muchmor

Canada
issue 31 june 08
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Power of Women Exchange. Understanding Autism - read how two families cope

Whale watching in Newfoundland & Labrador
Belleville Ontario - the friendly city
Plus muchmor.....
www.readmuchmor.com

recipes book reviews real-life stories immigration medicals

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Contents 3
From the Editor.....

Muchmor
Muchmor Media 17 Woody Woodward Lane Corbyville RR1 Ontario K0K 1V0 Canada Tel: 1 613 396 5531 Fax: 1 613 396 5531 www.muchmormagazine.com Advertising: sales@muchmormagazine.com Editorial: editor@muchmormagazine.com

Well this month we have a wide array of articles from whale watching to driveway makeovers. With high gas prices being at the forefront of most peoples minds we look at fuel efficient vehicles and spending your money on the home rather than in your gas tank. And whilst you are at home check out our great grill recipes. It is also the time we start thinking about those pesky mosquitoes, so which myths are true and which are just crazy? Check out page 57 for the answers. On page 42 we take a look at a great women's networking group - Power of Women Exchange and how it works. We also look at how to go green at work. Understanding autism spectrum disorders on page 46 is a great insight into everything autism from what it is to how real life families live with the disorder . Of course there is so muchmor, so read on. Jane Toombes, Editor

Contents…
Discover Canada Whale watching in Newfoundland & Labrador Belleville, Ontario Canada Day Lifestyle Muchmor website update Top Canadian…. Recipes for the grill Book reviews Surprising things you didn’t know about Botox Moving to Canada Proposed immigration changes PNP program updates New Yukon agreement Immigration medical Language testing Calgary, Alberta Choosing is confusing…. Motoring Canadian vehicle prices Fuel efficient vehicles Money Reduce your taxes - give to charity 36 Shop online 37 Working Life Going green at work 38 5 lies we all tell at work 39 Seven steps to achieving your dream 41 Power of Women Exchange 42 Health & Wellness Understanding autism spectrum disorders 46 Home & Garden Color is the key to brightening a home Using your space Driveway makeovers Mosquito myths Homeowners shift spending from gas tank to home Using RRSP’s for your down payment Pesky bird problems

Muchmor Magazine is a publication of Muchmor Media. All rights reserved in all media. No parts of this publication can be reproduced in any form, copied of stored electronically for commercial use without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Storing for personal use is acceptable. We are happy to make every effort to verify all the information we publish, but products and prices do change. Muchmor Magazine cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions or for any losses that may arise as a result, but it is our policy to correct any errors of fact whenever we can. The opinions of readers and their letters are not necessarily the opinions of Muchmor, and we cannot be held responsible for their comments.

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4 Discover Canada

Whale watching in Newfoundland & Labrador

Discover Canada 5
Newfoundland and Labrador has the largest population of feeding Humpbacks in the world. The Humpbacks spend the winter months in the Caribbean and migrate north to the Newfoundland and Labrador coast during April and stay until October. Humpbacks are baleen whales and the adults can weigh 36,000 kilograms and measure 12-15 metres in length. Females tend to weigh more than males and are longer. Adults can eat two tons of fish and planktonic crustaceans every day. Many of us have visited marine parks They only feed during the summer, living off reserves in the winter months. and seen whales and dolphins up close This species is know to catch fish such as the orcas at Sea World but there using a bubble net feeding technique. This is no substitute for seeing these is where a number of humpbacks encircle magnificent creatures in their natural a school of fish whilst blowing air bubbles. habitat. We guess the whales feel pretty The circle grows ever tighter forcing the much the same way too! So what can you expect to see when fish into a small area when the whales suddenly swim upwards through the fish visiting Newfoundland and Labrador? catching thousands in one mouthful. Well, a lot depends on when you visit of Females give birth every two or three course as the whales and other mammals years and have a gestation period of 12 are not year round residents. Whales are months. The calf will weigh around one usually sighted between the months of ton at birth and be 3-5 metres in length. May and September, so you are just in They typically feed from their mother for time to book that trip. the first year. If you are one of those people who Humpbacks are notorious for their doesn’t have any sea legs and thinks that acrobatic skills and can be seen jumping it is not worth going as you “won’t get into that boat” think again. Whales here are so out of the water - known as breeching and falling back, slapping the water. They common and numerous that they can be spotted not just from boats out at sea, but are also the star of many a photograph from the land as well. In fact you can even when they dive under the water raising their tail flukes in the air, as pictured to the get into a kayak and paddle alongside side. them if you dare. Individual whales can be distinguished by their tail flukes as each What species will I see? one is unique. This is rare amongst whales making them one of the most As we previously mentioned there are studies species. twenty-two species of ocean mammals off Minke whales: These whales have a the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. distinctive narrow, triangular shaped head There are two types of whales, baleen and are one of the smallest baleen and toothed. Baleen whales have bristle whales. They are very fast in the water like baleen plates instead of teeth. The reaching speeds of 16-21 kilometers an baleen is made of keratin the same hour. substance found in hair, nails and horns They can be seen in the bays around and the whale uses them to filter water Newfoundland and Labrador but spend and catch food. Toothed whales have a most of their time below water, so can be set of teeth they use to catch and eat more difficult to spot. They are however food. curious and will often approach boats and Humpback whales: The most swim alongside. They are most common common whale here is the humpback in summer and early fall. whale (pictured on our title page) and

There is nothing quite like coming face to face to a humpback whale and you will never get a better chance to experience this than in Newfoundland and Labrador. In fact you can get up close and personal with no less than twentytwo species of ocean mammals in this area of Canada alone.

White-beaked dolphin

Humpback Whale

Minke whale

Grey whale

6 Canada Discover

Fin whale

Pilot whales

Orca or killer whale
Blue Whale: This whale is the largest mammal ever to have lived on earth. Adults can reach lengths of over 30 metres but are more usually between 23-25 metres. The largest ever found was 33 metres in length. Females are larger and can weigh up to 150 tons compared to around 100 tons for males. Surprisingly for such a huge animal they feed on small fish and krill but have to eat around four tons a day which equates to around 40 million krill a day. Females give birth every two or three years to a calf weighing tons and measuring 8 metres in length. Calves are weaned at around 8 months by which time they weight around 23 tons. The best time to catch a glimpse of a blue whale in Newfoundland and Labrador is in the fall and winter months. Orca: Also commonly known as the killer whale, Orcas are seen off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador during the summer months. These are probably some of the most familiar species of whale with their distinctive black and white markings.

Adult males measure around 8-9 metres in length and females slightly longer at 8-10 metres. Both weigh around 10 tons and feed on krill and small fish. Females give birth once every two years and calves measure around 3 metres and weight 450 kg at birth. They nurse for around six months. Pilot Whale: This whale is actually a member of the dolphin family and is very intelligent and second in size only to the orca or killer whale. They swim in large groups of around one hundred individuals and are very social. They have a distinctive round bulbous head with a long, stocky body. Unlike the previous two species we discussed the male pilot is larger than the female at around 6 meters in length and weighing in at three tons. The female is around 5 metres and weighs only 1.5 tons. Pilot whales are toothed whales but only have 40-48 teeth compared to the usual 120 or so in other dolphin species. They feed primarily on squid but also eat

octopus, cuttlefish an other small fish such as herring. Females give birth only every 3-5 years and calves are typically around 1.8 metres in length and weigh 100 kg at birth: they nurse for around two years. Pilot whales can be seen in the Newfoundland and Labrador water during summer and early fall. Finback Whales: These whales are huge and the second largest whale in the world. They have very distinctive lower jaw colouring with the right side being white or creamy yellow and the left mottled black. The colours are reversed on its tongue. These whales tend to be found further from the shore than most other species and so may only be seen from a boat, usually in small groups of 5-8 individuals. Adult males grow to around 24 metres in length and weigh between 50-70 tons. Females give birth every three or four years and the calf nurses for 6-8 months.

Discover Canada 7

White-sided dolphin

Bowhead Whale

Every orca has its own distinctive markings making each individual identifiable. This makes them another well studied species. The dorsal fin is also very distinctive and can reach 1.8 metres in length and is a straight triangle shape on males and a more curved triangle on females and young males. Orcas in captivity seem to loose the rigidity of their dorsal fin allowing it to bend over to the side. This phenomenon is not seen in the wild. Orcas are toothed whales and will feed on any small animals including seals, sharks, penguins and other smaller whales. Males can grow to just under 10 metres in length and weigh around 9 tons. Females are much smaller at around 8 metres weighing an average of four tons. They give birth every 3-5 years and the calf will be around two metres in length. The summer months are the best time to spot Orcas off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. White-sided Dolphin: These playful dolphins can often be seen jumping out of the water and riding the waves. They tend to be found in large groups from a few dozen to many hundreds.

The belly of the dolphin is white, the sides grey and the back black. It has a black beak and a black eye ring and a yellow patch at the rear of the dorsal fin making it a very attractively colored dolphin. They tend to be around 2-2.5 metres in length and weigh around 150 kg. They eat squid and small fish such as herrings and tend to feed at night. Females give birth every two or three years and the calf is usually about a metre in length. Harbour Porpoise: This small dolphin is not easily seen as it tends to stay under the waves and does not seek out boats as many other dolphins do. They tend to stay close to shore making them easily studied and also easily hunted. They make a loud puffing sound when the break the water to breathe. They are dark grey in colour with a white belly and are around 1.5 metres in length and weigh around 60 kg with females being bigger than males. They feed on small fish and have to consume around 10% of their body weight every day. Other species: There are many other species you can spot off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador such as the

White-beaked Dolphin, Bowhead Whale, Sperm Whales and Beluga Whales.

How to see them
There are many boat tour operators along the coast who can offer you the opportunity to see whales. They are very experienced and can almost guarantee you will see whales and can answer any questions you have along the way. It is not unusual for whales and particularly dolphins to swim alongside a boat to get that extra special view. You can also join a kayaking tour and get up close and personal with the wildlife. Always use a qualified operator if you want to kayak as approaching whales and dolphins can be very dangerous and the tour guides are trained to give you a save and enjoyable experience. As we mentioned before, those of you who simply cannot take a boat tour you can usually see plenty of whales simply by walking along the coastline. Some of the best viewing sites are Signal Hill, Cape Spear, Cape St. Francis, Trinity, Cape Bonavista, Twillingate, White Bay, Strait of Belle Isle, St. Vincent’s, Cape St. Mary’s, Cape Race, Witless Bay, and Groswater Bay.

8 Canada Discover

Belleville, Ontario
the friendly city

Discover Canada 9
Belleville is the largest city located in the Bay of Quinte region (pronounced kwin-tee) and has a population of 49,000 people. It is minutes away from the picturesque Prince Edward County which we featured last month. Whether you are thinking of visiting the area or making a more permanent move then Belleville could be just the place you are looking for.
The city is ideally located in Eastern Ontario between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal and less than an hour from the US border crossing. The busy highway 401, a main arterial road through Ontario skirts the city, as do numerous rail links. It is a bustling city surrounded by beautiful countryside.

Tourism
Belleville is at the heart of the Quinte region and is an excellent base for trips to the surrounding areas. The city has many hotels and motels as well as bed and breakfasts offering every type of accommodation for every budget. There are also many restaurants catering to every pallet. If you like nothing more than lazing on a sandy beach then look no further than the nearby Sandbanks Provincial Park. You will also find many hiking trails in the Belleville area so remember to bring your hiking boots. Glanmore National Historic Site is an example of exceptional 2nd Empire architecture. Built in 1882-3 for banker J.P.C. Phillips the building has a grand interior and has been restored to its 1890’s beauty. The museum is open six days a week and guided tours are available.

Belleville’s historic City Hall
specialized stores. Other shopping opportunities can be found along North Front Street and of course the Downtown area of the city where you will find beautiful tree lined streets and over 250 stores, restaurants and services. including crafts, music, children’s activities, parades, food and general fun for all. The Festival of Trees takes place in November at the Ramada Inn on the Bay. The 2008 event will be the 14th annual festival and all money raised during the event will support outreach and education programs of the Quinte Arts Council.

Events
Belleville hosts many events throughout the year including the Belleville Dragon Boat Festival which this year will be held on September 13th at Victoria Park. The Waterfront Ethnic Festival will be held between July 10th and 13th at Zwicks Park. Come along to experience entertainment and activities for all ages

Sport and Recreation
Belleville has many sporting opportunities such as golf at one of the 16 courses, fishing along the rivers or in the bay, boating, biking, hiking and more. You will find 36 ball diamonds, 7 mini-pitch

Shopping
If shopping is your thing then check out the Quinte Mall which has big brand stores such as Sears, Old Navy and Chapters as well as smaller more

10 Discover Canada
soccer fields, and 7 regulation-size soccer fields within the City. If you prefer a more sedate pursuit then check out the Empire Theatre where you can catch live shows and music. The Famous Players theatre at Quinte Mall will satisfy your appetite for movies. Shannonville Motorsports Park is just a few minutes form Belleville and is the place to see motorcycle and drag racing. Belleville has over 507 acres of parkland throughout the city, so there is never an excuse not to take a stroll through the trees and plants. There are many floral displays including the floral Canadian flag alongside highway 401. Every summer you can see over 2,000 roses, perennials and annuals at the Corby Rose Garden in East Hill, one of Belleville’s historic districts. Belleville’s beautiful waterfront is a bustling place during the summer months, with boats cruising around the Bay of Quinte. The city has two excellent harbour facilities with approximately 120 slips available at Victoria Harbour and Meyers’ Pier. During the winter months there are public skating areas, ice hockey, ice fishing and cross country skiing opportunities. You can also watch the local Belleville Bulls hockey team play at the The Yardmen Arena. Whilst there why not visit the The Quinte Sports Hall of Fame located in the building.

Protect...Save...Grow
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Financial Advisor Tel: 613 - 922 - 6699 Fax: 613 - 962 - 6736 Email: heatherlcfc@kos.net
Independent Financial Services company servicing Bay of Quinte Region Eastern Ontario

DUCK AND LOON
Overlooking Beautiful Picton Bay
King/Queens/Twins - Private Washroom - Private Ensuites Adults Only - Air Conditioned - Visa/MasterCard Accepted

Bed And Breakfast

630 Highway 49, Picton 613-476-8167
www.bbcanada.com/duckloon - dobinson.res@sympatico.ca

Economy
The city is the manufacturing, distribution and transportation centre for the southeastern area of Ontario. It has a diverse economy which includes food processing, warehousing, plastics packaging, call centres, pharmaceutical and automotive parts. Belleville is home to many local, national and international companies including Bioniche Life Sciences, Nortel Networks, Procter & Gamble, Sears Canada, Stream International, The Kellogg Company to name but a few. It will also soon be the location of a large Lowes D.I.Y warehouse which is currently under construction to the north of the city. Large public sector companies include Hastings Prince Edward Board Of Education, Quinte Health Care Corp, Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic School Board, Loyalist CollegeApplied Arts and the City of Belleville.

Education
There are 18 elementary and 6 secondary schools in Belleville offering a complete range of education to children of all ages, race and ability. The schools are operated by the Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board and the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board and have enrollment levels of over 33,000 students. Private schooling is offered by Albert College, a renowned school which was the first co-educational boarding school in Canada. Albert College offers both day and boarding

Advertisement

Discover Canada 11

Belleville welcomes you
Located along the shores of the beautiful Bay of Quinte and the Mighty Moira River, the City of Belleville is a progressive community located within idyllic surroundings, rich in history and culture. With a population of 49,000 people, serving a regional population of more than 200,000, Belleville has all the amenity of a big city, but maintains the character and charm of a small town. With a variety of natural landscapes and recreational opportunities, Belleville is the epitomy of what Canada is best known for. In Belleville you’re never more than a five minute drive or walk from the waterfront and you’re always within sight of natural areas and scenic vistas. Our residents and visitors enjoy a temperate climate, moderated by the close proximity of Lake Ontario, and a variety of cultural, shopping and entertainment experiences to enjoy. Golfing, fishing, cycling, camping, skiing, hiking, and boating are just some of the activities that residents and visitors can easily enjoy in the area. For the traveller a variety of choice exists in accommodation from quaint bed and breakfasts, to basic, historic and deluxe hotel suites. Thinking of moving to Belleville? Here you will be welcomed with open arms and you will benefit from our reasonable real estate prices and a variety of housing styles and locations to choose from. As a resident you will enjoy our varied recreation programs, new library, walking trails, scenic parks, efficient roadways as well as a thriving variety of shopping districts that can satisfy your every need. With several first rate entertainment and cultural venues, you’re never without the opportunity to get out and enjoy the best life has to offer. We’re also just a stones throw from Prince Edward County - Ontario’s newest wine region featuring beautiful white sand beaches! Many different culinary experiences await you in beautiful Belleville, and our business community anxiously awaits your arrival. For more information on Belleville, please visit our web site at www.city.belleville.on.ca

12 Discover Canada

Downtown Belleville

Downtown Bridge Steet
opportunities for students all over Canada and indeed the world. Another school of note is the Sir James Whitney School which was the first permanent school in Ontario for deaf students.

Glanmore House

Health
Quinte Health Care (QHC) is responsible for the health care in the region. Belleville General Hospital is the largest hospital in the area with 206 beds. It is currently undergoing extensive redevelopment which will include an new five-storey wing encompassing expansion of the rehabilitation unit, intensive care and the Children’s Treatment Centre. This will increase the hospitals capacity by 37% or 77 beds. Fire, police, ambulance, hospital & emergency-room services, air evacuation, and marine and air rescue are headquartered in or immediately around Belleville, providing a secure environment for both workplace and leisure activities.

Housing
The Quinte and District Real Estate Board recorded average selling prices in the Belleville area of $207,775 in April 2008. This is an increase of over $15,000 on the same time last year. Waterfront properties are very popular in the area although they tend to be a little more expensive than the

Discover Canada 13

Useful Resources
City of Belleville www.city.belleville.on.ca Downtown Belleville www.downtown.belleville.on.ca Quinte Mall www.quintemall.net Belleville and District Chamber of Commerce www.chamber.belleville.on.ca Quinte Economic Development Commission www.quintedevelopment.com Duck and Loon B&B www.bbcanada.com/duckloon Albert College www.albertcollege.ca Quinte Country www.quinte.on.ca Empire Theatre www.theempiretheatre.com Belleville Waterfront Festival www.bellevillewaterfrontfestival. com Belleville Bulls www.bellevillebulls.com Dragon Boat Festival www.bellevilledragonboatclub.co m

Skating in the harbour

Belleville Demographics 2006 census
Population: 48,821 Median age: 41.8 years No of immigrants: 4,720 Aboriginal population: 1,385 Visible minorities: 2,555 Chinese: 620 South Asian: 510 Black: 435 Filipino: 140 Latin American: 255 Southeast Asian: 190 Arab: 30 West Asian: 55 Korean: 90 Japanese: 70 Other: 160 Population density: 197.8 sq/km Mother tongue: English: 43,480 French: 710 French & English: 80 Other: 3,600

average residential property. Average prices for waterfront properties in the Quinte region were just over $300,000 in May this year. Most of these are riverfront homes or internal lakeside. If you want to live along Lake Ontario or the Bay of Quinte you can expect to pay considerably more. In these locations you will usually have to pay in excess of $500,000 for a lakeside property, although many properties command in excess of $1 million.

Climate
Belleville’s weather is moderated by the “lake effect” from Lake Ontario. The average January temperature is -4℃ and the average July temperature is 21℃. During the spring and fall you can expect averages of 10-12℃. Snow usually comes to Belleville in December and disappears again around April time, although these times can vary.

14 Discover Canada

Canada Day
Celebrate Canada’s birthday on July 1st

Discover Canada 15

Every year on the 1st July Canadians, wherever in the world they are celebrate Canada Day. We know this is the June issue, but we wanted to give you time to organise your Canada Day celebrations.
This national holiday celebrates the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North America provinces in a federation under the name of Canada on July 1st 1867. Charlottetown in Prince Edward Island is known as the Birthplace of the Confederation. It is here that the Fathers of the Confederation met in September 1864 to discuss the unification of Canada. A month later another meeting took place in Quebec and then a final meeting in London, England in 1866 where all the final details were set in place. The British

government passed the British North America Act, creating the Dominion of Canada as of July 1st, 1867. The original Dominion of Canada started with four provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. In 1870 the province of Manitoba was formed and it became part of the confederation that year as did North West Territories. At this point in time this made Canada one of the largest countries in the world. In 1871 British Columbia became the latest member after being promised a transcontinental railway which was duly completed five years later. In 1873 Prince Edward Island joined after Canada agreed to help with ferry links to the island. This was later replaced by the building of the Confederation Bridge. In 1898 Canada created the Yukon Territory after the discovery of gold in the Klondike. By forming the territory they were able to form a local government to help maintain law and order.

In 1905 Alberta and Saskatchewan were formed and became members of the confederation. After a long gap Newfoundland and Labrador finally joined the confederation in 1949 after World War II left it in economic distress. In 1982 the repatriation of the British North America Act separated Canada from England but still allowing it to be a member of the Commonwealth. In 1999 the territory of Nunavut was formed by dividing the North West Territories according the the traditional lands of the Inuit. Nunavut was the last area to become part of the confederation and the new Northwest Territories was born. At this point in time a new map of Canada was drawn up, designating all the provinces and territories as we know them today. Since 1868 Canada has celebrated Canada Day, originally known as Dominion Day and renamed in 1982.

16 Discover Canada

Provinces and territories of Canada - present day
Since 1985, Canada Day Committees are established in each province and territory to plan, organize and coordinate the Canada Day celebrations locally, with grants provided by the Canadian Heritage department. So where can you celebrate and how. We take a quick look at different places throughout Canada to find out what is happening and how you can join in. accompanied by music provided by local radio stations.

Edmonton, Alberta
Begin your Canada Day celebrations

Vancouver, British Columbia with a pancake breakfast then run it off in
Join in the celebrations at Canada Place between 10:00 am and 7:00 pm. There will be lots of events taking place including HBC Run for Canada, singing competitions, music, entertainment, concerts, Canadian Forces displays and all ending in a firework display from barges in the bay. The fireworks begin at 10:30 pm. the road race and fun race. The Silly Summer Parade will also entertain you as will the multicultural extravaganza in the evening. The cumulation of events will see the High Level Bridge turned into a living waterfall with a spectacular fireworks display over the river valley.

Victoria, British Columbia

Regina, Saskatchewan
The main celebrations in Regina take place in the Wascana Lake area. Here you will find lots of activities for young and old alike with entertainment, music, crafts, rides and a spectacular fireworks display to close the day.

The majority of the celebrations will take place on the legislative grounds between 5:30 pm and 10:30 pm, although Calgary, Alberta activities will take place throughout the day. There will be well-known performers Celebrations in Calgary will centre and local personalities providing around the Olympic Plaza area and will entertainment for all ages. There will also feature entertainment and music as well be musicians, dancing, tours and many as special events and of course fireworks. other fun activities. The day will end with a firework display over the Inner Harbour

Discover Canada 17

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
In Saskatoon you will be able to take part in all the festivities such as music, entertainment, amusement rides and lots of food. Fireworks will round off the day.

Montreal, Quebec
As with other cities Montreal celebrates Canada Day with fireworks, music and entertainment all day long at various locations.

Fredericton, New Brunswick
The Canada Day Block Party will take place on July 1st starting at noon on the Green and in Officers' Square with activities for the whole family, entertainment, great food on site, the Canada Day Parade, and fireworks at dusk.

Winnipeg, Manitoba
Activities in Winnipeg will take place at various locations throughout the city and will include entertainers, music, craft vendors and children's activities as well as a firework display.

Halifax-Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Enjoy some pancakes, sing O Canada on Citadel Hill, watch the Tattoo Parade in Downtown Halifax, come to the HBC Picnic on the Common, boogie to the big bands at the concert in the parks or dance the night away at the Dartmouth Waterfront Concert. Don't forget the fireworks extravaganza over Halifax Harbour at 10:00 pm to top off Canada Day 2008

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
Each July 1st, when the sun rises over Signal Hill, the people of St. John's become the first in Canada to celebrate this country's birthday. Outdoor entertainment caps off the day of birthday celebrations. Fireworks at Quidi Vidi Lake. Almost every town and city in Canada has some form of Canada Day celebrations so check out your local community website to see what is happening in your area. If you are visiting Canada during the Canada Day celebrations don’t forget to join in the party. You will be welcomed by the locals and will have a day to remember, that we can promise you.

Toronto, Ontario
Celebrate Canada's birthday with performances by Canadian musicians and a dazzling fireworks show choreographed to music at Mel Lastman Square as well as other events at Nathan Phillips Square.

Charlottetown, PEI
Celebrate Canada Day where it all began at Confederation Landing Park. The whole weekend will be filled with activities and entertainment as part of the Festival of Lights event for locals and visitors of all ages.

Ottawa, Ontario
Join the annual celebration of Canada Day at Andrew Haydon Park. Activities include face painting, music, entertainers, car show, petting zoo as well as many other fun things. The day ends with a great fireworks display.

18 Lifestyle

Muchmor launches new website
We are very excited to announce the launch of our new look website www.readmuchmor.com which not only allows you to read our magazine online in flip-book format or download it is a PDF, but also has lots of information about everything Canada. You can read the latest Canadian news and comment on the topics that concern you. You can search for realty listings or use our directory to find the resources you need. Our Canadian social network site mymuchmor is where you can interact with other Canadians and potential Canadians, write a blog, upload photos and videos, set up and join groups. Other resources available include job searches, back issue downloads, advertising details and muchmor! So what are you waiting for? Go to www.readmuchmor.com now! If you subscribe, which is completely FREE, you will receive an email each month reminding you that muchmor has been published.

Lifestyle 19
.

Top Canadian…
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

TV shows
11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. Survivor: Reunion (Sun) - 1.78 Desperate Housewives - 1.75 Criminal Minds - 1.72 C.S.I. - 1.71 Dancing w/t Stars (Mon) - 1.61 NCIS - 1.42 Lost - 1.35 CTV Evening News - 1.32 NHL Playoffs - 1.30 Bones - 1.24

American Idol (Tue) - 2.47 American Idol (Wed) - 2.39 Grey’s Anatomy - 2.19 C.S.I. New York - 2.16 House - 2.09 Survivor: Micronesia (Thu) - 1.98 Survivor: Micronesia (Sun) - 1.96 Law & Order: SVU - 1.89 Dancing w/t Stars (Tue) - 1.89 C.S.I Miami - 1.82

CD’s
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Hard Candy, Madonna piece of my Soul, Garou Home Before Dark, Neil Diamond Spirit, Leona Lewis Vol2: Rarities, Sarah McLachlin 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Tous Les Sens, Ariane Moffatt Live in Salt Lake, Josh gorban Ma Peau, Eric lapointe E=MC2, Mariah Carey Snacktime, Barenaked Ladies

DVD rentals
1. Rambo 2. National Treasures 2: Book of Secrets 3. Strange Wilderness 4. The Air I Breathe 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Untraceable Mad Money P.S. I Love You 27 Dresses The Golden Compass

Fiction paperbacks
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The Hollow, Nora Roberts Late Nights on Air, Elizabeth Hay Divisadero, Michael Ondaatji Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen The Good Guy, Dean Koontz Invisible Prey, John Sandford 7. 8. Hill 9. 10. Simple Genius, David Baldacci The Book of Negroes, Lawrence The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini The Gathering, Anne Enright

Fiction hard cover
1. The Host, Stephanie Meyer 2. Careless in Bed, Elizabeth George 3. The Miracle at Speedy motors, Alexander McCall Smith 4. Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseinin 5. World Without End, Ken Follett 6. Remember Me, Sophie Kinsella 7. Dead Heat, Joel C Rosenberg 8. Mistress of the Sun, Sandra Gulland 9. The Cellist of Sarajevo, Steven Galloway 10. The Appeal, John Grisham

20 Lifestyle

Recipes for the grill
Thai Style Chicken
Ingredients:
1 bunch fresh cilantro with roots 3 cloves garlic, peeled 3 small red hot chile peppers, seeded and chopped 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 1 teaspoon curry powder 1 tablespoon white sugar 1 pinch salt 3 tablespoons fish sauce 1 (3 pound) chicken, cut into pieces 1/4 cup coconut milk

Cut cilantro roots off at the stem, and mince thoroughly. Set aside a few leaves for garnish. In a blender or food processor, combine cilantro roots and leaves, garlic, chile peppers, turmeric, curry powder, sugar, and salt. Process to a coarse paste. Pour in fish sauce, and blend until smooth. Place chicken in a large shallow dish. Rub with the cilantro paste. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 3 hours, or overnight. Preheat grill for high heat. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place chicken on the prepared grill, and brush liberally with coconut milk. Grill chicken 8 to 15 minutes on each side, depending on the size of the pieces. Turn only once, and baste occasionally with coconut cream. Cook until browned and tender, and juices run clear.

Balsamic and Rosemary Grilled Salmon
Ingredients:
4 (4 ounce) salmon fillets sea salt to taste 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 3 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup lemon juice 1 clove garlic, minced 1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced Season salmon fillets to taste with sea salt, and place into a shallow, glass dish. Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and rosemary; pour over salmon fillets. Cover, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil grate. Remove salmon from marinade, and shake off excess. Discard remaining marinade. Cook on preheated grill until fish is opaque in the center and flakes easily with a fork, about 4 minutes per side.

Lifestyle 21

Basil Shrimp
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons olive oil 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons butter, melted 1 lemons, juiced 2 tablespoons brown mustard 1/3 cup minced fresh basil 2 cloves garlic, minced salt to taste white pepper 2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined skewers In a shallow, non-porous dish or bowl, mix together olive oil and melted butter. Stir in lemon juice, mustard, basil, and garlic, and season with salt and white pepper. Add shrimp, and toss to coat. Cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat grill to high heat. Remove shrimp from marinade, and thread onto skewers. Discard marinade. Lightly oil grill grate, and arrange skewers on preheated grill. Cook for 4 minutes, turning once, or until opaque.

Beef Pinwheels
Ingredients:
3/4 cup vegetable oil 2/3 cup water 1/4 cup soy sauce 1 tablespoon lemon pepper 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 4 drops hot pepper sauce 1 (2 pound) flank steak, trimmed In a bowl, combine oil, water, soy sauce, lemon pepper, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce; set aside. Pound flank steak on each side. Cut into 1/2-in strips on the diagonally; add to marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Divide meat strips into eight portions. Roll and shape strips, using larger strips around edges, into pinwheels. Secure each with a skewer. Grill over hot coals for 5-6 minutes per side or until done.

Grilled elk with bacon wrap
Ingredients:
2 pounds elk loin (backstrap), cut into 2 ounce pieces 1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, or to taste 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste 16 slices thick cut bacon Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat. Season backstrap pieces with liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. Wrap each piece of meat with a strip of bacon, and place on a metal skewer. Cook the elk on the preheated grill until the bacon becomes slightly burnt, and the meat has cooked to medium-rare, 15 to 20 minutes.

22 Lifestyle

Book reviews
Plan Your Bathroom
by David Willis
Publisher: Harpercollins Publishing Date: November 2006 ISBN-10: 0061138266 ISBN-13: 978-0061138263 List Price: $28.95 Book Synopsis: The bathroom is quite possibly the most overlooked room in the home. Nevertheless, this smaller space is being increasingly upgraded and needs to be functional and attractive, with the right amount of storage. Whether it is being used for a quick shower or long soak in the tub, there are many aesthetic and practical considerations to bear in mind. This is where PLAN YOUR BATHROOM comes in. In this follow-up to the very successful COLOR YOUR HOME and PLAN YOUR KITCHEN , PLAN YOUR BATHROOM uses a similar accessible and innovative format to help with all of the key decision making. After an introduction to bathroom ergonomics and layout, including how to work with what you can’t change easily such as plumbing and windows, PLAN YOUR BATHROOM looks at the major choices to be made relating to baths, showers, hand basins, and toilets. This is followed by chapters devoted to floors and walls, color, accessories, and gadgets. The final mix and match section contains sample floors, fittings, and walls for endless combinations, as well as tear-out wish lists for readers to plan what to buy and where to source it. Hundreds of full-color photographs, including examples from leading manufactures, provide a complete visual catalog that will inspire anybody to turn their bathroom into a spa.

Muchmor Review: This book is set out into five main sections including planning, essentials, combinations and accessories. In the planning section it goes through ideas which compliment the size and type of bathroom you are looking for. If you have a small bathroom it discusses options such as just installing a shower rather than a bathtub or hanging toilets and basins from walls to give more floor space. It also discusses the best layouts for different shape rooms and gives details of clearance required for each item such as the head clearance for showers or side clearance for toilets. We found this very useful as you often do not think of this sort of thing when planning this yourself. The book also describes different types of floor and wall finishes and which are best for different applications. Another subject we thought was very interesting was lighting as this is something we often overlook when planning any room. It discusses where lighting is needed and where it should be placed to avoid the fitting getting in the way, or too near water or even so it doesn’t cast shadows. The second section, essentials, looks at the actual furniture items in he room such as types of tubs, basins, jacuzzis etc. Although many of the options are in higher price brackets it is interesting to see which items are available to you. The combinations section is basically lots of colour swatches to give you an idea of which colours can be used together. The accessories and gadgets section looks at other things that may get overlooked such as storage, taps, handles, mirrors, towel rails, soap dishes, shelves and even toilet roll holders. Again this is a useful section which allows you to see many different types of products and how they could fit into your bathroom renovation. The final section is a mix and match section which divides the pages into three sections: floor, bath/sink level and above the bath. By turning the sections individually you can mix and match styles and colours to give you an idea of what floor finish you want, what wall finish and what type of bathtub etc. We thought this section was of very little use as the sections are too limiting and most don’t really mix successfully. Overall this is a good book to use for planning the layout of a bathroom and to see the wide array of products that you can choose from. However the mix and match section is just a gimmick that really doesn’t work.

Lifestyle 23

Surprising things you never knew about Botox
(ARA) - Most of us associate botulinum toxin, also known as Botox with the cosmetic treatment of facial wrinkles. But did you know that neurologists have safely used it to treat serious medical conditions for over 28 years?
After extensively reviewing all available scientific studies on the topic, the American Academy of Neurology has released a new set of guidelines on how this drug can be used to help make a real difference in people's health and the way they live. Here are some of the conditions that can benefit from this treatment. Spasticity: A neurological injury can cause muscle stiffness that interferes with moving, walking and other day-to-day activities. These problems, called spasticity, are common in cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury. Those who have had a stroke often have tightness in the arm, wrist and hand muscles on the affected side. There is strong evidence that botulinum toxin can safely and effectively treat adult and childhood spasticity in the limbs. For those with multiple sclerosis who suffer from severe tightening or stiffness in the thigh muscles, it may provide comfort when in bed or a wheelchair. Lower Back Pain: Many people suffer from lower back pain for a variety of reasons. "We found that botulinum toxin is possibly effective in relieving low back pain and therefore may be considered as a treatment option," says pain guidelines author Dr. Markus Naumann, Professor of Neurology, Head of the Department of Neurology at Augsburg Hospital in Germany, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. Cervical Dystonia: Cervical dystonia is the involuntarily twisting or tilting of the neck and shoulders. Botulinum toxin can help people who have head, neck and shoulder problems by blocking the nerve signals that cause the uncontrollable tightening and movements of these muscles. Excessive Sweating: Experts found strong evidence that botulinum toxin is safe and successful for treating excessive underarm sweating. Research shows that sweat production can be reduced by at least 50 percent. Other types of sweating, such as excessive palm sweating, can benefit from this treatment as well. Overactive Bladder: If you suffer from an overactive bladder associated with neurological disorders such as spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis, you can use botulinum toxin to help increase bladder popular belief, botulinum toxin is probably control. Research shows reduced not effective in the treatment of migraine or incontinence episodes which can help chronic tension-type headaches. dramatically improve quality of life. "Botulinum toxin injections should not be Facial Spasms: Hemifacial spasm is offered to patients with episodic migraine a neuromuscular disorder that causes and chronic tension-type headaches," says frequent involuntary contractions of the Dr. Naumann. "It is no better than placebo muscles on one side of the face. People injections for these types of headache." who have used botulinum toxin treatment Even though Botox is most popularly report benefits lasting almost three known in cosmetic circles for reducing months. Other facial disorders such as wrinkles and keeping men and women blepharospasm, or involuntary winking, looking young, it is also a useful treatment can be treated this way as well. for serious medical conditions. For more Essential Tremor: Essential tremor is information, visit www.AAN.com. a neurological disorder that causes This guidelines project was chaired by shaking of the hands or other parts of the David M. Simpson, MD, Professor of body including the head. Research shows Neurology at the Mount Sinai School of that injections of botulinum neurotoxin Medicine in New York and Fellow of the should be considered as a treatment American Academy of Neurology. option when drugs have not worked. As the American Academy of Neurology analyzed research, they did find some conditions where Gloria York Tel: 613 634 0199 botulinum toxin www.sendoutcards.com/45008 wasn't shown to Send a card on me it's FREE be effective. Contrary to

24 Moving to Canada

Proposed immigration changes labeled a “backwards step”
The recent publicity regarding the proposed changes to the way Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) handles immigration applications is coming under fire from many different parties. The Canadian Bar Association calls it “a major step backwards in the evolution of Canadian immigration law.” The association's Stephen Green said, “the amendments are not necessary to meet Canada's immigration goals. The changes would fast-track highly coveted immigrants - such as doctors and other skilled labourers - while others would be forced to wait in the queue.” Immigration Minister Diane Finley said in a statement, "If nothing is done, it will soon take 10 years for an application to be processed. That's unfair to immigrants and their families who want to come to Canada, and to Canadian employers who want to hire them." The bar association suggested that Ottawa already has the authority to reduce backlog by allocating more staff to the visa offices where applications are processed. Green added, “The amendments could lead to an erosion of the rule of law - a principle whereby everyone, including governments, are subject to the law, and the law itself must be fair and free from the influence of arbitrary power.” Coming in a wide-ranging budget implementation bill, the proposals contain two key changes effective for applications received after February 27th 2008: • The government would produce a list of skills that Canada desperately needs, then fast-track applicants who have those skills. • The government would limit the number of applications Canada looks at in any given year. The recent federal budget also included $109 million to help reduce immigration wait times. Concern has been expressed that the bill is being rushed without proper consultation or thought to the impact on

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existing applicants. he government has yet to clarify which categories of applications it will prioritize, but it is expected to fast track applications in the so-called economic class of immigrants, which includes skilled workers. Ed Komarnicki, parliamentary secretary to Immigration Minister Diane Finley, said the proposed bill will prevent the backlog from growing. The government will then work to reduce the backlog through additional funding of $109 million over five years. "What this is doing is ensuring that we're not adding more applications to a system that's already clogged," said Mr. Komarnicki. "First of all, you prevent it from growing. Then you deal with the backlog itself." Immigration Minister Diane Finley said, “The new bill will allow employers to get skilled workers more quickly. The current system, if left unchanged, is on track to collapse under its own weight. The system needs fixing,"

However the government has not said which types of workers will be fasttracked, or who would go the bottom of the line. There are also questions about who would determine priorities. Finley stressed that the immigration system would be "universal and nondiscriminatory." Finley said countries like Britain and Australia are able to process would-be immigrants much faster – sometimes in as little as six months – putting Canada at a disadvantage as it tries to lure skilled workers to come here. She added that the current system requires every application to be processed and said this is like a hockey team only being able to pick the first 25 applicants, regardless of their skills, even if this left the team without a goalie. Muchmor will continue to monitor this situation and will post any new developments on our website www.readmuchmor.om

Moving to Canada 25

Latest updates to Provincial Nominee Programs in Canada
Ontario
Ontario’s Pilot Provincial Nominee Program celebrated its first anniversary on May 24th this year. The program will now be evaluated by KPMG to assess its success. The evaluation will focus on program design and performance, and will include a client satisfaction survey and stakeholder consultations. The program will continue to accept and process applications whilst this evaluation is being completed during the spring and summer of 2008. Website: http://www.ontarioimmigration.ca/english/ pnp.asp

Full details of the new category can be found here: http://www.nlpnp.ca/ familyconnections.html

Yukon Territories
As per the news story on page 26 Yukon has launched a new immigration portal to help attract immigrants to the territory. You can find the new portal here: www.immigration.gov.yk.ca

British Columbia
A recent addition to the British Columbia PNP is the Entry-Level and Semi-Skilled Pilot Project. This is a twoyear pilot project applying to select occupations and eligible employers in the tourism/hospitality and long-haul trucking industries, and to qualifying foreign workers. Full details of qualifying occupations can be found at the following website: http://www.ecdev.gov.bc.ca/ ProgramsAndServices/PNP/SO/ so_ELSS.htm

Other Provincial Nominee programs include: Manitoba
http://www.gov.mb.ca/labour/immigrate/ index.html

Saskatchewan
http://www.immigration.gov.sk.ca/

New Brunswick
http://www.gnb.ca/immigration/index-e.asp

Nova Scotia
In February this year the Nova scotia PNP announced a new entrepreneur stream which is due to go live later in 2008. The entrepreneur stream will replace the economic stream of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program which ended in July 2006. To keep up to date with this new stream take a look at www.novascotiaimmigration.com/enpage1040.aspx

Prince Edward Island
http://www.gov.pe.ca/immigration/ index.php3?number=1014385&lang=E

Alberta
The Alberta Provincial Nominee Program has announced a new pilot project relating to the food industry. In association with the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) it has introduced the Semi-Skilled Foodservices Industry (Pilot Project) to address the labour shortages faced in the foodservices industry. The pilot will be limited to 600 nominee applications in three categories: Food and Beverage Servers (6453-C) Food Counter Attendants (6641-D) Kitchen Helpers (NOC 6641-D) Full details can be found at the Alberta PNP website at http://www.albertacanada.com/immigration/immigrate/ foodservices.html

Quebec
http://www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/ en/index.asp

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Newfoundland and Labrador
A new category of the Newfoundland and Labrador PNP has recently been announced. The Family Connections Category is for immigrant families living in Newfoundland and Labrador who want to help their overseas family members relocate and work in the province.

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26 Moving to Canada

Yukon gets new immigration agreement and new website
In our January 2008 issue we discussed the changes to the Yukon Provincial Nominee Program. In May the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and the Honourable Patrick Rouble, Minister of Education for Yukon announced a new agreement for Canada‑Yukon Cooperation on Immigration and launched a new immigration Web portal for the territory. The agreement replaces the previous agreement dating back to 2001 and sets out responsibilities regarding immigration matters and includes provisions to help Yukon’s economic, social and demographic needs. • enhances cooperation between Canada and Yukon in overseas promotion and recruitment activities to help attract skilled immigrants, temporary workers and students; • allows Yukon to nominate more immigrants, like with many provinces, with specific skills to respond to the territory’s labour market needs, for quicker processing by the federal government; • commits the two governments to working together to secure better recognition of foreign qualifications and faster integration of immigrants into the labour market; and • ensures that Canada provides fair and ongoing funding for immigrant settlement services delivered in Yukon. The territory also now has a new immigration web portal www.immigration.gov.yk.ca. The portal will promote Yukon as a destination of choice for immigrants to Canada. The Government of Canada will provide more than $800,000 over four years for ongoing enhancements and development of the portal. This will be in addition to the $219,000 promised for settlement funding for the territory for 2008-2009. “With Yukon’s low unemployment rate and growing economy, our governments are working together to help businesses and the economy continue to grow. This Agreement will help Yukon businesses find the employees they need,” said Minister Rouble. “By putting some of the decision making in the hands of Yukon government through the Yukon Nominee Program, this Agreement also ensures we can be more responsive to changing labour market needs and keep the economy strong.”

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Moving to Canada 27

Immigration medical
We probably get more questions regarding the immigration medical than almost any other immigration topic. Although we have covered this topic before, because of the concern we though it worth reviewing again. Everyone applying for Canadian immigration will be required to take a medical.

Why do I need a medical?
The Canadian government understandably wants to protect its existing population from potential infections and diseases etc. It also wants to make sure that potential immigrants are not going to be an unnecessary burden on the Canadian Health System. For these reasons all immigrants, regardless of immigration class must have a medical performed by an approved medical practitioner. Anyone refusing the take a medical will be refused immigration. Your residency application can be decided by your medical. Even if you have successfully passed all the other criteria of entering Canada, you can still fail at the medical stage.

complete the medical within three months CHC will assume you no longer wish to apply for residency and your application will be closed.

Can my own doctor do the medical?
The CIC has a list of approved medical practitioners located worldwide who carry out the medical on their behalf. Your own family doctor cannot carry out

immigration medicals, unless of course they are on the approved list. Use this link to find an approved medical practitioner near you. http:// www.cic.gc.ca/dmp-md/medical.aspx. If you are already in Canada on business or pleasure, you can take your medical in Canada; you do not have to return to your home country. Just use the list to find a convenient medical practitioner.

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When do I take the medical?
Depending on which type of application class you use will determine when your medical is due. Routes such as skilled worker and business class will be asked to take their medical towards the end of the application process whereas those using the family sponsorship route will be asked to take their medical at the beginning of the process. These differences are due to the time it takes for each of the application types to be processed. Typically the family route can be very quick and be completed in a matter of months, whereas the skilled worker application can take years to complete, meaning the medical would be out of date if completed sooner. The Canadian High Commission (CHC) will notify you when you need to take a medical and you will have three months to take the medical and have the results submitted to CHC. If you do not

28 Moving to Canada
What if there is not a practitioner near me?
If you are outside Canada you must be prepared to travel to your nearest practitioner. If you are in Canada you can contact the CIC Call Centre on 1-888-242-2100 to receive advice if the practitioners are more than 242 km from where you live.

What if I am pregnant?
Women who are pregnant should not have an x-ray taken as this can harm the unborn child. All women who are pregnant at the time of their medical requests should notify CHC immediately and arrange for the medical to be taken after the baby is born.

At some practices the X-rays may need to be taken at another location, such How much does the medical as the local hospital. Check when cost? booking, as you may need to allocate Each practitioner will carry out the extra time to accommodate this. The costs Costs vary by country and indeed by medical slightly differently, but all will have may also be split between the two. Only to keep to specific guidelines as to what medical practitioner. If there are several people aged 11 years and over will need they ask and test for. options available in your area it might be to have x-rays done. Questionnaire – You will be asked to worth contacting each to get the best Blood Tests - Everyone over the age complete a form with a series of questions price. If x-rays are being taken at a of 15 will need to have a blood test done about your current and past health and different location check to see if you will in order to check for HIV and syphilis. need to pay a separate fee for them. Most any conditions that are known within your Being confirmed with either of these family such as cancer, heart disease etc. doctors have reduced fees for children. conditions will not necessarily prevent you These questions are quite straight from emigrating. Each case is evaluated forward, however you will be asked for What should I take to the on its own merits. Anyone with a tattoo will dates of hospital stays, operations etc, so medical? be asked to take an additional Hepatitis B it may be wise to make a note of these test at an additional cost. before you go. When you receive your medical Medical Examination – The actual Female patients may be asked request from CHC, they will send you medical is pretty straightforward, testing details of any contraception used and the paperwork and instructions relevant to things such as blood pressure, lymph date and result of their last Smear/PAP your situation. It will give you details of glands, nervous system, stomach, test so make sure you have these details how to book your medical and what you reflexes and hearing. You will be asked to with you. You may also be asked the date need to take with you. Make sure you take a sight test, reading letters on a wall of your last period, so make sure you follow these instruction and any others chart of varying sizes. If you normally know this too. given to you by the practitioner when you wear glasses or contact lenses you Chest X-rays - These are taken to book your appointment. If you arrive at the should wear them to take this test. ensure that you do not have any traces of medical without the relevant information The doctor may also check women tuberculosis (TB). If you have had TB in you may be refused a medical and will for breast lumps and men for testicular the past but have had successful have to rebook and possibly delay your lumps, however not all doctors carry out treatment you may still be allowed into application. this test. Canada, however if traces of active TB If you have an on-going medical A urine sample will also be taken to are found, you will need to receive condition you should take any relevant test for things such as sugar, protein and treatment and may be asked to come information, treatments, x-rays, blood. Women should not attend the back for a secondary medical, or you may medication etc with you. medical at the time of their period, as be refused immigration altogether. blood in the urine can be suggestive of

What does the medical entail?

Moving to Canada 29
more serious conditions and may cause confusion with the results.

What if they find something wrong?

What happens after the medical?

How long will it take?
Again this depends on the individual practitioner, but usually the actual medical will take between half an hour to an hour and the same for the x-rays and blood tests. Remember to allocate extra time if your medical and x-rays are carried out at different locations.

When do I get the results?
Medical results are not normally released to you, but sent directly to CHC for assessment. Remember, the doctor does not make the decision as to whether you will be allowed to enter Canada. This decision is the responsibility of the CHC alone, so doctors have to send their result straight to the CHC for evaluation.

If something concerns the doctor You will be contacted by the CHC a whilst the medical is in progress, they will few weeks after your medical to either be advise you to take further tests, such as if rejected or accepted for Canadian high blood pressure is detected. They will residency. usually complete the rest of the medical If you are rejected you will receive an and submit the findings to CHC. You would explanatory letter and have the opportunity then need to take further tests with your to appeal against the decision. own GP or specialist and have the results If accepted you will simply be asked of these tests sent to CHC. to submit your passports for visa insertion. If something were to be detected after Once you have this you are almost there. the medical you would be notified, so that you can seek suitable treatment. Depending on the exact nature of the problem, you may or may We can help with all aspects of your move not be granted call Sam Clement for more infomation or residency in email us at samantha@come2alberta.com Canada.

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Moving to Canada 30
.

Language testing for all skilled workers and business applicants
By Guidy Mamann The folks at the Department of Citizenship and Immigration in Ottawa are keeping real busy these days. In addition to other recent announcements, they have just introduced their third major piece of legislation designed to amend our immigration regulations.
A recap is in order. Firstly, the Feds have Bill C-17 pending. This bill aims to deny work permits to foreign strippers headed for Canada with a view of protecting them from our licensed, but “exploitive”, strip clubs. Then there is Bill C-50, which is also on a bumpy road to passage. Changes to our immigration regulations were tucked into this budget bill and seek to turn our minister of immigration, and her successors, into super-ministers who can proclaim new immigration rules without parliamentary, cabinet, or public input or oversight. Now, we have a third proposed regulatory amendment that introduces two main initiatives. First, we’ll start with the good news. CIC proposes to simplify the landing process for applicants in the skilled worker class and the business classes. These applicants will still be required to send their applications to visa posts outside of Canada for processing. However, those who find themselves in Canada in lawful temporary status (i.e. as workers or visitors) at the time that their immigrant visas are issued overseas will be able to get landed here without leaving the country. Presently, they would have to drive or fly to the nearest Canadian portof-entry to seek landing. This welcome

change will, undoubtedly, avoid a lot of unnecessary schlepping. Now, the not-so-good news. It is proposed that all applicants in the skilled worker class, and in the business class (i.e. investors, entrepreneurs, and the self-employed) undergo a formal third-party language test in English or French regardless of their nationality, mother tongue, or language of instruction. At present applicants in these categories can elect to undergo such a test or submit other evidence of their abilities in one of our official languages. However, the department feels that assessing such alternative evidence is slowing down their officers. The department considered issuing a narrow exemption for “native English or French speakers” but couldn’t find a “clear and fully defensible definition” of one. Instead, they propose to require everyone to do the test. While this is being touted as “fair”, I can’t wait to see the looks on the face of

some American or British-born engineer or businessman, or perhaps a French poet, when I tell them that they need to undergo language testing and that they may have to fly or drive for hours to get to the nearest test site. This doesn’t make us look “fair”. It makes us appear as if we lack basic common sense. Given my own Canadian education and work experience I’d be miffed if I were to be asked to do an English test if I were immigrating to the US or UK. Other countries have defined fair exemptions to language testing. So should we. Guidy Mamann practices law in Toronto at Mamann & Associates and is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as an immigration specialist. Reach him confidentially at 416-862-0000 or at metro@migrationlaw.com.

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Moving to Canada 31

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32 Moving to Canada

Choosing is confusing… or is it a gift?
by June Spindloe - Relocation Nova Scotia If you are reading this then you are special …Why because what makes each of us special is our capacity to weigh our options and make conscious deliberate choices, choices might just be our most precious gift……
I'm not completely sure where I read that quote but I truly believe it…I couldn't decide what topic I should write about in this article until I sat down with some of the families who have arrived in Halifax recently. I asked them how they felt about the choices they have made so far and also how they feel about the choices they still need to make.. Most of us seemed weighed down by the sheer effort it takes to get through our everyday lives without adding the additional effort of fact finding missions, form filling and hours of research on the internet just to make a decision and then only to find that even more choices lie ahead, somehow it seems never-ending. One thing is clear, no one sees the world exactly as you do so compromise is required by everyone involved in the emigration decision. But what brings us to the point of deciding to Emigrate? Not surprisingly there’s a common thread running through conversations we have with people that we are in contact with, the same topics we hear over and over again about lifestyle in the UK becoming harder and harder to tolerate. The cost of living going up and up and the downturn in property prices, also the lack of respect among younger people, crime rates and the

rising immigration from other countries all add to the decision making process. Once you have made up your mind to leave then the choices you have to make become more and more difficult. Here's where it's hard to choose. Which province would be better? What kind of lifestyle will you have in your new life? What is winter like? How far should you compromise your financial situation? What if you can't find employment? What should you pay for a house, a car, what schools are good? What if you don't like it? Should you use a consultant and if so which one would be best? Not surprisingly feeling overwhelmed by the process is typical and its then that you have to slow down, take a step back and use that gift. Make conscious

deliberate choices, you are special you do deserve a new life, give yourself a pat on the back for all the hard work you have done to come this far even if you have just decided today that you want to change your life and emigrate to Canada. It will be the most challenging, exciting event that has happened to you, recognize that only you can make it happen and you can do it. There will always be set backs along the way, so surround yourself with positive people who support you. It might be family or other people you know who have already achieved their goals and can give you feed back. Choose a mentor, join our networking group but put all thought of failing out of your mind and concentrate fully on the task at hand.

Moving to Canada 33
Fact finding missions are not Holidays! If possible leave the kids with a relative and be prepared to hit the ground running. Do your homework before you arrive and aim to spend at least ten days to two weeks on your trip. Here in Halifax if you arrive at the weekend, you can contact somebody on a Monday but be prepared to leave voice messages and maybe get appointments set up by the following day. Face to face interviews always work better than emails and telephone interviews: it gives you the chance to shine and convince the employer that you are passionate and excited about your new life. Passion and excitement may not be emotions that you have felt in your present life, but lets face it that’s why you want a new one and Mark and I feel that almost everyday of our lives here after all these years. Be prepared if you are offered employment before you leave, what would your response be? Don't be caught off-guard, try and think through all of your options and talk about them with your partner prior to coming, there have been many occasions where one partner has arrived to start work and the other one will have to be responsible for selling the house and moving over at a later date. What would you do if this was the scenario? Bring both your resumes with you if you are coming with your partner as you never know what lies ahead. Maybe there might be an opportunity for an interview for you both somewhere down the line that you didn't foresee. Remember that we do need immigrants here: it's a fact that you are filling a shortage and your expertise will be recognized and that you will play a very important role in building the community that you become a part of. So choose wisely where you will fit in, what role you would like to play, will you participate in giving back to the community? What organizations could you join, would you be able to volunteer your time? Who would you like your children to socialize and grow into adults with? Talk to as many people as you can on your fact finding trip, asking questions shows that you are a person with plans and goals it doesn't mean that you are stupid: you have never done this before so ask away. When dealing with employers, if you are not sure about protocols then try and aim somewhere between confident and respectful but with a more relaxed tone. When interviewing, show off your soft skills, explain all the positive reasons for choosing your new life and don't dwell on all the negatives of leaving your old life as more often or not the average Canadian just doesn't get it! Save that for the ex-pat forums and all the people that you meet along the way that do get it: believe me they will all agree with you. Give yourself permission to make mistakes, you don't always make the right choices first time. Develop a coping strategy in case something doesn't pan out how you imagined and agree to emotionally support each other when the going gets tough. Believe me when I say that there will never be a more challenging time for a relationship than becoming unemployed, saying farewell to everything familiar, making yourself deliberately homeless oh and I forgot, dragging unwilling children kicking and screaming across the pond. Somewhere along the line you will see clearly and you will make the right choice. Based on all the wonderful families we know you will have made a good choice for yourselves and your family…so if you are reading this for the first time and don't know where to begin, guess what - you need to start choosing now ! If you would like to contact someone here in our Nova Scotia Networking Group please contact June at www.relocationnovascotia.com You can also join the mymuchmor social network completely free.

Meet us - June & Mark Spindloe online at the Canadian Government’s portal: www.bfic.net Or email us: info@relocationnovascotia.com

Besides help with purchasing property we can save you hours of research, time and money.
These are just some of the benefits Relocation Nova Scotia clients enjoy! • Tailor Made accommodation solutions for your Fact Finding Trips and on landing, choice of B&B or one of our short term rentals. • We will provide meet and greet at Airport when landing with a large enough vehicle for your family and luggage. • Meet with professional Immigration Consultant based here in Halifax on your fact finding trip and receive free consultation. • Foreign exchange specialist will make moving your money overseas easy. Fast Track services to obtain day-to-day banking, mortgages, credit cards and financial services from one of Canada’s leading Banks, with a one to one service from your own personal banker. • Competitive rates for Car Rental, Car Insurance and purchasing a vehicle. • Canadian Mobile phones, SIM cards delivered to you before you land and pay using a UK credit card. • Unique women’s network providing friendship and advice.

Please visit www.relocationnovascotia.com and register. Call June or Mark on 001 902 446 0766 and we’ll call you back.

34 Motoring

Canadian vehicle prices - are they really getting cheaper?
Back in November 2007, Muchmor conducted a price comparison between vehicles available in Canada, United States and the United Kingdom. In every instance the same vehicle sold in the US was considerably cheaper than in Canada. Prices in the UK varied with some being cheaper than Canada but most were more expensive.
When we added the costs of all vehicles studied we would have paid a massive $708,52 in the UK, $638,098 in Canada but only $484,215 in the United States. Since we ran this article the Canadian dollar has rallied against the US greenback and this has forced many car retailers to reduce their costs to compete with US pricing. We are now going to look at the same vehicles to see if the promised reductions really are a reality. All prices are manufacturers base price excluding local taxes, registration fees, delivery, licence fees etc. Some variants in model specification may occur, but we have tried to take like for like as far as is possible. We have not added any options, unless they are to bring the vehicles to the same or similar specification i.e. transmission type. Canada pricing based on our Ontario post code of K0K 1V0. Some local retailers may offer extra discounts and special offers regardless of country. All prices are in Canadian dollars. Exchange rates as per HiFX Currency Exchange as of May 12th 2008. US dollar - Canadian dollar = 1.005, GB Pound - Canadian dollar = 1.966 Cheapest price option Canadian pricing higher or lower than Nov 07

VEHICLE MAKE & MODEL

UK PRICING
May 08

USA PRICING
May 08 45,180 18,464 16,906 21,926 14,066 19,444 34,475 22,961 22,770 21,610 18,142 94,581 36,144 21,208 23,017

CANADA PRICING
Nov 07 44,450 25,395 17,995 27,615 17,399 21,299 50,600 34,295 24,995 26,395 25,900 121,400 43,990 29,500 28,975 May 08 45,700 19,845 14,345 21,595 17,399 19,799 50,600 32,845 22,095 27,195 24,800 110,800 43,990 29,500 27,475

Audi A4 Avant 2.0T Tiptronic 200ps Chrysler PT Cruiser Touring 2.4L 16V 150ps automatic Dodge Caliber 1.8L SXT manual Dodge Nitro 3.7L SXT automatic Ford Focus SE (CA & US) Zetec (UK) 2.0L 16V, 5-speed manual Ford Ranger XLT 3.0L (UK - 2.5L) 4dr 4x4 5-speed manual Honda S2000 6-speed manual Hyundai Santa Fe GLS AWD 3.3L 242ps (UK - 2.7L 252ps) 5 passenger automatic Jeep Compass 2.4L Limited 4X4, 5-speed manual. Mazda 6 2.3L 5dr Sport Mini Cooper 1.6L 16V 6-speed manual Range Rover V8 Supercharged 4.2L 6-speed automatic Saab 9-3 Aero 2.8L V6 255ps, 6-speed manual Toyota Prius 5dr automatic Volkswagon Jetta Sport 2.0L FSI Turbo 6-speed manual

58,292 30,630 23,975 38,884 29,392 31,814 54,557 40,580 35,791 38,037 21,107 118,822 45,812 29,653 31,184

Motoring 35

Best fuel-efficient vehicles

Honda Fit The annual ecoENERGY for vehicle Awards, administered by Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency, are presented for the most fuelefficient vehicles for the current model year.

Smart Fortwo

Ford Escape Hybrid

Mini Cooper

Annual fuel cost: $1,134 Fuel consumption: City 7.0 L/100 km, Highway 5.5 L/100 km

Fuel consumption: City 9.4 L/100 km, Highway 6.4 L/100 km

Truck Compact
Honda Civic Hybrid 1.3 L, 4 cylinder hybrid CVT Annual fuel cost: $810 Fuel consumption: City 4.7 L/100 km, Highway 4.3 L/100 km Ford Ranger 2.3 L, 4 cylinder, 5-speed manual. Annual fuel cost: $1,584 Fuel consumption: City 9.9 L/100 km, Highway 7.5 L/100 km Mazda B2300 2.3 L, 4 cylinder, 5-speed manual. Annual fuel cost: $1,584 Fuel consumption: City 9.9 L/100 km, Highway 7.5 L/100 km

Winning vehicles are determined by testing that simulates 20 000 kilometres annually (55 percent city, 45 percent highway). The results are:

Two-Seater
Smart Fortwo 1.0 L, 3 cylinder, 5-speed automatic (with manual mode) Annual fuel cost: $1,080 Fuel consumption: City 5.9 L/100 km, Highway 4.8 L/100 km

Best Station Wagon
Honda Fit 1.5 L, 4 cylinder, 5-speed manual. Annual fuel cost: $1,584 Fuel Consumption: City 9.9 L/100 lm, Highway 7.5 L/100 km

SUV
Ford Escape Hybrid 2.3 L, 4 cylinder CVT Annual fuel cost: $1,098 Fuel consumption: City 5.7 L/100 km, Highway 6.7 L/100 km

Mid-Size
Toyota Prius 1.5 L, 4 cylinder CVT Annual fuel cost: $738 Fuel consumption: City 4.0 L/100 km, Highway 4.2 L/100 km

Best Subcompact
Mini Cooper/Cooper Clubman 1.6 L , 4 cylinder 6-speed manual. Annual fuel cost: $1,260 Fuel consumption: City 7.1 L/100 km, Highway 5.3 L/100 km Toyota Yaris 1.5 L, 4 cylinder, 5-speed manual.

Minivan
Mazda 5 2.3 L, 4 cylinder, 5-speed manual. Annual fuel cost: $1,512 Fuel consumption: City 9.6 L/100 km, Highway 7.1 L/100 km

Full-Size
Honda Accord Sedan 2.4 L, 4 cylinder, 5-speed manual Annual fuel cost: $1,440

Honda Civic Hybrid

Toyota Prius

Ford Ranger

Mazda 5

36 Money

Reduce your taxes, give to charity
We have all just gone through the process of filing our taxes for the 2007 tax year, so how can you reduce your burden next year? One way may be giving to charity. By helping others you may also be helping yourself.
It should also have the CRA’s name, address and serial number.

So, what is the tax advantage?

the CRA with your return or you may need to keep them yourself and submit only if requested at a later date. Remember as with all tax documentation you need to keep the receipts for at least six years.

We will use the 2007 tax details as examples, although these may change for the 2008 return. the amounts include all charitable donations, not individual Useful Resources amounts. For example if you donate $20 to charity A and $100 to charity B your Check registered charities total annual donation is $120. http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/ebci/haip/ The first $200 of donations is subject srch/sec/SrchLogin-e? to a federal tax credit of 15.25% of the searchType=Registered total donation amount. For amounts over $200 you will receive a tax credit of 29%. However, you can only claim all or part of Types of receipts required this amount to a limit of 75% of your http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tax/ taxable income. In some cases you may charities/donors/receipts/menualso be eligible for provincial tax credits. We are often asked to donate to e.html You can carry forward any donations charity either through commercials on the not claimed and claim them on returns TV, collectors in the street or at the mall or How to claim over the next five years. by friends and relatives taking part in http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tax/ If you receive something in return for charitable events. However, not everyone individuals/topics/income-tax/return/ your donation it is called an advantage. knows that many of these donations can completing/deductions/ In this case the amount of the donation is in fact reduce your tax liability. lines300-350/349/menu-e.html reduced by the value of the received gift The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the reduced amount is your eligible holds a list of all qualifying charities and taxable amount. An example would be a you can go online to check if a particular donation of $500 to a local theatre which charity is registered. If it is, you may be is a registered charity and you receive able to reduce your income tax by two tickets to a play worth $100. Your donating. eligible donation amount would then be The donation must be in the form of $400. cash, gifts, property, land etc and must be Details of how to complete your tax voluntary. You should get a receipt from return can be the charity in order to be able to claim this found on the on your income tax return. CRA website. The receipt should have certain Remember ideal for small business + independent contractors information on it in order to be claimable. to always keep It should have the statement stating that it your receipts. is an “official receipt for income tax Depending on purposes.” It should also have your name denise@bookkeepingbyd.com how you file and address as well as the charity’s your income tax business number and registration number. return you may The amount donated should be clearly Spend less time on paperwork and more need to send stated along with the date of the donation. time on your business the receipts to

D's Bookkeeping Service
www.bookkeepingbyd.com Tel: 613-398-7964

fixed installments over a fixed period of time. For homeowners this is referred to as a Home Equity Loan (HEL). This is

especially useful for someone who wants the security of knowing the money is

taking on either type of loan to be sure you are opting for the one which suits your circumstances.

Money 37

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

0845 370 5133
(all calls charged at standard local rates)

Currency Specialists
Morgan House Madeira Walk Windsor Berkshire SL4 1EP

Shop online without breaking the bank
It's no wonder that online shopping has become so popular when you can shop from home, work, and now - thanks to Blackberries and cell phones - even on the go. New shopping sites pop up every day, making it extremely easy for you and your money to get lost in the virtual world. Any savvy online shopper will agree that it is possible to spend frugally while still living fabulously. Here are some smart tips for saving money online that will leave cash in your wallet and a smile on your face: Read the Reviews: Before you buy anything, read the reviews. Just because a product is flashy and has a high ticket price does not mean that it works well or even at all. Trust your fellow shoppers, and let their advice guide you to the perfect product.

Compare Prices: Comparison shopping sites are great for shoppers who already know exactly what they want but don't want to spend the time searching multiple merchants for the best price. These sites search hundreds of online merchants to find the lowest price on your chosen item. Think With Your Head, Not Your Heart: How many times have you fallen so hard for a hot pair of shoes, the newest MP3 player, or even a 12-cup coffee maker that you overlooked the unnecessarily high sticker price in order to get the object of your affection, only to feel guilty later? Next time, stop yourself before you add the item to your virtual cart. Take a couple of hours or even a couple of days to think about your purchase. Do you really want it? Do you really need it? If the answer is still "yes," you'll be able to make the purchase with a clear conscience. Search for Online Coupons: Before making your final purchase, be sure to check out an online couponing site to

save extra cash. Online couponing sites provide deals that you may not find instore or even on the Web site of a particular merchant. CouponCabin.com (www.couponcabin.com), for example, is updated throughout the day and provides deals from over 900 merchants. Save Money Even after You've Spent It: Most of the major online retailers have a customer protection policy that allows shoppers to ask for a refund of the price difference if the price drops shortly after you purchased the item. Some online merchants will even beat a competitor's price. This requires some follow-up on your part, but it will pay off in the end - literally. Online shopping may be an open frontier, but you don't have to be afraid. With these tips in mind, you and your wallet can tame any shopping Web site. Courtesy of ARAcontent

38 Working Life

Going green at work
Anthony Balderrama, CareerBuilder.ca "Going green" has become such a buzz phrase du jour. But sometimes you can't help but wonder if people are just talking about the environment or if they're actually working to improve it.
For years many companies have put recycling bins in their break-rooms for employees to dispose their soda cans and daily newspapers in. For a lot of workplaces, environmental concerns ended there, but at least it was something. Thanks to recent media and political attention on global warming, as well as scientific advancements that make going green easier, companies and their employees have changed the way they do business.

More than soda cans
Companies have gone beyond just recycling aluminum cans and old faxes and are looking for new opportunities for environmental responsibility. Take for example, Borrego Solar, which produces solar electric systems. It's a business that not only reduces carbon footprints through its products, it also does so within the company itself. As you would expect, the company's offices run on solar energy. The production warehouse is just as involved in the company's environmental concerns; it recycles every material possible, including the packaging used for the solar panels, scrap metal and used wires. For every tree that Borrego is forced to cut down during the installation of a solar system, it plants 25. The desktops in the company's recently remodeled offices are made of natural wood and the rest of the desks are made from all recycled material, making each desk 99 percent recyclable. "It's very important that Borrego Solar not only talk the talk but walk the walk when it comes to being green," says Mike Hall, the company's president. In addition to responding to employee demand for green measures in the office, the company also realizes their efforts are good for business. "When potential customers do their research on a solar design and installation company they want to work with, many want to support the team that is actually green and not just selling a green product." Borrego has the right idea, says Gail S. Bower, president of Bower & Co. Consulting. By making sure it practices what it preaches, Borrego Solar is preserving its reputation as a green company. "Businesses that say one thing but whose employees do another will quickly have a mess on their hands," she warns.

How work is going green
As employers continue to recognize the importance of going green, both from an environmental and business standpoint, they have found new ways to save energy. Here are a few ways they're doing it: • Architecture firm LPA Inc. relegates some of its garbage to an in-house worm habitat that produces compost, which employees can use for their own personal gardening. • SCA, a personal hygiene product company, holds employee giveaways of environmentally friendly products, plants trees in order to offset the carbon footprint of its employees' air travel, and

Working Life 39
uses paper products made entirely of recycled material. • Technology company Compellent incorporates green initiatives into its Minnesota headquarters. It uses glass panels and low-walled cubicles in 90 percent of employee workspaces to let in more daylight and use less electricity. are some tips to help you go green at work: • If telecommuting is an option, work from home as much as possible in order to reduce car pollution, suggests Kevin Green, executive director of the Clean Air Campaign. He also recommends carpooling to the office if you live near a co-worker or walking or biking if you live close enough to the office. • When you step away from your desk, whether for a lunch break or for the day, turn off the light at your desk. • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs in your desk lamps because they save energy but produce just as much light as incandescent bulbs while having a longer life span. • Ask your supervisor if you can switch to refillable ink cartridges for the printer. • Print only documents that you must have hard copies of and, when possible, print on both sides of the paper. • If you don't already have recycle bins for plastics, aluminum and paper, find out how to have them put in the office. • Start taking a reusable beverage container for your morning coffee and water instead of using disposable cups or bottles.

What can I do?
Not every business has the ability to take extensive strides in an effort to go green. Even if you don't have access to a worm habitat or a desk made of recyclable materials, you can still do your part to reduce your carbon footprint. Here

Five lies we all tell at work
Anthony Balderrama, CareerBuilder.ca writer I hate to break it to you, but you're a liar. We all are.
Little lies – and the occasional big ones – are part of workplace culture, just like boring meetings and gabby coworkers. A workday that's 100 percent fibfree is a rarity. Absolutely, says Dr. Gabriela Cora, corporate consultant and author of "Leading under Pressure: Strategies to Maximize Peak Performance and Productivity while Maximizing Health and Well-being." "In the long run, consistently stating the truth will work in your – and everybody else's – best interest."

1. "I'd be happy to."
Think about the last few times you've said you'd be happy to do something. How often was that statement sincere? When a supervisor or colleague sends some work your way and you would rather work on more pressing tasks, you don't know how to turn them down without losing your job.

Although telling a lie can be easy, and you might even get away with it sometimes, you're not creating the best If you accept a task and say you'll do work environment. To help bring more The good news is that much of our it, your boss expects you to keep your honesty into the workplace, here are five dishonesty doesn't come from a bad word, Cora says. Therefore, if a new lies we're all guilty of telling and how we place. We're not always trying to be assignment may interfere with your other could better handle them. deceptive; often we're trying to please work, ask your boss which tasks have the other people, even at our own expense. highest priorities so you don't miss a Still, mom did say we should always deadline. He or she might have forgotten tell the truth. Do we need to put the kibosh how much you have on your plate and will on lying? let you know what's most urgent.

40 Working Life
Duties of this fast-growing profession include writing and editing text, any 2. "No, I don't have creating graphics, converting photos and drawings questions." into digital images, designing page layouts and developing presentations. Who hasn't been given an assignment that just didn't make sense, Data Entry Clerk but when the boss asked if you had any Like administrative assistants, all, questions you stayed silent? After job you prospects should thatbest for thosedoesn't don't want to be be person who with expertise in computer software understand what's going on. applications. By typing text, entering data into a computer, and performing other clerical duties, these workers ensure companies keep up with information and technology. an explanation, such as "I'm sorry I was Market Research Analyst late." Then get to work. Market research analysts, whose job numbers are expected to grow 20 percent by 2016, gather data on competitors and 4. "I'm not sick – it's just analyze prices, sales, and methods of allergies." marketing and distribution. They often design surveys, compile and evaluate the The only thing people like less than data and makeusing their personalto their getting sick is recommendations days to clienthome. If you have too much work to stay or employer based upon their findings. off or you don't have any take a day

Careers 33
If you want your boss stops to a due date. When to make the caseby to potential your progress, you wipe let check on employer or your boss to the you work from your keep a few things sweatfrom home,forehead and say in mind. If possible, as planned. everything's goingprovide concrete examples of how this arrangement was successful in the past or how it will succeed. Suggest that you ease into it -spending a few days to a few weeks in the office at the outset, meeting people and getting to know procedures. Then, during the first three to six months on the new job, make frequent visits. Kate Lorenz is the article and advice editor for CareerBuilder.ca. She researches and writes about job search "I am working on it" might hiring strategy, career management, be the better response, Cora issues. trends and workplace suggests. This answer lets the boss know you're hard at work without lying about how much you've accomplished. Although you might not think it makes much of a difference as long as the work is done on time, you could find yourself in need of some advice just before the deadline and you'll be caught in a lie if you're asking about something you said was already done.

personal days left, you might want be Paralegal tempted to pull one over on your fluWhile lawyers and attribute the fearing co-workers assume ultimate responsibility for legal work,don't. delegate sniffles to allergy season – they much of their work to paralegals. Paralegals not only assist in preparation Insurance Underwriter for closings, hearings, trials, and corporate Insurance underwriters serve as the meetings, they also perform a number of main link between the insurance carrier other vital functions including draft and the insurance agent. Underwriters contracts, mortgages, separation analyze insurance applications, calculate agreements, trust instruments and may the risk of loss from policyholders, decide assist in preparing tax returns and "If to issue questions and they will whetheryou havethe policy and establish planning estates. With employers reducing affect your premium rates. appropriate ability to do a good job, you will costsYour colleagues aren't tootended to by replacing duties once pleased need to find some answers," Cora by lawyers with paralegals, growth of and that you're putting their health at risk this reminds. Preface your question by saying profession is expected. they're even less delighted that you're that you just want to be certain you lying to them. If staying home is not an understand everything completely. option for you, Cora recommends 3. "My alarm didn't go off." addressing the issue by saying, "I Sometimes alarms don't go off, but hope I'm not more often than not, you slap the snooze coming down with button a few times before you realize you a cold; I have should already be halfway to work. Magazine and Subscribe to Muchmor many things to do." not only will you be reminded when

every new issue is published but "I'm 5. you will also be placed into a draw to win right on a $50 TimCard™ schedule."
When you've got a deadline for a project, you have every Fess up to it, Cora advises. "If you intention of have a good track record, it won't be a big staying on deal." schedule so that Be ready to explain for the latest winner read muchmoryourself if you you're not have a history of consistent tardiness. and to subscribe atstressed up to the After all, your late arrivals are noticed last minute. Then even if nobody says anything, so your life happens and excuses will run dry eventually. Cora also you barely begin suggests trying a simple apology without the project two days before the

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.

readmuchmor.com

Working Life 41

Seven steps to achieving your dream
by Chris Widener
“Vision is the spectacular that inspires us to carry out the mundane.” Chris Widener Believe it: Yes, your dream needs to be big. It needs to be something that is seemingly beyond your capabilities. But it also must be believable. You must be able to say that if certain things take place, if others help, if you work hard enough, though it is a big dream, it can still be done. Good example: A person with no college education can dream that he will build a 50 million-dollar a year company. That is big, but believable. Bad example: That a 90 year-old woman with arthritis will someday run a marathon in under 3 hours. It is big alright, but also impossible. She should instead focus on building a 50 million-dollar a year business! And she better get a move on! See it: The great achievers have a habit. They "see" things. They picture themselves walking around their CEO office in their new 25 million-dollar corporate headquarters, even while they are sitting on a folding chair in their garage "headquarters." Great free-throw shooters in the NBA picture the ball going through the basket. PGA golfers picture the ball going straight down the fairway. Worldclass speakers picture themselves speaking with energy and emotion. All of this grooms the mind to control the body to carry out the dream. Tell it: One reason many dreams never go anywhere is because the dreamer keeps it all to himself. It is a quiet dream that only lives inside of his mind. The one who wants to achieve their dream must tell that dream to many people. One reason: As we continually say it, we begin to believe it more and more. If we are talking about it then it must be possible. Another reason: It holds us accountable. When we have told others, it spurs us on to actually do it so we do not look foolish. Plan it: Every dream must take the form of a plan. The old saying that you "get what you plan for" is so true. Your dream will not just happen. You need to sit down, on a regular basis, and plan out your strategy for achieving the dream. Think through all of the details. Break the whole plan down into small, workable parts. Then set a time frame for accomplishing each task on your "dream plan." Work it: Boy, wouldn't life be grand if we could quit before this one! Unfortunately the successful are usually the hardest workers. While the rest of the world is sitting on their couch watching reruns of Gilligan's Island, achievers are working on their goal - achieving their dream. I have an equation that I work with: Your short-term tasks, multiplied by time, equal your long-term accomplishments. If you work on it each day, eventually you will achieve your dream. War and Peace was written, in longhand, page by page. Enjoy it: When you have reached your goal and you are living your dream, be sure to enjoy it. In fact, enjoy the trip too. Give yourself some rewards along the way. Give yourself a huge reward when you get there. Help others enjoy it. Be gracious and generous. Use your dream to better others. Then go back to number 1. And dream a little bigger this time! Chris Widener is the President of Made For Success. He teaches leaders how to become Extraordinary Leaders. Chris’ speaking and consulting services have challenged the best to become optimists, to pursue excellence relentlessly, and to dream big dreams. Copyright© 2007, Chris Widener. All rights reserved. For information about Chris’ speaking and consulting services, contact the FrogPond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email susie@FrogPond.com; http:// www.FrogPond.com

Can achievement be broken down into steps? Well, it is not always that clean and easy, but I do know that those who achieve great things usually go through much of the same process, with many of the items listed below as part of that process. So if you have been struggling with achievement, look through the following and internalize the thoughts presented. Then begin to apply them. You will be on the road to achieving your dream! Dream it: Everything begins in the heart and mind. Every great achievement began in the mind of one person. They dared to dream, to believe that it was possible. Take some time to allow yourself to ask "What if?" Think big. Do not let negative thinking discourage you. You want to be a "dreamer." Dream of the possibilities for yourself, your family, and for others. If you had a dream that you let grow cold, re-ignite the dream! Fan the flames. Life is too short to let it go. (Also, check out my article “Dare to Dream Again,” Which has been read by close to a million people in the last 4 months alone. You can see it at the website.)

42 Working Life

The Power of Women Exchange (POWE) has established itself as a great new way for women executives, entrepreneurs and professionals to interact and develop business relationships. The fact that POWE has just celebrated its third anniversary is testament to its continued success.
POWE is a networking group for women and is built on the basis that it uses its membership first. So when a fellow business woman, or someone she knows needs a particular service or product they first look to their fellow members to fulfill that need. POWE has grown through members referring the group to friends and business acquaintances. This is not a mandatory requirement of POWE, it is simply what the women want to do. They love it, so they want others to experience it too. So, what does POWE offer business women? Well, it is not just networking, it is education, support, friendship, business tools and more. Once members join POWE they can not only attend their local chapters, but can go to any chapter. The two POWE founders Lia Bandola and Tina Dezsi could only have dreamt of the success that POWE has now become. We chatted to them and fellow director Marlene Marco about POWE and of course themselves. Starting at the beginning, Lia who is now Chief Executive Operating Director of POWE and Tina, Chief Executive Officer met at a marketing workshop in 2001. Both had recently started their own businesses and knew within moments of meeting that they could do great things together, combining their knowledge and utilizing their strengths. From that meeting they set up conferences and a radio show which they hosted together for 2 years –

the It’s Your Life show about health, wellness and lifestyle. After attending a Women’s Day Event in Toronto where several speakers took the stand, Tina and Lia came away thinking they wanted to create similar events in the Durham West region. This would mean women didn’t have to go all the way into Toronto to experience these powerful events. At their first conference Dini Petty was headline speaker and has since been headline speaker at three POWE events. Lia goes on to say, “We had so many women who had attended the conferences telling us they wished we could have a more regular forum for women to share and network. We thought we’d give a monthly meeting format a try and the rest, as they say, is history!” They met Marlene at one of the first POWE meetings and recognized that she had special qualities that would make her an ideal Chapter Director. Lia explains, “ When we were were looking for a new Director for Durham West, we approached Marlene and luckily she took us up on our offer. She did such an amazing job with that Chapter that we

knew we needed her to be more involved in the organization and was the perfect person to take on the role of Executive Director of Training and Development.” We decided to put the women through one of Muchmor’s rigorous Q&A sessions. Well, okay, not that rigorous! What do you think sets POWE apart from other groups? TD: After spending much time networking in many groups between us, Lia & I created a model that included all the benefits we enjoyed from the other groups, brainstormed ideas of what we actually wanted in a networking group and

Lia, Marlene and Tina at the POWE third anniversary celebrations

Working Life 43
then tossed the ones we didn’t absolutely love. The end result was a starting line where we had a unique concept that offered real benefits that we had full confidence in their viability. POWE does not limit the number of members in an industry because although we all know competition is tough we believe there is no such thing as saturation in a market. Every business owner offers their own brand of service along with their product that is as individual as their client’s needs are. With that in mind we offer a place for everyone to grow both professionally and personally learning in a safe nurturing environment free from preconceived ideas of how you need to fit in while making business happen. We are very proud of POWE’s open arm concept that allows new business, existing businesses, big business and everyone in between something they can sink their teeth right into and actually do business. POWE offers a free workshop (Networking the POWE way!) to all members, which is their opportunity to learn how to use every benefit available and to network effectively without wasting time, to get their feet wet and learn right from the beginning the right way to network for growth. With each new member that joins the organization, members expand their networks when they know how to use it effectively. We have very exciting plans underway for the growth of the organization that is a constant opportunity for POWE members. What star sign are you? TD: Cancer LB: Pisces MM: Cancer Why did you choose to set up a women only group? TD: Being women, we are aware of the climate in which we want to network. We believe that women do business in a kinder, gentler way. Gone are the days when aggressive sales and marketing is the way for small business to generate leads. Women are today’s business leaders as is proven with the statistics showing the increasing larger number of businesses opening by women and better

Marlene, Tina and Lia cut the cake at the POWE third anniversary celebrations
yet the success rates for women owned operations are very high. Women believe in referring naturally when they are happy with a service or product. Women ask friends, colleagues and family who they would recommend for anything they need before going to any other source. We are strong supporters of a business we believe gave us good service and will spread the word naturally and gladly. However if we are unhappy with a service we received you can bet our own circle of influence will indeed be aware! Since over 80% of every household dollar spent is done so by the woman including everything from large purchases such as cars and houses right down to who does the house painting, we would rather spend our time influencing the largest sector of the buying power then in a small 20% market share. Having said all that, if you are selling a product that is predominately marketed to men you would want to split your time between women’s only groups as well as coed ones. Bearing in mind that women would also purchase for their husbands or have a hand in the decision of most products a man would buy today. Being in marketing and sales we understand how to operate within this business climate and created benefits specifically geared to assist women to develop within it. Being women helps us to determine what would work and what doesn’t. Do you think POWE will ever have men attending meetings? We’re happy to say that we do periodically open up a meeting for the men to attend. What we find happening is that the men see the benefit of belonging to POWE and they encourage or arrange to have one of their female managers or associates participate. This has proven beneficial and we’ve attracted business that was not yet represented. Our next meeting including men is the June Clarington meeting on June 24th. How do you see POWE expanding in as far as what it offers members? LB: We are constantly enhancing our member benefits and have just added on an exciting new benefit in the way of Group Insurance for home and auto.

44 Working Life
There are several other partnerships we’re working on that will enhance the benefits for our members. MM: Already we have seen the member benefits grow & develop, for example the use of the boardroom and office at a minimal cost. Other added services, discounts and packages are in the works! As the membership grows – so do the benefits What would you do if you won $10 million on the lottery? TD: I would invest back into my businesses and purchase our office building. Personally I would be spending a lot more time working on my laptop from the beach! LB: I too would like to be able to purchase a large office building we could really expand into. And I would buy my house by the ocean – a dream I have had for quite a while now. I would do lots of traveling too – scouting locations for POWE all over the world! MM: Travel is definitely at the top of my list. I would incorporate that into growing POWE worldwide!! My idea of helping family would be to help set them up in the business that they would love to have – the investment they would need, the education etc. I’m strong on teaching people to be independent & self sufficient. Charities near & dear to us would also be really happy that I had won! How many members does POWE have and how do you see this figure growing in the future? Currently we are very proud to be pushing 300 members! POWE will have over 500 members in 2008 and we see rapid growth in the coming years due to a strong vision with clear-cut strategies in place that will take us there. This is the 3rd anniversary of POWE. How does that make you feel? TD: Pride, energized to go even further, continuing confidence that all the work we do is in the right direction! I personally consider myself blessed and honoured to bring these ideas and concepts to women that know it is in their control to step outside their comfort zone and make it happen. At the anniversary meeting a long-standing member told me how awesome it felt for her to stand there and say that most of the best friends in

Bay of Quinte Chapter
her life are in this room! That said it all for me. LB: I am excited and humbled all in one to know that what started as a little idea to bring women together to share and network has already grown to such a wonderful organization where women can truly feel supported and can share all that they are and do with like minded women. It has surpassed any expectations I had for this organization at this point and I am thrilled to be constantly building on the great foundation we have now to bring POWE to new heights. MM: It is very gratifying to see POWE at work! It is reinforced every day, that what we do is changing women’s lives for the better. Every time I hear a testimonial, or a comment from a member regarding either their personal growth or their business growth, I know we’re doing the right thing in providing this POWE vehicle to move lives forward! We will speak more with the directors in next months issue. But what do the members themselves think. We went along to the Bay of Quinte Chapter to hear their thoughts on POWE. Claudia Hancott of Century 21 Lanthorn said she joined POWE because it was a wonderful place to meet other women who are in the same position as her - trying to get her business going. She said, “it works really well and its a fun meeting to go to.” Another member Janice Rabethge, a Weekenders fashion co-ordinator said, “I joined POWE to meet new customers and network with women. I have made a lot of new friends, made sales and also helped other women start their own Weekenders business. Networking is the best way to achieve this and POWE is number one” Cedarlane Financial Consulting is represented by Heather Lang who said she joined POWE for the camaraderie, the support and the knowledge gained from all other members. Heather says, “it has been great to learn how to do public speaking and also from a business standpoint I have made great contacts. It is not always who you know but who someone else knows. Overall POWE is a very enjoyable experience.” When asked what she would say to other women contemplating joining POWE she said, “don’t bother trying to work out the numbers, the number work themselves, just join.” We also spoke to Kim Suurdt who is co-owner of Stirling Carpet and Flooring and the chapters most recent new member. We asked why she joined POWE. “I joined because I wanted to network with other women and it is exciting to be part of this group. They are very supportive and encouraging and that

Working Life 45
is very important to me as I am new to business, having no business background, so it is great to have the support of all these other women. I am very excited to be part of POWE.” Next we spoke to Gloria York who started her POWE membership with the Bay of Quinte Chapter, but within a couple of months had started her own chapter in nearby Kingston. Gloria is an area manager for Welcome Wagon and a distributor for Send Out Cards. Gloria said she first joined POWE because of the energy in the room at her first meeting. She added, “POWE has helped me grow. I would never have gotten up in from of people to speak before and now I can. I saw what it can do in a community and so I wanted to bring that to Kingston.” Of course the Bay of Quinte Chapter also has a Chapter Director and that person is Rose-Anne Kumpunen. RoseAnne owns her own company, RealLifeChanges.com and originally joined the Durham West Chapter over two years ago. When she and her family relocated to Quinte West she decided to set up her own chapter. “The upbeat energy and true desire to help each other both professionally and personally at our monthly Power Luncheon meetings is what makes POWE so contagiously successful. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to bring this fantastic group to the Bay of Quinte.” Each chapter meets on a monthly basis for two hours with registration starting before the start time to give women the chance to network and socialize before the meeting. Likewise the end of the meetings usually allow for members to mingle before departing. Members are encouraged to be spotlight speakers where they can address the meeting for ten minutes discussing their business or indeed anything else they want to share. This gives women the opportunity to gain confidence in public speaking in a friendly and encouraging atmosphere. Members can also choose to have a showcase table at the meetings. Here they can display their business details, products, services etc. Everyone who books a table gets one minute in front of the meeting to promote their business. Another way to get in front of other members is to provide a door prize for the meeting. Like the tables, all door prize donators have a one minute slot before the members. If you are a woman who wants to network and interact with other like-minded women then come along to one of the chapters listed in the adjacent panel. For full details go to the POWE website www.powe.ca where you will find a wealth of information about POWE and how it can help you and your business. We thought we would give the final words to the directors and asked them what they think POWE will look like in the year 2016. Tina replies, “POWE has a strong vision of what it will look like at the end of 2016 in which time you will see her with 150 chapters open between Canada and the USA and a home base in both countries. POWE will be the strongest group for a woman in business to belong to because of the core values, the truth in what it offers members and the opportunity for women to grow both professionally, financially and personally. POWE will see true women’s centers open in both countries with a unique concept to offer all women and men a true one-stop shopping – our busy lives demand it and POWE will deliver! So, there you have it. POWE is going from strength to strength and we at muchmor will be following that growth with regular monthly articles and interviews with directors, members and future members. After all muchmor is a proud POWE member too! Remember if you want to take a look at how POWE can benefit you go to www.powe.ca and remember to tell them muchmor sent you!

POWE Chapters
Bay of Quinte Meets at the Holiday Inn, Trenton on the 4th Tuesday of each month Registration from 11:00 am. Clarington Meets at Bobby C’s Dockside in Bowmanville on the 4th Tuesday of each month. Registration from 6:30 pm. Durham East Get together at the Harmony Creek Golf Centre in Oshawa on the 1st Tuesday of each month. Registration from 11:00 am. Durham West The Forest Brook Community Church in Ajax is the location of this meeting with registration from 11:00 am. Kingston Meet at Zorba’s Banquet Facility in Kingston on the 2nd Tuesday of the month. Registration starts at 11:00 am. Markham This chapter meets at La Rosa Banquet Hall in Markham on the 2nd Tuesday of the month with registration at 11:00 am. Ottawa West Meet at City View United Church, Ottawa on the 1st Tuesday of each month. Registration starts at 11:00 am.

46 Health and Wellness

Understanding autism spectrum disorders

Health and Wellness 47
To many of us, autism and related disorders are a mystery which is a good thing as if you are not familiar with it you probably don’t know anyone affected by it. Unfortunately, for a growing number of people the luxury of ignorance is not an option.
The Autism Society of Canada has given some valuable information to help us to better understand the issues relating to these conditions. We also speak to some families who are dealing with the disorder first-hand. severity and range of symptoms, a child or adult diagnosed with autism may be "high functioning," severely developmentally delayed, or fall anywhere along the spectrum. More boys than girls are affected and after a normal start in life symptoms usually start to appear between 12 and 24 months of age. Asperger Disorder: This is also referred to as Asperger Syndrome or AS. In Canada approximately 5 in 10,000 children have the condition resulting in around 15,000 cases. Some experts refer to this condition as high-functioning autism because in Aspergers, language and cognitive development are not affected. However, children with this condition will have impaired social function and repetitive mannerisms as well as problems with communication and social skills. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Children are often of school age before being diagnosed and some may not be diagnosed until in their teens. AS is a relatively new ASD condition having only been officially recognised in the 1990’s and so diagnosis is becoming more frequent with adults who were previously undiagnosed. Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS): This is the second most common condition affecting approximately 47,000 Canadians or 15 in 10,000. It is also referred to as atypical autism. This diagnosis is given to children who clearly exhibit severe impairment in development or social skills but do not fall into the main ASD categories. Rett's Syndrome: This rare condition is found exclusively in girls and currently around 3,200 Canadians are affected (1 in 10,000). Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD): Also known as Heller’s Disease, this condition does not usually present itself until the child reaches 2-10 years of age at which point they then lose already acquired skills. Onset can be gradual, but can also advance suddenly. Autism Spectrum Disorders are lifelong conditions with different need across the lifespan and across a wide spectrum of severity and differing

Hans Asperger - defined Asperger Disorder in 1944

What is autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are the most common neurological disorders affecting children, with a current prevalence rate of 1/165. ASD affects approximately 200,000 Canadians. ASDs change the way the brain processes information and can affect all aspects of a person’s development. Individuals with ASDs have varying degrees of difficulty in social interaction and communication and may show repetitive behaviours and have unusual attachments to objects or routines. The term “autism” is often used in two different ways. It is used to refer specifically to Autistic Disorder and it is also used more generally to refer to all ASDs. The term “spectrum” refers to a continuum of severity or developmental impairment. Children and adults with ASDs usually have particular communication and social characteristics in common, but the conditions cover a wide spectrum including level of functioning, severity and age of onset. There are five conditions classed as Autism Spectrum Disorders and each has its own wide spectrum of symptoms. Autistic Disorder (AD): This is the most common condition affecting approximately 20 in 10,000 children or 73,000 Canadians. The most common symptoms include withdrawn behavior, unusual social behaviours, language and communication problems, inability to engage with others and repetitive patterns. Depending on the

Autism ribbon

reach out to children with autism

48 Health and Wellness
symptoms, skills and abilities. The needs of children with autism conditions are often complex and can include such supports as: EIBI (Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention) programs, speech and other communication therapies, occupational therapies (OT), medical support for associated medical conditions, and other educational and social skills supports. Early screening and diagnosis result in earlier, and therefore more effective treatment. Screening tools such as The Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT) can be used by family doctors and pediatricians who are the first health professionals to see infants and toddlers on a regular basis. The earlier the diagnosis can be confirmed by a specialized diagnostic team, the earlier any necessary effective treatment can begin.

Autism Societies British Columbia
T: (888) 437-0880 F: (604) 434-0801 E-mail:info@autismbc.ca Website: www.autismbc.ca

What are the signs of ASD?
Some of the first signs that something is “not right” usually occurs when family or caregivers notice delays in the child's development such as delayed speech, lack of eye contact, repetitive movements, difficulty interacting with others, particularly other children or inability to concentrate. The symptoms can be many and varied and in milder cases can go unnoticed for many years.

Alberta
autismsocietyalberta@telus.net Includes: Autism Society of Edmonton Area T: (780) 453-3971 F: (780) 447-4948 E-mail: karenphillips@autismedmonton.org Website: www.edmontonautismsociety.org Autism Calgary Association T: (403) 250-5033 F: (403) 250-2625 E-mail: info@autismcalgary.com Website: www.autismcalgary.com Autism Society Central Alberta moskowy@telusplanet.net Autism Society Lethbridge Website: http://members.shaw.ca/ feat.ab/FEAT.html

Prognosis and treatment
Autism is a lifelong disability. There is no known medical "cure" for autism but many of the disabling symptoms of autism are treatable. The earlier children with ASDs are able to receive appropriate evidence-based treatment and intervention, the better their prognosis. It is possible to help most people, even those with severely debilitating autism conditions, to experience significant improvements in their symptoms and in their ability to function. Some children may even improve to the point of being indistinguishable from their peers. It is frightening to think that less than a generation ago, most people with autism were placed in institutions, their symptoms thought to be "incurable." Health professionals and others were uneducated about autism and effective supports and services were simply not available. Today, increased knowledge and evidence-based treatment and supports help people with ASDs learn effective coping mechanisms and strategies to compensate for their disability. With appropriate early intervention programs, autism-specific services, financial support, training and information, most families are now able to support their young children at home. Depending on factors such as age, treatment and educational opportunity, many of the symptoms of ASD can get better over time; others may disappear altogether. With appropriate intervention, many children and adults can be assisted to learn and grow and many of the challenging behaviours associated with ASDs can be greatly improved.

How is ASD diagnosed?
ASDs are not diagnosed based on only one factor or symptom but when a combination of specific behaviours, communication delays and/or developmental disabilities is confirmed. In North America, the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition) is used as the standard screening tool for Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs). This is published by the American Psychiatric Association. In Europe and other parts of the world, the ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases) is commonly used. Some of the common characteristics which are usually considered include: • Lack of imaginative and social play • Difficulty making friends with own age group • Inability to initiate or sustain a conversation • Stereotyped, repetitive, or unusual use of language • Restricted and/or overly-intense interests • Overly dependent on specific routines or rituals • Preoccupied with parts of objects

Saskatchewan
SASKFeat T: (306) 862-4768 F: (306) 862-3899 E-mail: saskfeat@hotmail.com Website: www.saskfeat.com

Manitoba
T: (204) 783-9563 F: (204) 975-3027 E-mail: asm1@mts.net Website: www.autismmanitoba.com

Ontario
T: (416) 246-9592 F: (416) 246-9417 E-mail: mail@autismsociety.on.ca Website: www.autismontario.com

Continued on page 42

Health and Wellness 49
Since she was diagnosed things have changed. For one, we understand why she acts the way she does and can alleviate many of these potential outbursts by preventing the cause. We now know that children with AS like routine and hate change. So, we try not to change the furniture around as much as we did. We also try to stick to routines as much as is possible so that she feels secure in her day to day life. Her eating problems stemmed from the fact that she could not understand that she was full and so kept eating regardless. We also now know that AS makes children extra sensitive to outside stimulation such as crowds, noise and even the feel of fabrics on their skin. This is why she used to complain that sometimes her clothes felt funny. It was simply that her skin is far more sensitive to fabrics and some would “hurt her.” Now we understand this we can work around it. One of the saddest things as a parent is how other people react to your child Campaign by the Dubai Autism Centre when she is having one of her “moments.” Because to everyone she appears Most people with ASDs will continue to (AS) which is high functioning autism. perfectly normal, they see a spoiled struggle with some degree of difficulty with Although we have many challenges as a teenager having a tantrum and parents communication and social challenges family, far more than the average family, who don’t seem to be able to control her. throughout their lives. we are in fact much luckier than many They look across with distain which is These days, some adults with ASDs others who suffer from ASD’s. heartbreaking. Sometimes I wonder if it are able to live and work independently, We look at our lives now as those would be better if she looked different so earn a university/college degree, hold a times before diagnosis and those after. people could see that there is indeed a rewarding job, get married, etc. Others Before Sarah was diagnosed with AS we reason for her behaviour. may be semi-independent and able to live were completely at a loss as to what Other children also are a problem as in the community with support for certain could be wrong with her. She would have she lacks some of the social skills we aspects of day-to-day living. Group what we called “meltdowns” over the homes, assisted apartment living slightest thing such as a piece of furniture normally take for granted. She can be arrangements or residential facilities also being moved in the house, her toys being playing happily with children or her siblings one minute, then the next minute offer out of home support. There will also moved or played with by a sibling or a cannot stand to be near them. Unless be some individuals with more severe new item of clothing that “felt funny”. other children understand why this is ASD conditions who will remain very These would not be your normal happening it can be very difficult to cope dependent on family and on professional childhood tantrums, but more like the with. support throughout their lives. world had just ended for her and she Many children with autism are would scream and roll on the floor oblivious to their differences, but high creating quite a scene. functioning autistics like Sarah are only She also got bullied at school in the too painfully aware which is heartbreaking early days which resulted in causing her as a parent. to self harm because she felt so alone Since Sarah was diagnosed she has and misunderstood. This is hardly been on medication which has helped surprising as we, her own parents did not tremendously. Her medication stimulates by Wendy Smith in the United understand her. She would also eat like there was no tomorrow and even go as far the brain to send the right signals to the Kingdom right area of the brain making it less as stealing food and hiding it. This led to her gaining weight which further increased jumbled. Since being on the medication My daughter Sarah is 14 years old she has relearnt a lot of the social skills her low self-esteem. and suffers from Aspergers syndrome

Aspergers - a mother’s perspective

50 Health and Wellness
she lacked and can now respond more calmly to issues that once would have sent her into “meltdown.” Her weight is also now under control at acceptable levels. Now she is older she can better control her actions although she is susceptible to violent outbursts and has very strong opinions which she is not afraid to share. Where someone without AS will think something but know better than to voice their opinion, Sarah will just come right out and say it, good or bad. Autism impacts the whole family and I am sometimes surprised that my husband Mark and I are still married! We never get any time to ourselves as Sarah is a fulltime job. Sarah is hyperactive which means that she is often still awake and active at 1 am. She can get by on only 4 or 5 hours sleep, but I really need 8 hours so this can leave me exhausted. I gave up work to look after Sarah and have managed to complete an Open University course. But I have been basically unemployable as in the early days I may have had to go to the school at a moments notice to deal with a problem several times a week, or even a day, although things have settled down more now. We have very little social life as if we go to restaurants, cinemas etc with Sarah there is always potential for an outburst. Because of this we tend to avoid these places as it is not worth the turmoil. It is the same with holidays. Fortunately as Sarah has got older we have been able to adjust slightly. We have been going to a certain restaurant for several years now as they know us and they are used to her. Likewise Sarah is used to them and tends to be much calmer around them. Our other two children who are younger than Sarah are also impacted by autism. They have to learn to cope with her differences and other people’s reaction to them. They have to realise that sometimes she is happy to play with them and other times she wants to be alone. They have also had to get used to being late for school as if Sarah had a meltdown just before leaving for school it made everyone late. As I mentioned before, Sarah is completely aware of her condition and how it makes her different. She deals with it in her own way but if pressed will admit that it has “ruined everything for her” or it has “done her in.” All parents are proud of their children, but we are especially proud of Sarah as she has struggled to overcome her problems. She is en-route to pass 10 GCSE’s (UK secondary school exams) which is more than we could ever have dreamed of for her. We feel it is very important for people to be aware of autism in all its forms. Everyday, people are battling this condition and battling the “system.” If it’s not health care, then they are fighting for help in school or help in the home. Things are getting better and as time goes on new developments will be found and hopefully autistic children who are born in the future will have much better help, from a much earlier point in life and go one to be healthy, happy teenagers and adults.

Quebec
T: (514) 270-7386 F: (514) 270-9261 E-mail: fqa@contact.net Website: www.autisme.qc.ca

New Brunswick
T: 1-866-773-1916 E-mail: autism_nb@yahoo.com Website: www.autismnb.org/

Nova Scotia
T: (902) 429-5529 F: (902) 446-4997 E-mail: autismns@ns.sympatico.ca Website: www.autismsocietynovascotia.ca

Prince Edward Island
T: (902) 566-4844 F: (902) 368-8057 E-mail: autism@peiacl.ca Website: www.autismsociety.pe.ca

The joyful challenges of raising a child with special needs
By Rose-Anne Kumpunen in Ontario, Canada
His name is Johan-Kristian Matti Kalevi Kumpunen. We gave a distinctive and loooong name for a unique little blond angel of a boy. When Johan was born, as parents, we didn't know the journey that lay before us. At three months, he still wasn't reaching the expected milestones. Something was wrong! And so began our deeper investigation. It would take two more years filled with specialist appointments, MRIs, and regular trips to Grandview Children's Centre for physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and a slew of developmental assessments before we would have an actual diagnosis: Chromosome 8p Inverted Duplication Syndrome. Whew! That's a name and a half!

Newfoundland and Labrador
T: (709) 722-2803 F: (709) 722-4926 E-mail: info@autism.nf.net Website: www.autism.nf.net

Northwest Territories
T: (867) 920-4206 F: (867) 873-0235 E-mail: lynnelkin@hotmail.com E-mail: autism@hotmail.com

Yukon
T: 867.667.6406 F: 867.667.6408 E-mail: info@autismyukon.org Website: http:www.autismyukon.org

Nunvut
No society at this time, contact Autism Society Canada Tel: (613) 789-8943 Toll Free: 1-866-476-8440 info@autismsocietycanada.ca www.autismsocietycanada.ca

Health and Wellness 51
Over the years, I have come to learn through in-depth research and cross comparisons, that our son shares many similar health challenges as children with autism. Johan's abilities may differ from those of the other children around him, and he may not be able to communicate all his thoughts and feelings the way they do, but the things he enjoys doing, he does with great enthusiasm, passion, and excitement. Even if it means pestering his older sisters with his antics. As parents, while we feel that we are starving for that elusive feedback from our non-verbal son, his sudden "I love you!" brings us such joy. As parents, we live through the daily challenges of raising a child with special needs: From the stress of the unknown future, to giving balanced attention to other siblings, to juggling extra school meetings, to keeping the home and school environments safe, to finding a special-needs babysitter just to get out as a couple every now and then to keep the marriage intact as well. There are also the extra financial challenges to consider: Specialty foods, incontinence supplies, special equipment, supplements, and a slew of "alternative" treatments that are considered too "alternative" to be covered by any health insurance policy. As a parent living in Canada with our wonderful "free" healthcare system, it leaves room for disappointment and frustration when we are left on our own to find answers and real solutions. And it even stirs up some anger (or well-focused passion as I like to call it) when we ask for help only to be turned down because it isn't a "life threatening" situation. No, maybe it's not. But it is a question of quality of life. It took about five more years after his diagnosis to get Johan into the system again at Sick Kids Hospital with persistent requests from us for more help and for more tests. These are the new roles of the parent: researcher and advocate. And with the new proposed changes to Bill C-51** that our government is trying to pass as legislation, we, as caregivers to our children, may even lose our right to try these alternative therapies. What will we

Johan with two of his favorite things: animals and tractors!
be left with? The medical community has offered no real solutions. We are still on our own in our search for real answers. life. If it weren't for my son's condition, I may not have looked into energy-healing techniques, to adjusting our diets in unique and individual ways, to learn how ** NOTE: Bill C-51. Among the to cleanse and nourish the body to changes proposed by the bill are radical maximize its own innate healing abilities. alterations to key terminology, including And most importantly, I would remind replacing the word "drug" with “therapeutic them to enjoy their child in all their product" throughout the Act, thereby wonderful, unique ways. giving the Canadian government broadJohan has touched the lives of so reaching powers to regulate the sale of all many others. He has a smile that is herbs, vitamins, supplements and other contagious and a mischievous sense of items. The Act also changes the definition humor. His classmates are open and of the word "sell" to include anyone who accepting of him, and his school has been "gives" such therapeutic products to a wonderful place of growth and someone else. In theory, a mother giving understanding. He helps others to see an herb to her child, under the proposed things in new ways. And somehow, he new language, could be in violation of the reaches into our hearts and makes us new law. realize our own bigger potential. www.holistichealth.com: Dr. Amy If I were to give any advice to another Yasko helps children with autism with a parent of a child with special needs, it comprehensive approach. would be to keep looking, keep asking, www.alternative-doctor.com: Dr. Keith keep rethinking what anyone tells us is a Scott-Mumby has a huge library of given reality. What we are dealing with is information including the ongoing debate still very much in the realm of the on the links between vaccinations and unknown. As far as I'm concerned, dealing autism. with the unknown opens up unlimited www.RealLifeChanges.com: My own possibilities. It opens up hope. online resource for daily inspiration and I would also tell them to enjoy motivation to Actively Create Your Real everything this journey brings into their Life Balance.

52 Home and Garden

Color is key to brightening a home
Even with winter gone and summer on the way, it can be hard to maintain an upbeat mood and high energy if the colors in your home are drab. Short of taking a monthly vacation to a bright, tropical paradise, one way we can keep energy in our lives is with the creative use of color.
It's always a perfect time to spruce up the interior of your home. There are simple, economical ways to add color to your interior spaces to improve your outlook year round. 1. Paint the blues away One of the best ways to integrate color into a home without much cost is with the use of paint. Even if you think you don't have the energy or talent to repaint an entire room, don't worry. You can add splashes of color by painting just one wall a vibrant hue. Take cues from Mother Nature to establish optimistic color schemes. For example, bright blues and warm shades of taupe are inspired by the ocean, reds and yellows can represent the brightness of a rising sun, and brown and green tones remind you of those first days of spring when buds begin to appear. When deciding where to paint, it's important to ask yourself, "What is the room's strongest feature?" It might be a fireplace, a view, or even a favorite piece of artwork. The wall around that focal point is the wall you want to highlight! Bold colors work well on these walls because they tend to be broken by the window or fireplace, so the impact is eyecatching, not overwhelming. Also, there really isn't that much area to paint, so the work isn't too time-consuming. Rollers are the DIY enthusiast's best friend because they can save a lot of time and produce a professional-looking finish. When choosing a roller, make sure it holds an adequate amount of paint without a lot of shedding. For example, the new Wooster Avalon performs like a high-capacity knit while delivering a very low-shed finish like a woven. The special fibers provide a finish with at least 50 percent lower fiber shed count than other rollers on the market. Using a high-quality roller will speed the painting process so you can enjoy your colorful new room sooner, with less effort during the job. 2. If you miss the green, add some greenery. Do you miss looking outside and seeing full trees and blooming flowers? If so, there's no better way to brighten your home than to integrate some plants into the decor. Many people participate in some form of indoor gardening, whether having a full container garden, a simple herb garden, or a favorite green plant or two. Ivy, cactus, spider plants and bonsai are all good indoor plants. If you prefer flowers, you have options as well. African violets are great indoor plants that produce small flowers in vivid shades of purple, pink or white. Geraniums are easy-to-grow annuals with pretty leaf shapes that will flower continuously if given adequate light. Finally, many bulbs work well in an indoor environment. Paper white narcissus flowers provide a strong scent to bring the smell of summer inside your home. Don't feel like growing flowers? A trip to your local florist or grocery store can provide you with a bouquet that can be displayed anywhere in the house. 3. Accessorize with the feeling of the sun. Adding accessories to your house's decor that draw from the feeling of

summer can really make a difference in revving up a home's energy. New pillows can instantly transform an old sofa into something lively and new. A new piece of art with a nature scene can brighten a boring wall. Update family photos with favorite moments from the past year's warm months. A fun beach picnic scene might be just the pick-me-up you need. Finally, be sure to open your curtains and allow natural light to enter the house as much as you can during the daytime. Brightening your home is easy when you utilize color. For more information about Wooster painting tools, visit www.woosterbrush.com. Courtesy of ARAcontent

Home and Garden 53

Helen Parnell Tel: 403-932-8888 www.moving2alberta.com
MLS: C3307045 City: Cochrane Price: $579,900 Bedrooms: 5 Province: Alberta Bathrooms: 2

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS, 2 HOMES IN ONE, RARE LEGAL SUITE. Live up and rent down. This unique walkout bunglow in a cul-de-sac location has a rare LEGAL 2 bedroom suite in the basement with own private entrance and patio. Rental income from this suite can be used as income when appying for a mortgage. The main entrance has a great slate floor and den/home office. Upstairs you have a good size kitchen with island come kitchen table. Family room has cosy fireplace already fitted with wood surround. There is also a formal dining room or this could be the home office! hardwood flooring throughout.

MLS: C3297692 City: Cochrane

Price: $264,900 Bedrooms: 3

Province: Alberta Bathrooms: 4

Great private, secluded and quiet place to call home. This home has it all. Nice size family room to cosy into on these cold nights. The kitchen is bright with dining area and new laminate flooring installed earlier this year. The kitchen faces west so great for the evening sun. A two-piece washroom completes this level. Upstairs you have a good size master and then two further bedrooms. The 4-piece washroom is all new with tiling all the way to the top of the wall by the deep soaker tub. The walkout basement needs your finishing touches but walks out on to a nice deck on private fenced yard. Unit backs onto a treed park like ravine. Pets and children are welcome.

MLS: C3313479 City: Cochrane

Price: $609,900 Bedrooms: 4

Province: Alberta Bathrooms: 2

What a walkout bungalow! This house has recently been renovated with new paint throughout. Upon entering you are welcomed by a bright clean house with the MOUNTAIN view right from the new front door! The main level features the kitchen with tons of counter space, new stove, and light fittings, corner pantry, all black appliances and rounded high breakfast bar. There is also a private den/office and large mud room. The large Master Bedroom has a spacious 4-piece en suite with soaker tub and walk-in closet. The main level boasts incredible windows that allows lots of natural light.

MLS: C3323540 City: Calgary

Price: $329,900 Bedrooms: 2

Province: Alberta Bathrooms: 2

This well cared for home is a must to see, End unit located in the heart of Mckenzie Towne, within walking distance to all amenties. This home offers lots of upgrades Oak kitchen cabinets ,island w/eating bar & paddle fan over kitchen nook,Christon "De Palma Series" tile entrance, stairs and bathrooms,"Lauzon" Red Oak Pacific Natural hardwood throught out,custom hunter douglas blinds & kitchen curtains, Impressive Pewter & Crystal chandelier in the 10 ft.entrance. All doors are Bostonian 6 panel upgrade, Duo- vac vaccum system, upgraded appliances, ADT security system.

MLS: C3323063 City: Cochrane

Price: $279,900 Bedrooms: 2

Province: Alberta Bathrooms: 2

This amazing 3rd floor condo is one of the few PREMIER suites. Placed on the corner you have extra windows making it a bright spacious apartment. The kitchen has some of the many upgrades with maple cabinets and breakfast bar lighting. There are two good size bedrooms with the master having a walk though closet and 4 peice ensuite. The ensuite was upgraded with a soaker tub and tiling to the ceiling. The second bedroom is large enough for a double bed or even an office. There is a separate laundry room ensuite,plus an additional storage room.

54 Home and Garden

10 simple ideas for using your space more effectively
by Maria Gracia Feel like you're running out of space for all your stuff? Here are 10 simple ideas for using your space more effectively.
1 - Insufficient or ineffective? Do you have insufficient storage space or ineffective storage space? There's a big difference. Insufficient storage space means you don't have enough space for your things. Ineffective space means you have enough space for your things, but you're not making the best use of that space. Most closets and cabinets have the volume to hold twice as much as they are usually constructed for. And you probably have quite a few nooks and crannies for storage that you haven't even thought of. Of course, it's important to make sure you don't have things you don't like, are outdated, etc., but it is also important to have effective storage space for the things you do like and enjoy. 2 - Add a rod Looking for extra storage space in your closet? If you have the type of closet with two plus walls for hanging clothes, on one wall hang a rod at head height for long clothing (dresses, pants, etc.). On the other wall, hang two rods--one above the other--for shorter clothing (shirts, skirts, blazers, etc.) In other words, you're not restricted to only one clothing rod. 3 - Install shelves Most shelves can be moved up-anotch or down-a-notch. If you have three inches of space above your linens, you may consider adjusting the shelf so the shelf below it has more space. Or, perhaps you can add another shelf in between. Plastic, multiple level shelves are wonderful for kitchen cabinets. Corner shelves are great for picture frames, knick knacks and other small treasures. 4 - Order storage units Storage units, which can be picked up from housewares or hardware stores, are great space savers.Your spices can be removed from drawers and placed on a spice rack.There are racks for canned goods that, when a can is taken from it, the next can in line rolls forward. Some of these hold over 40 cans!Ice cube trays are inexpensive storage containers for smaller items such as earrings.There are coffee tables on the market with storage space hidden inside.Under bed containers are perfect for storing quilts and linens. Be creative and make use of these great tools! 5 - Don't forget about wall space Look around and you're sure to find quite a bit of empty wall space. There are many uses for this new-found space. Pots and pans can be taken out of cabinets and hung on walls. Tools can be placed on pegboards. Shelves can be installed for picture frames and knick knacks. Many stores now carry corner shelves that can be installed in a snap. 6 - Put frequently used items within arm's reach Whenever possible, store regularly used items where you use them most. Recently, my husband created a toilet paper holder on the back of our bathroom cabinet door, with a small dowel, 2 nails and 2 loops of rope. It holds three rolls of toilet paper, and it's right near the area it's needed most. You shouldn't have to walk from one room to another to retrieve items you use every day. Store linens in the bedroom. Store videos near the television. If you use the scissors in the office area and in the sewing room, have two pairs of scissors, one in each room. 7 - Add a drawer or sliding shelf Many hardware and housewares stores carry drawers that can be installed underneath a cabinet. These are great if you have a home with limited drawer space. In addition, you can also install shelves under cabinets that slide out when you need them, and slide back in when you're finished with them. 8 - Keep your desk clear A clear desk is directly related to your productivity. You will get more done, if you're not constantly under a pile of papers and files. A sturdy, full-suspension filing cabinet is a must for any home or office. Portable file boxes that hold hanging file folders also come in handy. There are plenty of storage choices for CD-roms and diskettes. Desk supplies belong in an on-the-desk caddy or in trays inside your desk. 9 - Re-arrange One woman I know told me she never uses her dining room, not even when she has company over. And she had no intention of ever using it since her kitchen was big and elegant enough. She also said she hated her dark basement office. So, I suggested she rearrange a bit, and turn her dining room into her office. And that is exactly what she did. So think about your surroundings and make them work for you, even if they seem a little out of the ordinary. 10 - Rotate You may have many items you love in your home or office, but not enough space. Rotate them. In other words, keep some things in storage for a month or two and display some of your things. Then, once that time is up, make the switch. The items on display go into storage; the items in storage go on display. What a neat idea! Maria Gracia is nationally recognized author, speaker, consultant, and professional organizer. She is founder of Get Organized Now!,

Home and Garden 55

Driveway makeovers to boost your curb appeal
Whether selling a home in today’s tough real estate market or simply trying to beautify and protect your home, curb appeal should be very important to you. Home selling experts predict that as many as 40 percent of potential buyers reject a home based on their first impression of the front of the home. That makes curb appeal -- the general appearance of the front yard -- the single largest factor shaping impressions of your home.
After lawns, driveways often make up the largest area of the front yard, and can really affect opinions of your home. “Driveways and sidewalks are the entryways to the home. If they’re in great shape, you’ve got a strong first impression. If not -- you’ve said a lot about the quality of the home,” says

Gordon Blickle of Gardner-Gibson, a manufacturer of driveway, brick and patio sealers.

Unfortunately, driveways are often overlooked, spoiling an otherwise manicured landscape. Settlement.Org provides you with information and Unless the drive answers to settle in Ontario. is severely cracked, Visit www.settlement.org for information about crumbling or Finding a Job, ESL Classes, Housing, Health and much more... poses a safety hazard, there’s no need to spend thousands on removing and replacing it. Citizenship and Citoyenneté et There are easier Funded by: Immigration Canada Immigration Canada options to Managed by: Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) makeover a tired driveway that waterbased clear acrylic sealer. boost the curb appeal of a home. final changes June Stop and Smell the Roses 2, 2005 Fix Driveway Dings Instead of having to keep the edge of Don’t let problems go unaddressed the lawn trimmed against the driveway, until it’s too late and they become create a “buffer” strip with a decorative hazardous and expensive to repair. rock garden or plant flowers along the Renew the look of an old, worn blacktop path to create an inviting drive up to the driveway and fill in small cracks with fast- home. If the driveway is shared with a drying Black Jack Ultra-Maxx 1000, a neighbor, plant shrubs and flowers flexible, long-lasting filler and sealer between them to create a small privacy with a 10-year guarantee. wall.

Are you new to Ontario?

Do you need help? Are you helping newcomers to settle?

Light the Night Installing low-voltage or solar landscape lighting can create a softly lit path to border the driveway. In addition to creating a pretty landscaping effect, the lighting can improve visibility and decrease the chances someone will accidentally drive onto the lawn. Clean Up That Sidewalk Frequently dirt, mold and algae settle on sidewalks due to their location, and that can create a really dismal first impression. Clean the walk with Driveway Kleen, a garden-safe spray solution that attaches to a garden hose. To protect stains from coming back, coat the sidewalk and adjacent pavers or edgers with Krystal Brilliance, a

Get an Edge Edge the driveway with pavers in colors complementary to the home and pavement. Use pavers in different shapes and sizes to create an interesting focal point and frame the driveway. “Consider your front yard the ‘arms’ that welcome visitors into a home,” says Blickle. “Without a warm welcome, guests and potential buyers may just keep walking.” For more information and ideas on how to protect driveways from the elements, visit www.gardner-gibson.com. Courtesy of ARAcontent

56 Home and Garden

MLS: c3324300 Province: Alberta Bedrooms: 3

Price: $326,800 City: Calgary Bathrooms: 2

Spacious, Executive style 2 storey-town home in Hanson Ranch, ceramic tile entrance for that elegant look and easy maintenance leading to open concept kitchen/living room/eating nook. Nook leads to deck with phantom screen door. Upstairs huge master bedroom with four piece en suite and good size walkin closet. Second and Third bedroom with another four piece bathroom complete this fantastic layout.Hanson Ranch has both public and separate schools to grade nine, four times the green space of most other communities. SEEING IS BELIEVING!!!!

MLS: C3301004 Province: Alberta Bedrooms: 4

Price: $679,800 City: Calgary Bathrooms: 3

Tanglewood Estates proudly presents this 2 storey, 2595.52 S.F.,4 bedroom,full Baths,Maple Floors, Granite Counters, Gas Fireplace, Oversized Double Garage, Main Floor Laundry/Mudroom, Freshly Landscaped,Mountain View. Now is the time for you to acquire your personal show home and reveal your individual style with the various accent walls, art niches, and custom built-ins incorporated throughout this sophisticated home. Huge floor to ceiling windows bring in loads of bright sunshine into the kitchen and family room. Entertaining will be a breeze in the gorgeous kitchen, boasting thick granite counters and mocha kitchen cabinets with the large island, opening into the family room.

Home and Garden 57

The sting of summer - take a bite out of mosquito myths
When it comes to summer most of us can't wait to hit the beach, hike local nature trails or even lounge in the backyard. In fact, according to the OFF! PowerPad survey, adults say they and/or their families plan to attend a barbecue (73 percent), watch fireworks (59 percent), attend outdoor concerts (33 percent), go camping (28 percent) and go to amusement parks (32 percent) this summer.
With so many families spending time outdoors, it's important to stay protected from unplanned summer mishaps. In fact, adults named insect-related (25 percent) concerns like stings, bites and contracting the West Nile virus from infected mosquitoes among their top protection concerns during the summer. Are you one of the 78 percent of adults who believe in over a dozen mosquito myths, like eating garlic will repel mosquitoes? Even if the answer is no, you may want to rethink your summertime protection rituals as the OFF! PowerPad survey reveals several common mosquito myths. MYTH #1: Eating bananas will attract mosquitoes, while eating garlic will repel them. Although 14 percent of adults believe one or both of those myths to be true, changing your diet will not protect you against mosquito bites. Nor will rubbing yourself with fabric softener sheets -another common home remedy that 14 percent of adults believe to repel mosquitoes. Using a personal insect repellent is a proven method to protect against mosquitoes. MYTH #2: Citronella candles effectively repel mosquitoes. Traditional citronella candles only repel mosquitoes up to one foot, although 85 percent of adults believe citronella candles are somewhat to very effective. If you are looking for an area repellent that will keep your guests protected during a backyard barbeque, the easy-to-use OFF! PowerPad Lamp & Lantern both protect an area equal to 225 square feet (the average size of a deck or patio), which is 15 times greater than a citronella candle/ bucket. MYTH #3: Both male and female mosquitoes bite. Female mosquitoes 'bite' because they need the protein from the blood of humans and animals to develop their eggs. It may shock the 20 percent of adults who believe that both the male and female mosquitoes bite, and that the male mosquitoes do not have a biting mouth that can penetrate human skin. MYTH #4: Kids are at the most danger of getting sick from West Nile Virus, a disease carried by mosquitoes. People older than 50 years old are at the highest risk for developing severe West Nile disease, but it is always a good idea for children to avoid mosquito bites. Twenty-five percent of adults agree, as they are concerned about protecting their families from insect-related mishaps, such as bites, stings or contracting the West Nile virus from infected mosquitoes. In 2007, mosquitoes were blamed for causing more than 3,500 cases of the West Nile virus across the United States. MYTH #5: Insect repellents with a higher percentage of DEET will repel more mosquitoes. Fifteen percent of adults believe that an insect repellent with 5 percent DEET compared to one with 15 percent DEET last the same length of time, but the repellent with 15 percent DEET repels more mosquitoes. The truth is that the more DEET a repellent contains, the longer time it can protect you from biting insects. Continue to fight the bite by applying the truth of these debunked myths to your summer activities. The next time you throw a backyard barbeque, you'll be prepared to protect your guests from those pesky uninvited guests. For more information on how to combat mosquitoes, visit www.offprotects.com. Courtesy of ARAcontent

58 Home and Garden

Donna McNeil Exit Realty Metro Tel: (01) 902-222-4937
Exit Realty Metro 2055-1658 Bedford Highway Bedford NS B4A 2X9

MLS: 41256389 City: Wellington

Price: $349,900 Province: Nova Scotia Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 3

Two storey under construction. Generous $25,000 allowance for Flooring,Cabinets and Lighting Appealing layout with large Master bedroom with walk-in closet and 5 pcs ensuite ,two more large upstairs bedrooms. Hardwood stairs and rails. Well appointed kitchen with island. Double garage and walk out basement. Seven year home warranty. Construction picture as of 25 April.

MLS: 40867764 Price: $299,900 Province: Nova Scotia City: Hammonds Plains Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 2
Gorgous executive Rancher custom built by Whitestone Developments. A bright large foyer welcomes you to this well cared for home. The kitchen features oak cabinets,a breakfast bar and walk in Pantry. Spacious Dinning room has an attached Sun room with great views. The formal Living room features a propane fireplace. Three good sized Bedrooms, the Master has a walk-in closet and ensuite. The Basement has a walkout and partially finished and offers lots of possibilities. An attached Garage provides room for a car and lots of storage. A beautiful house to call home.

MLS: 40834608 Price: $389,900 Province: Nova Scotia City: Hammonds Plains Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 3
Custom designed energy efficient , 4 bedroom home. Formal dining room , living room with fireplace , crown molding and custom millwork. Eat-in kitchen with an island and walk-out to back deck. Stainless steel appliances and lots of shaker style maple cabinets. Mud room off the garage with laundry and half bath. Upstairs master bedroom has private sitting room with fireplace , walk-in closet, ensuite with whirlpool bath. Two more large bedrooms with custom closets and a second bathroom complete the second level. The basement is completely finished with an exercise room, den/office and bright family room with a walkout to the back yard.

MLS: 41115544 City: Fall River

Price: $399,900 Province: Nova Scotia Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 2

A home with lots of bells and whistles, in-floor radiant heating on all levels, air conditioning , top of the line built-in appliances. The best of building materials used in construction with engineered hardwood floors. Three bedrooms, master ensuite with whirlpool tub. Other features include propane fireplace , bonus room over garage , home is wired for in-home entertainment system, cherry wood cabinets , interlocking cobblestone walkways and lots more.

MLS: 40696908A Price: $479,900 Province: Nova Scotia City: Stillwater Lake Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 2
Large executive 2 story home on a huge lakefront lot . Four bedrooms four bathrooms finished walkout basement. Open concept main level with 9 ft. ceilings , formal dining room breakfast nook and powder room. Upper level has a spacious landing area giving access to 3 bedrooms featuring a large master with cathedral ceilings, 5 piece ensuite. 20 x 14 bonus room over double garage could serve as den or home office. Basement has 4th bedroom, utility room and a 30x14 rec. room with roughed in wet bar. 87,600 SQ. FT. Lot with 200 Ft. of lake frontage on Laziness Lake , Hammonds Plains.

www.halifaxdartmouthrealestate.com

Home and Garden 59

Homeowners shift spending from gas tank to home
Declining home values coupled with high fuel costs are leading many to reconsider how they spend their money. In fact, homeowners who purchased their residence during the recent real estate boom bear the greatest risk of finding themselves "upside down" in their mortgage - a situation where they owe more than the current value of the house.
While many of these frustrated homeowners may have stable jobs and continue to pay their monthly mortgages on time, they cannot afford to move even if they want. They are trapped, waiting until home values rebound. What does a homeowner do until then? "Today, we see families investing in their homes, making their backyards more comfortable because they understand that they are not in a position to sell anytime soon. Simple upgrades like luxury hot tubs remain desirable because they don't require an expensive backyard redesign. Plus, they are portable - they can travel with the homeowner when they eventually move," says William Smelley of Jacuzzi brand hot tubs. Perhaps soaking in the hot tub reduces stress over homeowner real estate woes too. Anthony Pasquarelli of Sundance Spas agrees, but sees the situation from a different angle. "In our experience, homeowners continue to shy away from expensive trips that only last a few days. Instead, they are spending family resources on vacation-inspired amenities for their home. Inviting patio retreats for year-round enjoyment rank high. Hot tubs, pergolas and outdoor furniture are an important part of how homeowners recreate the five-star resort hotel experience in their own home." This is no surprise. Shrinking spending on travel is directly related to the rising costs of flying and the fees charged by airlines for everything from food to checked bags. Long lines, delayed flights and security hassles don't help either. Weekend road trips appear less desirable given the astronomical price of fuel. But before investing money into upgrades, homeowners need to be smart about their renovation choices. In a challenging real estate market, focusing on projects that add value takes priority. Curb Appeal: Spruce up the front of a home with a fresh coat of paint on the trim, some colorful flowers and a new door knob. The result: families will feel better about coming home each night and these improvements will help down the road. Make a positive first impression. Repair Obvious Damage: Don't ignore the hole in the wall or peeling wallpaper. While some may come to accept the imperfections of a home, damage looks like an eyesore to most. Outdoor Living: Functional outdoor living areas add the perception of usable square footage to a home. A deck or patio with a self-contained hot tub and picnic table can be a real bonus. They can be enjoyed immediately and when it comes time to move, anything that's not bolted down can probably go too. Wondering what expensive renovations to avoid? Experts say that conversions of a bedroom to a permanent home office, the addition of backup power generators and sunrooms offer the smallest return on investment. For more information, checklists and tips on backyard design, or to get information from experts, visit www.HotTubGuide.com. Courtesy of ARAcontent

Simple home upgrades, like luxury hot tubs, add value without requiring an expensive backyard redesign

60 Home and Garden

Using RRSPs for your down payment 
Many people are still unclear about the particulars surrounding registered retirements saving plan (RRSP) withdrawals for the purpose of buying a home, so Canadian Real Estate asked Winnie L. Go of ScotialMcLeod in Toronto, Ontario to demystify the process.
What are the restrictions on using RRSPs for a down payment on real estate? You can always use your RRSPs for a down payment on real estate. However, you have to pay taxes on the amount withdrawn, as it will be added to your income in the year of withdrawal. If you're considering purchasing (or building) your first home, the federal government's Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) is an option you can consider. The plan allows you to withdraw up to $20,000 from your RRSP. There's no tax withheld on this withdrawal, however the funds must be repaid in annual minimum amounts over the period of 15 years. Here are some of the rules you should be away of with HBP: • The home you're buying must become your principal residence • Two people can withdraw from their RRSPs for the same home. they need not be spouses, however the home must be intended to be the principal residence of both • The home must be located in Canada • Before withdrawing from your RRSP you need to have a written agreement to buy or build a home • You must acquire your home by 1 October of the year following the year that you withdraw the money from your RRSP

tax-deferred compounding of that income during the time that this money would have been in your RRSP. This results in the reduction of your RRSP balance to you during your retirement. • Am I still eligible for the HBP if I've As an example, assume a 30-yearowned a home previously? old investor takes $20,000 out of his You can't have owned a home RRSP under the plan and begins to repay or have lived in a home owned by your the amount right away ($1,333/year over spouse in any of the past five calendar 15 years) until age 69, the $20,000 would years beginning at the time of the have grown on a tax-deferred basis to withdrawal. approximately $430,000 (assuming an 8% rate of return). What are the advantages of using However, the homebuyer's RRSPs for your down payment? withdrawal together with the subsequent Your have an immediate source of repayment of (1/15th per year) would funds to assist in securing a home. result in a RRSP balance (at age 69) of If qualified to use the HBP, there's no approximately $245,000 - a difference of tax withheld on the withdrawal as long as $185,000 from the RSSP that was left the funds are repaid accordingly. untouched. While this is a significant amount, it doesn't necessarily mean that What are some of the pitfalls? a homebuyer's withdrawal is a poor By withdrawing funds from your strategy to follow. A homebuyer's RRSP under this plan, you're foregoing withdrawal strategy, however, should be the investment income and the related well thought out. This may mean, for

• If you make a contribution to your RRSP within 90 days prior to your withdrawal, that contribution won't be deductible if the contributed funds were needed for the withdrawal.

Home and Garden 61
instance, that a comparison is required of the amount of interest that is saved due to smaller mortgage balance that results from the homebuyer's withdrawal. Also, where other non-registered funds are available, it would be wise to use this money (before you use RRSP funds), since the investment returns earned on it aren't deferred but are instead taxable to you each year. How does the payback process work? You must repay this money to your RRSP over the next 15 years starting in the second calendar year after the withdrawal. Your payment is due within 60 days of the end of each year. If you don't make this payment then the amount is added to your income for the year and as a result will be taxed at your highest marginal tax rate. Each year, the Canada Revenue Agency will provide yo9u with a statement informing you of your minimum repayment requirement. Can you use your RRSPs for purchasing investment properties? Yes, you can use RRSP's for investment purposes. Note, though, that taxes will be withheld and the withdrawal amount added to your taxable income. You can't use the HBP for purchasing investment properties. The home you're buying must be your principal residence. Information supplied by Stef Lukas of Lukas Group Realty.

Don't let a pesky bird problem get out of control
Everyone agrees it's pleasant to have wild birds in the backyard; but there are certain species homeowners would rather do without. One that comes to mind is the woodpecker; and the last thing you want is for one to attack your home. Woodpecks can cause a lot of damage when they peck holes in cedar wood siding or the eaves of a home while looking for shelter, trying to find food the bugs that hide in such places -- or when they're sending out a mating call to other birds. Here's how to prevent them from becoming a big problem: 1. Put up netting in areas they have attacked in the past. 2. Use visual deterrants such as flash tape -- iridescent foil tape that will flap in the wind; Bird-B-Gone Diverters, a keychain-like device with iridescent foil eyes that will make the birds feel like they are being watched when hung from a tree; and the Bird-B-Gone Balloon, an inflatable scare device that confuses woodpeckers with lifelike reflective predator eyes and markings painted on a giant yellow balloon. 3. Try noise repellents. A company called AbsoluteBirdControl.com offers a Bird Chase Supersonic device that plays woodpecker distress calls and predator calls that scare birds away.

Contact Stef Tel; 403-990-4971 or email: stef@lukasgrouprealty.com web: www.lukasgrouprealty.com #20, 2439 54th Ave SW, Calgary, Alberta T3M 1M4

62 Home and Garden

MLS: 2081511 City: Athol

Price: $649,000 Bedrooms: 2

Province: Ontario Bathrooms: 2

Custom built home on 2.73 acres with approximately 190' of waterfront on East Lake. Laminate, ceramic tile and carpet floors, 11 sets of French doors and double hung windows. Large living room with propane fireplace, ensuite bathroom with heated floor, 6' x 8' walk-in closet and claw foot slipper tub. Minutes to Sandbanks, wineries, local artist studio. Outbuilding has potential for studio.

MLS: 2082283 City: Hillier, Quinte

Price: $269,000 Bedrooms: 4

Province: Ontario Bathrooms: 4

Immaculate home on pleasant bay. Walk-out from basement with guest suite potential. Large insulated double garage plus: Marsh waterfront for the naturalist, Central air conditioning, Central vacuum system, TV antenna, Garage: double, Garage: attached, Garage: detached, Double width or more driveway, Paved driveway, Crushed stone driveway, Oil or heating oil, Brick exterior finish, Vinyl exterior finish, Asphalt shingles roofing, Smoke Detectors, Garage with inside entry, Carpeted Floor

MLS: 2083535 City: Wellington

Price: $239,900 Bedrooms: 3

Province: Ontario Bathrooms: 2

Larger then it looks. Three bedroom home on large country lot. New kitchen with granite counter top and bathroom vanity, maple hardwood flooring and master bedroom ensuite done in 2007. 22' dug well, 6 jet whirlpool tub, 12 x 16 deck off kitchen with patio door. Area of wineries, close to beaches and local artist studio.

MLS: 2082988 City: Picton

Price: $224,900 Bedrooms: 4

Province: Ontario Bathrooms: 2

Brick century home in good area of Picton. Owners have completely renovated kitchen, 2 baths [one with clawfoot tub], newer roof, electrical upgrade including breaker panel plus gas furnace. All pine floors, 9' ceilings, 3 season sun room, back stairway, 10' x 10' deck plus insulated garage/workshop.

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