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Spring 2010 issue
10 fabulous hikes in BC.
Greater Sudbury - an urban jewel for you to discover. Moving to Canada? Plan ahead for home ownership.
New Car Review : Cadillac CTS Wagon Plus.....
•Real life story - Turkey to Canada •Your first days in Canada. •Newcomers guide to obtaining a Canadian driving licence. •Latest immigration news? •Average earning across Canada. Make your home clean and green. High blood pressure on the rise.
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Greater Sudbury, Ontario! ! ! ! Top Canadian! ! ! ! ! ! Ten fabulous hikes in British Columbia! !
! ! !
4 9 10
Test Drive - Cadillac CTS Wagon! ! Motoring News ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 14 17
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Newcomers: Plan ahead for home ownership! ! 18
Real life story: From Turkey to Canada! ! ! Your ﬁrst days in Canada! ! ! ! ! Newcomers guide to obtaining a driving licence! The pitfalls of failing to extend visitor's status!! Immigration news! ! ! ! ! ! 20 24 28 32 33
Average earnings across Canada! ! Companies hiring this month! ! ! ! ! ! 34 35
Home & Garden
Make your house clean and green!! ! ! New tougher mortgage rules set by Ottawa! ! House sales up on last year! ! ! ! ! 36 37 37
Health & Wellness
High blood pressure on the rise in Canada! 10 reasons to fall in love with potatoes! ! Health news ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 38 40 41
an urban jewel for you to discover
The City of Greater Sudbury is an urban jewel nestled
amidst the natural beauty of lakes and forests in the heart of Northeastern Ontario. Within 330 freshwater lakes, Sudbury’s 157,000 plus residents enjoy a unique mix of urban amenities with a thriving landscape. Sudbury offers friendly neighbourhoods, quality healthcare, an abundance of recreational activities, a rich colourful heritage, several business sectors, and excellent educational opportunities. Sudbury’s early roots can be traced back to 1883 and the development of the transnational railway. Its vast mineral resources have resulted in unparalleled growth. Today, Greater Sudbury is a diversiﬁed regional centre for mining, technology, education, government and health services with great connections to neighbouring communities and beyond. The city is located 390 kilometres north of Toronto and 483 km west of Ottawa, where the Trans Canada Highway 17 and Highway 69 converge. The Greater Sudbury area enjoys four seasons Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Because of the seasonal weather conditions, Sudburians are able to enjoy a vast array of festivals, events and recreational activities that can change as the seasons do. Enjoy the outdoors in the winter on the Ramsey Lake Skate Path or one of several downhill ski facilities. Or take in one of the numerous summer festivals and artistic events including Northern Lights Festival Boréal, Italian Festival and Sudbury Theatre Centre. Greater Sudbury is a city for the curious, creative and adventuresome. Whatever your lifestyle, Greater Sudbury has something for you!
Education Take one look at Greater Sudbury’s educational system
and you’ll see that Greater Sudbury has invested heavily in its future by developing outstanding schools from Kindergarten through 12 and beyond. As the regional centre for learning and applied research in Northeastern Ontario, Greater Sudbury is home to four school boards, private schools and several postsecondary institutions such as Laurentian University, Cambrian College, and College Boreal, one of only two francophone colleges in Ontario. Greater Sudbury educational opportunities offer comprehensive and challenging curriculums. In 2005, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine opened in Greater Sudbury and became the ﬁrst new medical school in Canada in more than 30 years.
Real Estate and Housing Greater Sudbury offers a wide variety of affordable real
estate options whether you are looking for a new personal or business address available in urban, rural and suburban settings. Imagine having the opportunity for work-life balance, with a 10-minute commute to work and only a short drive to your weekend escape. Take a drive through our city and you will get a glimpse of friendly neighbourhoods, thriving business sectors and a vibrant downtown ﬁlled with shops, boutiques, restaurants and entertainment.
In comparison to other large communities, Greater Sudbury has the lowest average housing prices. The average sale price for a single family home in 2008 was $211,614.
Employment Greater Sudbury has a highly skilled, educated,
innovative and enthusiastic workforce. Once reliant on the cycles that came with mining, Greater Sudbury has grown considerably into a diverse and dynamic centre for technology, education, mining, government, and health services. A comparison to Ontario data based on the 2001 Census reveals that Greater Sudbury’s labour force proﬁle
has diversiﬁed signiﬁcantly over the last three decades. Service activities, from retail to producer services, now employ 80% of Greater Sudbury's labour force, compared to 20% in the goods-producing sector. Health care, educational services and public administration all play an important role, reﬂecting Greater Sudbury's position as a regional service centre for Northeastern Ontario, as well as the continued development of the health care and education infrastructure.
Health Care Greater Sudbury has become a regional resource and
referral centre for residents in Northeastern Ontario. Greater Sudbury provides quality health care to patients throughout the region. The Hôpital régional de Sudbury Regional Hospital (HRSRH) provides hospital-based acute, transitional, rehabilitation and continuing care. The HRSRH is nearing completion of a major expansion to consolidate all hospital based services currently being offered across three sites. The expansion will allow for additional acute inpatient and intensive care beds, mental health, birthing facilities, emergency department, operating rooms and other diagnostic and support departments. The Northeastern Ontario Regional Cancer Centre (NEORCC) is one of eight regional cancer centres in Ontario that form Cancer Care Ontario (CCO). In addition to full chemotherapy and radiation therapy programs, staff offer support services to cancer patients and their
families. This includes nutritionists, social workers, clinical psychologists, physiotherapists and a dental oncology team.
Key Websites To ﬁnd out more about the City of Greater Sudbury visit
the following websites and ﬁnd out what makes Sudbury so great! ! www.mysudbury.ca www.mysudbury.ca/immigration www.greatersudbury.ca www.mysudbury.ca/Tourism www.laurentian.ca www.cambrianc.on.ca www.borealc.on.ca www.nosm.ca www.hrsrh.on.ca www.ontarioimmigration.ca
Culture and Diversity A bilingual community with a rich francophone heritage,
Greater Sudbury is a multicultural mosaic with a platform for welcoming and embracing diversity that Sudburians are proud to share with the world. Greater Sudbury’s commitment to cultural diversity is evident in all areas of the city, from restaurants, schools, places of worship, festivals and events. The city’s diversity is most evident with the Bridge of Nations and its many ﬂags. The ﬂags on the Bridge of Nations were originally raised during a Canada Day celebration on July 1, 2007, to honour Greater Sudbury's multinational and multicultural heritage. The addition of 11 ﬂags raised on June 30, 2009 brings the total number of countries and nations represented to 83.
Climate The average January temperature is -13°C. Snow can fall
anytime between October and May with an average annual snowfall of 274 cm. In July the average temperature is 19°C, with most of the annual rain (656 mm) falling between the months of May and September.
TV shows so far in 2010
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. NFL Super Bowl - 6.01 WJC Playoffs Canada - 5.26 NFL Super Bowl Pre - 3.88 NFL Super Bowl Post - 3.62 American Idol (Jan 20) - 3.19 6. American Idol (Jan 12) - 3.16 7. American Idol (Jan 19) - 3.04 8. WJC Playoffs Post - 3.02 9. Golden Globe Awards - 2.89 10. American Idol (Feb 2) - 2.89
1. Hope for Haiti Now - Various Artists 2. Need You Now - Lady Antebellum 3. I Dreamed a Dream - Susan Boyle 4. 2010 Grammy Nominees Various Artists 5. 6. 7. 8. The Fame - Lady GaGa Animal - Ke$ha This Is It - Michael Jackson For Your Entertainment - Adam Lambert 9. Crazy Love - Michael Buble 10. E.N.D. - Black Eyed Peas
DVD & Blu-ray’s
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The Time Traveler's Wife (PG) Couples Retreat (PG) Zombieland (18A) The Hurt Locker (14A) Surrogates (14A) 6. Love Happens (PG) 7. Gamer (18A) 8. The Invention of Lying (PG) 9. Amelia (PG) 10. The Stepfather (14A)
1. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson 2. Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Shaffer & Burrows 3. The Shack, William P Young 4. The Book Of Negroes, Lawrence Hill 5. The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger 6. The Scarecrow, Connelly/Giles 7. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold 8. Through Black Spruce, Joseph Boyden 9. Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel 10. Good to a Fault, Marina Edicott
1. The Bishop’s Man, Linden Macintyre 2. The Golden Mean, Annabel Lyon 3. The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown 4. Extreme Vinyl Cafe, Stuart Mclean 5. The Girl Who Played With Fire, Stieg Larsson
6. An Echo in the Bones, Diana Gabaldon 7. Too Much Happiness, Alice Munro 8. TheYear of the Flood, Magaret Atwood 9. Juliet Naked, Nick Hornby 10. Under the Dome, Stephen King
Get outside: 10 fabulous hikes in British Columbia
By Malcolm Johnson
When composing his essay on walking, Henry David
Thoreau had this to say: “Give me the ocean, the desert or the wilderness!” Considering those words, it’s not hard to think that the famed author would have loved the westernmost of Canada’s provinces. He would have found all that he sought, and all of it on a scale that he could never have imagined. From the Paciﬁc Ocean in the west to the Rocky Mountains in the east, British Columbia is a place of endless diversity: lush rainforests and dry canyons, barren alpines and gentle farmlands, soaring ranges and seaswept beaches. There's no better way to see it all than by setting out on foot, and experienced hikers know that autumn is the best time for day hikes: crisp and clear, the high country is still free from the deep snows of winter. So strap on your boots, grab your camera, and get out there—but always remember that it’s important to be fully
equipped and prepared. Here follows a sampling of fabulous hikes in British Columbia, where you’ll ﬁnd plenty of views to inspire the soul. Vancouver, Coast & Mountains The Grouse Grind Length: 2.9 km (1.8 mi) Vertical: 853 m (2,799 ft) Estimated time to complete: 1.5 hours
A winding trail that scrambles up Grouse Mountain’s
southern slope in North Vancouver, the Grind has become British Columbia's best-known hike. It’s certainly well named—with an average grade of 30 degrees, it’s a steep, thigh-burning trail boasting an elevation gain of 853 m (2,799 ft) as it climbs through the forest from the Valley Station to the peak plateau. (In all, there are 2,830 steps built into the trail.) The Grind was completed in the
early 1980s, and it’s a must for locals and travellers alike. And though you probably won’t match the trail record of 24 minutes—for the average adult, it’s about an hour and a half—a trip up the Grind will give you a ﬁrst-hand view of Vancouver’s unique urban and outdoor cultures. The best way down? Hop aboard the scenic Grouse Mountain Skyride, where a $5 one-way ride offers stunning views of the city. www.grousemountain.com The Trails of Garibaldi Length: varies, depending on the trail or trails chosen Vertical: challenging; between 600 m (1,969 ft) to over 900 m (2,953 ft) Estimated time to complete: depending on trail, can range from two to three hours (one way) The Helliwell Bluffs
As you drive north from Vancouver, you pass into Sea to
Sky country. Just outside the town of Squamish, Garibaldi Provincial Park holds some of the province's most dramatic scenery; there are dozens of great trails in the Garibaldi area, but serious hikers will want to head for the Taylor Meadows and Garibaldi Lakes campgrounds. Departing from there, you’ll be able to access Black Tusk, the jagged remnants of an ancient volcano (note: taking on the Tusk can add, at minimum, four hours to your trek). There are also high trails like Panorama Ridge, where glaciers and striated ranges lead off to the far horizon. Garibaldi may prove a challenging place to hike—but it is one rife with rewards. www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/ explore/parkpgs/garibaldi Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands Schooner Cove Length: 1 km (0.6 mi) (one way) Vertical: features long ﬂights of stairs and some hills Estimated time to complete: 45 minutes (round trip)
way) Vertical: easy to moderate hike Estimated time to complete: 40 to 75 minutes (one-way)
There are certain places where the natural scale of things
is beyond compare. Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park, an area of untouched old-growth forest on southwestern Vancouver Island, is one such place. The park’s trails lead through lush stands of ancient cedar and Sitka spruce, with huge and magisterial trees reaching hundreds of metres in height. Walking the trails of Carmanah will give you a glimpse of the coast as it once was: a wondrously rich ecosystem that still exists as an intact and living thing. The park can be accessed from Port Alberni, Port Renfrew or Lake Cowichan, and a trip here should include a stroll through the Randy Stoltmann Commemorative Grove, a stand of giant spruces dedicated to an iconic outdoorsman and conservationist. www.env.gov.bc.ca/ bcparks/explore/parkpgs/carmanah The Helliwell Bluffs Length: 5 km (3.1 mi) Vertical: an easy walk Estimated time to complete: one hour to walk the trail; two to three hours to take in the scenery
An easy boardwalk that winds through thick rainforest to
the beaches of the Paciﬁc, the Schooner Cove trail is one of the many treasures of Paciﬁc Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island’s wild west coast. After a one-km (0.6 mi) walk, the trail emerges to the north of Esowista, one of the traditional homes of the Tla-o-quiaht First Nation. When the surf’s up, you’ll see huge waves rolling in from the west, each one trailing a mane of white in the wind. (Access to Schooner Cove may be nonexistent during high tides.) There’s great tide-pool exploring at low tide, and a walk along the beach to the north takes you into a beautifully secluded cove. It’s the west coast at its picturesque best. www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ bc/paciﬁcrim/index_E.asp Carmanah Walbran – Grunt’s Grove and Three Sisters trails Length: 3.9 km (2.4 mi) (one way) and 2.5 km (1.6 mi) (one
The Kettle Valley Rail Trail
Built in the early 1900s, the Kettle Valley Railway in British
Columbia’s lush Thompson Okanagan was the long and winding link that connected the southern interior to the coast. A century later, it’s been converted into one of the province’s loveliest hiking and cycling trails. Part of the Spirit of 2010 Trail network, the Kettle Valley Rail Trail runs from Grand Forks to the Coquihalla Highway. The section of trail that passes through Myra Canyon, with its deep gorges and high trestle bridges, is an essential trip. With views of Okanagan Lake and some of the area’s renowned orchards and wineries, the stretch of trail that leads into Naramata is wonderful as well. In short, the Kettle Valley Rail Trail is a can't-miss experience for foodies and fresh-air ﬁends alike. www.spiritof2010trail.ca/RailTrail.aspx?id=kettle Kootenay Rockies The Iceline Trail Length: via Little Yoho Valley, 21 km (13 mi); via Celeste Lake Trail, 18 km (11.2 mi) Vertical: 695 m (2,280 ft)
The Gulf Islands lie to the west of British Columbia’s
mainland, and their bohemian cultures are as rich as the waters that surround them. Helliwell Provincial Park on Hornby Island is one of the hidden gems of the coast, with a pastoral ﬁve-km (3.1-mi) trail that winds through grassy ﬁelds and stands of Douglas ﬁr and Garry oak forest. Just to the west is Tribune Bay, which harbours one of the province’s best beaches. As an added bonus, a stroll along the high sea bluffs of Helliwell will showcase fabulous views of the Coast Mountains and the Strait of Georgia. www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/ helliwell Thompson Okanagan The Divide Lake North Trail Length: 8 km (5 mi) (each way) Vertical: an easy walk Estimated time to complete: 3.5 hours
The Iceline Trail
Renowned for its vineyards and farmlands, the Okanagan
is also home to a multitude of opportunities for backcountry hiking. Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park showcases an extensive network of wilderness trails that provide access to the dry forests, canyons and grasslands that lie between Penticton and Kelowna. One of the park’s frequented hikes is the Divide Lake North trail, a serious 16-km (10-mi) round trip featuring views of Okanagan Lake and the Monashee Mountains. It’s also a unique chance to see forests that are coming back to life after ﬁres swept through the area in 2003. www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/okana_mt The Kettle Valley Rail Trail Length: 455 km (283 mi) Vertical: about 1,300 m (4,265 ft) Estimated time to complete: varies on choice of trail and mode of transport; you can hike and bike along this trail
Estimated time to complete: four to six hours, depending on route The Crater Lake Trail
The Rocky Mountains are justly famous as one of the
world’s most scenic mountain ranges. But despite all the fame, there are still countless places where you can ﬁnd the solitude that greeted the area’s ﬁrst explorers. Yoho National Park near the town of Golden in the Kootenay Rockies has hundreds of kilometres of hiking trails that lead into postcard-pretty landscapes. The Iceline Trail easily proves one of the park’s classics. Challenging as it may be for some, the trail offers close-up glacier views, crossings of streams and moraines, and unforgettable vistas of Daly Glacier. As part of the Waputik Iceﬁeld, the Daly Glacier feeds Canada's second-highest free-falling waterfall, Takakkaw Falls, with its cascade totalling an impressive 380 m (1,247 ft). For those looking for something a bit gentler, there's a picturesque loop around the bright turquoise waters of Emerald Lake, with the ﬁrst 1.6 km (one mi) being wheelchair-accessible. www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/bc/yoho/index_E.asp Cariboo Chilcotin Coast The Painted Chasm Length: 2 km (1.2 mi) (one-way) Vertical: varies; an easy to moderate hike Estimated time to complete: two to four hours
Hudson Bay Mountain ski area, the trail ambles upward through open meadows to the small lake that gives the hike its name. The views here are the real draw, with gracious vistas over the Bulkley Valley and its surrounding peaks. Remember that this is high country, and cold temperatures can be a factor at any time of year. www.tourismsmithers.com Courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission
The Cariboo is a wild and expansive area of central
British Columbia—a place of big views, big horizons and even bigger skies. Among its many geologic marvels is the Painted Chasm, a dramatic gorge where glacial waters cut a jagged path through ancient lava ﬂows at the closing of the last ice age. Eight km (ﬁve mi) in length and up to 300 m (984 ft) in depth, the Chasm is one of the Cariboo’s most remarkable natural attractions. A number of informal trails in Chasm Provincial Park, 20 km (12.4 mi) north of Clinton, offer great vantage points of the brilliantly coloured canyon walls and their surrounding forests of ponderosa pine. www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/ parkpgs/chasm/ Northern British Columbia The Crater Lake Trail Length: 2 km (1.2 mi) (one-way); varies on route chosen Vertical: 250 m (820 ft) gain; steep incline at beginning, levels out to an easy hike Estimated time to complete: four hours
The town of Smithers is home to a dedicated outdoor
community—which isn’t surprising, considering the access it offers to some of Northern British Columbia’s best mountain terrain. The Crater Lake trail is a wellknown hike that serves as an inspired introduction to the area’s alpine environment. Leaving from the base of
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Cadillac CTS Wagon
Story and photos by Mark Atkinson
Amazed by the sheer number of versions a manufacturer
can create out of one car? Sedan, wagon, coupe, convertible are all on tap in some model lines. And it would seem that being able to cover every niche leads to improved overall sales and proﬁtability – if done properly, like Mercedes-Benz. Cadillac is responding to the challenge by introducing more variants to its competitive mid-sized CTS luxury sport sedan. While the sexy coupe won’t be ready until 2011, it’s the ﬁve-door wagon version that has caught our eye. The idea of having a Caddy that hauls without adding height as well has lots of appeal. From the outside, the Wagon shares most of its body with the sedan, but once you go aft of the C-pillars, it’s all new. There are shades of Dodge Magnum in how the door frames are incorporated into the aggressive design, and the CTS’ tailgate hinges farther forward compared to a traditional wagon. But credit Cadillac’s stylists for successfully incorporating the large vertical taillights without evoking a decade’s worth of Volvos. Those taillights use the company’s ‘light-pipe’ LED technology, which means they’re bright, sharp and easy to see. The Wagon is wonderful to drive behind because the wide rear fenders, dual exhaust and wide wheels add up to a seriously attractive package. The cargo area is perhaps more shallow than those aforementioned Volvo wagons, but with the rear seats folded ﬂat, the CTS Wagon can hold 736 L of stuff, and can be optioned with a cargo cover and heavy-duty net to keep Rover in place. By comparison, the new SRX sport-ute only holds 839 L, so you’re not sacriﬁcing too much to stay closer to the ground. Otherwise, there are good cargo rails and tie-downs aplenty to secure anything in the back. Also, every Wagon comes with a power-operated tailgate that the driver can choose to open either fully or only partway.
The rest of the cabin shows off the excellent work Cadillac has done with the CTS, and even after a couple years on the market, the design is still fresh. The contrasting detail stitching on the dash and doors looks great, as does the two-tone leather interior. Our test car also had the Preferred Equipment Group ($8,720) which added wood trim on the instrument panel, centre console, door trim, steering wheel and shift knob, and a plethora of interior accent lighting. It also adds heated and ventilated front seats, a power tilt/telescope steering column, rear parking assist, the EZ Key entry with remote start, and keyless ignition. The audio system also upgrades to a Bose 5.1 surround-sound unit with 10 speakers, a 40GB hard drive, USB port, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, with a rear-view camera and a HDD-based nav system. Mechanically, the Wagon shares the same Global rearwheel drive platform as the sedan. Power in the base models come with a new 270-hp 3.0-litre V6, but our tester featured the excellent 3.6-litre direct-injection V6 that produces 304 hp at 6,400 rpm, and 273 lb-ft of torque at 5,200 rpm. All Wagon models use the familiar six-speed automatic transmission, which is a shame because the manual version in the sedan makes for an entertaining proposition. Also, the CTS can be had with all-wheel drive, which adds security and solidity in nasty weather, but also adds another 90 kg to the already plump curb weight. While upgrading to the bigger V6 adds ‘sport suspension’, the CTS Wagon doesn’t feel terribly sporty. It moves with conﬁdence thanks to the extra power, has responsive brakes that can be modulated easily, but there’s no sharp turn-in, and it doesn’t feel anywhere near as well tuned as the typical German competition. However, there is an optional Sport Package ($940) that adds FE3 performance-tuned handling, automatic rear-level control suspension, more aggressive brakes, 19-in wheels and tires, and steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters. Judging
from how that transforms the sedan, it would be a worthy option for the wagon. The only real complaints come from tall people who will surely smack their noggins on the door frames when entering the rear seats, and the optional double-paned moonroof that severely cuts into front headroom. Pricing starts at $44,325 for the base model, while the 3.6L is a reasonable jump to $50,775. Our price as tested ran $60,870 (including premium paint for $1,295), while adding all-wheel drive would bring a loaded Sport Wagon to $65,225. While not inexpensive, to even get into a BMW 5 Series Touring runs $71,000 for a similarly specced 300-hp 535i xDrive model, and an Audi A6 Avant 3.0 TFSI Quattro is $66,700 before exploring the extensive options list. Mercedes-Benz doesn’t have an E-Class Wagon ready for North America yet, while Volvo’s V70 is too soft to play in this league. However, the CTS’s greatest competition will likely come from its own SRX crossover, which can be loaded up to perform similarly but without the stationwagon stigma. For those who are looking for a dramatically styled wagon with a performance bent, the CTS should be included for consideration, while the upcoming CTS-V SportWagon version should mimic the M, RS and AMG haulers we don’t get. Compliments to Cadillac for having the intestinal fortitude to build it, despite the current bleak conditions. 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 Magazine, Mark also has his own blog, www.drivingguy.com, and appears in a number of other print and online publications.
Ontario car dealers forced to display “real” vehicle pricing Cell phone bans in Ontario and B.C. now enforced
At the beginning of January this year a new Motor
Vehicles Dealers Act (MVDA) was announced by the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC). The MVDA gives clear guidelines regarding the pricing used by dealers when advertising vehicles and will affect over 8,300 registered dealers. In the past the vehicle sticker price could be advertised without included fees, freight, admin costs etc. This meant that the actual end price could be signiﬁcantly more and was confusing and misleading customers. “People should know what they’re buying and dealers should know what they’re selling. That’s why the key theme of the new MVDA is disclosure,” says Carl Compton, executive director of OMVIC. The new MVDA stipulates that the price advertised must be the all-in pricing. “The new MVDA makes it easier for consumers to shop and compare,” says Compton. “Speciﬁcally, advertising must be clear, comprehensible and prominent. All-in pricing is a great example. All-in pricing means all advertisements must include every fee a consumer could expect to pay, including freight and administration fees – there can be no hidden or extra fees. Advertisements must also state a vehicle’s model and whether or not it was previously used as a police or service vehicle. And, if there are a limited number of vehicles available at a certain price, the advertisement must say how many vehicles are left.” The MVDA also adds more consumer protection allowing rescinding of contracts and increased ﬁnancial remedies. It also requires dealers to collect and disclose more than 20 facts about the vehicle’s history. “It’s not necessarily bad to buy a vehicle that’s been in a collision or that requires work,” says Carey Smith, director of investigations for OMVIC. “What’s at stake here is that consumers must know what they are paying for – the average person can’t tell if a vehicle has had previous issues just by looking at it. That’s why full disclosure is so critical.” “The new MVDA increases dealer professionalism by requiring dealers to provide more information so consumers can make informed decisions,” says Compton. “The MVDA also outlines instances in which a consumer can cancel a contract if full disclosure is not provided.” Consumers can identify registered dealers by the blue and yellow “Ontario-registered dealer” decal posted on dealership doors or windows, or by asking dealers for their OMVIC registration.
As of February 1st drivers seen using hand-held cell
phones and other electronic devices in both Ontario and British Columbia will be ﬁned. Drivers are forbidden to use hand-held devices to talk, text or email while behind the wheel, or to use portable video games or DVD players."The only exception to the ban is a 911 call. Drivers ignoring the law will face ﬁnes of up to $500, although no demerit points will be issued. Newfoundland and Labrador have had a ban in place since 2003 and Quebec and Nova Scotia introduced similar bans last year. Saskatchewan and Alberta are set to follow in the fall.
2010 Canadian Car of the Year awards
The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada has
voted for the best new cars of 2010. Only model-year 2010, and those that are new or substantially redesigned for the model year are eligible in the program. In total 52 new models were evaluated. The winners are: Small car (under $21k) - Mazda 3 Small car (over $21k) - Mazda 3 Sport Family car (under $30k) - Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI Family car (over $30k) - Ford Taurus Luxury car (over $50k) - BMW 335d Sedan Prestige car (over $75k) - Porsche Panamera Turbo Sports - performance (under $50k) - Volkswagen Golf GTI Sports - performance (over $50k) - Audi S4 Convertibles - Audi A5 Cabriolet SUV - CUV (under $35k) - Subaru Outback SUV - CUV (over $35-60k) - Volkswagen Touareg TDI Clean Diesel SUV - CUV (over $60k) - Lexus RX450h
Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI
Moving to Canada?
Plan ahead for home ownership
By Kimberley Skinner BA, AMP, PFP
If you have a job awaiting you on Canadian soil, it’s
possible to also secure the purchase of a home if you plan ahead and connect with professionals before you even begin packing. The main reason you’ll want to get in touch with the right professionals before you start to pack is to ﬁnd out what important paperwork you’ll need to set aside to provide to ensure smooth sailing through the home ﬁnancing and purchasing processes. Your ﬁrst step should be to get in touch with an experienced mortgage professional. By doing so, you can set the home ﬁnancing process in motion by securing a mortgage rate guarantee and pre-approval, and ﬁguring out what supporting paperwork you need to provide to purchase a home in Canada. The services of mortgage professionals are typically free – they are paid by lenders for bringing in new business. Mortgage professionals have access to multiple lenders – including banks, credit unions and trust companies – where they can compare products and rates, and ﬁnd the ideal mortgage to meet your unique needs. In most cases, Canadian mortgage lenders and insurers want to see employment letters that prove your offer of employment and salary in Canada. You must also have at least a 5% down payment for the home from your own resources – which means it has to be your own money, not borrowed or gifted. So, for instance, if you’re selling your home in another country and using some of the proceeds as a down payment on a home in Canada, you must be able to prove this. Lenders and insurers also want to see that you have a solid credit history. Although requirements for this proof varies based on which insurer and lender your mortgage is funded through, your mortgage professional will be able to tell you exactly what documents you’ll need to provide. Often, an international credit bureau is sufﬁcient to prove your credit history. If this is not available, you can also provide 12 months’ worth of bank statements, mortgage or rental payment receipts, utility or telephone bills, and so on. Again, there are several options from which to choose and your mortgage professional will be able to speciﬁcally tell you what a particular lender and insurer want to see. You must also apply for landed immigrant status to get the ball rolling on securing your social insurance number (SIN), which is required before you begin working in Canada. By securing mortgage ﬁnancing prior to moving to Canada, all you have to do when you arrive is ﬁnd a home. This will be an easier task when you already know exactly how much you can spend thanks to your preapproval. And since your mortgage professional can put you in touch with a trusted real estate agent prior to your move, you will also be able to research homes before you arrive in Canada. Again, real estate agents do not typically charge a fee to ﬁnd you a home to purchase.
Paperwork to gather/set aside before packing:
Proof of employment and salary in Canada Proof of at least 5% down payment from your own sources Government proof of residency application Copy of your immigration papers Copy of your passport Credit report Mortgage or rental payment receipts for the past 12 months Bank statements for the past 12 months Utility and phone bill payments for the past 12 months By planning ahead before making your move, you truly can save yourself a lot of hassle and stress when it comes to securing mortgage ﬁnancing and purchasing a home. And if you’re already living in Canada, many of the available New to Canada mortgage products apply to new immigrants who have been in the country for up to 36 months.
Kimberley Skinner, BA, AMP, PFP, is a mortgage agent with Dominion Lending Centres Alliance. With more than 20 years of ﬁnancing experience, she enjoys helping new Canadians obtain ﬁnancing for their home purchases. Dominion Lending Centres Alliance FSCO # 11180
Kimberley can be reached at: 1-877-333-4983, Ext 716; email@example.com
Real Life Story
Making the move from Turkey to Canada by way of the USA.
Emre Akkas is a recent
immigrant to Canada having moved here in June 2009, but he took a roundabout route to get here as you will see. He was born and raised in Ankara, Turkey and obtained a chemical engineering degree in 1999, but after working in a local reﬁnery decided it was not the life for him and preferred to do something with computers instead. This decision put him on his path to Canada. Emre comes from a medical background with both his parents being pharmacists. His mother works at a government hospital in Ankara and his father owned his own pharmacy, although he is now retired. His elder sister qualiﬁed as a medical doctor Emre and the same year he left Turkey in 2001. After hearing about his ambition to work with computers his parents offered to pay his school fees to allow him to get a graduate degree abroad. He applied to a number of schools in the United States and decided to accept a place at Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon. Whilst his parents covered his fees, he worked locally to cover his living expenses. Whilst in Portland in 2005, Emre met Hanna Golota, a Polish citizen who had moved to the US to get a college degree at the University of Montana in 2001. After graduating she got a job at Nike and moved to Portland where she completed her graduate degree at the University of Portland. She met Emre shortly after her move and they have been together ever since. Now you might be wondering why we are talking about someone moving to the USA in a magazine dedicated to Canada? Well, after graduating from Marylhurst University Emre got a job in Portland and the company sponsored his H1B visa. He changed jobs a couple of times during his 4 years there and his last employer before leaving the US was Intel Corp. By now, he was on the 4th year of his H1B work visa. “The company ﬁled an application for a green card which would give me the right to stay permanently but the progress was so slow and had a lot of restrictions.” says Emre, “I was not able to move forward in my career while the application was pending (if you change companies, everything starts all over) and I also got sick of the "temporary" status which stopped me from making long term investments. In addition, Hanna
Hanna enjoy a celebratory drink
worked for the business we started before I got my job at Intel and the business started picking up. She wasn’t able to handle it on her own anymore and needed extra help. Being on a sponsored work visa in the United States, I was not allowed to work for myself.” So Emre and Hanna decided to look at other options such as moving to Canada or Australia. Canada won because of its close proximity to where they lived, great market opportunities for growing their localization business, and the charm of Vancouver, so Canada it was. In March 2007 they applied for permanent residency using the skilled worker route and ﬁnally got their visas in October 2008. “I grew up in a big city,” says Emre, “and missed the European big city life a lot when I was in the US. When I visited Vancouver a few years back I loved the lively dense downtown area. I thought it would be a cool place to live in. When I came to Vancouver after doing my landing papers in 2008 and walked the same streets again, I said "that's it" right away.” They ofﬁcially landed in December 2008 and spent a few days in Vancouver before going back to Portland to start wrapping up work and other commitments in the US. In February 2009 they again visited Vancouver for a week to get to know the city a little better and then on another visit in April they found an apartment to rent. Over the next few weekends the couple made the ﬁve and a half hour drive between the two cities to move their
belongings from Portland to Vancouver. In June 2009 they made the journey for the last time and moved to Canada for good. The couple didn’t plan to look for jobs, but instead put all their energy together to grow their business, Globalme, a localization and translation services company. Emre continues. “Vancouver being such a diversiﬁed city is a haven for the type of business we are in. We work with lots of foreigners, and here we can easily ﬁnd well qualiﬁed candidates with the necessary linguistic skills. Besides, there is a growing need for translation and localization services from government and the rising high tech industry in Canada.” Moving to a new place without knowing anyone was hard. They both knew they needed to invest heavily in networking to make their way to the top. The couple have started attending networking events in the city in order to meet new people and get to know the city better from the business perspective. So, the big question is, do they prefer Canada over the USA or do they regret the move? “We do not regret the move at all. We love Vancouver. It is hard to say if the US or Canada is better over the other because it all depends on the perspective you are looking at. In terms of bureaucracy, the life in the US is easier. Canada seems a little closer to Europe when it comes to paperwork. On the other hand, Canada wins on the social life, the city scene and friendliness of people.” “I enjoyed my life in the US but I enjoy it here more and have no regrets whatsoever. I love the fact that Vancouver has an extremely diverse population and has a bigger city feeling. I also like the smaller stores that are all over the place which is one thing lacking in the US. In Portland I had to go to big grocery stores for everything that I needed to buy whereas here there are tons of small locally owned stores. I like the fact that Canada is one of the most liberal nations and I like the friendliness of the people. The beautiful scenery and nature also plays a big
part in my love of the country; I am not a big fan of the rain but it’s a package deal.” He laughs. “The fact that the Canadian government recognized the value in my skills and gave me the opportunity to immigrate while the US was making the progress longer and longer also deserves a sincere appreciation.” But there must be things he misses about Turkey? “Yes,” he says, “I miss my family of course and my old friends. I also miss Turkish food, but I have been fortunate to be able to visit Turkey every year since leaving and hope to be able to keep this up in the future. Hanna and I eventually plan to move to either Turkey or Poland in the future, but that is a few years off.” We asked if Emre had any advice or warnings for potential immigrants to Canada. “My move to Canada as an immigrant was a little different than a typical immigration story. When one immigrates to another country, it takes a good year or two before one can adjust to life. I had that period in the US when I ﬁrst moved there and therefore the move to Canada was easy. On a lot of discussion forums I read people complaining about not being able to continue their career from the level they left at home. They seem to omit the fact that they will have to learn life before they can get back on track. I think everybody should be prepared for this and if possible start with going to school and working at a part time random job for a few months. “Being happy in Canada (or in any country, really) is a matter of the individuals attitude. One thing that prevents people from enjoying their life in Canada and being happy is the constant rejection which brings the “home sick” feeling. This is your new home and the sooner you decide to enjoy it the easier it is going to be. Of course you will get frustrated, of course you will feel silly while you try to ﬁgure out how things work but why not take that as a fun opportunity? How many people get the chance to feel like a newborn in their adult life? “All immigrants should be aware of the fact that it will take a lot of effort to move and start a new life and the results will totally depend on their own effort. This is a free country where you are provided with security and high standards of life but you need to make it work yourself.” On a ﬁnal note Emre wants to praise Canada for the speed at which his application was processed. “One thing that really impressed me was the extremely welcoming immigration ofﬁcers when we came to land. The immigration ofﬁcer went through our paperwork and said "Welcome Home" as she was giving the papers back to us. A truly memorable moment for me… After dealing with the cocky American immigration ofﬁcers for 7 years, that was an unbelievable experience.” Muchmor will keep in touch with Emre and Hanna and let readers know of any new developments in their story.
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Your ﬁrst days in Canada
When you ﬁrst arrive in Canada there are many things
you will need to do in order to start your new life. Depending on your situation you may or may not need to do everything in this list and indeed some people will need to do more, but this will give a quick overview of the most common items.
When you move to Canada you need to bring a lot of
paperwork with you to help your integration run smoothly. Remember to carry all such documentation with you in your carry on luggage on the plane to avoid any problems should checked-in luggage be lost or delayed. Here is a list of some of the most common documents you should bring with you: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • passport birth certiﬁcates marriage certiﬁcates adoption, separation and divorce papers school reports, diplomas, degrees etc professional certiﬁcation i.e. trade certiﬁcates, licences, qualiﬁcations etc credit report vaccination records driver’s licence past employer references resume bank statements Canadian employer details (if you have secured employment) mortgage or rental proof of payment statements utility bill payments will probably be staying in a hotel or similar location to begin with. This is ﬁne, but costs can soon run away with you and before you know it you are spending thousands on hotel rooms and eating out. Many people choose to rent when they ﬁrst arrive as they do not know exactly where they want to settle and in what community. Renting can give you the opportunity to not only have a roof over your head but the time to explore your new country and decide exactly where you want to make your home. When renting you will have a choice of furnished or unfurnished accommodation. Which you choose will depend on how long you plan to live in the home and whether you have your own furniture or not. If you are shipping furniture to Canada you might want to choose an unfurnished property to avoid storage fees as well as feeling more at home with your own belongings. Some rentals also include utilities such as hydro, water, gas etc, but do check as this is not always the case. Finding a place to rent can be harder for newcomers as you will not have a Canadian credit rating or Canadian rental/mortgage payment history. In order to help the situation you should bring with you statements of rent or mortgage payments from your home country. Utility bill payments and bank statements will also help your future landlord decide if you are a good tenant or not. It is also wise to get a credit report before you leave your home country as this can also help in many situations when you need to prove your credit worthiness. Although a foreign
You should also make a number of copies of each of these as you will be leaving some with many different people as you go through the system.
Some people are lucky enough to have arranged their
housing needs before they arrive, such as renting an apartment or house or pre-purchasing a property before landing. If however you are one of the majority who arrives in Canada with no clear idea of where to live you
credit report is not recognized in Canada, it can be a useful indicator for potential lenders. If you choose to buy your own home you will want to ﬁnd a good realtor who you get on with and can trust. You can go by recommendation, or simply gut feeling. Remember a realtor will not charge for their services, they get their income from the seller. If you are going to require a mortgage when you arrive take a look at the article on pages 18 & 19 for help and advice. not cover such as some ambulance services, prescription drugs, dental and optical care. If you are employed your employer may offer additional health insurance which cover these items, however if you are unemployed or self-employed you may want to consider additional health insurance. Again you might want to consult with an insurance broker to get the best policy for you as rates and qualiﬁcation do vary.
Social Insurance Number
If you are buying or renting property you will need
insurance. You can save money on insurance by using a broker who will hunt for the best policy available to you. If you have other insurance such as vehicle or business then by combining them or using the same insurer you can save money too. If you have been insured in your home country and have not had any claims for a number of years get a letter from your insurer to conﬁrm this.
Anyone who wants to work in Canada needs a Social
Insurance Number or SIN. The SIN enables you to apply for jobs and receive government beneﬁts. SIN application forms can be obtained through local Human Resources Centres or through local immigration organizations or the Post Ofﬁce. Details can be found using this link. You should obtain a SIN Card as soon as possible after arrival in Canada even if you do not plan to work immediately.
There are many choices
when it comes to vehicles in Canada. You might want to purchase a new or used vehicle straight away. If you are paying cash then you should have no problem, however if you wish to lease or purchase using a loan then you may encounter problems as a newcomer. As with home rental and purchase you should be prepared to have documentation with you to prove your credit worthiness. Things such as credit reports, bank statements, bill payments etc will all help as will a reference from your bank manager. The decision regarding offering you a loan or lease will be down to the dealership manager, or may be passed higher, so the more you can give them to help the situation the better.
One of the ﬁrst things you
need to do upon arrival in Canada is apply for your health insurance card. You can obtain an application form from your provincial ministry of health, any doctors ofﬁce, pharmacy or hospital. You may also receive one in your immigration welcome pack. Remember everyone, even babies need a health card. You will need to provide your birth certiﬁcate or conﬁrmation of permanent residence and your passport to apply. It is worth remembering that in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and New Brunswick there is a threemonth waiting period before you become eligible to receive medicare coverage. You should in this case obtain temporary cover just in case anything happens during this time. You should carry your health card with you at all times as it proves you are eligible for health coverage.
You must have a valid driving licence in order to drive in
Canada. These are issued by the individual province or territory and rules differ for each. Some provinces allow certain people from certain countries to simply swap their existing licence for a local one i.e. Ontario will allow UK licences to be swapped. However, other provinces will require you to sit exams and/or take a driving test. Turn to page 28 to get a full overview of all the provinces to see
Medicare is available to all Canadian residents with a
health card and includes many services such as treatment by family doctors, surgery, hospital care, laboratory tests, vaccinations etc. However there are some items it does
what you will need to do in order to obtain a Canadian driving licence. It is a legal requirement to carry your driving licence with you whenever you drive. You should also carry your vehicle registration and vehicle permit with you. If you can get this information on letter headed paper from your insurer (not the broker) and get this to your Canadian broker/insurer it can save you literally thousands of dollars in insurance premiums.
Schools Vehicle Insurance
If you are buying or leasing a vehicle you will need
insurance. As a newcomer you will often be treated as if you are a new driver, regardless of the number of years you have driven in your home country. This results in hugely inﬂated premiums. One way to avoid this is to use an insurance broker to get you the best deal amongst all the available insurers. Another is to make sure you have paperwork with you that back up your driving history. If you have been insured in your home country and have not had any claims for a number of years get a letter from your insurer to conﬁrm this. The letter should be worded in a way that will be recognized by Canadian insurers. Therefore any letter should state the following: policy number, date the insurance was ﬁrst taken out with the company, type of insurance held and if someone else is insured on your policy, their details. The most important thing to get included is a sentence which states the number of years “of claim-free driving” as this is recognized terminology in Canada. In the UK the term noclaims bonus is regularly used, but is not recognized in Canada.
Depending on what time of year you arrive you will want
to get children enrolled in school as soon as possible. When you visit your local school board ofﬁce to register your child you will need to take your permanent resident card or conﬁrmation of permanent residence, birth certiﬁcate, vaccination reports and any previous school records.
Opening a bank account in Canada for newcomers is
now much easier than it used to be. Most of the major banks have accounts and services designed especially for newcomers, many of which can be opened before you actually land. Take a look at banking websites to see which one can offer you the service you require. Be aware that most Canadian banks charge fees for just about every transaction. Try to ﬁnd a bank that offers a package fee which will include a stated number of transactions.
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Settlement & Immigration Specialists
Working with Laskowsky & Laskowsky Partners, Barristers & Solicitors
When you arrive in Canada you might want to purchase a
cell phone which will then allow you to communicate with people more easily. If you don’t want to commit to a contract at this stage there are many options for pre-paid and pay-as-you-go phones. Check out the rates and their offering before deciding on a supplier.
Our Comprehensive immigration & settlement package includes:
!Assessment, preparation and monitoring of your application !All categories included !Tailor made packages !Referrals to professional associations !Specialist employment searches !Investors welcome !Settlement advice - including health, education & geographical
To ﬁnd out more and to obtain a FREE application pack please contact Victoria or Barbara. If you have a cv/resume please fax or post to our UK ofﬁce for immediate assessment. All information is strictly conﬁdential.
If you are renting and are responsible for your own utilities
or you are a new home owner you may be required to put down a security deposit by your local utility company. This is completely at the discretion of the individual company and you will normally get your deposit back after 6-12 months providing you have of course paid your bills on time.
As we mentioned previously some people will need to do
extra things such as look for jobs or set up a business but these subjects are too complex to be included in this article. This list is meant to give a quick overview of the most common things people new to Canada will need to accomplish in the ﬁrst few days and weeks in the country.
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Live, Work, and Play in Greater Sudbury Newcomers visit www.mysudbury.ca
Vivez, travaillez et divertissez-vous dans le Grand Sudbury. Nouveaux arrivants, visitez le site www.ouisudbury.ca
Newcomers guide to obtaining a Canadian driving licence
Every province and territory in Canada has its own rules
regarding obtaining a driving licence. Some allow certain countries to exchange licences without having to retake driving tests or having medicals etc. We take a look at each province to see who can swap and who cannot. in most provinces you can drive on your existing licence for a maximum of 90 days, after which you are required to hold a provincial driving licence. There are exceptions to this rule, so please check with the relevant province.
Manitoba If you hold a valid driver's licence from anywhere in the
U.S., you can surrender your valid driver's licence and obtain a Manitoba licence. If you hold a driver's licence from any other country you will need to take and pass Manitoba's knowledge, road, and vision tests. See website for more details: http:// www.mpi.mb.ca/english/dr_licensing/DLFAQ.html#QL2
Alberta In Alberta, a valid licence from the United States can be
exchanged for an equivalent Class 5, 6, or 7. All other classes require testing and must provide applicable medical and vision screening. A valid licence from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland) can be exchanged for a Class 5 when the applicant is presenting a valid licence of equivalent class. A Class 6 operator's licence shall be issued to valid Swiss Class A, A1 licence and a Japanese International driver's licence, which permits the holder to operate a motorcycle. All other classes requested would require testing and must provide applicable medical and vision screening. Anyone arriving from any other country must undergo complete testing for all classes of licence requested and must provide applicable medical and vision screening as required. See website for details: http:// www.servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/ drivers_licence.cfm#Exchanging_a_NonAlberta_Operators_Licence
New Brunswick If you are from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark,
England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands (Holland), New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland or Wales you may exchange a valid drivers licence for a class 5 New Brunswick licence. Licences for commercial vehicles will require you to retake your tests. If you are from any other country, not listed, then you will have to take a full driver licence examination, including written, vision and road tests paying all applicable fees. See website for more details: http://www.gnb.ca/0276/ vehicle/index-e.asp
Newfoundland & Labrador Newcomers from the United States, Germany, Austria,
Switzerland and the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland) can exchange their existing licence for a Class 5
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British Columbia British Columbia has a driver licence exchange
agreement with the United States, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and South Korea. You must have held your existing licence for at least two years Exchanges apply to American passenger car or motorcycle operator's licence, Austrian, German or Swiss Category B or German Class 3 driver's licence for passenger cars, or a Japanese Ordinary driver's licence or a South Korean Class 2 Ordinary driver's licence for passenger cars. If you are from a country not listed above you will need to qualify for a B.C. licence. This includes passing a road signs test, a knowledge test, vision screening and a road test. You will also need to meet the medical and application requirements. See website for details: http:// www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/moving-bc/licenceothercountry#Variables._frag_
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Line of credit or 30 Relocation loan?
great as it means you get the whole available but wants to be able to use it as amount up-front to do with as you please, and when they need it. but you are making payments on the If you agreed to a line of credit of whole amount, even if you don’t use it all $20,000 for a ten year period, you can dip When you decide you need a little at once. By this we mean that if for into that money as and when you need it Newfoundland driver's licence without taking a written, Ontario extra cash,road who doesn’t, the first and test. example you borrow $20,000 but only use and only pay interest on the amount used. vision or place you will probably golicence financial require a initially and keep the rest in the Use $10,000 and pay interest on $10,000. Commercial driver’s is your may also $10,000 medical Drivers from Canadian Forces-Europe, U.S.A., Japan, institution for a loan. But is a loan the right bank for a rainy day, you are still paying Germany, France, Great Britain, you have report. Korea, Switzerland, If you pay back the $10,000 then If you hold you are a home owner, interest and repayments on the whole thing to ask for?aIfdriver's licence from any other country, the $20,000 still available can Austria and Belgium, Australia and Isle of Man to you. This is you will need to take and passequity in $20,000. Newfoundland’s you will be borrowing against the basically a G licence. Certain exchange their licences for a full revolving credit similar to a knowledge, road, and vision tests. restrictions may apply. your home, essentially a second Generally a HEL is more suitable for credit card. See website for more information. http:// Anyone a car arriving from any other country must undergo mortgage. You should discuss with your these one-off payments such as This type of credit is useful for www.gs.gov.nl.ca/drivers/DriversandVehicles/ complete testing for all classes of licence as tuition payments, financial advisor the differences between purchase or major home renovation. ongoing needs such requested and driverlicensing/application.html#12 must provide applicable medical and vision screening as loans and lines of credit. Depending on ongoing renovations,or perhaps a holiday required. what you Scotia money for will each here: Line of Credit Full details can be foundyear. http://www.drivetest.ca/ Nova need the determine which options will be best for en/license/OutOfCountryDrivers.aspx you. With either of these options you home Aexchange Home Equity Line of Credit Anyone relocating from the United States can is at risk if you default on the payments. Prince Edward Island their existing licence for a Class 5 licence. (HELOC) works in a different way and is People who have a valid driver’s licence from other Loans much more flexible. You still have to agree Both can be set as fixed rate or flexible foreign countries will be required to take a vision test, you canLicences from the United States can andexchangedboth types to an amount borrow and the time rates of interest be interest on for written test on safety rules, a written road sign test and a of equivalent PEI pay With a loan you agree to borrow a set period it is available, but you will only licences. loan are usually tax deductible. road test. More information can be found here: http:// Always consult with an advisor For individuals coming from other countries and havebefore amount of money which you repay by interest on the amount you borrow. This is www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/rmv/licence/ never been licensed in the United Sates or Canada,be sure taking on either type of loan to fixed installments over a fixed period of especially useful for someone who wants complete testing (written, are opting for the one which suits your you vision and driving) is required. time. For homeowners this is referred to the security of knowing the money is Full details can be found here: http://www.gov.pe.ca/ circumstances. as a Home Equity Loan (HEL). This is
Location, location, location.
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 www.hifx.co.uk
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Quebec U.S. licences can be exchanged for a Québec licence for
a passenger car or a moped without taking a test. For vehicles other than passenger cars and mopeds, tests are required. Anyone from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Switzerland, Great Britain (excluding Northern Ireland), Taiwan or Turkey can exchange their licence for an equivalent Quebec licence. More information can be found here: http:// www.saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/driver_licence/exchange/ index.php Anyone arriving from any other country must undergo complete testing for all classes of licence requested and must provide applicable medical and vision screening as required.
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Saskatchewan If you are moving from the United States, United
Kingdom, Gibraltar, Northern Ireland, Switzerland, South Korea, Germany or Austria you will be able to exchange your licence for an equivalent Saskatchewan licence. If you are moving from a jurisdiction outside of these countries, you will have to complete written, vision and road examinations prior to being issued a Saskatchewan driver's licence.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada Citoyenneté et Immigration Canada
Managed by: Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)
final changes June 2, 2005
Notes Most of the exchange agreements require you to
surrender your existing home country driving licence. You may also be required to take a vision test and disclose any medical conditions that may affect your ability to drive. Some provinces require a medical to be taken for certain types of licence, particularly commercial licences. You will be required to provide proof of residency documentation such as your immigration papers as well as identiﬁcation documents such as a passport. Most of the provinces exchange programs are subject to minimum driving experience in your home country. Therefore you will also need to provide proof of driving experience if not contained within your existing licence documentation. It is a legal requirement in Canada to always have your licence on you when driving and you must present it to ofﬁcial bodies if required to do so. A driving licence can be used to obtain other forms of identiﬁcation and so should be kept securely to avoid theft and misuse. Driving licences in Canada are renewable after a certain period of time such as ﬁve years. It is your responsibility to make sure your licence is always kept up to date.
The pitfalls of failing to extend visitor's status
By Guidy Mamann
Q. My common law partner and I came to Canada so that
I could pursue my master's degree. I have a study permit. She is from a visa-exempt country and was issued a visitor record at the border. Due to a misunderstanding on our part, we didn't extend her visitor's status when I extended my study permit. As a result, she is currently about nine months out of status. She only came to know about it when we decided to get her a work permit during a subsequent study permit extension. CIC sent her a letter stating that she had to leave the country immediately. This didn't look like a departure order, since there was no 30-day time period speciﬁed, but we are concerned about this. Since the law is very clear on overstays, we are positive the best option at this point would be to go back to her home country, or is there an alternative? She is obviously past the 90-day restoration of status window. We thought it best to seek professional legal advice as to her options, especially since our future plans include obtaining permanent residency.
TRP. Accordingly, a refusal of a TRP based solely on this policy is, in my view, vulnerable to a legal challenge. However, in your situation, I would not let things go that far. Also, we have to be mindful that your partner has been asked to leave Canada and if she doesn't do so soon, the CBSA could easily bring removal proceedings against her. That would really complicate things. In short, the path of least resistance is to maintain the goodwill of CIC. She should go home brieﬂy and attempt a return to Canada to rejoin you. There is no guarantee that she will be re-admitted but, given the options, I would probably run the risk. Obviously, you need to be more careful in the future. Guidy Mamann practices law in Toronto at Mamann, Sandaluk and is certiﬁed by the Law Society of Upper Canada as an immigration specialist. For more information, visit www.migrationlaw.com or email email@example.com
A. First, I would like to tell you what you should not do.
No doubt you may be advised by some well-intentioned person to have your partner enter the U.S. and re-enter Canada with fresh status. Your partner should deﬁnitely not try this since the U.S. will almost certainly deny her entry and even cancel any U.S. visa that she may have. Generally, the Americans will not admit foreigners to their country if they are in Canada without lawful status. Also, she should not apply for restoration of her status since, as you mentioned, she is well passed the 90-day limit for doing so. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act allows anyone who is "inadmissible" or who "does not meet the requirements of the Act" to legalize their status through a temporary resident permit (TRP). So legally speaking, your partner can apply for a TRP through the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville. However, this approach is risky and problematic. The immigration department's policy manual conﬁrms that a person is eligible for a TRP if they are not eligible for a restoration of status. However, elsewhere it states "Temporary resident permits should not be used to restore the temporary resident status of a visitor, student or worker when their status has expired." This latter statement seems to fetter or limit the discretion of immigration ofﬁcers when considering an application for a
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CIC launches immigration consultant fraud investigation The Canadian government is trying to crack down on
illegal and unscrupulous immigration consultants after it became aware of over 300 citizenship applicants who claimed to be living at the same address. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney suggested that this was just the tip of the iceberg and warned potential immigrants of the dangers of not researching immigration consultants properly. “I myself went and sat in on some interviews that our ofﬁcials had with citizenship applicants recently in Mississauga, and I saw cases where an applicant was living at an address where 25 other people were supposedly living – 25 other applicants for citizenship were registered,” Mr. Kenney said. “We are launching a package this year to reform the regulation of immigration consultants,” Kenney said. “That will include much more severe penalties for furnishing people with advice to commit fraud or submit fraudulent documents.” The government has launched an awareness campaign to advise potential immigrants to only deal with licensed consultants and advise them that they do not actually nee to use a consultant at all. The awareness campaign is available in seventeen languages and can be accessed via this link.
immigrate under the Canada Experience Class. They would make Canada their home and continue to contribute to our country's social and economic fabric."
Youth Mobility Program increases Czech visas The Youth Mobility Program has been established to
allow Czechs to work in Canada in order to supplement their trip. It is available to young adults between the ages of 18 and 35 years and is administered through the Canadian Embassy in Prague. Applicants can apply under two different categories allowing them to work for up to one year whilst in the country.
Proposed changes for temporary foreign workers New regulations are being proposed to limit the potential
for exploitation of temporary foreign workers in Canada. At present there are no regulations in place which hold employers or their agents responsible for the treatment of temporary foreign workers. The proposed changes to the Immigration regulations would: •Establish a set of factors to guide the assessment of the genuineness of an employer’s offer of employment to a temporary foreign worker; •Make an employer ineligible to access the temporary foreign worker program for a period of two years if the employer has previously been found to provide signiﬁcantly lower wages, working conditions or an occupation different than what was offered to a temporary foreign worker; •Provide for the publication of a list with the names, addresses and period of ineligibility of employers who are not eligible to access the temporary foreign worker program on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s external website; •Establish a limit of four years of work for temporary foreign workers, followed by a period of at least six years in which they would not be authorized to work in Canada, with exceptions for certain workers (eg. Intra-Company Transferees, NAFTA Professionals); and •Introduce a requirement that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada’s Labour Market Opinion indicate a period of time during which the opinion is in effect. Under the new regulations, an assessment of the genuineness of the job offer would be carried out regardless of whether an Labour Market Opinion is required and accordingly, Work Permit applications involving LMO-exempt cases (such as Intra-Company Transferees and NAFTA Professionals) will be subject to this new genuineness assessment process.
Canada wants more Indian students A new program by Citizenship and Immigration Canada
(CIC) and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) has seen Indian student enrollments at Canadian colleges double. The Student Partners Program was launched in April 2009 and since then the CIC visa ofﬁce has received over 4,000 applications in the program. "International students contribute to the cultural life and economic success of colleges and institutes and of the communities they serve.” said James Knight, President and CEO of the ACCC. “In partnership with CIC, we have doubled the approval rate of visas for students from India coming to Canadian colleges. We will work with CIC to expand the initiative to other ACCC members." The program requires applicants to provide veriﬁable documentation in order to attend. In turn the college has to report back on things such as student attendance records and progress reports. Jason Kenny, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration added, "This type of program beneﬁts both our country and those who participate in it. When all is said and done, these graduates may remain in Canada and apply to
Average earnings across Canada
Since June"2009, the trend in payroll employment has been relatively ﬂat, compared with the ﬁrst six months of the year when it declined sharply. This change in trend reﬂects a slower pace of loss in some industries, combined with little change or growth in other industries since June. Average weekly earnings by province Newfoundland and Labrador Prince Edward Island Nova Scotia New Brunswick Quebec Ontario Manitoba Saskatchewan Alberta British Columbia Yukon Territories Nunavut Northwest Territories Average weekly earnings by industry Public administration Accommodation & food services Health care & social assistance Professional & scientiﬁc services Real estate, renting & leasing Retail trade Mining, quarrying, oil & gas Utilities Manufacturing Construction Finance & insurance
$786.96 $665.00 $720.53 $736.99 $748.56 $847.51 $755.06 $805.02 $954.05 $796.22 $861.20 $904.19 $1,116.64
$823.79 $692.89 $733.10 $751.11 $764.37 $856.57 $783.65 $816.31 $967.00 $798.86 $891.85 $888.45 $1,138.35
4.7% 4.2% 1.7% 1.9% 2.1% 1.1% 3.8% 1.4% 1.4% 0.3% 3.6% -1.7% 4.6%
$1,040.74 $323.85 $796.22 $1,114.23 $712.27 $487.59 $1,555.85 $1,448.05 $948.03 $1,062.46 $998.45
$1,082.36 $337.92 $782.52 $1,137.44 $796.55 $491.35 $1,572.20 $1,525.03 $935.14 $1,052.64 $1,037.34
4.0% 4.3% -1.7% 2.1% 11.8% 0.8% 1.1% 5.3% -1.3% -0.9% 3.9%
If you want toEmployment 35 make the case to a potential employer or your boss to let you Market research analysts, whose job numbers are expected to grow 20 percent work from home, keep a few things in mind. If possible, provide concrete by 2016, gather data on competitors and examples of how this arrangement was analyze prices, sales, and methods of successful in the past or how it will marketing and distribution. They often succeed. Suggest that you ease into it -Data Entry Clerk design surveys, compile and evaluate the spending a few days to a few weeks in the Like administrative assistants, job data and make recommendations to their Sample job titles: Bilingual customer meeting people and service advisors By Kate Lorenz, CareerBuilder Editor office at the outset, prospects should be best for those with client or employer based upon their (lending), activiation and sales customer service and sales " getting to know procedures. Then, during expertise in computer software findings. Locations: "Ottawa Although the employment situation isn't as strong as the first three to six months on the new applications. By typing text, entering data we'dalike, it has and performing other past year. Paralegal improved over the While job, make frequent visits. into computer, Virgin Mobile 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.
Market Research Analyst
9 companies hiring this month
October 2008's booming employment numbers are still clerical duties, these workers ensure Industry: "Retail sales While lawyers assume ultimate far away, January saw an increase of 43,000 employed Sample job titles: Store Kate Lorenz is the article and advice managers, sales associates companies keep up with information and responsibility for workers. The unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent"as a legal work, they delegate editor for CareerBuilder.ca. She Locations: Nationwide technology. much of their work to paralegals. result, reports Statistics Canada. researches and writes about job search Paralegals not only Full-time employment continues to trend upward, but assist in preparation Weatherford International career management, hiring strategy, Ltd. Insurance Underwriter for most growth part-time work once again outpaces it, with"closings, hearings, trials, and corporate gas services Industry: "Oil and trends and workplace issues. Insurance underwriters serve as the meetings, they also occurring in Ontario You might also be surprised to learn perform a number of "Heavy duty mechanics, rig assistants, Sample job titles: that the demographic driving this growth other vital functions including draft main link between the insurance carrier is women wireline technicians between the ages of 25Underwriters and the insurance agent. to 54. Among the industries with contracts, mortgages, separation Lloydminster, Grand Prairie, Nisku, Edmonton, Locations: the most gains were retail and wholesale agreements, trust instruments and may trade and analyze insurance applications, calculate Bonnyville supportof loss fromwhile professional and scientiﬁc the risk services, policyholders, decide assist in preparing tax returns and services to issue the policy and establish industries. Still, whether were some of the hardest hit planning estates. With employers reducing Xerox Canada organizations need workers to help their companies grow duties once tended to Industry: Sales appropriate premium rates. costs by replacing during this period. Sample job this by lawyers with paralegals, growth oftitles: Account managers, service technicians Here is a list of employers throughout Canada who are profession is expected.Locations: Nationwide looking for new employees right now. Canadian Forces Industry: Government: navy, army, air force Sample job titles: Technicians, engineers, operations, health services Locations: Nationwide CIBC Industry: "Banking Sample job titles: Branch managers, customer service Subscribe to Muchmor Magazine and representatives, ﬁnancial advisors, assistants Locations: Nationwideyou be reminded when not only will Go to Careerbuilder now to ﬁnd your new career.
every new Edward Jones issue is published but you Industry: Financial placed into a draw to win will also be services""""""" Sample job titles:" Financial advisor a $50 Locations: Nationwide TimCard™
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36 Home & Garden
Make your house clean and green
When you clean your house in the spring, you really want
it to be clean. Dirt, dust and germs are banned, and all appliances, ﬂoors and walls are scrubbed clean. But is your house really clean, or have you traded dirt and germs for caustic and toxic chemicals found in most conventional cleaning products? Even some so-called natural cleansers can contain these same or similar nasty ingredients. And you would know this only if the manufacturer practices full disclosure of ingredients on their labels, which is not required on home care products. Think about it - when was the last time you saw a full ingredient listing on your spray cleaner? The best way to make sure your living space is clean and healthy is to use safe, natural cleaning products you create yourself, using natural and inexpensive ingredients you can pick up at any natural grocery store. It's costeffective, not difﬁcult and, like the task of spring cleaning itself, it's satisfying and rewarding. You can craft your own, home-spun versions of everything from carpet cleaner to furniture dusting polish - and have the satisfying assurance that you really are keeping your home clean and green. Whether you're shopping for prepared natural cleaning solutions or making your own, keep in mind that the word "aromatherapy" is now being applied to everything scented - from dishwashing liquid to laundry detergent. The true practice of aromatherapy relies on using pure essential oils extracted from plants. These natural plant essences nurture us on mental, emotional, physical and even spiritual levels. House cleaning isn't exactly a spiritual exercise, but adding the effects and properties of essential oils to your homemade household products can enhance the experience and the effectiveness of your task. Essential oils have potent antimicrobial effects along with their clean, pleasant natural aromas. Here are a few "classic" homecare essential oils suggested by the experts at the leading aromatherapy company, Aura Cacia: lemon (clean, sweet, uplifting scent; deodorizing), peppermint (minty, fresh; air puriﬁer; mild pest repellent), eucalyptus and tea tree (air and surface sanitizers; fresh, therapeutic aromas). Here's a shopping list of key ingredients for making your own homecare products: • Baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) - Gently abrasive scouring powder, odor absorber and an excellent base for making your own cleaning preparations. • Washing soda (Sodium Carbonate) • Borax (Sodium Borate) - Natural mineral compound, laundry booster, multipurpose cleanser, fungicide/ insecticide. • White distilled vinegar (Acetic Acid) • Liquid soap (Sodium Hydroxide) - Choose from vegetable oil-based soaps such as olive oil or sweet almond. • Distilled water - Clean, distilled water acts as a better carrier and dirt solvent. Tap water will often contain salts and minerals that can lead to spotting and build-up.
Home & Garden 37
• Essential oils • Spray bottles • Natural bristle scrubbing brushes • Squeeze bottles • Cotton dusting cloth • Hemp or jute ﬁber scrubbing cloth • Tote to put it all in Window Cleaner 2 cups water 3 tablespoons vinegar 1/4 teaspoon liquid soap 36 drops essential oil Wooden Furniture Polishing Oil 3 tablespoons vinegar 1/2 teaspoon jojoba oil 10 drops lemon essential oil Carpet Deodorizing Powder 1 cup baking soda 18 drops essential oil* *Deodorizing essential oils: bergamot, coriander seed, lavandin. Carpet Cleaner 1 cup baking soda 1 teaspoon liquid soap 18 drops essential oil Courtesy of ARAcontent •
Follow these simple recipes for making your own basic
homecare products: Basic Spray Cleaner 2 cups water 1/2 teaspoon sodium borate 1/4 teaspoon liquid soap 36 drops essential oil* *Cleansing and purifying essential oils: lemon, tea tree, eucalyptus, spike lavender. Gentle Scouring Cream 1/2 cup baking soda Liquid soap 18 drops essential oil* *Oils that brighten: lemon, lemongrass, grapefruit. Add essential oils to baking soda and blend. Next, incorporate the liquid soap, several drops at a time, until a creamy paste forms.
New tougher mortgage rules set by Ottawa
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced in February new
rules which are to be introduced to help prevent homebuyers getting into ﬁnancial difﬁculty in years to come. Due to the current low mortgage rates many Canadians are taking on mortgages which they may struggle to pay when rates increase. “There is no evidence of a housing bubble, but we’re taking prudent steps today to prevent one,” Flaherty said. The new rules include: • A requirement that all borrowers meet the standards for a ﬁve-year ﬁxed-rate mortgage, even if they choose a variable mortgage with a lower rate or a shorter term. • Lowering the maximum that home owners can reﬁnance their home from 95% to 90%. • Non-owner-occupied properties purchased as investments will require a minimum of 20% down payment to qualify for CMHC insurance. It was thought that the government would raise the minimum down payment on a home from 5 to 10 per cent, but this was not included on the announcement.
Maximum amortization of the current 35 years was also left unchanged. “While we do not believe that Canada faces a housing bubble, we fully support the minister’s actions,” the Bank of Montreal said in a release. “Given the prospect of higher interest rates and the recent run-up in housing prices in some markets across Canada, the measures announced today are prudent.”
House sales up on last year
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) recently
announced the latest housing statistics which shows that residential house sales in January 2010 were up by 58% on the same time last year, when Canada was in the midst of an economic recession. The average price of a home sold through MLS® in January this year was $328,537, up 19.6% on January 2009. “The resale housing market is becoming more balanced in a number of provinces, including my own province of Saskatchewan,” said CREA President Dale Ripplinger. “A more balanced market is likely to result in smaller price increases going forward, with buyers in less of a rush due to an increase in supply. That said, market conditions vary across Canada, so buyers and sellers are wise to consult with a REALTOR® since they know current conditions in your local market.”
38 Health & Wellness
High blood pressure on the rise in Canada
Health & Wellness 39
Nearly one in ﬁve adult Canadians has high blood
pressure, a new survey from Statistics Canada reports. That’s about 4.6 million people."Another 20 per cent of Canadians have readings in the pre-hypertension range, meaning they are at high risk of developing high blood pressure soon."About 61 per cent of adults between 20 and 79 have normal blood pressure, the survey found. Men and women are about equal in their rates of high blood pressure: 19.7 per cent of men have the condition, as do 19 per cent of women. But men were less likely than women to be aware of their condition and many only became aware after they had their blood pressure measured as part of the survey. The ﬁndings come from the ﬁrst cycle of the Canadian Health Measure Survey — the most comprehensive health survey ever carried out in Canada. The results are based on direct, automated measures of blood pressure taken between March 2007 through February 2009, as well as self-reported use of blood pressure medication. While blood pressure was measured on just 3,514 respondents, aged 20 to 79, the data were weighted to be representative of the 23.7 million Canadian adults in this age range. The survey found that about 80 per cent of those adults with high blood pressure are being treated with drugs. In most of those with the condition (66 per cent), medication has been effective in controlling their blood pressure. But in the remaining third (who account for 6.6 per cent of the adult population), their blood pressure is still too high. Among women with hypertension who were taking medication for their condition, 18 per cent still had blood pressure that was too high. That compares with 10 per cent among men. This gender gap worsened with age. Among 60- to 69year-olds who were using blood pressure medication, 19 per cent of women still had blood pressure that was too high, compared with 7 per cent of men. High blood pressure is deﬁned as systolic pressure (the upper number) of 140 or higher, and diastolic pressure (the lower number) higher than 90. So a reading at or above 140/90 would be considered high. Normal blood pressure is below 120/80 mm Hg. As well, anyone who reported they had used medication for high blood pressure in the past month was classiﬁed as having hypertension. High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for stroke. And, because high blood pressure can damage blood vessel walls, causes scarring that promotes the build-up of fatty plaque, and strains the heart, the condition is also a major risk factor for heart disease. The World Health Organization estimates that elevated blood pressure is responsible for about 7.1 million premature deaths each year. High blood pressure typically has no warning signs or symptoms, which is why it is often called a “silent killer.”
Blood Pressure Canada, a non-proﬁt group dedicated to the prevention and control of hypertension in Canada, says a number of lifestyle changes can prevent or reduce high blood pressure. They recommend: Be physically active for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week. Even a little bit of physical activity is better than none at all. If you are overweight, losing about 10 lbs (5 kg) will lower your blood pressure. Reducing your weight to within a healthy range will lower your blood pressure even more. Eat less salt. The usual amounts of sodium in the average Canadian diet are very high and increase blood pressure. One in three Canadians with high blood pressure would have normal blood pressure with a healthy amount of sodium in their diets. Buy and eat more fresh foods especially fruit and vegetables. Stop smoking. Smoking increases the risk of developing heart problems and many other diseases. If you drink alcohol, limit the amount to one to two standard drinks a day or less.
Blood Pressure Canada www.hypertension.ca Lower Sodium www.lowersodium.ca Heart and Stroke Foundation Canada www.heartandstroke.ca
40 Health & Wellness
10 reasons to fall in love with potatoes
8. Potato casserole, potato salad, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, roasted potatoes - what do these dishes have in common? They can all be made in less than 20 minutes and without turning on the oven or boiling water. 9. Potatoes with skin rank highest for potassium content among the top 20 most frequently consumed raw vegetables and the top 20 most frequently consumed raw fruits. That means they have more potassium than a banana, more than broccoli, more than an orange, more than spinach ... you get the idea. 10. For a potato dish that's packed with potassium, try Quick and Healthy Microwave Mashed Potatoes or visit www.potatogoodness.com for more ideas.
Want to do something good for your heart? Find new
ways to increase your intake of potassium. This nutrient may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and promote heart health. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that diets containing foods that are a good source of potassium and that are low in sodium may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Did you know potatoes are a good source of potassium and contain no sodium? In fact, one medium potato (5.3 ounces) with the skin on contains 620 mg of potassium. That's 18 percent of your daily requirement and more than a banana. Need more reasons to love potatoes? Read on. 1. Did you grow up listening to your mother tell you to eat your vegetables? Well, potatoes are vegetables, so eat away. 2. This one's simple: one medium-sized potato (5.3 oz.) has 110 calories and is fat- and cholesterol- free. 3. Potatoes (with the skin) are a good source of potassium. Research shows that potassium may help lower blood pressure, contributing to a heart-healthy diet. 4. Hit by a cold? What you eat can help ﬁght it off. A medium-sized spud has nearly half the recommended daily value of vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin B6. 5. Potatoes are also a source of dietary ﬁber, a complex carbohydrate, which is known to increase satiety and help with weight loss. 6. Russets, reds, ﬁngerlings, blues, purples, yellows and whites - with six common fresh potato varieties, there's always a new color or texture to experiment with. 7. No time to boil or bake? That's a good thing. The quickest methods for cooking potatoes, microwaving and steaming, are also the healthiest because they allow the potato to retain the most nutritional value.
Quick and Healthy Microwave Mashed Potatoes
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Makes four servings Ingredients: 1 1/4 pounds Russet potatoes (Red, white or yellowﬂeshed potatoes can be substituted) 1/2 cup each: nonfat plain yogurt and fat-free milk 1 1/2 tablespoons healthy butter spread 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic or seasoned salt) Freshly ground pepper to taste Directions: Place whole potatoes (do not poke) into microwave-safe dish. Cover dish. (If covering dish with plastic wrap, poke small hole in plastic.) Microwave on high for 10 to 12 minutes depending on strength of microwave. Use oven mitts to remove dish from microwave; carefully remove cover and mash well. Stir in yogurt, milk, butter spread and seasonings. Cook for a minute or two more to heat if necessary. Nutritional analysis per serving with skins: Calories: 170, Fat: 3.5 grams, Saturated Fat: 1 gram, Trans Fat: 0 grams, Cholesterol: 0 milligrams, Sodium: 220 milligrams, Potassium: 644 milligrams, Carbohydrates: 29 grams, Fiber: 2 grams, Sugar: 4 grams, Protein: 5 grams, Vitamin A: 10 percent, Vitamin C: 50 percent, Calcium: 10 percent, Iron: 6 percent Courtesy of ARAcontent
Health & Wellness 41
Immigrants at lower risk of stroke
Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) have released preliminary results from a study they are conducting. It shows that recent immigrants to Ontario have a 30% lower risk of stroke than long term residents. “What we learned could translate into long-term health beneﬁts for the whole population,” says Dr. Gustavo Saposnik, a neurologist at St. Michael’s Hospital. “We need to do further research but the study points to the need for policies that aim to preserve the healthier state of new immigrants while continuing to focus on lowering stroke risk among all adults.” The study looked at new immigrants over a 12 year period and matched them to the equivalent number of people who had lived in the province for at least ﬁve years. The participants were between the ages of 16 - 65 with an average age of 34. “New immigrants face many stresses – new jobs, new diets and building new relationships – our study wanted to examine how these factors affected their risk of stroke,” says Saposnik, “The ﬁndings verify the presence of a healthy immigrant effect in relation to stroke risk.”
Shannon Hagerman, spokeswoman for the Department of Health, said it’s too early to comment on the study. “The Department of Health will need to review, assess and analyze this report within a provincial context, before being in a position to comment on its ﬁndings,” she said. Although the obvious solutions would seem to be offering angioplasty treatment in all towns and cities, Ghali says this is not a viable option. “There would be tradeoffs: system efﬁciency, dollars involved, the performance, if new cardiologists would need to be recruited,” he said.
Alberta health act proposed by government committee
A provincial advisory committee is recommending that Alberta have its own legislation governing how its health care system operates, a reform it says would work within the Canada Health Act. An Alberta health act would enshrine the principles Albertans agreed should be in the provincial health-care system, Edmonton Conservative MLA Fred Horne said at the release of a report by the advisory committee on health. Horne was the co-chair of the committee, which was formed by former health minister Ron Liepert in September to help the province reform and update its health care legislation. “We asked people where do you think those sort of things belong?” Horne said. “They told us quite clearly they belong in a health act built by Albertans for Albertans.” The Alberta health act would be the overarching legislation governing health care in the province, Horne said. The report says the act would operate within the Canada Health Act. “The preamble to the act should clearly afﬁrm that Alberta’s health care system will operate within the parameters of the Canada Health Act and its principles of public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability and accessibility,” the report said. “The Alberta health act should address the much broader range of health services within the province, both those that receive public funding and others within the overall continuum of services that enable healthy people and communities.” The committee also proposed that Alberta create its own charter of rights for patients and deﬁne principles of accountability, access and transparency that must be maintained in the health care system. The province should consolidate a number of provincial health care laws, including the Hospitals Act, the Nursing Homes Act and the Health Insurance Premium Act, the committee said. “This act would put people and families ﬁrst,” said Stelmach. “And it speaks to what we all want from our publicly funded health system: safe, quality care that is there when we need it.”
Canada’s post code heart attack survival lottery
A new study conﬁrms what many Canadians believe: that survival of a heart attack depends upon where you live and the facilities available. Overall, two-thirds of Canadians live close enough to hospitals that can provide angioplasty treatment, which signiﬁcantly improves a heart-attack victim’s chances for survival and recovery. In Ontario over 70% of the population live close enough to hospitals and can receive treatment within an hour. However in New Brunswick only 15.8% would receive their treatment within the “golden” hour. “Time is muscle – heart muscle in this case – and for every minute that goes by, there is a little more permanent damage to the heart,” Dr. William Ghali of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute at the University of Calgary said. “There’s no question that for Canadians, equity is one of the things we strive for in this country,” he said. “So certainly where there is a situation that is not geographically equitable, it is unsettling. It doesn’t sit quite right with people to realize that therapies available in the cities may not be offered to people in more rural areas.” Canada’s three territories along with Prince Edward Island lack facilities altogether and are reliant on patients being sent to other locations for treatment, severely compromising their recovery.
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