedrms
and 2 full baths. The kitchen has dark maple cabinets,bar style
counter,built in wall unit for more storage and pantry,new Bosch
dishwasher, nook,door to deck with duradeck and metal rails and inlaid
patio below in the mature and creative landscaped and fenced yard. The
lower level has large family room with sunshine windows and corner gas
fireplace with stone front, 2 more bedrooms, 4pc bathrm.
Price:$259,9000 Province: Alberta
City: Chaparral Bedrooms: 2 Bathrooms: 2
Beautiful brand new 2 bedroom 2 bath condo in 45+ unit. Maximum
upgrades and warm colours. Unit located a few doors from the open 2 story
social area with catering kitchen, media room, library, fireplace and Exercise
facility. Elevator from titled underground parking. Black granite, breakfast
bar,upgraded cabinet hardware, lighting & plumbing package. Under mount
sink, soaker tub, curved shower rods, stainless steel appliances microwave
hood fan and front load washer & dryer. Full lake privileges.
Price: $330,000 Province: Alberta
City: Sunset Ridge Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 2.5
A quiet street and a family yard. A great 2 storey layout - Recently built in
2007. The hardwood, tile and nice carpets compliment the modern colors.
The custom gas fireplace and built-ins gives your home that cozy warm
feeling. A practical kitchen that comes with a Island, Nook, Bright
windows and even a built in desk. Enjoy the deck out back for those
famous sunsets or for your family BBQs and entertaining. The Master
bedroom features a useable walkin closet and a 4 piece ensuite with a one
piece tub and shower.
Helen Parnell
Tel: 403-932-8888
Price: $544,900 Province: Alberta
City: Parkdale Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 2
A fantastic 1.5 Storey 3 bedroom home.This home features a recently
renovated large eat-in kitchen as well as a formal dining room, exposed
hardwood floors as well as carpet over more hardwoods. Also offering a
1 bedroom suite down with large windows, a wood stove, a 4pce bath
and a separate entrance. Other upgrades include newer furnace, hot
water tank and 100 amp electrical panel plus some newer windows.
Spacious park like lot and gorgeous patio area on a quiet street.
52 Home & Garden
Spring’s top home decor
trends draw inspiration
from nature
It is time to pay tribute to the joy and jubilance of
nature as the welcoming signs of spring arrive. The
familiar will appear refreshingly new as we take in its
splendor. This spring, the hottest trends in home decor
reflect this breathtaking beauty as Mother Nature
awakes from her slumber.
"Spring is such an exciting time of year," says Susan
Atchison, manager of trend development for Jo-Ann
Fabric and Craft Stores. "Nature inspires decorating
trends that are simple, yet grand. What you might see
on a stroll through your local park has become the
backdrop for interior designers and do-it-yourself home
decorators across the country."
Here are the top home decor trends for spring 2009:
1. Emulate outdoor serenity.
"Lush leaves and exquisite florals convey outdoor
serenity," says Atchison. She notes that creating a
peaceful element within your home might be as simple
as adding a flower or greenery arrangement. "It's
amazing what plant life can do to liven a room. A vase of
flowers in the bathroom can make your morning routine
more cheery, or a green centerpiece on the kitchen table
might make dinner a mini-retreat from the long day at
Whether fresh or silk, use leaves and flowers to bring a
touch of classic nature into your home. Bright colors
have pick-me-up appeal, while earthy tones convey
calmness. Match complementary options with the
current color scheme of your home, or combine to
celebrate the harmony of the season.
2. Make practical pretty.
The things you use on a regular basis in your home are
often the things that don't have a lot of flair. But this
spring, practical items are getting a stylistic boost with
new designs and fresh ideas that make them stand out.
Take a flowerpot for example. You don't have to spend
a lot of money to get a unique, beautiful pot. "Flowerpots
made of fabric are undoubtedly one of the freshest ideas
for spring," says Atchison. She suggests creating your
own by using durable yet breathable Sun N Shade
outdoor fabrics to create fun yet functional pots. From
bright, eye-catching colors, to earthy, subtle tones,
choose fabrics that mimic your favorite theme, whether
you plan to use these planters indoors or out. Plus, at
the end of the season, you can fold for easy storage and
use next year.
3. Refresh what you already have.
With the tight economy, many people have limited
budgets for updating their home decor. Taking note from
springtime renewal, an affordable, smart idea is to
update what you already have in your home.
Atchison suggests using polymer clay to add spring-
inspired designs to different glass items you have around
your house. For example, take a set of wine glasses and
use different shades of green clay to create leaves on the
outside of the glass. Bake the glass with the new clay
design for 30 minutes at 230 F and you'll have an entirely
new glass set to toast the spring sunset. Consider
updating other items in your home such as old vases,
candy dishes and hand and lotion dispensers. According
to Atchison, pretty much anything made of plain glass is
a potential subject.
"As you walk though the woods or sit on a park bench
in the city, note the sights and sounds of springtime,"
says Atchison. "This will inspire fresh home decor that is
sure to make your home beautiful and leave a lasting
impression on guests."
For more ideas on spring home decorating trends, visit Courtesy of ARAcontent.
Home & Garden 53
Increase home value
through smart
The practice of increasing home value through proper
renovation techniques has never been more important
than it is today. We constantly hear on the news about
poor economy and poor real estate market.
Homeowners who plan to increase their home value
through renovations should be reminded that the margin
for error is slim and a small mistake could easily wipe off
their profit or worse result in a total loss.
Slow economy should not scare away homeowners
from remodeling their home in order to increase their
home value. However, homeowners should only follow
smart renovation techniques and be careful not to over-
renovate their home. Over-renovation could be a total
financial disaster. Prudent homeowners must learn
about value engineering in respect to home remodeling
if they are serious about profiting from renovation.
The methods and analysis that enable you to
determine what specific renovations allow you to benefit
most from renovation is referred to as value engineering.
In the next paragraphs we are going to briefly point out
the steps one needs to follow in order to maximize one's
profit and increase his/her home value.
I) Step one is to contact your local real estate office or
a qualified appraiser to obtain the current market value
of your home as well as the value of renovated homes
that are similar to yours within your area. The purpose of
this research is to ensure that there is room to profit. If
you find that the value of renovated homes nearby is
close to the price of your un-renovated home, then
there is no point in renovating your home. Make sure
that you only compare your home with homes that are
similar to yours and are located a short distance from
your home. There is no point comparing your home
that is on a 30 x 90 parcel of land to a home built on a
10 acre land or a home that is located in different
areas as real estate prices vary from area to area.
II) Contact your local real estate office or a qualified
appraiser to find out which renovations in your area
add value and which renovations do not. You then
need to look further at the renovations that add value
and ask your appraiser or your real estate agent to
determine how much value each of these renovations
bring to your home
Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) is the method
used by real estate salespersons and appraisers to
determine home value. Appraisers look at large
quantity of sold properties near your home and then
adjust the price for your home based on the condition
of various parts of your home as well as any new
additions or extensions that you may have build to your
home. As an example the appraiser knows that a
second additional bathroom in your area is very
desirable and the sold price of homes with a second
bathroom show an increase of $4,000 in comparison to
those that did not have the second bathroom. In the
same way the appraiser may note that a finished
basement increase value by $6,000 or fireplace has no
impact on the value and etc.
III) Now that you know the value of each renovation,
you need to find out your cost for carrying out each of
these renovations. This step is needed to find out if you
are able to make a profit from a particular renovation. To
determine your cost for each renovation, you should
obtain at least three price estimates from qualified
IV) After completing step three you are in the position
to determine which particular renovation maximizes
your profit. You can accomplish this by subtracting
the added value each renovation brings as detailed in
step three from the cost of that renovation
determined in step four. This is especially useful
when you have a limited budget and need to know
which renovation will give you the maximum profit.
To learn more about remodeling your bathroom, click
Bathroom Remodeling Ideas To find other helpful remodeling
ideas, advices and resources, click Home Remodeling
54 Muchmor Business Finder
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Muchmor Business Finder 55
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Here you can build your career while enjoying a highly
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412 Queen Street, Fredericton NB, E3B 1B6
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Sherry Turner Independent Associate,
Campbellford Ontario, K0L 1L0
Tel: 705-653-5117 Email:
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your home. Serving the Quinte area of Ontario.
Tel: 613-771-0075
56 Muchmor Business Finder
Jewellery & Clothing
Jewelry by T - Jewelry for the woman who dares to be
admired. Custom handcrafted designs by Canadian
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Money & Finance
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advisor servicing Quinte Region, Eastern Ontario
RR#2, Shannonville, Ontario K0K 3A0
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HiFX Currency Specialists - HiFX helps over 30,000
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Worldwide locations
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Real Estate
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Representative covering the Quinte area of Ontario. Earn
AIR MILES when using my services.
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of Alberta
Tel: 403-92-5670
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Email: - LoonLounge is your Canadian
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Sequoia Club
32 Working Life

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