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Sensational Smiths Falls
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•Understanding proof of funds •Montreal Jazz Festival •City of Greater Sudbury •Canadian resume writing tips •What you need to know before signing an employment contract
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Test Drive: Hyundai Sonata Motoring news 14 17
What you need to know: mortgages in Canada Latest money news 18 21
Nova Scotia welcomes you Language testing becoming more standard High immigration numbers for 2009 CAIPS & FOSS: What’s that all about? Proof of funds Peterborough welcomes you Immigration news Yukon Provincial Nominee Program 22 24 26 28 30 31 32 34
Canadian resume writing tips Franchising: A great way to start a business What you should know before signing a contract 7 companies hiring this month Six ways to get the job when you're not the 'ideal' candidate 36 39 40 42 43
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Easy ways to stage your home for sale! ! Save money on home improvements! ! Property news! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 44 46 47
Sensational Smiths Falls
Smiths Falls can be summed up in one word Sensational. The charming community located along the Historic Rideau Canal was designated a World Heritage Destination in 2007 by UNESCO. This distinction, along with the fact that the surrounding region, the Frontenac Arch, is a Biosphere Reserve, means the area has been recognized internationally for its unique cultural and environmental attractions. Smiths Falls is a medium sized community offering residents and tourists big city amenities with all the small town friendliness and hospitality. Smiths Falls downtown core is rich in heritage and old age charm. Beckwith Street offers a variety of shopping and business services to meet everyone’s need. An array of restaurants and cafes offer a wide range of culinary delights. Known for its wide streetscape and beautiful scenery Beckwith Street is the central hub of the community. Imagine yourself strolling along the Historic Rideau Canal on walkways surrounded by scenic beauty. There are twelve parks offering something for every age. A variety of special events throughout the year offer local residents and tourists and opportunity to mingle with each other in a pleasant enjoyable atmosphere. The local Farmers Market is always a great spot to ﬁll your cupboards with baked, goods, fresh produce, preservatives and special gifts. Residents of Smiths Falls can ﬁll their evenings with a myriad of recreational
activities and cultural opportunities. Residents participate in a variety of sports including curling, hockey, golf, yoga, basketball, tennis, and soccer. The local cinema and new renovated theatre offer a variety of productions guaranteed to spark your interest.
The Rideau Waterway offers the opportunity for one to experience a variety of water activities. Some of these activities include kayaking, canoeing and swimming. The beautiful Swale wetland located on the cusp of Smiths Falls just a short paddle from Bascule Bridge offers breathtaking scenic views. The Swale is a naturalist’s playground. Once imbedded in lush wetlands and marshes, one can experience close interaction with aquatic wildlife and soaring birds amongst a scenic backdrop. If ﬁshing sparks your interest there are a variety of popular species abundant in our waters. Daily throughout the ﬁshing season local residents and visitors can be spotted in the basin casting a baited line. The Smiths Falls has a wide variety of educational facilities. Catholic and Public School Boards offer students from age 4 -21 quality education and youth experiences recognized nationally. New schools adorn quite side streets complimenting local neighbourhoods. Post Secondary Institutions and Adult Learning Centres offer a variety of courses condusive to today’s market place. Highly regarded and internationally recognized these schools coordinate international exchange programs and linkages to larger institutions. The charming new renovated historic Smiths Falls Library is a central hub featuring resource materials for newcomers and extensive reference library. The museums offer a variety of courses
throughout the year. Local cultural workshops and speciality artisan workshops are available for all ages. Services in Smiths Falls are plenty. The community is a central hub for healthcare providers and the community is pleased to boast a newly renovated Hospital, Public Health Unit and Community Healthcare Centre. Sensational Smiths Falls offers a large selection of employment opportunities. The local area has a high demand for skilled trades, healthcare professionals and customer service trained professionals. The short commuting distance to Ottawa and Kingston opens the doors for future education and federal government employment opportunities. Commuter buses and VIA rail provides daily scheduled stops in the community. The Sensational employment, housing, recreational and shopping opportunities make Smiths Falls an ideal place to live, work and play. Smiths Falls is a great place to visit and even better please to live. Sensational Smiths Falls awaits you.
For more information about Sensational Smiths Falls Living and Tourism please call 1.888.983.4124 x 1127 or visit www.smithsfalls.ca
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Survivor: Hero/Villian - 2.8 American Idol (Wed) - 2.70 Amazing Race 16 - 2.58 NFL Playoffs - 2.51 The Mentalist - 2.19 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. NCIS - 2.13 American Idol (Tue) - 2.12 C.S.I. New York - 2.09 House - 2.02 Grey’s Anatomy - 2.00
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Iron Man 2 - AC/DC Need You Now - Lady Antebellum My World 2.0 - Justin Bieber Fever - Bullet for my Valentine Nikki - Nikki Yanofsky Power of Madonna - Glee Cast 7. B.O.B. Presents: The Adventure B.O.B. 8. The Fame - Lady GaGa 9. Vretrouvailles - Vigneault Gilles et Artistes 10. Slash - Slash
DVD & Blu-ray’s
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Edge of Darkness (14A) Daybreakers (18A) It's Complicated (PG) Avatar (14A) The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (PG) 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. The Lovely Bones (PG) Legion (14A) Leap Year (PG) Tooth Fairy (G) Crazy Heart (14A)
1. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson 2. The Girl Who Played With Fire, Stieg Larsson 3. Nikoilski, Lederhandler & Dickner 4. The Golden Mean, Annabel Lyon 5. The Last Song, Nicholas Sparks 6. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Shaffer & Barrows 7. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Alan Bradley 8. The Shack, William P Young 9. Savor the Moment, Nora Roberts 10. The Host, Stephanie Meyer
1. Beatrice & Virgil, Yann Martel 2. The Body of Death, Elizabeth George 3. The Double Comfort Safari Club, Alexander Smith 4. Solar, Ian McEwan 5. The Bishop’s Man, Linden MacIntyre 6. The Weed That Springs the Hangman’s Bag, Alan Bradbury 7. Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay 8. The Help, Kathryn Stockett 9. House Rules, Jodi Picoult 10. Lover Mine, J Ward
City of Greater Sudbury, Ontario
Dragon Boat Festival
Sudbury Theatre Centre
The City of Greater Sudbury is an urban jewel nestled
amidst the natural beauty of lakes and forests in the heart of Northeastern Ontario. Offering a unique mix of urban amenities and natural surroundings, Greater Sudbury is a thriving landscape within 330 freshwater lakes. 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. With seasonal weather conditions, Sudburians are able to enjoy a vast array of festivals, events and recreational activities that can change as the seasons do. Greater Sudbury summers are rich with festivals and theatrical events including the Ukranian and Greek Festivals, Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario 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.
overall health and wellness of Greater Sudbury and to patients throughout the region. The Hôpital régional de Sudbury Regional Hospital (HRSRH) provides hospital-based acute, transitional, rehabilitation and continuing care. The HRSRH recently completed a major expansion to consolidate all hospital based services once offered across three sites. The new one site hospital allows for additional acute inpatient and intensive care beds, mental health, birthing facilities, emergency department, operating rooms and other diagnostic and support departments. With the world’s population aging, the need for long term care facilities is essential to any city. From Retirement communities including St. Joseph’s Villa, the Elizabeth Centre, Pioneer Manor and Finlandia-Koti to chronic care centres such as Extendicare, the City of Greater Sudbury is proud to offer a wide variety of healthcare accommodation options for our seniors.
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.
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
Health Care Services Greater Sudbury has become a regional resource and
referral centre for residents in Northeastern Ontario. Over 300 general practitioner and specialists contribute to the
Lake Laurentian Conservation Area
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.
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.mysudbury.ca/Invest www.rainbowroutes.com www.laurentian.ca www.cambrianc.on.ca www.borealc.on.ca www.nosm.ca www.hrsrh.on.ca www.ontarioimmigration.ca
Summer Climate and the Outdoors Greater Sudbury summers are warm and sunny offering
its residents the opportunity to enjoy lakes, parks, biking and walking trails, outdoor festivals and more. Temperatures range from 19°C to over 28°C, with most of the annual rain (656 mm) falling between the months of May and September. If you love the outdoors, Rainbow Routes Association is a not for proﬁt organization that can you plan your outdoor hiking adventures by providing you with trail maps.
What’s happening in Canada this summer?
Montréal, QC’s jazz festival
by Noah Richler
This is what you have to know: in winter in Quebec,
Montréalers brave the streets; they don’t walk them distractedly as if the bitter cold was not biting at the cheeks and making alarming conductors of the metal buttons on a fella’s Levi jeans. No, you can’t be a ﬂâneur in Montréal in winter unless you’re some sort of weird performance artist making a point of hibernal Canada. And so, come spring, you stick your head out the window and read the salt marks on the street excitedly, as a cowboy might the signs of a subtle prairie trail. You see there’s moisture on the tarmac one day—and rejoice, smell the air. Then, by June, the windows are thrown fully open—summer’s here—and Montréalers, knowing just how short and in a hurry the season is, move outside and live extended lives on the city streets. Sit on the wooden steps of those outdoor staircases, unique to the city and said by some to have been built that way so that the diocese’s once all-powerful Catholic priests could keep an eye on the goings-on between apartments. A lost game. For summer here is about love and joy and celebration—which is why the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, and the “Just for Laughs” Comedy Festival that runs in the same month of July, are such hits. You’ll want to know just where you are in this historic, charming city—where peering down just about any street or alleyway is an invitation to imagine how cool people live and the possibility of your own bohemian life. The patisserie at the corner, the bistro up the street. The North African coffee shop where groups of friends of all ethnicities do the newest thing to have arrived with the country’s constant waves of immigrants, and draw the smoke through bubbling hookah pipes amid the steady, genial chatter.
It’s easy, really. Look for the mountain and the cross. Downtown Montréal is built at a corner to it. Old Montréal and the port lie south of the mountain and the festivals and where you are, the Main—the Boulevard Saint Laurent —runs north and perpendicular to Sherbrooke, de Maisonneuve, Ste. Catherine and the busy avenues of what used to be a predominantly Anglophone downtown, but is no longer. The Main is Montréal’s great artery, and along it are the vestiges of all the people that arrived and settled in this great city—the Jews, Italians, Greeks, a host of Asian peoples and now the Somalis, Serbians, Croats, Ethiopians, Russians and Vietnamese. Walk—as Montréalers do—up from Ste. Catherine and the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and past the home of Just for Laughs and the microbreweries and restaurants. Then it’s on to food shops and the nightclubs and the famous Schwartz’s Delicatessen, home of the world’s best smoked meat, and past the square where Leonard Cohen still keeps a house; and on to Marché Jean Talon and the market that is still the port of entry for all the summer produce that comes in from the Laurentian Mountains to the north. (The equally historic Atwater market provides the same agricultural cornucopia as the city’s southern end.) In summer here, for a short and blissful season, it is possible to forget the cloistered winter and live, in joyous headiness, outside. www.bonjourquebec.com http://www.montrealjazzfest.com/default-en.aspx
Noah Richler is a CBC radio documentary maker and the prizewinning author of This is My Country, What’s Yours? A Literary Atlas of Canada. He is a regular contributor to the Globe and Mail, the National Post, The Walrus magazine and the BBC World Service. Courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission
Story by Mark Atkinson, photos by Hyundai Canada
This has been a year full of challenging discoveries. Toyota
discovered that it was no longer the best, most respected car company in the world. And customers, some ﬁnally realizing that fact for themselves, discovered that Hyundai has already displaced the Japanese giant as a producer of world-class vehicles. In rapid succession, Hyundai is replacing its able but aging ﬂeet with a new, highly competitive one. The Genesis sedan proved that the company could do full-blown luxury, while the Genesis coupe scared executives at Nissan, Ford and Chevrolet. Even the new compact Tucson CUV is very nearly the best in class. So now it falls to the Sonata, Hyundai’s bread-and-butter car to undergo the transformation. Visually, the new Sonata shares nothing with the model it replaces. Take a close look, and there’s a real link to four-door coupe beauties like the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Volkswagen Passat CC. The strong shoulder line, the strongly raked windshield and rear glass, mean the Sonata is easily the most dramatic car in the class. The front end could be toned down some as its huge chromed grille and giant headlights are a touch overdone. Also, because of the high beltline and wedgy proportions, even the 17-in wheels on higher models look a little small, and the 16-inchers on base models look more like casters. But, it’s a minor complaint. Inside, the Sonata has taken its inspiration from those expensive European machines again, with a swoopy, pianoblack dashboard with bright, clear gauges. The climate control system uses similar pictograms to modern Volvos, while the arrangement of the information buttons just below the navigation screen on my loaded Limited tester could have been pulled from any number of Nissans or Inﬁnitis. The biggest whiff is that of Volkswagen in the overall style
and excellent material use, which is very impressive since Hyundai’s cabins have always been cheap and cheerful. The rear seats have space for three, but are shaped to accommodate two in real comfort – the third sits on a bit of a hump. But those seats do fold ﬂat, increasing the already reasonable trunk space. The only complaint is that larger cargo is awkward to place because the opening is restricted by the swoopy rear styling. Standard equipment is very generous no matter which trim level you choose. Even base GL models do with a sixspeaker audio system, air conditioning, power windows and locks, keyless entry, cruise control and telescoping steering wheel with steering-wheel mounted audio controls - and standard Bluetooth handsfree. The mid-level GLS brings heated power front seats and a sunroof. At the opposite end of the scale the Limited adds heated leather, dual-zone climate control, an upgraded seven-speaker sound system and optional navigation. Safety is the name of the game as all Sonata models get standard dual front, side and side curtain airbags; front active head restraints; ABS with electronic brake force distribution, stability control and traction control. For now, all Sonata models use the same 2.4-litre fourcylinder engine that uses gasoline direct injection (GDI) to increase overall power and increase fuel efﬁciency. The Hyundai produces 198 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, which is signiﬁcantly more than competitors from Ford, Honda and Toyota. Entry-level models get a six-speed manual transmission as standard, but all other trims get a smoothshifting six-speed automatic. Fuel economy is good for the class, with most Sonatas getting 9.4/5.7 L/100 km (city/ highway). Out on the road, the Sonata really impresses, with good damping, reduced wind noise and excellent highway manners. The only complaint is the lack of feeling through the steering wheel. Steering effort is ﬁne too, but there’s
very little feedback through the rim. Acceleration is sprightly, if not fast, while the brakes work well and are easy to modulate. The one major complaint about the shapely body is that it creates big blindspots, which makes getting out of some spots difﬁcult. You deﬁnitely need your eyes peeled in a Loblaws parking lot. Pricing starts at $22,649 for the manual GL, while GLS runs 26,249. The Limited at $28,999 seems a bargain compared to $30,790 for a Honda Accord EX-L or $31,235 for a Toyota Camry XLE, or a Volkswagen Passat at $36,775. Overall, Hyundai has created an excellent package that’s stylish, reﬁned and economical. Later this year, it’ll tackle
fun too, with a 280-hp turbocharged model that will surely turn heads. As will the full hybrid model, expected around the same time. 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 launches website, seminars for car buyers
Car buyers in
Ontario now have access to a new website and free seminars to help them avoid some of the pitfalls of making an automotive purchase. The Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) will offer one-hour seminars in a variety of languages and a host of locations such as libraries, community centres, malls and schools. “All consumers deserve to know exactly what they are getting before they decide to buy,” said Consumer Services Minister Sophia Aggelonitis at a news conference in Toronto Monday. Each year, Ontario residents purchase 1.4 million vehicles, many of them through classiﬁed ads. According to the provincial Consumer Ministry, a quarter of the vehicles sold through classiﬁeds come from curbsiders, which the Ministry describes as “unregistered vehicle sellers in the business of selling misrepresented or stolen vehicles.” Car purchases and repairs are consistently among the top 10 consumer complaints, Aggelonitis said. “That’s why OMVIC is introducing these new free carbuying seminars across greater Toronto and other major centres throughout the summer,” she said. Ontario recently toughened its consumer laws on buying and selling cars. Dealers are now obligated to disclose the true history and condition of a vehicle, including whether it was used as a taxi or police car. The price advertised for new and used vehicles must include all costs, except tax. Consumers can also cancel a sales contract within 90 days if a dealer has failed to disclose key items such as odometer readings or whether the vehicle has been branded as rebuilt or salvage. Most of the information offered in the seminars is also on the website, Buy With Conﬁdence, said Douglas Tindal of the Consumer Ministry. But he points out that while many of the general information is applicable across Canada, the legislation is speciﬁc to Ontario car buyers. http://buywithconﬁdence.omvic.on.ca/
Government of Canada announces tougher auto emissions standards
On the 1st April 2010 the Government of Canada
announced tough new regulations to reduce gas emissions from new vehicles. The new mandatory standards would begin with the 2011 year models and would bring Canadian regulations inline with that of the United States. “Since last May, we’ve been working with the United States to put in place tough North American standards for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles,” said Jim Prentice, Environment Minister. “We are pleased to be taking this step to further harmonize our climate change action with the Obama administration – a step that will protect our environment and ensure a level playing ﬁeld for the automotive industry.” The new regulations will means that by 2016 all new cars and trucks will be required to burn fuel at a rate of 35.5 miles per gallon, an increase of nearly 10 mpg over current U.S. standards. In Canadian terms this would mean a standard of six litres of gas for every 100 kilometres travelled.
Alberta next province to ban cell phone use in cars
Alberta will be the next province to bring in legislation to
ban the use of hand-held electronic devices in vehicles. Bill 16 amends the Trafﬁc Safety Amendment Act to allow drivers to be ﬁned $172 for performing a variety of tasks including using hand-held cellphones, MP3 players and other electronic devices that could distract them from the road. Alberta is one of the last provinces to impose legislation banning cell phone use in vehicles.
Random breath tests in Canada?
Discussions are underway to implement the use of
random breath tests in Canada. This follows studies which show that countries that use such tests see big reductions in drinking and driving numbers. In Europe 22 countries have random breath tests and they have seen a reduction in impaired driving of 23%. At the moment Canadian police can only administer a breath test if they have reasonable evidence to do so.
What you need to know about mortgages in Canada
By Kimberley Skinner BA, AMP, PFP
Buying a home in a new country can often seem
daunting. Perhaps you moved to Canada and purchased a home, and then decided it didn’t match your needs or the location was all wrong, so you’re looking to move before your mortgage term is up. Or, maybe you have been renting in Canada for the past year or so with plans to buy property down the road. Following are some questions and answers to help you maneuver through the Canadian mortgage ﬁnancing process. Q1: If I have only been in Canada for a year or less, how do I prove my income? A1: Employment letters and pay stubs are the main conﬁrmation of income. Some lenders require a minimum of three months on the job, while others may waive that as long as there is not a probationary period. Q2: How is the maximum mortgage amount for which I will qualify determined? A2: Generally, 35% of your gross (before taxes) monthly income can go towards your mortgage principal, interest, property taxes and heating. All of your debts, including minimum payments on credit cards, loan payments, etc, can equal up to 44% of your gross monthly income. If it is a joint application, combine income amounts and monthly obligations. Check out my website at www.kimberleyskinner.ca and click on “Calculators” for more details. Q3: How do I establish a credit score in Canada? A3: All banks and most credit card companies, including department stores (eg, Sears and Canadian Tire), report to Equifax Canada (the credit reporting agency used by most lenders) and TransUnion Canada. You can establish a credit report by applying and getting approved for a credit card, loan or line of credit. If you are having a hard time getting approved, some lenders offer a “secured” credit card, where they keep a deposit on hand about equal to your credit card limit, and give you a credit card. This initially reduces their risk and they usually release the deposit after you have proven that you are responsible with the credit card. Your new mortgage in Canada does not currently report on the credit bureau, except if you use certain credit unions. Q4: Will my credit score and payment history from my previous country be taken into consideration when applying for a mortgage in Canada? A4: Yes, it will be. It is important to supply some sort of paperwork showing that you are a responsible borrower. If you cannot supply an International Credit Report, lenders will accept other forms of conﬁrmation such as mortgage/ rent payments, utilities, cable, insurance premiums and/or childcare for the previous 12 months. A letter of recommendation from your current ﬁnancial institution would also be helpful. Q5: If I am self-employed and have been in Canada for less than two years, how does this affect my chances of getting a mortgage? A5: Lenders do like to see a minimum of two years of self employment and provable income. In Canada, we use Line 150 from your Notice of Assessment to prove income and that comes from Revenue Canada once you submit your personal income tax return. If you are in the same type of business that you were in before you moved to Canada, past ﬁnancial statements, a good net worth and down payment would help the application. Q6: As a self-employed individual, my income is reduced due to deductions, which is good from a tax point of view, but will this cause issues when applying for a mortgage? A6: Yes, lenders allow us to use Line 150, which is net income, as opposed to gross sales, revenues or commissions. We can increase that amount by 15% and usually an average of the past two years is used, or the lower if that was the most recent year. There is a program for those who cannot prove their income, where we show that they have been self-employed for at least two years, via tax returns or a business licence, and we are then allowed to use a “reasonable” income for that business to make the deal work. This program has tightened up lately and a down payment of 10% is now required. Q7: What types of mortgage are available in Canada? A7: Mortgages can be open or closed, ﬁxed or variable. An open mortgage is open to payout without a penalty, as opposed to a closed mortgage, which is not. Most closed mortgages allow at least a 15% prepayment annually, however, without a fee. A ﬁxed rate locks in your rate for the term you select and a variable rate ﬂoats with the Prime rate. In Canada, that is currently 2.25%, but is subject to change. When Prime changes, so will your rate and payment. Q8: What types of mortgage terms are available in Canada? A8: Mortgage terms for ﬁxed rates generally go from six months to over 18 years, with a ﬁve-year ﬁxed being the most popular. Your term sets your rate and maturity date, and to pay out the mortgage within this timeframe (ie, before the mortgage matures), would incite a penalty. All mortgages have a term but if you are in an open mortgage, you can pay it out at any time, without a penalty. This is a good option if you know you are going to be moving.
Q9: How much of a down payment will I have to pay? A9: The minimum down payment is now 5%. If you have lack of credit or other issues, a larger down payment may be required. Q10: Are there tax advantages associated with having a mortgage? A10: Unlike some countries, mortgage payments in Canada cannot be deducted at tax time. The only time this can happen is for a mortgage on a rental property or when you use some of your home equity to invest in nonregistered investments. Q11: If I change mortgage lenders before my mortgage term is up, will I pay a penalty? If so, how is the penalty calculated? A11: Unless you are in an open mortgage, there is a penalty charged to pay off your mortgage before maturity (ie, before the term you selected expires). At a minimum, it is a three-month interest penalty, but could be higher depending on what rates have done since you got your mortgage. The cost to replace your mortgage with a lower rate mortgage would likely result in an interest rate differential (IRD) charge, which is calculated by the lender based on your rate, the replacement rate for the amount of time you have left, and your outstanding mortgage balance. Q12: If I decide to move before my mortgage term is up, but remain with the same lender, is my mortgage portable? A12: Most lenders do allow you to avoid a penalty in some ways. One way is to port (take it with you) your mortgage to your new property. Since you are not breaking the contract of your mortgage, no penalty is charged. If the amounts are not the same, however, you could have to reﬁnance to add more money or pay a penalty to reduce the mortgage amount past your prepayment privileges. Some lenders allow your mortgage to be assumed as well, which helps you avoid a penalty. The new buyers would apply to take your mortgage over and, if you are at a lower rate than current mortgage rates, this could be a selling feature. Q13: If I come into some extra money, can I pay off my mortgage early, double up my payments or make a large lump sum payment? A13: Yes, most lenders allow at least 15% of your original mortgage amount to be put onto your mortgage annually. All extra payments go directly to your principal amount, which saves you money. Most lenders do not require it to be one large lump sum, but will actually allow several extra payments as long as they are at least $100 each. 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. Kimberley can be reached at: 1-877-333-4983, Ext 716 email@example.com; www.kimberleyskinner.ca Some lenders also allow you to match your payments and increase your payments as well. Q14: What is the maximum amount of time I can take to pay off my mortgage? A14: At this time, the maximum amortization allowed is 35 years. Your term sets your rate and maturity date but your amortization sets your payment. The higher the amortization, the lower your payment will be. But, of course, the longer it takes you to pay down your mortgage, the more interest you will pay over the length of the mortgage. I recommend making weekly or biweekly payments to reduce your amortization and have your mortgage paid off sooner. Q15: What is the difference between a home equity line of credit (HELOC) and a straight line of credit (LOC)? A15: Lines of credit can be secured (HELOC) or unsecured (LOC). Unsecured lines of credit are available at ﬁnancial institutions and have no cost to set up. If you have security to offer, a secured line of credit can be set up. Your rate will be lower with a HELOC and you usually only have to repay interest monthly. There are, however, legal fees if you use your property as security. A line of credit on your home has no term, so it can be paid out at any time without a penalty. It can also be paid down and reused, as long as you keep it in place. Rates on lines of credit ﬂoat with the Prime rate and are not locked in.
New code of conduct for credit and debit card companies
Jim Flaherty, Federal Finance Minister recently
announced new code of conduct for credit and debit card companies to help protect both merchants and consumers. The code of conduct will require companies to make rate charges and fees more transparent. For merchants it will allow more freedom when choosing which network to use. It will prevent MasterCard and Visa from forcing merchants who accept their credit cards to also opt into a new debit card scheme. It will also prevent companies from entering the low-cost debit market on the back of the existing Interac Association network. The code of conduct is voluntary at present but Flaherty has given the industry thirty days to adopt the code and another 90 days to bring their practices into line with its provisions, otherwise he threatens to regulate. “The code gives merchants more clout in negotiating credit and debit card processing fees and should lead to lower costs for consumers.” Flaherty said.
Ontario and B.C. top among provincial economies in 2010
Propelled by a stronger domestic economy and a
rebound in the auto industry, Ontario’s economy will rise from the ashes in 2010 to share top spot in provincial economic growth with British Columbia, according to The Conference Board of Canada’s Provincial Outlook – Spring 2010. http://www.conferenceboard.ca/ documents.aspx?did=3588 “There are clear signs of economic recovery from coast to coast,” said Marie-Christine Bernard, Associate Director, Provincial Forecasting. “The improved domestic economies of Ontario and B.C., along with increased demand from the United States, will support a strong rebound in both provinces. However, the rebound will be gradual for most other provinces, spreading over the next two years.” A homegrown recovery is already underway in Ontario. Average housing prices have long since surpassed their pre-recession levels and employment has risen since the second half of 2009. Bolstered by stronger labour markets, Ontario consumers will resume purchasing bigticket items. In all, Ontario’s real gross domestic product (GDP) will increase by 3.8% in 2010. British Columbia’s economy is also expected to expand by 3.8% in 2010, fueled by a one-time Olympics boost and recovery in the forestry, manufacturing and construction sectors. However, with the Olympic stimulus out of the way and growth in the housing market expected to ease, the province’s GDP growth will moderate to 2.8% in 2011. Alberta will see a 3.3% growth in 2010 beneﬁtting from investment in the oil sands. The Saskatchewan potash industry is now recuperating and the provinces GDP is expected to increase 3.5%. In Manitoba both agriculture and manufacturing are recovering with GDP expected to rise 2.2% Quebec’s economic recovery is stronger than previously anticipated, with real GDP expected to advance by 2.6% this year. A host of major construction projects will compensate for weakness in Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil industry and the impact of a labour dispute in the mining sector. Growth of 2.4% is forecast in 2010. Nova Scotia’s economy will continue to beneﬁt from the $800 million in infrastructure stimulus spending by the government. In addition, a revival in consumer demand will help lift growth in real GDP by 2.2% this year. In Prince Edward Island, a steady stream of government public infrastructure spending will boost the economy by 2.2%. In New Brunswick the manufacturing sector will limit the province’s economic growth over the next two years with real GDP growth of 1.8%
New Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) kicks in for British Columbia and Ontario
Although the new HST does not ofﬁcially start until July
1st, as of May 1st anyone purchasing products or services which will be delivered after July 1st will be charged HST. This could include things such as domestic airline tickets, memberships, theatre tickets etc. The HST combines the old federal GST (5%) and provincial PST (7% in B.C. and 8% in Ontario) into one tax which will be 12% in B.C. and 13% in Ontario. Many products and services will increase in price by the old PST amount. Services such as hairdressing, spas, advertising, gym memberships etc. will be affected. Other items which were previously exempt from the PST portion of the tax and will now include it are gas, utility costs and real estate services amongst others. Items which will be exempt from HST include: basic groceries, prescription drugs, municipal public transport, health and education services, child care, tutoring, residential rents and most ﬁnancial services. Other items which will only be charged at the 5% federal level will be print newspapers, children’s clothing and footwear, children’s car and booster seats, diapers, feminine hygiene products, books and prepared food and beverages sold for $4 or under.
outstanding career and business opportunities blend effortlessly with wide open spaces and scenic beauty. Our cost-effective operating environment attracts globally competitive, world-class companies from IT, marine, aerospace and resource industries. And our exceptional communities are terriﬁc places to raise a family. We recognize that new ideas, experiences and cultures bring incredible value to our communities, and we are committed to welcoming our new friends here on the South Shore. As your portal to an extensive network of municipal, provincial and federal partners, the Lunenburg Queens Regional Development Agency works with newcomers to provide information, support, opportunities and resources that will enable you to be successful in our region. We live life in full colour here! From scarlet maples to the green towering pines, the blue water and wide-open skies, life here on the South Shore of Nova Scotia is beautiful year round. Outside of the workplace, we enjoy a relaxed, safe way of life and access to outstanding national and provincial parks with their pristine coastal and wilderness areas. It’s about living life to the fullest - and here in Lunenburg Queens we think we’ve found that perfect blend of work and play. If life where you are seems a little grey and you are ready for some colour, come discover the unmatched work-life balance on Nova Scotia’s South Shore! Visit LifeinFullColour.ca for more information.
Nova Scotia welcomes you with open arms
We live bigger here. Maybe it’s the warm, welcoming
communities along our shores; each with their own international ﬂavour. While the region’s rich history has been preserved in our UNESCO World Heritage sites, museums and historic buildings, our future continues to unfold in new enterprises, new friends and new markets. Whatever your sector, Lunenburg and Queens counties offer close proximity to sea, air, land and rail transportation for exporting and international trade; backed by a team of knowledgeable and experienced professionals eager to help you start or expand your existing business. We choose to live here for the career opportunities - and for the safety and well-being of our families. We are unfettered by smokestacks and urban chaos. Nova Scotia’s South Shore has everything one could want outside - the Atlantic Ocean, mile-long beaches, unspoiled wilderness, fresh water rivers and streams and natural beauty that takes your breath away no matter the season. Our communities offer low operational costs for business and access to one of the most highly educated workforces in North America. Within minutes after work, one can relax or simply join the family for some outdoor fun. We live better here. Affordable real estate, excellent healthcare and quality education are some of the hallmarks of the area. In Lunenburg and Queens counties,
If life seems a little grey and you are ready for some colour... Discover the perfect work-life balance on Nova Scotia’s South Shore.
Becoming a permanent resident of Nova Scotia is a life-enriching decision.
Most people intuitively know. They know that there is more to life. More richness, more experience… more colour! Lunenburg Queens has a quality of life that blends natural beauty and wide open spaces with excellent opportunities, superb education and warm, welcoming people.
Immigrating? Want to start or grow a business? We are here to help.
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Regional Development Agency
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 www.hifx.co.uk
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Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Citoyenneté et Immigration Canada
Managed by: Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)
Standard Language Testing is becoming more “Standard”
By Guidy Mamann Trouble may be lurking for those who have recently
applied for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Worker Class or the Canadian Experience Class as a result of a new CIC policy relating to the assessment of language ability. This new policy will apply to all applications received on or after April 10, 2010. In the “old days”, visa ofﬁcers assigned language points to candidates following a personal interview where the candidate was asked questions in English or French. As CIC moved away from personal interviews, visa ofﬁcers started to ask for documentation to prove the applicant’s language abilities. Soon standard language testing was implemented to provide a more formal and objective assessment of a person’s ability to communicate in one of Canada’s two ofﬁcial languages. In recent years the applicant maintained the choice to either submit documentary proof of their skills in English and/or French or to take an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) English language or its French equivalent, the Test d’Évaluation de Français (TEF). Immigration lawyers and consultants often encouraged their clients to take one of these tests since it enabled them to know exactly what their clients’ language abilities were so that they can accurately determine if their clients have sufﬁcient points to qualify for permanent residence. Of course, asking a person who was born, educated, and employed in an English or French speaking country to take a language test made our immigration system look foolish so the option of taking a test or submitting documentary proof of language ability was preserved. However, this option was intended only for applicants “whose language ability was not in question”. Many applicants whose ﬁrst language was neither French nor English chose to submit documentary evidence rather than to submit to a test. Obviously, some of these candidates preferred not to have their language abilities objectively proven. In November, 2008 immigration minister Jason Kenney announced an “Action Plan for Faster Immigration” which was aimed at getting applications for permanent residence processed within 12 months. Assessing voluminous documentation on a person’s language ability was perceived as time consuming and an obstacle to meeting the one-year processing target. On March 10, 2010 CIC announced that, effective April 10, 2010, all Federal Skilled Worker or Canadian Experience Class applications will be assessed on the basis of a language test or the documentary proof “provided at the time of application”. In other words, the
visa post will not solicit any further proof of language. Only the material submitted at the time of the application will be considered. If there are any doubts, clariﬁcation will not be sought and the application will be assessed “as is” as far as language is concerned. While there is anxiety, inconvenience, time and cost in taking the IELTS test, it’s still better to know where you stand than to keep your ﬁngers crossed while your future in Canada is being determined. Guidy Mamann, J.D. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 www.ouisudbury.ca
Government of Canada maintains historically high rate of immigration in 2009
Canada welcomed more than 500,000 permanent and
temporary residents in 2009, according to preliminary data released by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) today. “Momentum toward a full economic recovery continued throughout 2009, and immigration will continue to support that momentum,” said Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. “The Government of Canada is maintaining immigration levels to meet Canada’s short-, medium- and long-term economic needs, help offset our aging population and low birthrate, and sustain our workforce.” Canada admitted 252,124 permanent residents in 2009, well within the government’s planned range of 240,000 to 265,000 new permanent residents for the year. This number is about 30,000 higher than the average annual intake of permanent residents in the 1990s. About 60 percent of those admitted were economic migrants. An additional 178,640 temporary foreign workers and 85,131 foreign students came to Canada in 2009. Many temporary foreign workers, as well as foreign students who graduate in Canada, may apply to stay in the country
permanently through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). CIC accepted 2,544 CEC applicants in 2009. Many temporary foreign workers are also selected to remain in Canada permanently through provincial nominee programs. “The number of foreign students who came to Canada grew by seven percent last year, resulting in the highest number of foreign students ever admitted to Canada,” said Minister Kenney. “To be a more innovative society able to compete and prosper in a global, knowledgebased economy, Canada needs people with an international outlook, skills and experience. Attracting more international students is a priority for our government.” Last year, Canada also welcomed 22,844 refugees. This included resettling 7,425 government-assisted refugees and 5,036 privately sponsored refugees. The government also landed 10,383 refugees in Canada who had made successful asylum claims, and their dependants. Proposed refugee reforms will, if adopted, see the number of government-assisted and privately sponsored refugees resettled in Canada increase by 20 percent. View the complete set of preliminary data released by the Department. Today, CIC also posted to its website the most requested statistics from the last quarter of 2009 (September to December). The Information Commissioner recently wrote to Minister Kenney, saying: “I wish to
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congratulate you for your leadership and commitment to transparency and open government, following your department’s online publication of its most requested immigration and citizenship statistics on a quarterly basis and free of charge.” She went on to write: “Your Quarterly Administrative Data Release exempliﬁes the kind of proactive disclosure that I and my ofﬁce have been promoting as an imperative to increase government accountability, efﬁciency and innovation.” The statistics provide current information on immigration and citizenship processes, including data on application processing times, the number of permanent and temporary entrants to Canada, and the number of new citizens. To order a free CD with more detailed information, contact email@example.com. Useful Links: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/cec/index.asp http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/statistics/ facts2009/index.asp http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/statistics/datarelease/2009-Q4/index.asp Britain has more people living abroad than almost any other country. Over 600,000 are in Canada and we want to uncover some of their stories.#################################### We want to ﬁnd a community of Brits in Canada that enjoy their new home but also maintain links with each other. It may be a local community group, it may be people who work together with other Brits, it may be a pub that is very popular with a number of ex-pats. #We need compelling stories that show the contrast between your former life in the UK and your new life in Canada. Have you moved from a predominantly urban to rural environment? Are you working for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police? Are you working in the logging or petroleum industries? What about the agricultural industry, or manufacturing? Are you working in the wilderness as a park warden, or are you working in a hospital? #Do you embrace the local culture? Have you changed your interests since settling? Or do you maintain strong links to the UK? #We are looking for men or women aged between roughly 20-50 and we are keen to engage with people who have a difﬁcult or unusual occupation. Do you feel that what you do isn’t very well known? Perhaps you do crime scene clean-ups, possibly you are a female driving instructor for a ﬁre brigade. Maybe you work in a mortuary, or a scene of crime ofﬁcer. How about a lifeguard? Do you work in a zoo? #Whatever it is, if you are interested in telling us your story, then please get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have an immigration story to tell?
According to a survey by the institute for public policy
research, every three minutes a British national packs their bags and starts a new life abroad.
When we moved to Canada Anglo P took care of everything
Over 1 million Canadians can’t afford both. The high cost of housing forces many people to make choices no one should have to make. You can choose to help. To donate, participate or advocate visit www.habitat.ca www.habitat.ca
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CAIPS & FOSS What’s that all about?
We get quite a few people writing in asking about CAIPS
or FOSS notes. Should they get theirs, what are they, are they worth having etc? Although we have covered this in the past, we feel it is worth looking at again, just to clarify the options. You can apply for CAIPS as many times as you like throughout the immigration process.
What will CAPIS tell me? As we have mentioned, depending on when you apply
and what information has been entered into your ﬁles there is no guarantee that CAIPS will tell you anything you don’t already know. The type of information that can be contained includes: Your ﬁle number The details you submitted in your application Where your application is being processed Immigration ofﬁcer’s notes and assessment Any amendments you may have sent such as change of address, new qualiﬁcations etc Whether you have paid ROLF Number of immigration points you have been allocated Details of medical (if taken) Details of interview, including why you are being called and questions you may be asked Stages passed and decisions made
What is CAIPS? CAIPS is an acronym for Computer Assisted Immigration
Processing System. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) use this system to process immigration applications made from outside Canada. As an applicant you can obtain notes held by CIC about your application called CAIPS notes.
What about FOSS? FOSS is another acronym for Field Operational Support
System and is similar to CAIPS but is used for applications made inside Canada.
Should I apply for CAIPS? This largely depends on where in the process you are.
Because the notes are collated from information about your application, if you have only recently applied there will be very little data available. If you are using the older non-simpliﬁed process, the optimum time to apply for CAIPS is around the time you are expecting to hear from CIC. If your acknowledgement of receipt (AOR) stated that you would be contacted in 25 months, then this is the time to think about applying. CIC will be starting to look at your ﬁle and will be entering data in the system, however there is no guarantee that any useful information will be included at this time. If you are using the simpliﬁed process (post February 27th 2008), then you really need to wait until after CIC has requested all your information, as they will not have anything useful on ﬁle until after this time. The best time to apply for CAIPS for any applicant is if CIC contact you and requires extra information from you, or requires that you attend an interview. By obtaining your CAIPS at this point in time you may be able to see exactly why CIC are requesting such information and can be better prepared to send the correct information or answer the correct questions at interview.
What format will it be in? In its raw format CAIPS notes are basically a computer
printout with lots of codes, which you will not easily understand. It will also include any notes from immigration ofﬁcers, which will be in plain English. Many companies offering CAIPS services also offer deciphering services, either free of charge or at an additional cost. You can ﬁnd a complete list of CAIPS codes and abbreviations from our website using this link: http:// www.muchmormagazine.com/2010/04/beginners-guideto-caips-ﬁle-abbreviations/
Is this the same as e-client? E-client is a simple, and often out-of-date system
available via the CIC website which gives you very basic information about your application i.e. when submitted, address details and if a decision has been made about you. It does not go into any details about your application
Citizenship and Immigration Canada Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator Narono Building 360 Laurier Avenue West, 10th Floor Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1 Canada
How long will it take to get the ﬁle? CIC have to reply to the request within 30 days, but you
will have to allow time for the third party to get the ﬁle to you from Canada. On average you should allow around six weeks to receive your ﬁles. and will not tell you things such as why you are being called for interview etc.
How much does it cost? This depends on how you obtain your notes. If you have
access to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who can get the information on your behalf then the cost should be free. However if you use an independent company to obtain your CAIPS then they all charge slightly different prices for various services. You can expect to pay anything from $20 up to $100. Check out a number of companies before committing and if possible go by recommendation.
How do I request my CAIPS / FOSS notes? Only a Canadian citizen or permanent resident with
relevant documentary evidence can apply for CAIPS. If you have a relative or friend in Canada who can apply on your behalf, this is the quickest way to get them. First off, you need to download the application form. You will ﬁnd this at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website at this link: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/forms/ IMM5563B.pdf The form is pretty straightforward, with explanations on what needs to be provided. You will need to ﬁll in your ﬁle number (usually starts with a “B”, “V”, “E” or an “S”), the embassy where you applied (e.g. Buffalo or New Delhi), and the address in Canada. If you do not know your ﬁle number, you can indicate this in the form, though there may be a delay in you getting your CAIPS notes. You need to provide a Consent Letter, authorizing release of the information to the person applying on your behalf, who will also have to write a Formal Request letter asking for the CAIPS notes. A copy of that person’s passport or other document proving legal residency in Canada also needs to be attached. A Canadian citizen living abroad can also send in the application on your behalf, but there is a $5 fee in this situation. If you don’t know anyone in Canada who can apply on your behalf then you can search on the Internet for CAIPS and ﬁnd companies offering CAIPS services. Most companies offering CAIPS services will also be able to obtain FOSS notes. All CAIPS applications are processed through Ottawa, Canada. This means where you submitted your original immigration application is irrelevant. All the papers then need to be mailed to this address:
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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.
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Proof of funds
As part of the permanent resident application process
you will need to prove to the Canadian government that you have enough monitory funds to support yourself and any accompanying family members when you arrive in Canada. This is because the government will not provide any ﬁnancial support for new immigrants and therefore they need to be sure that you arrive with enough money to establish yourself in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) set guidelines as to the required funds they consider you need as a minimum in order to establish yourself in Canada. The amount required depends on the size of your family. These amounts can vary from time to time, so you should check these ﬁgures at the point you need to use them. At the time of your application you must show that you have at least the required amount in order for your application to be processed. The money has to belong to you and cannot be borrowed from another person. The money must be readily available in transferable currency for settlement in Canada. Obviously you can take any amount above the required funds with you to Canada. There is no upper limit, although there are restrictions on how much cash you can physically take with you at the time of landing. As of May 2010 the minimum funds required are: your bank statement showing the funds in your account. You should be able to show the funds in your account for a minimum of three months and if the funds have recently been transferred you will need to show where they came from. You will also need to show that you are not just sending a statement just after being paid and that all the funds will disappear from the account the following week. If your money is split between several accounts, you will need to provide details of each up to the amount required. Shares, Bonds etc: This type of investment is not acceptable for CIC purposes as these are volatile accounts and you could still loose your money. If you want to use this type of funding, you will need to cash-in the money from the shares etc and deposit them in a suitable bank account and send the statements as above. Possessions: Again this is not acceptable by CIC. you will need to liquidate the assets and deposit the money in a suitable account. This also applies to vehicles. Real Estate: Money in property is probably the most widely used proof of funds. Many people plan to sell property owned in their home country before landing in Canada and will use the equity to establish themselves. This is totally acceptable by CIC and they appreciate that you may not have actually sold the property at the point you are required to supply this information and make allowances for this. You will be allowed to supply a mortgage statement from your lender stating how much money is owed on the property. You should then get your property valued by three independent companies. These can be real estate agents, property valuation companies, your mortgage lender etc. Make sure you get the valuation on letter headed paper and signed. If you send both the mortgage details and the valuations the CIC can see how much equity you have available. If you are using the simpliﬁed application process you will not need to send this information when ﬁrst applying, just an indication of the amount. Once your application is ready for processing you will be contacted by CIC to provide the proof of funds information. You may also be asked to show proof when you land in Canada. N.B. You do not have to show that you have these funds if you have arranged employment in Canada.
Number of Family Members 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 or more
Funds Required (in Canadian dollars) $11,086 $13,801 $16,967 $20,599 $23,364 $26,350 $29,337
You may be wondering what type of funds you can use and what type of proof is required. Well, there are several things to consider: Savings: If you have savings which match or exceed the required amount then you can simply supply a copy of
Peterborough, Ontario welcomes you
As Mayor of the City of Peterborough, I am pleased to welcome you to the City’s Immigration Portal – WelcomePeterborough.ca. The City of Peterborough is one of nine municipalities located in the County of Peterborough. It was incorporated as a town in 1850. Peterborough is named in honour of Peter Robinson, an early Canadian who promoted and organized the ﬁrst major settlement of Irish immigrants to the area. At one time Peterborough was known as Canada’s canoe building capital. Today Peterborough is known for food processing, automotive supplies, electronics, aerospace and life sciences/ biotechnology industries, and is home to General Electric and Quaker Oats. In 2004 the city was ranked the number one location for business in Ontario by Canadian Business magazine. This is due in part to a lower cost of living than in other urban centers, reliable labour and high quality post-secondary institutions. Peterborough is home to Trent University and Sir Sandford Fleming College. The city is rich in heritage. We have an amazing variety of museums, indoor and outdoor art galleries, cultural exhibitions, live theatre, Aboriginal heritage, historic sites and a thriving music scene. We have the best of all worlds – we are a short drive away from Toronto with its sophistication and have easy access to the rivers, lakes and cottage living of the Kawarthas. The city of Peterborough is a great place to live, work and raise a family. I hope you will visit this web site, explore our city, and come and see us. I am sure if you visit, you will want to stay. Mayor Paul Ayotte
Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement extended
In May Jason Kenny, Minister of Citizenship and
Immigration signed a one-year extension to the CanadaOntario Immigration Agreement. Co-signing was Dr eric Hoskins the Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. “In extending the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement, we signal our commitment to continue to collaborate to attract, retain and integrate immigrants into communities in Ontario while exploring new ways to improve immigrant outcomes,” said Minister Kenney. “The extension of this agreement prolongs our support for immigrant settlement programs, including language training and programs for newcomer youth.” “Ontario is pleased to sign this one-year extension as we negotiate a successor agreement, so that newcomers to the province can continue to receive the services they need to settle and succeed,” said Minister Hoskins. During 2010-2011 Ontario will receive $320 million in funding, in addition to $108 million in settlement funding. It is hoped that by attracting more immigrants to Ontario who meet the needs of the social and economic needs of the province.
Canadian immigration as a licensed practical nurse or LPN
Working as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in Canada is
a challenging, rewarding and important career. The Canadian Council for Practical Nurse Regulators http://www.ccpnr.ca/is a federation of provincial and territorial members responsible for the safety of the public through the regulation of licensed practical nurses. We are glad that you are considering a nursing career in Canada and we encourage you to review the website of nursing regulators in the province in which you wish to live and then to contact them with any questions. This approach will allow you to obtain complete and accurate information about how to become licensed as an LPN. Nursing in Canada In Canada, nursing is a profession with three regulated nursing groups: registered nurses (RNs, licensed practical nurses (LPNs, or registered practical nurses – RPN—in Ontario) and registered psychiatric nurses RPN in the western provinces. The main differences between RNs and LPNs are the breadth and depth of their education: for example, the length of their programs, their legislation and the procedures they are permitted to perform on patients. Registered psychiatric nurses
specialize in the ﬁeld of mental health and work mainly in Canada’s western provinces. Licensed Practical Nurses (Registered Practical Nurses in Ontario) Licensed practical nurses and registered practical nurses are regulated health-care professionals who work in partnership with other members of the health-care team to provide nursing services to individuals, families and groups of all ages. LPNs assess, plan, implement and evaluate care for clients throughout the life cycle and through palliative stages. There are approximately 75,000 licensed practical nurses in Canada, representing the second largest regulated health profession in the country after registered nurses. Before You Come to Canada While you are waiting to go to Canada, there are many important things you can do to improve your chances for success. The Foreign Credentials Referral Ofﬁce http:// www.credentials.gc.ca/is an organization of the Government of Canada that provides you with helpful resources such as the Planning to Work in Canada? workbook and the Working in Canada Tool http:// www.workingincanada.gc.ca se these resources to ﬁnd and collect important information and to develop your jobsearch plan. You will need to prove your language skills in English or French or be tested. You can ﬁnd information at www.language.ca. If you will be working in English, you may have to undergo a special language test for nurses. You can ﬁnd more information on how to take the test and sample tests at www.celban.org. The provincial regulator will specify which tests are required. If you need to improve your language skills, start before you come to Canada. Your ofﬁcial education, work and identity documents are important. It is much easier for you to gather and organize your documents while still in your home country. Verify translation requirements. In some cases, you will have to use a professional translation service in Canada. Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in Canada You must meet the requirements of the provincial or territorial nursing regulatory body or licensing authority. There will be application forms and your school will be required to send original documents related to your training. You will have to write nursing examinations and language tests, and there will be fees to pay. Your education and nursing skills will be evaluated to determine if you meet the standards in the regulator’s province or territory. You may also be required to have a speciﬁc number of recent hours of nursing work experience. Work references may be required. You will be required to demonstrate that you were permitted to work as a licensed practical nurse (or equivalent) in previous jurisdictions, and that you are not currently involved in any disciplinary issues. Criminal record checks may be required.
Completion of the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination is required in all provinces and territories except Quebec. Quebec applicants write a different examination. Examinations are held a few times a year and the registration deadline is usually two to three months prior to the examination. Finding a Nursing Job in Canada Nurses must be registered to practise in a speciﬁc province or territory and they can only work where they are registered. Some nursing regulators or associations have a job bank or links to others. They may also recommend some commercial job sites. Many hospitals and other health institutions post jobs on their websites. The Canadian Healthcare Association publishes a directory of names and addresses for hospitals, health centres, nursing homes, etc. Investigate any “bridging programs” for which you may be qualiﬁed. A bridging program offers work experience or skills or language upgrading courses to assist internationally trained individuals in their progress toward professional certiﬁcation. Provincial Regulators can be found using this link: http://www.ccpnr.ca/links.html Additional Resources: Canadian Council for Practical Nurse Regulators http://www.ccpnr.ca/ Practical Nurses Canada http://www.pncanada.ca/intro.shtml Canadian Nurses Association http://www.cna-aiic.ca/cna/default_e.aspx Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Canada http://www.rpnc.ca/ Citizenship and Immigration Canada http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp Service Canada http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/home.shtml Foreign Credentials Referral Ofﬁce http://www.credentials.gc.ca/
Temporary Foreign Workers” explain how one can qualify to come to Canada to work under these programs. Follow these links to view the new videos on the CIC site or on YouTube. The videos are intended to help newcomers adapt to living in Canada as well as explain the new features of the PR card. (www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/multimedia/ index.asp) (www.youtube.com/CitImmCanada) Where to ﬁnd the videos New Canadian Permanent Resident Card YouTube English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q96y1C_VefY French: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQrLyF9egxE Provincial Nominee Program YouTube English: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=QG83GMTfKsE French: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uprez8Zq-0w Canadian Experience Class: Temporary Foreign Workers YouTube English: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=XWmr2vh2FNs French: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15eokWYuytQ
Only use authorized immigration representatives
The RCMP have recently clamped down on a number of
cases of fraud and illegal representation by so-called immigration representatives. As a result of this it warns everyone considering using an immigration representative to mad sure they are authorized by the Canadian Government. Only members of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC), a provincial or territorial bar, or Quebec notaries can advise, represent or consult clients on immigration matters before the Government of Canada for a fee. CSIC membership is important because CSIC members must meet rigorous ongoing educational requirements and adhere to strict Rules of Professional Conduct. In addition, CSIC provides extensive consumer protection measures by offering a complaints and discipline process, requiring members to carry errors and omissions insurance and maintaining a client compensation fund. To check the authenticity of any immigration representative go to the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants website at https://www.csic-scci.ca.
New videos released to help newcomers
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has released three
new videos on its website. The “New Canadian Permanent Resident Card” video explains new security features incorporated into the card that permanent residents must present to re-enter Canada. Permanent residents are encouraged to renew their cards well before the expiration date. Part of the Becoming Canadian series, “Provincial Nominee Program” and “Canadian Experience Class:
Canadian immigration to the Yukon under the Nominee Program
The Yukon Nominee
Program was developed to allow the Government of Yukon to nominate potential immigrants based on industrial and economic priorities and labour market conditions; and who, based on Yukon’s assessment, have a strong likelihood of successfully establishing themselves in Yukon society. There are three programs the Yukon Nominee Program offers: the Skilled Worker Program, the Critical Impact Worker Program and the Business Program. Please link to the categories listed to ﬁnd out more information on each program: Business Program The Yukon Business Nominee Program is designed to attract business expertise and investment capital to the territory. The Business Program has two components: an Entrepreneur category and a Self Employed category. Skilled Worker Program/ Critical Impact Worker Program The Yukon Skilled Worker Program is designed to attract qualiﬁed individuals who can help alleviate the shortage of skilled workers in the Territory who cannot be found within the current territorial or national labour market. The Critical Impact Worker Program provides Yukon employers with the means to ﬁll semi-skilled jobs in the levels of C and D of the National Occupational Code Matrix. To see full details of all the Yukon Nominee Program has to offer please visit the website at: http:// www.immigration.gov.yk.ca/ynp_overview.html
Go and leave no stone unturned.
In a recent survey by Currency UK it was established that nearly three-quarters of Brits considered emigrating this year. Australia was the top choice of destination followed by Canada, USA, New Zealand, Spain, France and Thailand. The top three reason for wanting to vacate the UK were: 1. Poor state of the british economy (31%) 2. Lack of job prospects (23% 3. The results of the May general election (19%)
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Canadian résumé writing tips
By Audrey Prenzel, CARW, CEIC, B.A., B.Ed.
As if making the decision to move to a new country isn’t
enough change, learning the specifics about creating job search documents can be another challenge. It’s a new and exciting time but perhaps a little confusing too. As you plan your first career move into Canada’s job market, I’d like to share 10 important tips to help you create effective marketing material as a newly landed Canadian.
1. Name game We use the word “résumé”, (sometimes spelled “resumé”
or “resume”). Like the US, the only time we use the term “CV” is for a doctor, professor or scientist. The sole exception to this is with the English speaking population in the Province of Quebec. In Quebec, they use the term “CV” to mean what the rest of Canada and the US would call a “résumé”.
2. Paper size Like the US, we use Letter Size paper (8 ½ x 11). Make
sure you adjust your formatting to coincide with this if your documents were prepared in a country where the page setting was set to A4.
3. Length Two page résumés are pretty much standard for mid to
senior level professionals. Occasionally, a three page résumé is warranted. New grads and career changers should try to keep it to one page in length.
Now have a look at the same information with more details and quantifiable points to build value for a potential employer: “Completed a large-scale and complex email server consolidation project. Personally consolidated 12 email servers housing 10000+ users into just 5 mail servers, without compromising service levels. This generated savings of $21K (45%) per month.
4. Personal information No personal information such as age, religion, marital
status, or political views is used here. In fact, documents that are received by HR personnel containing this information will usually end up being discarded. We don’t even use titles indicating male or female (i.e. Mr. or Mrs.). This is a good time to add that personal photos are used here on résumés. They can be used to disqualify your application if included.
7. Content The career experience is reverse chronological. New
grads have their education listed near the beginning of the document whereas seasoned workers have it listed towards the end. And just like the US, we use opening marketing titles (objective), summaries, key word sections, work experience, and technical skills, publications, volunteerism, and professional affiliations.
If you are ESL (English as a Second Language) then you certainly have something to showcase in your documents. It makes sense though to specify what the second language is other than English. Many people here speak French and many others speak other languages. Say “Bilingual English / French” or “Bilingual English / German” in the résumé. We are culturally diverse and so are our languages so please don’t make the reader guess which other language you speak.
5. Tone As uncomfortable as it may seem for those new to this
country, the tone of the writing in Canada is quite confident. Briefly mention some of your core job responsibilities in the work experience section. Most of the writing should be devoted to accomplishments. Take note that each achievement has to be quantified. Prove everything you say. To help you with this, here is a weak, unsubstantiated achievement: “Worked on an email server consolidation project.”
Spelling errors will most likely deter any offers for an interview. It is completely acceptable (and smart) to apply to places you want to work at even if you do not see a job posting. We call this “cold calling”. Stay ahead of the competition by sending a cover letter and résumé indicating your eagerness to work for a specific company before they advertise. Hopefully this eases part of the transition to Canada’s job landscape. Stay positive and keep at it until you have been offered an interview. Best of luck! Audrey Prenzel, CARW, CEIC, B.A., B.Ed. is the founder of Résumé Resources, an international career transition firm. She holds numerous roles with Career Directors International including Mentor, Canadian Advisor, Director of International Relations, Military Transition Expert Program Leader, and Aerospace / Defence Program Leader. Audrey is the author of "Military to Civvie Street: The Complete Job Transition Guide for those Leaving the Canadian Air Force, Army & Navy". Visit Audrey's website www.resumeresources.ca
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If you want to make the case to a potential employer or your boss to let you research analysts, whose job e expected to grow 20 percent work from home, keep a few things in ther data on or the most part, personal interests and hobbies are not F competitors and mind. If possible, provide concrete examples of how this arrangement was es, sales, a very big deal to the Canadian hiring manager. The and methods of successful in the past vying it will exception to this would be a candidate or how for a role in nd distribution. They often perhaps the education or social services sectors. Devoting succeed. Suggest that you ease into it -eys, compile and evaluate the space to technology skills oracommunity a few weeks in is by spending few days to involvement the ake recommendations to their far, a better bet in terms of the outset, meeting people and office at marketing yourself. ployer based upon their getting to know procedures. Then, during 10. Keep the spelling Canadian on the new the first three to six months eh? job, make frequent visits. egal
Our spelling awyers assume ultimate practices differ from US and the UK/Australia Kate Lorenz is the article and advice y for legal formats. This surprises many people. We use a blend of work, they delegate editor for CareerBuilder.ca. She both US r work to paralegals.and UK spelling systems. Here is a useful website researches and writes about job search for in preparation not only assist your reference which details the differences: http:// www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/ management, hiring strategy, career hearings, trials, and corporate BritishCanadianAmerican.htm trends and workplace issues. ey also perform a number of (A note about cover letters. It is expected, for the most nctions including draft cover letter will be submitted with the résumé. part, that a ortgages, There is always a slight chance that some recruiters and separation , trust instruments and may may not look at it but nonetheless, decision makers paring tax including one is advisable. It should never exceed one returns and ates. Withpage and this is where you can include subjective employers reducing information you lacing duties once tended to want to share such your eligibility to work in Canada, why you are applying for that role, and what with paralegals, growth of this makes you the ideal candidate. It should match the s expected. résumé in formatting.)
Remember to proof read all of your documents extensively and then get somebody else to review them.
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CareerBuilder® is one of Canada’s top job sites allowing you to get the best and most up-to-date employment information available. Sign up completely free to receive job recommendations or add your resume to allow employers to search for you.
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Home & Garden 39
Franchise: a great way to start your own business
Canada is home to the second largest franchise industry
in the world, with over 75,000 units currently operating. Annual sales from Canadian franchises add up to over CA $100 billion, and over 500 franchisors from the US have branched out into the Canadian market.
What is franchising? Franchising is a way of doing business where the
franchisor authorises an individual or group (the franchisee) to offer, sell or distribute goods or services under their professional strategy or marketing plan. It is very effective for establishing and developing a brand and achieving a large market share. Franchises in Canada are generally classed as either ‘product or service’ or ‘business format’. While most franchises usually are more one category than the other, many still combine both aspects.
Beneﬁts of buying a franchise Buying into a franchise gives you the ability to run your
own business and get involved with an established brand. Entering into a franchise as a newcomer to Canada can be a great idea, as there is a lower risk of failure and you’ll have the added security of start-up help. There is a vast array of franchise opportunities ranging from coffee and pizza restaurants to gyms and home services. Start out by looking within a ﬁeld of business that holds particular interest for you, or one in an area that you’re already know a lot about. prefer to go your own way, it is advisable to go with a franchisor who is more relaxed with their guidelines. On the ﬂipside, having rigid instructions can be beneﬁcial when you’re unsure of a new industry and new to a country. This discrepancy also extends to the costs involved. Start-up and ongoing expenses can vary greatly depending on the industry and how established the franchise is. Keep in mind that you have more to lose than the franchisor – you’re the one investing your money and livelihood in the business. You can and should ask a lot of questions and research the franchise as much as you can before getting involved and expect the same of the franchisor. Mutual respect and honesty is the best place to start.
Be prepared for the franchise business Starting a franchise can seem like a safe bet with
guaranteed success, but there are pitfalls of which you should be aware. Thousands of people join the franchise community every year in Canada, and while statistics show that most prove to be successes, not everyone is cut out for it and it is imperative that a prospective franchisee knows what they’re in for. It is important to note that purchasing a franchise can be expensive, with steep start-up and ongoing costs, and that you will be required to follow the guidelines set out by the franchisor. It is recommended you do your homework when considering with the type of franchise you’d like to buy. Some franchisors can be exceptionally strict with their regulations, so if you ﬁnd it hard to take direction or
Facts about franchising in Canada:
97% of franchises that open in Canada are still in business ﬁve years later, and a full 86% are still operating under the original ownership. A new franchise opens in Canada every two hours. The average franchise fee in Canada is $25,000. One franchise operation exists for every 450 Canadians.
What you should know before signing that employment contract
We often talk about jobs and how to hunt for them or
write resumes etc. But what exactly does that job offer include and what should you be looking at before signing on the dotted line?
Working hours Make sure you know how many hours a week you will be
expected to work and what those hours will be. If the work is shift-based or rotational, have this in your contract so both your employer and yourself know exactly where you stand. If your hours are ‘ﬂexible” do you know within what time bands this could be allocated? What type of time keeping does the employer use i.e. time cards, clocking-in or trust based?
Salary and beneﬁts Depending on the type of job you are looking at the salary
and beneﬁts offered could vary considerably. It may be a minimum wage job in which case you need to make sure that you know how much that is in your area of the country. If the job includes the possibility of tips then make sure you know how tips are handled. Do you keep all the tips you receive, are tips put into a collective pot to be shared among other staff members, perhaps your employer will keep a percentage of tips received? As long as you know the situation before you commence employment you won’t have any shocks at a later date. If you are going to be paid commission make sure you know the payment structure and how much you are likely to receive. Is the commission instead of or in addition to a salary? If bonuses are offered, again make sure you know the structure and how you can best take advantage of them. Make sure any salary you start at will rise with inﬂation or that you will have regular reviews of your salary. If you know your salary will rise with your experience, length of service etc. make sure this is included in your contract. Remember that when you relocate to Canada the salaries will be different from those in your home country. It may be that the jobs in your line of work offer considerably less than you would expect to be paid “at home” however you need to consider your future living expenses. These too will be different and you may ﬁnd that your overall cost of living is going to be less and therefore local wages are less.
Part time or seasonal Many jobs are available to cover busy periods such as
holidays. If you are being employed on a temporary or seasonal basis do you know the exact duration of your contract. Will there be an opportunity to extend this time period? What notice will be given for cutting short the contract by both yourself and the employer. If the job is part-time make sure you know what hours you will be working and what changes can be made to your hours, work days with what notice. What holiday, maternity etc. entitlement will you receive?
Holiday entitlements Depending on where you originate from you may be
shocked by the lack of annual paid leave in Canada. Regulations state that employees can take either two weeks paid holiday, or two weeks salary without leave every year. This is valid for the ﬁrst ﬁve years of employment, but may be on a pro rata basis in the ﬁrst year. In the sixth year of employment with the same employer this entitlement increases to three weeks. Although this is the minimum allowed by law you may ﬁnd you are offered more holiday entitlement as obviously
a company can offer more if they see ﬁt. This means that there can often be a negotiation point here, either for less holiday entitlement for more pay, or more holiday entitlement as part of your package. Holiday pay is calculated as a percentage of the gross wages an employee earns during each year of employment. Where the entitlement is two weeks, vacation pay is four percent of earnings in the entitlement year; where the entitlement is three weeks, the holiday pay is six percent of earnings.
Canadian unions There are some 4 million union members across Canada
primarily in the manufacturing and transportation industries. The choice of joining one of the 1,000 unions is personal choice and down to the individual employee. All employees in Canada have the right to form a union as part of the Labour Code of Canada. Unions form in order to negotiate issues such as wages, working hours, conditions, disputes etc. The advantage of a union is that because there are many members their voices get heard perhaps better than single individuals in the case of a dispute or negotiation. If union members choose to strike and join a picket line they will be paid a proportion of their wages for the duration. Fees for membership are tax-deductible. The disadvantage is that if the union chooses to strike (80% yes vote) then regardless of your views you too will be part of the strike. Even if your employer is a unionized employer you still have the choice to join or not.
Relocation options Some companies will offer relocation costs. If this is the
case make sure you know well in advance and have in writing all the allowances available to you. Will you have to pay for the costs yourself and then get reimbursement or will the company pay the costs directly? Will temporary accommodation be available to you and your family? If you have to arrange this yourself will the company pay all or part of the costs?
7 companies hiring this month
Kate Lorenz, CareerBuilder.ca Editor Although the employment situation isn't as strong as we'd
like, it has improved over the past year. While October 2008's booming employment numbers are still far away, February saw an increase of 21,000 employed workers. The unemployment rate fell to 8.2% as a result, reports Statistics Canada. Full-time employment continues to trend upward, adding more than 60,000 workers. Among the industries with the most gains were accommodation and food services: business, building and other support services; manufacturing; health care and social assistance; and natural resources, while retail and wholesale trade; ﬁnance, insurance, real estate and leasing were some of the hardest hit industries. Still, organizations need workers to help their companies grow during this period. Here is a list of employers throughout Canada who are looking for new employees right now. Attridge Transportation Industry: Transportation (School Buses) Sample job titles: Bus driver Locations: Brampton, Burlington, Carlisle, Etobicoke, Flamborough, Hamilton, Milton, Mississauga, Oakvile, Stoney Creek, Toronto, Waterdown Canadian Forces / Forces Canadiennes Industry: Government -- Navy, Army, Air Force Sample job titles: Technicians, Engineers, Operations,
Health Services Locations: Nationally Investors Group Industry: Financial Services and Consulting Sample job titles: Financial advisor - consultant Locations: Nationally across Canada in more than 46 Regional Ofﬁces Mobilicity Industry: Wireless Sample job titles: Dealer account executives, district manager, sales associate, human resource specialist, general manager Locations: GTA, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary Peel Regional Police Industry: Law enforcement Sample job titles: Police constable and police cadet Locations: Brampton, Mississauga, Caledon Penncorp Life Insurance Industry: Insurance sales Sample job titles: Sales manager, sales representative, regional director Locations: Nationally Shred It Industry: Document destruction Sample job titles: Route service driver, sales manager Locations: Ontario, Saskatchewan, BC
Six ways to get the job when you're not the 'ideal' candidate
by Robert Half International It may seem like a waste of time to apply for a position
that, at least on paper, doesn't exactly match your skills and experience. After all, many job seekers can't even get a hiring manager's attention when they do appear to be a perfect ﬁt. But if you believe you're capable of performing a job well despite the fact that your background doesn't completely align with the requirements of the position, there might still be hope. You need to consider yourself from a hiring manager's perspective and build a case that shows why you're the best person for the position. Following are some tips: 1. Don't waste their time First, make sure your background meets at least the most basic criteria for the position. If the job requires expertise in three speciﬁc software programs, for instance, and you are familiar with only one, don't apply. But if candidates should possess seven years of experience, and you have ﬁve, an employer might consider your application. Keep in mind, however, that some ﬁrms simply will not interview you if you don't meet every requirement, no matter how close your qualiﬁcations are. After all, companies still can afford to be picky. 2. Find an inside connection One of the best ways to get your foot in the door when you're a near ﬁt for a job is by leveraging a referral from someone who can speak to the hiring manager on your behalf. Ask those in your network if they -- or someone they know -- can provide an entrée into the ﬁrm. Social networking Web sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook can be especially helpful in uncovering individuals who may have an "in" at your target ﬁrm, but be judicious when requesting assistance. You should have established trust and credibility with anyone you ask to go to bat for you. If you can, try to leverage your contacts to arrange a meeting with the hiring manager. Sometimes, all it takes to get a chance at the job is a face-to-face meeting where you can make your case directly. This allows you to establish a rapport with the employer and demonstrates your enthusiasm for the position. 3. Address concerns upfront Instead of hiding any shortcomings you possess, acknowledge them. For example, if you're overqualiﬁed for a position, use your cover letter or the interview to explain why the job nonetheless appeals to you. Perhaps after managing a large team of employees for years, you've decided you'd prefer to do more hands-on work as an individual contributor and not oversee others. Or if you're a bit under qualiﬁed, you might note how strength in one area (such as a well-regarded certiﬁcation you recently earned) could make up for weaknesses in another (your lack of necessary experience, for instance). 4. Highlight ROI Hiring managers seek employees who have a proven track record of saving previous employers time or money. Promote the bottom-line beneﬁts you can offer by highlighting past accomplishments in your resume or cover letter. You could note, for example, how you spearheaded the implementation of a new billing system that saved people time when uploading data, freeing up staff to focus on other critical tasks. 5. Offer a trial run With some companies only beginning to cautiously add new staff, hiring managers are less likely to take a risk on someone who doesn't exactly match the job criteria. As a result, you might have to sweeten the deal to convince an employer to take a chance on you. You might offer to start the job on a project or temporary basis, for instance, with the agreement that you will be brought on full time if certain performance objectives are met. 6. Be truthful Above all, keep in mind that you should never stretch the truth in an attempt to improve the odds of getting a job. Your lie could easily be uncovered during the hiring process, and you could damage your professional reputation, seriously harming your prospects of ﬁnding a job not only with your target ﬁrm but also other companies. Many organizations are willing to take smart risks on seemingly promising employees, but it's up to you to show them why taking a small leap of faith would be a wise move. By addressing any potential concerns upfront and building a compelling case for yourself, you'll improve your chances of convincing them that an "imperfect" candidate like you is the right choice. Robert Half International Inc. is the world's first and largest
specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 360 offices worldwide. For more information about our professional services, please visit www.roberthalf.com. For additional career advice, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/roberthalf.
44 Home & Garden
Easy ways to stage your home for sale
Home & Garden 45
You've made the decision to sell your home. But before
you put the "for sale" sign in the yard, make sure it's ready to make a good impression on prospective buyers and clearly stands out among the many other homes on the market. There are many easy and inexpensive ways to clearly differentiate your home so that it appeals to a wide range of buyers ... and in return, yields a fast and proﬁtable sale. To begin, purge. Nothing makes a home look smaller than cluttered countertops, cupboards and closets. Plus, buyers want to envision a home with their own possessions - not yours, As you start cleaning, sort items in three categories: donate, sell or keep. Soon, your home will look neater and you may add some cash to your wallet or gain a tax write-off. Next, consider tackling projects that are easy, fast and inexpensive - but will signiﬁcantly boost your home's appeal. Magazines are a great source of inspiration and often offer practical advice and dozens of projects speciﬁcally designed to stage your home for sale. Some indoor and outdoor projects that are quick, inexpensive and guaranteed to get your home noticed include:
Focal point ﬁnishes Lighting ﬁxtures are the focal point of many rooms - but
replacing them can cost hundreds of dollars. With a little elbow grease, $20 and less than two hours, you can update your existing ones with a new, more attractive and popular stainless steel ﬁnish. Directions: Cover your work area with newspaper and disassemble the ﬁxture. Clean the pieces and tape off areas that don't need to be painted. Following the instructions, apply indoor/outdoor primer followed by the new metallic paint. Once dry, remove the tape and reassemble the chandelier.
Illuminate the exterior Exterior lighting showcases the beauty of your home, so
make sure that your light ﬁxtures are just as attractive. Update faded, rusty or outdated ﬁnishes with a fresh new ﬁnish for a minimal price and maximum impact. Directions: Turn off power to the lights and detach the ﬁxture from the house. Remove the light bulb and mask off any parts that should not be painted - including wires. Place the ﬁxture on newspaper and lightly sand. Clean all pieces and wipe dry. Following the directions on the can and be sure to evenly apply paint to the entire ﬁxture. Once paint is completely dry, reattach the parts, reconnect the lightning ﬁxture and turn the power back on.
Cover the smallest details When sprucing up your home for sale, sometimes it's the
small details that can make the biggest impact. Painting dull, dirty or chipped register covers or light switch plates can give any room a quick pick-me-up, in less than an hour. Directions: Remove register covers or light switch plates and place them on newspaper. Sand the surface lightly and wipe clean. Clean all pieces to remove any built up dust and grime. Following instructions, apply a number of light coats of primer, followed by a couple coats of gloss or metallic spray paint. Once dry, reinstall and enjoy.
Freshen up with ﬂowers
The right landscaping and use of plants and ﬂowers can greatly improve your home's curb appeal for prospective buyers. Brightening up your ﬂower boxes is a quick and easy way to add some color to the front of your home in just a few hours. Directions: Place a clean ﬂower box on newspaper, sand the exterior to create a smooth surface. Apply several light coats of indoor/outdoor primer to help ward off drips. Next, apply a few coats of indoor/outdoor paint in your favorite color. Once dry, the box is ready to display your favorite ﬂowers.
Courtesy of ARAcontent
46 Home & Garden
Smart ways to save money on summer home improvement projects
With summer in the air, you're just itching to get that
home improvement project going. It's a great time to install a rain garden, improve storm-water runoff in your yard, redo your windows or siding, or even change the look of one of the rooms inside your house with new paint and furniture. No matter what project you have on your summer todo list, you're going to be shopping for supplies, and depending on how large your project is, the price can add up quickly. Here are some tips to get your home improvement projects going, while keeping a bit of extra cash in your pocket: DIY - If you have any handy talents, you can save a lot of money by doing the project yourself, or by only contracting out part of the work where a professional might be required. If you aren't certain about installing a wood ﬂoor in your living room or are in need of landscaping ideas for around your back porch, head to your local library and check out several books on the topic for background knowledge. Negotiate work agreements with your friends Having more hands on deck to help with the work will make the job go much faster, but you don't have to hire the help. Offer your friends a trade - maybe you'll take them out for dinner. Or volunteer your services on one of their home improvement projects. Just make sure they
understand the trade before the work gets started so you don't abuse your friendship. Put cash back in your pocket when purchasing supplies - You can ﬁnd great deals on supplies from leading home improvement retailers including Home Depot, Home Hardware, Rona and many more using coupons and discount codes and in-store special offers. Look for contracting specials - If you do need to hire a contractor to help you with your project, look online to ﬁnd specials being offered this summer. Stage your project over time - You might discover your project is too much to handle - both physically and ﬁnancially - in one season. The best recommendation is to break it down into mini projects. For example, if you want to landscape the entire yard, consider concentrating ﬁrst on a vegetable garden or a ﬂower garden that outlines the house. One advantage to breaking down a huge project is it allows you to discover how much maintenance and upkeep work you need to do on a yearly basis. You may discover you want to revise later stages of the project and make them maintenance free. As the summer gets started, fast forward your imagination to this fall where you are enjoying that new room inside the house, or are sitting on your reﬁnished deck and admiring your backyard with its fresh gardens. And you should feel a smile spreading across your face as you remember how much money you saved on your project. Courtesy of ARAcontent
Home & Garden 47
Torontonians appreciate condo living says survey
Low maintenance, affordability, downtown living.
Torontonians choose condos for lifestyle reasons. Sixtythree per cent of those who would consider purchasing or already own a condo, say that they would still purchase a condo or that their decision would be the same even if they had more money. Additionally, more than one-third of Torontonians thinking about buying a condo would consider raising a family in one (36%). This is according to the 4th TD Canada Trust Condo Poll which surveyed Canadians who would consider purchasing a condo. “Torontonians continue to see the value in purchasing a condo, whether it is a place to call home for themselves or for their children,” says Chris Wisniewski, Associate Vice President, Real Estate and Secured Lending, TD Canada Trust. “Affordability and stable monthly expenses can make condos very attractive for both ﬁrsttime buyers and investors.” Why buy a condo? People in Toronto and Montreal are most likely in the country to say that wanting to live downtown is the main reason for buying a condo (14% vs. 12% nationally). The biggest motivation for Toronto buyers, according to the TD Canada Trust Condo Poll, is the lower maintenance needs of condos versus homes (39%). Affordability is the second most popular reason for condo purchases (19%). Downsizing from a house to prepare for or during retirement is the next most popular reason (15%). Is a condo a good investment? Thirty-eight per cent of Torontonians surveyed would consider buying a condo that is not their primary residence. Compared to this time last year, the number who feel market conditions have improved for buying a condo as an investment has dropped (from 42% in 2009 to 32% in 2010). The number who would consider purchasing a condo as an asset to sell when condo prices increase, has dropped by one third (from 27% in 2009 to 18% in 2010). “The results may reﬂect a growing perception among investors that the proﬁtability of investment condo ownership will be reduced due to higher condo prices, expected interest rate hikes and the imminent increases in carrying costs due to HST,” says Georgia Stamatakos, Mobile Mortgage Specialist,Toronto, TD Canada Trust. Torontonians know what they want to pay For the fourth year in a row, the majority of Torontonians who would buy a condo (82%) say they would spend no more than $400,000 for a two bedroom condo. However, when it comes to condo fees, Torontonians are willing to pay more than the rest of the country. Twenty six per cent are willing to pay over $400 a month in condo fees versus 17% nationally.
Home Renovation Tax Credit popular across Canada
Last year the government introduced the new Home
Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC) as a way of encouraging home owners to put money into their properties. The credit was a non-refundable tax credit based on expenses paid for improvements to a property. Any improvements made between January 27th 2009 and February 1st 2010 could be eligible for a tax credit. The HRTC applied to eligible expenses of more than $1,000, but not more than $10,000, resulting in a maximum nonrefundable tax credit of $1,350 ($10,000 − $1,000) × 15%. In a recent study by Ipsos Reid it found that residents of Alberta used the tax credit far more than any other province. In particular Edmonton home owners made use of the HRTC with around 32% claiming the tax credit, Other areas of the country where the HRTC was popular were Ottawa (30%), Halifax (30%), Winnipeg (29%), Saskatoon (29%) and Toronto 27%. Of the large cities Montreal was the lowest with only 14% of home owners claiming the HRTC. Although the tax credit was very popular, many people still refrained from home improvements mainly due to the economy. The survey revealed that many questioned would like to see an extension of the HRTC for the 2010 tax year so that they can take advantage this year when they feel more conﬁdent about the economy.
Prep your deck for summer
Don't waste those gray, overcast days, which are great for
some DIY projects. One task that can be tackled on a dreary day is prepping and cleaning your deck for upcoming barbecues and get-togethers. Staining your deck is one of the best ways to protect your investment from the elements, keep it looking nice and make it easier to maintain. Below are simple cleaning steps to help achieve great-looking results that last: * Gather your tools and materials. Flood wood care offers wood cleaning and stripping products to help clean and brighten surfaces dulled and grayed by the sun, dirt and rain. * Wear gloves, safety glasses and old clothing - shorts are not recommended. Before starting, cover any areas you want to protect, wet down plants and shrubs, and wet your deck surface with water. * Work the cleaner into the wood, working from the bottom-up to reduce streaking. Be sure to keep the surface wet with water and let the cleaner stand for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing. Once cleaned, wood should dry for at least 48 hours before applying stain.
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